It looks like touchdown celebrations will yet again be toned down as now dunking the ball over the goal post will draw a penalty. The Dan Patrick Show interviewed the NFL officiating head Dean Blandino about some of the new and proposed rules for the upcoming season. Here’s the link to the entire interview.
Those who saw the Atlanta Falcons against the New Orleans Saints this past season know how cool those dunks can be. Jimmy Graham of the Saints scored a touchdown and proceeded to dunk the ball and while grabbing on the goal post, actually bent it. Officials had to stop the game to reset the post before the extra point could be attempted.
Blandino did not cite that dunk or the delay in the game as the reason for the rule change. “Dunking will come out,” Blandino said. “Using the ball as a prop or any object as a prop whether that’s the goal post or crossbar, that will come out. That will be a foul next season.”
For those wondering if the NFL will just outright outlaw every type of celebration, don’t worry, at least for now. Certain traditional celebrations, like the Lambeau Leap have been grandfathered in and won’t be banned. Nothing was said regarding the most traditional of celebrations, spiking the football, so for the time being, that one should still be allowed.
The question now becomes exactly how much the players can get away with. Of course, every time the NFL makes a new celebration rule, players will test the limit of said rule. Blandino said nothing about making a layup over the goal or simply shooting the ball over from a few feet away, so a few players may do that in order to thumb their nose at the NFL rules committee.