No matter how many times I look at this, I only see an amazing catch–the game winning touchdown. Somehow, the NFL refs manage to see an incomplete pass. How is that?
You can clearly see that Johnson has both feet on the ground, in bounds. The ball has broken the plain, which should count for a touchdown. In every football league in the United States of America, it actually does count as a touchdown!
But not in the NFL.
As a side note, if he had caught that outside the end zone, and stumbled into the end zone, it would have been a touchdown. But because he caught it in the end zone, the horrible rule that it isn’t a rule (it’s a judicial interpretation of a rule, but not written anywhere in the rulebook) takes effect. Calvin Johnson must maintain control of the ball for the entire “process” of catching the ball. This “entire process” is whatever the ref says it is. That means that a beautiful touchdown play like this can be erased at the whim of the referee should he decide to erase it.
It’s frustrating as a Lions fan, because there hasn’t been much for us Lions fans to get excited about over the past few years. The Lions have been a terrible team any way you slice it. They have completely bombed out their defense with (I think I heard) seven new starters this season. Which is good, because they have been seriously lacking on defense.
But they’re seriously lacking on offense, too! They haven’t been able to field a decent quarterback. The coaches have all been disappointing, to say the least. Firing Matt Millen was probably the brightest spot of the last decade, given that most of this disappointment is his fault. Finally, I see this moment in a game I was sure was lost, and I got excited. Then, the ref called it incomplete. I yelled so loud my son cried for the next half hour inconsolably.
So the Lions enter week 2 as 0-1 when they should rightfully be 1-0. I guess I should expect no less from a team that consistently failed to deliver when they had Barry Sanders on their offense. However, it would be nice, if, every once in a while, the Lions would produce a WIN.
- Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson Catch Not a Touchdown? Time for a New Rule (bleacherreport.com)
- “Why The NFL’s Rule, Referee’s Interpretation Of Calvin Johnson’s No Catch Are Wrong” and related posts (prideofdetroit.com)
- Funny-Looking N.F.L. Rules, From Onion (fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Calvin Johnson Blown Call: Worst in NFL History? (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- NFL Finds New Way To Beat Lions (bleacherreport.com)