Every professional sport has at least one rule that’s seemingly designed to ruin the game for basically everyone involved. The NHL allows goals to be disallowed if the referee meant to blow his whistle before actually calling the play dead, college basketball players can get a technical foul for accidentally looking an opponent in the eye after a dunk, and golf has its entire rulebook.
However, I don’t know if any of these come close to the sheer awfulness of the NFL’s catch rule, which I’d attempt to outline here if it wasn’t for the fact that no one has been able to decipher its meaning since it was instituted. It became an especially hot topic of conversation back in 2010 when Calvin Johnson had a game-winning touchdown overturned for reasons no one has ever been able to articulate, and it’s been tormenting the lives of players and fans alike by constantly rearing its ugly head since then.
On Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell channeled his inner addict when he finally admitted the NFL had a problem on its hands when he appeared on The Herd.
Goodell apparently assembled a conclave of former receivers and coaches earlier this month to try and figure out a solution to what the commissioner probably wishes was the NFL’s biggest problem. He seemed to imply any rule changes would benefit offensive players, saying:
“You want there to be clarity from an officiating standpoint and a coaching and player standpoint… I think here you might have clarity in a large element of it, but what happens is that it’s not the rule that people really want.”
Any potential changes will likely be unveiled when the league’s owners convene in Miami for meetings in March.