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The Renfro Catch - 1979 AFCC Steelers vs Oilers

In the 1970's, the road to the Super Bowl went through Pittsburgh. And perhaps no one knew this better than the Houston Oilers of Bum Phillips, Earl Campbell and Dan Pastorini. Twice -- in '78 and '79 -- the Oilers drove that road, which is the subject of this video.

No NFL rivalry may ever quite duplicate the curious "love/hate" relationship between Steelers and Oilers of the late 1970's. Despite the fierce rivalry on the field, there was a healthy respect and admiration between the two teams, who were mirror-images of each other in many ways. Most of all, they were incredibly physical, splitting their regular season slugfests in both '78 and '79.

Pittsburgh thoroughly dismantled the Oilers 34-5 in the 1978 AFC Championship. But in the 1979 rematch, the Oilers proved to be a much tougher foe. After falling behind early courtesy of a long Vernon Perry INT return for a TD, Steelers led 17-10 late in the 3rd quarter when the Oilers mounted an impressive drive centered almost entirely around possession receiver Mike Renfro.

On first and goal from the Steeler 6, Dan Pastorini delivered a perfectly thrown quick fade into the far right corner of the end zone, and Renfro made a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch for a TD. Although replays showed that Renfro caught the ball with control and both feet in bounds, the officials incorrectly ruled no catch, no TD.

The Oilers failed to move the ball on their next 2 plays and settled for a FG to narrow the score to 17-13, but the damage was done. Pittsburgh added 10 unanswered points to win 27-13, advancing to their 4th Super Bowl in 6 years.

This famous (or infamous if you're an Oilers fan) play had a massive impact on the future of the NFL, ultimately leading to the instant replay rule being introduced, changing the game forever.
Changing the Game:

Yep, blown call. Instant replay has made the game unwatchable, and really hasn’t prevented bad calls. In my opinion it’s created more blown calls than we ever had.
(02-16-2020, 10:47 AM)dbsfgyd1 Wrote: [ -> ]Changing the Game:

Yep, blown call. Instant replay has made the game unwatchable, and really hasn’t prevented bad calls. In my opinion it’s created more blown calls than  we ever had.

I agree, Dave. This is a cut-n-paste from a different thread, but it fits here, too. 


I have always been a proponent of instant replay... until recently. The game delays, etc., I can deal with. But at the end of it, I expect the officials to actually get the call right. They can't even do that. [Image: eyes.gif]  I've seen enough bogus reversals (and non-reversals), especially over the last few years, to render instant replay basically worthless. My confidence in the accuracy of a booth review is no higher than my confidence in the accuracy of the call on the field. That tells me the NFL has failed in implementing the rule. 

The introduction of review-able pass interference calls last year has made it even worse. You take an already wildly inconsistent judgement call and put it in the hands of someone else who may have a completely different, less strict or more strict interpretation of the rule... and it's a disaster. Nothing changes when it should, or things change when they shouldn't? Makes no sense. 

For the first time since the rule was introduced, I'd be completely fine if instant replay went away. It's too inconsistent. 

In my view, if instant replay is to remain part of the game, overruling the call on the field should be reserved for only the most obvious of mistakes. If you have to look and look and look in slow motion, a play should stand as called. 

But I digress...