Here is the scenario:
I had the Seattle Seahawks (+7.5) tonight.
The 49ers are beating the Seahawks 13-6 with 53 seconds left. It’s 4th & 17 from around their own ten yard line.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson drops back and throws a strike to wide out Ben Obomanu near the first down marker.
But wait! There is a flag down in the end zone, a chop block (which was a bad call) and the result of the play is a safety. So the 49ers lead 15-6 and I lose my bet, right?
Nope! Jim Harbaugh requests a measurement of the pass to Obomanu, which is short of a first down, and would be ruled a turnover on downs.
Harbaugh decides to DECLINE THE PENALTY in the end zone and give up the resulting 2 points for the safety. The 49ers get the ball back and kneel, the game is over, and the 49ers win by 7. NOT 9.
Harbaugh could have accepted the penalty, gotten the two points, taken the safety punt, kneeled out the clock and won by 9.
Instead, they took away the safety, took the points off of the board and won by 7.
I’m ecstatic! I won thanks to Harbaugh declining that penalty for no apparent reading, but I guarantee a lot of people are pissed off.
The Seahawks have now been involved in two of the wildest gambling moments and reversals of fortune in recent memory on national television this season between this and the Monday Night game versus Green Bay.
I’m still in shock! Those who bet on the 49ers, especially their hometown fans in San Francisco, have to be pissed at Harbaugh.
UPDATE: I am getting some shit from about half the internet for this post (the people who bet on San Fran agree) and I get your point.
Decline the penalty, take the points of the board and the game is over, end of story.
Accept the penalty, take a two score lead and fair catch the safety free kick and the game is over.
Harbaugh wanted the game over, and he pissed off a lot of 49ers fans by declining the penalty and not covering the spread. The game was over either way.