BY Art Thiel 05:08PM 09/25/2012

Thiel: NFL operating out of the trunk of a car

Seahawks owner Paul Allen isn’t going rogue on his NFL brethren about the referee labor dispute. Doesn’t he know if there’s no settlement, the terrorists win?

Look closely, above the helmet of Charly Martin, and the football seems to be in the grasp and upon the chest of Packer DB M.D. Jennings. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

By now, everyone down to the Taliban in Afghanistan has seen at least a replay of the Monday Night Mess. Even the Taliban dudes, padding about the mud floor of their blown-in cinder-block hovel, are celebrating the demise of America:

“How can these infidels rule the world when they can’t play their own games right? Everyone knows it wasn’t a simultaneous catch! Packers lose, Seahawks don’t really win, America crumbles. We win!”

As Americans have been told for decades now, when a bad thing is allowed to go on too long, the terrorists win.

You saw the look on the face of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the vaunted Captain America of the double-vaunted Green Bay Packers. Eight sacks in a half by the Seahawks defense, including a self-sack when he tripped and fell down over nothing but perhaps piano wire set by gophers? Pure terror. This is decline-of-empire stuff, people.

So who better to ask about empire stuff that Paul Allen, builder of worlds, owner of the Seahawks and one of 32 bosses — and richest among them  — to whom NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reports. As you know, Goodell is the nation’s second most-badgered man, next to Mitt Romney’s campaign director. Goodell is calling the shots in the labor negotiations with the NFL’s veteran officials, talks that have produced nothing but second careers for Elmer Fudd, Beavis, Butthead and Homer Simpson.

The last-minute drama was still vibrating the Clink as Allen walked out of the locker room  and aimed to cross the field back to his suite when he was headed off by KJR’s Dave Mahler and me.

“I can’t remember a Seahawks game to match that,” Allen said, smiling. “I don’t know if they’re calling it the Monday Night Miracle yet, but it was so great for the franchise and Russell Wilson.”

Um, well, the term “miracle” hasn’t been used a lot so far, particularly in the Upper Midwest, where satellites have spotted numerous ominous-looking farm implements convoying in the direction of New York,  presumably to help Goodell negotiate.

In fact, Paul, isn’t this outcome, because of the replacement-ref controversy, anything but a miracle for the league?

“It’s an unfortunate situation we have to work through,” he said.  “I know the league is working hard in negotiations. I know it will get resolved. These things always do.

“I think we’d all prefer it would be sooner than later. But we have to let the people negotiating at the league level do their work.”

Not to put too a fine point on it, but nine veteran refs were fired for non-cooperation in June and the regular-season schedule hits the quarter-pole this weekend. Maybe it’s time. Do you think this latest debacle will provide impetus for a settlement?

“At some point both sides will come together,” he said.  “But I don’t want to . . . it’s up to the league negotiators.”

Not really. It’s up to the owners. The negotiators take their orders from Goodell, who takes his orders from Allen and other owners. Aren’t you worried about damage to the league’s cred?

“I’m not going to comment further,” he said. He went on to say nice things about the potential return of the NBA to Seattle — no, he and Chris Hansen haven’t talked, but they have a friend in common, Steve Ballmer — which you can listen to here.

But Allen wasn’t going rogue.

No, I didn’t expect him to say that the NFL should make the game’s integrity of paramount importance. But he could have, offering the first progressive signal that owners care as much as fans do.

Instead, he kept to the same corner into which he and his lodge brothers have painted themselves. They are trusting that however angry the fans are, and however critical even their ESPN broadcast partners are, everything will be forgiven as soon as the real referees cave.

They’re probably right. They know that most consumers most of the time won’t stand on principle when it comes to their passions. NFL stadiums will continue to sell out, and the ratings will stay high, and maybe even improve because of the lust to see wreckage. Let’s not forget the psychological foundations upon which NASCAR was built.

Because of its solo platform, the Monday night debacle would seem to have lasting effects, particularly when images linger like the photo of officials standing over the final play, making two different calls, one a game-over, touchback signal, the other a touchdown, then still not getting it right upon replay review. It is a fine illustration for an enterprise run out of the trunk of a car.

Then again, the NFL understands more deeply than its fans the virtues of monopoly operation. No matter how degraded the product gets, there is no alternative. It’s like the derisive motto affixed years ago to AT&T before its court-ordered break up: “We don’t care, because we don’t have to.”

I doubt very much that a court or Congress is going to spend time attempting to break up the NFL over Golden Tate, although President Barack Obama did weigh in on his Twitter account Tuesday, writing, “NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon.”

It might help that the president, a big sports fan, does not relish being taken for an idiot. Besides, he’s more invested than most in keeping terrorists from winning.


YourThoughts

  • OffTheLows

    But if you are Paul Allen, you view a group of part time employees demanding pensions as equivalent to negotiating with terrorists. The trend for any business besides government, with employees who help elect the politicians that give the pensions too them, is to shift to 401k programs, so that they have defined labor costs. The answer to some questionable calls in their mind is not to give the regular refs whatever they are demanding. Requires discipline and patience, which they showed during the player lockout.

    • art thiel

      Off, you’re right, the NFL is doing what most bigger companies do regarding pensions vs. 401k. But these part-timers are different than contracted janitors. They are responsible for maintaining order, uniformity, safety and integrity for the entire industry. That a helluva responsibility for part-timers. And they take their part-time jobs very seriously. The role they occupy is almost unique, one that would rate special consideration from a $9.5 billion industry

  • OffTheLows

    But if you are Paul Allen, you view a group of part time employees demanding pensions as equivalent to negotiating with terrorists. The trend for any business besides government, with employees who help elect the politicians that give the pensions too them, is to shift to 401k programs, so that they have defined labor costs. The answer to some questionable calls in their mind is not to give the regular refs whatever they are demanding. Requires discipline and patience, which they showed during the player lockout.

    • art thiel

      Off, you’re right, the NFL is doing what most bigger companies do regarding pensions vs. 401k. But these part-timers are different than contracted janitors. They are responsible for maintaining order, uniformity, safety and integrity for the entire industry. That a helluva responsibility for part-timers. And they take their part-time jobs very seriously. The role they occupy is almost unique, one that would rate special consideration from a $9.5 billion industry

  • Eric K

    You gotta admit one funny thing, if before the season some had said there will be game involving the Seahawks with a call so bad that it outrages everyone about the replacement refs you sure would have thought they’d be on the losing side. Just the ways things usually go around here

    • art thiel

      I think most markets feel some persecution. Part of being a hometown fan. It’s just that in Seattle, the feeling is unrelieved by occasional success.

  • Eric K

    You gotta admit one funny thing, if before the season some had said there will be game involving the Seahawks with a call so bad that it outrages everyone about the replacement refs you sure would have thought they’d be on the losing side. Just the ways things usually go around here

    • art thiel

      I think most markets feel some persecution. Part of being a hometown fan. It’s just that in Seattle, the feeling is unrelieved by occasional success.

  • zip

    yeahh strike – keep these replacement refs!!!

  • zip

    yeahh strike – keep these replacement refs!!!

  • Tim M.

    Great, insightful piece Art. Almost everyone loves drama, even though they claim otherwise. Hell, that’s why we watch sports. I think the Packers deserved to win at the end, but when you add all the bad calls together, who knows? I felt sort of sick about it, but would Green Bay have acted differently if they’d been gifted a win like that?

    Unfortunately, what gets overshadowed is that our defense manhandled them most of the night. In the end, I think our Hawks will play with an even bigger chip on their shoulder. Hopefully Carroll will let Wilson cut loose more.

    The NFL has become a joke, but just watch the ratings explode next week as people are calling for a boycott! These refs make for great theater, whether or not you’re not a sports fan.

    • art thiel

      It is great theater,and Tim. The unscripted aspect of sports is why it’s always been better than “reality” TV. You’re right, much was overshadowed: Did Bruce’s Irvin’s name get mentioned in any post-game story? Doutbtful. But the league moves on, and so will we, with even more people in tow.

  • Tim M.

    Great, insightful piece Art. Almost everyone loves drama, even though they claim otherwise. Hell, that’s why we watch sports. I think the Packers deserved to win at the end, but when you add all the bad calls together, who knows? I felt sort of sick about it, but would Green Bay have acted differently if they’d been gifted a win like that?

    Unfortunately, what gets overshadowed is that our defense manhandled them most of the night. In the end, I think our Hawks will play with an even bigger chip on their shoulder. Hopefully Carroll will let Wilson cut loose more.

    The NFL has become a joke, but just watch the ratings explode next week as people are calling for a boycott! These refs make for great theater, whether or not you’re not a sports fan.

    • art thiel

      It is great theater,and Tim. The unscripted aspect of sports is why it’s always been better than “reality” TV. You’re right, much was overshadowed: Did Bruce’s Irvin’s name get mentioned in any post-game story? Doutbtful. But the league moves on, and so will we, with even more people in tow.

  • Joe Fan

    I agree that the labor situation between the “real” refs and the NFL needs to be resolved soon, and that there has been a multitude of issues and problems with the replacement guys, but be careful what you wish for. The “real” refs have stiffed the Seahawks over and over again, dating back many, many years. Heck, one notable “stiff” had a hand in Dennis Erickson losing his job and instant replay being instituted. Seems like game after game the real refs have caused us hours if not years of consternation. Maybe there would be less pain and suffering caused us all by the real refs, but as history has shown us Seahawk fans, their favorable input on our lives has only been marginally better than the replacements, in fact, after last night I kind of like these replacement guys a little better!

    • art thiel

      Joe, I’m well aware of the Seahawks history, and also aware that every franchise has similar stories, although SB XL has to top all. But please believe me when I tell you that the regular refs are EXTREMELY professional in their attention to duty and their desire to protect the NFL “shield.” That’s why there’s so much bitterness now. Yes, they’ve missed calls, but if you ever get a chance to stand on a sideline to see how incredibly fast an NFL game is, your respect will skyrocket. It is a very difficult enterprise to manage, as the the truck drivers and waiters doing the job now are proving.

  • Joe Fan

    I agree that the labor situation between the “real” refs and the NFL needs to be resolved soon, and that there has been a multitude of issues and problems with the replacement guys, but be careful what you wish for. The “real” refs have stiffed the Seahawks over and over again, dating back many, many years. Heck, one notable “stiff” had a hand in Dennis Erickson losing his job and instant replay being instituted. Seems like game after game the real refs have caused us hours if not years of consternation. Maybe there would be less pain and suffering caused us all by the real refs, but as history has shown us Seahawk fans, their favorable input on our lives has only been marginally better than the replacements, in fact, after last night I kind of like these replacement guys a little better!

    • art thiel

      Joe, I’m well aware of the Seahawks history, and also aware that every franchise has similar stories, although SB XL has to top all. But please believe me when I tell you that the regular refs are EXTREMELY professional in their attention to duty and their desire to protect the NFL “shield.” That’s why there’s so much bitterness now. Yes, they’ve missed calls, but if you ever get a chance to stand on a sideline to see how incredibly fast an NFL game is, your respect will skyrocket. It is a very difficult enterprise to manage, as the the truck drivers and waiters doing the job now are proving.

  • Matt712

    NFL refs have been derided for decades; it goes with the job. Goodell & co. probably thought they could put striped shirts on zebra-riding chimpanzees and no one would know difference. And really, is the officiating that much worse than its ever been? Well, maybe (although I’m not convinced Monday’s debacle would never have happened otherwise). But what they surely didn’t think of was that, regardless of decline in competence, the lockout scribbles out the unspoken rule of teams not (publicly) blaming the officials for poor performance. Now everyone gets to bitch. And that looks bad.

    I’m not even sure what my point is. But, I think it’s just a response to all the ‘hoary bromides’ (thank you Art) I keep hearing about jeopardizing the game’s integrity and “tarnishing the shield.” Really? Umm, this is professional sports in 2012, action packed with high prices, elitism, and the justification for which is that it’s actually an entertainment industry ever more on par with something out of Hollywood. Well hey, I’m entertained!

    Maybe we’ll just have to accept bad officiating as part of the new NFL paradigm. Oh wait. Hasn’t it always been?

    • art

      Covered a lot of ground Matt. I would say that the officiating is much, much worse because the unpenalized plays (OL holds, PIs) are undermining the game and provoking fights. Since you don’t much care about the integrity issue (there has to be integrity or there wouldn’t be gambling, and the NFL would collapse — how’s that for a pile o’ irony?), let’s just have the entertainment value ratchet up with a topless Kim Kardashian as lead official.

  • Matt712

    NFL refs have been derided for decades; it goes with the job. Goodell & co. probably thought they could put striped shirts on zebra-riding chimpanzees and no one would know difference. And really, is the officiating that much worse than its ever been? Well, maybe (although I’m not convinced Monday’s debacle would never have happened otherwise). But what they surely didn’t think of was that, regardless of decline in competence, the lockout scribbles out the unspoken rule of teams not (publicly) blaming the officials for poor performance. Now everyone gets to bitch. And that looks bad.

    I’m not even sure what my point is. But, I think it’s just a response to all the ‘hoary bromides’ (thank you Art) I keep hearing about jeopardizing the game’s integrity and “tarnishing the shield.” Really? Umm, this is professional sports in 2012, action packed with high prices, elitism, and the justification for which is that it’s actually an entertainment industry ever more on par with something out of Hollywood. Well hey, I’m entertained!

    Maybe we’ll just have to accept bad officiating as part of the new NFL paradigm. Oh wait. Hasn’t it always been?

    • art

      Covered a lot of ground Matt. I would say that the officiating is much, much worse because the unpenalized plays (OL holds, PIs) are undermining the game and provoking fights. Since you don’t much care about the integrity issue (there has to be integrity or there wouldn’t be gambling, and the NFL would collapse — how’s that for a pile o’ irony?), let’s just have the entertainment value ratchet up with a topless Kim Kardashian as lead official.

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    When you snarked that the officials make two different signals on the final play and guilty of “then still not getting it right upon replay review”, how did they NOT get it right?

    Leaving aside the shove by Tate that should have been flagged but wasn’t and wasn’t disputable on review, and focusing only on the issue of possession, did or did not Tate have a firm grip on the ball from almost the same instant that Jennings touched it to the time they both hit the ground with co-possession of the ball?
    The “co-possession” may have been 60/40 but Tate still had some degree of possession, did he not? If that is the case, then how is this the wrong call?
    Just asking.

    • art thiel

      Jennings clearly had first possession and never lost it, Tate grabbed for the ball on the way down and got to 50-50 on the ground (play over), when the refs arrived. The replay officials could see what the refs couldn’t in real time, but declined to reverse for reasons they will never tell but common sense would suggest — they didn’t want to reverse a game-winning TD call by the refs on the ground to made a bad situation worse. They hid behind “inconclusive.”

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    When you snarked about the officials making two different signals on the final play and that they were guilty of “then still not getting it right upon replay review”, how did they NOT get it right?

    Leaving aside the shove by Tate that should have been flagged but wasn’t and wasn’t reviewable, and focusing only on the issue of possession, did or did not Tate have a firm grip on the ball from almost the same instant that Jennings touched it to the time they both hit the ground with co-possession of the ball?

    The “co-possession” may have been 60/40 but Tate still had some degree of possession, did he not? If that is the case, then how is this the wrong call?

    Just asking.

    • art thiel

      Jennings clearly had first possession and never lost it, Tate grabbed for the ball on the way down and got to 50-50 on the ground (play over), when the refs arrived. The replay officials could see what the refs couldn’t in real time, but declined to reverse for reasons they will never tell but common sense would suggest — they didn’t want to reverse a game-winning TD call by the refs on the ground to made a bad situation worse. They hid behind “inconclusive.”

  • PokeyPuffy

    This is big news because one of the NFL untouchables (Pittsburgh/Dallas/GreenbBay/NewEngland/NYG) got the short end of the stick. These franchises are predestined, given their storied history, correct time zonage (East and Central only need apply) and jersey sales.

    The Seattles, Buffalos and Clevelands of the world are not supposed to get these calls. We are the eternal losers and i think people feel the universe is out of sorts when things like this happen. It kind of feels like Charlie Brown finally kicked the ball w/o Lucy pulling it away at the last second!

    • art thiel

      I was wondering when the conspiracy theorists would surface. Thanks, Pokey. The line starts at the grassy knoll. :)

      • Hammtime

        Art, while I wouldn’t go so far as to say certain franchises are given favoritism by the NFL, I do think that a big part of the outrage over this is because the victim was the Green Bay Packers. Do you really think there would be nearly as much outrage if it were the Hawks that were the victims and the Packers were the beneficiaries? I doubt it. Imagine the outrage if it were the Packers who got screwed in Superbowl XL! The sky would be falling!

  • PokeyPuffy

    This is big news because one of the NFL untouchables (Pittsburgh/Dallas/GreenbBay/NewEngland/NYG) got the short end of the stick. These franchises are predestined, given their storied history, correct time zonage (East and Central only need apply) and jersey sales.

    The Seattles, Buffalos and Clevelands of the world are not supposed to get these calls. We are the eternal losers and i think people feel the universe is out of sorts when things like this happen. It kind of feels like Charlie Brown finally kicked the ball w/o Lucy pulling it away at the last second!

    • art thiel

      I was wondering when the conspiracy theorists would surface. Thanks, Pokey. The line starts at the grassy knoll. :)

      • Hammtime

        Art, while I wouldn’t go so far as to say certain franchises are given favoritism by the NFL, I do think that a big part of the outrage over this is because the victim was the Green Bay Packers. Do you really think there would be nearly as much outrage if it were the Hawks that were the victims and the Packers were the beneficiaries? I doubt it. Imagine the outrage if it were the Packers who got screwed in Superbowl XL! The sky would be falling!

  • Soggyblogger

    We live in a market economy and this article proves it. Why else would you write the 3,453,233 story on this? And people are still reading and commenting….like me. But I am done. Even a hook as good as a possible interview with Allen will not lure me to another story on this single play of this single game.

    So where is your article on Bruce Irvin, Art? You’ve squeezed all the juice out of this story. Time to move on.

    • art thiel

      Soggy, the story is irresistible on so many levels that here you are, unable to help yourself from commenting. Don’t ask me for help stopping your craving. There must be a Commenters Anonymous somewhere.

  • Soggyblogger

    We live in a market economy and this article proves it. Why else would you write the 3,453,233 story on this? And people are still reading and commenting….like me. But I am done. Even a hook as good as a possible interview with Allen will not lure me to another story on this single play of this single game.

    So where is your article on Bruce Irvin, Art? You’ve squeezed all the juice out of this story. Time to move on.

    • art thiel

      Soggy, the story is irresistible on so many levels that here you are, unable to help yourself from commenting. Don’t ask me for help stopping your craving. There must be a Commenters Anonymous somewhere.

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    This is a little off topic, Art, but I thought it would be of interest here.

    Never underestimate the passions of the NFL football fan or the power of those passions to cause (fill in the blank) inconsistency, irrationality, hypocrisy.

    Here’s a wonderful little sidebar to the Monday Night Miracle, the football game that has become front-page news and has propelled the lock-out of the NFL referees into the spotlight because of the almost-universal agreement that the Seahawk touchdown was the wrong call by incompetent replacement refs. As a result, people are screaming for the return of the regular (union) refs. And, where there’s a crowd gathered during election season with a strongly-held desire, it is as inevitable as sharks circling a bloody carcass that the politicians will be circling too, pandering to that desire.

    That is how we come to find the world’s biggest anti-union villain, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, ascending a soap box and calling for the NFL to settle with the locked-out (union) referees after his (and his constituent’s) home team got “robbed”. Does it get any better than this? I hope Jon Stewart notices and mines this vein of comedy gold.

    Here’s New York Magazine writer, Jonathan Chait, on the Walker Transformation:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/09/scott-walker-packer-fan-now-a-union-man.html

    • art

      Thanks, Obi. I’ve followed that angle too. So has Stephen Colbert, check out his take from last night (rerun tonight).

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    This is a little off topic, Art, but I thought it would be of interest here.

    Never underestimate the passions of the NFL football fan or the power of those passions to cause (fill in the blank) inconsistency, irrationality, hypocrisy.

    Here’s a wonderful little sidebar to the Monday Night Miracle, the football game that has become front-page news and has propelled the lock-out of the NFL referees into the spotlight because of the almost-universal agreement that the Seahawk touchdown was the wrong call by incompetent replacement refs. As a result, people are screaming for the return of the regular (union) refs. And, where there’s a crowd gathered during election season with a strongly-held desire, it is as inevitable as sharks circling a bloody carcass that the politicians will be circling too, pandering to that desire.

    That is how we come to find the world’s biggest anti-union villain, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, ascending a soap box and calling for the NFL to settle with the locked-out (union) referees after his (and his constituent’s) home team got “robbed”. Does it get any better than this? I hope Jon Stewart notices and mines this vein of comedy gold.

    Here’s New York Magazine writer, Jonathan Chait, on the Walker Transformation:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/09/scott-walker-packer-fan-now-a-union-man.html

    • art

      Thanks, Obi. I’ve followed that angle too. So has Stephen Colbert, check out his take from last night (rerun tonight).

  • H. Hanson

    1. The picture above shows Tate’s left arm signaling game over e ball and Jenning’s chest. Seems that should mean something.

    2. The referee was not signaling game over or touch back. He gave the signal to stop the clock (obviously erroneously as time had ran ouy)

  • H. Hanson

    1. The picture above shows Tate’s left arm signaling game over e ball and Jenning’s chest. Seems that should mean something.

    2. The referee was not signaling game over or touch back. He gave the signal to stop the clock (obviously erroneously as time had ran ouy)

  • mybrucealmighty

    They did, in fact, “get it right upon replay review,” as the applicable rules are written.

    • art thiel

      They hid behind “inconclusive.” Tate’s half of possession mostly came on the ground.

  • mybrucealmighty

    They did, in fact, “get it right upon replay review,” as the applicable rules are written.

    • art thiel

      They hid behind “inconclusive.” Tate’s half of possession mostly came on the ground.

  • West Seattle Boy

    There were a lot of bad calls on both teams (that late pass interference call on Earl Thomas). Seattle just got lucky that the last one went their way

  • West Seattle Boy

    There were a lot of bad calls on both teams (that late pass interference call on Earl Thomas). Seattle just got lucky that the last one went their way

  • fjoro

    Goodell and the owners are correct in their belief that fans will forget fast enough once the regulars are back.

    They have a perfect case study from 1987, when replacement *players* were used. If I recall correctly, Sean Salisbury became something of a local hero for the Scabhawks, people went to the games, and the NFL seemed to recover OK after that. Talk about integrity issues with replacement referees seems trivial in the face of that.

    That’s not to say they’re doing the right thing.

  • fjoro

    Goodell and the owners are correct in their belief that fans will forget fast enough once the regulars are back.

    They have a perfect case study from 1987, when replacement *players* were used. If I recall correctly, Sean Salisbury became something of a local hero for the Scabhawks, people went to the games, and the NFL seemed to recover OK after that. Talk about integrity issues with replacement referees seems trivial in the face of that.

    That’s not to say they’re doing the right thing.

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  • notaboomer

    It might help that the president, a big sports fan, does not relish
    being taken for an idiot. Besides, he’s more invested than most in
    keeping terrorists from winning.

    obama’s drone war is really winning the global war on terra. man do i feel like a winner.

  • notaboomer

    It might help that the president, a big sports fan, does not relish
    being taken for an idiot. Besides, he’s more invested than most in
    keeping terrorists from winning.

    obama’s drone war is really winning the global war on terra. man do i feel like a winner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adrian.simmons.79 Adrian Simmons

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/9/25/3410146/golden-tates-golden-catch

    Alot less clear cut than you make it out to be Art. Tate’s left hand touches the ball first and never comes off. Tate’s right hand moves to resecure the ball while Jennings and Tate are coming to the ground. To complete a catch you have to come down with the ball, not merely control it in the air. We’ve interceptions where the defender yanks it out the defenders hands in the air because it isn’t considered control until your down. If Tate’s hold is so weak, maybe you’ll explain how he held on with Jennings in the superior leverage position with is arm wrapped around the ball wrenching as hard as he can to get it free, yet unable to do so. Seems to me even the local media isn’t doing their research.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adrian.simmons.79 Adrian Simmons

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/9/25/3410146/golden-tates-golden-catch

    Alot less clear cut than you make it out to be Art. Tate’s left hand touches the ball first and never comes off. Tate’s right hand moves to resecure the ball while Jennings and Tate are coming to the ground. To complete a catch you have to come down with the ball, not merely control it in the air. We’ve interceptions where the defender yanks it out the defenders hands in the air because it isn’t considered control until your down. If Tate’s hold is so weak, maybe you’ll explain how he held on with Jennings in the superior leverage position with is arm wrapped around the ball wrenching as hard as he can to get it free, yet unable to do so. Seems to me even the local media isn’t doing their research.