(Photos courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks)
Talk of Fame Network
Congratulations, Pete Carroll. You may not have won a Super Bowl, but you won our weekly poll.
Yes, with 59 percent of the vote, Seattle’s head coach carried the election for pro football’s worst-ever play call by choosing to throw for the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX instead of handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch.
New England coach Bill Belichick later defended Carroll – and, presumably, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell -- saying the flak Seattle’s taken isn’t “anywhere close to being deserved or founded.” But he didn’t stop there.
“I think criticism they’ve gotten for the game,” he said, “is totally out of line and by a lot of people who I don’t think are anywhere near being qualified to comment on it.”
Of course, Belichick had good reason not to object to the call: It won him another Super Bowl.
Carroll won’t admit it was a mistake, but he came close when he told NBC’s Matt Lauer that “it was the worst result of a call ever.” We said close. It wasn’t just the worst result. It was the worst call.
And you called it, with Seattle’s game-clinching call eclipsing the Miracle in the Meadowlands (26 percent), when Subway Joe Pisarcik fumbled a handoff in the closing seconds to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory in a stunning 1978 loss to Philadelphia.
Brian Sipe’s Mistake by the Lake in the 1980 AFC playoffs was a distant third at 10 percent, with the Dallas Texans’ Abner Haynes finishing fourth at 5 percent when he chose neither the ball nor the wind in overtime of the 1962 AFL championship game.
Carroll’s call not only won the vote of our readers; it was favored by our Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge.
“It’s a toss-up in my mind between Abner Haynes kicking to the clock and Pete Carroll taking the game out of Marshawn Lynch’s hands,” said Gosselin. “But the Texans managed to win despite Haynes’ blunder. The Seahawks lost. So go with the disappearance of Lynch.”
Ron Borges disagreed, going with Haynes.
“’We’ll kick to the clock’ had to be one of the bonehead calls of all time,” said Borges, “because the Texans’ Abner Haynes had been told to take the wind. Instead, his team ended up without the ball or the wind in overtime of the 1962 AFL championship game. The Houston Oilers saved the Texans’ bacon because they still couldn’t find a win to win, losing in double overtime. What a game? And what a bonehead call!”