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Mistake In Steelers Game Costs Some Bettors Big

#1 User is offline   Jetsfan115 Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 09:22 PM

3 hours, 42 minutes ago

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LAS VEGAS (AP)—The Pittsburgh Steelers walked off the field Sunday just happy they had won.

A lot of bettors in this gambling city were more concerned by how many points they ended up winning by.

Winners turned into losers and losers ended up winning when a game that should have ended up 17-10 or 18-10 instead went into the record books as the first 11-10 final in NFL history. Though the score made no difference in the win and loss column, it did in the wallets of a lot of bettors on the Las Vegas Strip.

“Anyone who had a bet on the Pittsburgh side and thought they had won weren’t too happy,” said John Avello, director of the race and sports book at the Wynn resort.

A mistake by the officials on the final play of the game between the Steelers and San Diego Chargers didn’t alter the outcome. But it did mean bettors who thought they had won money on the game actually lost, while those who thought they had lost ended up winning.

The Steelers were favored by 4 points, meaning the apparent touchdown scored by the Steelers’ Troy Polamalu on the last play of the game made the difference between Pittsburgh covering the point spread or not. When the touchdown was disallowed, Pittsburgh bettors who thought they had won on a fluke on the last play were left holding worthless tickets.

“On the final play of Sunday’s game between the Chargers and Steelers, Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu returned a loose ball 12 yards for a defensive touchdown,” the league said in a statement Monday. “After an instant replay review and crew conference, the on-field ruling of touchdown was incorrectly reversed to no touchdown due to an illegal forward pass by San Diego.

“The incorrect reversal of the on-field ruling of touchdown was acknowledged immediately following the game by referee Scott Green in the pool report interview with a representative of the media.”

The NFL said it is discussing with the rule-making competition committee “potential administrative improvements for replay that would help to prevent this type of mistake in the future.”

That presumably could include allowing officials to take a second look at controversial plays, something not now permitted under the current rules.

Avello said there might have been $10 million bet on the game statewide, and many times more than that in illegal bets around the country and in offshore Internet betting sites. There was more money bet on Pittsburgh, he said, especially in parlay bets.

Though the officials later said they made a mistake in calling back the touchdown, the official score remains 11-10, and Nevada sports books paid off on the final score from Sunday.
Get it done MT
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#2 User is offline   Maynard13 Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:10 PM

Its funny that that play is getting so much publicity only because of the Vegas aspect. Its not really controversy if it doesn't effect the outcome. But because some people took a wallet hit, it gets so much air time.


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#3 User is offline   matt x Icon

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 07:31 AM

the controversy is that they reversed an on field call for no good reason. WHY???????????????????????????
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#4 User is offline   JoeBoo Icon

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:29 AM

Bad Call Costs Steelers Fans $32 Million
By Dashiell Bennett, 10:30 AM on Mon Nov 17 2008, 15,353 views

Update: See the "official" live SportsCenter response below. If you were one of the NFL fans waiting in the fading late afternoon light for the San Diego Chargers to be put out of their misery yesterday, you may have seen a rather unusual ending to the game at Heinz Field. With his team already ahead by one, Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu intercepted a pathetic attempt at a miracle play and scored an exclamation point touchdown as time expired. Even though the clock read zero and there was no other possible outcome to the game than a Steelers victory, the referees kept everyone on the field for several minutes to launch an automatic review of the play, called a phantom penalty that did not happen—officials admitted after the game that the call was incorrect—and took the touchdown off the scoreboard. Not a huge deal, until you remember that the Steelers were five-point favorites and reversal meant that they went from not covering the spread to covering and back again thanks to a shady replay review on an otherwise pointless play.

Hey ... that's why they call it gambling, right? But when you look a little closer at the situation from Vegas' perspective, there does seem to be an unpleasant odor in the air.

"An estimated 100 million dollars was wagered worldwide on the Pittsburgh/San Diego game, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com. Approximately 66% of that money was on the Steelers; with only 34% on the Chargers.

"If the touchdown was properly upheld, Steelers bettors would have won about 32 million dollars instead of losing big. This admittedly incorrect call resulted in a 64 million dollar swing in favor of the bookies." [Emphasis added.]

Of course, in the fantasy world of NFL-related telecasts gambling does not exist, so this point will likely go mostly unchallenged on your TV screens this week. (Bob Costas did mention the betting line in passing on Sunday Night Football, but I did not see that. Anyone have a clip?) Plus, the reversal meant the first 11-10 final score in the entire history of the NFL. Surely that makes up for the two large you owe your bookie, right?

Bookies Win Millions, Bettors Lose on Bad Steelers Call [Pregame.com]
If the NFL Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It [Stock Lemon]
Point Spread Talk Taboo on Broadcasts; Nantz and Costas Avoid the “G”-word* [Scott's Shots]

UPDATE: So apparently this controversy is so great that ESPN pretty much has no choice but to at least acknowledge the impact this call had on the betting world. But very carefully. Listen as Hannah Storm and Josh Elliott play dumb in order to appease The Goodell. Come on, Josh!


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http://deadspin.com/...fans-32-million
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