No Fun League Strikes Again: No Dunking on Goalposts in 2014


Dec 2, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end

Jimmy Graham

(80) celebrates a touchdown reception against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Because something had to be done.  The NFL was starting to get too darn uncontrolled. It was getting too carefree. It was getting too darn…fun…gasp! What started as a spontaneous celebration from an ex-basketball player (and current NFLer) was fast becoming a slam-fest of epic proportions.

The league was getting out of control and something had to be done.

Rest assured this epidemic was at the top of the leagues list of things to do. Ironically that to-do list was titled, “Things Not To Do” and dunking a football over the goalpost was number 1 on that list. Reasons for such a ban are almost too numerous to list but I’ll try anyway:

  1. The Goalpost could break. It did once with Jimmy Graham so a repeat of that fateful incident is almost inescapable.
  2. A player could get hurt. Because that is the most dangerous behavior in an NFL game. I wonder what the concussion incidence rate is with dunking while in full pads and helmet compared to everything else during a game?
  3. Short and/or fat players would feel excluded because they don’t have the ability to dunk on a goal post. They would still receive “I Participated” trophies to spare their feelings on the matter.
  4. It may remind fans that other professional sports exist that play an entire game dedicated to one team dunking more than the opposing team.

Nov 21, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates a touchdown in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Those are just a sampling of the “official” (unofficial) reasons for the urgent ban against the savage celebration. Is the league going too far? They don’t seem to think so. Dunking the ball is using the ball as a prop and technically should have been penalized all along they say.

Although not specifically detailed in the report, it can be assumed that all forms of shooting basketball-type shots are to be penalized this up-coming season since all will use the ball as a prop.

Penalties will vary based on the awesomeness and success of said basketball shot. For instance, we at Sport DFW came up with penalty projections based on the type of shot executed during the celebration.

See below for penalty projections:

  • dunk would be penalized 15 yards
  • A stop and pop shot would receive raised eyebrows, a finger point, and intense eye contract from the head official – all the way back to the sideline.
  • A three pointer from either front pylon would be given a super slippery kicking ball for the extra point.
  • A free throw is automatic ejection and call home to mom.

The league seems dedicated to enforcing importantly pointless rules for celebrations that may engage fans positively.

The NFL had no comment regarding its quest to appear like they are legitimately concerned about concussions (and their accompanying lawsuits).

Note: Dunks really will be penalized in 2014. It should go without saying that this article was written largely in jest and is purposely sarcastic in response the NFL’s very real anti-celebration fascination.

Dec 22, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) scores a touchdown during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Panthers win 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

"Don’t even think about it Jimmy…"

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