Controversial Super Bowl non-call explained

Published On February 4, 2013 | By Alison Majikes

The situation:

The San Francisco 49ers had made an epic second half comeback against the Baltimore Ravens in the most important football game of the year. The score was 34-29 and the Niners were driving for another touchdown to try and take the lead and make one of the greatest Super Bowl comebacks this country had ever seen. The controversy came at on fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter with 1:50 remaining.

San Francisco was on the 5-yard line and needed the touchdown to keep any hope of pulling off a win alive. Out from the pistol formation, Colin Kaepernick dropped back, and Frank Gore, who started from behind Kaepernick, attempted to go around him to make his block. Gore wasn’t able to move fast enough, which rushed the ball out of Kaepernick’s hands in an incomplete attempt to Michael Crabtree.

Arguably, there should have been a pass interference, or at the very least, a hold call on Jimmy Smith who was covering Crabtree.

There was also a very blatant hold made on Niners tight end Delanie Walker that was overlooked because of the outrage over the Crabtree/Smith situation.

Definition of holding:

When a player illegally grasps or pulls an opponent other than the ball carrier when trying to prevent a block or cover a receiver.

Definition of pass interference: 

A penalty called when a player impedes another player’s ability to catch a down-field pass prior to the ball’s arrival.

The controversy:

Many fans and analysts alike (not to mention Jim Harbaugh) said they believed there should have been some kind of call made for the contact Smith made with Crabtree.

Some could argue that Crabtree tweaked his route and ended up initially making the contact on Smith, which cancels out any interference Smith had on Crabtree.

There is also the hold on Walker that is coming to light today as people have started pouring over the replay again and again, which would have given the 49ers another shot at a touchdown.

If the 49ers would have gotten the pass interference call, they would have had a whole new set of downs to work with to try and get back into the end zone, potentially changing the outcome of the game.




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