I tend to agree that WRs aren't defenseless; if they get hit early then it's PI, case closed. If they get hit in the head, it's a vicious hit, case closed. That wasn't my point, though. If they want to make the game safer and they really feel the need to introduce this whole defenseless receiver concept, so be it. But they shouldn't be attempting to define every little thing that could happen in that situation; they'll never win.
The examples you listed also leave room for interpretation, as does pretty much everything, which was my point.
I realize you can't just leave the whole rulebook loosely-defined, but the NFL wants to crack down on vicious hits. They shouldn't get into the business of trying to define what is and is not a vicious hit because it's a never-ending rabbit hole that will always leave room for interpretation. When a "defenseless receiver" gets his bell rung going over the middle, that's a vicious hit. Okay, now they have to define exactly what a defenseless receiver is...uh, no. It's pretty easy to tell on replay if they were defenseless or not. Make a judgment call and move on. Stop looking at whether he had turned his head or made a "football move" or any of that crap.
The catch rule has become so subjective nobody knows what a catch is.
You've made my point for me. In an attempt by the NFL to increase the objectivity of the catch, they have actually introduced more subjectivity. The rule gets more and more prescriptive, which is an attempt to define the catch aka objectivity.
This is a pretty good breakdown: http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2015/11/20/9746130/nfl-catch-rule-controversies-calvin-johnson-referees
The catch rule has become so subjective
Really? So how do you feel about the Calvin Johnson no-catch or the Dez Bryant no-catch? As the rule is written, neither of those were catches. That's because the rule says something about "a player needing to maintain possession after hitting the ground." That's because some situations that rule is needed. But in those two absurd examples, it is counter-productive. The Dez Bryant no-catch had huge implications, too. Introduce subjectivity and I bet those two are called catches. Refs aren't perfect, but they follow their rule book pretty damn well, so if you're going to prescribe everything for them, then they're going to apply that to all situations.
So you have to think about their intent; my assumption: trying to eliminate foul play in an attempt to increase safety. Whether or not you agree with their intent doesn't matter, it's what they're aiming to do. So, how would you like them to solve that problem in an objective manner? Would you like them to define "egregious" for you? If so, I can guarantee that won't be enough. You simply can't define a "safe" hit well enough to guarantee a right/wrong call. Subjectivity will always be there. Fans will always complain. It doesn't matter. What it does is waste time/resources/money/sanity to go down the rabbit hole of trying to prescribe everything.
Subjectivity already exists in the "objective" rules currently in place. Prescribing rules does not eliminate subjectivity, either. We already have a long list of prescribed rules and yet you still get fans complaining that it was a horrible call (evidence above in this thread). In some situations it would be very beneficial: is it a catch? was it intentional? Subjectivity is going to exist no matter how prescriptive we get with the rules, so in my opinion it would eliminate a lot of head scratching and officials trying to learn a new set of rules each year if we just made some of the rules more subjective themselves.
I'm not against rules becoming subjective. That's essentially what everything was before replay, which is probably the real reason objectivity is desired by fans. Fans think they can see everything now with replay, so we think it's our right to an objective rule for every situation, but that just leads you down a rabbit hole. I certainly think more subjectivity would help the whole "is it a catch?" fiasco that they are now in after trying to objectify the rule. Replay and subjectivity can and should exist.
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"So the only thing I could do was drop my stroller grab my kids jump over the chairs, watch our heads from the tables and run to the left."
I'm not up on the 76ers, but when have the Browns and Jaguars ever had a good chance to win now?
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