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Calvin Johnson play won’t change the rulebook

Zackary Bowman, Calvin Johnson

FILE- In this Sept. 12, 2010, file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) catches a pass in the end zone over Chicago Bears cornerback Zackary Bowman late in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago. Johnson makes a leaping grab in the end zone for what appeared to be a 25-yard TD catch that puts the Lions in the lead with 31 seconds left. But when he completes rolling over, he leaves the ball on the ground and begins celebrating. The official ruling is the player has to “maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of the catch.” The Bears won 19-14. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)


There will not be a “Calvin Johnson Rule” added to the NFL next year.

According to Bob Glauber of Newsday, the Competition Committee has decided not to amend the current rules about maintaining possession throughout a catch. (It’s a subscriber-only link for the 64 of you out there. Membership growing!)

The rule came under fire in Week 1 last season after Calvin Johnson’s apparent game-winning score against the Bears was overturned.

“That play will still be incomplete,” said competition committee member John Mara, the Giants’ president and co-owner.

The committee has analyzed the play at length. They believe making a change would be too tough to officiate.

“If you read the rule, it’s not a catch,” Mara said. “The reason it’s not a catch is you’ve got to control the ball when you hit the ground. It makes it easier to officiate. It’s a bright line that you can draw.”

If that’s true, then why is there such disagreement on similar plays? The official on Johnson’s play had a perfect view of the call, and signaled a touchdown.

The same ruling played a factor in the NFC Championship. FOX’s Mike Pereira and the referee looking at the same replay on an interception at the end of the first half came to different conclusions.

If the NFL isn’t going to change the rule, they better make sure everyone understands where that bright line is.