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Calvin Johnson rule will be addressed

Perhaps the best news to come out of Tuesday’s ownership meetings in Chicago relates to one of the most controversial rules on the books.

We’re talking about the rule that began as a rule that allows a receiver to allow the ball to touch the ground while making a catch (thanks to Bert Emanuel), and that has morphed into a full and complete assessment of whether the receiver maintains possession all the way through the act of going to the ground, unless of course he engages in a “second act” that is not recognized in the rule book but that is applied from time to time without much rhyme and/or reason.

Now you know why we simply call it the “Calvin Johnson rule.”

Based on 2009, it also could be called the Louis Murphy rule.  Or the Dante Rosario rule.  Or the Jacoby Jones rule.  Or the Mike Sims-Walker rule.  Or the Lance Moore rule.

Or, most recently, the Micheal Spurlock rule.

Either way, the rule will be addressed in the offseason, according to Falcons president Rich McKay.

“The going-to-the-ground rule definitely will be discussed,” McKay said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.  “It’s been discussed the last couple of years.  
It’s a difficult rule.  It was made for on-field officials, not as much
for people watching on TV.”

But the on-field officials often don’t know how to implement it.  Last year, former V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira admitted that his efforts to clarify the confusing rule resulted in referee Alberto Riveron giving Sims-Walker a touchdown reception via replay review when the right call should have been that the pass was incomplete.

“I think I got the referee away from the thought of what is actually complete or incomplete,” Pereira said at the time on his “Official Review” segment on NFL Network’s Total Access.

Said Pereira earlier in 2009:  “I mean, this has gotten to be so
convoluted, this whole act of catching a pass when you’re going to the
ground, that it’s very difficult for people to grasp what is a catch
and what isn’t a catch.”

The comments from McKay, a member of the league’s Competition Committee, conflict with the September observations of another member of the group, Colts president Bill Polian.  “For those of us who know the rule, there’s not a lot of confusion,” Polian said.

Apparently, the officials working Sunday’s Bucs-Bengals game don’t know the rule, either.  When Spurlock made the 21-yard catch that made the game-winning field goal much more makeable, the referee made a major mistake by not overturning the call on the field, given indisputable evidence that, when ball hit the ground while in Spurlock’s possession, it moved.

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29 Responses to “Calvin Johnson rule will be addressed”
  1. FinFan68 says: Oct 12, 2010 5:28 PM

    Make the rule simple again. Did the guy gain possession/control of the ball with two feet (one knee, elbow, etc.) on the ground in bounds? If the answer is yes, then it is a catch. If he is touched before/while he goes to the ground and then loses it…down by contact. If he is not touched and loses the ball after contact with the ground…live ball. No more BS about a “football move”, “two steps”, “maintaining possession through the act of hitting the ground” or “completing the process”. The problem is that the rules are written by lawyers.

  2. gameday says: Oct 12, 2010 5:32 PM

    Everyone knows that the NBA games are fixed. Now it’s becoming just as obvious to people that the NFL is rigging games as well.

  3. TampaBoy2002 says: Oct 12, 2010 5:39 PM

    That was a remarkable catch by Spurlock… enough said… ball did not move when he hit the groung, he bobbled it while he was getting off the ground.
    You’re a joke Florio

  4. bensux says: Oct 12, 2010 5:41 PM

    i love how these rules get “addressed” so quickly. This same thing happened to Peerless Price when he played for the Bills I think Bledsoe’s first year with the team, but no one cared then.

  5. _ROCKSTAR_ says: Oct 12, 2010 5:42 PM

    Lance Moore’s catch – you seriously need to go look at that play. It was a catch!
    He had the ball in his hands brought it across the goal line and was kicked out but 2 point conversion was good before it happened!

  6. 281bryce says: Oct 12, 2010 5:42 PM

    they should give the lions the win thats bs

  7. TheGreatChambella says: Oct 12, 2010 5:47 PM

    This is a no brainer. Controlling the ball before hitting the ground. Geez, my 6 year old daughter knows this. They are getting far too technical. If the Ref determining the catch while watching the replay doesn’t know if it’s a catch or not fire him. What a bunch of nonsense.

  8. brasho says: Oct 12, 2010 5:47 PM

    Florio, I watched the game and I have yet to see a replay that proves conclusively that Spurlock didn’t catch the ball. The one replay that could have shown it showed only the top half of Spurlock but no ball.
    The only thing that is conclusive here, is Florio’s case of sour grapes after the Bucs won their 3rd game when Florio “predicted” they wouldn’t win 7 games in 3 seasons. With three wins already, it seems they only need 4 more wins in their next 46 games to prove him wrong. I figure they’ll prove him wrong no later than week 12.

  9. Cleric John Preston says: Oct 12, 2010 5:53 PM

    @gameday
    Don’t be retarded. That game wasn’t fixed. All the Bengals had to do was run the ball. The real people pissed should be Cedric Benson and the fans.
    The Bengals have gotten away from what made them division champs last year, and this is coming from a Ravens fan.
    Last year the Bengals ran the ball well and played suffocating defense.
    I dont know what they’re doing this year. No identity.
    I think Carson Palmer’s arm is fried. Should have had that Tommy John Surgery. he can’t force the ball in anymore. He’s getting picked off left and right. Refs had very little to do with that loss. The ball was a bad call given review, but the Bengals lost that game.

  10. Other Bears says: Oct 12, 2010 5:57 PM

    Yeah gameday. The refs made Carson Palmer throw that pick during what could have been their game-winning drive. Brilliant!

  11. Bell63 says: Oct 12, 2010 6:09 PM

    It moved Jerry!

  12. mwcarolina says: Oct 12, 2010 6:16 PM

    i think the rule will end up being the same, but i still think that Johnson caught that ball, it looked more like Johnson put the ball on the ground after thinking the play was over.

  13. C. says: Oct 12, 2010 6:22 PM

    They will change it because it was the wrong call. If it would have been called a TD, this would not be looked at.

  14. njhitman says: Oct 12, 2010 6:23 PM

    gameday says:
    October 12, 2010 5:32 PM
    Everyone knows that the NBA games are fixed. Now it’s becoming just as obvious to people that the NFL is rigging games as well.
    ————————————
    LMAO All the Ben Gals fans are comming up with every reson why they are LOSING . Lets see the refs also on another site one fan said that he heard the balls that the Ben Gals used were lite of air allkinds of shit!!!! Lets just say they were LUCKY last year

  15. PatricktheDookie says: Oct 12, 2010 6:23 PM

    No.
    Spurlock’s catch did not have indisputable evidence of the ball moving. (And I was rooting for the Bengals.)
    Stop reinventing the truth.

  16. prophet of the light says: Oct 12, 2010 6:28 PM

    Here is what the rule should be:
    Can he get up and hand the ball to the referee without it having hit the ground for any reason (excluding some jack*** knocking it out after he gets up/comes to a stop) while having two feet (or others) in bounds after fully possessing the ball.
    If the answer is yes, touchdown. No, incomplete pass.

  17. PolegoJim says: Oct 12, 2010 6:29 PM

    Calvin caught it, the rule is clear.
    Bad rule = Change the rule = They are
    Why do so many of you dufusses overcomplicate things?

  18. contract says: Oct 12, 2010 6:32 PM

    FinFan68 has it right. This shouldn’t be difficult at all. Control + 2 feet = completion
    Simply proceed from there as logic dictates.

  19. DYNASTY says: Oct 12, 2010 6:43 PM

    Cost me week one fantasy…lost by a point. Shame..great catch Megatron!

  20. fastfred21 says: Oct 12, 2010 6:46 PM

    the part that pisses me off the most is how that one play gave the bears so much momentum to be where they are(and so well deserved)-while the lions struggle to get a decent call. I say pay the refs by their approval rating after each game by teams and fans of both sides, then ya might see one pull his thumb out of his bum and throw a flag on a obvious hold or pass interference against us when he’s five yards (or less) away and looking right at it, you zebras know exactly what I’m talking about. GIVE US A FAIR SHAKE TOO!!!

  21. "Hate" says: Oct 12, 2010 7:16 PM

    I used to have respect for you, Florio… but now, i realize you’re an assclown….. a rich assclown, but an assclown none-the-less.
    There was nuthin indisputable in that replay to overturn the call made by the refs on the field. We’re 3-1…. and no amount of self-promoting grandstanding will change that.

  22. ZeeMan says: Oct 12, 2010 7:17 PM

    “That was a remarkable catch by Spurlock… enough said… ball did not move when he hit the groung, he bobbled it while he was getting off the ground.
    You’re a joke Florio”
    Kind of like how Calvin Johnson’s lost control as he was getting up off the ground and was then ruled incomplete??

  23. ZeeMan says: Oct 12, 2010 7:19 PM

    “That was a remarkable catch by Spurlock… enough said… ball did not move when he hit the groung, he bobbled it while he was getting off the ground.
    You’re a joke Florio”
    Kind of like how Calvin Johnson’s lost control as he was getting up off the ground and was then ruled incomplete??

  24. Other Bears says: Oct 12, 2010 8:28 PM

    It actually wasn’t a catch by Calvin Johnson. You know how I know? Because the Bears won by controlling the next possession instead of driving down and winning with a field goal in the last 30 seconds.

  25. dean11 says: Oct 12, 2010 8:51 PM

    i don’t care if the WR’s are spinning it on their middle finger as they are going out of bounds. if the ball didn’t touch the ground,and both feet in and no one else has the ball, it’s a catch!

  26. brock29609 says: Oct 12, 2010 11:17 PM

    This Spurlock/C. Johnson comparison is a joke. The ball came out of Spurlock’s after the catch process was well over. He flipped the ball out of his palms while getting up. I think the bigger issue with the Spurlock catch was whether or not his right toe came off the ground. I think it did, but Go Bucs!!

  27. Topher says: Oct 12, 2010 11:48 PM

    Bill Polian routinely lies and doesn’t really try to hide that. Trying to catch him in a lie or compare his words to someone else’s to catch someone up is fruitless.
    Polian lies so much he doesn’t even bother to wink wink or nudge nudge.

  28. Mav69r says: Oct 13, 2010 7:13 AM

    Here’s the human performance side of this – if you have the current time and you’ve been training the refs to make the judgement call… have they been wrong? If so you correct the behavior… you correct why they are getting the calls wrong.
    On the other hand, if you change the rule… you have to completely re-train all the refs on the new rule and the behavior was never corrected.
    Make sure that if 10 million people watching the game on TV or replay see a catch, as with the Calvin Johnson case…. its called a catch.

  29. The Curse of Bobby Layne Part 2 says: Oct 13, 2010 10:32 AM

    If the NFL is going to rely so heavily on replay, then why is it that every stadium does NOT have high-speed cameras on both sides of the field at the end zones, along each of the sidelines, and at both ends of the field to catch all of the replay-able action properly?
    The cameras used are for TV purposes….They are poorly situated.

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