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Thread: Illegal bat

  1. #1

    Illegal bat

    In the chat, someone (I think Matt) asked if KJ Wright tipping the ball out of the back of the end zone was an illegal bat. I said no, it would only be illegal if he tipped it the other way. I was wrong. So were the refs.

    (a) A loose ball (in field of play) toward his opponent’s goal line or in any direction in either end zone.

    I didn't realize there was an end zone exception. I'm sure we'll hear more about this in the next couple of days but from what I've read so far, it looks like the Lions should have gotten the ball back inside the 1 yard line. Ouch.

  2. #2
    Blatantly stolen from another site:

    Apparently the back judge didn't have a good view of the play

  3. #3
       
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    So, I'm not really very good at photoshop, but I made this:

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  4. So here's where I come down on this, and I may be completely foolish for thinking so.

    I think this is a rule that can be open to interpretation. Obviously, if a referee doesn't deem that there was intent, then he's not obligated to call a penalty. So to that extent, of course there's interpretation involved. However, I'm going further than that because it seems kinda like K.J. Wright did it on purpose, though presumably he didn't know it could be a penalty.

    The ball was on its way out of bounds without Wright's assistance. If you go back and rewatch the play and the final moments there, there aren't any Detroit Lions in the immediate vicinity. You can kind of see that in the photo posted above; Wright is really all by himself. So even if he doesn't touch it at all, the ball still goes out of the back of the endzone and gets ruled a touchback. Game over.

    I think that this is important. Was the bat technically illegal? Yes. Did it make a potential difference in the outcome of the play? I don't think so. The ball only needs to bounce one more time to go out of bounds, and there is no Detroit Lion in position to stop it from doing so. In this situation, I think that not calling the penalty is acceptable.

    Just my two cents.
    "I have approximate knowledge of many things."

  5. Dear Detroit Lions -

    Score. More. Points.

    That way, this conversation is moot.

    Signed,

    One very frustrated fan
    Workin' on mysteries without any clues

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
    Dear Detroit Lions -

    Score. More. Points.

    That way, this conversation is moot.

    Signed,

    One very frustrated fan
    Yeah, exactly. I say the same thing to whiny Cowboy fans who still complain about the Dez Bryant no catch.

  7. #7
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    I don't blame the officials for this at all.

    Let's not forget that not 1, not 2, not 3, but 6 different NFL head coaches gave the competition commitee proposals to allow expanded replay for penalties, so that situations just like this could be ruled correctly. The commitee refused to consider any of them. (They also allowed the four teams with openable domes to open them at the half, and Indy's half open dome directly impacted the Colts/Jags game. So much for competitive balance).

    The back judge made a judgement call. He was wrong, but the tools to correct exist and are not allowed to be used. Don't blame the refs, blame the dinosaurs on the CC and the NFL's lack of common sense.
    "False Start everyone but the center." Gene Steretore. Pats vs Jets. 12/24/16.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Vracar View Post
    So here's where I come down on this, and I may be completely foolish for thinking so.

    I think this is a rule that can be open to interpretation. Obviously, if a referee doesn't deem that there was intent, then he's not obligated to call a penalty. So to that extent, of course there's interpretation involved. However, I'm going further than that because it seems kinda like K.J. Wright did it on purpose, though presumably he didn't know it could be a penalty.

    The ball was on its way out of bounds without Wright's assistance. If you go back and rewatch the play and the final moments there, there aren't any Detroit Lions in the immediate vicinity. You can kind of see that in the photo posted above; Wright is really all by himself. So even if he doesn't touch it at all, the ball still goes out of the back of the endzone and gets ruled a touchback. Game over.

    I think that this is important. Was the bat technically illegal? Yes. Did it make a potential difference in the outcome of the play? I don't think so. The ball only needs to bounce one more time to go out of bounds, and there is no Detroit Lion in position to stop it from doing so. In this situation, I think that not calling the penalty is acceptable.

    Just my two cents.
    You are right that on the play, it looks like there wasn't a Lion around. But that doesn't mean there was a zero percent chance that a Lion could not have recovered it. And I am always skeptical of not making a call, because the result would have been the same. We don't know this for sure.

    And you are right that its a judgment call. Sometimes its very easy to determine intent and sometimes it isn't. We have the benefit of instant replay and slow motion to determine that Wright's intention was clearly to bat the ball. The referee didn't have that, so he had to make a judgment. Now what I think probably happened is that the referee saw the bat, but didn't know the rule and thus didn't make the call for an illegal bat. If so, that is a big problem because you expect the officials to know the rules. Its one thing if an official blows a call, officials are human. But they should know the rules.

    Now I've heard the argument that this shouldn't be reviewable because its a "judgment" call. But sometimes an official does not have all the information to make a correct judgment. That could have happened here, although as I said, I think the official just didn't know the rule. I know Belichik has pushed for wider use of instant replay for cases like this and I agree with the Hoodie on this one.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Evan Vracar View Post
    So here's where I come down on this, and I may be completely foolish for thinking so.

    I think this is a rule that can be open to interpretation. Obviously, if a referee doesn't deem that there was intent, then he's not obligated to call a penalty. So to that extent, of course there's interpretation involved. However, I'm going further than that because it seems kinda like K.J. Wright did it on purpose, though presumably he didn't know it could be a penalty.

    The ball was on its way out of bounds without Wright's assistance. If you go back and rewatch the play and the final moments there, there aren't any Detroit Lions in the immediate vicinity. You can kind of see that in the photo posted above; Wright is really all by himself. So even if he doesn't touch it at all, the ball still goes out of the back of the endzone and gets ruled a touchback. Game over.

    I think that this is important. Was the bat technically illegal? Yes. Did it make a potential difference in the outcome of the play? I don't think so. The ball only needs to bounce one more time to go out of bounds, and there is no Detroit Lion in position to stop it from doing so. In this situation, I think that not calling the penalty is acceptable.

    Just my two cents.
    You cannot assume this is a certainty. If a football was round, you could, but that ball could have bounced in any direction when it next hit the turf.
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  10. #10
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Vracar View Post
    So here's where I come down on this, and I may be completely foolish for thinking so.

    I think this is a rule that can be open to interpretation. Obviously, if a referee doesn't deem that there was intent, then he's not obligated to call a penalty. So to that extent, of course there's interpretation involved. However, I'm going further than that because it seems kinda like K.J. Wright did it on purpose, though presumably he didn't know it could be a penalty.

    The ball was on its way out of bounds without Wright's assistance. If you go back and rewatch the play and the final moments there, there aren't any Detroit Lions in the immediate vicinity. You can kind of see that in the photo posted above; Wright is really all by himself. So even if he doesn't touch it at all, the ball still goes out of the back of the endzone and gets ruled a touchback. Game over.

    I think that this is important. Was the bat technically illegal? Yes. Did it make a potential difference in the outcome of the play? I don't think so. The ball only needs to bounce one more time to go out of bounds, and there is no Detroit Lion in position to stop it from doing so. In this situation, I think that not calling the penalty is acceptable.

    Just my two cents.
    I more or less agree with all of this, but I'd like to expand on a couple of points here:

    (1) Wright definitely did it on purpose. Unless he's the dumbest man alive or has a broken left hand, no one is going to try to pick up a bouncing football with one hand. He didn't even try to bring it toward his body. He is clearly pushing the ball out of the end zone.

    (2) I agree that the fact that no Lions are anywhere near Wright or the ball has to be weighted in this. The spirit of the rule, right, has to be to prevent guys from swatting the ball out of reach of another player who is attempting to recover a loose ball. That's not what's happening here, really. The guy is alone and could've recovered a fumble, but he went with fourth-down-knock-it-down instead.

    (3) I do think there's a substantive difference between a punter, for instance, swatting a fumbled snap out of the end zone for a safety and this. You're conceding points and the ball, so there's virtually no way anyone declines that penalty; also, considering the NFL basically doesn't treat punters like football players, a specialist exemption for this is probably where the game is going, anyway.

    (4) Andy is right that I brought this up in chat, but I also framed it, 'You know, if you want to be a real ball buster about it, that is an illegal bat, isn't it?'

    (5) A penalty probably should have been called because it's probably not a great idea to say, 'Well, it's okay if refs don't throw flags when a foul is committed that has basically no outcome on the play.' By that metric, no one should ever get flagged for an illegal formation, provided they don't line up with like eight guys in the backfield.

    (6) I do not buy the intent excuse that the NFL is positing and I do not believe the referee decided that common sense would dictate that this foul is not that big of a deal. The referee really was looking exactly at him and there was no way to avoid concluding that he was intentionally knocking the ball out of the end zone. The most likely explanation is that he just plain didn't know the rule.

    (7) In general, I oppose expanding replay. It's utterly ruined our ability to think logically about what a catch or a fumble is. I'd hate to see it more involved in the game. The game is over-regulated and over-officiated as it is. The last thing we need is replay reviews of pass interference penalties and holding calls.

    (8) Human error is a thing. We're never going to eliminate it entirely, and the replay system still gives preference to that human error over what a reasonable viewer of the replay would think based upon the video.

    (9) Realistically, the Lions are a pretty bad football team that is headed toward 5-11. I understand why people are upset, but this is not going to keep Detroit out of the playoffs or anything. It might hurt other, actual potential wild cards in the NFC, like whoever doesn't win the South between Atlanta and Carolina or the East between Philly and Dallas, but cries for justice aren't doing much for me right now. We've all watched our teams lose games because of a terrible pass interference call that extended a drive or a phantom holding penalty that erased a score. How different is this, anyway?

    (10) If the Lions scored a touchdown on the next play, I probably wouldn't have bet against Russell Wilson on the ensuing drive, honestly.

    (11) It's a penalty. It probably should have been called, but it didn't need to be called. Do with that what you will.
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