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Iowa Got Beat by the Stupid “Ball” Rule – Change it!

I shouldn’t have turned it on.  I was already way too emotionally into the game – undefeated Iowa and one loss Michigan State.  I was rooting for Iowa because of the undefeated status.  I don’t even like the Big Ten.  They hogged the Rose Bowl for years with the now Pacwhatever because they did not like the South.  But Iowa was unbeaten.  Well, they’ll not be unbeaten any more in no small part to the MOST STUPID rule in football:  The rule that states if any part of the ball crosses the plane of the goal line it is a touchdown.  I saw it again.  I’m going to call it for now on the Stupid Ball Rule.

The MSU ball carrier was nowhere near the goal but managed to curl about until he could extend the ball far enough across the line to call it six points and the game (it was very late in the fourth quarter and admittedly MSU might have had the stronger team) but it does not seem right to say its a touchdown, especially in this day and age of instant replay, when the ball has crossed the plane BUT not the majority of the player’s BODY.  Iowa stopped the player from getting in but due to the Stupid Ball rule that does not matter.  Touchdown.   I do not think he earned the points.

Early this season I saw a dangerous play (in a college game) where the player with the ball leaped from in bounds two or three years from the end zone but he timed it exactly to touch the pylon with the BALL (not the player – the player never hit the end zone far as I could tell) and after review it was six points.  Again – the team did not really get the ball in the end zone.

Time to end the Stupid Ball Rule:  Maybe since it is Iowa’s turn to be the latest victim – ask all the Presidential candidates to speak to it.  Force the issue.  The rule should be changed to say the BALL and a substantial portion of the BODY of the player gets in or no score.  Yes there might be controversy and some discretion to refs.  But it would at least be a discussion about substantial justice and equity not a fluky play where one team as stopped the player but he is able to get the BALL or a portion of the BALL in the end zone for points.  Time to abolish the Stupid Ball Rule.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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