TD celebrations a thing of the past?

Stephen Buszka

The NFL’s competition committee is working on a proposal to restrict touchdown celebrations in the upcoming seasons. The goal is to discourage celebrations which “have been getting out of hand,” as committee chairman Jeff Fisher put it. Under the new proposed rule, celebrations like spiking and spinning the ball will be allowed as will dunking the ball over the goalpost. However, there would be a ban on celebrations involving props and teammates and celebrations taking place on the ground. The consequence for performing an over-the-top post-touchdown dance would be an unsportsmanlike conduct call, leading to a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff and the possibility of fines.

Touchdown celebrations have spurred much debate in recent years as tradionalists believe the excessive showmanship hurts the integrity of the game. Others see it as harmless fun and look forward to seeing what wide receivers such as Terrell Owens, Steve Smith and Chad Johnson will do next.

The actual impact the rule will have on the game is debatable. Fines have ceased to prevent celebrations like Moss’ mooning in the past, and some feel that a 15-yard penalty won’t deter others. Some receivers admit the rule won’t faze them. When asked about the ban on excessive celebrations, Chad Johnson said, “Tell the competition committee that Chad said you can’t cover 85, and there’s no way you can stop him from entertaining.”