SO what is a catch? this has become a popular slogan for the last few seasons, with the rule being so inconsistent and upsetting fans and players its finally been simplified
While theres been many examples we can go to throughout the years there’s three (non) catches that we all look back to when talking about the rule, lets look at where it first started and where it potentially ended
First of all heres the old rules of the catch
Gets control of the ball with his hands or arms before the ball touches the ground.
Gets two feet or one other body part (other than a hand) on the ground inbounds.
Maintains control of the ball after he’s done both of the first two things until he establishes himself as a runner.
Maintains control of the ball while going to the ground throughout the catch
Calvin Johnson vs the Chicago bears
Every single person that i watched this game with thought it was a catch including a bears fan who put his head down in disgust thinking he had lost the game, of course he was happy with the end result and the play being turned over but when Calvin Johnson made the catch and got up to celebrate he assumed it was over and didn’t even think it was going to be reviewed and as it was being reviewed we all thought there was no chance of it being turned over and was wondering what they were looking at. As you can see he makes the catch clearly and after he lands in the endzone with possession he then uses the ball to help him up and celebrate but it was over turned after review shocking the world and till this day its still brought up…this is where most people think it all started
Dez Byrant vs the Green Bay Packers
This might be the most controversial of them all, perhaps cause it was a playoff game with so much at stake in a crucial part of the game it got more attention and as we know Cowboy Nation are among the most out spoken fans out there but we see Dez Bryant make the catch posses the ball and even had the frame of mind to try reach the ball over the goal line and score which is where he lost the ball and to the dismay of every cowboy fan and even many NFL fans it was reviewed and overturned, the one thing i don’t agree with is that it was the direct reason they lost the game, sure it was a massive reason but there was still around four minutes on the clock and with Quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the other sideline the game was far from over but i can understand the frustration, this could be the most famous one of all which led to many ‘Dez caught it’ memes and was always used as an example when the ‘What is a catch” debate would come up
Jessey James vs the New England Patriots
This one was one of the more recent ones which i believe finally led the committee to finally simplify the rule, the patriots already get enough hate as it is so it added fuel to the fire and even speculation that the Patriots have the refs in their back pocket and always get the calls in their favor, i watched this game live and i assumed it was a catch on first look, i believed it was a catch so much that when they went to review i was thinking to myself ”wow do they really have to review every single play for this long??” BUT once they went to the replays and they showed him lose control of the ball while going to the ground after he crossed the goal line i knew they were going to overturn it and its not that i believed it wasnt a catch myself but by the letter of the law he did not control the ball to the ground and didn’t take any steps or make enough of a football move before losing it and then all hell broke loose as this really and truly was very close to the end of the game and was the reason they lost the biggest match up of the year, although Quarterback Ben Rothlisberger did throw an interception two plays later which nobody wanted to talk about but really they shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place
So after so much debate,anger and memes and jokes about ”Whats a catch” they finally changed it this off season, first things first all three of the plays we talked about WILL be catches in the future and would have been a catch under the new rules but for further clarity heres what the new rules state from the NFL Website
1. Control of the ball.
2. Two feet down or another body part.
3. A football move such as:
» A third step;
» Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain;
» Or the ability to perform such an act.
The key change to the rule eliminated the “going-to-the-ground” element of the previous rule.
Now will this solve everything? i don’t think so but at least we have clarity now and what we see as a catch with the naked eye will generally be a catch without to many politics but nothing is perfect and there will still be the odd play that people don’t agree with but hey….what we gonna do? Thats Football