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Bad call does in Bucs; offense doesn't help

[Times photo: Jim Damaske]
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By Compiled by Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 24, 2000

I have seen my share of bad refereeing in my lifetime. But the replay reversal of Bert Emanuel's shoestring catch is undoubtedly the worst call in the history of professional sports! Up until that point, I was enjoying a hard-fought, thoroughly enjoyable game played at championship caliber. --Patrick Macaraeg, Largo

How can you look at the film and not see that the receiver had complete control of the ball. This was the worst call I have seen in over 40 years of watching football. This was a good and fair game to that point. Hats off to the Bucs! Great game! They didn't lose it. The officials lost it for them. --Bob Gilley, Tampa

I wonder how long it will take the NFL to issue an official apology to the Buccaneers for that horrible overturned call at the end of the game. I'm not saying the call cost the Bucs the game, but it certainly didn't help. -- Rob Lane, Largo

The call resulting in the Bucs' pass being ruled an incompletion was the worst I have ever seen. I feel badly for all the Tampa area fans for being denied an opportunity they should have had. As a Bills fan, I have seen some questionable calls, but nothing like this with so much at stake. My interest in the Super Bowl has gone, so Sunday looks like a reading day. -- Dick Yaw, Batavia, N.Y.

Tampa Bay was robbed. I had to double check to see if I was watching the WWF. (Commissioner Paul) Taglibue should be ashamed. -- Rob Josephik, Holiday

If (offensive coordinator Mike Shula) would let the offense play or at least air it out a little more, we would be going to Atlanta. I say, people, please speak up about the offensive play-calling. We went too far this year to end like this. I'm so disappointed. Out with Shula. --Jay Latham, Clearwater

Congratulations to Coach Dungy and the defense for the best year ever. I'd also like to congratulate the offense for stumbling, bumbling and undoing everything the defense did for the team. As long as our offensive coordinator is more "offensive" than "coordinator" ... I'm sure Bucs fans can look forward to more "almosts" and "what ifs." --Chris Behrens, Largo

Hopefully, somebody in the Bucs organization will wake up and try to get an offense to go with this great defense. This game wouldn't have been close if we could score points. The Bucs should have won! -- Mark Cottingham, New Port Richey

To the players: Thank you very much for an exciting year. My wife and I are extremely happy with your winning season. You got so close to the big game and have no reason to doubt anything in yourselves. --Anthony L. D'Antonio, Port Richey

The Bucs have done an outstanding job given the conditions they are forced to play under. To be upset about them losing is not worth it because that offensive scheme (or lack thereof) is mind-boggling. How does Mike Shula still have a job? Is the offensive line's salary included under the salary cap? It shouldn't be. They don't earn a red cent of it. If we don't take three consecutive linemen in the draft and fire Mike Shula, I hate to say it, but I am jumping ship and will go to whatever team Trent Dilfer plays for next year! --John Phillips III, St. Petersburg

Despite the Bucs deserving better officiating, they played like the champions they are. It was a wonderful season. If they never win another game, at least they had this town pumped like it hasn't been in 20 years! Thanks to Dungy, McKay, the Bucs staff and this marvelous group of players! --Joe Seidle, Land O'Lakes

Bitter, yes, but wait until next year. Get rid of Shula and build an offense equal to our defense, and we will be in the Super Bowl next year. --Ricky Reed, Pinellas Park

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