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Unsurprisingly, 49ers will vote for the “NaVorro Bowman rule”


A bad call in the NFC Championship Game went against the 49ers when linebacker NaVorro Bowman stripped the ball from Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse, only to have the officials rule that Seattle had maintained possession. Although replays made it clear that Bowman had the ball and was down, that particular ruling isn’t subject to replay review.

At least, it’s not subject to replay review under the NFL’s current rules. The owners are meeting in Orlando this week and are expected to approve several rule changes, including making recovery of a loose ball in the field of play a reviewable call. It’s being referred to as the “NaVorro Bowman rule” and it should surprise no one that the 49ers support it.

“We’ll be for it,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh told “I think it has a good chance to be adopted. Common sense.”

Harbaugh is right: It’s such obvious common sense that it’s baffling that there was ever a rule prohibiting the referee from using instant replay to correct such an obvious missed call.

Adding insult to injury for the 49ers on the play in question is that Bowman suffered a severe knee injury in the ensuing pileup. It was a phenomenal display of toughness by Bowman, who held onto the ball even as his knee ligaments got shredded. Here’s hoping that the next time a player sacrifices his body to make a great play like that, they get the call right.

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21 Responses to “Unsurprisingly, 49ers will vote for the “NaVorro Bowman rule””
  1. rodvmunchiii says: Mar 24, 2014 2:24 PM

    The Bert Emanuel Rule is still my favorite made up after the fact to justify a bad call rule.

  2. meatcarroll says: Mar 24, 2014 2:28 PM

    First I threw popcorn on Bowman and then Seattle threw a party for the Super Bowl champions.

  3. shaggytoodle says: Mar 24, 2014 2:28 PM

    He literally left it all out on the field.

  4. niners816 says: Mar 24, 2014 2:29 PM

    Bowman was robbed of DPOY. Best linebacker in the league. Amd the Seahawks still suck!

  5. offthelows says: Mar 24, 2014 2:50 PM

    the story should note that on 4th down, there was a botched exchange and the ball was turned over 10 yards further upfield for SF, without any points resulting in the blown call. That was a moment had the Niners cleanly scooped up the ball, they could very well have scored a TD.

  6. daytontriangles says: Mar 24, 2014 2:51 PM

    Are we going to have to go through this every time a non-reviewable bad call happens in a playoff game?

    Coaches only get 2 red flags per game. Just let them review everything and be done with it.

  7. shatho1 says: Mar 24, 2014 2:52 PM

    the refs will still find a way to screw any team on big plays like that its just how they roll

  8. kaepernickisthekingofqbs says: Mar 24, 2014 2:58 PM

    Hopefully this gets passed, without any resistance. What happened that game was a disgrace to the NFL.

    Heal up Navorro, revenge shall transpire accordingly.


  9. dan1919 says: Mar 24, 2014 2:59 PM

    The Bert Emanuel rule needs to die. That one catch changed the definition of what a catch really is, and now no one knows what a catch is anymore!

  10. sarentack says: Mar 24, 2014 3:07 PM

    maybe it will pass, NFL wasnt letting anyone take the Lombardi from Seattle last season, that is for damn sure. The NFL Carried Seattle on their backs all year.

  11. chawk12thman says: Mar 24, 2014 3:13 PM

    Seahawks will vote for the rule change as well. They likely would have gotten two points for a safety on the next play, if that call was made correctly.

  12. bert1913 says: Mar 24, 2014 3:18 PM

    i don’t like the santa clara 49ers, but i admire bowman

  13. brizzle059 says: Mar 24, 2014 3:21 PM

    hawks fan here and that was 49ers ball. rule needs to be changed. I want a fair game and no excuses on either side.

  14. ketch20too says: Mar 24, 2014 3:40 PM

    Horrible call..but had no effect on outcome of the game

  15. robertbayard says: Mar 24, 2014 4:15 PM

    49’er fans are used to getting every call, every bounce of the ball, every break going their way. So it is expected they would continue their whining whenever possible.

  16. russellwilsonismymvp says: Mar 24, 2014 4:35 PM

    I wish they HAD given him the fumble recovery…Seattle would have scored a safety on the next play! Get well soon, Navarro, you’re the glue on that defense and great inside linebacker. After watching the ESPN bio on him, I got nothing but respect for the guy.

  17. juliusanonymous says: Mar 24, 2014 4:52 PM

    They should make up a Colin Kaepernick rule. It would give a win to all teams that lost by 7 points or less because IF the losing quarterback had made a throw here or a throw there….

  18. All-American Voltron says: Mar 24, 2014 6:43 PM

    If NFL was truly interested in fair play, then there would be no restrictions on what is reviewable and what isn’t. The rules limiting # of challenges is already there so what’s the problem?


  19. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Mar 24, 2014 9:20 PM

    It kind of seems like a no brainer however the wording of this rule change expands to other things that may become reviewable (like congress does with a bill).

  20. warmcoorslight says: Mar 24, 2014 11:29 PM

    Rule must change. It was a travesty despite the lack of impact on the game. Go Hawks!

  21. quest46er says: Mar 25, 2014 6:18 AM

    Vegas owns NFL Refs

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