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Steelers win, gamblers lose

November 17, 2008 - Neil Rudel

I am not a heavy gambler.

I participate in recreation pools and, other than a customary call on the Super Bowl coin  flip, I only engage if I really see something I like.

But I do page close attention to the lines and watched in amazement the ending of the Steelers-Chargers game.

First off, down 10-8 and working for at least a chip-shot field goal, it was clear the Steelers, barring a blocked FG, were going to win in the game in the final seconds.

The Steelers were a 5 1/2-point favorite in a game that was not covered the entire day.

So when Willie Parker burst into the endzone from inside the 5, apparently giving the Steelers a 14-10 lead and a chance to cover if they went for two points (and there was no reason not to), those who took Pittsburgh spotting the points were about to get a win.

But, nooooo: The officials decided Sean McHugh, the former Penn State player, was holding, and brought the play back. Jeff Reed then kicked what most figured to be the game-winning field goal, pushing the Steelers up 11-10.

UNTIL: San Diego, in a last-ditch effort, had one play left and tried some trickery with laterals, the last of which Troy Polamula picked off and took into the end zone for an apparent 17-10 lead and, more importantly, a "cover."

But wait, the officials reviewed it and -- even though it proved to be a clean play and score -- decided to wave it off, thus deflating those who "laid" the Steelers.

If you were among them, this won't make you feel any better: Unless, of course, you took the Chargers.

Moral of the story: That's why they call it gambling.

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