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Forget the officiating, change the NFL rules

It's typical to argue about officiating in any sport.

One bad call there, another missed call here, and, who knows, maybe the other team could have won.

At least that's how it works if your team is on the losing side of the equation.

Then there are the blown calls. You know the type, the ones where everyone in the stadium knows it was a terrible call. Then, television replay confirms it and your blood pressure goes through the roof.

Meanwhile, the officials just stand there waiting for the commercials to end and for the next play to begin.

But what happens when the officials enforce a bad rule?

That's what happened after Hines Ward caught a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the Steelers' win over the Browns.

Only in the world of the NFL can a player have possession of the ball, get two feet in bounds, roll over and have it not called a touchdown.

The official said Ward did not maintain control of the ball. Presumably, he meant after Ward did his second rollover, which took place out of bounds.

Which begs the question, at what point does a receiver have control of the ball?

It reminded me of Troy Polamalu's interception that wasn't against the Colts in the playoffs during the Super Bowl XL run.

Ward's take on the play:
"The ruling I thought was you have to have control while you're in the end zone. What the ref said was that you have to continue, no matter how many times you roll. On the second roll the ball hit my thigh and moved a little bit. I had complete control of the ball when I caught it in the end zone."

So what would have happened if Ward got up and handed the ball to the official. My guess is an incomplete pass, because, obviously, he couldn't maintain control of it.

Laugh now, but that interpretation by an official is coming.

How can it not? Didn't you see the "Close Enough" call on fourth down?


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