With so much talk this season about the NFL’s renewed emphasis on taunting, a clip posted Wednesday on social media provided an example of a clear violation of the rules regarding celebrations directed at an opponent.
On October 27, 1974, Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton literally directed a celebration at an opponent.
The account @QuirkyResearch shared video from a game between the Vikings and the Patriots. With the Vikings trailing 10-7, Tarkenton ran the ball in for a go-ahead touchdown. He then wound up and fired the ball into the back of the helmet of Pats cornerback Ron Bolton.
Bolton, who had intercepted Tarkenton twice during the game, attacked Tarkenton, and they got into a full-blown fracas. Both Tarkenton and Bolton were ejected. Bolton broke two fingers when punching Tarkenton in the facemask.
The Patriots, led by quarterback Jim Plunkett, eventually won the game, 17-14. That year, the Vikings eventually went to the Super Bowl and lost to the Steelers, 16-6.