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No Fun League To Become Even Less Fun

Goal Post Dunk

The National Football League is apparently set to adopt a rule that would penalize goal post dunks:

Not only is the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham redefining the tight end position, but he has also inspired an NFL rule change. According to the league’s vice president of officiating, players will no longer be allowed to dunk the ball over the goalpost after touchdowns.

Dean Blandino confirmed the rule change during a radio interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday. He said dunking the ball over the crossbar will now be considered a foul along with other touchdown celebrations that involve props.

Previously, dunks were grandfathered in as a legal celebration, along with the Lambeau Leap.

“We grandfathered in some, the Lambeau Leap and things like that, but dunking will come out,” Blandino said, according to NFL.com. “Using the ball as a prop or any object as a prop, whether that’s the goalpost, the crossbar, that will come out and that will be a foul next season.”

Because, of course, it is far more important that the N.F.L. deal with silly post-touchdown celebrations than with serious issues like the long term consequences of concussions, right?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ben says:

    If course if you actually read the article, the real reason for the rule change becomes clear, and is completely reasonable to me. This is one of the celebration rules that is actually practical and makes sense:

    Graham is clearly the main inspiration for the rule. Twice in his career, his celebratory dunks have knocked the uprights off balance. Last season in Atlanta, a Thursday night game had to be delayed while workers releveled the crossbar.

    Causing a delay during a nationwide telecast is extremely bad for ratings.

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  2. Using the ball as a prop or any object as a prop, whether that’s the goalpost, the crossbar, that will come out and that will be a foul next season.

    Drat, and Carrot Top was >this< close to getting signed as a placekicker.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Tyrell says:

    Not only can it damage the crossbars and posts, but there is a risk of injury. I hope that this ban also prohibits fans from tearing down the goal posts at the end of a game. I have seen films of that and it is a wonder some one does not get hurt.
    There was a time when celebrating was done at the end of a game, not every time there is a score, a gain, or a tackle. That is self serving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Tyrell says:

    Not only can it damage the crossbars and posts, but there is a risk of injury. I hope that this ban also prohibits fans from tearing down the goal posts at the end of a game. I have seen films of that and it is a wonder some one does not get hurt.
    There was a time when celebrating was done at the end of a game, not every time there is a score, a gain, or a tackle. That is self serving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Franklin says:

    @Tyrell: People *have* gotten pretty seriously hurt when goalposts came down.

    Frankly, I’m surprised the goalposts can’t handle a dunk from a single player, no matter how big and strong he is. But regardless of my lack of goalpost construction knowledge, it’s clearly a real issue.

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  6. Tyrell says:

    @Franklin: Sorry about the double entry, I am not sure how that happened.
    Are there any comparisons in other sports that anyone can think of ? I think those backward burnout laps done by winning race car drivers are getting old.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Once again the fans are the victims here.

    I’m sure that millions of fans looked forward to that “look at me” showboating that resulted in “dunks” on the goal posts. Maybe some courageous fan will sue the league.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. ernieyeball says:

    There has been some talk of eliminating the Point After TD kick and maybe the TD be 7points.
    How about no PAT kick and let them score the extra point by dunking the ball over the goalpost.
    Problem(?) solved.

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  9. trumwill says:

    What’s the rationale behind getting rid of the PAT?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. ernieyeball says:

    @trumwill: What’s the rationale behind getting rid of the PAT?

    Eliminating the PAT is not my idea so I really do not know other than it is almost always good.
    Apparently very few games are decided by a PAT. I think they should keep it.
    Of course I think the Flying Wedge should be a legal play. Pussies!
    http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/JSH/JSH1993/JSH2001/jsh2001f.pdf

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  11. Tyrell says:

    On the subject of the NFL, there was an interesting article about its future: maybe the boom is over.
    espn.go.com/dallas

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  12. dazedandconfused says:

    @trumwill:

    Misses have become extremely rare, so there are at least 10 chances for injury on every one of those mere formality plays. Maybe twenty if there is a penalty and they have to do it twice.

    What they could do is make TD’s 7 points. If you want to go for 8, you can line up for what is now the “two point conversion” for another point, but if you don’t make it one point will be deducted and your TD will only be worth 6.

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  13. Franklin says:

    @Tyrell: I’ll drink to that. Especially since F1 drivers started doing it, and they had to actually write a rule that the winner was allowed to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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