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Wild Ending to Chargers-Steelers Game Was Costly Mistake

by Ryan Hudson

The Pittsburgh Steelers edged the San Diego Chargers yesterday, 11-10, and if you saw the game, you know it ended in a rather peculiar fashion. To refresh:

So, the refs took the TD off the board which gave us the final of 11-10 (in fact, the first time an NFL game has ever ended that way). But wait! After the game, the officials admitted that they indeed made a mistake, and the Troy Polamalu score should have counted.
''We should have let the play go through in the end, yes,'' Green said. ''It was misinterpreted that instead of killing the play, we should have let the play go through.''

Green said the confusion occurred because there was a misunderstanding about which lateral was in question.

''The first pass was the one that was illegal, but it only kills the play if it hits the ground,'' Green said. ''That was incorrect to have killed it at that point. The ruling should have let the play go on. That's just the way that it played out. We believe the second pass was legal.''

Green was asked why, since the ball didn't hit the ground during any of the tossing, the officials decided after huddling that the play should have ended.

''We didn't kill it on the field,'' Green said. ''After (the) discussion we decided ... there was some confusion over which pass we were talking about and it was decided that it was the second pass that was illegal that did hit the ground and therefore we killed the play there ... 'The rule was misinterpreted.''

Either way, the Steelers would have won, so why is this such a big deal? Because it was a mistake worth about $64 million dollars. You see, Pittsburgh was favored by 5 points, which they would have covered if the TD stood, but instead, the Chargers were the winners in Vegas. Or really, Vegas and the bookies were the winners.
An estimated 100 million dollars was wagered worldwide on the Pittsburgh/San Diego game, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com. Approximately 66% of that money was on the Steelers; with only 34% on the Chargers.

"If the touchdown was properly upheld, Steelers bettors would have won about 32 million dollars instead of losing big. This admittedly incorrect call resulted in a 64 million dollar swing in favor of the bookies," said RJ Bell of Pregame.com.

If you're bookie is in an especially good mood today, you know why.

Referee Admits Error at End of Chargers-Steelers Game - PFT
Bad Call Costs Steelers Fans $32 Million - Deadspin