Monday, January 24, 2011

Did The Steelers Cheat?

The Jets should have beat the Steelers yesterday. Even despite that terrible first half. If they hadn't of absolutely called the worst possible plays when inside the Steelers 5-yard line, we might be talking about a Jets Superbowl right now.

But the play calling wasn't the only issue on the pivotal drive that ended in no points instead of a TD for the Jets (one play later, they added a safety, but it was too little, too late).

According to the Daily News:
"As Sanchez was waiting for the call from Schottenheimer on second down, he said the radio in his helmet had gone haywire, something the QB said he had to deal with all night. Why wasn't it fixed? It's happened in other games, Sanchez said, but never for that long. He kept pointing to his helmet as the 40-second play clock was working its way down.

"The problem was the headset kept going out multiple times during the game," Sanchez said. "I had to run over and get a couple of calls, piece together some calls in the headset that came in broken up. It's just one of those things that we were fighting through and I was proud of our guys for trying to piece it together."

At one point during the game, the Jets had to use a walkie-talkie. This time, at this crucial moment, Sanchez ran over toward the sidelines. Schottenheimer met him halfway on the field and gave him the call with about 18 seconds on the play clock. Sanchez hustled to the huddle and quickly called the play, the 40-second clock winding down toward zero. The Jets, in what would be their most important series of the year, rushed to the line. Sanchez didn't want to use the Jets' first timeout of the second half, knowing it would be valuable later on. Nick Mangold snapped the ball just before the play clock expired."

According to ESPN:
"The primary headset used to communicate with the quarterback went out after the first possession, and the backup unit stopped functioning in the fourth quarter as the Jets were attempting to convert on a first-and-goal from the Steelers' 2 with roughly eight minutes left in the game and down 24-10."

The result from all these headset issues? 4 and out, many, many precious seconds ticked off from the clock.

Maybe that's why Jets coach Rex Ryan took out his rage on his headset:

However, more than one Jets fan has speculated that the headset issues may not have been an innocent quirk of technology:

I investigated to see whether this thing has ever helped the Steelers win a game before...

It hasn't.

Sorry Jets fans. Unless a Steelers' employee slips up and admits subterfuge, we're all gonna have to blame this on Schottenheimer and some faulty headsets.

And, as my high school friend Jin points out, a Jets-Steelers trade that up until the final seconds, seemed to be in the Jets favor:

"Santonio holmes was traded to jets for 5th round pick, that 5th round pick was then traded to cardinals for mcfadden pluz a 6th round pick..... guess who that 6th round pick was.... antonio brown, the guy caught the last pass on 3rd and 6 to beat who? the jets! funny how things works out, not such a bad trade after all."

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