Some of us think the NFL is taking things too far in its crackdown on celebrations after touchdowns, but the league’s head of officiating does not agree.
Dean Blandino said in a video he posted on Twitter that the calls against both Washington tight end Vernon Davis and Giants receiver Odell Beckham on Sunday were correct.
“We got a lot of questions about two plays involving the unsportsmanlike conduct rule,” Blandino said.
Davis pretended the football was a basketball and shot it over the goal post after scoring a touchdown on Sunday, and Blandino said that’s a no-no.
“The ruling on the field here is a touchdown, and then you’ll watch number 85, he’s going to shoot the football over the goalpost, mimicking a basketball action,” Blandino said. “That’s using the ball and the goalpost as a prop. That’s a violation of the rule. You can’t dunk the ball over the goalpost, shoot the ball, finger roll, all of that is illegal, using the football and the goalpost as a prop. Fifteen-yard penalty is enforced on the kickoff.”
Beckham scored a long touchdown and took his helmet off after running out the back of the end zone, which is a penalty as well.
“As part of the celebration he’s going to take his helmet off in the end zone,” Blandino said of Beckham. “That’s a violation of the rule. You cannot take your helmet off as part of a celebration, a demonstration, or as part of a confrontation with an opponent or a game official. You see he goes to the sideline, says something to the game officials, that would be unsportsmanlike conduct as well — we’ll only enforce one foul.”
Blandino’s officials correctly enforced the rules, but the big question is why NFL rules are so stringent about cracking down on celebrations. A 15-yard penalty is awfully harsh for having a little fun.