Watching the Eagles game win last night, I noted, several times, the celebratory moves of the players (DeSean Jackson, in particular) when they did something especially well. And it reminded of an article I read a couple months back, about how Jackson and another rookie were fined for “excessive celebration.” Frankly, it surprised me. Growing up, I remember every guy I knew (and some girls) perfecting their own “end zone dance.” It didn’t matter if the only football you ever played was during gym class, you knew exactly how you were going to celebrate if you scored.
But that fine, and the reminder of it last night, made me think: who gets to judge whether the celebration was excessive? How do I sign up for that job? And what qualifies as “excessive,” anyway? I mean, are fist pumps okay, but ass shaking isn’t? I’m pretty sure I could make the call.
An extensive Google search (fine, half an hour, what do you want from me?) was very little help. From what I can tell, it’s the NFL Commissioner and/or League Officials who can appropriate the fines. And I suppose on-field officials can file “excessive celebration” under “unsportsmanlike conduct,” and award yard penalties.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s in my future to be the next, or even the next next next Commissioner of the National Football League. And I definitely don’t see myself as an NFL referee – too much danger of being trampled. (Come to think of it – are there any female referees? Just curious.)
So, even though I failed was only moderately unsuccessful in finding out how to pursue a career of “excessive celebration” judge, I did find some other gems in the NFL Digest of Rules, that I will definitely be looking for in upcoming games:
- No leaping.
- No leverage.
- No taunting.
- No chop block. (I had to look that up. And by that, I mean, I asked my dad.)
- Penalty against any punter, placekicker, or holder who simulates being roughed by a defensive player. (So, basically, no faking it.)
- No palpably unfair act. (You know, to be specific…)
And, my absolute favorite:
Touchdown Awarded (Palpably Unfair Act)
- When Referee determines a palpably unfair act deprived a team of a touchdown. (Example: Player comes off bench and tackles runner apparently en route to touchdown.)
Really? That happens?? I was already laughing to myself at the thought of grown men being told “no leaping” and “no taunting.” But the mental image of an irate player on the bench leaping (already a no-no) up to tackle an opposing team’s runner…priceless. It’s like something out of a movie – maybe Varsity Blues.
On second thought, maybe I will look into being a referee – especially if there’s a chance I could see some shenanigans like that.
NFL, here I come.