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Blog Entry

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 9:46 pm
 
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Every offseason, the NFL's competition committee convenes to discuss which rules to add, modify or scrap altogether. Mike Pereira, the former NFL Vice President of Officiating who now works for Fox Sports, writes Monday that in anticipation of the 2011 season, 121 NFL officials just completed a three-day clinic in Dallas where, among other things, they were apprised of the rules changes.

Some new rules were met with outspoken criticism (unsurprisingly, James Harrison took the lead on that), although the most controversial decision had to be the one that resulted in no change at all.

Last season, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson had a touchdown overturned against division rival Chicago after it was determined that he hadn't met all the criteria for what the NFL considered a legal catch. Crazy us, we just thought it involved, you know, catching the ball in the end zone.

If you can stand it, here's the play in question: 



No matter how many times we watch that replay, we always expect it to be ruled a touchdown since it looks ... just like a touchdown.

Pereira explains why, in fact, the pass thrown to Johnson is still considered incomplete.

"There were no substantial changes to the catch rule. There are three elements to a catch when going to the ground. First, you must get total control. Second, you must get both feet or another body part down. Third, and the trickiest, you must maintain control throughout the entire process of going to and hitting the ground. The ground can cause an incompletion in the field of play or end zone. The competition committee affirmed that the pass to Johnson was incomplete as the ball came out of his control when it hit the ground. He completed the first two elements of the catch but not the third."

This will placate almost certainly no one, but to quote every coach or athlete to ever talk to the media, "It is what it is." Moving on...

A rules change everyone can get behind: every scoring play will automatically be reviewed. The goal is to reduce missed calls and save coaches from wasting challenges, but Pereira notes that there will be unintended consequences, too. "There will be a lot more replay stoppages in 2011, and the length of games will increase. Neither of those is good for the game."

On this last point we can all agree. Presumably, even James Harrison.

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Comments
fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:06 am
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 10:34 am
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:59 am
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Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: July 20, 2011 12:51 am
 

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

A look at his reaction when he spiked the ball should tell anybody it was not a fumble, two steps and both feet down, he did not try to recover the ball but celebrated the ref calling it a td.

Wow, you completely missed the point, buddy.  If it had been decided that he had control of the ball (in order for it to be a fumble), then it WOULD have been a TD since he was already in the end zone.  The ruling was that since he did not maintain possession of the ball through contact with the ground (which you can clearly see that he lets go of the ball whenever it touches), which is necessary for it to be considered a catch, he did not have control of the ball.  Therefore, not a catch.  Certainly not a fumble. 

For the whole demonstrating control/two feet down/breaking the plane argument... if this was in the middle of the field he still would have needed to hold onto the ball through contact with the ground to complete the catch, but because he was in the end zone and in a hurry to celebrate it should've been alright for him to not complete the process of making the catch?  Obviously nobody was going to catch Desean Jackson in his infamous premature celebration, but should the refs have just assumed that he could have broken the plane with the ball if he was trying specifically to do that? Trying to... you know... do his job and demonstrate possession of the ball in the end zone.  While the Jackson gaff is a lot more blatant, to me they're both cases of "Could've. Shoul've. Would've. But didn't."



Since: Jan 18, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2011 5:46 pm
 

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

If youv'e seen the play 50 times and called it a TD 50 times then you are an idiot 50 times. It is not a TD because the rule that is in place and will not be changed, says it IS NOT a TD. You can try to read into it what you want but it is not a TD. It is not listed as a TD in any stats and the score did not change after he didn't catch the ball. What else d you need. NOT A TD because the officials said it is not. Same thing happened to a perfect game in baseball last year. It is not a perfect game because the umpire said it is not.



Since: Aug 7, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:53 pm
 

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

Calvin should at least earn an asterik (*) beside his name for that robbery witnessed. A look at his reaction when he spiked the ball should tell anybody it was not a fumble, two steps and both feet down, he did not try to recover the ball but celebrated the ref calling it a td. Now, in response to terrell, ocho cinco, he has to have the ball certified autographed etc. before its accredited. WTF? Barry Sanders did none of that and to punish an entire team for a class response to a db's best effort on that play sucks really bad. Now, as to the time it takes to finish a game, is this so that the ice fishing contest in the stadium starts on time? Or the MX? Tractor pull? We seem to be losing sight of the fact that it's the game that has the interest that translates to all of those dollars for all concerned. Have we given control of the length and quality of the game to the bean counters again?



Since: Dec 26, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:51 pm
 

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

that was the first game of the year. how the heck would that one play so early in the season cost you a spot in your playoffs in your fantasy league?  you must be one stupid dude.



Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:48 pm
 

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

That one play cost me a spot in the playoffs in my fantasy league last year!  BAD CALL!!!



Since: Jun 21, 2007
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:42 pm
 

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

I agree with most of you.  How can you tell a receiver who maintains control of the ball all the way to the ground, then turns to the left, puts the ball on the ground and pushes off that it isn't a catch, especially considering the idea of "breaking the plane" at the endzone? 

Lets face it, no player will argue the call because of the fine they will face, but make no mistake, it was a cruddy call



Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:30 pm
 

New rule could make for longer games in 2011

This will actually SPEED UP the game because the referee on the field will not need to go under the hood for 5 minutes every time a coach challenges.  If it is handled in the booth it should take no more than 30 seconds.


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