In what can only be described as unbelievable, our Super Bowl 53 matchup was made official yesterday. While the big game is still a couple weeks away, the conversation is mostly about the calls (or lack thereof) from the officiating crews in both conference championship games.
What on Earth does this have to do with Tampa Bay? More than you may realize.
The Buccaneers know what it’s like to feel robbed of a Championship.
The year is 1999. St. Louis has just taken an 11-6 lead over the Buccaneers. Shaun King is under center and is working his way down the field on an impressive drive. King completes a pass to Bert Emanuel on the Rams’ 22 yard line, which would set up the Bucs on a 3rd and 10. Then would come a ruling that would change the fortunes of our Bucs.
Referee Bill Carollo determined that the nose of the ball had touched the ground as he brought it into his body. The catch was overturned, ruled incomplete, and Tampa Bay was moved back to a 3rd & 23 at the 35. The Rams would hold on to win the game, advance to the Super Bowl, and beat the Tennessee Titans in a game, I believe, is one of the best games in Super Bowl History. Bert Emanuel would unfortunately have a rule named after him because of this “non-catch.”
While it is a tough thing to lose a game on a bad call (or no call), Bucs fans know all too well the phrase, “What could have been.”