*whistles for horse*
It’s funny that we should have such a big blowup about touchdown celebrations this past weekend. Early Sunday afternoon, I pointed out how sick I was of the celebration where players jump up and collide in the air. Some … Oh. My high horse is here. Great.
For those of you who were too busy watching a Beavis and Butthead marathon this weekend, you may have missed two incredibly stupid touchdown celebrations. First, Stevie Johnson decided to do a Plaxico Burress impersonation by shooting himself in the foot and costing his team a season. (Editor’s note: Johnson didn’t literally shoot himself in the foot. He pretended to shoot himself in the leg, which earned a penalty which figuratively shot his team in the “foot.” Think about it. It’s really quite a clever thing to say.) Johnson’s celebration started a veritable shitshow that culminated with Bob Costas being disappointed in everyone. It was indeed, a dark day for sports.
It was not however, as dark as the next night. During the Monday night drubbing of the Giants by the Saints, Brandon Jacobs scored a touchdown early in the second half to cut the Saints’ lead to 21-10. He then proceeded to bump Saints players on his way to celebrate, began to run to the bench, turned around and taunted the New Orleans defenders to the point where teammates and a referee tried to separate them.
Brandon Jacobs, as any fantasy owner or Giants fan will tell you, has been a fucking corpse this season. He’s been so bad that his 13-carry, 46-yard performance last night is considered a “sign of life.” When Jacobs scored his third touchdown of the season and first since week 9, he had obviously earned the right to blow off some steam. Or, as his team was in the middle of getting their asses kicked and their playoff hopes slowly slipping away, maybe he had earned the right to run back to the bench and shut the fuck up.
Bob Costas climbed on his high horse a day too early. Stevie Johnson and Brandon Jacobs were both celebrating and taunting and drawing attention to themselves. They did it in vastly different ways in vastly different situations. Johnson may have just been trying to entertain the fans while Jacobs was just trying to incite his opponent.
Johnson celebrated a touchdown that put his team up in the second quarter. Jacobs celebrated a touchdown that didn’t even pull his team within a possession of the lead. What’s worse? Neither as far as I can see from atop my trusty and tall steed.
Yet somehow only Johnson got a flag. Not because he was pantomiming Plaxico Burress’ sweatpants dance or because he was taking a piss on Revis Island (Which he did all day. Do drops count as passes defensed on Revis Island?), but because he fell to the ground. The referees watched him intently as he did the entire dance and waited to throw a flag when he “crashed” to the ground. And that might be the dumbest part of all of this.
You can basically do anything you want to celebrate a touchdown as long as it’s not choreographed with a teammate and/or you don’t “go to the ground.” Johnson’s celebration might have illicted an eye-roll or a chuckle from a Jets’ defender. Jacobs’ celebration almost started a fight. Yet Johnson was the one who was flagged.
The NFL has so many arbitrarily stupid rules, but the celebration rules are easily the dumbest. On Sunday, Costas extolled the virtues of spiking the football. A celebration so classy and ingrained in football lore that it’s illegal on the collegiate and high school levels.
All football celebrations are stupid. Whether they’re funny, quaint, prayerful or a simple high five, who cares? The NFL either needs to outlaw them all, or get rid of the arbitrary excessive celebration flag. A player can basically stand in front of a defender and flip him the double-bird until they line up for the extra point attempt as long as he doesn’t fall over while he’s doing it. Eventually someone is going to score a big touchdown late in the game, trip while attempting not to celebrate and draw a flag and fall to the ground. That flag could be the difference between a field goal and a failed hail Mary.