How the NFL’s ‘Catch Rule’ Became the Worst Rule in Sports

July 14, 2016   ·     ·   Jump to comments

There isn't a more infuriating regulation in all of sports than the NFL's catch rule. It's like a combination of the IRS's tax code, the Code of Hammurabi and those giant heads on Easter Island. We can all see it, but damned if anyone knows what it all means.
Over the past handful of years, the rule has been altered and changed and "clarified" in a way that's been—in the eyes of many—about as clear as mud.
The "process of the catch" gave way to "making a football move" gave way to "an act common to the game" gave way to "becoming a runner with the ball." With every attempt to eliminate the confusion, fans became that much more confused.
It isn't just those who watch football. The young men playing it are just as lost. As Andrew Hawkins of the Cleveland Browns told Kalyn Kahler of The MMQB, "I am just as lost as any fan or any player."
Seattle's Doug Baldwin is similarly nonplussed. "I've heard so many different rules that it is hard to define it myself,"...

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