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.”

But Bryant never lost control of the ball. As the Fox play-by-play fellow who never even uttered, “Hmmm,” did say, “Wow!” As in, “Wow!” what a catch!

Now the NFL staying true to the Bizarro Code says the replay ref got the call right, but maybe the rule itself needs to be changed.

How about this? Do away with all replays. When a coach throws the challenge flag let him argue with the opposing coach for two minutes with both coaches on live mics. Then if they can’t agree who’s right take a cue from kids all over the country and call it a, “Do Over.”


Leave a Reply