Tonawanda News


September 25, 2012

DUVALL: When a catch isn't a catch

Tonawanda News — I’ve been a sports fan all my life, but these days it seems like pro sports leagues are doing everything in their power to turn me off to their games.

The latest thing to tick me off? The NFL’s petty and cheap battle with its referees. 

The NFL makes billions in revenue and has captivated Americans for decades. We give over one-seventh of the days in a week to this one enterprise. Sunday mornings people go to church. After that they worship football. 

At its best, sports bring people together and provide a common bond with neighbors and strangers alike in communities across America. Football makes for barroom banter, newspaper fodder, weekend parties and a ready excuse to eat multiple kinds of dip as a meal. Cholesterol levels not withstanding, these are good things. 

Then these replacement referees so badly bungled the end of Monday Night Football it makes us all admit we’re investing far too much energy in what is really just a game — and a pretty stupid game at that.

For you non-football types, here, in plain English, is what happened to end the game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. 

Both teams stunk up the joint for a large portion of the game. With precisely one touchdown scored for most of it, Green Bay held the lead on the game’s final drive. The Seahawks needed a touchdown to win and on the final play, threw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone. 

What happens next defies logic, much less plain English.

First, a Seahawks wide receiver shoves a Packers defender out of the way when trying to catch the ball. This is against the rules. At least it’s supposed to be. But players jostle for the ball all the time and it is never called. Still, everyone agrees the refs should have thrown a flag making this next part — wherein we are required to debate what it means, both literally and existentially, to catch a ball — moot.

Text Only
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  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

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