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New V.P. of officiating doesn't want the Calvin Johnson rule to change

On Sunday, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson caught what many thought would be a touchdown, a game-winning touchdown.  A half-of-last-year’s-total-victory-count game-winning touchdown.

On Monday night, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen explained that new NFL V.P. of officiating Carl Johnson doesn’t want the applicable rule to change.  Johnson also explained to Mortensen that the two-point conversion from Saints receiver Lance Moore late in Super Bowl XLIV, in which Moore lost possession when he hit the ground but before that had lunged the ball across the goal line, remained a good call because Moore committed a “second act” while falling to the ground. 

But the rule book acknowledges no such exception.

Mort characterized the rule — and the uncodified “second act” exception — as having no gray area.  And we can’t disagree more strongly with Mort on this point.  It’s all gray; there’s no black and there’s no white, especially since (as we detailed in the Week One Monday 10-pack) the 2009 season involved many similar situations from which confusion and uncertainty arose and lingered.

So the rule must change, even if the change comes not to the rule that made Johnson’s catch not a catch.  At a minimum, the “second act” exception needs to be articulated and acknowledged in the official rule book, so that all officials will know about and factor the “second act” exception into their assessment of every catch or non-catch.

In Johnson’s case, a reasonable person could argue that the affirmative act of putting the ball in one hand and pushing it toward the ground constitutes a second act.  Indeed, if Moore’s desperate lunge across the plane of the goal line became a “second act” that allowed him to lose possession upon striking the ground, then Johnson’s decision (misguided as it may have been) to use the ball to assist his quick rise from the ground so that he could properly celebrate his game-winning score arguably was a “second act,” too.

Let’s look at it this way.  If Johnson’s catch had occurred at the one, and if while swinging his arm to the ground he would have broken the plane of the goal line, the proper call under the “second act” exception would have been touchdown. 

And that’s the heart of the problem.  In an effort to take some of the perceived and/or actual unfairness out of a rule that takes away a catch that viscerally looks like a catch, the league has crafted an exception that isn’t in the rule book, and that therefore doesn’t — and can’t — be applied with any consistency. 

So if the league wants to keep the rule, that’s fine.  But the league needs to reduce the “second act” exception to writing, and the league needs to educate its part-time officials regarding the manner in which the exception should apply.

The events of 2009 should have been more than enough to make that happen.  If it had, the Lions very likely could be 1-0 right now.

That said, it’s also incumbent on the teams to know the current rules and to coach their players accordingly.  Johnson never should have literally touched the ball down — he should have tucked it away and rolled, and then he could have gotten up and celebrated what inevitably would have been ruled a touchdown.

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61 Responses to “New V.P. of officiating doesn't want the Calvin Johnson rule to change”
  1. mountaindont64 says: Sep 14, 2010 8:35 AM

    Look at Seattle`s WR Mike Williams first catch on Sunday. He was tackled at the 1 yard line and the ball came out after he hit the ground. No call

  2. Old School says: Sep 14, 2010 8:37 AM

    Johnson did a weak job of spinning a ridiculous rule. One could conjecture that the ambiguity of the rule leaves open the opportunity to throw a game.

  3. Festivus says: Sep 14, 2010 8:38 AM

    This rule is the worst rule the NFL has came up since the Tuck rule. Its so vague and ambiguous that no two officials will ever interpret a play the same way. One rules it a TD, the 2nd rules it incomplete and then it takes a 3rd to review it on replay and flip a coin. Ridiculous. It was obvious that CJ had put the ball on the ground AFTER the catch, the same way Louis Murphy did last year. Maybe they should give the WRs a red ribbon so when they are done catching the ball they can gift wrap it and hand it to the officials since thats the only way some of these twits will rule a TD catch a TD. CHANGE THE DAMN RULE NFL ITS JUST ASSININE.

  4. JustTheFacts says: Sep 14, 2010 8:38 AM

    That last paragraph mirrors my thoughts……
    I felt that after he made that catch he was so happy he just wanted to celebrate. It looked as if he had a little time to pull the ball towards himself but instead hit the ground, making himself down and then using the ball in hand pushed himself up in the same flow of movement.
    But the rules are the rules.

  5. TheDPR says: Sep 14, 2010 8:40 AM

    I like the way you slipped in the fact that the zebras are part-time employees. In a multibillion dollar business, having those who officiate the games anything less than full-time with benefits is a travesty.
    And yes, the rule needs to be clearer. If there is going to be a “second act” clause, then it has to exist in the rule book. If it isn’t in the rule book then it shouldn’t be considered part of the rules.
    And if you’re going to allow a second act exception to the written rule, how is using the ball as a prop to help you stand up NOT a second act? Isn’t getting up off of the ground after a catch a second act? How is getting back up considered still part of the original catch process in anyone’s mind?
    This is an issue that should be a no brainer. The fact that the league is defending itself on this is shameful.

  6. contract says: Sep 14, 2010 8:41 AM

    Once upon a time the rule was crystal clear …
    Control + 2 feet = catch
    Those were the days.

  7. Krow says: Sep 14, 2010 8:41 AM

    Bean counters never want their little power stroke to change. It’s what gets them off.

  8. Flipadelphia says: Sep 14, 2010 8:44 AM

    Thanks Mike. Good job.
    I think the majority of NFL fans agree with you and this isnt the first time something like this has happens.

  9. nolaplayer says: Sep 14, 2010 8:50 AM

    Nice write up Flawyerio. I’m serious, that rule (2nd act) is gray. Your write up is perfect.
    Man, that dude made that catch, but you are right he should have tucked and rolled.

  10. macaw says: Sep 14, 2010 8:51 AM

    “Let’s look at it this way. If Johnson’s catch had occurred at the one, and if while swinging his arm to the ground he would have broken the plane of the goal line, the proper call under the “second act” exception would have been touchdown. ”
    That says it all. Well done Florio.

  11. SaintsGuy says: Sep 14, 2010 8:52 AM

    Obviously Florio doesn’t read the comments. Stop using the Lance Moore reception as an example. You’re remembering the whole play wrong. Look it up on Youtube or something if you want. Lance Moore caught the pass and stretched the ball over the goal line while in midair. He landed on the ground with the ball over the goal line. A defender ran into the ball while Moore was laying down and the ball popped out of his hands. Keep comparing Calvin Johnson’s catch to Louis Murphy, not Lance Moore.

  12. bamalion3 says: Sep 14, 2010 8:53 AM

    Just like a defense lawyer getting his client off on a technicality in lieu of damning evidence.
    Where does common sense come in to play?
    This particular play doesn’t fit the language of the rule.
    1. He secured possession of the ball about 11 feet in the air. (he removed one hand from the ball-while maintaining complete control with the other- to break his fall). So in a way, he had control of the ball for a long time.
    2. Two feet + one hand +a butt & a knee WITH unquestioned possession in the End Zone. . .RIGHT THERE the “Process” is complete.
    3. In some cases the language of the rules complicate the judgement of the rule (eye of the official).
    They got this one really wrong.

  13. LiveNBreatheFootball says: Sep 14, 2010 9:05 AM

    The instant replay rule to overturn a call is “50 guys in a bar agree.” Well, here we have 50 guys in a bar who say that was a catch. When you get that kind of consensus, obviously the rule is misapplied.

  14. Huckle says: Sep 14, 2010 9:06 AM

    Of course the VP will say this. He does not want to publicly state that the refs were wrong, and that they, not the players, decided the outcome of a game.
    Plus, as we all saw, it’s easier to fix games with the rule in play.

  15. Nevisyakker says: Sep 14, 2010 9:07 AM

    Contract has it right…two feet OR another part of the body (like CJs butt on the ground) while the receiver has full posession = TD.
    The officials in the NFL love the abiguity of this and other rules. It allows them to cover their butts so that a call can be explained away.

  16. Shanerator says: Sep 14, 2010 9:08 AM

    If I’m a defensive coordinator, I tell every one of my players to hit the hell out of a receiver catching the ball in the end zone — maybe even late — in hopes of knocking the receiver to the ground and hoping the ball somehow comes out or touches the turf.

  17. Linejudge says: Sep 14, 2010 9:11 AM

    Look – you can add the “2nd act” rule to the rule book, in fact it should be added. But you can’t remove the part about going to the ground and maintaining complete control of the ball. If you do, there will be even more gray area and judgement involved. Having the portion about going to the ground in the catch/no catch rule removes judgement from the decision.
    For all those biotching about the call, I would like to see you attempt to get this call right even at the junior high level. This avocation seems very easy to all you fat-&sses from your couch or easy chair, but trust me, it’s not.

  18. Anarcho Purplism says: Sep 14, 2010 9:15 AM

    Part time officials that manage the rules of a billion dollar enterprise.
    What a crock.

  19. namhob says: Sep 14, 2010 9:18 AM

    Ok, just for clarification purposes. Moore’s catch in the Super Bowl should have been considered a catch because when he hit the ground, he still maintained posession and control of the ball. The only reason the ball came loose is because it was KICKED OUT OF HIS HANDS BY THE DEFENDER.
    Please stop using that example as what “clearly defines the ‘second act'” as this comparison has sufficiently become apples and oranges. In all of the other cases the WR caught the ball, hit the ground, and the ball came out. None of them involved another person kicking the ball out of the WR’s hands.

  20. righthereisay says: Sep 14, 2010 9:24 AM

    The NFL has the tendency to not change rules just to make themselves look like they are right and don’t mistakes.
    When a person obviously catches the ball and has 2 feet down (and a butt and a knee) and it isn’t a catch I think there is something wrong. It’s time for the NFL to stop making excuses and just improve the game. When they do stuff like this, it is not good for the game.
    I think when you start writing rules like this it can only get messed up. Basically it should say something like “If the receiver catches the ball and gets 2 feet down (or a knee or elbow or butt) and has control of the ball, it is a catch.”
    As a Steeler fan, I would not be proud of winning a game because of a stupid rule like that. Chicago fans can’t really feel good about that win. But in the NFL, a win is a win.

  21. Lucky5927 says: Sep 14, 2010 9:26 AM

    I could not agree more. During the entire process of landing two feet and a hip/butt in bounds, the ball never once flinched or bounced one bit. Control was established. I feel bad for a Lions team that has done everything right to win a game only to have it taken away. That rule is meant for juggling or repositioning of the ball. NOT for CLEAR CONTROL of the ball. Yes it is an intepretation rule, but you can’t deny that the ball did not move one bit during the 3 points of contact (two feet and hips). Bears get lucky! Lions get robbed of ending their 3 year old road win drought.

  22. a55hol says: Sep 14, 2010 9:33 AM

    I’m also an official, although only at the high school level, and you’re right, those calls are tough at the instant something happens….having said that, the NFL has instant replay to CORRECT bad calls. Instant replay allows them in slow motion to watch the full play. They blew this one. There is absolutely no way that this is not a TD. The Lions were shafted.

  23. wiley16350 says: Sep 14, 2010 9:33 AM

    This rule (like the tuck rule) was created to take away the need for judgement calls by refs and avoid controversy. Unfortunately it just doesn’t work to avoid controversy so they might as well go back to the way it was and give the officials the ability to make a judgement on whether or not it is a catch. You’ll still get some wrong and have controversies but at least you would get some of these obvious catches like Johnsons correct.

  24. thehoodedone says: Sep 14, 2010 9:36 AM

    Actually, the professional “fat@ss” line judge who was standing right there called it a TD. He was right , the NFL is wrong . Change the rule or start losing customers. You need to worry about what your paying customers want , not the VP of officiating.

  25. Canned Gravy says: Sep 14, 2010 9:42 AM

    Linejudge says:
    September 14, 2010 9:11 AM
    Look – you can add the “2nd act” rule to the rule book, in fact it should be added. But you can’t remove the part about going to the ground and maintaining complete control of the ball. If you do, there will be even more gray area and judgement involved. Having the portion about going to the ground in the catch/no catch rule removes judgement from the decision.
    For all those biotching about the call, I would like to see you attempt to get this call right even at the junior high level. This avocation seems very easy to all you fat-&sses from your couch or easy chair, but trust me, it’s not.
    With all due respect…I’ve been a licensed football official in WI several years, this being my 17th. While I agree fully, your comments about the complexities of of officiating football (or any sport for that matter), These guys are paid a hell of alot of money as pros to get the call right. Seeing two officials gun the touchdown signal, tells me they saw what the rest of us saw, and this goofy rule stepped in. In any league and level I’ve ever worked, this is a touchdown.
    Two hands make the catch. Two feet are in (including a knee and a rear end) before it goes to one hand, which he then used in order to get up off the ground with.
    The second this ball was posessed and clearly in control in the endzone…the ball is dead and it’s 6 points.
    All this ruling has done is to confuse everyone that watches Youth/High School/College football with goofy NFL clarifications (see uncatchable pass or out of the pocket). If you’re an official, you know what I’m talking about. Now the next
    high school or college game you work, a WR will get his required one foot with control in, he’ll get hit or just go to the ground…lose posession then, and you’ll have misguided fans and coaches that think they know the rules, screaming
    “incomplete pass!!”

  26. Flashlight says: Sep 14, 2010 9:43 AM

    “2. Two feet + one hand +a butt & a knee WITH unquestioned possession in the End Zone. . .RIGHT THERE the “Process” is complete.”
    Beautifully put Bamalion. This BS really makes me not want to watch anymore. What’s the point, if that’s not a touchdown? If that were the Bears with the game-winning TD, do you really think the refs would have pulled that embarrassing stunt at Soldier Field? Um, no…

  27. wiley16350 says: Sep 14, 2010 9:44 AM

    I want to add that the officials are calling these plays correctly, we have to stop blaming the officials. The rule is the problem. And the officials don’t use these rules to cover their butts. The rules are written like this to make it easier for the officials. Thats why the V.P. of officiating doesn’t want the rule to change, because it makes it easier for officials to make the call. If the ball comes lose it’s incomplete. Makes it cut and dry and simple for the refs. But ultimately, he doesn’t have the say of whether or not the rule gets changed. It’s up to the competition commitee. And it will probably stay the way it is until a big time team loses a big game and starts to complain.

  28. falstaff1962 says: Sep 14, 2010 9:47 AM

    Based on the rules then. If a guy scores a TD, he’d better sit on the ground with the ball cradled to his chest until the official comes over and takes it from him. If he spikes it, tosses it to the crowd, runs it to some kid, or whatever- then based on the rule it is either a fumble or incomplete pass. The refs can’t have it both ways.

  29. Flipadelphia says: Sep 14, 2010 9:47 AM

    The funny thing is everyone saying that it wasnt a catch or he didnt have control would’nt be saying that if it was their player.
    Then again if a Pat or a Colt or a Saint got that call (which rarely happens because all their catches are clearly perfect and should be td’s) the NFL would change the rule or modify it to make it work for the team.
    Dont believe me? Go back a few weeks and see how the official positioning was modify because it put the Colts at a disadvantage. All he had to do was b*tch a little bit and they moved things around.

  30. Tinbender says: Sep 14, 2010 9:47 AM

    New V.P. of officiating doesn’t want the Calvin Johnson rule to change
    Seems the VP of officiating needs to change. As others have said, the ONLY reason for this rule is to fix games. NFL merges with WWE. Flippin’ disgusting.

  31. Joe Williams says: Sep 14, 2010 9:53 AM

    You’re exactly right with this. There is no rule that says this wasn’t a touchdown. Is it me or are the ONLY people defending this from the NFL or the four letter network (and a minority of Bears, Packers and Vikings fans)?

  32. shallowfan says: Sep 14, 2010 9:56 AM

    I’m not understanding why there seem to be two sets of rules for the end zone…
    If the endzone is such a magical place that as soon as the ball breaks the plane the ball carrier can drop the ball (even if they have leaped across the line and have never set one foot in the endzone) and it is a TD….Why is it if a receiver catches the ball, maintains control when his feet and butt his the ground and rolls (“2nd motion”) and plants the ball on the ground (“3rd motion”) to help him get up and the ball leaves his hand it is not a TD?
    The play should’ve been ruled dead and a TD as soon as he maintained possession with his 2 feet and butt on the ground…

  33. pfii63 says: Sep 14, 2010 10:15 AM

    All they need to do is to give the officials some discretion in a case like this. I understand the rule and its intent – but a black and white interpretation simply cannot deal with all eventualities.

  34. Jimmy Smith and Bob Nelson are IDIOTS says: Sep 14, 2010 10:15 AM

    If Johnson would have just thrown the ball down (spike) I’m figuring this would have been considered a second act. This is one of the stupidest rules and needs to be changed before another team gets screwed by the zebras.

  35. muchmaligned says: Sep 14, 2010 10:22 AM

    Linejudge, you represent exactly why there are so many bad calls.
    This “rule” (as misapplied in this instance) allows the official to play too large a role in the outcome of the game.
    It was a touchdown. The official closest to the play called it accurately.

  36. onemilemore says: Sep 14, 2010 10:22 AM

    @ SaintsGuy:
    Thank you! I’ve been thinking the same thing the whole time. The Lance Moore reception is no comparison here. The defender basically kicked the ball out of his hands.

  37. researchALLwars says: Sep 14, 2010 10:35 AM

    yes, whatever you do National Football League players…. do not.. TOUCH the ball DOWN.
    Don’t do it.

  38. Canned Gravy says: Sep 14, 2010 10:37 AM

    It’s up to the competition commitee.
    Which is exactly why I wish this would’ve happened to the Falcons, Titans, Bengals, Giants, Ravens, Colts, or Cowboys….whose members make up the committee. (Sorry fans)
    IMO…the turn and twist from the defender to get up off the ground served as a second act to me.

  39. ACS2 says: Sep 14, 2010 10:42 AM

    I don’t think the rule needs to change. But I think the officials need to know when to apply it properly. Common sense goes a long way, and the official who decided Johnson didn’t have control of that ball needs to take a course in common sense, as does Mike Perreira and any other non-Bears fan who thinks Johnson didn’t catch that ball.

  40. yem123 says: Sep 14, 2010 10:47 AM

    The rule says the WR can’t lose the ball. Calvin Johnson did NOT “lose” the ball… he put it down so he could run off to celebrate! How this is not obvious just blows my mind.
    Yes, I am saying that the rule as it is written was incorrectly applied.

  41. JeterLeto says: Sep 14, 2010 11:05 AM

    Wow not even a lions fan and im sorry for all the fans that had to deal with this bs call. I was reading how both HC’s said the officials got it right. The only thing i see called right was the first official in the video signal a TD which should have been the final call

  42. geo1113 says: Sep 14, 2010 11:18 AM

    @The DPR
    “In a multibillion dollar business, having those who officiate the games anything less than full-time with benefits is a travesty.”
    For what is is basically a one-day-a-week job???

  43. LL Live says: Sep 14, 2010 11:20 AM

    Here’s an idea, hold on to the damn ball and you don’t have to worry about the officials.

  44. _ROCKSTAR_ says: Sep 14, 2010 11:23 AM

    There is a difference in the plays from Moore’s Super Bowl catch to Johnson’s. Moore had possesion while he a was on the ground and the ball was thick ‘kicked’ out of his hands.
    So you can’t compare the catches.
    However I think Johnson was making a football move when he turned and there for it is a catch. I do think he lost it after it hit the ground but when do you consider the play over??? I mean you can make the reciever hold the ball for 30 minutes in front of you and so ok now you had it long enough.

  45. jbarr says: Sep 14, 2010 11:26 AM

    last year Jennings “scored” a TD against the Bears in which he had 3 feet in but they waived off. Never knew why until Sunday. I guess this has happened quite a bit more than I thought over the years.

  46. Nate says: Sep 14, 2010 11:29 AM

    I think I might be the only person out there that actually agrees with the call. (Note: I’m a 49ers fan, not Bears.)
    CJ did not ‘set’ the ball down, the ground knocked it out of his hand. You can tell by the grasp he makes that he had no intention of putting that ball on the ground.
    With that said, if this play had happened outside the endzone. Would all of you had considered it a completion?

  47. rarson says: Sep 14, 2010 11:31 AM

    “Moore had possesion while he a was on the ground”
    No he didn’t, he lost possession when he hit the ground. He started bobbling the ball and never regained control before it was kicked out of his hands.

  48. ChicagoJo says: Sep 14, 2010 11:43 AM

    Flashlight says:
    ” If that were the Bears with the game-winning TD, do you really think the refs would have pulled that embarrassing stunt at Soldier Field? Um, no…”
    That’s what kills me about all this debate.
    It DID happen to the Bears at Soldier Field, on a fke punt pass from Maynard to the other Adrian Peterson and it WAS called a no catch.
    It also happened to Jennings at Soldier Field last december… lots of those calls in Chicago, I guess. Finally, it happened to Murphy on opening game last year. And it happened like 8 other times last season.
    It just wasn’t an end of the game call, so all you people who just watch the highlight reels are paying attention now.
    That rule is complete BS, I know, but that doesn’t mean the game is rigged.

  49. Intl1RevRun says: Sep 14, 2010 11:57 AM

    As someone who has always been athletic playing sports throughout my young life. It’s extremely disheartening to have a rule such as this one negate the hard work, time, and commitment needed in order to put yourself in a situation to even attempt the “catch” and put your team in a position to win.
    From a young age your taught the rules of the game. Seemingly simple, the object is for two opposing teams to work together both offensively and defensively to score and prevent your opponent from scoring. Simple enough right?
    As far as the end-zone is concerned it, to me, has always been similar to the goal lines for many other sports I have played; Soccer, Lacrosse, and Hockey. Once the Ball or puck crosses that line it’s a goal. Unless of course there is some type of violation. Now obviously in football a crease violation is of no consequence, however, possession is its equivalent. For me I have always thought football similar, except that the “goal”, the 10 x 52 yard area at each end, has designated boundaries set by the four pylons. That not only extend to each other, and are identified as the “boundary lines” but they also extend the end-zone upwards.
    Therefore within this designated “box”, for the points to be awarded, the ball must first cross that plane from the field of play; secondly the player in possession of the ball must have either broken that plane before being “down” or have (2) feet within the “box”. If these occur a TD is awarded.
    After seeing the replay, CJ and the ball are both passed the plane. [check 1] CJ then catches the ball in the air and proceeds to have both feet, opposite arm and butt touch the ground while still controlling the ball. [check 2] The act of rolling and extending up releasing the ball should never have been an issue because once 1&2 have been completed the ball is dead and play stopped.
    Its kind of funny to relate this to the world cup but if you recall there were a number of “goals” overturned because they don’t have IR like the NFL and though the network replayed the act it was evident that the ball did in fact cross the lines, FIFA still stood by and denied any faults. To that someone brought up the use of technology…In the case of the world cup, if a sensor was placed in the ball and readers placed in the posts, you would always know when the ball crossed the line. FIFA’s response, “it would ruin the integrity of the game.” Why not for the NFL? We have miked up players and ample technology, if the refs cant get it right maybe some techno nerd can solve the issue? Who knows, bottom line, ramble, ramble, ramble. It was a catch! Give the Lions a break.

  50. FinFan68 says: Sep 14, 2010 12:04 PM

    “Let’s look at it this way. If Johnson’s catch had occurred at the one, and if while swinging his arm to the ground he would have broken the plane of the goal line, the proper call under the “second act” exception would have been touchdown.”
    That is a great point but there is a flaw in your argument concerning the Moore reception…Moore did NOT lose the ball when he hit the ground. He lost it after he reached it over the goal line (second act) and it was KICKED out of his hand. The unwritten “second act” is common sense because it simply means that the act of catching the ball has been completed and the NEXT act has begun. I believe that should also apply in the detroit game. Johnson caught the ball and then used his hand holding the ball to get up. KEEP THE RULES SIMPLE. This is what you get when lawyers right the rules in order to prevent an obscure act from effecting a play.

  51. Just Drew It! says: Sep 14, 2010 12:10 PM

    Actually, Moore caught the ball, lost control, but then regained control with two hands and stretched it over the goal line. After the ball crossed the line, it was kicked out by the defender. Since he had control, was in the endzone, and completely on the ground, the process of the catch was complete.
    It was ruled incomplete, then challenged, and in slow motion there was conclusive evidence to overturn the call.
    Like the others said. Moores catch cannot be compared to Johnson. I’ve seen that play a billion times, trust me 🙂
    As for Johnson, the rule is dumb, but it is there. Stop trying to be fancy with the ball, and tuck it away and fall to the ground, and none of this is a problem.

  52. wilo101 says: Sep 14, 2010 12:56 PM

    I large part of the problem is that the ref in the best position and was closest to the play signaled touchdown while another ref overruled him and was not in a position to do so. The screwed up thing is that there are different requirements for a receiver in the endzone like Calvin compared to the crossing of the plane play of Lance Moore in the Super Bowl last year. Calvin much more definitively controlled the ball compared to the Moore play and yet New Orleans gets the call and wins the game and us Lions fans get screwed and lose the game. LET THE PLAYERS DECIDE THE OUTCOME, NOT RULES, REFS AND TECHNICALITIES!

  53. FinFan68 says: Sep 14, 2010 1:07 PM

    What would the call have been had he tried to spike the ball at that moment rather than get up?

  54. charlesanakin says: Sep 14, 2010 2:22 PM

    For all of you that are saying that Johnson and Moores catches are comparable you are all WRONG! According to the rule you must complete the “process”. The rule makes no distinction between wether a player or the ground can interrupt the “process”. If you think about it in non TD terms if a player goes for a catch and it pops out from contact with the ground its just the same as if a DB jars it loose from the receiver. If Moores is good CJ’s is good. Moore didn’t secure the catch and roll to a stop with the ball in his hand. He caught the ball it popped loose when he hit the ground he was continuing to “complete the process” when the defender kicked it free. The difference is that if Moores is incomplete the feel good story of the NFL last year might be in jeopardy of losing the Superbowl and CJ’s incomplete is just another roads loss for the loser Lions and no one cares. Its not a conspiracy just a fact.

  55. Linejudge says: Sep 14, 2010 2:46 PM

    Muchmalgned: You probably sit at little league and high school games and scream at the officials don’t you? That’s awesome, man, ignorance is bliss.
    The rules are in place for a reason. AGAIN: One of the articles in the catch/no catch rule (in regards to going to the ground) is you must maintain possession of the ball the entire time. Not for a while, or until both feet, an elbow and one butt cheek touches, but the ENTIRE time. This rule may suck and you don’t agree with it, I understand that, but it would be way worse without it.
    And the whole argument about the play being over b/c he was in the endzone….well, what if this play had occurred at the 5 yard line and the sideline. In this hypothetical example, there is no disputing he had both feet in bounds prior to going to the ground. But once he went to the ground and did whatever the hell that flop was and touches the ball on the ground and then he loses possession. Then what? Complete? Incomplete? (Hint: incomplete)
    The argument that it really was a TD is wrong, flat wrong. The argument that the rule sucks has merit, but life as a football fan, coach, player or whatever is still much better with it.
    Say this phrase to yourself over and over again: The ground can not cause a fumble (with one exception), but it CAN cause an incompletion.
    I hate the Bears and would love to see the Lions suck less than usual, but not at the expense of the rules and correct calls. Why didn’t CJ just roll or tuck or do something other than act like he was trying to escape a burning pair of pants?

  56. Wrestler79 says: Sep 14, 2010 6:13 PM

    Check out this catch made by Butch Johnson of the cowboys in the superbowl against the broncos, this was a TD! Now I am not a Lion fan but that was way more of a catch than Butch Johnson had here and I am a cowboy fan.

  57. rarson says: Sep 14, 2010 6:23 PM

    “Actually, Moore caught the ball, lost control, but then regained control with two hands and stretched it over the goal line.”
    No, he didn’t. The video is RIGHT THERE in the link above. Watch it and you see this:
    1. He catches the ball.
    2. He turns in mid air, extending the ball over the line.
    3. He hits the ground, knocking the ball loose in his hands.
    4. He bobbles the ball.
    5. The ball is kicked free before he has a chance to regain control.
    It’s extremely clear from the slow-motion replay.
    “I’ve seen that play a billion times, trust me”
    Well then clearly you weren’t paying attention.
    “One of the articles in the catch/no catch rule (in regards to going to the ground) is you must maintain possession of the ball the entire time. Not for a while, or until both feet, an elbow and one butt cheek touches, but the ENTIRE time.”
    Aside from begging the obvious question as to how long this unspecified time is and who determines it, this statement is simply wrong. The rule states “he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground”. The pass was obviously complete, the ruling was wrong ACCORDING TO THE RULE AS IT IS WRITTEN.

  58. rarson says: Sep 14, 2010 6:24 PM

    Fixing the bold that someone screwed up.

  59. goodjuan says: Sep 14, 2010 10:53 PM

    since he caught the ball with two hands and then switched to one, wouldn’t that be considered a second act?

  60. texasPHINSfan says: Sep 15, 2010 1:10 PM

    The new VP of officiating is an idiot.

  61. theruds says: Sep 16, 2010 12:14 PM

    Here is one that no one ever mentions. Santonio Holmes vs the Cards in the Superbowl. Makes a running catch the db trips him from behind at the 3 yard line. After clearly running several yards with the ball in both hands, he puts it in one hand and stretches for the TD. The ball clearly starts to come out about a foot from the ground. He was also clearly running with possession before the db trips him. However, not only was it not ruled a TD they ruled it a no catch.?? Pitt ball 20 yards back and next down? Now tell me how that is possible. He ran 5 yards with it and switched to one hand in order to stretch for the TD? At least its a catch to the 3 yard line. I thought a catch, fumble, and TD recovery. We have some clear inconsistency on the field and the booth and that is the Superbowl crew.

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