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Cary Williams explains shove of Super Bowl XLVII ref

Cary Williams is a very fortunate man.

Had Williams been playing alongside a less forgiving officiating crew, the Baltimore Ravens cornerback would be forever tagged with the ignominy of being ejected from a Super Bowl.

Williams clearly shoved head linesman Steve Stelljes during a scrum following an Ed Reed interception in the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, but Williams escaped without so much as a penalty.

"It was in the moment, man. It was one of those situations where you let your emotions get the best of you," Williams told WJFK-FM, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "As far as I'm concerned, I remember my helmet getting ripped off by No. 49 or whatever, and I just reacted.

"I didn't see the ref; I didn't realize he was there. I just pushed whoever to try to get to him. ... The ref saw that I wasn't trying to intentionally get him or hurt him or harm him in any way, and I think he played it the right way. He made the right call, he made the right decision. And I just gotta live with that situation."

Williams said the NFL hasn't contacted him yet, though we suspect that eventually will happen. Mike Pereira, the FOX rules czar and former vice president of officiating, told SI.com's Peter King the league has a "zero tolerance" policy on contact with an official.

"It should have merited an ejection," Pereira told King. "I don't know what went through the head linesman's mind, but the fact is you've got to eject for contact."

Instead, Williams stayed in the game and played all 62 defensive snaps for the Ravens. Add this to the list of what-ifs for the San Francisco 49ers.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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