There is a lot of uproar over the 49er’s fourth down play in the final minutes of the Superbowl. Ravens’ cornerback Jimmy Smith tangled with San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree a few yards into the end zone from a play that was snapped from the five-yard-line. I’ll admit there was contact past five yards. However, I’ll go to my grave maintaining it was a good no-call by the officials.
Was the contact questionable? Sure. Jimmy Smith didn’t exactly keep his hands to himself like we were taught in kindergarten.
Maybe Crabtree gets that call in week two. But borderline grabs and holds like that simply cannot be called in the Superbowl. Especially in the final minutes. Especially with the game on the line.
Imagine if a flag had been thrown. That gives the 49ers a fresh slate from an inch outside the end zone. They would have run down the clock, forced the Ravens to use all of their timeouts, and in all likelihood punch in a TD to go up by four points.
Imagine the 49ers are the champs. Imagine the postgame temperature then. The conversation would be doubly venomous today, discussing a Superbowl decided by the zebras. Hell, it was almost decided by the power lines at the Super Dome. San Fran didn’t need a cheeky call to go their way too.
Remember when the replacement refs botched that hail mary at the end of the Packers-Seahawks Monday night game in Seattle? There was an uproar over an outcome of a game that was determined by the officials. Green Bay should have won after safety M.D. Jennings (no, he’ isn’t a doctor) clearly had possession of the ball first. That was in week three.
It would have been a disgrace had Jimmy Smith been called for pass interference. Colin Kaepernick was about to be swallowed by a gutsy Baltimore blitz and hoisted a prayer off of his back foot. Whether that pass was even catchable can be argued.
Jim Harbaugh’s reaction is understandable, he is an emotional guy coaching in the biggest game of his life. But had that interference been called we can only imagine what his brother John would have done.