Bettis was also at the center of one of the most controversial calls in NFL history. During a Thanksgiving Day game with the Detroit Lions on November 26, 1998, Bettis was sent out as the Steelers representative for the overtime coin toss. Bettis appeared to call "tails" while the coin was in the air but referee Phil Luckett declared that Bettis called "heads" and awarded possession to Detroit, who would go on to win the game before Pittsburgh had the chance to have possession. After reviewing the incident, the NFL changed the rule and declared that the call of "heads" or "tails" would be made before the coin was tossed rather than during the coin toss and that at least two officials would be present during the coin toss. The readers of ESPN voted the incident as No. 8 on its list of the ten worst sports officiating calls of all time, even though later sound enhancements of the audio showed that Bettis said "hea-tails" and Bettis admitted starting to call "heads" before changing it to tails. Immediately after the incident, however, Bettis commented "I did not say 'heads-tails. " Bettis later put together one of the most bizarre single-game statistics in NFL history. In the 2004 season opener, he carried the ball five times for a total of only one yard, a 0. 2 yards per carry average. However, he scored 18 points on those carries with three touchdowns.