Monday, November 17, 2008

A 66 Million Dollar Mistake

I grew up in Pennsylvania cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State Nittany Lions. It was a glorious time to be a fan of these two teams as the Steelers were winning Super Bowls and the Nittany Lions were perennial national powers.

I am still a fan. Yesterday I wasn't able to watch the Steelers game because the local network carried another game. So I missed the historic game, historic because it ended 11-10, a score never achieved (?) in a professional game before. I also missed the last play of the game, a play that would have changed the score if it had been upheld by the officials. Peter King of Sports Illustrated tells the story:
With five seconds remaining, trailing 11-10, the Chargers, on their own 21, tried one of those wacky, multiple-lateral plays to keep the ball alive. LaDainian Tomlinson caught a pass, flipped it to Chris Chambers, who then tried to pitch it to a teammate. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu broke it up, scooped up the football and ran in for an apparent TD. After a review, Green announced the play was upheld and the TD counted. But the officials huddled again before the Steelers extra-point attempt and changed the call, declaring Tomlinson's lateral to be an illegal forward pass which should have ended the play.
So the 11-10 score held up. No big deal. The Steelers won with or without the late touchdown. Afterwards, though, the league admitted that the call was wrong. There was no illegal forward pass; the touchdown should have counted. How big of a mistake was it? $66 million. The Steelers were 4-point favorites and the touchdown would have allowed them to cover the spread on the betting. $100 million was bet on this one game; $66 million of it was bet on the Steelers to cover the spread. There are a lot of unhappy gamblers.

I am glad I am not that big of a fan. I don't get Fantasy Football either.

1 comment:

ProgressiveChurchlady said...

My experience with Fantasy sports gaming is that it is all about friendship and friendly competetion. It has little to do with the actual team wins/losses. It's all about individual player statistics. I participated in a fantasy baseball league this summer with my cousins because they needed bodies/teams. It was much more fun than I thought it would be. My friends and family were surprised how competative I became with it--and so was I! My team, The Burnsville Bonfires, made the playoffs and came in 3rd overall.