The Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the 30-yard “Incompletion”

Rules of the Game: The 30 Yard “Incompletion”

On January 6, 2019, the Chicago Bears completed a 30-yard pass in their playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The pass was then fumbled as the Bears receiver went to the ground.

Unfortunately, the referee’s initial ruling of an incomplete pass was deemed non-reversible under the current interpretation of the NFL rules due to the fact that the officials (and not either team) “recovered” the fumble…which was, again, not called a fumble on the field.

And so, the 30-yard “incompletion” was born.

What do the NFL rules say about this mess?

How could they be changed (or interpreted differently) to avoid disregarding what everyone knows to be the correct ruling?

And what does this say about rule drafting, interpretation, and law in general?

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Urban Rights or “Consultants Tell You What You Want to Hear”

About three weeks ago, Ohio State University (“OSU”) Head Football Coach Urban Meyer (“Coach Meyer”) released a statement in which he admitted to speaking “inaccurately” at Big Ten Media Days in July, but was otherwise a model citizen.

You can see my analysis of the positions Coach Meyer took in that statement, as well as his anticipated defenses strategies: HERE.

Last night, Coach Meyer and OSU executed on those defense strategies, taking the path I had suspected: that Coach Meyer was simply too confused by the questions and circumstances of Big Ten Media Days to answer truthfully, and that his actions there and in the past were imperfect, but reflect the (allegedly) muddy facts surrounding Coach Zach Smith (“Coach Smith”) and his wife Courtney.

But now comes the “independent” committee’s report, and given what it shows, it’s somewhat incredible that OSU elected on this path.  (Incredible only if your metric for credulity rests on something other than winning football games, of course.)

Let’s dive in.

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A Lawyer Reads…the Facebook Terms of Service and Data Policy (Part 3)

In the modern, digital world, each of us is asked to read and accept hundreds of pages of terms and conditions governing the way we use our products and services.  While no one could be expected to read every term (especially for entertainment or other “low risk” services), as a specialist in reading and drafting such documents, a lawyer can offer insight into just how they operate (and what rights the average user gives away when they sign on the dotted line). 

In “A Lawyer Reads…”, we’ll take a deeper dive into a few of those little-read contracts, terms, and conditions in an effort to provide just a bit of that insight. 

For more, check out or drop Rick a line at


Today we finish our reading of the Facebook Data Policy with discussions on data deletion, what happens when the law comes calling, Europe, and more.

Interested in how we got here?  Check out Part 1 and Part 2!

Continue reading “A Lawyer Reads…the Facebook Terms of Service and Data Policy (Part 3)”