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Old 10-27-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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Default Disputed possession rule will likely stand

Disputed possession rule will likely stand
By Bob Cohn, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_706108.html

It was an unusual call, but it held little that might lead to a rules change or even further review, Mike Pereira said yesterday.

"Cut and dried," the league's former vice-president of officiating said of the fourth-quarter call in the Steelers' 23-22 victory over Miami on Sunday that left the Dolphins and their fans seething.

"They took that game from us, man," linebacker Karlos Dansby said. A headline in the Palm Beach Post read, "Officials quit on the play, and Miami Dolphins are left in the lurch."

Some have claimed that Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown-turned-fumble that was never recovered -- allowing the Steelers to keep possession and kick the winning field goal -- will cause the NFL to alter the rule. "I can't see that happening," said Pereira, who is now a Fox analyst.

The essence of the call, he said, is that once the whistle blows, the lone determining factor is instant replay. And after Roethlisberger's touchdown was taken away, after replay showed that he fumbled before the ball crossed the goal line, replay could not determine who recovered the ball.

At least one Dolphins player claimed he heard an official shout, "White ball!" meaning that Miami, the team wearing white, had recovered. Roethlisberger, meanwhile, claimed that he fell on the ball.

Pereira said none of that matters.

What does matter is there has to be "absolutely clear, definitive evidence of a player with the ball," he said. "The whistle's been blown, the official is saying it's a touchdown, some of the players are giving up. The only consideration is if the ball is recovered by a single player."

Which, on the replay, it was not. There was a pile-up, a scrum. Inconclusive evidence. The Steelers kept the ball and Jeff Reed's field goal provided the winning margin.

The NFL reiterated the decision yesterday, saying that replay confirmed Roethlisberger's fumble, but "there was not a clear recovery by the defense."

In his pool report following the game, referee Gene Steratore said that to give the Dolphins the ball, "I have to have clear video evidence of the team recovering the fumble."

The key word here is "video."

"Let's say the officials did say 'White ball,' " Pereira said. "The only way you could get the ball to the Dolphins was to confirm it was a fumble and have video evidence (that they recovered). No regard to what the official might have said. You can only give that ball to Miami if it was on video.

"Video would have to show a recovery. If the official jumped into the pile and was in there for 30 seconds and came out with a bloody nose and saying the ball belonged to Miami, it would be irrelevant."

Pereira said once the play has been blown dead, "you stop officiating the action of the ball." He added, "You'd be opening more than a can of worms than it's worth" to go back to an official for further evidence after the replay has been viewed.

Asked if the NFL Competition Committee might talk about the rule during the offseason, Pereira said, "I'll say they'll discuss this for about three seconds. That will be the extent of it."
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Disputed possession rule will likely stand

As much as I'd like to say the rule set should be changed to keep this from happening in the future, it probably won't just because there's no reasonable resolution. Should every potential fumble be pursued by both teams because there's a "possibility" the play could be reviewed and overturned? If that's the case, game times will increase dramatically, players will hurt themselves diving in dog piles pursuing fumbles that aren't truly fumbles and the rules will be muddled even more than they are now. The refs ultimately got the call right and other than a few thousand fans with hurt feelings in South Beach, no harm was done.

What I don't understand is this: If the booth needs clear video evidence to rule a fumble recovery, why doesn't it need the same solid proof to change a TD call to a fumble? In no way am I implying Ben crossed the plane with the ball in hand but to me, there wasn't a single video replay that clearly showed he fumbled short. The only way they overturn that call is by combining "Camera 1" and "Camera 2" and deducing that the ball must have been loose prior to crossing the goal line. As much as we all know it was a fumble, it shocked me when they overturned the initial TD call. There just wasn't enough evidence to overturn it in my book.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Disputed possession rule will likely stand

The play was dead, it doesnt matter if the ball had a camera on it. the whistle effects the outcome of the next movements regardless of who grabbed it, its who mightve grabbed it sooner.

BB didnt cross the line, that call was accurate. The rest is a dead issue the whistle blew.
They cant ask players to continue to play after the whistle, if thats the case a late hit cant be called a late hit no more.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Disputed possession rule will likely stand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtain_of_Steel View Post
The play was dead, it doesnt matter if the ball had a camera on it. the whistle effects the outcome of the next movements regardless of who grabbed it, its who mightve grabbed it sooner.

BB didnt cross the line, that call was accurate. The rest is a dead issue the whistle blew.
They cant ask players to continue to play after the whistle, if thats the case a late hit cant be called a late hit no more.
This isn't the case anymore. Had the ball left Ben's hands and bounced straight into the arms of a Dolphins defender, Miami would've been awarded possession of the ball at their own 20. The only reason the Steelers were given the ball back is because there was no clear video evidence that Miami recovered the football.

The second part of your above point is why I feel the league won't change any rules in the off-season. You can't blow the whistle but expect players to ignore it and pursue the ball just because the ball carrier doesn't have possession of it anymore. Players are taught to quit on the play once they hear the whistle.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Disputed possession rule will likely stand

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleYoi View Post
The only way they overturn that call is by combining "Camera 1" and "Camera 2" and deducing that the ball must have been loose prior to crossing the goal line. As much as we all know it was a fumble, it shocked me when they overturned the initial TD call. There just wasn't enough evidence to overturn it in my book.
They are allowed to do exactly this. They can use bits and pieces of each and every angle to formulate what the believe is the correct call.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Disputed possession rule will likely stand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtain_of_Steel View Post
The play was dead, it doesnt matter if the ball had a camera on it. the whistle effects the outcome of the next movements regardless of who grabbed it, its who mightve grabbed it sooner.

BB didnt cross the line, that call was accurate. The rest is a dead issue the whistle blew.
They cant ask players to continue to play after the whistle, if thats the case a late hit cant be called a late hit no more.
thats what i would have thought as well. they blew it dead after giving the TD sign. so why were they even reviewing who had possession ? i've seen the same scenerio on numerous occassions where there's been a fumble but it was already blown dead , they never even considered giving the ball to the D , so why were they this time ?
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Disputed possession rule will likely stand

i've said this before, the called on the field was a TD so whatever happened after the fact I dont think should matter, and replay is not design to go back and decide what happened its design to confirm or overrule the calls and it was called a TD, but then again what do i know
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Disputed possession rule will likely stand

Unless Ben's fumbled ball bounced directly into a Dolphin's player, the replay cannot be used to determine possession.

Everyone who complains about this rule - I dare you to come up with a better rule.

Let the players scrum for the ball even after the whistle? Good luck getting the players to stop lunging at each other - the whistle will be meaningless if you want this rule.

(Dansby is an idiot blaming the refs. He will be a stupid loser all his life because his problems will always be cause by other people in his life. Why don't you look at how your own team failed to score TD when given multiple chances in the Steelers redzone. Douche!)
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