NFL official's home vandalized after Steelers call

Updated: January 19, 2006, 11:02 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Someone threw a rock through Pete Morelli's window in Stockton, Calif., on Sunday after the NFL official's crew made a controversial call in the Steelers' win at Indianapolis.

During the game, an apparent interception by Troy Polamalu was reversed on replay, allowing the Colts to score their second touchdown during a frantic but failed rally in the fourth quarter. The NFL issued a statement Monday that the interception should have stood.

"It's kinda suspicious because of its close proximity to the game, but he doesn't know if it was related to his duties as a referee, his job as a high school principal or if it was a random act of mischief," Stockton police Lt. Thomas Wells told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday.

Morelli, a high school principal, and his wife were upstairs getting ready for bed when they heard a loud crash and ran downstairs where they found broken glass and a rock, Wells told the paper.

Joey Porter, a Pro Bowl selection and one of the Steelers' co-captains, criticized the crew repeatedly during a series of postgame interviews following a 21-18 win in the AFC divisional round. Among other comments, Porter said, "The whole world wanted Indy to win so bad, they were going to do whatever they had to do."

NFL spokesman Steve Alic said there would be no fine for the remarks.

During his news conference Tuesday, Steelers coach Bill Cowher called Porter's remarks "ridiculous" and said, "Our officials are doing the very best that they can do."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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