By John Montone, 1010 WINS
As comic book fans will tell you the code of conduct in The Bizarro World is, “Us do opposite of all earthly things!” Welcome to the NFL.
Dez Bryant caught the ball and held the ball. Tens of millions of eyeballs saw that. Six of those eyeballs belonged to the Fox Network’s play-by-play announcer, color commentator and in-house rules expert. None of the mouths belonging to the same faces as those eyeballs uttered a word to suggest Dez Bryant did not catch and hold onto the ball.
That’s because he caught and held the ball. If any of the smartly-attired fellows in the Fox booth thought otherwise they would have said so. For they are paid handsomely to say something, if they see something. But they said nothing to suggest they thought there was even the remotest possibility that Bryant didn’t catch and hold onto the football. Not even a well-enunciated, “Hmmm.”
There was no, “Hmmm,” from the Fox fellows because it was as obvious to them as it was to the rest of the tens of millions of eyeballs that watched the play, that it was a complete pass. Bryant leaped high over the Green Bay defender, grabbed the ball with both hands, took a couple of steps and fell horizontally to the turf just short of the Green Bay goal line.
At that point the nose of the ball did hit the ground, but Bryant grabbed it as it came up and he rolled into the end zone. Cowboy ball on the one.
But wait. The challenge flag was thrown so we had to wait while the Bizarro boys in their NFL-sanctioned black and white stripes analyzed the play from above, behind and two or three dozen other angles in slow, slower, slowest motion and stop-action, freeze frame that would put old Abraham Zapruder’s home move to shame. Finally, the chief of the zebras emerged to tell us what we already know, “First and goal Cowboys on the one.” Except, “Us do opposite of all earthly things!”
Here then is the explanation from the Bizarro World’s rule book under the heading, I’m not making this up, “Process Rule 8; Section 1, Article 3, Item 1,” to wit, “If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground the pass is complete.”