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NFL viewership off 11% YOY


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5 minutes ago, Walking Boot said:

 

I'd rather get the calls right than wrong. Getting the calls wrong will kill the sport more than anything.

It never seemed to kill it over all these years.  This is the first time I can recall people getting so upset about the rules that they no longer want to watch the sport.  Maybe I just didn't notice as much growing up otherwise.

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1 minute ago, Uruk-Hai said:

I think they've already reached the tipping point there and need to back up. I hate slippery-slope arguments, but I'm gonna use it here. Let's just review every play - let's check for holding, illegal formation, false starts, etc.....and have a 6 hour game.

Simplify the catch rule. We are not at a point where we can make a science out of it and it's often not worth the viewing cost when we might/can/should.  I'm ok with not agreeing with an on-field ruling if it goes against the team I'm rooting for - as long as it LOOKS like the rule. They are trying to split atoms with a sledgehammer.

Great point.  There is a penalty on almost every single play but they let certain things slide otherwise the game would be unbearable to watch.  If they are going to be meticulous on every catch then shouldn't they on everything else.  A hold can result in a TD just as much as a catch. 

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Just now, Walking Boot said:

 

The problem is that there is no way to simplify it. The reason the rule is the way it is now is because it isn't simple. For every possible definition, there are going to be gray areas. Unless they make the rule "player has contact with the ball" and doesn't require him to control it, there's going to be judgment and question in the definition.

Possession with two feet down takes about 2/3 of these calls out of play.

As I said, we aren't equipped - with the sacrifice needed in viewing experience, and not even then a lot of the time - to get many of the calls right. There is no way to eliminate all of the judgement, so slim down the things that have to be judged.

We can't get these calls right even with the technology we have now, and all we're doing is pissing more viewers off. I used to be an "as long as it takes to get the call right" guy. I've backed off of that because we can't do it on certain kinds of plays.

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2 hours ago, Walking Boot said:

You ask any fan if they'd sit through 2 Chevy commercials if it meant his team would advance to the next round of the playoffs, and I'm sure they'd take that deal.

Irrelevant.

If my team is in it, I'm probably watching regardless, although pissed when they review every other play. 

When two teams I not only don't give a rat's ### about but actively loathe are playing?  Sitting it out.  

Of course I didn't score 5 TDs in a game for Polk High, so what does my opinion matter?

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As amazing as it might be, the NFL got it right when it first brought in replay.

Allow two coaches challenges per game, with a third if the prior two are right. 

Use them at your own risk.  No automatic review of scoring plays, touchdowns, last two minutes, nothing.  Only if the coach challenges it, and they can challenge any call, penalty, yardage, turnover, scoring, possession, etc.  It will make the game flow much faster, and put the games in the hands of each coach to make the right calls.

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On 2/5/2018 at 6:10 PM, TakiToki said:

NFL scoring this year was its lowest since 2009.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/NFL/scoring.htm

And let's not forget that two of the last five Super Bowls had two of the best defensive performances ever in the history of the Super Bowl (Seattle in '13 and Denver in '15).  

Personally, while I found Sunday's game exciting and compelling, I would not say it was a great game.  Not enough (or much of any defense).  Sure, it beats a lot of the slop we saw in the 90's when blowouts were the norm, but it doesn't touch Broncos/Packers (SB32), Patriots/Seahawks (SB49) or Steelers/Cardinals (SB43).

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I'm a Bucs season ticket holder, which already puts me behind the eight ball, but as said earlier the replay truly ruins the in-game experience. Even if they confirm it the moment is lost and everybody is quiet. People don't even get excited after touchdowns anymore. It is insanely stupid that they have made every touchdown a fn courtroom drama. 

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I like Letterman's suggestions on how to improve the game:

  • Get rid of timeouts
  • Get rid of punts
  • You should be allowed to play as many players at once as you want.  If you have a play for 40 guys, send them in
  • If you get 3 successive 1st downs, you then have the option of running a play with 2 balls
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2 hours ago, Ghost Rider said:

And let's not forget that two of the last five Super Bowls had two of the best defensive performances ever in the history of the Super Bowl (Seattle in '13 and Denver in '15).  

Personally, while I found Sunday's game exciting and compelling, I would not say it was a great game.  Not enough (or much of any defense).  Sure, it beats a lot of the slop we saw in the 90's when blowouts were the norm, but it doesn't touch Broncos/Packers (SB32), Patriots/Seahawks (SB49) or Steelers/Cardinals (SB43).

We recently saw two of the best modern age Super Bowls. 07 and 2011. Defensive battles that came down to the final play of each game.

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13 hours ago, Walking Boot said:

 

I'd rather get the calls right than wrong. Getting the calls wrong will kill the sport more than anything.

It won't happen, of course, and I'm not even suggesting it "should", but I think if the NFL got rid of replay altogether, fans would enjoy the game more and it'd likely slow or reverse the decline in ratings. 

Obviously, it would help the flow of the viewing experience, which is most important, and as for fans getting mad about blown calls 1. that would just spark interest as people ##### about it (see college football) and B. fans have been dealing with long, drug-out reviewed calls being blown so they might be at a point to just say screw it, some calls will get blown so let's just play some damn football.

You look at the NBA. The refs screw those games up constantly. People care and like to complain, but that's all helps drive interest and discussion. The worst thing the NBA could do is kill the pace the game (one of the NBA's strengths) to go replay every call to make sure everything is right. Like an NFL catch, there's a lot of grey area with NBA foul calls. Replaying wouldn't make much sense, as you'd have a stoppage, and still often come out of it with a call many fans don't understand or agree with. NBA fans just know blown calls are a part of the game. 

Not that little or greatly reduced replay would ever be in the cards. The NFL will never pass up an opportunity to sell me a little more Tide.

 

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11 hours ago, flranger said:

As amazing as it might be, the NFL got it right when it first brought in replay.

Allow two coaches challenges per game, with a third if the prior two are right. 

Use them at your own risk.  No automatic review of scoring plays, touchdowns, last two minutes, nothing.  Only if the coach challenges it, and they can challenge any call, penalty, yardage, turnover, scoring, possession, etc.  It will make the game flow much faster, and put the games in the hands of each coach to make the right calls.

Agree a billion percent.

 

Send this to the league office. Such a simple solution.

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I agree with the sentiment that replay kills big moments. You know you saw a TD but in the back of your mind you know that some incompetent ref like Jeff Triplette will find a way to screw up an obvious call. 

Which leads me to my next point...

A major problem with replay is now there's some level of perfection expected from the calls. Replay is supposed to make sure the call is right. Before replay there's always been the human error element that we just lived with and argued about. "But hey, you win some and you lose some." So now when they replay something and still get it wrong or worse yet, replay something that didn't look like needed to be fixed and get it wrong it's twice as maddening. 

Also, there's a flawed assumption that the call was wrong on the field only because the ref didn't get a proper view of the play but in reality a good chunk of bad calls are about bad interpretations of rules. They absolutely saw the play perfectly and still ####ed it up. So now in many cases they have 2x the opportunity to screw a call up by over thinking it. That is exactly why there will never be a perfectly called game.

 

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How could anyone want things to go on the way they have been going with replay when plays like Zach Miller's TD gets overturned when he messed up his knee?  Need fewer replays and fewer cuts to commercials.  If a play was obviously made incorrectly then let it be challenged.  No need to replay every big play.

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17 hours ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Possession with two feet down takes about 2/3 of these calls out of play.

I couldn't agree more.

It still boggles me that two feet down with clear possession of the ball in the endzone isn't always a TD. They guy has possession of the ball and ball broke the plane..... the play is over if you have the photo(not even video) of that happening. A single frame of video.

All this debate about guys rolling around out of bounds with photographers was the beginning of the end. Now you have to make a football move. It's all so ridiculous. They have tortured this rule so that even the super slow mo replays are inconclusive.

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14 hours ago, flranger said:

As amazing as it might be, the NFL got it right when it first brought in replay.

Allow two coaches challenges per game, with a third if the prior two are right. 

Use them at your own risk.  No automatic review of scoring plays, touchdowns, last two minutes, nothing.  Only if the coach challenges it, and they can challenge any call, penalty, yardage, turnover, scoring, possession, etc.  It will make the game flow much faster, and put the games in the hands of each coach to make the right calls.

I'd make it even more simple than that.

Coaches get on replay flag, and as long as the play gets overturned because the refs blew the call... the coach keeps the replay flag. If the coach is wrong he's out of replays for the game, that way he uses that flag very very sparingly.

Oh, and if one specific ref gets three of his calls overturned in the same game he gets kicked in the nads by the punter.

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3 hours ago, Hang 10 said:

I agree with the sentiment that replay kills big moments. You know you saw a TD but in the back of your mind you know that some incompetent ref like Jeff Triplette will find a way to screw up an obvious call. 

Which leads me to my next point...

A major problem with replay is now there's some level of perfection expected from the calls. Replay is supposed to make sure the call is right. Before replay there's always been the human error element that we just lived with and argued about. "But hey, you win some and you lose some." So now when they replay something and still get it wrong or worse yet, replay something that didn't look like needed to be fixed and get it wrong it's twice as maddening. 

Also, there's a flawed assumption that the call was wrong on the field only because the ref didn't get a proper view of the play but in reality a good chunk of bad calls are about bad interpretations of rules. They absolutely saw the play perfectly and still ####ed it up. So now in many cases they have 2x the opportunity to screw a call up by over thinking it. That is exactly why there will never be a perfectly called game.

 

Thankfully looks like that dolt is retiring this year.

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19 hours ago, Walking Boot said:

You people whining "I don't know whether or not to cheer after my team scores, this is terrible" make no friggin sense to me.  Try losing out on a four month run through the regular season, then getting into the playoffs, then getting bounced out on a blind ref missing an obvious call on the last play of the game, then get back to me.

The replay officials miss calls anyway. Football is full of 50-50 calls. For every one time a replay officials catches an entire shoe being out of bounds, they screw up ten times by seeing the shadow of a shoe as 'out of bounds' or things like that. Replay officials think they are supposed to be making calls de novo, when they are only supposed to be checking to see if indisuputable evidence exists that the on-field call is incorrect. IMHO, "indisputable evidence" should be defined as "certainty" -- even a call where the replay official think it's something like 90% the on-field official missed something ... that call should stand. They shouldn't be thinking "hmmm, look where that shoelace fell" or "hmmm, is that Field Turf pellets getting kicked up?".

Again, the screw jobs aren't going anywhere -- all the replay system does is change where they are applied.

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4 hours ago, Hang 10 said:

A major problem with replay is now there's some level of perfection expected from the calls. Replay is supposed to make sure the call is right. Before replay there's always been the human error element that we just lived with and argued about. "But hey, you win some and you lose some." So now when they replay something and still get it wrong or worse yet, replay something that didn't look like needed to be fixed and get it wrong it's twice as maddening. 

Also, there's a flawed assumption that the call was wrong on the field only because the ref didn't get a proper view of the play but in reality a good chunk of bad calls are about bad interpretations of rules. They absolutely saw the play perfectly and still ####ed it up. So now in many cases they have 2x the opportunity to screw a call up by over thinking it. That is exactly why there will never be a perfectly called game.

1000 X this.

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13 hours ago, Ghost Rider said:

And let's not forget that two of the last five Super Bowls had two of the best defensive performances ever in the history of the Super Bowl (Seattle in '13 and Denver in '15).  

Personally, while I found Sunday's game exciting and compelling, I would not say it was a great game.  Not enough (or much of any defense).  Sure, it beats a lot of the slop we saw in the 90's when blowouts were the norm, but it doesn't touch Broncos/Packers (SB32), Patriots/Seahawks (SB49) or Steelers/Cardinals (SB43).

 

One punt in the whole game.  It was like a Madden game.  That has to be a record for Super Bowls?

 

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4 minutes ago, Hov34 said:

One punt in the whole game.  It was like a Madden game.  That has to be a record for Super Bowls?

It was a record.  Previous record was 2 from Super Bowl 33 (Denver v Atlanta).

 

This current game set or tied 29 various records in Super Bowl history according to this article

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/04/super-bowl-records-set-eagles-patriots-lii/

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1 hour ago, BoltBacker said:

I couldn't agree more.

It still boggles me that two feet down with clear possession of the ball in the endzone isn't always a TD. They guy has possession of the ball and ball broke the plane..... the play is over if you have the photo(not even video) of that happening. A single frame of video.

All this debate about guys rolling around out of bounds with photographers was the beginning of the end. Now you have to make a football move. It's all so ridiculous. They have tortured this rule so that even the super slow mo replays are inconclusive.

The NFL screwed up by trying to come up with a definition of "possession" that could satisfy every potential scenario that could occur on the field. That's the only reason why "2 feet + possession" doesn't work anymore. The average NFL game has maybe 40 total completions. How many do you think end up truly debatable? One, maybe 2? Let's go on the high side and say 5% fall under this controversial rule interpretation. 

Go find me the definition of defensive pass interference. Then tell me how many of those calls are clear and can't be debated because the rule is so well defined. I don't know what the percentage is, but I guarantee it's way south of 95%. 

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1 hour ago, RUSF18 said:
3 hours ago, BoltBacker said:

I couldn't agree more.

It still boggles me that two feet down with clear possession of the ball in the endzone isn't always a TD. They guy has possession of the ball and ball broke the plane..... the play is over if you have the photo(not even video) of that happening. A single frame of video.

All this debate about guys rolling around out of bounds with photographers was the beginning of the end. Now you have to make a football move. It's all so ridiculous. They have tortured this rule so that even the super slow mo replays are inconclusive.

The NFL screwed up by trying to come up with a definition of "possession" that could satisfy every potential scenario that could occur on the field. That's the only reason why "2 feet + possession" doesn't work anymore. The average NFL game has maybe 40 total completions. How many do you think end up truly debatable? One, maybe 2? Let's go on the high side and say 5% fall under this controversial rule interpretation. 

Go find me the definition of defensive pass interference. Then tell me how many of those calls are clear and can't be debated because the rule is so well defined. I don't know what the percentage is, but I guarantee it's way south of 95%. 

A player all out dives and catches the ball in the air.  Something like this.  The moment he hits the ground, arm first, feet still up in the air, he loses the ball.

You guys are calling for this to be ruled a catch and a fumble in the field of play, and a touchdown in the end zone.  Correct?

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6 minutes ago, GregR said:

A player all out dives and catches the ball in the air.  Something like this.  The moment he hits the ground, arm first, feet still up in the air, he loses the ball.

You guys are calling for this to be ruled a catch and a fumble in the field of play, and a touchdown in the end zone.  Correct?

No and no?

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Just now, RUSF18 said:

No and no?

That's the result of a rule where merely control + 2 feet is a catch.  As soon as any body part hits the ground other than his feet or hands it is a catch.  

Also under such a rule, if a guy is standing on both feet and the ball comes to a stop in his hands and 1/100 of a second later is knocked out of his hands by a DB... that's also a catch and fumble.   

This is why they changed the rule in the first place.  Because "control + 2 feet" did not match the ACTUAL expectation that people have for a catch.  Our real expectation is that in some cases the ball needs to be held onto through contact with the ground.   And that there is a time element even when you stay on your feet (and refs were HORRIFICALLY inconsistent about how long that time element was since the rules gave no guidance at all). 

I'm all for refining the rule to better fit the general view of what is a catch.  But simply "control + 2 feet" without other guidance does not do it.  It just returns us to the old situation that wasn't much better, really.

I'm not quite sure how to improve on it. I think it definitely can be, but it's tricky.  I think most people would probably think it an improvement with "if you get 2 feet down before hitting the ground then you're not bound by the contact with the ground part".  Though there would still be plays that would be a catch by that rule which 19 out of 20 fans think should be incomplete.

It also doesn't really address the bang-bang having the ball knocked out practically in the instant you catch it.  The "football move/time element/etc" part that changed wordings several times but really just amounted to the same thing, was actually a pretty good improvement for those plays.   Because turning what every fan calls an incompletion into a fumble had a big impact on games and the inconsistency of it with the original catch rule was one of the worst parts of football, in my opinion.

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2 minutes ago, GregR said:

I'm all for refining the rule to better fit the general view of what is a catch.  But simply "control + 2 feet" without other guidance does not do it.  It just returns us to the old situation that wasn't much better, really.

I'd vehemently disagree with that. The old situation would have never resulted in a several minutes long review of the Ertz touchdown which none of us would have even blinked an eye at 5 years ago. Instead, they have twisted everyone into a pretzel to the point where the highest paid color commentator in football, on literally the world's biggest stage, actually came to the conclusion that the play would and should be ruled incomplete. 

The point though is that there are plenty of spots within the NFL rulebook that are inherently subjective. We're in the current situation we are because for some reason, people had a problem with that existing for catching the ball but not for other areas. This is the end result of the slippery slope argument. They will never be able to define a catch, in writing, that can apply to 100% of situations. Zero chance, so stop trying. 

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Greg, I was one that threw out the "two feet down, ball in possession" thing. I am not beholden to exactly that and was using it more as an example that I think the catch rule has to be simplified IN SOME WAY. It's too complicated and intricate to get right in a reasonable amount of time (& folks STILL ##### that the call was wrong). My main point was that there's a trade-off between being so detailed that we get it right (which we don't anyway) and disrupting the game/viewing experience. I think we've swung too far on the convoluted-but-still-have-problems side. And I'd be ok with simplifying it until we can figure out a better way (we'll never "solve" it, in my opinion, because I happen to think plays like this have too many exceptions). What we have now is the worst of both worlds. 

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2 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Greg, I was one that threw out the "two feet down, ball in possession" thing. I am not beholden to exactly that and was using it more as an example that I think the catch rule has to be simplified IN SOME WAY. It's too complicated and intricate to get right in a reasonable amount of time (& folks STILL ##### that the call was wrong). My main point was that there's a trade-off between being so detailed that we get it right (which we don't anyway) and disrupting the game/viewing experience. I think we've swung too far on the convoluted-but-still-have-problems side. And I'd be ok with simplifying it until we can figure out a better way (we'll never "solve" it, in my opinion, because I happen to think plays like this have too many exceptions). What we have now is the worst of both worlds. 

I think if you solve the discrepancy between fan view and the rules on going to the ground after having gotten 2 actual feet down (i.e. the Steelers James catch), you probably solve the lion's share of the actual issues people with the catch rule.

Then fix how long it takes replay to be ruled on and now you've probably solved 90% of the issues.

Almost no one complains about college replay.  Yet college checks every single play to see if a review is needed, while the NFL only checks on scores, turnovers, and inside the 2 minute warning. What is that, like 160 plays in college compared to maybe 15-20 in the NFL?  The problem isn't the NFL reviewing scores, the problem is fans seeing plays they think should be scores getting overruled.  Most scores they confirm fast enough that you wouldn't know they were checking them.  And the problem isn't the NFL doing reviews overall, it's that the NFL can't seem to kick out an answer in 30-40 seconds like college normally does.

I'm sorry but these topics are so aggravating to me.  The problem isn't replay, it's how they are implementing replay taking too long.  The problem isn't getting clearer on the catch rule where yes it actually was a problem before that people got livid over, it was that they tried to make it so extremely easy to apply that they went too far.  So much so that while you get a consistent answer 95% of the time if you apply it... fans weren't willing to adjust their expectations to actually doing so because it no longer agreed with their gut notion of what was a catch.

There are a lot better middle ground solutions to the issues than the knee-jerk reactions that these issues get littered with.

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1 minute ago, Walking Boot said:

 

There is no way to simplify it. It was simplified before, and that didn't work. Because of exactly that kind of case.

Again, where's the tradeoff? Is it better now from both a quality-of-play and a quality-of-viewing experience?

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Just now, Uruk-Hai said:

Again, where's the tradeoff? Is it better now from both a quality-of-play and a quality-of-viewing experience?

Yes, some things are far better. I've mentioned one already. The number of clearly incomplete passes (like a crossing route that is dropped or the guy gets hit immediately) that instead get called game-changing fumbles has dropped off considerably. The extra time requirement makes it so 90% of the time everyone including the ref arrives at the same call.  So why throw that part out?

If the problem is "some catch rules frustrate me" then just throwing out the rule doesn't mean you're going to stop being frustrated.  You still have to replace it with something else, and if you don't put some thought into making that be something better, you're just going to end up with new frustrations.

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2 minutes ago, GregR said:

I think if you solve the discrepancy between fan view and the rules on going to the ground after having gotten 2 actual feet down (i.e. the Steelers James catch), you probably solve the lion's share of the actual issues people with the catch rule.

Then fix how long it takes replay to be ruled on and now you've probably solved 90% of the issues.

Almost no one complains about college replay.  Yet college checks every single play to see if a review is needed, while the NFL only checks on scores, turnovers, and inside the 2 minute warning. What is that, like 160 plays in college compared to maybe 15-20 in the NFL?  The problem isn't the NFL reviewing scores, the problem is fans seeing plays they think should be scores getting overruled.  Most scores they confirm fast enough that you wouldn't know they were checking them.  And the problem isn't the NFL doing reviews overall, it's that the NFL can't seem to kick out an answer in 30-40 seconds like college normally does.

I'm sorry but these topics are so aggravating to me.  The problem isn't replay, it's how they are implementing replay taking too long.  The problem isn't getting clearer on the catch rule where yes it actually was a problem before that people got livid over, it was that they tried to make it so extremely easy to apply that they went too far.  So much so that while you get a consistent answer 95% of the time if you apply it... fans weren't willing to adjust their expectations to actually doing so because it no longer agreed with their gut notion of what was a catch.

There are a lot better middle ground solutions to the issues than the knee-jerk reactions that these issues get littered with.

The bolded is what my posts have been about, regardless of how poorly I've articulated them. There have been false binaries set up here and other places over this issue, but it ain't me doing it. I'm all for finding the right compromise. We don't have it now, IMO.

Yet I do disagree with your "the problem isn't getting clearer on the catch rule....." a bit. Maybe "clearer" isn't the right word, but there is way too much confusion on how to apply the rule as written and I just don't think there is anyway to enforce it satisfactorily as written. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Walking Boot said:

 

There is no way to simplify it. It was simplified before, and that didn't work. Because of exactly that kind of case.

Give NFL leadership some truth serum, and they would 1000% put the toothpaste back in the tub and roll the rule back to the old, simplified version if they could. 

8 minutes ago, GregR said:

Yes, some things are far better. I've mentioned one already. The number of clearly incomplete passes (like a crossing route that is dropped or the guy gets hit immediately) that instead get called game-changing fumbles has dropped off considerably. The extra time requirement makes it so 90% of the time everyone including the ref arrives at the same call.  So why throw that part out?

If the problem is "some catch rules frustrate me" then just throwing out the rule doesn't mean you're going to stop being frustrated.  You still have to replace it with something else, and if you don't put some thought into making that be something better, you're just going to end up with new frustrations.

Can you link me to a couple old examples of what you're talking about? 

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15 minutes ago, RUSF18 said:

Can you link me to a couple old examples of what you're talking about? 

I actually had googled looking for some before I posted.   The new rule has been around for awhile and they get ruled incomplete now instead of turning into something controversial that ends up getting a clip.  So everything I was finding was more recent and different types of fumbles/incompletions.

It's not too hard to imagine the play I'm talking about though, you see a couple most games.  Just picture a guy who looks like he's making the catch and gets his hands on it, but he takes his eye off the ball to turn up field and it pops out of his hands. Or someone hits him or slaps it out. Before the time element was part of the rules, it took less time controlling the ball to be called a catch. How much time was very inconsistent as the rules really didn't say.

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Yeah I know the kind of play you're talking about, and I've seen it referenced plenty of times in these conversations, but in all honesty it seems more like this lingering boogeyman because I don't recall seeing many of these so called game changing fumbles on bang bang plays.  

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I don't know if this has been said or not as I skipped the last couple pages, but the drop in viewership could also be from moving three teams out of three pretty prominent markets (St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland) and moving two of them to a city that has show they really don't care all that much for football and the third isn't playing in the city they have declared they are moving to. 

As a St. Louisan, I know a TON of people that haven't watched football all season and that included the playoffs and super bowl. 

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2 minutes ago, TheFanatic said:

I don't know if this has been said or not as I skipped the last couple pages, but the drop in viewership could also be from moving three teams out of three pretty prominent markets (St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland) and moving two of them to a city that has show they really don't care all that much for football and the third isn't playing in the city they have declared they are moving to. 

As a St. Louisan, I know a TON of people that haven't watched football all season and that included the playoffs and super bowl. 

This is an interesting point I was thinking about the other day. I was born (1962) and raised a Baltimore Colts fan. When that drunk bastard moved the organization in the 80s to Indiannapolis, I quit them. I spent the next decade-plus just hating the other local team in my area (which was easy as they were really good and their fans sucked). 

But, I wonder now if that kind of disassociation makes sense. Especially nowadays, when you can follow a team who can call anywhere in the world home to your little heart's content. Back when the Colts left, people in Maryland were out of the immediate-info loop (such as it was then). I mean, look at all of the non-local fans the Steelers and Cowboys have had over the decades.

I can see quitting a team for raping the local economy or just because their owner sucks. But that doesn't seem to happen for many until the team/owner actually pulls up stakes. Why is that? It can't be a moral stance, as I knew Irsay was an ####### long before he hired those Mayflower vans. 

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20 hours ago, flranger said:

As amazing as it might be, the NFL got it right when it first brought in replay.

Allow two coaches challenges per game, with a third if the prior two are right. 

Use them at your own risk.  No automatic review of scoring plays, touchdowns, last two minutes, nothing.  Only if the coach challenges it, and they can challenge any call, penalty, yardage, turnover, scoring, possession, etc.  It will make the game flow much faster, and put the games in the hands of each coach to make the right calls.

absolutely correct. Every turnover and score being reviewed is crushing game flow. If you think it is a big play, and they got it wrong, challenge it. Otherwise, keep playing the game. 

 

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2 hours ago, GregR said:

A player all out dives and catches the ball in the air.  Something like this.  The moment he hits the ground, arm first, feet still up in the air, he loses the ball.

You guys are calling for this to be ruled a catch and a fumble in the field of play, and a touchdown in the end zone.  Correct?

To me, it's OK to have a malleable catch guidance that treats diving layouts totally differently from jump balls, catches-in-stride, etc. Would be fine if feet contacting the ground were treated as a wholly separate thing from other body parts contacting the ground. Also fine with a "Potter Stewart" judgment-call-type catch guidance -- maybe common-sense interpretations, without wording getting in the way, is better in the long run?

What was wrong with the circa 1980 interpretation of what was a catch again? I recall almost no controversies whatsoever, though I guess there were some. Certainly not famous ones like the several we've racked up since Calvin Johnson.

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2 hours ago, GregR said:

It also doesn't really address the bang-bang having the ball knocked out practically in the instant you catch it. 

Common-sense test: if it's bang-bang, it's never a catch. Don't have to worry about football moves, two feet down, any of that -- if it's bang bang, no catch. Don't think or interpret -- your gut knows immediately. Just like the way Red Cashion would've called it for Drew Pearson or Lynn Swann.

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2 hours ago, RUSF18 said:

The point though is that there are plenty of spots within the NFL rulebook that are inherently subjective. We're in the current situation we are because for some reason, people had a problem with that existing for catching the ball but not for other areas. This is the end result of the slippery slope argument. They will never be able to define a catch, in writing, that can apply to 100% of situations. Zero chance, so stop trying. 

Exactly the bolded. a 10,000 word treatise defining "catch" is inferior to the judgment call of officials who've worked thousands of hours of games.

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1 hour ago, RUSF18 said:

Yeah I know the kind of play you're talking about, and I've seen it referenced plenty of times in these conversations, but in all honesty it seems more like this lingering boogeyman because I don't recall seeing many of these so called game changing fumbles on bang bang plays.  

I've been watching football for 40 years, and the questionable "incomplete or fumble?" calls, IMHO, were vanishingly rare. You could watch one NFL team's games all season and maybe see it come up once or twice -- I mean a controversial fumble call where the common sense of most observers was "incompletion". My memory FWIW was that refs leaned very hard to calling those types of plays "incompletions". Yeah, there was a gray area if a player took a step after grabbing the ball -- but I maintain that said gray area can't be gotten rid of by any conceivable rule or interpretation of rules (e.g. what goes on in replay officials' minds) ... so why not accept the failures of a common-sense approach?

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I'm in the minority but think the catch rule is fine. The problem is the announcers who hem and haw every time there's a catch that's difficult to determine is a catch or not and influence the audience. Al and Chris with the "oh here we go" shtick EVERY TIME the rule pops up is beyond tired. They get how many millions of dollars to call the game and can't take 10 minutes to learn the rule? It's pretty simple when you divide catches into two categories: going to the ground and not going to the ground. It's really not that difficult. Ertz TD on Sunday, ruled a catch and TD on the field meaning you need 100% INDISPUTABLE visual evidence that he was a) going to the ground as he caught it and b) lost possession when he hit the ground in order to overturn. Didn't look like he was going to the ground as he caught it so they made the right call not to overturn. Had to listen to a minute of Al & Chris harping like a couple of idiots. I am certain that the second they change the rule to "referee's judgement" guys like Al & Chris will suddenly be experts on the rule as it is written today. I can't even imagine the amount of post-rule change whining over the first obvious big game non-catch that's called a catch because people today are too lazy to understand a perfectly fine rule.

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19 minutes ago, Nipsey said:

Ertz TD on Sunday, ruled a catch and TD on the field meaning you need 100% INDISPUTABLE visual evidence ...

And this is where the replay officials most often screw up -- they've lowered the bar well down from "indisputable". In truth, it should be fairly rare that an on-field call gets overturned by an automatic review (e.g. after TDs, etc.).

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26 minutes ago, Nipsey said:

It's pretty simple when you divide catches into two categories: going to the ground and not going to the ground. It's really not that difficult ... people today are too lazy to understand a perfectly fine rule.

The perfectly fine rule still had gaps that necessitate judgment quite often -- see for example, the Corey Clement TD catch in the Super Bowl. Different observers have different ideas about "bobbling", "gaining possession", "can the ball move at all? a little?", and so forth.

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