Mike Ditka says NFL officiating is ‘horrible, an all-time low’

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Mike Ditka didn’t think much of NFL refs when he was with the Saints, but thinks even less now. | AP

It’s the question that’s been on everyone’s minds since Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught what looked to be a go-ahead touchdown against the Patriots on Sunday but was overturned by officials: What’s a catch?


Officials overturned this touchdown call, saying Odell Beckham Jr. did not retain possession of the ball in the end zone. | Getty Images.

The Chicago Sun-Times asked that very question of someone who made 427 catches in his career and watched thousands since—Mike Ditka.

Before he answered, though, The Coach threw down the flag on refs.

“The officiating in the NFL right now is at an all-time low,” Ditka said. “It’s horrible. And you can’t say it’s anything but horrible, because it’s horrible. Even after instant replay, it’s not good.”

The catch, coach, the catch?

“Now, if you can have the ball in your possession, you have control of the ball after a pass and that ball crosses the plane of the goal line, IT IS A TOUCHDOWN! PERIOD! That’s it. Forget it all. I don’t care who slaps it out afterward or anything else. Once you have control of the ball and you break the plane of the goal line, it is a touchdown.”

There you have it. The rulebook should forever be rewritten with The Ditka Rule.

But back to the refs …

“And, anybody that doesn’t understand that is a fool,” Ditka said.

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