Peoria Journal Star – Feb 08, 2006 – Kirk Wessler – According to sports psychologist John F. Murray, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL was historic. It was the first time the better performing team, according to the Mental Performance Index, had lost a Super Bowl game.

As explained in this space Sunday, Murray devised the MPI to quantify how well a team performs. The MPI scale runs from .000 to 1.000, with .600 being excellent. Seattle’s overall MPI was .479 to Pittsburgh’s .478, indicating mediocre performances of virtual equality.

According to the MPI, Seattle outperformed Pittsburgh on both offense and defense, but the Steelers’ special teams dominated the Seahawks’. Pittsburgh also did better in pressure situations.

Murray’s summary: “While many could argue that Seattle lost this game more than Pittsburgh won it, this would be unsportsmanlike.”

Amen to that.

By the way, considering how the game went down, I asked Murray if he has an MPI for officiating. He doesn’t. Too bad.

KIRK WESSLER is Journal Star executive sports editor/columnist.

Dr. John F. Murray is a sports psychologist and clinical psychologist providing sports psychology and counseling services based in Palm Beach, Florida.