"Cheffers Was Wrong...": Murphy's Butt Makes It a Catch

Barnavicious XCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Louis Murphy #18 (bottom) and Darrius Heyward-Bey #12 of the Oakland Raiders celebrate after Murphy scored on a 57-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After further review the ruling on the field was wrong. Carl Cheffer's botches the call that may or may not have decided the game. The rule states the receiver/player must "possess the ball to the ground", well Murphy's butt got the job done. 

In the process of making the catch, Murphy possessed the ball and got two feet down in the end-zone: convincing however irrelevant in the determination of this play.

What is not irrelevant, at least in this particular case, is Murphy's right butt cheek. As Murphy goes to the ground his buttock clearing touches the ground with the ball in possession, any further discussion is pointless from there on. Once that cheek hit that end-zone the player has successfully maintained possession of the ball to the ground and the play is over, Touchdown. The fact he rolled over and then lost possession should not matter, because it was the ground that caused the loss of control after the play should have been over. 

"Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that 'if a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact with an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or in 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."'

The rule leaves the timeframe of which the reciever must control the ball after touching the ground open for subjective opinion and should be changed. This is how Cheffers was able to apply his ruling, right or wrong. Murphy never lost control of the ball prior to the ball touching the ground. 

I surveyed an ex official and he stated, "Cheffers was wrong...the problem with the rule is that it leaves room for interpretation...and in my opinion Cheffers got his interpretatoin wrong...it's unfortunate but part of the game."