Rules, interpretations make NFL frustrating
Everybody watching Sunday’s Cowboys-Packers NFC divisional playoff game in Green Bay saw this to be true:
Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant reached high to catch – with both hands – a gutsy, beautiful pass by Tony Romo over the outstretched arms of Packers defender Sam Shields.
He caught it. We saw it.
But the NFL has become such a sophisticated and swirling vortex with so many underlying rules to the simplest things – like, say, a pass reception – we no longer can decipher right from wrong, fumble from knee down, completion from incompletion.
The frustrating thing about the critical call in the Packers’ 26-21 victory was it was correct by NFL rules. Bryant lost control of the ball when it hit the ground. But had the refs ruled that Bryant made a “football move” by taking two steps with the ball – which he did – the Cowboys would have had first down on the Packers’ 1-yard line.
The refs, however, claim Bryant was stumbling and not running, and what we saw, basically, was nothing more than a mirage of red tape.
The game used to be simple. A catch was a catch. A fumble was a fumble. But with so many new rules and interpretations to those rules – there are more than 100 pages in the officials’ book – implemented through the years, the game is much more complicated and ultimately frustrating to fans than necessary.
Don’t be surprised if one day there is a rule that rewards a receiver with a completion when the ball bounces off the turf and into a player’s hands.
You don’t have to believe your eyes, just accept it.
– Victor Contreras
What to watch
NBA, Kings vs. Mavericks,
7 p.m., CSNCA: The Kings’ fate has centered around their defense the past few games.
@KingJames (LeBron James): “What is the definition of a catch or not in the NFL? I really wanna know? No one can answer the ?”
On this date
2009: Orlando makes an NBA-record 23 three-pointers in a 139-107 win in Sacramento.