Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

18 November 2008

The Fixes, In?

The picks, in which I claw closer toward amusement-only medicrioty, can be found here. (Complete with an updated team-by-team breakdown.) But I'll tell you who isn't amused this morning: Everybody who collectively gambled $66 million on the Stealers this weekend only to have a muffed (and inexplicably backed-up) end-of-game call go against them -- and The Coverin' of the Line.

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.
The problem is the Steelers were very heavy betting favorites in this game. One Vegas bookie said last night that $100 million was bet on this game alone, with $66 million of that bet on the Steelers. The Steelers were four-point favorites. Instead of winning 17-10 or 18-10, the Steelers won 11-10. Thus they didn't cover, much to the angst of gamblers around the United States. The call led to the conspiracy theory that somebody must have been in on the action to influence such a gigantic swing in the betting line.


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