I absolutely hate this particular aspect of replay (okay…I hate replay in general, but this is a reason why).
According to the replay rules in the CFL, the call on Williams was reviewable and correct.
It is not the first time this year that call has been made. Rather it has been made several times.
It is in fact reviewable that if a player, ruled down by contact is, upon review, seen to have lost control of the ball before he is down, it is a fumble.
And then, if the opposing team immediately (Refs discretion) gains control, it is a change of posession.
And that rule has actually been called in that manner with reasonable consistancy this year.
In the NFL, until this year, that play could never have been overturned. But they changed the rule just this year in the NFL and the CFL adopted a similar rule and interpretation.
So it is the rule and was judged correctly.
But the rule is lame.
There are two obvious reasons why that rule is ridiculous. First, if the whistle goes, the play is dead. Anything occuring after that should not affect the outcome of the play. So even though the replay clearly shows Williams fumbling the ball, the whistle went, play over.
But the other thing is, because the whistle went, the players don’t keep playing.
Sometimes a few do…they see a loose ball, and grab it regardless of a whistle.
But most of the time, they stand around and do nothing. So the ball is out, they think the play is over, and guess what?
The first guy to pick up the ball after a dead play gets possession? Silly!
I remember one earlier this year where the review also saw a change of possession.
You clearly see the ball lying a foot away from a player, but he just ignores it, making no attempt whatsoever to grab it, while a player from the other team dives on it. Guess who got the ball?
The point is, even if there are 10 guys from one team right there to recover, and only one of the other, so it seems clear and obvious who will get the ball, we all know from experience that if that lone player dives for the ball, he might get it, or it might scoot loose.
The fact that the whistle has gone changes everything, and to give up possession over that is dumb.
So the ruling on Sunday vis a vis the rules, was correct. But common sense says it was not the “right” call.