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Referee from Pittsburgh explains fumble ruling

Referee Gene Steratore spoke to the pool reporter about today's controversial call that was the difference in score between the Dolphins and Pittsburgh. The Steelers won, 23-22 on a field goal made possible when they kept the football following what looked like a fumble in the end zone that was recovered by Miami's Ikaika Alama-Francis.

The refs initially called the play a TD. Then they overturned the TD and said it was a fumble. But they didn't complete the job by giving the ball to Miami.

"Naturally, the ruling on the field was a touchdown by Pittsburgh," Steratore said. "After review it was confirmed in replay the ball did come loose and it was a fumble prior to the ball breaking the goal line. That's where we go into the second aspect of that. In order to overturn this and give another team the football, I have to have clear video evidence of that team recovering the fumble. So when a little short segment of what I said out there. That is what I explained. We did have a fumble, but we did not have video evidence and a confirmation on who recovered the football so we changed an aspect of the play by not awarding Pittsburgh the touchdown. Miami is not charged a time out because we changed an aspect of that play, but we could not award the defense in this situation the football because we don't have video evidence of the defense recovering the ball."

Steratore said officials could not determine who recovered the ball because, "it is a pile of bodies in there and you don't have a clear recovery."

Asked again by he could not determine who recovered the ball, he said, "We confirmed that there was a fumble and we not able to confirm a clear recovery by the defense."

Steratore, by the way, was born in Washington, PA., which is 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh. He still lives and has a business in the region.


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Jrjr2, You might be to young to remember this but Marinos first game that he started was against the bills where he threw for 359 yards and 3 TDs in a losing effort, In the interview Don(God)Shula says during his after game interview "I thing we found our offensive weapon, and his name is Dan Marino"......

TO ALL DONKEYS, this is the first year that henne starting from game one and his rating is 86 and doing great .did you think he will be at 100 by now . not even people working at the circus can do that .


when we have a minute in the game and DAN HENNING CALLS FOR A HANDOFF UP THE MIDDLE TO RONNIE (dancing with the stars) BROWN, was that a wasted down or was that brilliance?

when u keep everone in including 2 RB's to max protect henne, you lose your advantage down the field with covered receivers. henne has to be able to escape pressure by sliding in the pocket,stepping up or running for a first down.


Posted by: ALoco | October 25, 2010 at 10:14 AM

UHHO, Aloco has another problem besides being a D.A, he has math and history problems to boot... LOL, Sorry Aloco, could'nt help myself..

did any looked if the referee has a gambling problem ?

cuban , i said his rating as QB is 86 and if we let him walk bla bla 333 years

joe. marshall was waving for the knuckle head henne to throw to him. he was wide open. the beer guy came down and gave him a beer he was sooooo wide open. henne is not the answer.

According to altoonamirror.com, linesman Jerry Bergman, also from Pittsburgh, is the guy who made the TD call.

What is the league thinking/

Your article as usual was informative and well written except for the last paragraph. How can you imply that the referee's decision was in any way based on where he lives. To even think that crossed his mind is ridiculous and stupid.
I was as upset as anyone with the call but at no time did I cosider this although I did consider his decision gutless and illogical. Please don't lower yourself to this level again.

Guys, Forget the Field goal that Pitt. Got, The Phins got the ball back with 2:30 left on the clock( A eternity for any competent Offense) and were unable to get into FG range, They also had the ball in the red zone 4 times and could only muster FGs, That's why the fins lost, Has nothing to do with a bad call... IMHO..(Then again I am a addict)

Posted by: Cuban Menace | October 25, 2010 at 10:09

Any one disagree with my above statement???

brownman, why you blame our hero ARmando ,the referee is not jesus christ, he should be looked at so it doesn't happen again or if he doesn't have a gambling issue or bribes then we know it's an honest mistake .

What about the Line Judge? The guy called a TD when, based on video evidence taken from the exact same perspective as him, he had no evidence the ball crossed the goal line - it was obstructed by Roethlisberger.
The ball disappears around the 1-yd line when Ben turns his body, then the next time he is able to see the ball, it's loose in the end zone. How the F**k can you call that a TD.

Agree Cuban and it all goes back to the conservative 60s style program Parcells 'reinvented' here. It didn't work, Parcells bailed.

The problem is, the conservative style of football didn't leave when Parcells did. It's still hanging on like a brain dead car crash victim on life support.

Ireland got a repreive from Ross. If he's smart, he'll make some changes.

Let me say this I have heard about why we lost the game about the fumble and the many chances during the game to win, so with that out there, Yes we could have played alot better to capitalize on the turnovers that would have given us a quick 14 pt lead, but thats plan smash mouth football the steelers did a great job to stop us. But the fumble play was abosolutly ridiculas a ref determined who was going to win that game period. This ref said that there were no clear evidence on to who came out with the ball which is junk cuz there clearly was you see miami#59 fall onto the ball followed by another miami player than 1 pitts guy followed buy a swarm of dolphins players (because they are taught to play till the refs physically remove them from a pile) and than dolphins #59 stands up out of the pile with the rock and than hand it to the ref that called the touchdown intially. thats not clear all the while it was on camara..Than you hear oh they dont have the video to see what you are seeing (crock)everyother time the folks commentating always say that they are seeing what you are seeing...Which now brings me to ok they (pit) got the ball back kicked a fieldgoal (which they would have done anyway) People are saiyng if the did get the ball back the couldn't do anything and pit would have won by a field goal anyway. Well players are human they just got smacked by a ref depleted emotionally and than where asked to go out and try to go 80yds to win....bad play calling yes but that One play cost Miami a high spirited team on the next poss. They were taken out by the refs and the refs should be held accountable for there neglect and job duty to see everyplay through.

cuban, do you know what kind of business this referee has ?
could be a plumbing business .

last drive... 1st down: Brown for 2 yards, 2nd down: Fasano a drop and 3rd: Polite short completion of 2 yards.

Sure we got hosed at the end of the game, but kicking fgs isnt gonna get it done and why is Polite in there on a 2 min drive? again, bad coaching, putting a player in a situtation he is probably gonna fail in. also lil too conservative for my taking just in general. i mean i like are head coach but i see so many times our players are put in bad situtations by some bad coaching calls.

sure we have lost to three 5-1 teams but there are all AFC teams. not good... in the AFC this year, 10 wins and you can be looking in.

CM, I agree that the Dolphins and their coaches could have done more to alleviate their own situation. They were far too conservative even though Henne showed time and again that he was being responsible with the ball. Ronnie Brown played one of the worst games of his career. Not only was he not running with any authority whatsoever, but he had a major brain cramp in the passing game in the 1st qtr when he didn't pick up the hot read and turn around for the pass when Woodley just blew right by him. That might have scored a TD. he's just been awful this year and would not merit an extension.

To contrast that view, the hot read is the exact play Mewelde Moore recognized in converting the 3rd and 5 for a 1st down on the winning drive for the Steelers.

I will always remember Ronnie Brown for never fulfilling a career so full of promise. A decent player but at the same time, a significant dissapointment.

The problem with the call is that when you are a ref and you see players fighting for the loose ball,your 1st instinct should be "Fumble" and determine who has posession.
These guys kinda stood there like they were ready for a nap and nodded their heads to each other.
I'm wondering what would have happened if the play occured within the last 2 minutes and it would have been reviewed automatically?
I KNOW the Dolphins had their chances to win on a number of other plays but we ALL knew this was gonna be a tough game to begin with.The D did a great job forcing the fumble,but the refs blew that call...... no if's and's or but's.

here aloco. here is your donkeys 4th q stats. the only ones that matter..

2009 4th quarter rating - 65.7
2010 4th quarter rating - 51.1

case closed.. he sux... period!!!!!!!!!!!

Help me out here-SOMEONE had to come out of the pile of bodies with the ball correct? Either a Dolphins or Steelers player? What is so hard about that and what am I not getting?
It's either them or us that comes up with it.
Unacceptable as far as refs go but let's face it, we had an opportunity at the end to get into field goal range and we didn't.

mark, agree w/you R.BROWN know he will not be back so he just going through the motions so he doesn't get injured which would a disaster for his new contract .

we did it you by picking up the flag and calling off the holding penalty against the patriots.
you did nothing.we won.
we did it yesterday by signaling a td.we got caught on replay.so we did it by taking away your fumble recovery and giving the ball to our chosen winner on the 1 yard line.
you will do nothing again.
we win.

Ithaca, I see it the same as you. Steratore is being hung out to dry here but he was hung out to dry by his head linesman who signalled TD when he had no view of the ball crossing the plane and then proceeding to blwo his whistle like a retard and get everyone off the pile without running up to the line to determine if Ben had the ball. That idiot should never be allowed to referee another game. his was completely negligent and incompetent. Any high school official knows what the correct series of events are in a goaline play as a linesman. I see it happen every Saturday in college ball even. Yet that buffoon made a mockery of that game.

One thing if that was an isolated incident. But Detroit was ripped off a victory by similar replay incompetence and the Chargers a couple of years back. This happens WAAYY too often. The league is a joke in the way officiating is handled.

Am I the only one that noticed on our last score, we chose to kick a meaningless extra point. We could have gone for a very important two point conversion. If we had done that the score may have been tied and we may have won in OT. Can't any body in the Dolphins organization add simple two digit numbers? The coaches should be required to take a course in first grade flash card math.

jake, the thing that nobody is talking about is the pile up is inconclusive because the idiot Head Linesman was so adamant that the play was a TD that he was pulling players off the pile and blowing his whitle. So, it would have ahd to directly land in a player's ahnds before the whistle blew which wasn;t clear. The head linesman is the goat and the donkey. he's a retard who should go be a plumber for Steratore's sanitary and leave officiating to people with an IQ over 50. MORON LOSER SACK OF GARBAGE

If you blame the referee you are stupid. You only have to blame the offense. That game should have started 14-0, or 10-0. We have to capitalize on turnovers.

The dolphins lost that game. Too many field goals. This game reminded me of the Olindo Mare days.

I also knew it was a death knell after we moved the ball so well down the field with our last field goal with 5 minutes left then just shut it down with simple inside runs. Then I saw Sparano pump his fist that we got a field goal with almost an entire HALF QUARTER REMAINING.


Dolfdan, you are not stupid for laying at least 50% of the blame at the officials feet. That was a giant call and they shouldn't have that kind of impact on the game.

Cuban i remember it vividly. you are 100% correct. Thats my point, you have to adapt on the fly in the NFL, game to game, quarter to quarter and minute to minute. Shula was correct in his assessment. Problem is, sparano is no Shula.



i'm no ref, but the letter of the law there is to call fumble and not to blow the whistle. let replay prove other wise.

Two things happen if its called that way..

1. the play stays alive incase it is a fumble and there's pile of bodies for the ball thus they could determine who recovered.

2. if it was a touchdown, no harm no foul. replay would just over turn the fumble call.

Lets see what's on the Horizon for the Fins, Cinn. Maybe a win, Balt. Uh-ho, Tenn Oh boy,, Who else in the next games after That??? Oakland, Tagged Denver for 59 yesterday, oH yeah New Eng, and the Jets, and not at home but in there place, Then there's always Cleveland, Oh yeah, they beat the Champs, in their own stadium..........Well there is still the Bills down here.....

you want a shirt with a number on it?that will be $300.00 plus tax.do not forget to pay our tax.
we will let you buy 4 shirts for $1200.00
what?you think we are dishonest.

we do not care what you think.we will tell you if you get the ball.we are in charge.you will give us your time and money. you will do nothing but obey.what fumble?i saw nothing.

OK, this is what happened with the bad calls (plural)
Refs signalled TD which was clearly not the right call
Automatic review showed ball was fumbled by Pitt and recovered by Miami
But ref LIED for whatever reason. Probably to cover up the 1st bad call (TD).

This call was eerily similar to the call in the Saints game last season when Sharper clearly fumbled before crossing the goal line. The ball went out of the end zone and should have been a touchback for Miami. Clear fumble. The ref looks at the replay and still gives the TD to New Orleans. And of course, the Saints go on to win the game.

Clear video evidence has been overlooked twice to cost the Dolphins victories. Explain that Roger Goodell.

NWO is strangely quoting passages from Orwell's "1984", I get it now, Funny stuff..

how dare you take the ball from our team twice at the beginning.you think you will ruin our plans on who is to win.think again.we will win.you will lose.get used to it.did you like us ordering henne to throw the ball right before the 2 minute warning for no reason.ronnie brown also works for us.he gets the ball,makes a sandwich and then looks for a hole to run through.we run ronnie brown.not you.


4 and 6 and the donkey tries to shut put the ball to a triple cover brown who was only 3 yards down field. henne sux!

Or is it from Pink Floyds "The Wall", not sure, NWO, which are you going for, Floyd or Orwell???????????

short key

One more thing about the bad call. By the rules, there can be only two decisions. 1) Pitt recovered and scored a TD 2) Miami recovered and touch back.

Awarding Pitt the ball goal to goal ain't in the rulebook.

cuban, i must say this blog without you sux as 2 watt would say .

Goal to go

There is no doubt in my mind that the NFL has a few chosen ones that always get the benefit of the doubt every year. Anyone who claims otherwise is nieve to say the least. New Orleans got the benefit last year to help conclude the feel good story rising from katrina. The Pats got and get them to help perpetuate the myth of Tom Brady. The Steelers get them to continue the dynasty as the most successful franchise in the history of the sport. The Jets are getting them now to help continue the media coverage they are getting. The NFL does help some teams - no doubt.

we also now have S10,000.00 club level vip area.you can bring some friends with you.we will give u a big bottle of old fermented grapes with yeast and CO2 charged water to alter your mind while you watch our entertainment.you think you are a big shot.you are not.we are in charge.now pay me.how many $300.00 dollar shirts with name on the back would you like for your party?of course you have to pay the tax.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin seemed to understand his team's good fortune.

"Make it quick," Tomlin said while inviting post-game questions. "We've got the buses warming up. I just want to get out of town. We'll take it, and exit stage left."

When Pittsburg cannot win on their own-the refs will many times step in and help them to win. Look at the super bowl when they played Seattle in Detroit.

Coco, Exactly right, I dont get that call either,First time I've seen that in all my years watching The NFL..., But then again I said the same thing during the Oakland/New eng. game now famous for the so called "Tuck-Rule". that wasnt surprising though seeing how it was the Pats, Oakland never has really recovered since then, Hope the phins dont do the same.......

does anyone else see vernon carey missing blocks and whiffing on some every game?? he's either too old, too slow or too rich. gotta believe we could easily replace him with a better tackle at a discount. andrew gardner was better.

told you,we did not see who got the ball.so it goes to our team automatically.now you have another L and our team has another W.get used to it.we always win.you lose.you will finish with a losing season.again,like last year.

vernon carey missing blocks and whiffing... whats new?!

phins win the next 2 road games. watch!

we put doughnuts in front of mr. carey before the game.mr.carey cannot resist our doughnuts.then he gets slow and forgets his assignments.
uh oh.it is 11 13
you lose again.

look no one has been tougher on henne then me. but he has improved, he actually didnt stare down the receivers, he def looks nervous back there still but they play calling is bad. way too conservative in the redzone. and dont get me wrong 3rd and lond D is gross, kick return coverage gross and we are still getting beat deep. this team plays ugly..the offense is out of sync, i think hennign is a liabiilty. for now henne us improving but still doesnt look very conmfortable. hennins sucks, flat out. they need new o coordinator or will cost sporano his job

I've thought for the better part of a year, that the Dolphins should get a more athletic RT and move Carey to guard. He's an alright RT but as a G, he would be something fierce and would help make this OL dominant again.

Colleges seem to be churning out OT's at an alarming pace. Seems like 4,5 of them are drafted every year.

we are only concerned about drafting the right refs.you can draft whatever players you want.we have our guys.so your guys do not matter.you are insignificant.we are in charge.we will win.

did you see our member robert kraft when we had the easy field goal kick shanked for him yesterday.robert plays an important role for us.we always take care of our own.robert will win.

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