“NFL Asking–What’s a Catch-They Don’t Know”
NFL instant replay was supposed to solve all this, it hasn’t.
In fact, when it comes to catching a football, is it more confused now than ever.
Thank you technology, multiple angles, slow mo replay, and the subjectiveness of calls.
The NFL will take another whack at figuring out what is a catch this weekend, with a newly written proposal to owners, to simplify, maybe clarify, was represents a pass completion.
Control of the ball, that’s a given.
Two feet on the ground, of course, has always been that way.
But in the last five years, all the addendum items added to the rulebook have made it more confusing, complex, and subject to interpretation, normally bad.
So this week, the newly written wordage will be presented. Players, in control of the football, with two feet in bounds, have to make a football move, involving taking a 3rd step.
Period, exclamation point, end of discussion. If there are questions, then go to the replay.
They are eliminating wording like ‘going to the ground’. Saying goodbye to the theory ‘ball moving in hands;. Ending discussion about ‘ground causing the fumble’.
Football has been reeling with the raging controversy involving the Dez Bryant catch-non catch, and more recently the Jesse James catch-football move-break the plane of the goalie-fumble the ball when he hit the ground.
It is a big, fast game, played by physically big hitting players.
Slow motion instant replay has made the process even more complicated.
They keep adding descriptions to clarify that only complicated it.
Did he maintain control as he went to the ground?
Did the point of the ball touch the ground allowing him to control it?
Did the receiver become a runner?
Did the receiver make a football move?
Did he have possession as he went out of bounds?
Did he retain possession long enough after getting hit?
And as more and more lawyers got involved, it got messier. When they were done a year ago with another re-write, it became as clear as mud on your windshield.
NFL postseason games have had spectacular plays. Julian Edelman’s Super Bowl catch ‘hands under the ball’. The Giants David Tyree pinning the ball to the side of his helmet. Dwight Clark’s ‘the catch’ back in the day with the 49eers.
So now the owners will look at a much shorter rewrite of the rule this weekend in Orlando.
And of course instant replay will be used to clarify what they saw.
But upon ‘further review’ who knows if they can get a complex play, catching a pass, made simple.