NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly the first words out of San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's mouth after his team's Super Bowl loss Sunday night were about the officiating. Harbaugh believed the Baltimore Ravens clearly committed a pass interference on the 49ers' final offensive play on fourth down.
The intended target on that play -- on the last three plays -- was Michael Crabtree. The fourth-year pro took a different approach when asked about Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith's defense after the most insane Super Bowl in memory.
"It is what it is, man," Crabtree said Sunday in quotes distributed by the NFL. "It was the last play, and I'm not going to blame the refs. It is what it is. It came down to the last play and it didn't happen. (If) somebody grabs me, you always expect the call, but you can't whine to the referee. It is what it is. You have to just take it like a man, take the ill."
Part of the problem might have been that Colin Kaepernick's pass clearly was overthrown. It didn't give Crabtree a chance to get anywhere near the ball.
"I mean, it felt like there was a lot of contact," Crabtree said. "I don't even want to say this, but if the ball had been a little lower, giving me a chance to make a play, I'm sure they would've called it. But it happened like that, man. I've got a lot of confidence in my offensive line and quarterback; we fought back. It was a comeback, and we gave it our all."
I really don't think Crabtree was pointing fingers, and that quote shouldn't be blown out of proportion. He was just speaking the truth. It wasn't a good throw, and there's a good chance that played a factor in the non-call.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.