Chicago Sun-Times

Referee explains call on Johnson

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Here's Mike Mulligan's pool report with referee Gene Steratore. In controversial situations such as what occurred at the end of the Bears' 19-14 win over the Lions on Sunday, one reporter is deemed a "pool" reporter and is allowed to interview a game official and share that information with others in the media. Here is the transcript:

Q. What is the rule used on the near Detroit touchdown at the end of
the game?
A, The ruling is that in order for the catch to be completed he has got
to maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of the
catch.

Q, He was on his behind before he rolled over. If he stayed on his
behind would it have been a touchdown?
A. No. We don't play with the two feet or one knee or anything of that
scenario. We're talking now about the process of the catch. He's
catching the football, as he goes to the ground, he must maintain
possession of the ball throughout the entire process. So as he
continues to fall if he fell with two feet and his elbow hit the ground
and came out it would be incomplete.

Q. It looked like he had the ball up in one hand while on his rear
end, but there was continuation?
A. Well, the process was not finished until he finished that roll and
the entire process of that catch.

Q. How long did it take to determine that?
A. We had the normal time as far as the video was concerned. We would
not run it any longer.

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7 Comments

Whoever is on the losing end of this call is going to whine. However, I'll take 'em any way they come. The Bears have been on the losing end of these calls/games so often it's about time we win one. The Lions didn't deserve to win this game - the Bears outplayed them in every category (including turnovers). We need a QB sneak that works at the goal line, which means we need an O-line that can blast somebody off the ball. GO BEARS!!!

im wondering why it isnt called a touchdown when i hav seen touchdowns called for players when they catch the ball in the endzone and then touch both there feet into the endzone then fall out of bounds. Calvin Johnson clearly had complete possession of the ball all the way through this so called process of the catch with both of his feet touching the ground then his butt and eventually the ball. How can this be called not a touchdown. It amazes me how bad the state of officiating in professional sports is but id say that this call is worse then the Armando G. call because in this one they had replay to look at and they still go the call wrong.

NFL network is showing Johnson having his hand out before he rolled over to get up.

Either way it's a bad rule and questionable call at best. Could have gone either way. It never should have come to that though.

The ineptness of both teams at times was beyond me.

When you change the dynamics of how a ball should be caught, it takes away what football is all about.

The ref describes the rule correctly, but I don't think the judgment call the refs made to determine the 'end of the catching motion' was correct.

Therefore the refs failed.

The ref in this article maintains that one must be in control of the ball all the way to the ground, well if you are using the ball that is securely in your hand to brace yourself against a fall to the ground, then the ball has clearly been in your control, and possession 'all the way to the ground'. It was no doubt a bad call, and certainly didn't follow the rules this ref just laid out here.

I'm not a fan of either of these teams, but I've never seen a catch like that overruled before. It was a clear cut catch. based on the rules identified.

Yoktomsqueegee, you are a homer if there ever was one. Not sure what game you were watching but our Bears sucked.

"outplayed them in every category"??? We barely squeaked out a (technical) win against the Lions. I mean, c'mon, The Lions!

I couldn't have said it better myself, Creighton. "Ineptness of both" is pretty much right on. I might qualify a bit regarding the passing of Cutler, but otherwise yeh, it was a pretty pathetic game.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on September 12, 2010 3:02 PM.

Third quarter report was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears hang on for 19-14 victory over Detroit Lions is the next entry in this blog.

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