December 18, 2017

"The rule was interpreted correctly, but the rule is bad."

"There are plenty of problems with the NFL right now, but many of them are either intractable or downright unfixable. The catch rule is not one of them. The NFL has to fix it, and that might require a totally radical sort of solution. Let's make arguments for three very different types of changes to the much-hated catch rule...."

From "Three options to fix the NFL's catch rule" (ESPN), about this play in last nights Patriots/Steelers game.

ADDED: I guess if I've got a post with the words "There are plenty of problems with the NFL right now," I need to drop a link to "Sources: Jerry Richardson, Panthers Have Made Multiple Confidential Payouts for Workplace Misconduct, Including Sexual Harassment and Use of a Racial Slur" (Sports Illustrated) and "Diddy wants to buy the Panthers and sign Colin Kaepernick" (WaPo).

91 comments:

Roy Jacobsen said...

The Steelers were robbed.

New England Patriots delenda est.

Levi Starks said...

Why I quit watching football.
Baseball on the other hand feels like it’s more resistant to umpire tampering.

Humperdink said...

Sometimes the enforcement of these rules by the referees remind of rulings by the Supreme Court - the law be damned, we're going rule to how we want to.

sane_voter said...

I watched the 4th quarter of that game for my first NFL viewing of the year. That rule is terrible, replay as it is conducted is terrible (the replay ref should get 30 secs max to determine if the on-field ref was wrong, anything less obvious is too close to justify changing the call), and it is doubtful I will be watching any other NFL action the rest of the year.

campy said...

Reversing the TD call was the right decision. He bobbled the ball.

No catch.

Humperdink said...

Regarding Jerry Richardson, he will sell the team as his offspring are not interested in running it. He is the only current NFL owner who was a former player. George Halas (Da Bears) was the only other one.

If Richardson really wanted to stick it to Goodell, he should invite an offer from Rush Limbaugh.

surfed said...

Football is to fast a game and to subjective for me to follow anymore - especially live. Baseball moves at just the right speed for me. Sailing moves at the right speed for me. The only sport in the world where you can be shit snot terrified at 7mph.

Ken B said...

This is winderful news. What's bad for the NFL, and bad for football, is good for the country, and good for the world.

Don't forget a concussion link.

LincolnTf said...

I'll take the third option in the article, the Committee of ex-players voting in real time as to whether or not to deem a catch a catch. 50 members sounds like way too many, but a dozen or so guys would be doable.

Ipso Fatso said...

Humperdink, I believe ownership has the final say on who gets into the NFL club. Rush would be rejected by the NFL ownership. There are too many politically correct types, such as the Rooney's, for him to get over that hump. Also Obama has a butt-boy who is the head of the players assocation, DeMaurice Smith. Too little attention has been paid to his involvement in the on going player protests.

Humperdink said...

Isn't it weird how a running back crosses the plane with control of the ball, then loses it and it's a touchdown. A receiver catches the ball, has complete control, crosses the plane, loses it and it's no catch. There is little doubt Jesse James had complete control. He would have hung on to it if was a deflated ball (sarc).

We (Steeler fan here) will have our chance for redemption in the playoffs.

Humperdink said...

"I believe ownership has the final say on who gets into the NFL club. Rush would be rejected by the NFL ownership."

You're exactly right about the final say. Rush was rejected once already. But the theater would be delicious. I suspect the master tweeter would get involved.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M Jordan said...

The real rule that needs to be thrown out is the replay review rule. I’ve hated it from Day One and last night was the ultimate for me, a review overturning a stunning play and comeback.

Get rid of reviews! If it’s too late for that for the NFL justice warriors, at least limit all reviews to 15 seconds. You can’t tell in 15 seconds, the ruling on the field stands.

Static Ping said...

Dying news organization opining about dying sports league.

Film at 11.

Lem said...

Here is a tweet posting an interview with the ref.

https://twitter.com/NFLfootballinfo/status/942570363619282944

EDH said...

Jerry Seinfeld explains both the "Catch Rule" and sexual harassment to George Costanza.

"It moved."

ddh said...

The refs could just as easily have decided that the ground caused the bobble after the ball broke the plane of the goal line, making the result of the play a touchdown.

Curious George said...

"Levi Starks said...
Why I quit watching football.
Baseball on the other hand feels like it’s more resistant to umpire tampering."

Baseball has the idiotic catcher blocking the plate rule.

Henry said...

Barnwell's take is interesting, but he only mentions a key detail in passing. A lax definition of a catch will lead to more catches and fumbles. More importantly, for a league with a concussion problem is that the current catch rule is used to define a "defenseless receiver".

2) A receiver attempting to catch a pass; or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner. If the receiver/runner is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player;

Remove "become a runner" stage and you create controversy about when a receiver stops being "defenseless" and whether a receiver who has made a catch is allowed to be hit hard enough to cause a fumble. Instead of complaints about catches being turned into incompletions, you will have complaints about catches being turned into fumbles on hits that should be illegal (and vice versa -- fumbles overturned because of personal foul calls).

The other point that Barnwell dismisses is that the catch rule is formulated as it is to create a bright line distinction between a catch and an incompletion. The NFL is all about rules for everything. Start making rules fuzzy and you end up with the NBA. Star players will get more "catches" and home teams will win more games.

Anonymous said...


There are plenty of problems with the NFL right now

They play a game and complain - what's wrong with that?

Well, besides the fact that "over the past two decades, the NFL has raked in about $7 billion of taxpayer money"?

Humperdink said...

NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron opens his explanation 12 seconds into his video: "As we can see here, Roethlisberger completes a pass to James, and James is going to the ground as he reaches the goal line."

Did he say the pass was complete? Why, yes did. He then went to say it was incomplete. I think I got it.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/13087313-74/nfl-contradicts-itself-in-calling-steelers-overturned-touchdown-vs-patriots-incomplete

Humperdink said...

Levi Starks: "Why I quit watching football.
Baseball on the other hand feels like it’s more resistant to umpire tampering."

Except ball and strike calls.

Baseball is too slow paced. Ice hockey is where's is at for action. However, incompetent referees plague that sport also.

james james said...

You have to show possession of the ball when hitting the ground after catching a pass.

If the ball moves it is no longer a catch.

But the ground cannot cause a fumble.

The problem with football is that fucking ground having it both ways.

- james james

dix said...

This ruling reflects a 'conservative' view of interpreting the law as written. To base a ruling on how it makes you feel would be a 'liberal' interpretation. The rule sucks. Change the rule. Don't just choose to ignore it

Darrell said...

Salt the bones and burn them. The NFL can join the other failures of the LEFT in the dustbin of history.

CWJ said...

I'm with campy and Lem. Biases are revealed through modifiers, particularly adverbs. The linked article's author twice refers to the ball as moving "slightly." The replay shows James' left hand come off the ball as he goes to the ground, and spinning in his right hand at the same time. So neither hand is actually holding the ball. That said. In real time, observed by eye, in the excitement of the moment, by a ref on the field, it is a catch. In replay, it is not. Pick one.

kevino said...

No, the NFL is beyond redemption: itshould be shut down.

I used to be a huge fan, watching two or three games a week. Not any longer. Companies that advertise on NFL games no longer get my business -- ever. The NFL bad for the players' health, and they don't honor the country. Screw them.

Henry said...

The refs could just as easily have decided that the ground caused the bobble after the ball broke the plane of the goal line, making the result of the play a touchdown.

You're confusing running and pass receiving.

A runner scores a touchdown when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line. A runner doesn't fumble if the ball comes loose from hitting the ground.

A receiver does not become a runner until the secure the pass. A pass reception for a touchdown only can happen when the pass is complete. A pass is incomplete if the receiver fails to "become a runner" and falls to the ground and the ball comes loose.

The fact that James never "became a runner" seems counterintuitive, but according to the rules, he did not.

* * *

Another mistake I've heard is people saying that James was down when his knee hit the ground so the play was over and the ball should have been placed at the one yard line. But that is wrong on two counts. First, even if James was a runner, he wasn't touched when his knee hit the ground, therefore he wasn't down. Second are the rules about pass completion described above. Even if James had been touched as a receiver, his catch wasn't "over" until he carried it the ball the way to the ground without it coming loose.

CWJ said...

Lem deleted his comment to which I was agreeing.

Big Mike said...

If he had fallen his back it would have been first and goal from the 6 inch line.

gspencer said...

First it was 28-3, then it was 34-28,

CWJ said...

Henry at 9:12a posts the rest of what I was thinking. The real culprit in all of this is James' left elbow. No wonder his hand came off the ball.

Gordon Scott said...

I think Diddy, and Curry, and all of the other black guys should put their money together and buy a team. Then we can watch the battles between them for supremacy among the owners, and we can not watch Kapernick at all. If they hire him to be a quarterback, they will get what they deserve.

Birches said...

Why would Diddy sign Kap when he already has Cam Newton? Kap isn't interested in being a backup. He sabotaged his chances with the Ravens remember?

John Tuffnell said...

The bigger problem is the headshot like Davante Adams took. Adams is KO'ed but Davis stays in the game. It's almost like the NFL really doesn't care about player safety.

Quaestor said...

The only sport in the world where you can be shit snot terrified at 7mph.

Water polo is a shark tank. Now that's a spectacle that could return me to the malebolge of TV viewership, particularly with Kaepernick playing goalkeeper.

Humperdink said...

Henry opined: "You're confusing running and pass receiving. "

You are exactly right, which is why the NFL rule book rivals the tax code in weight and girth.

stonethrower said...

1. He caught the ball
2. Knee on the ground while tucking the ball
3. Made a football move by by twisting and extending the ball over the end zone

#3 makes him a runner at that point, IMHO

Full disclosure, I am a transplanted Bostonian, not in Pittsburgh (was rooting for the Steel'rs)

stonethrower said...

NOW in Pittsburgh, I meant

Leland said...

I agree with stonethrower's analysis completely. I made the same exact assessment. I get the ball, when striking the ground, moved in his hand, but he rotated that direction.


I also don't like the rule, because it both has strictly objective constructs tied with a completely subjective opinion of what is a football move. This isn't the first time I've seen a player make what I consider a "football move", and then with impact with the ground, have the ball dislodge slightly and be ruled incomplete. Before instant replay, those plays would be called great catches, and everyone would be talking about how it made for a great game. Now, we have a one hour game, that takes over 3 hours to play, with about 11 minutes of actual action on the field, and much of that 11 minutes gets overturned in instant replay. Why watch it?

It's almost as bad as watching the Tour the France, not to know who the actual winner is until 2 to 3 years later.

Brando said...

I usually root against the Steelers but that reversal of the call on that catch was total BS. If the "rule" says it's not a catch than the rule is crap--he had the ball in his control the moment it crossed the plain (plane?). The idea that it was incomplete is nonsense by every other standard the game uses.

Brando said...

Stonethrower makes a good point. He was on his knees when he crossed the plain (plane?).

eric said...

This had nothing to do with a "catch rule"

Instead, this is as someone said above. It's like SCOTUS seeing what they want to see in the Constitution. Somehow, the Patriots cheat. They've got the refs in their pocket.

And this catch rule nonsense is just the thin justification they are handing their hat on in order to fool the few people left watching the game.

The second he broke the plane it was a touchdown. If he lost the ball after that, it would have still been a touchdown.

So glad I stopped watching the NFL this year.

Khesanh 0802 said...

To all you Pittsburgh fans: the rule is the rule. There is not a commenter -even from Pittsburgh - that says that the NFL got the play incorrect according to the rule. Just like there is a rule that says if you go out of bounds you can't be the first to touch the ball - see Brandin Cook's great catch. Does that rule really make any more sense? I'll bet you guys loved the application of that rule!

Don't forget that if Pittsburgh had been on the ball they could have easily taken one more shot at the goal line and then kicked a field goal to tie the game. They weren't. They got confused from the sideline to Big Ben and that was all she wrote. You can commiserate with Pete Carroll about what "might have been".

I am sure that, since the rule helped the Pats, John Harbaugh and his committee will figure out a way to change the rule.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Again for all you Pittsburgh fans: this fight with the NFL started when Calvin Jones of Detroit made a catch in the end zone and without making a complete "football move" dropped the ball assuming it was complete (certainly looked complete). The TD was reversed and everyone ever since has felt the rule was unsatisfactory. That had to be five years ago and no one has come up with a better rule. Terrible towels are also good for absorbing crocodile tears.

Yancey Ward said...

The rule was properly interpreted. Of course, this isn't an issue without replay overturning on-field rulings. When the NFL instituted replay second-guessing, I predicted that controversies would only increase, not decrease, and I was right.

I don't really give a shit about the outcome of that game and that play except in one regard- it tickles me pink that it was the Patriots that benefited from it. Trump continues to make the Left crazy.

campy said...

The fact that James never "became a runner" seems counterintuitive, but according to the rules, he did not.

"Counterintuitive" how? Of course he never became a runner. He never took a step.

Nyamujal said...

Regardless of what you think about the catch, Big Ben still decided to throw the ball instead of spiking it and going for a FG. He should be forced to watch the final play of the Seattle vs. NE Superbowl on repeat for a few hours as punishment.
Even if they gambled on throwing it, an ideal play wouldn't have been a slant route. The Pats are too well coached to fall for something like that.
As a Pats fan, I'm no longer surprised at how they seem to pull a W again and again against all odds.

stonethrower said...

I looked up the rule, and I DO say that the rule was misinterpreted!

Khesanh 0802 said...
To all you Pittsburgh fans: the rule is the rule. There is not a commenter -even from Pittsburgh
- that says that the NFL got the play incorrect according to the rule.

Dave in Tucson said...

From Reddit: The Catch Rule Isn't Hard To Understand And Is Written Fairly. NFL Commentators Are Responsible For Convincing People It Isn't

stonethrower said...

Per my #3 above:

The receiver trying to advance the ball (with his feet/legs on the ground). Hence he is a runner.

mockturtle said...

The Steelers will get their revenge. Count on it.

Wilbur said...

The situation was not helped by the moronic TV announcers who carried on for 5 minutes that THIS WAS A TOUCHDOWN, WHY ARE THEY REVIEWING THIS, THERE'S NOTHING TO REVIEW, BLAH BLAH BLAH, until 5 minutes later someone in the truck finally told them the catch is questionable, something I saw and anyone else could have seen on the first replay.

I knew they were going to reverse it, but that the Steelers should still win or at the least force overtime. The Steelers botched it. Tough break but they lost that game, not the refs.

Humperdink said...

Mockturtle: "The Steelers will get their revenge. Count on it."

I am in agreement. :)

Brando said...

"The second he broke the plane it was a touchdown. If he lost the ball after that, it would have still been a touchdown."

That's what it seemed. I get that the rule says otherwise, but that seems to be a rule that doesn't follow the logic of all other touchdown rules.

I'd like to give up and find another sport to watch but just can't get into basketball.

donald said...

He didn’t bobble anything Campy. The rule for what is a catch is insane. Not even the officials are capable of administering it consistently.

I cannot comprehend what the rules committee are discussing in their meetings.

It was a catch. He took steps, he broke the plane. If you’re running the ball that’s a touchdown. If you land on the ground after breaking the plane, you cannot fumble.

I literally officiated football for 26 years. I know college and professional officials. They don’t get it either.

donald said...

That may be the case Ipso, but one thing rich liberals love and that’s more money without doing jack shit. They’ll take anybody’s money as long as there’s 10’digits.

Rick said...

If you land on the ground after breaking the plane, you cannot fumble.

It wasn't a fumble.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It was a beautiful thing, that touchdown being called back. The rule is also good, it's the Patriots that are bad. We love their badness here in New England. All you objectors would be singing a different tune if the Patriots had caught that ball and it had been ruled a touchdown.

N.B. The pass would have been complete with a properly deflated football.

Joe Schmoe said...

I'm a big Pats fan so I won't pretend to be objective. But this Catch Rule thing has been pretty prominent since Dez Bryant's incident against Green Bay a couple of years ago. Every receivers' coach in the league must show that video to all the receivers in training camp. "Finish the catch" should be second nature; that usually means pull the ball into your body. James' failure to do so points to poor coaching of fundamentals.

The Tuck rule was pretty obscure when that came up in Pats-Raiders in 2001. The Catch Rule is recent and well-known, so there's no excuse for teams not drilling their players on complying with it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

stonethrower said...

1. He caught the ball
2. Knee on the ground while tucking the ball
3. Made a football move by by twisting and extending the ball over the end zone


You are incorrect in number 2. He never tucks the ball. He does bring it closer to his body before extending toward the goal, but he never tucks it, the way a runner carries the ball while running. Since he never tucks, he never becomes a runner. Here is the relevant rule:

A player has the ball long enough to become a runner when, after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent, tucking the ball away, turning up field, or taking additional steps.

Henry said...

eric The second he broke the plane it was a touchdown. If he lost the ball after that, it would have still been a touchdown.

The moment Ben Rothlisburger threw it, it was a touchdown. That's how touchdowny that pass was. It didn't even need to be caught it was so touchdowny.

LBotC -- Nicely done trolling.

Henry said...

Knee on the ground means nothing in this case.

Henry said...

The receiver trying to advance the ball (with his feet/legs on the ground). Hence he is a runner.

This is the only grounds for challenging the replay ruling. Unfortunately, while James twisted and extended, he did not tuck and took no steps. He caught the ball and fell to the ground. The referees were correct in looking at the entire play in applying the completion rule.

CWJ said...

stonethrower and donald,

That James was a runner is pure wishcasting on your parts. James was "going to the ground" the whole time. That he was lunging in the process is irrelevant. His mistake was risking stretching for the touchdown while in the process of going to the ground, rather than protecting the football. That greatly increased the chance that he might not maintain control all the way to the ground which in fact happened.

Static Ping said...

Curious George: Baseball has the idiotic catcher blocking the plate rule.

They do, but that has been the rule for a long time. The catcher is supposed to provide a lane for the runner to reach home plate unless the catcher has the ball. That's the rule. It's not a new rule. At some point umpires stopped enforcing the rule as written and the result was catchers blocking the plate without the ball and, on occasion, essentially attempting to wrestle the runner to the ground to try to stop him from scoring. This also led to runners trampling catchers who were not blocking the plate and probably never saw it coming.

Honestly, I do not miss the home plate collisions. The ridiculous and sometimes successful attempts to avoid the tag are more interesting.

Rabel said...

Correct call. And I was pulling for Pittsburgh (slightly).

Also, I have a theory - The people who bitch the loudest about having booth reviews would be bitching the loudest about not having booth reviews.

stonethrower said...

People may say "fell to the ground" (Henry) or "going to the ground" (CWJ). But ...

To me, here is how I describe the relevant parts of the play:
Right after the catch, James falls to his knee and pulls the ball in toward his body.
Then he twists around and extends the ball (reversing the direction of the ball).

The difference, twisting and then extending is a purposeful act to advance the ball (after a foot and the other knee are on the ground).
If that is not a football play, why not?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

stonethrower said...
People may say "fell to the ground" (Henry) or "going to the ground" (CWJ). But ...

People say going to the ground, because that is a scenario described in the rules, that clearly applies to this play. See the link to the rule I posted above.

The difference, twisting and then extending is a purposeful act to advance the ball (after a foot and the other knee are on the ground).
If that is not a football play, why not?


I don't know if that is, or is not, a football play If you could find the term a football play in the rules, and provide a link, I'd be happy to try to give you an answer.

CWJ said...

From the rule - "Item 1. Player Going to the Ground. A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner."

I said "going to the ground" on purpose. James was never upright, much less long enough. Talk of any details other than those pertaining to catching the ball while going to the ground may provide emotional justification, but are irrelevant.

Tim at large said...

You know I was watching old New England Super Bowls, and the second one they won, Brady scored a touchdown with a minute to play to either tie or win it, I don’t remember, using the exact play from the three yard line that the SeaHawks ran, which is why Belichick practiced against that very play in the week before the Seattle game, and which is why McCordy read it and knew the exact throw that was coming.

People blame Pete Carroll for that call, but that was just some really bad luck that it didn’t work.

Tim at large said...

Instead of talking about “Football moves” in the rules, presuming you will know it when you see it, why not talk about “football catches” and be done with it. Still, the guy didn’t have full control of the ball or it wouldn’t have just dribbled out of his hands.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Tim at large said...

Still, the guy didn’t have full control of the ball or it wouldn’t have just dribbled out of his hands.

He had full control, but lost it on contact with the ground. As you point out, that is irrelevant since he was a receiver going to the ground. But had he been a running back, and not in the endzone, it would not have been a fumble, since it was caused by the ground.

stonethrower said...

I used the term "football" play, because many announcers use it, and it encapsulates the relevant part of the rule.
I also refer to https://operations.nfl.com/the-rules/nfl-video-rulebook/completing-a-catch/

Part 3 says

A player has the ball long enough to become a runner when, after his second foot
is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent,
tucking the ball away, turning up field, or taking additional steps

I think James did, indeed, turn up the field, after two feet were on the ground. He does not need to actually take a step, according to how I read the above. "Capable of" one of these is good enough.

Thanks for the lively back and forth. See you Feb. 4.

Tim at large said...

Baseball on the other hand feels like it’s more resistant to umpire tampering.

In recent years anyway. Since they accepted those resignations that those Major League umpires offered in one of the stupidest moves in a labor dispute I have seen since the air traffic controllers went on strike.

Tim at large said...

New England Patriots delenda est.

Ha! Father Time is undefeated. Brady is starting to show his age a little bit. Their day in the sun will pass, but nobody is taking away his five rings.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@stonethrower I know I won't change your mind, but look at this GIF. This pass would have been ruled incomplete anywhere on the field. James completely loses control of the ball as he falls to the ground.Incomplete pass. The GIF comes from someone called Steeler Depot.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@stonethrower This is the only film I have been able to find, but It clearly shows that James NEVER put either foot on the ground. LINK

Speaking to your points :

He never put either foot on the ground so he was not a 'runner".

He completely lost control of the ball when he finished his catch. Incomplete pass.

Rules are a bitch!

mockturtle said...

I'm liking baseball more and football less for a lot of reasons. Fewer angry players, for one. Fewer injuries, too. These pro football players are much too big, too fast and too solid to be colliding with other players. They don't even test NFL players for steroids, do they?

JaimeRoberto said...

Whenever I hear Jesse James' name mentioned I can't help but think the episode of The Brady Bunch where one of the boys idolized the outlaw until his parents taught him that he was a cold blooded killer. I guess the football player's parents didn't catch that episode.

stonethrower said...

And I thought I had made a clean getaway.

I am not disputing that James lost control of the ball at the end. I merely say that according the rules I referenced, he completed the catch and the ball was fully controlled when he put it over the plane of the end zone. Touchdown!

He had both feet/legs on the ground. A runner can be crawling on all fours and advance the ball as long as he has not been touched by a defender.

The real issue here is whether the act of pulling the ball in toward his body and then twisting and extending the ball outward completes a catch. I say it does demonstrate clear control and all that.

Clyde said...

And in a related ESPN move, ESPN President and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks John Skipper has resigned his positions, claiming a substance abuse problem. Given what's been in the news recently, one wonders if the substance is pussy.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

stonethrower said...

And I thought I had made a clean getaway.

Of course you don't get to say something wrong :) and then make a clean getaway.

You need to examine the going to the ground part of the rule, and explain why you think it doesn't apply in this case. I think it clearly does: he is not "upright" at the time his hands make contact with the ball, or anytime after that. Therefore, he does not "remain" upright long enough to establish himself as a runner.

Rick said...

They don't even test NFL players for steroids, do they?

They do, players are routinely suspended for PEDs.

"Suspensions for violating the substance policies[edit]
The NFL has two separate policies for substances that can lead to suspension. One policy concerns the use of banned drugs that are specifically indicated to improve athletic performance performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The other policy concerns "substances of abuse" and includes drugs that may not enhance performance, but are indulged in for recreational purposes, including alcohol and marijuana related incidents."

The following list is 17 pages long so at 25 names / page would be 425 players publicly identified.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suspensions_in_the_National_Football_League

Earnest Prole said...

The rule is spectacularly simple: the ground cannot cause a fumble, but it can cause an incomplete pass. Therefore, you better tuck that ball away instead of doing something stupid with it like reaching for the goal line.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Earnest Prole said...

The rule is spectacularly simple.

That part is simple. The hard part is when does someone switch from being a receiver to being a runner. ( Although in this case, it is quite clear: if you are going to the ground at the time you wrap your hands around the ball, you don't become a runner. )

CWJ said...

"The hard part is when does someone switch from being a receiver to being a runner. ( Although in this case, it is quite clear: if you are going to the ground at the time you wrap your hands around the ball, you don't become a runner. )"

Try telling that to stonethrower. Though in his/her case, I now think he/she was just stringing me along rather than being genuinely obtuse. The name should have clued me in.

Earnest Prole said...

The hard part is when does someone switch from being a receiver to being a runner.

The receiver chose to go to the ground, and that is inconsistent with any of the criteria for becoming a runner.

Phil 3:14 said...

When you're explaining, you're losing.

Mac McConnell said...

The rule changes over the past 50 years have all gave the advantage to offence, supposedly for safety, but in reality to produce higher scoring games because it's more entertaining for fans. Fans that never played the game.

So we should change the rules even more to the advantage of receivers. The call was correct and the rule is good.