Lions vs. Bears: Calvin Johnson didn’t catch it?

We’ve already had a tons of posts and emails about this, but people are steamed about the Calvin Johnson’s catch at the end of the Bears/Lions game being overruled.

It sure looked to me like a catch. Here’s a video of the play, so leave your comments below.



  1. Worse call i seen in years. What is the man suppose to do take the ball back to the bench. The refs need to be find even with the review they didn’t want chicago fans upset with the call.

  2. what a bullshit call. Its a conspiracy against detroit. How can they say its a touchdown if a back reaches across the goaline with the ball and it gets knocked out and that was not a touchdown? BULLSHIT CALL!!!!

  3. Robert Spalding says

    I have been watching football for over 40 years and the call against the Lions today on the Johnson touchdown catch is the worse I have ever seen. The ball was released by Johnson, and DID NOT come out as a result of contact with the ground. He completed the entire play! Detroit should refuse to take the field for any further games until this injustice is overturned and Detroit awarded the game. Further, the officials in the game should be fined substantially for their conduct in the injustice of this call.

  4. I am taking my nfl pass off my cable bill, I will no longer donate to united way,Will not let my kids play or watch football,and will boycott all things related to the nfl. That call was complete bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I’m a Bears fan, and even I will agree that was a cruddy call. Two feet, possession, control. How did they get “incomplete” out of that catch??

    The Lions were robbed.

  6. This call is absolutely and by far THE WORST CALL n the history of the NFL. The officials that made the call and didn’t overturn it should be immediately fired and banned from officiating the rest of there life. This is a total blaintant injustice.

  7. I was watching the game at a bar and never heard the reason behind the call, other than it was incomplete (not sure why). I have left the bar and am watching tennis as I refuse to watch anymore football today. This was a bullshit call and it needs to be looked in to. This is not a situation that the ref can apologize, and everything is okay. Goodell needs to treat this like any other criminal charge that players get. The Lions were robbed and something needs to happen.

  8. I cannot ever remember such a terrible call. I’ve read the new rule, which says that he as to maintain control when he comes down. He came down on his feet, then on his hip and maintained control through all of that. It wasn’t until he used the ball to get up that the ball fell out. What a terrible call. Detroit should officially protest this game with the NFL. The NFL sucks!

  9. Totally bogus and gutless call. A guy can run to the corner of the endzone and dive to the pylon just barely cross the goalline and lose control of it and he gets a touchdown. Calvin catches the ball, has two feet on the ground with complete control and falls down lands on his butt with control, lands on his elbow still with control, rolls over and they call it incomplete. This crew should be suspended. The Lions earned this win and got robbed by the NFL.

  10. That was a catch. A review of the rule is needed because he had control of the ball.

  11. Kill Mike Wimmer what did he see? words can not explain the way I feel!!! death to him, He was wrong. What kind of person do we have looking at games? Does he work for Vegas. No one can get to him. The commissioner should get him out now!!!! What an embarrassment to good ref’s. I call him every bad word !!!

  12. Listen, It’s the Lions ok? geez we cant have the Bears fans upset as that would not look good on the refs since it was a Bears home game. Besides they may have gotten a call from Barry, God forbid that happen. Suck it up Lions fans, it’s a small sacrifice to pay for the overall good of the country.Bite the bullet and go 3 and 13 like the NFL want’s you to do.Somebody’s gotta lose, we can help you do that.

  13. As if the Lions don’t have enough trouble winning a game. I was watching it on FOX, and their “expert” was spilling all of this talk about “process” and how the receiver needs to maintain control throughout the “process”. I read the rule and it states that the receiver needs to maintain control until he hits the ground (which he clearly did). The word “process” was not mentioned in the rule.

    What a load of garbage that call was.

  14. you refs must be making this shit up to suit who you bet on to win the game.i have never seen a touchdown taken away when both feet are on the ground and the player is across the goal line in 45 years.

  15. Jeff (ex nfl fan) Derry says


  16. Jeff (ex nfl fan) Derry says


  17. Rick McDougal says

    In order to overturn the original call on the field, the officials would have to prove it was not a touchdown. Since the back judge closest to the play, looking directly at the players, ruled it a touchdown. Therefore, the NFL officials at this game seem to be unaware of their own rules. Thank you for stealing a game for the Bears and embarrassing the NFL for hiring dumb ass officials.

    • Actually, the original call on the field was TD, as you can see in the video. The officials conferred, then ruled it incomplete. That was wrong, the play was called a TD.

  18. I am not a Lions or Bears fan but watched the game. What a disgusting ruling. Looks like to me the official had money on the Bears. The NFL is taking the fun away from the game with their granular and confusing rules. Each year, more rules. There is no fun to watching the sport anymore. It’s ridiculous. If the NFL isn’t careful, they won’t have an audience. You thought you gained us ladies a few years back. Guess what? This lady thinks the call is bullshit, too. As for this Mike Pereira guy….he is just another idiot newscaster at FOX.

  19. The NFL will save a lot of face,in the eyes of fans world wide,if it steps in,right the wrong…the official over that play(hands-up),rule this play a TD.Why was he over- ruled,before the review?Give the NBA credit about officials;NCAA correct wrongs…Chicago’s “crook-image “is bad enough.Lets keep that image,out of chicago sports.Right the wrong!

  20. Continuation of the process. What a load of bull-hockey.

    The ball was caught, was in control all the way to the ground and beyond, and then left there as he got up. Short of getting a receipt and mailing it in with a TPS cover-sheet, not sure what else CJ has to do.

    If that wasn’t a catch, then there is going to be a LOT of called back plays this season.

  21. Agreed. It was a catch. Officials made a mistake. That mistake determined the outcome of the game. The NFL will never admit to this so we will just continue to whine and complain. This will all be forgotten by Wednesday. It sucks but that is the way of the world.

    Respectfully submitted;

  22. It really has to make you wonder. I mean I was suprised, but obviously not nearly as much as the the (concerned) officials were that Hill made such a nice pass. Obviously the corrupted officiating crew got caught with their pants down on this one. Think about it, if they would have seen this TD comming ahead of time a simple bogus holding call or 2 on the final drive could have allowed them to stop it without it being so obvious that they had the game fixed.

    ps. Oh and thanks for the endorsement of the bad call FOX sports! (affiliate of no other than Fox News)
    If I remember rcorrectly Isn’t this the same network that confidently endorsed George Bush years ago in 2 extremely controversial presidential elections?

  23. Lionsfan45years says

    The NFL is becoming a joke. Instant replay needs to be pulled and the rest of these stupid rules (Processes) whatever.

    I never really expect Detroit to do real well but with that said…

    If a ball can break plane and be ruled a TD then the rule that they are using on this call needs to be abolished.

    Sad in Detroit

  24. Words cant possibly express the my feelings regarding this call.
    The Lions won this game! I’ll bet even the bears don’t feel too good about this one. That was clearly a BS call. Everyone who watched knows this. GO LIONS! Refs suck! By the way I’m a Patriots fan who just happened to be tuned in for the big play.

  25. As you all know, this is all moot because you will never, ever hear this rule again. You will watch a million Sunday Night and Monday Night games and see replays of games with worse catches than this in the last 2 minutes of the game where a reciever dives to catch the ball, rolls on the ground and doesn’t even appear to catch the ball but yet this rule will never, ever be brought up. Chris Collinsworth will go on for what seems like hours disecting the “catch” and will tell you why it is or is not a catch, but this rule will never, never be part of it, because if the ref’s had to start enforcing this rule they know they would have to overturn half of the catches in the league.

  26. Lions fans will be alright once they get their prescription refills.
    I have to admit it takes the fun out of watching a game all afternoon when the officials wind up deciding who wins in situations like this at the end. (60 minutes of football squeezed in between 4 hours of advertising) It’s more fun when the way players play determines the winner.

  27. I’ve read the rule and according to the wording …IT IS A CATCH!
    Rule states player must have control or ball when he hits the ground-Calvin’s knee hit ground (still had ball), butt hit ground (still had ball). I disagree that according to “the rule” it is incomplete. THE RULE ACTUALLY VALIDATES THE CATCH!!!!!

  28. Please let me add that I am anything but a Lions fan.
    and I don’t think you have to be to question that call.
    I’m sure most reasonable people would agree someone made a mistake there. It sure looked like a TD on them replays.

  29. True columbo, and isn’t there another rule that says the ground cannot cause a fumble?
    It just was a bad call. I feel bad for their fans.
    Lions fans at that! Them fans i’d think have already paid their lifetimes worth of dues.

  30. No more NFL for me, that was disgusting. Any league that calls that an incomplete catch is obviously a joke. I will have to watch football on Saturday now instead. I always liked the college game, just couldn’t watch TV all weekend long

  31. You get hooked on a team while your growing up and if your anything like me it grabs ahold of you 4ever.
    I dream of a Lions superbowl, but I sure and the hell wasn’t expecting it this year or next. I have just been wired about how much better they are getting from where they were. Calls like this one today really suck the wind out of you. Hell i’m just a fan, I could only imagine how them players and coach Schwartz feel.

  32. What about Hill? How do you think he felt? He wasnt very impressive at all up until this pass, and it got ruled incomplete. (somehow) Still trying to figure that one out.
    When the Bears took the ball from us on our 1 yd line I was looking at the television screen saying “You mean this dude cannot even take a snap ?” I mean he almost reminded me in ways of Joey Harrington.
    In the sense that, well Joey would look left, look right and then wiz it into the bleachers like ” Oh shit! what do I do! what do I do? Chuck it in the stands!” Hill wasnt even that exciting. Throwing for 4 when you need 10? The dude is a backup I guess, but man he didn’t look confident at all. I feel better about him after his last pass though. Just wish it would of counted!

  33. The first ruling on the field was touch down. Everything after that was either conspiracy or incompetence or a really bad rule. The call needs to be reversed and investigated.

  34. Damn Refs!! I hate you guys. You’ve ruined the game with this kind of shameful, blatant, BS call. I’ve been watching the NFL since the beginning and I can’t remember being more disgusted with the refs. I’ve always known they were partisan but this takes the cake. I’m done. No More NFL for me. F*** Y***

  35. That loss was a hard one to swallow, but not nearly as hard as losing Stafford. We were poised to make major progress this year. Now we have lost our QB for who knows how long.

  36. I’m boycotting all NFL games until this is reversed and the officials are fired! I mean it, no more games on my tv.

  37. I am a Packer fan, and really don’t care at all who wins that game. But that call at the end was total crap. I don’t care how many NFL officials defend the call. He had control of the ball, two feet down…that is a touchdown. Then he landed on his but, controlling the ball…Touchdown!
    That call was completely bogus…the NFL is just trying to cover a bad call.

  38. Another thought…I wish someone with access to video of past games would go back and check similar situations. I will guarantee that in the past this same set of conditions was ruled a touchdown.

  39. Eye exams for these referees. Steve Wonder could of gotten that call right.

  40. Jeffrey Henry says

    Horrendous officiating! Refs are out of control – They are changing the outcome of games. If it had been – oh – let’s say “Brett Favre” throwing the ball – Touchdown!

  41. I though the Tiger’s Armando Gallaraga’s no-hitter was the worst call I’ve ever seen, but this was just stupid.

  42. Even following the rules this is a catch. After he lands in the end zone with 2 feet in bounce and possession he pushes off (thus keeping the defender from landing on him). Which constitutes as a catch and a 2nd action. The problem here is the ref counts it as all one move. If that were the case the defender would have landed on him.

  43. That was a touchdown, plain and simple.
    The spirit of the play was a touchdown.
    It seems like every week there’s a new rule du jour.
    Stop the madness now! Every little twitch is analyzed and over analyzed and analyzed again. Geez.
    I’m not a Lions fan, but I am a football fan and I don’t want the same thing to happen to my team.

  44. We had 125 people in the bar looking at the Detroit game and all of them agreed not to watch another game these crooks officiate, I cant seem to find out there names.

  45. what is the name of the ref(s) that blew this call?

  46. I have been a Lions fan all my life. I have always thought the NFL and the referees had something against the Lions, now it has never been more clear. No one can deny that was a touchdown, look up the definition and the NFL rule book. It was 100% a touchdown. This was even worse than the previous Tampa Bay and Minnesota jobs they pulled on the Lions. Something seriously needs to be done about this. There is a conspiracy against the Lions. I will continue to be a faithful fan, even if the NFL doesn’t want them around. GREAT catch Calvin!!

  47. On a side note… 100% agree with numerous other people. If this was Peyton to Wayne, Favre to ?, Brady to Moss, even Rodgers to Jennings… unquestioned touchdown. AND where was the replay when Forte stepped out of bounds? I understand Schwartz’s stance on just accepting it and moving forward as he needs to do what’s best for the team going forward, but if I was coach, I would’ve had to been taken off that field in a rage. I wonder how much extra the refs make off these game time decisions.

  48. Tom Venturella says

    Contrary to TV reports, the Calvin Johnson catch ruling was not clearly correct in accordance with the rule.
    1. The rule states ”he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground.” He had control after:
    both feet touched the ground,
    his other hand, his rump, and his leg hit the ground.
    He lost control only after:
    the ball touched down in the end zone.
    It is clear to me that he did “maintain control of the ball after he touched the ground.”
    2. The rule states, “If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete.” He didn’t lose control until after the ball touched the ground, so this part of the rule does not apply.
    3. The rule states, “If he regains control, prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.” He did not have to regain control prior to the ball touching the ground, since he did not lose control prior to the ball touching the ground. Clearly, to me, however, the rule is stating that if he has control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete. He did have control prior to the ball touching the ground.
    The rule is not well defined in terms of the phrase “after he touches the ground.” The only defense of the referee ruling would be that there is an implied, not stated, time requirement for how long the receiver is required to hang on to the ball after the ball touches the ground. Is there a time limit that he is required to hold it?

  49. Tom, that call was F’ed and you know it.


  51. Breaking News:
    Here is the official response from the VP of officiating Carl Johnson

    NFL vice president of officiating Carl Johnson said Monday he was proud of the way the crew handled it, adding he wasn’t surprised by the uproar. (source Yahoo Sports 9-13-10)

    Wow-Proud and Not surprised!

    Why are we the fans/viewers “Not Surprised”

    Respectfully Submitted:
    W. Clay Boatman

  52. The Lions/Bears game call was made by a non-professional referee. There is no referee that has ANY pride in his work that would make a call such as that. His boss Calvin Johnson also needs to go back to selling or whatever he does, (and should be doing.) These people are sicking to sports and they should be fired. I see the NFL refs are as bad as the baseball umpires. Did you see what happened to the Detroit Tigers pitcher earlier this year? Do the refs & umpires hate Detroit? Are they getting paid off? What then could it be making such RIDICULOUS calls? I’m done watching sports and I have always loved sports my whole life. Us as fans need to boycott sports until there are refs & umpires that have some pride in their work! This call was another ridiculous stupid call and there is no one that has any guts and brains to do anything about it! The Lions won and everybody knows it. Even if I was a Bears fan I couldn’t accept such a “win.” Of course all of this is my opinion which I am entitled to!

    • the rule states that that was NOT a catch and therefor the ref made the right decision and in respect to the baseball ump, how many calls are made in one game, a lot so one major mistake in a season is an accomplishment in my books. Major League sports need to continue to get referees of this caliber.

      • Wrong wrong wrong. what the refs should of noticed was that when Calvin puts his first hand down its out of bounds which ends the play there. NO process after that point. soon as he touches out of bounds the play is dead.

      • Jim, I bet you kiss ass for a living. The NFL should have a system where they compare past plays when determining whether a play is good or not good. These referees must be getting paid off in order to keep the top 4 markets competitive. The bears should have lost that game period. The sideline judge who watched the play happen ruled a Touch Down. It wasn’t until after the referee that stood behind the trenches ran up and called it incomplete. He couldn’t see fucking shit. The only thing he could see was his mortgage evaporate before his eye and his bookie laughing out loud. FUCK THE NFL. And Fuck

  53. You are ruining the game! Too many judgement calls for the officials. Blows to the head on quarterbacks, pass interference, steps forward by a man in motion, etc etc. Flaaco was sandwiched last night by two Jets players both hitting him in the head and shoulders…no call. Yet in this Bears/Lions game both defenses had that called aginst them in the first quater. It’s judgements, not rules.
    If this was not a catch, then every touchdown reception from here on out better include the “process” of cradling the ball with two hands until the receiver can give the ball to the official while asking-with the proper tone of reverence in his voice- “mother may i”. Until doing so, receiver will be “judged” to be unworthy of the catch.

    • Judgment is always going to be a part of JUDGING sports which is what umps and refs are paid to do. There will be human error in every sports competition until electronic refs are put in place which im sure fans will be upset at and the NFL MLB NHL ect will be scrutinized for. The contreversy is part of the buety of the sport. If you dont like it you can go read a book or somthing.

  54. Jim— You are correct. It was not a touchdown, the referee, Mr. Steratore applied a rule that is currently in the rule book. The “judgement” used by Mr. Steratore is what is in question here.

    Mr. Steratore is paid to make that decision (judge) and it is in his power to do so. However; just because he is paid and has the power does not make his judgement beyond question.

    I am not sure that controversy is the “beauty” of sports, I would like to think the beauty of sports is the competition.

    I must commend you on asking us all to read a book, it will help us all clear our heads and realize that it was just a Poor Judgement Call by a Paid Official (Referee) that altered the outcome of a professional sporting event.

    Respectfully Submitted;
    W. Clay Boatman

  55. Gene Steratore has followed up his butchering of the integrity of the sport of football with a call that every human being with eyes can see was wrong in Chicago (that cost Detroit a game) with a blown call that cost the Dolphins a game. This guy is putrid. Absolutely horrible.

  56. BearsFan2012 says

    Lmao Chicago loves all of you Lion fans. All of this talk of boycotting but I bet that you’ll be tuned in this week. Even if the Lions did win this game, they’re still horrible with a 2-9 record. Ooh wait no 3-9 since they supposedly won. Maybe you should consider switiching to a new team because Detroit Lions SUCK A**

    • Man you are a cunt. The Lions will destroy the bears this week. Just as they should have week 1 before the no fun league stepped in to ensure your win. I bet you sharted when you saw the only Ref who was close to the play rule it a touchdown. Besides, the only reason Chicago is doing well because they’re a pretentious market and its the president’s team. Everyone knows cuntler sucks, martz sucks, marinelli sucks and nfl referees suck.

  57. if you are a professional football player getting payed millions of dollars shouldn’t you know the rules of the game. DA BEARS!!!!

  58. Wow, The rule which everyone is referring too and the one used to justify the incomplete call was just recently put in to the rule book. Even reading the wording of the rule leaves understanding it up to interpretation. I believe it was implemented for this reason….. When a receiver under his own power (not being hit or tackled) goes to the turf to catch a ball, he must come up with it clean and in control of that ball. The rules that were affected by this is the old rule which states….”the ground cannot cause a fumble” thus it was either caught and as the player and ball hit the ground the ball pops out which in past would be ruled a reception or no control and ruled incomplete. With this rule you either get up with the ball or it’s incomplete. I believe they made the change to take the “interpretation” or did he have control or not away from the ref’s. I don’t however see anything in the rule that would totally change what the definition of “touchdown” is and has been for many many years.” In possession and control of the football as the ball crosses the goal line” At that very point the play is dead and it’s a touchdown. Clearly and I don’t care what team you rout for, Johnson swung around because of contact holding the ball with one hand. He didn’t lose it until the ball hit the ground. That is without any doubt control of the ball in the end zone. They then applied this must come up with the ball when going to the ground rule which is absolutely bogus and here’s why. If my interpretation is correct and the theory is more when a receiver goes to the ground under his own power for a catch, he must come up with the ball afterwards. How many times have we all witnessed last year a player running to the front corner of the end zone and under his own power dives and holds the ball in one hand to bend it around the pylon and they call it a touchdown. Do you know how many times that player hits the ground and the ball comes loose? I’ve seen it a bunch of times but it didn’t matter to the refs it was control crossing the goal line and it’s touchdown. So now they’ve apparently made a rule specifically for passing plays and receivers but doesn’t apply to anybody else. In my humble opinion……that’s bullshit. How’s about the halfback that dives over the pile of players stacked up at the one yard line to score…. shouldn’t he be required to come up with the ball too? By the way…I’m a N.Y. Giant fan.

    • The problem with your example is that the player “running” and diving across the pylon already has possession of the ball whereas the receiver coming down to the ground has yet to establish possession.

      • You’re wrong. You say that “whereas the receiver coming down to the ground has yet to establish possession.” This is wrong. Let’s start from the beginning: Quarterback has possession. He throws the ball to a receiver. The quarterback no longer has possession, as it is traveling through the air. So, let’s say that the air now has the possession of the ball. The balls comes to a complete stop because caught and held by the receiver. The possession is now transferred to the receiver. If the ball has stopped moving, and is secured in a receiver’s hands, that is a catch. That the ball is no longer moving through the air and is in the receiver’s hands, thus he has possession. I define a catch as just that – a catch. When you’re outside tossing the ball around, if you miss a pass because it bounces off of your hands and goes straight to the ground, that’s an incomplete pass. However if you catch it, are holding onto it, the pass has now been COMPLETE. It is no longer traveling through the air, but has reached its destination and has completed its course, hence a completion. So Johnson catches the ball, lands both feet on the ground, while still holding it, and while falling to the ground, still holding it, then lying on the ground, still holding it, then rolling over, still holding it, and then set it down to get up and celebrate. I’m sorry, but how is that not a “complete” pass? The ball completed its motion and was secured in the hands of a receiver. It is indeed a complete pass. You say “he has yet to establish possession” but holding onto the ball with your own hands while doing all the the aforementioned is indeed possessing the ball. If the did not possess it, who did then? The air? Nope. As it was no longer traveling through the air, but was stopped because it completed its course and was being held in the receiver’s hands. That’s a COMPLETE pass. The pass has been completed, and is finished traveling through the air. I don’t know how else to explain it. You either agree or you don’t but people like you need to pull your head out of your ass and think for yourself instead of letting the NFL do the thinking for you.

        • Josh – That’s your definition of a complete pass and that may work when you are playing sewer to sewer or in what ever playground you play in but the NFL rule is the player must maintain complete control of the ball as he is falling to the ground. Get over it already and move on, it was correctly called incomplete pass you lose!

          • He did have complete control of the ball, as he was holding it in his hand the entire time. How is holding something in your hand not having control of it? Nothing else is controlling it except you and your hand, therefore it is controlled and the pass is complete. End of discussion. I think you need to re-read my post a second time, but this time pull your head out of your ass before you read it and actually think.

          • Rule 8 – Article 3 – Item 1 Player going to the ground: 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 after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the grond before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

          • 4 years ago you would be correct just not last year.

          • Matrix81, “Item 1 Player going to the ground: 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 after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone” So not only did he touch the ground with his feet as required, but he was also LAYING DOWN ON HIS BACK IN THE END ZONE, all the time while holding the ball in his hand, controlling it as the rule states. So yes, it is a catch. Think of it this way, if he laid on the ground and didn’t get up and just laid there for 10 minutes, would the refs wait that entire 10 minutes for him to get up to make sure that when he stands up he doesn’t drop the ball or set it down?

            It’s a touchdown guy.

          • listen to the definition given, Mr. Pereira gives the definition of an incomplete pass. The going to the ground is the Process.

          • If he laid there with control it would have been ruled a touchdown. All he had to do was tuck the ball away, he left it out like a loaf of bread and dropped the bread when he hit the floor.

  59. I would like to comment on all of the Bears and Lions fan giving each other a ration of crap. The beauty of professional sports and football is it really doesn’t matter what your record is, in the end there is only one winner and everybody else is losers. In the not so long ago past a Patriot team almost made history only to be grouped at the end with the other losers…….lmao