Monthly Archives: September 2010

De Minimis Redux

During the halftime of tonight’s NFL game between the Redskins and Cowboys, Bob Costas took a minute to discuss a play earlier in the day which cost Detroit a win in Chicago. Here is the play:

The rule governing the play states that a player must hold on to the ball all the way to the ground in the process of making a catch. Perhaps the officials correctly interpreted the rule, which Costas and others have conceded.  But to say Calvin Johnson did not “catch” the ball and score a TD there is simply wrong.  He had possession when he hit the ground and only lost the ball after using it to lift himself up from the ground.

I have never liked this rule and though I feel bad for Detroit, I am glad this happened because I hope that the NFL will revise the rule to accommodate a situation like the one that occurred today. But hearing Costas talk about it the way he did reminded me of a paper I wrote my last semester in law school for a Law & Sports class. The paper was pretty much exactly what Costas was talking about, which is that sometimes strict enforcement of a rule leads to unjust and unfair results. That is what happened today and it is a shame.

Here’s the paper if you care to read it.  Warning: It is a little over 32 pages long. And its a law school paper. So, I do not blame you for passing on this one…


TX Governor’s Race

What has probably seemed unthinkable to most political pundits and liberal/progressives in Texas for the last 15 years or so, this year’s governor’s race between incumbent Rick Perry and Bill White could actually be won by the Democratic candidate in White. A win by White would not only be an upset, but an important victory for Democrats in the state and perhaps the entire southwest.

If you think a win by White is unlikely, think again. Though Perry does have a lead, it is not a big one. And this is significant in a year in which Republicans are going to do well in November.  Perry’s approval ratings are low and he’s been governor for 10 years, so perhaps some of the anti-incumbent sentiments throughout the country can offset Perry’s advantage of being the conservative Republican candidate in a very red state.

What is important is that we have an opportunity to unseat Perry and reintroduce a little sanity into the governor’s mansion. No more religious fundamentalists on the State Board of Education, no more rejection of federal funds that the state could use and no more talk of secession.

Those of us who want to see Perry go must vote him out in November. Consider this my first attempt to get you involved. Tell your friends we are having a party at the ballot box on November 2nd. This is a call to political arms!