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Mike Pereira says the Calvin Johnson rule "is certainly suspect"

bill-parcells-mike-pereira.jpgFormer NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira exhibited candor during his time as a league employee.  Now that he’s a former league employee (and current employee of FOX), he’s even more candid.

As to the rule that has come to be known as (at least here) as the Calvin Johnson rule, Pereira talked at length about the situation with Dan Patrick on Tuesday, and Pereira admitted that “the rule is certainly suspect.”  Pereira also said that the ruling that robbed the Lions of a win “doesn’t pass the smell test,” but that Pereira’s “not sure how to make it smell better.”

Pereira also acknowledged that, even though last year’s experiences with the rules (including application of the technically non-existent “second act” exception to award the Saints a key two-pointer in the Super Bowl) did not prompt a change to the rule, momentum could build for a revision or clarification or explanation in the offseason.

“This is gonna happen 15 more time this year,” Pereira said.  “Maybe this play on top of the big play last year — maybe this tips the scale.”  Though he expressed concern that it may be too difficult to improve a complicated rule, he recognized that “50 guys in a bar” would likely conclude the Johnson play should have been ruled a touchdown.

We know it won’t be an easy fix.  For starters, though, the league needs to either kill or codify the “second act” exception.  It’s currently not in the rules, and as a result we think that some of the part-time officials charged with applying the rules aren’t sure when to look for a second act — and what a second act exactly is.

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69 Responses to “Mike Pereira says the Calvin Johnson rule "is certainly suspect"”
  1. Testify says: Sep 14, 2010 12:30 PM

    Should be called the Luis Murphy rule…

  2. Pastabelly says: Sep 14, 2010 12:33 PM

    What is the football act. The first roll on the ground didn’t cause the ball to come out. The ball came out after the third or fourth part of the roll. It’s just stupid.

  3. Nacho Libre says: Sep 14, 2010 12:36 PM

    If the ground can’t cause a fumble, then how does the ground dictate a catch vs. a non-catch and not having posession. Seems these 2 rules contradict each other for the basics of fundamental football mechanics. The ground can’t cause a fumlbe, therefore when you’re down and the ball comes out, it’s a deadball. When you catch it, maintainig posession until you are down and hit the ground, how does that constitute a non-catch? It should be a catch with full posession and the ground is a non-factor, unless of course you lose it on the way down.

  4. dscjmc says: Sep 14, 2010 12:39 PM

    Is this still news? The Lions were still going to suck this year whether or not they won this game. Get the flip over it already!

  5. _ROCKSTAR_ says: Sep 14, 2010 12:39 PM

    You clowns… it is not the same situation as the Saints 2 point conversion in the SB. Moore regain control of the ball while on the ground and then it was hit by the defender’s leg. It is a catch!
    If no one hit the ball and he lost control maybe… but it is not the same situation.

  6. Codebeard says: Sep 14, 2010 12:40 PM

    If a player performs a “second act”, then that obviously that means the “process of the catch” is complete. That’s what is meant by “second act”, and that’s why if a receiver performs this act that it’s considered a catch. It’s not that hard to understand conceptually, but they really do need to explain it better and possibly get it in writing.

  7. birdmancometh says: Sep 14, 2010 12:40 PM

    Regardless of the rule/interpretation of the rule….Calvin should have secured it with two hands instead of hot dogging it out of the end zone. I like CJ, but that was a mistake.

  8. Dutchman says: Sep 14, 2010 12:43 PM

    2nd act…bullsh!t. Calvin Johnson made 3 moves. Catch – two feet, ass, then put his hand out to brace his fall.
    Too bad Detroit didn’t have a hurricane flood the city, otherwise they would have been awarded the touchdown.

  9. BigD4Defense says: Sep 14, 2010 12:44 PM

    why is there a picture of Parcells up there?

  10. Pack_Attack says: Sep 14, 2010 12:45 PM

    Every kid dreams of making a catch like that to win a game. Its what they work for all their lives. What a shameful embarrassment this rule is. Throw it out immediately. (we dont have to worry at home ’cause our guys want to do the Lambeau leap)

  11. jd says: Sep 14, 2010 12:47 PM

    Can we just go back to “two feet in” and “control of the ball”??? Everyone understood that just fine. The NFL has a ton of fans that just don’t get some of these rules. When you confuse your fans, you lose fans.

  12. Sacram3ntal says: Sep 14, 2010 12:47 PM

    Finally.
    Hopefully this gets the conversation off the refs, and onto the idiot competition committee.
    The refs made the right call, in accordance with a broken, badly worded, and unnecessary rule.

  13. TheDPR says: Sep 14, 2010 12:48 PM

    It isn’t rocket science. It is just a matter of deciding exactly what constitutes a reception and then codifying it in plain English.

  14. Bell63 says: Sep 14, 2010 12:51 PM

    The problem I have with this rule is that he was clearly down (his butt and probably more were on the ground). How long do you have to hold the ball after you’re down? Why not make the rule that if you catch it in the act of falling down, as long as you have possession when a body part that counts as “down” hits the ground (elbow, butt, knee, etc) it is a good catch.

  15. aane0007 says: Sep 14, 2010 12:54 PM

    Your go to website when you want someone to complain about rules non stop.

  16. Stillerfan says: Sep 14, 2010 12:56 PM

    Is it or isn’t it?!?!?

  17. nps6724 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:00 PM

    Why does everyone keep comparing Lance Moore’s catch to Johnson’s? There’s no similarity in the situations.
    Moore caught the ball, bobbled it, then re-established control and crossed the goalline before being touched by a defender. He hit the ground but the ball did not.
    Johnson jumped and caught the ball, was contacted by a defender, went to the ground, and released the ball while on the ground.
    In one situation, the ball touches the ground after the receiver is contacted by a defender. In the other, the ball never touches the ground nor does a defender contact the receiver until AFTER the plane is broken, which results in the play being over.
    Even if you think Johnson made the catch, there’s really no similarity and what occurred in the Super Bowl does nothing to support that claim.

  18. JoeStemme says: Sep 14, 2010 1:00 PM

    The officials made the “correct” call on a bad rule. As this case shows, the rule should be changed – for the end zone, anyway.
    The rule should be that if a receiver shows complete control of the ball and lands in the end zone (two feet or body) and still maintains control of the ball when he lands, then it’s a catch. In this case, Johnson demonstrated control AND his body landed with the ball still in full control. It was only in the act of getting up that the ball slipped out.
    One of the great Super Bowl catches was the flying Butch Johnson catch for Dallas vs. Denver. No way, that one would hold up today – sigh (and, yes, I realize even my new rule woulda negated that one because Butch dropped the ball as soon as he landed).

  19. nps6724 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:07 PM

    # Bell63 says: September 14, 2010 12:51 PM
    The problem I have with this rule is that he was clearly down (his butt and probably more were on the ground). How long do you have to hold the ball after you’re down? Why not make the rule that if you catch it in the act of falling down, as long as you have possession when a body part that counts as “down” hits the ground (elbow, butt, knee, etc) it is a good catch.
    ————————————————
    If he hadn’t lost control of the ball while he’s on the ground, he probably gets credit for a TD. But after his butt hit, his right arm hit and the ball came out immediately (intentionally or not). It’s viewed as one continual motion.

  20. ACS2 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:08 PM

    BigD4Defense says:
    September 14, 2010 12:44 PM
    why is there a picture of Parcells up there?
    ————
    Because we can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet FUP?

  21. Kirmie says: Sep 14, 2010 1:12 PM

    aane0007 says: September 14, 2010 12:54 PM
    Your go to website when you want someone to complain about rules non stop
    ————
    In Soviet Russia, English screws up you!

  22. HarrisonHits says: Sep 14, 2010 1:13 PM

    “Former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira exhibited candor during his time as a league employee”
    Since when ? Pereira rarely did anything other than come up with the lamest excuse possible as to why some horrible blow or missed call was just fine the way it was. He did nothing to fix the problems with the refs and was nothing but an apologist for their constant failures.

  23. JP says: Sep 14, 2010 1:19 PM

    As a Bears fan, and watching the game with other Bears fans, none of us thought that should have been ruled incomplete. I think in the article above where Pereira says that the rule “doesn’t pass the smell test,” that basically sums it up as best as you can.
    Tough break for the Lions, they have every right to feel like they were cheated out of the win. Lucky break for my Bears, but it’s one of those wins that doesn’t really taste very sweet.

  24. 1NationRaiderNation says: Sep 14, 2010 1:26 PM

    these tuckin rules suck

  25. telemakhos says: Sep 14, 2010 1:33 PM

    nps6724 says: September 14, 2010 1:07 PM
    If he hadn’t lost control of the ball while he’s on the ground, he probably gets credit for a TD. But after his butt hit, his right arm hit and the ball came out immediately (intentionally or not). It’s viewed as one continual motion.
    ———————————————
    By that same logic, if a guy catches the ball in the end zone and his knee hits and then he immediately gets jacked up by a defender, it’s not a catch. You’re going to start getting a ton of cheap shots happening in the end zone to try and knock the ball loose before the guy is completely stopped and motionless in the end zone.
    If a guy fumbles, the cutoff point is when his elbow, knee, butt, etc. is down. It doesn’t matter how many of those parts are down or if he’s still on his way to falling. If he’s down, then the play is dead. It’s very cut and dried and it seems just as applicable to TDs. Refs and fans wouldn’t have to worry about being confused by the rule and I can’t really think of a time when it wouldn’t pass the eye test.

  26. scra22 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:37 PM

    Lance Moore established possession of the ball before it was kicked out by a defender. It would be the same if he had caught the ball in the end zone, established posession, and it was knocked out of his hands by a defender.
    In contrast, Calvin Johnson was ruled as “not having full possession” before he touched the ball to the ground. I think it is a really stupid technicality, but if Johnson would have held on to the ball all the way instead of taking one hand off the brace himself as he went to the ground, it wouldn’t have been overturned.

  27. Jungle Juice says: Sep 14, 2010 1:41 PM

    I’m not sure what the discrepancy is. He lost control of the ball when tumbling onto the ground. They ALWAYS call those incomplete.

  28. wmt says: Sep 14, 2010 1:44 PM

    Testify–thank you! I thought I was the only person to remember that. That was much worse of a call if you ask me. But this was a bad one too.

  29. rpiotr01 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:47 PM

    It really doesn’t pass the smell test. If the letter of the law is applied with this rule, if a player catches a pass in the end zone and gets two feet down, the d-back has every incentive to follow that player out of bounds and strip the ball away because according to the rule that would make it an incomplete pass.
    It just doesn’t add up. I understand why the rule is there but something needs to be tweaked. Maybe give the ref calling the play the ability to call TD with a quick trigger finger – once he sees the ball is secure, let him call TD, and from that point on, no poking or prodding of the ball by a defender, especially out of bounds, will amount to anything.

  30. scra22 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:47 PM

    Florio, I don’t understand your insistence on comparing this to the Lance Moore 2-point conversion.
    Yes, while the specific phrase “second act” is not in the rule, the rule states:
    “If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
    Go back and watch the play. Moore bobbled the ball at first and then clearly regained control of the ball prior to the ball touching the ground (which only happened because a defender kicked it out of his hands. He did not drop it and wasn’t going to.)
    “Regaining” could be translated to “second act” because it implies that the first act was a lack of possession such as bobbling, and the second act is gaining control.
    The Lance Moore comparison is off. He had control of the ball before it touched the ground. The argument with Johnson is that he didn’t.

  31. scra22 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:49 PM

    Dutchman says:
    September 14, 2010 12:43 PM
    2nd act…bullsh!t. Calvin Johnson made 3 moves. Catch – two feet, ass, then put his hand out to brace his fall.
    Too bad Detroit didn’t have a hurricane flood the city, otherwise they would have been awarded the touchdown.
    ========
    A complete collapse of the city’s economy wasn’t enough? Leave hurricanes out of it. That’s a loser’s excuse.

  32. charlesanakin says: Sep 14, 2010 1:57 PM

    @Rockstar
    You are totally wrong. If a player is attempting to catch the ball and the ground pops it out or a defender pokes it out it doesn’t matter they are both and incomplete pass. The way the rule is written is that a receiver “must complete the process”. It doesn’t make ANY distinction between what can terminate the “process”.
    The rule is completely vague and subjective. If the NFL or officials used common sense (heaven forbid) the intent is to make sure that initial contact with the ground doesn’t pop the ball loose. Regardless when in doubt its always better to give the benefit to the spectacular highlight worthy play. Just ask Jim Joyce.

  33. buzzbissinger says: Sep 14, 2010 1:58 PM

    Amazing. The Raiders got burned by this rule last year (on prime time TV no less) and everyones accusing them of bieng crybabies. Now it burns the Lions and Florio is cranking up the media machine to get the rule changed.

  34. StevieMo says: Sep 14, 2010 2:03 PM

    It’s a catch if it’s one of the favored-nation teams, like New England or Pittsburgh; not a catch if it’s a scrub team like Oakland or Detroit.

  35. CanadianVikingFan says: Sep 14, 2010 2:12 PM

    If the Officials didn’t hate the Lions so much, they would have won that game. Hell, they could have won a few other games over the past couple of years.
    Lions are always on the short end of the stick. What is sad is, some games where it should be blowouts, they keep it close with Top 10 teams, but either the officials screw them, or they just blow it in the final Quarter. Somebody have pity on the Lions!

  36. Five Times the Royalty says: Sep 14, 2010 2:12 PM

    This should be called the “anti-parity” rule. Do you really think if Calvin Johnson or Louis Murphy were playing for the Colts, Saints or Pats they would’ve lost their touchdowns? Of course not. The NFL wants the powerhouses to stay powerhouses, because they sell tickets. They already changed the ref alignment in the preseason because it hindered the Colts! I have an easy way for them to change the rule. “If a receiver catches a ball and gets both feet down in bounds, it is a touchdown, regardless of what happens thereafter.”

  37. cronn100 says: Sep 14, 2010 2:15 PM

    Suspect???? LMFAO! Get your balls out of your wife’s purse, Pereira, and say the rule is ridiculous. Whoever suggested that rule change should be removed from the Competition Committee. I’m not even a Lions fan – imagine how pissed off they are… and rightfully so.

  38. muchmaligned says: Sep 14, 2010 2:18 PM

    This is just utter bullshit. During the game, this joker said it was the right call and he supported this unwritten rule.
    Also, CJ caught the ball with two feet down. Also, CJ caught the ball and landed on his ass. Also, CJ caught the ball, possessed it, then put it on the turf in the endzone. How f@cking stupid do you have to be to not call that a touchdown? How f@cking stupid do you have to be to misapply ANY rule here? The ref called it a F@cking touchdown.
    No one expects the official outcome of the game to change, but the above facts are not at all in dispute…
    … or, gfy.

  39. nps6724 says: Sep 14, 2010 2:21 PM

    “# telemakhos says: September 14, 2010 1:33 PM
    By that same logic, if a guy catches the ball in the end zone and his knee hits and then he immediately gets jacked up by a defender, it’s not a catch. You’re going to start getting a ton of cheap shots happening in the end zone to try and knock the ball loose before the guy is completely stopped and motionless in the end zone.”
    It’s not about being 100% still; it has to do with the defender. If Johnson had caught the ball without a defender touching him and landed on 2 feet or 1 knee and THEN been hit by a defender and dropped the ball, it’s a TD. But since the defender contacted him in the air, that began this process. And when he fell, it was 1 continuous motion, from leap to catch to landing and releasing the ball.
    “If a guy fumbles, the cutoff point is when his elbow, knee, butt, etc. is down. It doesn’t matter how many of those parts are down or if he’s still on his way to falling. If he’s down, then the play is dead. It’s very cut and dried and it seems just as applicable to TDs. Refs and fans wouldn’t have to worry about being confused by the rule and I can’t really think of a time when it wouldn’t pass the eye test.”
    A fumble is different because a fumble can ONLY occur if you have already established possession. On a reception if a defender contacts you in the process of making the catch and you go to the ground, you don’t establish possession until the catch is completed. These two situations aren’t the same because of when possession occurs.

  40. packerjoeZ says: Sep 14, 2010 2:27 PM

    The central challenge is that football is not as precise as the technology used to broadcast and dissect it enables it to be.

  41. faulkn22 says: Sep 14, 2010 2:28 PM

    Horrible call….. it’s tarnished the game and really brought it down a peg. A catch is pretty easy to see and 100 drunks in a bar would tell you TD.

  42. BenRapistberger says: Sep 14, 2010 2:29 PM

    BigD4Defense says:
    September 14, 2010 12:44 PM
    why is there a picture of Parcells up there?
    ————
    He’s screaming at an official. This article is about a former NFL official. Take a wild guess who he’s screaming at.

  43. cuthruit says: Sep 14, 2010 2:38 PM

    I agree with Nacho Libre. I have been thinking the same thing. If the ground cannot cause a fumble how can it cause an incompletion? It makes no logical sense. This situation is not as complex as they make it out to be.
    If the receiver has possession prior to hitting the ground then the ground cannot cause an incompletion! When and how did they come up with this rule? Please be consistent.

  44. Koozy says: Sep 14, 2010 2:38 PM

    The reason the Moore comparison is apt is because Moore never has control of the ball until the ball has crossed the goalline. Given that both plays were, in essence, catches in the end zone, I think the “process,” “stop,” and “second act” standards that have been applied to the Moore catch in the Super Bowl merit comparison to the Calvin Johnson play. We’re not talking about a running back reaching over the goalline attempting to score a touchdown, then losing the ball; we’re talking about two plays where WR’s are attempting to complete a catch in the end zone.

  45. JDMP says: Sep 14, 2010 2:47 PM

    The NFL is broke, fix it now before a garbage call like this happens again.

  46. Yash says: Sep 14, 2010 2:51 PM

    @ Kermie- LMFAO priceless!!!!!!!!

  47. jcjets says: Sep 14, 2010 2:51 PM

    why did they have to complicate the rule? Two feet in bounds with possession is a catch.

  48. bluelion says: Sep 14, 2010 3:15 PM

    Let me point out to everyone that Calvin had the ball in one hand, ON TOP OF THE BALL.
    As anyone who has tried to palm a basketball will know, if you ‘don’t have control’, a ball will fall to the earth when your hand is on top of it.
    Conclusion: Calvin had freakin’ control of the ball, all the while he landed two feet, a butt cheek and an arm on the ground.
    LIONS WIN! LIONS WIN! LIONS WIN!
    Well, at least we covered.

  49. smsurine says: Sep 14, 2010 3:27 PM

    Since when did the NFL become as complicated as a formal legal proceeding? The NFL needs to strive for simplicity in its rules. This sort of complication strips the joy right out of the game. Is anyone else simply feeling like, “IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY!”?

  50. DetroitLionsSufferer says: Sep 14, 2010 3:28 PM

    As a Lions fans all I’m going to say is good win for the bears and the only justice I want is for the league to fix the DAM RULE! And if they don’t because the Lions are to sucky to warrant respect I pray this rule ruins a superbowl hopefully a New York team. Nothing against New York but if the Jets lose a superbowl or Giants because of this the rule will be changed on the spot.

  51. Lionshawk says: Sep 14, 2010 3:29 PM

    First, his second act after he got both feet down and was in possession of the ball was holding the ball away from the defender and showing the offical. He bursts up to celebrate only after seeing the ref 5 feet away signal TD! It was a TD. His second act was holding the ball away from the defender. He had possession when he had control and two feet on the ground. This really means if I am a safety and see a guy control the ball but is going down, to knock the crap out of him because if he coughs it up while still sliding, it’s incomplete. I shouldn’t be penalized because the play is not over until he stops sliding right!

  52. FloriosHairHat says: Sep 14, 2010 3:29 PM

    jd says: September 14, 2010 12:47 PM
    “Can we just go back to “two feet in” and “control of the ball”??? Everyone understood that just fine.”
    Careful jd, you’re making perfect sense, and that doesn’t fly around here…

  53. scra22 says: Sep 14, 2010 3:35 PM

    “Koozy says:
    September 14, 2010 2:38 PM
    The reason the Moore comparison is apt is because Moore never has control of the ball until the ball has crossed the goalline.”
    ====
    That doesn’t matter. The rule states that a player just has to have established possession before the ball touches the ground, which Moore did.
    Here is the first part of the rule:
    “If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone.”
    Lance Moore went to the ground while catching the ball and so did Calvin Johnson. While Moore was bobbling the ball as he went down, he regained control before the ball touched the ground (a defender kicked it out), which makes it complete according to the second part of the rule:
    “If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
    The difference is Lance Moore was ruled as establishing possession of the ball before it went to the ground, while Johnson was ruled as not having firm possession before it hit the ground.
    Johnson’s action of putting the ball to the ground as he soon as he came down is what made it questionable to the refs. Moore never put the ball to the ground, held it firmly out past the goal line, and it was kicked by the defender. If the defender had kicked it before Moore established possession, it would have been incomplete, but he didn’t.

  54. Lionshawk says: Sep 14, 2010 3:35 PM

    Rockstar
    Realistically Calvin didn’t need to regain control like Lance Moore because he had control the moment it hit his hands. What was a rule to determine if a player has control when going to the ground has superceeded the fact that he has control before he goes to the ground. If the player controls the ball as he dives into the endzones laying on top of bodies, clearly not on the ground, it’s a TD. But a WR in control of the ball must keep it controlled all the way to the ground and after his body comes to a complete stop to realize he has possesion. It stupid.

  55. scra22 says: Sep 14, 2010 3:38 PM

    rpiotr01 says:
    If the letter of the law is applied with this rule, if a player catches a pass in the end zone and gets two feet down, the d-back has every incentive to follow that player out of bounds and strip the ball away because according to the rule that would make it an incomplete pass.
    =============
    The only reason the pass would be called incomplete is if it touches the ground before the receiver establishes possession.
    If a receiver catches a touchdown, has full possession of the ball, and then is chased and has the ball stripped to the ground, it will still be complete because the receiver had possession of the ball before it touched the ground. That is what the rule says.

  56. nps6724 says: Sep 14, 2010 3:47 PM

    cuthruit says: September 14, 2010 2:38 PM
    I agree with Nacho Libre. I have been thinking the same thing. If the ground cannot cause a fumble how can it cause an incompletion? It makes no logical sense. This situation is not as complex as they make it out to be.
    If the receiver has possession prior to hitting the ground then the ground cannot cause an incompletion! When and how did they come up with this rule? Please be consistent.
    —————————————————-
    Possession CANNOT be established prior to hitting the ground. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need 2 feet inbounds.
    # Koozy says: September 14, 2010 2:38 PM
    The reason the Moore comparison is apt is because Moore never has control of the ball until the ball has crossed the goalline. Given that both plays were, in essence, catches in the end zone, I think the “process,” “stop,” and “second act” standards that have been applied to the Moore catch in the Super Bowl merit comparison to the Calvin Johnson play. We’re not talking about a running back reaching over the goalline attempting to score a touchdown, then losing the ball; we’re talking about two plays where WR’s are attempting to complete a catch in the end zone.
    —————————————————-
    Actually, Moore’s play is the exact same situation as someone running the ball into the endzone untouched. How does a WR who goes untouched into the endzone score a TD? By having control of the ball and crossing the plane. That’s what Moore did, though he did it on his back and had to re-establish control of the ball. Once the goalline is crossed with possession, the play is over.
    That is very different than CJ’s catch/non-catch.

  57. officialsrmorons says: Sep 14, 2010 3:48 PM

    For you losers trying say there is no comparison to the Lance Moore catch…
    …regardless of him bobbling the ball I am sure you can agree he was standing on his head when he reached across the plane of the goal line then the ball was knocked loose but here is a excerpt from an interview with the former VP of officiating Mike Pereira–>
    “Right now it’s really black and white, and it’s all on the receiver at this point. If he’s going to the ground, he’s got to hold on to the ball until he has completely finished, until he’s come to a stop. If he doesn’t, it’s an incomplete pass.”
    keywords: until he comes to a complete stop. If he doesn’t its an incomplete pass.
    So if it’s Black and White why did Moore’s count and Johnson’s not?
    Its different for the Saints playing in the superbowl but not for the lowly Lions?
    Also I heard Steratore grew up a Bears fan.
    So shut your mouths.. the officials are biased.
    Here’s the link if you want it.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_/id/16250/pereira-on-c-johnson-call-black-and-white

  58. Koozy says: Sep 14, 2010 3:49 PM

    “If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
    Based on this rule, Lance Moore lost “control” of the ball before it touches the ground, and doesn’t regain control prior to the ball hitting the ground. I realize that the Lance Moore play isn’t what the NFL was targeting when they wrote this rule, but their rules are so dang ambiguous, one has to apply the same rule to the Moore catch as one does to the Johnson catch, particularly because it seems it is agreed that the Super Bowl play was also an end zone reception.

  59. Koozy says: Sep 14, 2010 3:53 PM

    scra22: are you sure your name isn’t Carl Johnson? You sound like you’re reading out of the “black and white,” “clear cut” NFL talking points on the rule in question.

  60. Cal Daddy says: Sep 14, 2010 3:55 PM

    Why is this so difficult? the rule should be “If the receiver is determined to have control of the ball at the time he is ruled down in the field of play then the pass is ruled complete. If that control occurs in the end zone, a touchdown is awarded regardless of whether control is subsequently lost and regardless of whether the player is ruled down.”
    You can say this opens too many cans of worms in trying to referee “control of the ball”, but we’ve got replay review and HD for that. Also, refs have to establish control on every other catch, why not use it in the endzone?

  61. Gregjennings85 says: Sep 14, 2010 4:17 PM

    Suspect?
    Any rule that disallows a touchdown is INCORRECT, not suspect.

  62. nps6724 says: Sep 14, 2010 4:53 PM

    Koozy says: September 14, 2010 3:49 PM
    “If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
    Based on this rule, Lance Moore lost “control” of the ball before it touches the ground, and doesn’t regain control prior to the ball hitting the ground. I realize that the Lance Moore play isn’t what the NFL was targeting when they wrote this rule, but their rules are so dang ambiguous, one has to apply the same rule to the Moore catch as one does to the Johnson catch, particularly because it seems it is agreed that the Super Bowl play was also an end zone reception.
    —————————————————-
    Except that isn’t true. Moore lost control then regained control before the ball was kicked out of his hand.

  63. scra22 says: Sep 14, 2010 5:49 PM

    Koozy says:
    September 14, 2010 3:49 PM
    “If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
    Based on this rule, Lance Moore lost “control” of the ball before it touches the ground, and doesn’t regain control prior to the ball hitting the ground.
    =====
    No. I have watched that play countless times. He gained control of the ball — he bobbles it and then his hands firmly grasp the ball as he stretches it across the goal line. He is in no danger of losing the ball or dropping it. He is holding it far from the ground. He had possession before it hit the ground.

  64. scra22 says: Sep 14, 2010 5:53 PM

    Koozy says:
    September 14, 2010 3:53 PM
    scra22: are you sure your name isn’t Carl Johnson? You sound like you’re reading out of the “black and white,” “clear cut” NFL talking points on the rule in question.
    =====
    Koozy, I am simply just confused as to why people are saying Lance Moore’s catch should have been incomplete according to this rule when, if you watch the play, the rule perfectly describes what happened in that situation – he regained control of the ball before it hit the ground. I don’t understand what is so hard to reconcile about that.

  65. dewalt2990 says: Sep 14, 2010 6:38 PM

    Last I heard from this DB…..not defensive back…..he said it was black and white.

  66. RexRyan'sStressedLapband says: Sep 14, 2010 6:39 PM

    @ Kirmie -
    5/5 Family Guy references are awesome.
    PFT comments crowd is ON today! LMAO

  67. andcmu86 says: Sep 14, 2010 6:56 PM

    To everyone saying that the Lance Moore play isn’t comparable, I disagree.
    Here’s the rule that’s already been cited numerous times:
    Item 1: Player Going to the Ground. If a player goes to the ground in the act of
    catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control
    of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If
    he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control,
    the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground,
    the pass is complete.
    I understand what some people are saying in terms of Moore losing possession and then regaining it, thus making it a catch. They’re arguing that Moore getting the ball kicked out was irrelevant because he had already established possession at that point. I AGREE, that should be how the rule works. That is common sense.
    But based on the wording of the rule and all of Pereira’s explanations, Moore’s catch should have been ruled incomplete for the same reason that Johnson’s was ruled incomplete. Moore went to the ground while making the catch, and even after bobbling the ball and regaining it, the process of the catch was not complete. As Peirera said, “If he’s going to the ground, he’s got to hold on to the ball until he has completely finished, until he’s come to a stop. If he doesn’t, it’s an incomplete pass.” Moore was still sliding when the ball was kicked out. That’s why I don’t see a distinction between the Moore play and the Johnson play. Based on common sense, they should both be touchdowns. But based on the the awful, ambiguously-worded rule, and the mind-boggling explanations that have come out in recent days by Peirera and the like, both are incomplete.
    Either way, the whole thing is a joke. You hear all these different explanations mentioning “process of the catch” and “second acts” and having to “come up with the ball” but none of that language is even in the rule to begin with. It’s all a huge joke.

  68. thenfljunkie.com says: Sep 14, 2010 7:23 PM

    dscjmc , you don’t know that. why don’t you get over it

  69. iLLKev says: Sep 15, 2010 8:56 PM

    andcmu86 has the most factual and well thoughtout response to this conundrum (A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem) of a ‘going-to-the-ground’ catch…. Through all of the ambiguity of explanations of this rule….The fact remains, when watching the catch, Lance Moore was “GOING TO THE GROUND”, just as CJ was going to the ground…so by “RULE”, after bobbling the ball, Lance Moore had to regain control of the ball, complete his fall to the ground and then get up off of the ground with full control of the ball throughout the entire “PROCESS” of the catch for it to truely be a completed pass…the pass should have been incomplete in the same manner that CJs catch was incomplete….But the Crooked refs, found a backdoor to attempt to justify the rule for the undeserving Saints…Now flip the script for this “second act” BS that the superbowl refs concocted for the Aints….(in my reverbed ref mic voice to millions of football fans across the country) As the receiver caught the ball going to the ground, he maintained complete control of the ball and landed in bounds with both feet and his hand which was also inbounds, the receiver began to get up, thus begining a second act, ending the first act of catching the ball while going to the ground. It wasn’t until after begining the second act that control of the ball was lost and therefore should be ruled a completed pass and Touchdown……….Yatzee!!!

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