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View Full Version : Controversial call in Chicago


Scotty D
09-13-2010, 06:44 AM
Here is a link to the play.
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d81a77070/Controversial-call-on-Megatron-non-TD

http://imgur.com/AAabz.png

If Tom Brady or Peyton Manning threw this TD would it be overturned? This play has been discussed in a couple of threads but I wanted to get every ones opinion in one place.

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2010/09/referee_gene_steratore_explain.html?utm_source=twi tterfeed&utm_medium=twitter Q&A with ref Gene Steratore

"The ruling is that in order for the catch to be completed he has got to maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of the catch.''

He was on his behind before he rolled over. If he stayed on his behind would it have been a touchdown?

"No. We don't play with the two feet or one knee or anything of that scenario. We're talking now about the process of the catch. He's catching the football, as he goes to the ground, he must maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process. So as he continues to fall if he fell with two feet and his elbow hit the ground and came out, it would be incomplete.''

It looked like he had the ball up in one hand while on his rear end, but there was continuation?

"Well, the process was not finished until he finished that roll and the entire process of the catch.''
http://imgur.com/xtxPt.jpg

BigBanger
09-13-2010, 06:49 AM
I don't care who is throwing or who is catching or who is winning or who is losing on this play. It's a terrible call. A terrible rule. A terrible ending.

You know what I want to hear from Mike Pereira? Nothing. I want him to shut his ******* mouth, get off the ******* TV and quit ******* around with the ******* rule book. That POS.

steelersfan43
09-13-2010, 07:01 AM
robbed.

your poll options overlap and 2 of them are the same thing

Bengals78
09-13-2010, 07:42 AM
It was clear that he caught the ball, fell to the ground, knee down, ass down touchdown called, celebrate.
Had that official not signaled the TD, I dont think he goes off and celebrates like that (putting the ball down.)
It is pretty damn clear that they are using a lot of damage control by using such an ambiguously ****** up rule.

Splat
09-13-2010, 07:57 AM
"The time I stand up here and start blaming officials for a loss is the time I don't need to be doing this anymore," ~ Jim Schwartz

nepg
09-13-2010, 08:04 AM
He never lost possession of the ball. He had control of it after he hit the ground. ESPN and the Lions are just towing the company line by saying it was the right call. Even by definition of their ******** rule, it's a touchdown.

If it's the Colts or Patriots, they might have called it the same way, but you can bet your ass the Pats and Colts wouldn't be laying down so the NFL doesn't look bad. The game would be protested.

Smooth Criminal
09-13-2010, 08:07 AM
That was a touchdown. Lions got screwed. He clearly caught the ball in the endzone.

Addict
09-13-2010, 08:11 AM
"The time I stand up here and start blaming officials for a loss is the time I don't need to be doing this anymore," ~ Jim Schwartz

Unlike most of us, Schwartz has to keep that team positive and to go off and point the finger where it deserves to be pointed does nothing to help the Lions football team prepare for next week. You don't think he knows it's a ******** ruling? I think Schwartz knows he can't change what happened anyway.

OzTitan
09-13-2010, 08:12 AM
I voted "common sense".

Firstly, if every second of the game was under the same degree of rule scrutiny as this, games would take all Sunday to finish. 1000 holding calls. 10 offense PI's. You get the idea. Refs have got to go beyond black and white definitions at times and put rulings into some degree of context.

I think the problem here though was it went to review. Had it been called a TD and left at that, noone would have had a second though about it because fans generally use common sense when analyzing ref decisions. A few people may have brought up how it could have been ruled a drop, but it would have been easily accepted as a catch by 99.9%.

But because it went to review, the strictest of strict interpretations had to be pulled out, otherwise it would have been seen as favoring the Lions at a key moment. The key is it shouldn't have went to review. Can even any Bears fans really say they would be upset right now had it not been reviewed?

And I question whether the rule really was applied properly anyway. The quotes from the rule book I've seen referenced for this seem to be fairly open to interpretation. Namely, it mentions what happens when the ball is lost after hitting the ground, but it obviously means much earlier in the process of the catch - say, the initial impact with the ground. In my books, if you put both feet down, hit the ground and still have possession, anything after that is a fumble, which of course can't exist in the end zone.

So I think it was a bad call due to a lack of common sense and a very questionable determination of when the catch was over. The game is too complex to form a realistic rule that will define in clear black and white what should be called in every single situation, so refs have to be left to use some common sense in establishing decisions like this. It's clear the ground rule didn't need to be applied to this particular catch to me because possession was already obtained.

FUNBUNCHER
09-13-2010, 08:30 AM
He never lost possession of the ball. He had control of it after he hit the ground. ESPN and the Lions are just towing the company line by saying it was the right call. Even by definition of their ******** rule, it's a touchdown.

If it's the Colts or Patriots, they might have called it the same way, but you can bet your ass the Pats and Colts wouldn't be laying down so the NFL doesn't look bad. The game would be protested.

WOrst call I've seen in a minute!!!

CJ had possession with the initial catch when both feet came down(!!), he had possession with the ball in one hand when he went to the turf. Never at one point did Megatron not have the ball.

RAVENS/WIZARDS/ORIOLES
09-13-2010, 09:07 AM
All because the refs used him using the ball to get up as part of the play.

Saints-Tigers
09-13-2010, 09:16 AM
It was a catch like 4 times over. He catches it, takes two steps, falls to his but, lands on his other forearm, then turns to get up.

But oh, runningbacks can dive from the 5 yard line and touch the line and make the ball fly out, and that's a score.

Addict
09-13-2010, 09:19 AM
It was a catch like 4 times over. He catches it, takes two steps, falls to his but, lands on his other forearm, then turns to get up.

But oh, runningbacks can dive from the 5 yard line and touch the line and make the ball fly out, and that's a score.

hell, a runner can physically run out of bounds himself, as long as the ball passes the line inside the pylon, it's a score.

PackerLegend
09-13-2010, 09:26 AM
The Lions got robbed I don't get how you could not rule that a TD I don't care what the rule is because obviously it ******* blows. A guy can barely break the goal line and the ball flys out but that counts. Hopefully it gets changed but its a little to late for Lion fans.

XxXdragonXxX
09-13-2010, 09:34 AM
I've seen a receiver catch the ball, get 1 (ONE) foot down, then get clobbered and the ball flies out. It's ruled a TD.

singe_101
09-13-2010, 09:43 AM
No Fun League

Refs getting in the way of entertainment, the point of the league. Lots of money, yeah, but as a game with some common sense.

He was supposed to sit there with the ball until the NFL Official came over and told him to get up and give it to him.

Now at least I can see I've seen one of the top 5 undeserved wins by Chicago, with all their turnovers and this to cap it off.

LizardState
09-13-2010, 09:51 AM
He never lost possession of the ball. He had control of it after he hit the ground. ESPN and the Lions are just towing the company line by saying it was the right call. Even by definition of their ******** rule, it's a touchdown.

He caught it, both hands controlling it both feet & butt down in the EZ. TD, end of story.

If it's the Colts or Patriots, they might have called it the same way, but you can bet your ass the Pats and Colts wouldn't be laying down so the NFL doesn't look bad. The game would be protested.

That's true too. Marquee teams on the bad end of a controversial call can protest & have a better than avg. chance of overturning the ruling. Sadly there is favortism for the People Who Count in the NFL like everywhere else in society.

It could only have been worse for the the Lions if they had lost more personnel to injury, losing the opener like this drove a stake through their heart for the season. It would be miraculous & Schwartz & his staff can turn this around. I fully understand the toeing of the company line by Detroit here, but they s/b raising God Almighty hell about it now while the outrage is fresh in fans minds, the Lions are seen as martyrs here with the Stafford injury & they should use this popular support to get as much ink in the media as possible ASAP.

Even if nothing more ensues from this mess I expect rule changes to something more reasonable coming next offseason.

Addict
09-13-2010, 09:56 AM
aren't rule changes supposed to be pitched by the owners? Because if it's up to the Ford family I think we might as well forget about a rule change.

BigDawg819
09-13-2010, 10:08 AM
Megatron catch the ball, tuck it away, let the ref call TD, then blast him in the face with the ball.

P-L
09-13-2010, 10:18 AM
When is the "process" over? Two feet, one knee, one ass, one forearm WITH possession. I'm sorry NFL, the "process" is over at that point. I've never heard of the receiver having to stand up with the football to complete the catch.

nepg
09-13-2010, 10:29 AM
When is the "process" over? Two feet, one knee, one ass, one forearm WITH possession. I'm sorry NFL, the "process" is over at that point. I've never heard of the receiver having to stand up with the football to complete the catch.
I've read that rule 100x today trying to see what they saw. I just don't see how it wasn't a catch by any interpretation of that rule.

vidae
09-13-2010, 10:31 AM
The Lions definitely got robbed of a win, and it sucks, but now they need to regroup and get ready for next week. Something like this can really mess with a team over the course of the season and the Lions can't let that happen to them.

Addict
09-13-2010, 10:37 AM
The Lions definitely got robbed of a win, and it sucks, but now they need to regroup and get ready for next week. Something like this can really mess with a team over the course of the season and the Lions can't let that happen to them.

I'm guessing that's why Schwartz didn't react to it at all. He's ultimately the one who the team focus on reaction-wise and his "It happened, move on" was IMO the best possible reaction from the head coach.

That man is fantastic.

Auron
09-13-2010, 10:46 AM
The Lions definitely got robbed of a win, and it sucks, but now they need to regroup and get ready for next week. Something like this can really mess with a team over the course of the season and the Lions can't let that happen to them.

Well the thing is not only do they have to get over this call, they have to deal with losing their young starting QB Stafford for a few weeks. Double whammy I can't see the morale in that locker room being too high.

Addict
09-13-2010, 11:10 AM
Well the thing is not only do they have to get over this call, they have to deal with losing their young starting QB Stafford for a few weeks. Double whammy I can't see the morale in that locker room being too high.

I hate to say it, but they're the Detroit Lions. Morale can't be high, period.

jsagan77
09-13-2010, 11:54 AM
At this point in their career Shaun Hill isn't that much of a down grade to Matt Stafford. Obviously you want Stafford in there, and he has a ton more upside, but for a few games you could do worse than Hill IMO. And Yes that was one of the worst calls I've ever seen. Maybe one of the worst in history.

tjsunstein
09-13-2010, 11:54 AM
I want to say they were robbed by the rule but the right call was made although I don't agree with the rule. Where's that option?

K Train
09-13-2010, 12:14 PM
it was straight robbery...might be how the rule is written but the rul is written wrong. maintaining possession throughout the catch should be the rule for toe tapping out of bounds catches, not clear catches in the middle of the field or endzone

detroitsports
09-13-2010, 12:15 PM
Someone raised an even bigger point in an earlier thread about this game. The bears had the ball on the Detroit one yard line, and were unable to punch it in for three downs. Chicago was trailing 13-14 and Detroit hadn't managed a single first down the entire 2nd half. Common sense says, kick the field goal and take the lead. Detrouts offense has been terrible with Shaun hill, we can hold them. No, they go for it and don't get it. The spread in that game was 6.5. A Chicago td and two point conversion would've put them up 7 and outside the spread. Seems fishy to me.

How is this relevant? Detroit losing this game will definitely have an effect on where the spread starts at for betting next week in their game, and so will the Chicago win. I say where there's smoke there's fire, and where there's money there's corruption.

Anyone remember when the NHL got busted for it's gambling ring? Don't say it's not possible. What about that ref in the NBA a couple years ago. Pete rose?

umphrey
09-13-2010, 12:21 PM
The refs called it correctly so don't blame them. They should change the rule but it's pretty dicey how you write the rule to have it clearly defined and fair and so it has exactly 1 interpretation.

Maybe say that if he establishes control of the football and then is down (knee, elbow) before the ball touches the ground than it is a catch. Or just say that if you catch the ball in the palm of your one hand in the endzone while falling to the ground and your nickname is Megatron then it's a touchdown.

detroitsports
09-13-2010, 12:27 PM
The refs called it correctly so don't blame them. They should change the rule but it's pretty dicey how you write the rule to have it clearly defined and fair and so it has exactly 1 interpretation.

Maybe say that if he establishes control of the football and then is down (knee, elbow) before the ball touches the ground than it is a catch. Or just say that if you catch the ball in the palm of your one hand in the endzone while falling to the ground and your nickname is Megatron then it's a touchdown.


As you are a Packers fan, I instantly question your credibility.

Saints-Tigers
09-13-2010, 12:32 PM
The ref didn't call that **** correctly, or they're gonna have to start taking back a lot of TDs. Maintaining control to the ground shouldn't matter if you take two steps turn, and then fall, hit your ass, then your arm, THEN you touch the ball to the ground.

The dude took two steps, and landed on his ass. He had it firmly in two hands, took two steps, went down and still had control of it in one hand.

Terrible terrible call.

CJSchneider
09-13-2010, 12:32 PM
When is the "process" over? Two feet, one knee, one ass, one forearm WITH possession. I'm sorry NFL, the "process" is over at that point. I've never heard of the receiver having to stand up with the football to complete the catch.

This sums up my argument. Next thing you know, the receiver will have to carefully walk the ball over to the ref and place it in his hands in order for it to be a TD. Unless, of course, the ref drops the ball, in which case, it's not a TD.

iowatreat54
09-13-2010, 12:33 PM
Someone raised an even bigger point in an earlier thread about this game. The bears had the ball on the Detroit one yard line, and were unable to punch it in for three downs. Chicago was trailing 13-14 and Detroit hadn't managed a single first down the entire 2nd half. Common sense says, kick the field goal and take the lead. Detrouts offense has been terrible with Shaun hill, we can hold them. No, they go for it and don't get it. The spread in that game was 6.5. A Chicago td and two point conversion would've put them up 7 and outside the spread. Seems fishy to me.

How is this relevant? Detroit losing this game will definitely have an effect on where the spread starts at for betting next week in their game, and so will the Chicago win. I say where there's smoke there's fire, and where there's money there's corruption.

Anyone remember when the NHL got busted for it's gambling ring? Don't say it's not possible. What about that ref in the NBA a couple years ago. Pete rose?

I don't understand. Are you saying the Bears staff/team, or the refs, or both? were worried about the line, and/or had money on the game/something like that?

Chicago went for the TD instead of a FG. Very dumb, yes. You say if they would have gotten it, they would have gone for 2 to go up 7. Well no ****. They scored later and went for 2. Reason? Because you'd rather be up 7 than 5. Kicking the PAT only puts you up 6, meaning a DET TD and PAT wins it. It had nothing to do with trying to get outside the line.

And if you think the refs had any collusion on this, yea it's pretty obvious because either way the line was beat. So disallowing the TD had nothing to do with the line. It was either going to be Chicago by 6 or Detroit by 1. Unless you bet Detroit straight up to win, that doesn't change anything.

This situation has minimal connection to what could be construed as gambling within the league (whether it be the team/coaches/players or refs). It makes absolutely no sense.

Saints-Tigers
09-13-2010, 12:35 PM
I always believed that refs try to influence spreads and over/unders in all sports. It's so easy to manipulate those without ruining a game or being obvious and forcing a team to lose all the time.

umphrey
09-13-2010, 12:46 PM
As you are a Packers fan, I instantly question your credibility.

I thought it was complete garbage. I was rooting for the Lions to win. It made me as angry as I was when that golfer was later told to add 2 strokes and miss a playoff because he barely grazed an area that didn't even resemble a bunker for a grounding call. Or about as angry as Jim Joyce's imperfect call. Once it happens, as much as you hate it and think it's wrong, you have to call it by the rulebook but then you damn well better figure out a way to stop it from happening again.

FlyingElvis
09-13-2010, 12:54 PM
sorry to snipe, but i want further explanation. the rule is ambiguous enough that i have a hard time believing that there's a rational explanation for your opinion.

edit: which, on re-reading sounds snarky, but i mean it to read as 'what is your explanation because maybe i'm wrong.'

When I saw the play I immediately knew it would be determined an incomplete pass. It's not that I can (or even want to) break down the rule, it's simply based on previous application of said rule.

It's like the tuck rule for TD catches. It sucks, but it's pretty clear how it will be ruled when reviewed.

The Lions did not get robbed. The players should know the rules well enough to take better care of the ball.

Diehard
09-13-2010, 12:55 PM
Robbery, pure and simple. It's a dubious interpretation of "process of the catch". I don't see any reason for extending it the way this ruling does. It's simply not harmonious with the general approach to scoring, for example, the "breaking the plane" rule has led to many weak ass touchdowns.

As an aside, CJ thought he had a TD and so did the official on the spot. I'm not clear on how the "ruling on the field" became an incomplete. Which official overruled the original call?

Silver & Blue
09-13-2010, 01:01 PM
Someone raised an even bigger point in an earlier thread about this game. The bears had the ball on the Detroit one yard line, and were unable to punch it in for three downs. Chicago was trailing 13-14 and Detroit hadn't managed a single first down the entire 2nd half. Common sense says, kick the field goal and take the lead. Detrouts offense has been terrible with Shaun hill, we can hold them. No, they go for it and don't get it. The spread in that game was 6.5. A Chicago td and two point conversion would've put them up 7 and outside the spread. Seems fishy to me.

How is this relevant? Detroit losing this game will definitely have an effect on where the spread starts at for betting next week in their game, and so will the Chicago win. I say where there's smoke there's fire, and where there's money there's corruption.

Anyone remember when the NHL got busted for it's gambling ring? Don't say it's not possible. What about that ref in the NBA a couple years ago. Pete rose?

Thats not to far fetched actually. Think about it, even refs in the NBA like Tim Donaghy got busted for fixing games and after he got out of prison, I remember him saying something along the lines of this, "Do you honestly think I am the only one that does this?" I can't find the exact quote, but I know he said something similar to that. But for this rule that costed the Lions the game. It should be either changed or thrown out completely. Its just one of those rules that you can easily use to your liking.

mellojello
09-13-2010, 01:40 PM
I guess the refs expected Calvin to maintain posession with two hands until taking the ball home and cuddling with it in bed.

GB12
09-13-2010, 02:31 PM
Watching it live I thought it was the right call. I thought he had the touchdown at first too, but then saw the ball pop out and knew it wasn't. My friends I was watching it with thought I was crazy, but I knew it was the right call. When you watch it in slow motion it looks like a catch 100%, but watching it live he doesn't complete the catch. Yes, he had so much hit in bounds but he was never stopped with the ball. It was one fluid motion and the ball popped out. Not a catch.

And no I don't think it's a bad rule. Not a bad ruling, not a bad rule, it was all right. It sucks big time for the Lions, but it's not a catch and shouldn't be a catch.

Gay Ork Wang
09-13-2010, 03:12 PM
As you are a Packers fan, I instantly question your credibility.
yes, cause Packers fans love to defend the Chicago Bears.

San Diego Chicken
09-13-2010, 03:15 PM
Seemed like the correct call to me. Also, Calvin Johnson tries to do everything one handed far too much. If he tucked the ball tightly to his chest, they would have won the damn game.

the dude
09-13-2010, 03:42 PM
as I see it, he is not in the process of going down, he is in the process of getting up, while at all times keeping control of the ball thus making the call wrong. he doesn't loose control of the ball, he puts it on the ground (and yes, he is on my fantasy team)

Addict
09-13-2010, 04:14 PM
To avoid calling it the Calvin Johnson play.... let's just refer to this as the Chicago Ruling.

J-Mike88
09-13-2010, 04:31 PM
It's as *** of a rule as some of the golf rules that go against common sense.
Here's the best way I can illustrate how **** the rule is:

Reggie Bush takes off at the 6 yard line along the sideline. He's flying like Superman above the sideline. As he gets near the goalline, above out-of-bounds space, he reaches that ball over the pylon. It's a touchdown even though he never even set foot in the end zone. But when he lands out of bounds midway thru the end zone to the side, the ball flies out when he crashes to the ground. But it's still a touchdown as that ball crossed over the pylon.

Calvin Johnson went up, snatched the ball. Came down with two feet. Maintained it, no juggle. Went to the ground. Still had it, ground didn't cause it to jar loose. Then he rolled over and pushed himself up with the ball. No touchdown? Stupid as heII rule and the NFL knows it.

The only thing that is justice there, IMO, is the Bears dominated that game for the most part.

Paranoidmoonduck
09-13-2010, 04:35 PM
There's an ambiguity to the wording of this rule that needs to be eliminated. What Calvin Johnson made was a touchdown catch, but if there's any wiggle room in the rules that could mis-define that, it needs to be changed.

I don't think the ref made a good call, but the fact that he could have gone both ways on that ruling shows that the rule is crap.

MidwayMonster31
09-13-2010, 04:39 PM
I agree that the rule was properly followed, that said, the rule is stupid and contradicts other rules. One of the reasons officiating is so inconsistent in the NFL is that the rulebook has gotten a lot bigger and that there are more rules open to interpretation.
The Bears did a lot of things to try and give the game away despite how much they outplayed the Lions. Thanks to 5 turnovers and bad decisions, the Bears should have handed the game away, but didn't thanks to a stupid rule.

Shane P. Hallam
09-13-2010, 04:39 PM
It was ruled correctly, the rule just is vague and not great to begin with. It is a TOUGH rule to word. If you change the nature of the rule there be a lot of "non-catches" considered catches.

BigDawg819
09-13-2010, 04:54 PM
It was ruled correctly, the rule just is vague and not great to begin with. It is a TOUGH rule to word. If you change the nature of the rule there be a lot of "non-catches" considered catches.

Sounds like a bunch of BS IMO to not address an issue. Its similar to the Bert Emanuel situation years back in the NFC Title Game. The rule, and by default the refs, effected the end of a game and that is something that should not happen. Goodell needs to deal with this, but based on reputation nothing will be done for awhile.

Monomach
09-13-2010, 05:42 PM
I've seen a receiver catch the ball, get 1 (ONE) foot down, then get clobbered and the ball flies out. It's ruled a TD.In college, maybe.




As for me, I think:
a) the intent of the rule is absolutely ********
b) the wording of the rule is even more ********

Can the call be considered correct, as per the rule? Yes. The wording is stupid and allows for that catch to be ruled no good. Did the Lions deserve the win? Yes.

As far as I'm concerned, if you have control of the ball in the endzone while both of your feet touch the ground, you get a touchdown. The NFL doesn't agree with me.

BRAVEHEART
09-13-2010, 07:27 PM
The play looked like something from a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial.

****** call, Ref should end himself.

nepg
09-13-2010, 09:07 PM
It was ruled correctly, the rule just is vague and not great to begin with. It is a TOUGH rule to word. If you change the nature of the rule there be a lot of "non-catches" considered catches.

It was not ruled correctly. That's what's really grinding my gears is that they put out the rule and just expected people to hate the rule, but accept the ruling. They got it wrong even by the most ******** interpretation of the rule.

Gay Ork Wang
09-13-2010, 09:24 PM
njx, u need to look at Article 7

"A player is in possession when he is in firm grip and control of the ball inbounds. To gain possession of a loose ball that has been caught, intercepted or recovered, a player must have complete control of the ball and have both feet completely on the ground inbounds or any other part of his body, other than his hands, on the ground inbounds. If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any other part of his body to the ground or if there is any doubt that the acts were simultaneous, there is no possession. This rule applies to the field of play and in the end zone."

Note 1 on this rule reads:

"A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by a defender) must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, it is a catch, interception or recovery."

he clearly didnt have it once he fell down and after he touched the ground.

Gay Ork Wang
09-13-2010, 09:36 PM
but in this case they are debating the process of the catch since he is going down, once he is falling he has to have till the very end. he loses it at the very end

TitanHope
09-13-2010, 10:10 PM
It took me one look at the replay to see it was a bad call.

It took me a second look to see that it wasn't just bad; it was obscene.


The rule doesn't matter because it's irrelevent. If that's the rule they gave to validate their call, then they completely bastardized it.

Calvin Johnson had complete possession of the ball in the endzone. He caught the ball with both hands, landed with both feet, and fell to the ground in bounds - never losing possession of it once. He hits the ground, and it's like the next thing is simultaneous - he's holding the ball with one hand (still has possession), his puts that hand down to the ground to brace himself/push himself up, and then when pushes up it looks like he squeezes it out. That's the issue, but it ignores the entire process before hand and the fact that's it the endzone.

At what point is the ball dead? It's the endzone - not midfield. You get possession of the ball in the endzone and the play is over at that second. He has control of it, he gets two feet down, and his body hits the ground. He rushes to get up to celebrate, and then he loses possession. That's like ruling a fumble when a RB gets tackled, hits the ground, and then flips the ball away as he hops up to go back to the huddle.

This was an enforcement call in it's simplest form. Moments after they ruled it incomplete, the announcers said, "We talked about this with the officials before the game today: the process is the key word." It was close enough, so they called it to enforce the rule.

BigBanger
09-13-2010, 10:32 PM
It was ruled correctly, the rule just is vague and not great to begin with. It is a TOUGH rule to word. If you change the nature of the rule there be a lot of "non-catches" considered catches.
It was not ruled correctly, and the rule is not vague. It's just ********. If it's so tough to word, then it shouldn't be a rule. This was a very simple play that happened in Detroit. Guy catches ball, guy has possession of said ball, guy maintains possession of ball when he falls down... TD. That's pretty ******* simple. About as simple as it gets.

The NFL survived quite some time without this ******** rule. And, right now, the NFL is considering catches, non-catches. Like Calvin Johnson's TD... "drop." The rule book defines it as a catch under 99% of the rules. Possession with both feet in bounds. Seems pretty simple to me.

This one rule deems the entire process of Johnson catching the ball, not a catch. When he catches the ball with both feet in bounds, the rule says that is not a catch. That's what the rule says, which then conflicts with every other rule that says it's a catch. It is a terrible rule. It was a terrible call. The refs got it wrong. The people who write the rules, got it wrong. Simple as that.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
09-13-2010, 10:34 PM
Looking at the replay, it all looks to be in one continuous motion. That seems to fall in line with what GOW was saying, and that interpretation of the rule. The entire process of falling down and putting his right hand on the ground was smooth, it didnt look like he landed, and then decided to push himself up with his right hand. It looked to me like his momentum kept him going and he rolled onto his hand.

LSYDYI4F4xs

gpngc
09-13-2010, 11:57 PM
Having control at one moment does not make it a catch - even in the end zone. Having possession does... You can physically catch the football but it's not a complete legal reception unless control is maintained throughout the entire process of falling to the ground.

If the act of catching the football forces someone to fall to the ground (which it clearly did), the player must maintain possession throughout that fall to the ground. The ground cannot cause a fumble, but it can cause an incompletion, which is what appeared to happen.

Based on the rule, it's the correct call. And the rule isn't stupid at all - think about it in terms of a diving catch... it's great to have the ball in mid-air, but the special part about it is maintaining possession as you hit the ground hard...

gpngc
09-14-2010, 12:04 AM
He had control of the ball in two of his hands, then one of his hands yes...controlling the ball at any given moment is not the issue at all though... it's whether or not he maintained possession as he hit the ground...

TitanHope
09-14-2010, 12:31 AM
Having control at one moment does not make it a catch - even in the end zone. Having possession does... You can physically catch the football but it's not a complete legal reception unless control is maintained throughout the entire process of falling to the ground.

Exactly, only Johnson had control of it as his body hit the ground. His left leg touched, then his right leg, then he fell and his butt and left thigh touch, and then as he rolled over the hand he was holding the ball with made contact with the ground. He had control of the ball the entire process of falling to the ground. The ball came out after he had fallen and was moving to get back up, which the refs declared was an extension of the catch which I don't think it is. Only Johnson is such a fluid athlete, it looks like it's all one motion.

If the act of catching the football forces someone to fall to the ground (which it clearly did), the player must maintain possession throughout that fall to the ground. The ground cannot cause a fumble, but it can cause an incompletion, which is what appeared to happen.

Which is all true...if it wasn't the endzone. The endzone and midfield have different rules. Had Calvin Johnson made that catch at midfield, and no one touches him, that's an incompletion (or a fumble if you think transferring possession of a ball from two hands to one hand while turning your body the other direction counts as a "football move").

This can be argued for both sides, which is why I think it's purely an enforcement call for a new rule. And it's really a shame that they chose to do this when the outcome of the game would be decided by the call.

Based on the rule, it's the correct call. And the rule isn't stupid at all - think about it in terms of a diving catch... it's great to have the ball in mid-air, but the special part about it is maintaining possession as you hit the ground hard...

A diving catch is different from this catch, so I think it's a bad example. In this catch, Johnson lands on his feet, then butt, then loses the ball as he rolls over to celebrate. In a diving catch, it's likely that the ball is gonna come as almost immediately after the rest of the player's body hits the ground. The timing is different, and in this instance, the diving catch is incomplete no matter what. It's just in this instance, it appears that Johnson shows numerous times that he has full possession of the ball and he could've been called down more than once by how many body parts he got down while displaying possession.


It's close though. I just feel the rule was used as an excuse to count the pass incomplete, rather than evidence.

Silver & Blue
09-14-2010, 12:34 AM
Looks like Calvin has finally spoke.

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2010/09/calvin_johnson_on_the_huge_sho.html

gpngc
09-14-2010, 12:50 AM
The ball came out after he had fallen and was moving to get back up, which the refs declared was an extension of the catch which I don't think it is. Only Johnson is such a fluid athlete, it looks like it's all one motion.

Wow. I just saw it on NFL Network a few times in slow motion. He IS getting up to celebrate and you are 100% correct he just does it so fluidly that it does look like an extension of the catch... wow. That's insane. I totally understand where the officials are coming from because it's very easy to experience the play the way I initially did as well - it does look like an extension of the catch but I do admit, upon further review, it's actually him getting up. Wow.

I just wish he wasn't so damn worried about celebrating so quick. Guys are always throwing the ball away as SOON as they cross the goalline (or DeSean). Maybe this will be a wake-up call and they'll just HOLD ON AS LONG AS YOU CAN so nothing like this can even be an issue.

bearfan
09-14-2010, 02:12 AM
I agree with the ruling. Not because I am a Bears fan, but because a reciever must have posession of the ball all the way through going to the ground. Someone mentioned a diving catch above, and I agree that the same type of ruling applies here. A guy can make a catch and have the ball roll out once he hits the ground...its not a catch. In this case, he let go of the ball too early.

It was a great catch, and I am not saying that it shouldn't be controversial, but Megatron has got to realize that you have to hold onto the ball the whole way through.

OzTitan
09-14-2010, 03:42 AM
There's an ambiguity to the wording of this rule that needs to be eliminated. What Calvin Johnson made was a touchdown catch, but if there's any wiggle room in the rules that could mis-define that, it needs to be changed.

I don't think the ref made a good call, but the fact that he could have gone both ways on that ruling shows that the rule is crap.

I don't know if the rule is crap. The reality is no rule is ever going to cover all possible scenarios, so the best option is to bring the rule up to the point where it can be effectively governed while also using common sense.

The rule is fine in the sense a player should have to control the ball after hitting the ground. The rule shouldn't have to explicitly state "should the receiver hit the ground and control the ball fine initially, but then use the ball to to leverage himself off the ground and releases it in the process, the ruling is a catch". That's getting way too specific and then you only open up things to more interpretation and questions on why other obscure possibilities aren't covered.

The rule is open, like many others, so the ref can make a judgement call. Perhaps they could change it to say "unless otherwise determined by the ref that the player had reasonably proven possession by a combination of feet and initial ground contact before the ground caused the release of the ball", but this is already an implied part of the rule IMO.

If it wasn't, then how do they ever rule it a catch when the WR goes to ground in the end zone but doesn't let the ball touch the ground, and isn't downed by a defender? He hasn't yet proven the ball is so secure in his grasp that the ground can't lodge it out. Of course, common sense says after he gets both feet/elbow/knee down and the ground hasn't initially lodged the ball out, it's a catch, so it shouldn't have to specify this. To get more complex, it's possible on 2nd contact with the ground the ball could lodge out and it would really be a drop, so this comes back to the point of common sense - a rule can't easily cover both without basically saying "use your brain dude".

I see no way the rule can be rewritten so this outcome doesn't happen again, without creating another possible hole in the interpretation for another equally specific event. It would be entirely reactionary to this event in that sense, and offer no real progress on the rule's effectiveness as a whole. It *has* to come down to common sense, and the rule shouldn't have to specifically allow common sense to be applied, because it is an implied part of the game and rule book for any rule involving interpretation.

BigDawg819
09-14-2010, 04:00 AM
Calvin's is not a catch, breaking the plane and having the ball punched out is a TD. The audacity of the "Tuck Rule" has been succeeded.

bearfan
09-14-2010, 08:26 AM
except that they aren't really comparable at all, in that, in one case, the player is, you know, diving for the ball. i'm sure you'll let someone know when you've actually watched a replay before making further silly comparisons.

Ok, maybe I wasn't specific enough by what I had in mind in the example I provided.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f83/bearfan54/calvin_johnson_of_the_lions-164.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f83/bearfan54/calvin_johnson_of_the_lions-164-1.jpg

My point is, I don't see a difference. They both look like catches whether they are diving or not.

Was it a catch? Yeah, but he knows he has to maintain possession of the ball while going to the ground.

In review of watching the play njx... it looked to me that part of him going to the ground was that extended lunge where he then hit the ball against the ground and lost posession. It sucks, bad officiating happens, but its part of the game.

Bengals78
09-15-2010, 01:59 PM
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/15/jim-schwartz-says-everybody-knows-it-was-a-catch/

FlyingElvis
09-15-2010, 02:19 PM
in an effort to decrease the number of "it was the right call based on the rules" (rules most people have likely never read because it's bloody well impossible to find the ******* rule book online), following is Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 from the 2010 NFL Rulebook:

The interpretation of the rule has been very clear, to the point where the head of officiating even says the player basically has to come up off the ground with possession.

Quoting the actual wording or any particular rule seems moot. We've seen the ruling enough times to know how it will be called upon review. Calvin ****** up, plain and simple. It sucks, b/c it does clearly look like he loses possession getting up after a great catch, but he didn't get up with the ball.

BigDawg819
09-15-2010, 02:38 PM
The interpretation of the rule has been very clear, to the point where the head of officiating even says the player basically has to come up off the ground with possession.

Quoting the actual wording or any particular rule seems moot. We've seen the ruling enough times to know how it will be called upon review. Calvin ****** up, plain and simple. It sucks, b/c it does clearly look like he loses possession getting up after a great catch, but he didn't get up with the ball.

Well said!


Calvin screwed up by allowing the refs to become involved. I know you're excited, but catch the ball and hand to the ref then go celebrate. Don't show off, don't be fancy, just make the catch then do whatever on the sideline.

Paranoidmoonduck
09-15-2010, 04:20 PM
there was a play monday night, that i wish i could find on youtube, where the player caught the ball going out of bounds, went to the ground, and dropped the ball before giving it to the official. it wasn't even mentioned as a possible review.

Just curious, did one of the receivers feet slide out of bounds before he went to the ground? If so, the play was over by the time he hit the ground and lost the ball. That would be the difference.

Then again, it's that kind of inconsistency that has people angry here. Anyone with common sense would call that final play a catch and a touchdown and would admit that had Calvin Johnson continued to grab the ball as he stood up instead of letting go of it, a purely aesthetic addition to the play in this case, would have yielded a completely different ruling. Considering that all it takes to score a rushing touchdown is the ball crossing the plane, it seems ridiculous to define "going to the ground" as still being a process after the player has maintained possession through his knee and hip hitting the ground (enough to rule the play dead on a running play, btw).

The refs had the right to make that call, but it was a crap call (just as with the tuck rule, there was flexibility in the verbiage to make that call even though it was a horrible call). The fault is inherent to the wording and it should be changed as soon as feasibly possible.