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Antonio Bryant got a catch he didn't deserve

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Bryant made a great effort on a catch along the sideline in Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, extending his arms to grab the ball and tiptoeing to get his feet down in bounds.

But while Bryant was credited with having the ball and both feet down after an instant replay review overturned the ruling on the field of an incomplete pass, the NFL now says there was no indisputable video evidence to change the original ruling.

“You’ve got to stay incomplete,” NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira said as he reviewed the play in a video at NFL.com. “To me, not indisputable visual evidence to overturn.”

Pereira said it was a close call and a judgment call, but that’s the whole point — it was simply too close to overturn what the on-field officials ruled, and referees have been reminded that a call can’t be overturned unless the replay clearly shows it was wrong.

“The thing with replay is we worked hard this year to try to make sure we have absolute indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call,” Pereira said. “To me this was not indisputable and since we ruled it incomplete, you leave it incomplete.”

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23 Responses to “Antonio Bryant got a catch he didn't deserve”
  1. SteveC says: Dec 10, 2009 2:21 PM

    Just one question, how does the NFL V.P. of officiating lose a job? Seems like every week there are concerns about NFL Officiating, at what point is the guy held responsible or does he have eminent job security?

  2. shallowfan says: Dec 10, 2009 2:24 PM

    Here is what happened…If this is the same catch you are talking about…One zebra was on the sideline behind bryant and one was in front of him, both on the sideline. the zebra closest to him called it a catch. the other ran over and overruled him after he made the right call. So, I think they corrected their blunder by reversing the call the other zebra shouldn’t have overturned on the field anyway. Did that make sense?

  3. Igglesfan says: Dec 10, 2009 2:34 PM

    Why doesn’t the NFL use a replay system similar to the NHL with a room full of rules “experts” in a room at headquarters doing nothing but watching every game and reviewing plays? This would take the responsibility off the individual referees and limit the need for full-time officials. They have enough on their plates as it is, yet they are also expected to know every rule inside and out and make “judgment” calls? Put Pereira in a room with a couple of other guys and let them make the calls.

  4. Romo Witten His Pants says: Dec 10, 2009 2:38 PM

    I like how they use a game and a team that got a favorable judgment yet lost the game. So no harm, no foul. Why not use an example from the Redskins/Saints game? I’m pretty sure one of the two calls that were reversed (down by contact after INT before half/Seller fumble in OT) was NOT indisputable. But, of course in this case the team that benefited won. So it would raise a huge stink. Thank you NFL for assuming myself and all other fans are dumbasses and will feel like you guys admit your mistakes by making this announcement.

  5. jecates says: Dec 10, 2009 2:39 PM

    Why not have three refs review the replay tape separately, “score” it as accurate or indisputably inaccurate (without discussing it first), and it only gets overturned if all three independently find it indisputably inaccurate?

  6. BlackberryBartakamos says: Dec 10, 2009 2:41 PM

    It seems like the only time Perreria admits to a blown call are when it’s an insignificant game.

  7. Nebster21 says: Dec 10, 2009 2:49 PM

    It is complete BS that refs are not punished harder for making these bad calls. Even worse when they have the chance to review them and still get the call wrong. They should be fined a game check if they blow more than 2 calls in a game and if they review the play and still blow the call they should be suspended for the rest of the year and the playoffs.

  8. shannscott2000 says: Dec 10, 2009 2:52 PM

    I agree with Shallowfan. I couldn’t believe another ref was overturning the ref who initially called it a completion. He was five feet away! The Bucs shouldn’t have had to use a challenge on that one.

  9. Skol Vikes says: Dec 10, 2009 2:53 PM

    Igglesfan ive been saying the exact same thing ever since instant replay was introduced when I was about 10 years old. Point being even a child can figure out that is the best way to do instant replay. Full time officials in a both, say 5 of them. A replay comes up and they have the 90-120 seconds or whatever it is to decide on a call. Also the NFL should add some “officiating only” cameras. Like looking right down the sideline at ground level in both endzones, and also at the back and front of the endzone.
    I think its hilarious after all these years that we still usually dont have a perfect angle looking down the goal line to see if the guy crossed the plane or not for a TD. Are they stupid, lazy, or maybe they just like having bad calls every once in a while to keep it interesting.

  10. Champ Kind with Sports says: Dec 10, 2009 3:07 PM

    Shallowfan is absolutely correct. The call on the field was RIGHT the first time, but was overturned for some inexplicable reason by a ref who was not even close to the play. If a guy right on top of the play, with the best angle can call it a catch, how does another guy, who can barely see what is going on with the ball and Bryant’s feet, come over and say “nope!”
    And Pereira isn’t even disputing whether or not it was really a catch–he is just saying that if the call was no catch, don’t overturn it, because there wasn’t a good enough angle on replay. Hey, Pereira, how about coming out and saying that the first ref’s call should not have been changed to begin with, eliminating the need for a replay to begin with?

  11. CurseofBoJackson says: Dec 10, 2009 3:16 PM

    Igglesfan, because that would make WAYYYY too much sense for this dumb ass organzation. They have created the greatest sport in history but are going to blow it at this rate, fire Pererria, fire Goodell, regroup and save this league, who actually has confidence in the commish being able to get a reasonable deal done next year for CBA when there are so many GLARING issues with how he runs this league?

  12. Marty says: Dec 10, 2009 3:21 PM

    I agree this is an outrage!! Wait, this was Tampa and Carolina?
    And some of you actually watched this junk? Was it on TV?

  13. TCH4ever says: Dec 10, 2009 3:26 PM

    The call was going to be challenged either way it was called. Tampa ended up having to use one of their challenges when intitially the play was ruled a complete pass by the ref who had a better view of the play. The more controversial call to me was Bryant’s second sideline catch but that was ruled a completed pass on the field and was challenged by Carolina and not overturned.
    Doesnt seem like these guys can get anything right. While its a moot point now, the more controversial call worth mentioning would be the Clayton “should have been a catch” against Miami.

  14. DocBG says: Dec 10, 2009 3:38 PM

    # SteveC says: December 10, 2009 2:21 PM
    Just one question, how does the NFL V.P. of officiating lose a job? Seems like every week there are concerns about NFL Officiating, at what point is the guy held responsible or does he have eminent job security?
    ——————————————————
    Naked pictures of Roger Godell go a LONG way towards job security.

  15. TampaRob55 says: Dec 10, 2009 3:53 PM

    Since I was the only one who probably watched the game I have only one problem with this whole article, the pass was actually ruled COMPLETE.
    John Fox called a challenge. So why would Carolina challenge an incomplete pass? He didn’t, he challenged two times and both for ruling for complete passes.

  16. Deb says: Dec 10, 2009 4:09 PM

    Igglesfan is right–and so is CurseofBoJackson. The system is broken. Pereira knows it but bristles every time someone suggests fixing it. He’s been taking about retiring. Maybe that’s the first step to a solution.
    I can’t help wondering if the answer is eliminating instant replay altogether. The NFL managed to function beautifully without it for decades. Does slo-mo, frame-by-frame, microscopic replay really add to the viewing experience? “Ooo look, he got both feet down but his pinky slipped off the ball a nanosecond before he hit the ground.” Game historians, tell me: Were there this many controversies before replay was introduced?

  17. Montsta says: Dec 10, 2009 4:13 PM

    @shallowfan & shannscott
    The call was correctly overturned by the second line judge, because it was not a catch. He did not have possession when his feet were down. The ball was still moving in his grip. And the reason why I judge that was farther away could overrule the guy that is closer is because it is the job, in that particular case, of that closer line judge to look at the WR’s feet, and the job of the other to see the ba in his hands. That is why they often confer on a ruling, so one can say his feet were in and the other can object and say that he was still juggling the catch at that time.

  18. Carolina Homie says: Dec 10, 2009 4:25 PM

    @shallowfan
    There was a lot of confusion at to which way the call onthe field actually went, but to address your point that they should have gone with the call by the closer official. The problem with his call is that he was actually too close to the play. There was no way he could see both control of the ball in the hands AND both feet in bounds. In the end it didn’t matter but it may help Bryant cash in on an incentive at the end of the season.

  19. Carolina Homie says: Dec 10, 2009 4:31 PM

    @shallowfan
    There was a lot of confusion at to which way the call onthe field actually went, but to address your point that they should have gone with the call by the closer official. The problem with his call is that he was actually too close to the play. There was no way he could see both control of the ball in the hands AND both feet in bounds. In the end it didn’t matter but it may help Bryant cash in on an incentive at the end of the season.

  20. pitt says: Dec 10, 2009 4:43 PM

    Then wtf happened in the Skins-Saints game, twice!!!! There wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the Moore interception then fumble or Seller’s fumble, but they did! This is just my opinion but I think 90% of people saw what I saw.

  21. MIBucs1066 says: Dec 10, 2009 5:41 PM

    TampaRob55, I watched the same game and you’re confused on another play. You’re thinking of the other play that Bryant was called complete and overturned. The article is talking about the one that was early on and Raheem had to throw the flag. It was the first big reception for Bryant in the game, I believe.
    Shallowfan is right that the call was initially called correctly and then overturned by the second ref. I don’t understand the argument that there wasn’t indisputable video evidence because there was. If you actually watch the video, Bryant had both hands on the ball when his feet hit the ground and all he did was bring it into his body. Which, by NFL rules is considered a catch because he tucked it as he went down to hit the ground and maintained possession throughout. There was video evidence to see this because I watched it about 5 times trying to figure out how the second ref could call it incomplete.
    I do kind of like the point made that they are making a big deal about a catch on a game where the team that supposedly got the favorable call ended up losing the game. Coincidence? I think not.

  22. Carolina Homie says: Dec 11, 2009 5:46 AM

    MIBucs
    It’s not simply a matter of having your hands on the ball. “Contol” of the ball is key. If having hands on the ball is all that’s required, the Panther got ripped off on the Smith TD against the Jets. The ref closest was signalling that the ball was caught only in the respect that the player eventially got his hands around it and it ddidn’t hit the ground. WHile waching the hands, he was too close to see the feet. The second guy ruled that bothfeet were not down in bounds while the player had control of the ball. All Pieria is saying is that the call shouldn’t have been reversed based on the replay. I think the same is true had the ruling on the field been catch. It wasn’t a game changing call.

  23. Bucforever says: Dec 12, 2009 9:25 PM

    You know with all the technology today and in the future, all it would take is micro sensors in shoes on balls, in the field lines and on gloves to settle most all close calls .Its coming fans. Its coming. They know how to do it ,I guess it is all in the timing.

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