22. ‘Mike Renfro’ Game
The Pittsburgh Steelers led 17-10 against the Houston Oilers in the 1980 AFC Championship Game. Then the Oilers’ QB Dan Pastorini found Mike Refro with the game-tying touchdown or so it appeared. However, the closest official failed to signal a touchdown. In fact, he didn’t do anything at all. Bear in mind that this was long before instant replay so teams required referees to be on the ball.
In the end, they decided not to award the touchdown and effectively robbed the Oilers. They said that Renfro caught the pass without both feet inbounds which was the incorrect call. Houston coach Bum Phillips fumed at the referees but they made their decision. From that point on, the Steelers had too much momentum and the Oilers just couldn’t catch them.