Tuesday, September 14, 2010
By now if you pay any attention to the NFL you've heard a number of takes on the Calvin Johnson touchdown that was ripped from his paws in the Lions game against the Bears on Sunday. The official line is that the officials made the right call given the wording of the rule about how long a person has to keep possession. So I get it--I'm not here to cause no trouble and bag on the officials.
The problem is that the rule itself is flat out stupid. Things like this are the inevitable outcome when common sense is abandoned in favor of the scientific dissection of sport. Saying it's a catch if the receiver catches the ball isn't good enough. We need to study the process of the catch, the inner workings of the second move, and decide if the ground can cause a fumble like a player from the other team. This raises the question of why we don't move from calling catches receptions to "gaining consistent control of the football while keeping all extremities in bounds for a sufficient length of time so as to complete the process of possessions." Then you could have a statistical category for GCCOTFWKAEIBFASLOTSATCTPOP. That would be awesome.
The NFL needs a shot of common sense. If the rules are flat out stupid then change them, and don't wait for the meeting of the competition committee after the season. Otherwise we'll be submitted to more games decided by technicalities rather than the players.