As I’ve stated several times before, I’m a believer that the Patriots played fair and square in Super Bowl XXXVI, but the refereeing indicated otherwise, in my opinion. I’ve posted two separate articles (one back in September, one earlier this evening) about the Patriots’ cheating scandal from other sources (STL Today and ESPN). Now, I’m going to write about this delicate subject in my own words, a Rams fan’s words.
Even on this day, the Super Bowl loss the Rams endured against the Patriots remains the most hurtful loss in my time as a sports fan. The hype surrounding that Super Bowl that encompassed the Rams on winning two Super Bowls in three years was overwhelming. The Rams knew they had the game in the bag, but didn’t realize they had to play 60 minutes of football, and when they realized that they were about to lose, it was too late, albeit tying up the game late in the 4th quarter.
The Patriots threw so many looks at the Rams offense that it was mind boggling for Kurt Warner to detect the Pats defenses’ movements. New England lined up in various six- or seven defensive fronts. They hit Kurt Warner in the mouth and made him pay for every pass his tossed into the air.
But, there are some inconsistencies.
There was this website that was known as http://stlouisrams.net which showed a whole lot of information about Super Bowl XXXVI. There were several videos showing many, many Patriots plays where Marshall Faulk was being held in the backfield by Willie McGinest and other Patriots defenders, roughing the passer being put into appliance to Kurt Warner, late hits on Rams receivers, and Tom Brady throwing passes that weren’t even 15 yards of a receiver’s radius.
It didn’t add up. The evidence against head referee Bernie Kukar favored wrongful refereeing. The website wasn’t taking shots against the Patriots, it took shots against the terrible reffing. And looking/thinking back at the website, the guys who constructed those videos were right — Kukar had officiated so many Patriots’ games that the end result had so much seasoning poured on it that illegal play was involved by Bernie, and I’ve hated the guy’s guts since. He remains, to me, as the worst referee in the league.
I watched the whole game on NFL Network on Wednesday night (like the scene from the movie Fever Pitch when Jimmy Fallon’s character Ben is in a trance where he can’t stop watching screw-ups of the Boston Red Sox, with a tune in the background incessantly playing a song repeating Carl Yastrzemski). You see, I always wondered how the Patriots D was able to keep Marshall Faulk in check so well. After watching the game, I seen so many suspicious plays that weren’t officiated very well. For example, on nearly every pass that Kurt Warner snapped back for, pressure would get to him so easily, as Faulk would be held by the waist for three, four and even five seconds before he escaped a Patriots defender’s grasp to be let go and go out to receive a pass. No fucking wonder.
What about the two concussions that Kurt Warner endured during the game on some of those blatant roughing the passer hits that were tagged by defenders into Warner as he fell onto the turf? How about those plays where two seconds after the play was clearly over where Torry Holt would get the hell knocked out of him out of nowhere with no flags being thrown for late hits?
What about the Patriots first and only offensive touchdown in the game when Brady was driving the Patriots up the field, throwing 15-yards behind his receivers, not even in a seeing distance of where the ball should be placed without a receiver even in the area?! I remember watching the game and wondering what was going on out there on the field when this was all going down.
It just doesn’t add up. I don’t blame the Patriots and this on-going ignorance known as this overblown “cheating scandal,” I blame Bernie Kukar, the worst referee in Super Bowl and NFL history, and the rest of the officials that didn’t understand how to call a game the right way.
Six years to the day the Rams lost Super Bowl XXXVI, I’m writing you this.
Ironic. This Super Bowl result derailed a franchise and damaged careers and reputations.