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Mike Pereira: Bill Leavy didn’t hand the Steelers the Super Bowl

Bill Leavy, the referee at Super Bowl XL, apologized to the Seahawks last week for mistakes that helped the Steelers.

But Mike Pereira, the former head of officiating who was Leavy’s boss at the time, insists that Leavy isn’t the reason the Steelers won the Super Bowl.

“Did Leavy’s calls determine the winner of Super Bowl XL? Absolutely not!” Pereira writes at FoxSports.com. “In truth, there were missed calls that went against both teams. Let’s all put aside our allegiances and go back four years and look at the game objectively. If we do, we will see that the Seahawks did not play well and neither, actually, did the Steelers.”

Pereira goes on to write that “The officials also did not have a great game,” but he thinks Leavy is actually wrong about one of the “kicked calls” he owned up to. Leavy regrets flagging offensive tackle Sean Locklear for a holding penalty that negated a big play for the Seahawks, but Pereira says Leavy actually got that call right.

Ultimately, two things stand out from Pereira’s perspective: “Bill is one of the best referees we have in the NFL,” Pereira writes, and “the team that deserved to win won.”