When the NFL said this offseason that it would start penalizing players who dunk the ball over the crossbar, it was referred to as the “Jimmy Graham rule” after the Saints tight end who caused a game to be delayed by knocking a goal post off-balance in the NFL’s version of shattering the glass.
But Graham isn’t the only NFL player who celebrates touchdowns by dunking. And Lions receiver Calvin Johnson believes he can get away with dunking as long as he does it right.
“I’m still going to dunk,” Johnson told the Detroit Free Press. “I just won’t touch the rim.”
Unfortunately for Johnson, that’s not going to fly. The NFL didn’t pass a new rule against touching the cross bar while dunking; it just announced that it will re-interpret an already existing rule against using the ball as a prop. Referees will now consider the ball to be used as a prop when a player dunks it over the goal post — regardless of whether the player touches the goal post in the process — and refs will flag dunking players with 15-yard celebration penalties.
So Johnson is going to have to find a new way to celebrate his touchdowns. He can thank Graham and the powers that be in the No Fun League for that.