NFL Bans Dunking Over Goal Post In Touchdown Celebrations
It looks like Jimmy Graham will have to find a new touchdown ritual starting next season as the NFL has now banned dunking over the goal post in celebration.
Paul Pabst of The Dan Patrick Morning Show stated via Twitter that the celebration made famous by future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez will no longer be allowed.
NFL Head of Officials Dean Blandino told @dpshow that dunking the ball over the goal posts will be a penalty next season.
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) March 25, 2014
Now that Gonzalez is retired, it seems as if this rule really only applies to New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham, who much like Tony Gonzalez played college basketball at Miami University and upon entering the league, adopted his TD celebration every time he hit pay dirt.
The celebration quickly became a fan favorite, but with Jimmy reaching the end zone so many times last season, it was almost inevitable that the move would be outlawed; especially after the delay in Atlanta back in November 2013. Many speculate that his goal post-bending dunk against the Falcons was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.
Interestingly enough, the “Jimmy Graham Rule” isn’t actually a new rule at all.
The NFL has a rule against using the ball as a prop, and apparently that’s the rule that will be used to ban dunks. So it’s not a new rule, it’s a new interpretation of an existing rule.
Is this move necessary, or is this another instance of the NFL living up to the nickname of the “No Fun League?” How is this celebration any different than the celebratory ritual of players jumping into one another, or to make an even better argument, The Lambeau Leap?
While I totally understand how this move is being put into place to prevent any other delays like the one in the Atlanta game, it’s these rituals and celebrations that fans pay to see every time their favorite teams hit the field. If it isn’t getting in the way of anyone, what’s wrong with a little fun and excitement?
Maybe I’m biased being that I’m a Saints fan who absolutely LOVES seeing Jimmy Graham slam the pigskin to the earth over the goal post after dragging multiple defenders into the end zone; but as a sports fan, I truly do enjoy the pageantry and tradition that comes with every sport; from basketball, to college football and beyond.
Hopefully the NFL doesn’t continue to flex it’s muscle and ruin ALL of the fun. As far as Jimmy is concerned, he isn’t letting some NFL rule get in the way of his post-TD party plans.
He has since deleted it, but here was his response to the rule via Twitter.
The thought of this alone is reason enough for the Saints to expedite those contract talks!