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If this is a dumb question...

... please be kind.  I am new to this whole football fandom thing - I managed to successfully avoid being any interest whatsoever for many years, but after moving to Pittsburgh it was of course inevitable that I would be sucked into Steeler Nation, and I'm now a proud citizen.  My question is this - in the Ravens/Broncos game last Sunday Ray Rice ran a ball to the end zone.  He fell short  but shoved his hand with the ball into the endzone  As he fell the ball was knocked out of his hand and rolled away.  In a recent Steelers game (forgive my failing memory, but I think it was the Vikings game) Hines caught a ball in the end zone, fell, rolled over several times, and lost the ball for a moment about the time he rolled out of bounds.  I remember the discussion at the time, and how you must maintain control of the ball, etc. etc., and the conclusion was that this was a proper call, given the rules, although it was generally thought to be a dumb rule.  I presume that the difference is that Rice ran it in, and Hines caught it.  But this makes no sense to me.  if you have to maintain possession of the ball, why should that make any difference?  Enlightenment would be greatly appreciated.


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