Referee Bill Leavy – the Most Hated Man in Seattle Sports?

I’M NOT SURE WHAT THE NFL WAS THINKING when they assigned Bill Leavy to referee Sunday’s Seahawks-Steelers game in Pittsburgh.

Five years ago Leavy’s officiating crew botched a couple of calls in the Super Bowl that might have cost the Seahawks a victory over the Steelers. Last year he publicly apologized for the blown calls.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the man calling the game on Sunday. But he’s in a no-win situation. There will certainly be questionable calls in the game, as there are in every NFL game.

And when there are questionable calls, if they go the Steelers’ way, Seahawks’ fans will be thinking: “There he goes, screwing us again.”

If the calls go the Seahawks’ way, Steelers’ fans will be thinking: “Look at this guy; the public apology wasn’t enough. Now he feels like he has to give Seattle some makeup calls.”

I’ll bet that Leavy’s an excellent referee or he wouldn’t be calling NFL games anymore. He should be allowed to referee Seahawks’ games and Steelers’ games. But not when the teams play each other.

RED BRYANT ON THE KC SHOW: Defensive end/tackle Red Bryant joined the Kevin Calabro Show on 710 ESPN Seattle yesterday. The guy’s a difference-maker in the run defense, and I love him for other reasons too.

I could listen to his Texan drawl all day long. It wouldn’t matter what he was talking about. He’s as home-spun as they come, just a real down-to-earth kid.

But Bryant surprised me at the end of the interview, mistaking me for former Seahawks’ coach Jim Mora. This happens every once in awhile on the show – Mike Ditka, ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb and others have thought I was Jim Mora instead of Jim Moore.

Instead of correcting them, I just roll with it and pretend I’m Mora. Ditka used to call me “Jimmy,” and I knew when he called me that, he thought I was Jimmy Mora. I think he’s finally figured out that I’m a former sportswriter on the radio who makes five figures a year, not the former coach who makes multi-seven figures a year from the Seahawks.

Mora told me that he ran into Ditka at last year’s Super Bowl.

“I enjoy coming on your radio show,” Ditka told Mora, who told him that he didn’t have a radio show.

With Gottlieb, I remember asking him: “Don’t you think I got screwed by the Seahawks?”

I can’t remember what his response was, but I think he went the politically correct route with his answer.

Yesterday Bryant said: “Hey Coach Mora!” And I told him I was really enjoying his play and to keep it up.

I don’t sound like Mora, look like Mora, make money like Mora, and we certainly don’t like the same teams – he’s a Husky and I’m a Coug – but I can see where there’d be confusion because our names are a lot alike.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times did an interesting piece on Referee Leavy and the Seahawks fan reaction after all these years since the Superbowl.

1 Comment

  1. Rabecka /

    Honestly I don’t get why they picked him to ref this game! What I do know is that its been 6 years since the Super Bowl and its probably time to move on. I think he has probably done a game or two for the ‘Hawks, but they probably needed to assign him this game for the sake of putting it to rest.


  1. Morning links: The most hated man in Seattle sports? | IN SEATTLE - [...] Jim Moore of ESPN 710 Seattle wants to know what the NFL was thinking by assigning NFL official Bill ...

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