There’s not a whole lot in sports that we can all agree on. But hatred for the NFL’s ridiculous "catch rule" is universal.
How many times have you been watching a professional football game, seen a wide receiver or tight end make a catch, celebrated the successful gain — and had it all wiped away by an official declaring the pass incomplete?
Too many times, of course. Far, far too many times.
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Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald feels your pain, and he has a ridiculously simple solution: Once a player catches a ball and tries to do something else, it’s officially a catch (via MMQB):
When asked how he would rewrite the rulebook, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald proposed something less complicated: If a receiver catches the ball with two feet on the ground and turns to run with it, that should be a catch. If he gets the ball stripped, that should be a fumble.
“There are too many rules, too much gray area, too many judgments the refs have to make. It needs to be simpler,” Fitzgerald says. “The Dez Bryant catch against Green Bay should have been a catch. He had the ball and was turning upfield to try to advance the ball. That’s a catch.”
To the NFL’s credit, Fitzgerald’s idea is more or less the spirit of the current rule. It’s just that the league has made its definition of a "football-type maneuver" incredibly draconian. A player must catch the ball with two feet down then perform a choreographed number from "The Fiddler on the Roof" before reciting the Pledge of Allegiance backward — and only then is it actually a catch.