The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact the Sundial

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Cutting down on TD celebrations is taking the fun out of the NFL

The NFL’s competition committee voted yesterday in favor of a rule that will propose a stricter policy on touchdown celebrations for next season in an attempt to get rid of some excessive taunting they say have been plaguing the game recently.

The committee had full support from the NFL Players Association according to Jeff Fisher, head coach of the Tennessee Titans and committee co-chairman. There are some players, however, who are not fond of the new rule.

Wide receiver Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals, who has become the unofficial poster-boy for end zone dramatics, told the Cincinnati Enquirer the rule would not hold back his creativity next season.

Johnson’s touchdown catches run about 10 seconds longer on SportsCenter every Sunday night during the season just to include his celebrations. Some of the highlights from last season were when he gave CPR to the football and another one where he used one of the pylons as a putter and pretending to sink a putt.

The penalty for excessive celebration will impose a 15-yard penalty on the scoring team, which in Johnson’s case probably will have some of his coaches throwing fits on the sideline of close games where field position is key.

The committee is not banning touchdown celebrations all together. They simply want to reduce it a little bit. A player can still spike the ball, dunk it over the goal post, and spin it on the ground, but they cannot use the ball as a prop, celebrate on the ground or turn it into a group performance.

The main concern of the committee was that the celebrations were getting out of hand and slowing down the progress of the game. That is interesting because if I recall it correctly, a commercial break follows every score in a football game.

If speeding up the game is what they want to do, then try cutting down on those stupid TV timeouts that slow down and ruin most of the fun of watching a live football game. The celebrations are not slowing down the game to a point where it has to be penalized. If a guy wants to roll around in the end zone for a few seconds, then let him. It is not easy to score a touchdown in the NFL today, so you cannot blame someone for getting overly excited when they reach the end zone.

If they want to penalize touchdown celebrations they should do it when someone does a really lame one. Players like Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys, Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers and Johnson are creative and amusing when they score. They entertain, which is what the game is supposed to do. Smith pretended to change a diaper on the football last season and Owens, well, what has he not done.

All touchdowns are not dazzling one-handed catches or 60-yard rushes through traffic and that is when some spontaneity can add some entertainment to the equation.

I have heard the “act like you’ve been there before” argument for touchdown dances. But those people obviously never scored a lot when they were playing, if they even played. There is nothing wrong with a little showmanship after a touchdown. There is, however, a fine line between showmanship and sportsmanship on this issue.

Celebrating after scoring on a bad team that you are already beating by 20 points is not very classy or necessary, but I do not see a problem with it if the game is close and there are a lot of emotions out on the field.

I strongly doubt Johnson and the other showboats will stop their end zone antics because of the new rule. They might not do it as often, but they will still do it. Especially Johnson, because he is not getting fined for it and the team only loses 15 yards on the kickoff. The defensive coordinator probably will not be too thrilled that the offense will have a shorter distance to the end zone, but oh well.

Johan Mengesha can be reached at

More to Discover