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NFL Official explanation of Roethlisberger goal line fumble

Posted Oct 24, 2010

NFL Head Referee Gene Steratore – Pool Report

(Explanation that he said on the field) – “Naturally the ruling on the field was a touchdown by Pittsburgh. After review it was confirmed in replay that the ball did come loose and it was a fumble prior to the ball breaking the goal line. That’s where we go into the second aspect of that. In order to overturn this and give another team the football, I have to have clear video evidence of the team recovering the fumble. So when a little short segment of what I said out there. That is what I explained. We did have a fumble, but we did not have video evidence and a confirmation on who recovered the football so we changed an aspect of the play by not awarding Pittsburgh the touchdown. Miami is not charged a time out because we changed an aspect of that play, but we could not award the defense in this situation the football because we don’t have video evidence of the defense recovering the ball.”

 

(On why it was not determined who recovered the fumble) – “It is a pile of bodies in there and you don’t have a clear recovery.”

 

(On if it is protocol to determine who recovered the fumble regardless of the whistle) – “Anytime that you have a fumble or if would be ruled a touchdown or down by contact or situation where we have ruled a play ended and a team challenges that in fact it was a fumble. Both aspects of that ruling have to be video confirmed in order for us to turn the ball over a) that it was a fumble before down by contact or touchdown in this case and b) a clear recovery by the defense in order to award them the football.”

 

(On if there was a reason to determine who recovered the fumble in live action as opposed to during the review) – “In live action, the ruling was touchdown.”

 

(On why it was not determined who recovered the fumble at the time of the play) – “Because the ruling was a touchdown.”

 

(On if it was not until that it was determined that it was not a touchdown can you go forward with the process of determining who recovered the fumble) – “When you have a challenge, naturally you are challenging the ruling on the field which was a touchdown so when we go into replay, we find out in fact that it was in fact a fumble prior to the ball breaking the plane, but we have to continue with that aspect and find a clear recovery by the defense in order to reward them the ball.”

 

(On if mentioned on the field anything about two to three camera angles) – “No. I didn’t mention anything about angles ever. No.”

 

(On if he could not determine who recovered the ball) – “We confirmed that there was a fumble and were not able to confirm a clear recovery by the defense.”