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Indiana Gazette (Newspaper) - January 8, 1980, Indiana, Pennsylvania II Renfros Was No Catch NFL Films Show NEW YORK AP Houstons Mike Renfro appeared to still be juggling the ball when he scored an apparent touch down against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sundays American Conference title game the commissioner of the National Football League said Monday A thorough check of NFL films showing different angles than those available to television indicate that there was a definitequestion of posses Pete Rozelle said Our rules state possession is as necessary to having both feet in The controversial call came late in the third quarter of the AFC championship in Pittsburgh with the Steeters leading 1710 and Houston having a first down on the Steelers 6yard line 1 Houston quarterback Dan Pastorini rifled a pass to Renfro at the right corner of the end zone Renfro leaped to grab the ball over the head of defender Ron Johnson touched both feet in bounds before landing beyond the boundary line Side judge Donald Orr hesitantly call ed it an incomplete pass and after mo ments of consultation with other of ficials referee Jim Tunney upheld the call It deprived Houston of a chance to tie the game at 1717 The Oilers settled later for a Held goal but finally lost the game 2713 Renfro argued heatedly that it was a legitimate catch Meanwhile the two NBC telecasters Dick Enberg and Mer lin Olsen insisted that the officials blew the call No question about it it was a said Enberg Yeah he got the throw and both feet on the added Olsen It was a late call There was no Enberg said I dont think he saw the said Olsen The two announcers defending the of ficial for possibly not having their advan tage point showed a replay Oh sighed Enberg Its a touchdown no added Olsen No Enberg repeated That is one of our said Rozelle after viewing the NFL films along with Art McNally supervisor of officials and other NFL personnel in the leagues Park Avenue headquarters The TV broadcasters are so positive They make an arbitrary judgment Then the print media picks it up and you have a big rhubarb I wish they would be more moderate until there is a chance to view all the The NBCTV film showed only the back and partial side of the catch whereas NFL cameras strategically placed caught the action from a front view The NFL film showed Renfro catching the ball over his shoulder and holding it perilously in the crook of his right arm The ball was pointing skyward with Renfros grip only on the lower part of it As the receiver slid out of bounds he sought to shift the ball to his other arm to secure it From the vantage point of this film it is reasonable to see how Orr made the Rozelle said He didnt appear to have possession until he was out of McNally agreed One must have he argued Article 6 of the NFL rules describes possession this way A player is in possession when he has held the ball long enough to give him such control as to en able him to perform any act common to the The play was similar to one in the Tampa BayPhiladelphia playoff game two weeks ago when Tampa Bay quarter back Doug Williams threw an apparent touchdown pass to tightend Jimmie Giles who made the catch just before go ing out of the end zone The official ruled as in the Pittsburgh case that it was no touchdown that Giles did not have possession There were loud complaints Subsequent films showed beyond doubt that Giles was juggling the ball as he plunged over the back line although he got both feet in bounds That is another Rozelle said Most people just think about the feet touching the ground because so much is said about it But possession is also The TV commentators were wrong when they said the side judge failed to give a signal The NFL films show Orr a few feet up the sideline his vision partially obscured by defender Johnson At the completion of the play he hesitates momentarily but only seconds and then signals no touchdown The NBC cameras pulled away from this shot leaving viewers to believe as Enberg and Olsen that there was no immediate signal We dont say our officials occasional ly make a Rozelle said But their percentage of being right is very high We made a survey in Hawaii a cou ple of years ago showing 156 plays Only four percent of the calls were ques tionable We have found that TV cameras are not allseeing Quite often the location of the camera can produce an erroneous effect or not show the play at all Cameras like human beings are not in Rozelle said his office had received more than 500 phone calls on Pitt sburghs controversial onside kick in the regular season game against Houston in the Astrodome Dec 10 The Steelers had just scored to trail the Oilers 2017 with to play when they tried an onside kick The Steelers re covered the ball on the Houston 49 giv ing them a chance to go for touchdown or at least a tying field goal Officials ruled the kick did not travel the required 10 yards Our films showed the kick traveled a yard beyond the required 10 yards and the play was perfectly the com missioner said In that case we blew it When we do we admit TOUGH TIME IN GOAL Flyer goalie Phil Myre Is run goalie had a rough time of things all night in the 71 over by team teammate Jimmy Watson as Minnesotas loss Tim Young tries to bat down the puck The Philadelphia AP Laserphoto Whats This Flyers Finally Lose Pens Lose Shootout To Maple Leafs 95 By The Associated Press Its not every day you get your first National Hockey League start in goal let alone give up five goals and expect to win again the Toronto Maple Leafs dont score nine goals every day either A happy Vincent Tremblay tried to relax after the Leafs posted a 95 victory Monday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins The 20yearold goalie was a lastminute replacement for Leafs backup goalie Paul Harrison who came down with a touch of the flu prior to the game You have to be ready every minute you play in the NHL I know that said Tremblay who was recalled from New Brunswick of the American Hockey League after starting goalie Mike Palmateer injured his ankle last month I can play a better game But for a first game I am very happy because I was Tremblay said During the jlrst 10 minutes I was very nervous I can tell you Tremblay faced 42 shots including 17 during the third period Shots by George Ferguson Gary McAdam Rick Kehoe Greg Sheppard and Pat Hughes got by the rookie Meanwhile Pittsburgh goalie Greg Millen was being peppered with 48 shots ty the Leafs Ian Turnbull scored twice with others Doming from Darryl Sittler Jerry Burtler Pat Hickey Bob Stephenson laurie Boschman Walt McKechnie and Maloney But the crowd of approximately got the biggest kick out of veteran Carl JBrewer 41 who picked up three assists The points were his first since starting a Comeback with the Leafs last Dec 26 I got lots of ice time that helped I Brewer said More shifts help any hockey player not just me Any player likes to Brewer still said his game needs work There are a lot of things that are still Brewer said My defensive work is a little weak on the outside and around the front of the net its just not the reaction I want Its a little faster than the shinny Ive been playing for the last six Butler and Turnbull gave Toronto a 20 lead by of the first period but McAdam and Sheppard tied the game by Maloney gave the Leafs a 32 at of the opening period only to have Ferguson tie the game 33 just 14 seconds into the second period Kehoe gave Pittsburgh the lead for the first time at but Boschman tied the game again at Then the Leafs ripped off five straight goals with Turnbull and Sittler giving Toronto a 64 lead going into the third period and goals by Stephenson McKechnie and Hickey padding the lead before Hughes netted the last goal for the Penguins 44 seconds before the end of the game In the other NHL games the Min nesota North Stars halted the Phila delphia Flyers unbeaten streak with a 71 win the New York Rangers ripped the Hartford Whalers 52 and the Mon treal Canadians nipped the Edmonton Oilers 43 North Stars 7 Flyers 1 The Flyers incredible 35game un beaten string ended with a bang not a whimper The Flyers 71 National Hockey League loss to Minnesota before a record crowd of fans at the Met Center halted a streak that began nearly three months ago and included 25 vic tories and 10 ties But neither Coach Pat Quinn nor any of the Philadelphia players was crying about the defeat The streak was said Quinn I wish it could have happened all year long I said all along that that it losing was inevitable We walked right into a dub that was fairly fresh and ob viously wellprimed They were not to be This loss isnt going to bother us at added center Bobby Clarke Because we were winning didnt stop us from trying hard and playing good so certainly a loss isnt going to hurt Philadelphia which last lost on Oct 13 92 at Atlanta was on the last leg of a sixgame road trip Sunday night they had beaten the powerful Sabres 42 in Buffalo Minnesota Coai h Glen Sonmor said he didnt think his club would be the team to break the Flyers momentum To be perfectly honest with you as I looked at their schedule 10 games ago I didnt think theyd ever get to us It was just too incredible to think theyd keep winning like The North Stars playing before the largest crowd in their history extended a streak of their own 12 games 903 at home without a loss Minnesota is 1513 for the year at the Met second only to Philadelphias 1505 home mark Were part of history Sonmor said Their string was the most incredi ble in the history of professional sports and we broke it I feel it will never be The Flyers started the game as though the streak would be perpetuated when Bill Barber scored at following a perfect centering pass from Mike Busniuk But Minnesota which got goals from seven players took a 31 firstperiod lead on goals by Mike Eaves Greg Smith and Steve Payne Near the start of the second period the North Stars survived a 5on3 power play and later in the period Philadelphia had a goal disallowed for having too many men on the ice Rookie Craig Hartsburg scored on the ensuing power play and Mike Polich added the Minnesotas fifth goal 21 seconds later for a 51 cushion Canadiens 4 Oilers 3 Pierre Larouche scored his 28th goal of the season with remaining snapping the games third deadlock Steve Shutt scored his 22nd and 23rd goals for Montreal while Guy Lafleur netted his 29th Stan Weir Dave Lumley and Bobby Schmautz scored for Edmonton He Edmonton goalie Jim Corsi wasnt too sure of where I was Larouche explained As soon as I got the puck I sped up and that was the Rangers 5 Whalers 2 Don Murdoch Ron Greschner and Steve Vickersscored in little ovr seven minutes early in the third period boosting New Yorks lead from 10 to 40 Claude Laroae and Eddie Johnstone got the Rangers first and last goals while Dave Debol scored both Hartford goals NBA May Increase Security SAN ANTONIO Texas AP A police official said Monday that post game security may be increased around visiting National Basketball Association stars after a Saturday night scuffle in which Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics decked a taunting San Antonio fan Police Sgt Vic Abate said Monday that an abusive fan who had been insulting Boston players apparently spit on the star rookie as the Celtics signed autographs outside HemisFair Arena following San Antonios 119111 victory Bird then hit him on the head with his duffle said Abate who directed the police detail there The man later identified as John Merla fell to the ground and refused to get up claiming he was injured said Abate About 10 minutes later Merla complained of back pains and was taken by ambulance a downtown hospital Merla called the San Antonio News on Monday and claimed he spit at Bird only after Boston center Dave Cowens and Bird spit at him He said he still has pain in his neck and back There were no arrests The incident did not delay the Celtics departure Abate said Hospital officials said Merla was taken to the emergency room but wasnt ad mitted to the hospital I looked at him Merla with a flashlight right after the incident and didnt see any sign of injury on his Abate said Monday He was on the ground 10 minutes before he men tioned anything about his back I have some Visiting NBA players leave the arena by a back door but must walk about 50 feet across a parking lot to reach a bus Fans often crowd around them in search of autographs We may have to increase security at that point when theres a big name player in said Abate This is an unfortunate incident We have never had this problem Spurs spokesman Wayne Witt said increased security was not immediately planned but added Its a Abate said police had concluded their investigation and filed the report The report is there if either party wants to file a he said Rushing Attack Was Difference Against Oilers By JIM PANE Gazette Sports Writer PITTSBURGH Chuck Noll greeted reporters at his weekly press gathering on Monday what would you like to talk about today The decision by an overflow crowd at the Steeler executive offices was unani mous The football writers were there to talk football particularly Steeler football The Steelers defeated Houstons frus trated Oilers 2713 in Sundays Ameri can Football Conference championship game so that was a good enough topic to begin the afternoons discussion Noll offered that the key to the Steelers win of course was their ability to stop Earl Campbell and the otherwise dan gerous Houston rushing game That told the said Noll whose Steeler defense limited Campbell and Tim Wilson to 24 combined yards That plus we were able to run at a effort The passing yardages were about the same but the difference was in the running The Steelers have enjoyed success against Campbell a secondyear Oiler who has led the National Football League in rushing both years But in six games against Pittsburghs Steel Cur tain Campbell has been draped for an average of yards a carry Five weeks ago in a regularseason game Campbell had a rare 100yard outing against the Steeler defense They were a tough 109 yards however com ing on 33 carries Thats an average of and Noll can live with figures like those NO PEARL Earl Campbell had a rough day against Steelers on Sunday only 15 yards on 17 carries AP Laserphoto We still have a great deal of respect for Campbell and his ability to break Noll said Campbell never broke one on Sunday His longest gain was of 7 yards against a defensive plan Noll implemented just for Houston We used a goalline defense and really stacked it up against Noll explained We may be a little vulner able to the pass when we do that but we knew we had to stop Campbell It was one of those firstthingsfirst kind of Without the threat of Ken Burrough who played sparingly with an injury Noll admitted he was a little more at ease with such a defensive strategy He did not say a Houston passing threat was absent though They had some pretty good receivers in there to replace Noll j said and Mike Renfro was one of Ah Mike Renfro Here was another subject for Mondays gathering Renfro was involved in a controversial call by the officials who disallowed a third quarter Houston touchdown With the Steelers leading 1710 Ren fro caught an apparent 6yard scoring pass from Dan Pastorini but the offi cials after conferring ruled that the Oiler wide receiver was out of bounds before he had full possession of the football Television replays were inconclusive but the league office issued a statement on Monday upholding the officials call Our films showed that Renfro had two feet in but you couldnt see if he had possession of the Noll But the official was on the other side and in a good position to make the Although the Oilers did not gripe about the play Joe Greene said the Steeler win was tainted because of Noll in his own way agreed We had guys who played great foot ball Joe Greene being one of he said The defense came off the very well and held Houston to 24 yards rushing but all the talk is about the one play Offensively we put some points on the board but the controversy takes that away Im upset in the same way Joe is It brings into question the two he continued There is the Super Bowl championship and there is the mythical championship Ev eryones still in position for the mythic al Well the Super Bowl championship will be played on Jan 20 in Pasadena and it will be between the Steelers and Los Angeles Rams Often maligned and frequently losers in the big game the Rams are not to be taken lightly Noll warned We cant get complacent with he said They have the person nel theyre strong they can come up with the big play and they have a good defense Put that all together and they have the ability to get the job done And our people know Contest Winner To Be Announced The results of our 1979 college foot bowl contest have been tabulated The winner as well as the scores from all the postseason college games will be announced in the sports pages of to morrows Gazette
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