Tonawanda News


September 25, 2012

DUVALL: When a catch isn't a catch


Tonawanda News —

So with one defender dispatched after that vicious shove, the Seahawks receiver jumps up, as do about five other guys. One of them, a Green Bay defender, appears to get his hands on the ball. As he falls to the ground, the Seahawks receiver attempts to grab the ball away from him. They both tumble to the ground and wrestle for control.

The two officials standing watch mere feet away both make a signal — except one calls it a touchdown and one calls it an interception. Chaos ensues. We go to the video replay, which everyone who has ever caught a ball or seen someone else catch a ball can agree shows the Packers player caught the ball, thereby ending the game and sealing his team’s victory. If you haven’t seen the replay a thousand times already trust me, a man who has watched all manner of sport where other men catch things. The Packers player caught the ball.

The replacement referees confer and cast away all manner of logic, holding that the touchdown counts, the Seahawks win and we’re all left howling about the terrible officiating.

In the wake of the controversy, the league issued a statement agreeing the shove should have been called a penalty, but that the officials correctly determined the Seahawks player caught the ball. 


As is always the case in such instances, the league unearthed a heretofore unknown portion of the rulebook about what is sure to be the next sports rulebook euphemism, a simultaneous catch.

I refuse to dignify such a stupid idea as a simultaneous catch with an attempt to explain to you the NFL’s explanation of the play. It’s pointless. 

And it is at this point that I completely sympathize with these two poor refs — who never asked to be put on national TV and had no idea what they were doing. If you can tell me what the heck a “simultaneous catch” is, let alone what should happen after, you’re watching way too much Sportscenter.

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