LANDOVER -- The No Fun League strikes again.
That's the take of Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and most reasonably adjusted adults who view football as entertainment and not a military boarding school. The specific issue in Sunday's 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles involved the post-touchdown celebration from tight end Vernon Davis.
After catching a 13-yard pass for his first TD since Week 1 of the 2014 season, Davis shot the football basketball-style between the goal posts. Harmless, right? Ha. Sorry, Vernon. That's not cool, according to league rules. The officials whistled Davis for excessive celebration. That 15-yard penalty was added to Washington's upcoming kickoff and it cost them. Kicker Dustin Hopkins typically boots kickoffs into the end zone, but this one landed at the 14 and Wendell Smallwood returned it 86 yards for a touchdown.
Regardless of that special teams fiasco, the postgame discussion included why Davis was whistled for the penalty at all.
“Yeah, we’ve still got to get off blocks and make a tackle. I’m not going to blame Vernon for that returning kickoff touchdown but you know—and really he would never do anything that would jeopardize a 15-yard penalty," coach Jay Gruden said. "He didn’t know. I showed all the videos of illegal celebrations the other day and shooting a basketball through the goal post wasn’t one of them. I don’t consider the ball as a prop on that one. I might’ve done the same thing, but now we know and he won’t ever do it again.”
He won't do it again because the rule exists. Asking why the rules exists is legit. Norman, who was fined $10,000 for a bow-and-arrow celebration earlier this season, did just that.
Maybe NFL should stand for Norman Fights League.
The celebration penalty was a first for Davis.
“No, never," he said on if he was ever hit with this call before. "You know, Coach addressed it in the meeting a few weeks ago and that was one of the areas he didn’t touch. He told us about dunking it, and he told us that we could get a penalty, but we didn’t address the shooting. I wanted to ask him that, but in my mind I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve been doing it. I’ve been shooting the ball and never gotten a penalty. I think I’ll be OK.’ But of course, it turned out to be a penalty.”
Dean Blandino, head of NFL officials, offered a video explanation.
Sure, sounds good. Now let's all wait for a logical explanation why these rules exist. Blast from the past Ickey Woods would just be some guy who played for the Bengals without his "Ickey Shuffle." Love or hate Terrell Owens, but his sharpie and pom-pom celebrations were epic.
You know which celebration was also epic and fun??? The Fun Bunch.
Don't even ask what the penalty would be for this in today's NFL. It's about time we remind the powers that wearing a uniform doesn't mean the person is subject to excessive uniformity. Put the fun back in football already. You know, like China did.
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