An NFL catch, as explained by Jon Bois
December 3, 2015 11:45 AM   Subscribe

 
Holy shitballs.
posted by GuyZero at 11:46 AM on December 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Unbelievably good.
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:51 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's amazing. Also, are we sure Randall Munroe wasn't involved in this somehow?
posted by hobgadling at 11:52 AM on December 3, 2015


I understand so much now.

Except what a catch is.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:52 AM on December 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Now that Ta-Nehisi Coates has his MacArthur genius grant, the lack of recognition for Jon Bois is the most inexplicable thing in American literature.
posted by Etrigan at 11:53 AM on December 3, 2015 [22 favorites]


Jon Bois and Mallory Ortberg for co-U.S. Poet Laureates, please.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:55 AM on December 3, 2015 [14 favorites]


"I beg of you to rejoice in everything odd that you see."
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:55 AM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


So I've been working for the past month or so on an NFL show with a former league referee as a commentator, locked in a small room with EVERY NFL game on at once, with staff yelling out various goings-on that are noteworthy and with said ref talking about all of it, all day. The amount of lawyering going on in that room is astounding. All day, all I can think about is how much good all that mental energy could be doing if expended on something worthwhile.
posted by nevercalm at 12:00 PM on December 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


"The last time you chanced upon the river, did you disagree with the river?"

Yes, yes I did. It was the Gila "river," and it didn't look like a river at all.
I spent my Sundays screaming at the so called "river."
"You are no river! You are a gully of dust!" I cried.
My cries were for naught, as I had only one foot in the "river" at the time.
posted by Floydd at 12:05 PM on December 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


HEY THANK YOU FOR THAT!

IT WAS GREAT!

I'M NOT YELLING, I'M JUST EXCITED.
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:06 PM on December 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


when I get home this evening I'm going to sit down with a nice tall glass of milks and give this infographic the deep, close reading that it really deserves.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:08 PM on December 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


Bravo. I was scrolling down going "Did anyone copy edit this? And that's some sloppy emphasis." And it just kept going...
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:11 PM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


.̼̩͚̩͉̟̪͟.̮͚.͚̞͉͕͕ͅ.̡̹m͙̦̣̖̪͟y̫̩͔͇̯ ̺̫̱̥̝̖͡g̥̱o̷̱̼ͅͅḏ̼͓͚͔̻ͅ.̨̞̩̠͔͔̻̩.̸͉̠̩͖.̻.̯̜̺̼̙͠i̖̹̗̕ṯ̴'͓͠s̟͚͖͕̝͙ͅ ̶͕̳f̞͖ù̻͙͇̬͕̘̮l͇̞̺̠̺̭̳l̸ ̱̺o̘̼͔̲̕f͖̯̣̼ ͏͚͎s̠t̗a̹͎͜r̹̩̖͍̣͎s̥̖̯͢
posted by Existential Dread at 12:11 PM on December 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


Ahh, so that's what a catch is.
posted by bondcliff at 12:12 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


All day, all I can think about is how much good all that mental energy could be doing if expended on something worthwhile.

You do recognize the irony of posting that comment on MetaFilter, yes?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:12 PM on December 3, 2015 [15 favorites]


Jon Bois is one of the good guys.

Sometimes I ask myself if notions of good and bad are wholly arbitrary, if there's really a failsafe way of defining "good" in a way that universally applies to all instances which require moral judgments, if any struggle to make sense will result in something worth the effort or if the world is, at some level, inherently senseless. Then I remember Jon Bois exists. It's a really convenient, if somewhat mathematically sloppy, proof.
posted by rorgy at 12:18 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wish that MeFi had a GIF Oracle.
posted by gladly at 12:19 PM on December 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


You do recognize the irony of posting that comment on MetaFilter, yes?

Actually, I talked about a post from two days ago with a writer on my regular show and he might pitch it, so there's no irony there. You might be seeing it in a few weeks if they like it.
posted by nevercalm at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Italicized text below is red in the official NFL rule book (Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7: Player Possession):
ARTICLE 7. PLAYER POSSESSION.
Item 1. Player in Possession. A player is in possession when he is inbounds and has a firm grip and control of the ball with his hands or arms.
Item 2. Possession of Loose Ball. To gain possession of a loose ball that has been caught, intercepted, or recovered, a player must have complete control of the ball and have both feet or any other part of his body, other than his hands, completely on the ground inbounds, and then maintain control of the ball until he has clearly become a runner. A player becomes a runner when he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent. If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any other part of his body to the ground, there is no possession. This rule applies in the field of play and in the end zone.
Item 3. Simultaneous Possession of a Loose Ball. If a Loose Ball is controlled simultaneously by two opponents, and both players retain it, it is simultaneous possession, and the ball belongs to the team last in possession, or to the receiving team when there has been a Free Kick, Scrimmage Kick, or Fair Catch Kick. It is not simultaneous possession if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.

The terms catch, intercept, recover, advance, and fumble denote player possession (as distinguished from touching or muffing).
Notes:
(1) A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, it is a catch, interception, or recovery. A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner.
(2) If a player goes to the ground out of bounds (with or without contact by an opponent) in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball at the sideline, he must maintain complete and continuous control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, or there is no possession.
(3) If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.

A catch is made when a player inbounds secures possession of a pass, kick, or fumble that is in flight (See 8-1-3).
Notes:
(1) It is a catch if, in the process of attempting to catch the ball, a player secures control of the ball prior to it touching the ground, and that control is maintained during and after the ball has touched the ground.
(2) In the field of play, if a catch has been completed, and there is contact by a defender causing the ball to come loose before the player who caught the loose ball is down by contact, it is a fumble, and the ball remains alive. It is also a fumble if the action occurs in the end zone being defended by the team of the player who caught the loose ball. If the action occurs in the opponent’s end zone, it is a touchdown or a touchback.

An interception is made when an opponent who is inbounds catches a forward or backward pass or a fumble that has not touched the ground.
A recovery is made when a player inbounds secures possession of a loose ball after it has touched the ground.
Notes:
(1) If there is any question by the covering official(s) as to whether a forward pass is complete, intercepted, or incomplete, it always will be ruled incomplete.
(2) Recovery does not imply advance, unless so stated.
(3) If a player would have caught, intercepted, or recovered a ball inbounds, but is carried out of bounds, player possession will be granted (8-1-3-Item 6).
And Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 is as follows:
ARTICLE 3. COMPLETED OR INTERCEPTED PASS. A player who makes a catch may advance the ball. A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
(c) maintains control of the ball after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, until he has clearly become a runner (see 3-2-7 Item 2).
Note: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.
If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any part of his body to the ground, it is not a catch.
Item 1. Player Going to the Ground. A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner. 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 until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or 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.
Item 2. Sideline Catches. If a player goes to the ground out-of-bounds (with or without contact by an opponent) in the process of making a catch at the sideline, he must maintain complete and continuous control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, or the pass is incomplete.
Item 3. End Zone Catches. The requirements for a catch in the end zone are the same as the requirements for a catch in the field of play.
Note: In the field of play, if a catch of a forward pass has been completed, after which contact by a defender causes the ball to become loose before the runner is down by contact, it is a fumble, and the ball remains alive. In the end zone, the same action is a touchdown, since the receiver completed the catch beyond the goal line prior to the loss of possession, and the ball is dead when the catch is completed.
Item 4. Ball Touches Ground. If the ball touches the ground after the player secures control of it, it is a catch, provided that the player continues to maintain control.
Item 5. Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.
Item 6. Carried Out of Bounds. If a player, who is in possession of the ball, is held up and carried out of bounds by an opponent before both feet or any part of his body other than his hands touches the ground inbounds, it is a completed or intercepted pass.
Ok, so simple right? Now, all of the above must be processed instantaneously by a 51-year old man who's been running to keep up with the elite athletes who are trying to make the catch. Which he watched using his 51-year old eyes. In real time. Surrounded by 70,000 screaming fans. This happens 60 to 80 times per game. And this isn't even his full time job.

You have a better chance of understanding the OP infographic than the NFL does of getting catches right.
posted by graymouser at 12:27 PM on December 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think that this year's NFL season has been a way to trick sports fans into taking a seminar on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations without them realizing it.
posted by srboisvert at 12:32 PM on December 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why does Australia have a tiny Florida island floating off to the south where Tasmania should be?

this is probably why
posted by Existential Dread at 12:35 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Time Cube as Fuck (TCAF)
posted by echocollate at 12:39 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh. He and Mallory Ortberg ought to get together to write a revised copy of the zalgo he comes NFL rulebook.
posted by Mayor West at 12:44 PM on December 3, 2015


Huh. He and Mallory Ortberg ought to get together to write a revised copy of the zalgo he comes NFL rulebook.

I definitely wondered if this is where Chris Kimball went after leaving America's Test Kitchen, or if the barn was Old Henry's barn. Actually, that sounds about right. This is Old Henry attempting to explain NFL rules.
posted by yasaman at 12:56 PM on December 3, 2015


Oh, a catch.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:01 PM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Leaves of astroturf.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 1:34 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


locked in a small room with EVERY NFL game on at once, with staff yelling out various goings-on that are noteworthy and with said ref talking about all of it, all day

posted by nevercalm


EponysTOUCHDOWN!
posted by Panjandrum at 1:52 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


What's the catch?

It's possession.

As if by demons.
posted by chavenet at 2:16 PM on December 3, 2015


EponysTOUCHDOWN!

Part of the origin story....
posted by nevercalm at 2:31 PM on December 3, 2015


Jon Bois deserves ALL of the MacArthur Genius Grants.
posted by photoslob at 2:34 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jon Bois is proof that the Internet loves us and wants us to be happy.
posted by KathrynT at 2:43 PM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was planning to come in here to say "We don't have to post every John Bois post even though they are all funny let's save this for the special ones" and then I clicked the link.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:59 PM on December 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


i somehow accidentally stumbled across a link on twitter that took me to the ending page, which is totally (for jon bois) normal and i couldn't figure out why everyone was flipping out about it, even though i love his writing in general, and now it all makes sense

as i drift in space and think about how little i understand football
posted by burgerrr at 3:11 PM on December 3, 2015


Oh god, who showed Jon Bois one of Porpentine's twine games?

...because, thanks, good thinking, job well done!
posted by davros42 at 4:10 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I read this in line at the Post Office and I thought it was a bullshit misfire that just didn't land. I thought you were all being intellectual look-at-how-hip-I-am sycophants for saying it was so great. I left the Post Office thinking much less of Jon Bois and of you people too.

Then I got back to my desk, decided to give it one more go, and discovered that the "OK" button on the first page wasn't displaying on my phone, and that it didn't all end there.

And now, I agree with you. It's brilliant!
posted by mudpuppie at 4:17 PM on December 3, 2015


What if you catch it with your butt? I always wondered about that. Like it just --pwoop!-- nestles right in there. And no-one knocks it out either because 1) yuck or 2) they are just so awed by the moment that you just lay there, face-down on the turf, the ovoid wedged just right in there between the cheeks. And the refs aren't sure what to do because the ball hasn't touched the ground but you haven't caught it with your arm parts.

I think if that happens football just ends.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:14 PM on December 3, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is non-controversial. Butt catch = legal catch. Worth 16
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:04 PM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Actually, the "Butt Catch" inspired the "Tuck Rule" (Sportscasters shortened it from the original name "The Tuck's Medicated Pad Rule", after Tom Brady attempted to pull down a pass that in an illicit encounter with Vince Wilfork. Rex Ryan, famous countertenor with the new jersey jets, attempted a version of this called the "Butt Fumble", which was somewhat less successful.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:24 PM on December 3, 2015


if all sports writing was like this i would watch the shit out of moar sportz
posted by lalochezia at 8:18 PM on December 3, 2015


Good night, John Bois.
posted by Floydd at 8:27 PM on December 3, 2015


Nope, it's cricket for me, chaps.
posted by anadem at 9:30 PM on December 3, 2015


This might be Frog Fractions 2.
posted by drapatz at 9:38 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I left the Post Office thinking much less of Jon Bois and of you people too.

Jon Bois has some things to say about that time he went to the Post Office during the day.
posted by zachlipton at 10:23 PM on December 3, 2015


Oh shit. Why do I go to work?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:34 PM on December 3, 2015


So I've been working for the past month or so on an NFL show with a former league referee as a commentator, locked in a small room with EVERY NFL game on at once, with staff yelling out various goings-on that are noteworthy...

This sounds like heaven.

Seriously.

Especially with a London game on first... this, this for twelve hours.

How do you get these jobs?
posted by DancingYear at 2:12 AM on December 4, 2015


I would have sworn the I Ching was involved.

Example:

Q: What is a catch in the NFL?

A: Cast Hexagram:

36 - Thirty-Six
Ming I / Eclipsing the Light

Warmth and Light are swallowed by Deep Darkness:
The Superior Person shows his brilliance by keeping it veiled among the masses.

Stay true to your course, despite the visible obstacles ahead.

SITUATION ANALYSIS:
This time calls for a saintly effort to turn the other cheek.
You have been deliberately injured.
Going blow-for-blow will only escalate this war.
Abstain from vengeance.
Show all watching that you are above it.
Sidestep your aggressor's headlong charge, giving him the opportunity to fall on his face.

Clear enough?
posted by tommasz at 5:55 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm perfectly OK with Jon Bois taking a rest break after this prodigious effort, but I expect a similar treatment of the distinction between blocking and charging in basketball someday.
posted by HillbillyInBC at 12:14 PM on December 4, 2015


Still simpler than 1st edition AD&D grappling rules.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:53 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


anadem: Nope, it's cricket for me, chaps.

You say that as if cricket doesn't have its own endless scrutiny of hotspot and snicko and whether that spot could really have come from anywhere… (context).
posted by traveler_ at 4:02 PM on December 6, 2015


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