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Golden Tate's controversial catch against Falcons... a new rule idea.


RedRamage
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I happen to be browsing through Youtube and found a video complication of controversial calls in sports.  The sad thing was that Detroit was in it three times on the losing end.  One of the plays through was the Golden Tate non-TD catch at the end of the Falcons games.  If you don't remember, you can watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZkFCYU3QoU

Now, as much as I hate the play, I do think the refs called it right AND I think the applied the rule correctly... I just think it's a stupid rule.  If the call has been made correctly on the field, the Lions would have had 9 seconds to get in position and spike the ball (or do a QB sneak a la the Dallas game).  But because the refs botched the call, it penalized the Lions.

I had a thought on this while watching it.  I know on the "old" board we had a long discussion about this and tossed around rule modifications for how far away the play was or what other circumstances were.  To be honest while I advocated for a rule that would take into account the distances from scrimmage of where the play was, I never loved it because I felt it was cumbersome.  But I think my new suggestion is pretty elegant and relatively easy:

In an event where an official's mistake results in a 10 second run off, the offence may elect to instead lose one down and only have a 5 second run off.

Essentially this is saying the offense, had they been given the chance, could have come to the line and spiked the ball in 5 seconds.  Now, this isn't perfect of course.  Obviously this would only be an option if there was more than 5 seconds left on the clock and if it was less than 3rd down.  If there's less than 5 seconds then the assumption is there would be no way to get set and spike.  If it's 3rd or 4th down then it wouldn't made sense to spike the ball.

Now, obviously this isn't a perfect solutions.  There will be times (a long Hail Mary maybe?) where it's unreasonable to think that the team could get in place in 5 seconds and there will be times if the whole team was already there (like a try for the 1 yard line) where 5 seconds might be enough to get set and spike the ball.  But I think this will cut down on the number of times where a play may a reasonably been done but the team gets jobbed because of an official's mistake.

 

 

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Yeah I don't like that idea.

How about instead, that if a team loses any significant time to an official's error (and really this is only at the end of the game or end of the half or in the last two minutes...): The Head Coach can toss a challenge flag. Allow a team to challenge an official's error based solely on time; whether that is 3 seconds or 10 seconds or whatever...

That way a team is not penalized (loss of down? no way!) except for losing a timeout if a challenge is lost. Now, challenge flag rules apply, one per half and a TO must be available... OR, each team is given one special challenge per game reserved only for official's errors that impact game time. That way other challenges/ timeouts are not affected. No one's going to save a timeout just in case an official makes an error at the end of the game that kills the clock...

I would want a special Official's Error Challenge Flag, one per each team, one per game, that challenges only the time lost due to official's error...

Not going to happen but.. that's the way I'd approach it...

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2 hours ago, RedRamage said:

 

In an event where an official's mistake results in a 10 second run off, the offence may elect to instead lose one down and only have a 5 second run off.

 

In the Golden Tate play, this rule still would have caused them to lose the game, as the reviewed play was 3rd and Goal. Spiking the ball would not have been an option if the play had been ruled correctly originally, as it would have resulted in a 4th and Goal from an inch or so out.

That said, I don't think the rule as it reads now is perfect. I understand why it exists, but in a situation like the Golden Tate one, the Lions should have had one more opportunity to run a play.

If I were to propose a change to fix it, it would be related to how long the play was. For instance, if the play which goes from a running clock to a stopped clock is longer than X yards (probably 10-20 yards), it results in a ten-second run-off. If the play is less than X yards, it results in a five-second run-off. Just make the run-off a little more realistic with respect to how long it actually takes the offense to get to the line and get set.

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Why did the Lions get penalized when the Refs made the wrong call?   Plus, there were 11 second left when the whistle blew.  The Lions could have discussed a play during the long review and said something like "as soon as the whistle blows snap the ball" and they would have had a play ready to go. 

That whole fiasco annoyed me - and the Lions could have made the playoffs if they'd won that game. 

Edited by Motor City Sonics
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17 hours ago, MichiganCardinal said:

In the Golden Tate play, this rule still would have caused them to lose the game, as the reviewed play was 3rd and Goal. Spiking the ball would not have been an option if the play had been ruled correctly originally, as it would have resulted in a 4th and Goal from an inch or so out.

Good catch.  I didn't realize it was 3rd down on that play.

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17 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

Why did the Lions get penalized when the Refs made the wrong call?   

I guess this is what really bugged me when it happened.  I mean I get that if the offense has an injured player they need to do a run off cause otherwise it's like an extra time out.  I understand... I'd hate it if my team lost on something like that, but I'd get it.

But this is totally the refs fault and the Lions got punished because the refs screwed up their call and then fixed it and took time away.  (Just for the record: The refs applied the rules correctly... I'm not arguing that they didn't.  I'm arguing that the rule is dumb.)

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