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Question about the final Hail Mary

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by GoPGo, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Short of a copy of the 1989 rule book for comparison to the current wording, I don't know what you would consider definitive. Lacking that old rule book, I would think the following should suffice:

    1. From SI: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/news/2001/11/08/bears_packers_rivalry/

    "Parkinson ruled that Green Bay quarterback Don Majkowski's hand, moving forward at the time, had not broken the plane of the line of scrimmage before releasing a pass."

    2. From the Journal Sentinal: http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/57784427.html

    "Editor's note: After much debate spearheaded by Bears executives, the NFL changed the rule on passes thrown beyond the line of scrimmage. What matters is where the player's body is, not the ball, when the pass is released."

    As for the announcers, they are often mistaken about the rules on their first take. The replay took about 4 minutes, and as I recall they debated the rule as we waited. It took some time before they clarified the rule.

    As for the Wikipedia quote in post #24, that's not what the current rule says. That wording would be consistent with the old rule. Since that writing is attributed to 1990, one might conclude it was written before the league ratified the new rule latter that year.

    This circumstance is currently covered under a note added under Rule 8, Section 1, Article 2, Item 1, Paragraph (a), which reads as follows:

    "Note: It is a forward pass from beyond the line of scrimmage if the passer’s entire body and the ball are beyond the line of scrimmage when the ball is released, whether the passer is airborne or touching the ground. The penalty for a forward pass thrown from beyond the line is enforced from the spot where the ball is released."

    This is not an urban legend.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
    • Informative Informative x 2
  2. adambr2
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    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    I did assume that it was truthful, but I was looking for something from a reliable article like you posted.

    I was only skeptical based on a couple different things:

    1) The commentators reaction as I had mentioned.
    2) The overturn. Why would the trained officials at the time overturn the call if the rule wasn't stated as is it presently? Majkowski's back foot was clearly behind the line, but everything else (the ball, his entire body), was not.

    What was the rule at the time? Was it based on the spot of the ball or did the passer's entire body have to be completely behind the line?
  3. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I answered that, twice in fact. As I quoted SI, "Parkinson ruled that Green Bay quarterback Don Majkowski's hand, moving forward at the time, had not broken the plane of the line of scrimmage before releasing a pass."

    The old rule was based on the location of the ball at the time of release. The final ruling in the "Replay Game", as the Bears like to call it, was that the ball was behind the line of scrimmage at release.

    You are not alone in your contrary interpretation; you have a lot of company in Chicago. In the course of researching this, one blogger commented that the Bears media guide had an asterisk next to this game for a decade. I can't say if that's an urban myth.

    Also in the course of researching this I came across another reporter stating that the NFL rule prior to 1933 was that QB had to be 5 yds. behind the line of scrimmage, for whatever that's worth.

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