Riveron reiterates Zach Miller ruling was correct

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Despite two of his predecessors strenuously objecting, NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron continues to insist that the decision to overturn a touchdown catch from Bears tight end Zach Miller was the right one.

In the weekly officiating video disseminated for use by the media, Riveron (without addressing the opinions of former Vice Presidents of officiating Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino) reviewed the same aspects of the play that he reviewed earlier this week in a separate video televised by NFL Network. And the biggest flaw in the analysis continues to be Riveron’s insistence that clear and obvious evidence exists to show that the ball touched the ground at a time when it was not firmly in Miller’s possession.

Freezing the frame at a spot that requires the viewer to lean forward and squint, Riveron says, “The tip of the ball is on the ground; therefore, it’s an incomplete pass.” Maybe I need glasses or a monocle or a microscope, but I don’t see the tip of the ball touching the ground — at all. And I definitely don’t see clear and obvious evidence of the tip of the ball touching the ground.

It’s unclear why Riveron continues to insist that the visual evidence shows something that it doesn’t. The problem is that, when it comes to replay review, Riveron is the one who is reviewing his own work, making it highly unlikely that he’s going to say that he got it wrong in real time, because if he can’t be relied upon to get it right in real time, he shouldn’t be the one on whom the league relies to get it right in real time.

It’s a critical flaw in a process that was designed for Blandino, who never worked as a game official and who in turn would have had no temptation to abandon the “clear and obvious evidence” standard and supply his own judgment. Even in this case, however, Riveron’s own judgment seems to be flatly inaccurate.

Publicly, there’s no one from the league who is in position to admit that Riveron got it wrong. Privately, here’s hoping the NFL is addressing these procedures, because the Miller play suggests that the process is far more of a crapshoot than it ever should be.

35 responses to “Riveron reiterates Zach Miller ruling was correct

  1. This guy is terrible and what the league has done to the definition of a catch is criminal and a significant factor in ruining the game.

    The best solution would to return to what a catch was for the entire history of football up until Goodell and his cronies started screwing with it.

    Ball in hand(s), either take 2 steps or make a football move and its a catch. Anything else is not. Its simple, easy to define and see, and massively reduces the sort of controversy that happens now every week, often multiple times every week.

    The worst thing now is relying on replay and if there is the tiniest movement in a single 1/30th of a second video frame they say its not a catch.

  2. This guy is a moron. If that wasn’t a catch, there is no such thing as a catch. The NFL is literally making up ways to look bad now.

  3. bearaholic1 says:
    November 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Your wrong, and if the NFL has any credibility they would fire you immediately !!!

    I think we all know how that is going to work out.

  4. If player has complete control in end zone it is over at that point! This illogical catch definition, that rewards the defending team if the ball is brutally dislodged from the receiver AFTER proof of possession while in end zone, is illogical and defies everything the NFL positions itself for as related to “player safety”.

  5. If you believe Al then the clear/overwhelming amount of evidence to change the ruling is no longer needed.
    Next time someone gets injured like that -make sure you carry the ball off the field while on the stretcher (just to be sure or Al ‘the fix’ will overturn it).

  6. How does a guy with that important of a job get to be wrong more than right. He can single handily screw a team over. Shouldn’t that job be %100 right every week since they are the supposedly the end all be all of officiating. He gets to just watch a slow motion review. And not make a judgement call but a what he sees happen during that review call regardless of what is called on the field. I think the whole challlenge thing is ruining college and the nfl. Every time there is a score a turnover or a side line catch we have to wait 5 minutes to know if it stands. I miss the good old days where if they call touchdown you go kick the extra point. If they say fumble it’s a fumble. And if they say catch it’s a catch. That’s the way the game was supposed to be. Sometimes your teams gets a break sometimes they get screwed. That made it more exciting like if the guy was down before he fumbled yet they called a fumble you get excited cause you know your team got a lucky break. and when your safety took someone’s head off for coming across the middle you cheer. And that player doesn’t want to come across the middle anymore. i remember all the greatest show on turf players would drop some many ball coming across the middle or just slide as soon as they caught it because they knew lynch was going to take there head off. That was so fun. Oh the good old days.

  7. The problem with nfl is nobody is accountable. People’s making decisions are ones evaluating. Goodell is only a money manager. Never holds subordinate accountable, but then nobody holds him accountable either

  8. Anyone who thinks Dean Blandino or Mike Periera are remotely competent is a moron. The ball hit the ground mid-way through the catch. I’m sick of all the ridiculous non-catch calls in the NFL, but this was not one of them. The writing on this site has gotten to be so horrendous it is making me lose interest.

  9. The NFL making things up as it goes along is nothing new.

    Remember the Saints bounty scandal where no opposing player was ever hurt? Remember Deflategate? …once the league has its narrative, it doesn’t let go! To let go would mean the the NFL makes mistakes! And, they can’t have that!

  10. The ball clearly touches the ground. Not when its between his arm and his chest but when its between his chest and his shoulder. You know when u signal a Semi or train to blow their arm horn? When his arm is in that position the tip of the ball is in the crook of his arm, between his forearm n bicep. He hits the ground flush on his side and when he rolls. While doing so the ball is jostling around and the tip of it hits the ground. It is clear as day that ball touches. The only question is did he regain control before it does and/or does it move after it touches. Well there is clear evidence that the ball was moving. There is also clear evidence that the ball hit the ground. Because theres no evidence that he regained control in between that time then it has to be ruled incomplete.

    Good Call.

  11. Between his arm and his shoulder*. Not chest and shoulder.

    By the way the way to stop this from happening every week is to make any ball that touches the ground an incompletion. That way we dont have to worry about it moving or not. It should be if you havent gained complete control and 5 yards or the play hasnt be whistled dead then the ball cant touch the ground. Period. You could also make it where if u dont gain 5 yards but if you have the ball in your possession for 2 seconds of the game clock after u get 2 feet down then its a catch. That way defenders can still cause a fumble if the guy is juking and jiving but doesnt gain 5 yards. That would put an end to all those times when a guy clearly catches it n fumbles but the ref says he didnt make a football move or have possession.

    That would get rid of the ambiguity of a football move or going to the ground or regaining possession. Theres no arguing with the ball hitting the ground, going 5 yards, or the clock.

  12. It’s unclear why Riveron continues to insist that the visual evidence shows something that it doesn’t.

    GREAT LINE ! Its just hard to believe that this happens in a civilized society. Yet its routine in the NFL.

  13. The NFL wanted the reviews to be done in New York so the league office can now decide the outcome of games. Welcome to being a Seahawks fan circa Super Bowl XL NFL fans.

  14. I guarantee you every one of the 3 posters up above who think this wasn’t a catch are just myopic homer Quaints fans, who knew that TD was part of a legit comeback, and would’ve definitely made that game even CLOSER than it was, if not outright changed its outcome.

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