Placing a cell phone under the padding of the goal post for celebratory purposes: $30,000.
Commandeering a TV camera for celebratory purposes: $0.00.
The headache that comes from trying to reconcile the two situations: Priceless.
Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill received no fine for his prolonged touchdown celebration that included leaping into the stands and taking over the CBS camera positioned in the end zone, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
Hill drew a penalty on the play (the flag could be seen in the air during Hill’s temporary assignment as a camera operator), and he fully anticipated a fine. As did everyone else.
This isn’t about the No Fun League or the Some Fun League. It’s about figuring out what is and isn’t allowed, so that players will know whether that celebration they’re contemplating will come with the forfeiture of 15 yards of field position and a significant bill from 345 Park Avenue.
Hill’s celebration came only seven days after Saints receiver Michael Thomas produced after a touchdown a flip phone that he’d hidden before the game, sparking a $30,000 fine. The NFL’s official rulebook prohibits both “prolonged or excessive celebrations or demonstrations by an individual player or multiple players” and “[u]sing any object as a prop, or possessing any foreign or extraneous object(s) that are not part of the uniform on the field or the sideline during the game, other than the football after a scoring play or change of possession.”
In 2017, the NFL modified the rules to allow the football to be used as a prop. No other props are permitted. Hill clearly used the TV camera as a prop.
No response has been received to an email to the league office seeking an explanation regarding the decision not to fine Hill. Whatever the reasoning, Hill is likely feeling pretty good about not having his game check reduced by whatever the amount of the fine could have been. Thomas also could be feeling good about the outcome, because he how has an argument that could be raised on appeal in an effort to reduce his fine.