NFL fans, players and referees all seem to agree that the league office is too concerned about cracking down on touchdown celebrations.
The head of the NFL Referees Association, Scott Green, said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the on-field officials think the league office is putting them in a difficult situation with trying to figure out where the line is between a celebration that deserves a penalty and one that can be permitted. Green said the officials would prefer to eliminate penalties and instead enforce any celebration issues with fines.
“Nothing is worse than someone going 80 yards for a touchdown and then we’re trying to figure out does that warrant a flag for what he’s doing in the end zone,” Green said. “We don’t really enjoy that. If we could get to a point where it would simply be fines by the league, that would be great. The issue we’ll still have is that guys can get pretty creative out there. The question of whether it’s a foul or not a foul, hopefully we’ll get closer to more of a black-and-white situation.”
Unfortunately, the NFL is considering going in the opposite direction, and enforcing celebration violations only with on-field penalties, not with fines after the fact. That puts even more pressure on the officials to figure out where the seemingly arbitrary lines on celebration penalties are drawn.