Why the NFL’s Celebration Rules Are a Joke
NFL V.P. of officiating Carl Johnson recently confirmed that Jason Witten/Marc Colombo touchdown celebration that resulted in a 15-yard penalty for Dallas on Sunday was indeed “excessive celebration.” Why? Not because Witten handed the ball to Colombo for him to spike, but because Colombo fell to the ground.
Said Johnson, “We can’t judge intent. It would have been avoided had Colombo stayed on his feet. If I had been on the field I would have flagged it as well.”
Can’t judge intent? Really? Well how about the intentional grounding rule? Referees must determine whether a quarterback intended to rid himself of the ball simply to avoid a sack. In that way, they make “common sense” calls about the game. So why should the celebration rule be any different?
Further, the entire rule is filled with hypocrisy. When a player accidentally falls to the ground, he gets penalized. But if a player purposely goes to the ground, but thanks his god of choice (because clearly God would have nothing better to do but to make sure Player X does well in a football game–at the expense of Player Y, I might add), then he does not get penalized.
Are you kidding me? How about a little separation of church and state on the football field? So to all Dallas Cowboys players. . .the next time you find yourself celebrating and a teammate accidentally bumps you to the ground, simply point to the heavens.
No need to actually thank your personal god. . .the refs are clearly incapable of judging intent.