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View Full Version : No Fun League strikes again: NFL might vote to rein in TD celebrations



savafan
03-28-2006, 01:31 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2387077

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bad news might be on the horizon for Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and the other purveyors of outrageous touchdown celebrations.

The NFL's competition committee is proposing a crackdown on rocking the baby, teeing off like Tiger and anything else that might be considered taunting.

This isn't particularly new. The league has smacked down celebrators who went over the top before. Remember T.O.'s dancing on the Dallas star in Texas Stadium? Or Johnson revealing a small sign asking not to be fined by commissioner Paul Tagliabue?

Or, of course, Joe Horn's hidden cell phone trick in New Orleans?

But committee chairmen Jeff Fisher, coach of the Tennessee Titans, and Rich McKay, general manger of the Atlanta Falcons, believe enforcement hasn't been strict enough recently.

"Individual celebration was getting out of hand," Fisher said Monday at the NFL meetings. "The players' association was unanimous in wanting to get this under control."

So spiking the ball in the end zone will be OK. And spinning it on the ground, or dunking it over the goalpost. Dancing in the end zone is fine, too, as long as it's not prolonged or a group effort.

Almost all other celebrations will be out if the committee's recommendation to clamp down further on the frivolities is passed by the owners.

The new emphasis on unsportsmanlike conduct penalties will call for a 15-yard mark-off on the ensuing kickoff against the offending team, and possible fines.

Players can't use props for any celebrations, and they can't be on the ground when they do their thing. Asked what happens if a player is tackled in the end zone and begins celebrating while down, Fisher said it would be a penalty.

"Get up and dance," he said, prompting laughter at a news conference.

"If they go to the ground to score and feel compelled to do something, get up!" McKay added.

"We've allowed those things to creep back. They are not necessary and should not be allowed."

The committee also will suggest:

Down by contact calls be subject to instant replay review, a proposal that was voted down last year. Currently, a play is dead once the whistle blows and the ballcarrier is ruled down by the officials. McKay said that last season there were 18 to 20 plays when the ball came out of a player's grasp before he was ruled down.

The proposed change would allow any turnover to stand if replay showed the ball came loose before the whistle. No subsequent runbacks with the ball would count, however.

Modifying illegal procedure to allow receivers to flinch if they get back into position before the play and the defense doesn't react to the move.

Toughening enforcement on pass rushers who hit quarterbacks below the knees, as long as the defensive players could have avoided making the hit. One play that didn't prompt such a point of emphasis, McKay said, was in last year's playoffs on Cincinnati's Carson Palmer by Kimo von Oelhoffen, then with Pittsburgh, that severely injured Palmer's knee. McKay said it was clear von Oelhoffen didn't make any intentional move to hit Palmer, but simply rolled into the quarterback.

Just like quarterbacks, one defensive player might be allowed direct communication with the coaches next season. The committee will recommend that a defense has the same option as an offense in that area. As of now, quarterbacks get instructions through a small speaker in the helmet until there are 15 seconds remaining on the play clock.

"We hope to get away from offenses -- I don't want to say stealing, so borrowing -- signals from the sideline [for defenses]," McKay said.

WVRed
03-28-2006, 01:34 PM
grrr, beat me by one minute.

savafan
03-28-2006, 01:36 PM
grrr, beat me by one minute.

LOL, you know what, I think this is the first time, ever on this forum, that I have beat anyone. :beerme:

Reds Fanatic
03-28-2006, 01:38 PM
Here is some more detail on this from the Bengals website. Apparently they reviewed all Chad's celebrations from last year and pretty much every one of those would be a 15 yard penalty this year.


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - It looks like we’ve seen the last of Pylon Golf, Touchdown Proposals, and Cardio Pulmonary Laces if the NFL owners pass muster Wednesday on a celebration crackdown.

But Bengals Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson, known as much last season for his Night-at-the-Improv celebrations as for his touchdowns, says he can still keep his flair and not draw a flag.

The competition committee has recommended that the ball no longer be used as a prop, a player can’t go to the ground, and he can’t dance too long or excessively. In fact, no props at all can be used to celebrate a touchdown in the end zone.

“You can still spike the ball, spin the ball, and dunk the ball over the goal post,” said competition committee co-chairman and Falcons president Rich McKay, but he said he enjoyed watching Johnson on the tapes and called him a “very creative (USC) Trojan,” before catching himself and making it “a very creative Beaver from Oregon State.”

But, no matter. Those are now 15-yard penalties. Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, the other co-chair, said the plea to crack down on celebrations actually came from the NFL Players Association.

But Johnson isn’t deterred, even though his head coach, Marvin Lewis, is the newest member of the competition committee.

“I don’t follow the rules anyway,” Johnson said. “I don’t think that affects what I do. I’m not going to get a penalty. I don’t use the ball for a prop.”

But he did in the Sunday night game last year in Jacksonville, when he performed CPR on the ball after scoring a touchdown to revive the Bengals in a game they trailed. But that would have been a penalty twice over because he went to the ground and used the ball as a prop.

“The Tiger Hood” act last season when he putted the ball with the pylon also would have been a 15-yarder twice over according to the new interpretation. And Fisher said when he went to one knee to propose to a Ben-Gal cheerleader that also would be a penalty even though he was on the sideline.

“He went to the ground,” Fisher said. “And he wasn’t far enough up the sideline (closer to the bench). If he wants to propose, he has to do it standing up.”

(The pushups in Chicago are also penalty fodder because of the ground.)

If it sounds like the committee has really studied this, they have. They apparently sat in a room in Indianapolis last month watching about 25 clips of the Best of Johnson, as well as Terrell Owens.

Although Bengals president Mike Brown enjoys Johnson’s enthusiasm as much as anyone, it sounds like he’ll vote for the crackdown when the owners convene Wednesday.

“Chad is never offensive. But it does attract attention to one player and can be a distraction and I think our game needs to get away from that a little bit,” Brown said. “I enjoy it, but it depends on your perspective. When he did the Riverdance (in Chicago), I thought that was great. When the guy from Pittsburgh (Hines Ward) did it, I didn’t like it.”

savafan
03-28-2006, 01:39 PM
Bengals' Johnson reacts

Chad Johnson has a message for the NFL's competition committee if it votes to curtail over-the-top touchdown celebrations: He can't be stopped.

"Of course you cannot stop someone as creative as me. How can this bother someone as creative as me?" Johnson told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Johnson is the king of outrageous touchdown celebrations, including once using the end zone pylon as a prop and putting the football after a touchdown.

"Tell the competition committee that Chad said you can't cover 85, and there's no way you can stop him from entertaining," Johnson told the Enquirer.

savafan
03-30-2006, 12:19 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2389062

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Chad Johnson, Steve Smith and Terrell Owens lost a good portion of their end zone celebrations. Carson Palmer, Brian Griese and Ben Roethlisberger gained some protection for their knees. And NFL coaches gained the ability to make replay challenges on down-by-contact plays.

The NFL owners meetings concluded in Orlando on Wednesday afternoon with owners giving big thumbs up to 15 playing rules proposals by the competition committee. Player safety and player conduct headlined the long list of recommendations, and the committee passed most of them with ease.

Only two recommendations failed to pass. Eleven owners voted against allowing a defensive player to wear a radio helmet connected to coaches on the sideline. An effort to cut down the rapidly increasing number of false start penalties against receivers who flinch at the line of scrimmage also failed.

"There was a great deal of interest and a great deal of momentum [for the radio helmets for a defensive player]," said Titans coach Jeff Fisher, the committee co-chairman. "But if there was a malfunction of the equipment, then all bets were off. On the offensive side, you simply have the quarterback, but on the defensive side, it could be the linebacker or the safety. There is a lot more involved."

Overall, though, the committee reveled in its success.

"The competition committee did a terrific job and that showed with the endorsements that they had on their recommendations," commissioner Paul Tagliabue said.

Among the biggest changes:

Limited celebration: Perhaps the most controversial decision involved end zone celebrations. A few years ago, the committee tried to clamp down on excessive end zone celebrations, particularly in light of Joe Horn's touchdown celebration with a cellphone and Owens signing a football with a Sharpie after a touchdown. But in 2005, numerous creative celebrations crept back into the game.

"I think it's needed," San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer told The Associated Press. Schottenheimer is entering his 21st season, most of any current head coach. "The game is about the team, not the individual."

Chad Johnson of the Bengals gave CPR to a football after a touchdown, went down on a knee after a touchdown and proposed marriage to a cheerleader and pulled out an end zone pylon and pretended to hit a golf shot with it. Steve Smith of the Panthers did an end zone Snow Angel, went to the ground and did a rowboat celebration and cradled a football like a baby and wiped its bottom as if it needed more diapers.

In a vote of 29-3, the owners gave officials power to penalize a team 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff for excessive celebrations anywhere on the field. Spikes, dunks, Lambeau Leaps, spins, dances and simple celebrations will be allowed. But penalties will be given for any celebration other than that.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what Chad [Johnson] will come to celebrate with now," Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy told the AP after the vote.

Johnson told a Cincinnati reporter Tuesday that he will have his own competition committee meeting with Keyshawn Johnson and Owens to come up with creative ways to celebrate touchdowns. One area that remains in play is the sidelines. Mike Pereira, the league's supervisor of officials, said if sidelines become the next area of excessive celebration, the competition committee would address it next winter.

Replay changes: Perhaps the biggest victory of the competition committee was the inclusion of down-by-contact plays on replay challenges. Last year, the committee fell four votes short of getting down by contact plays included. This year, it passed, 27-5.

Pereira said there were 12 plays in 2005 that would have been overturned in a replay challenge on a lost fumble that was ruled down because the player had been downed after contact with a defensive player. If the defensive team wins the challenge, the ball would go to them at spot of the recovery. In 2004, about 13 change of possessions would have been made in favor of the defensive team that recovered.

One slight modification included in the rule change would shorten the time the referee has to review a play. The review time would go from 90 seconds to 60 seconds from the time the referee begins looking at the replay monitor. In reality, that's not much of a big deal. The average time an official reviews the play is one minute and seven seconds. The league is hoping to shorten the 3 minutes of lost time during replay challenges.

Safety was also a big winner during Wednesday's meeting. Here are the rules that passed involving safety.

A rushing defensive player won't be allowed to forcibly hit a quarterback below the knees. He has to make every effort to avoid such a low hit. Palmer, Griese and Roethlisberger suffered knee injuries on low hits but those three plays were considered legal by the committee because they involved defensive rushers coming off blocks. Several other plays such as the old Rodney Harrison hit on Trent Green when he was with the Rams along with a Jared Allen low hit on Kerry Collins would be subject to a 15-yard penalty. That proposal passed, 25-7.

Centers who snap on field goals, extra points and punts can not have a defender line up directly over him. Instead, the defender has to line up outside the snapper's shoulder pads. The penalty for illegal formation will be 5 yards, but few penalties are expected to be called because officials will warn the player before the snap.

The committee expanded the definition of a horse collar tackle. Last year, the committee determined the tackling style of Cowboys safety Roy Williams and others was causing too many injuries. Williams would grab a player by the back of his shoulder pads, pull him down and fall on his legs, causing at least four serious injuries during the 2004 season. In 2005, though, only two "horse-collar" penalties were called. On Wednesday, owners voted in a change that will include grabbing the back of the jersey as a horse collar tackle. The vote was 25-7 in favor.

Other little changes for safety included trying to limit the number of re-kicks by giving the kicking team more chances to take penalties after kicks. That ended a three-year process of minimizing the number of special teams kicks that are violent and risky for injury. The owners also prohibited kicking teams from loading up one side of the field on free kicks.

There was one significant change in the roster cutdown before the start of the season and one after the final cutdown.

In a vote of 29-3, owners allowed teams to keep 75 instead of 65 players on their roster in the first cutdown, which is annually the Tuesday after the third preseason weekend. The trade off was the NFL Europe exemptions that allowed teams to bring more players to camp expire at that time. The reason for the change is simple. For the most part, the NFL Europe players weren't going to make the team but teams keep them to the final cut in order to have bigger rosters for the preseason finale.

Now, teams can cut the NFL Europe players in the next to last cut and have 10 extra players who could either make the team or be candidates for the practice squad.

The second part of the roster proposals is that the eight-member practice squad was extended four years to 2009. Before last season, teams could only keep five players on the practice squad.

In recent years, the competition committee has increased its efficiency in terms of getting their proposals to pass because they take surveys of teams and coaches and solicit as much input as possible.

With the down-by-contact change that was voted down last year and then approved this year, the committee is optimistic that next year it could pass the rule change to allow defensive players to wear a radio helmet and get play calls from coaches on the bench. They will also push next year to lessen the number of false starts, a failed effort this year.

There were two ideas not supported by the committee that didn't pass.

The Bucs' recommendation to include all penalties for replay review was almost unanimously defeated.

The Chiefs proposal to expand the playoffs from 12 to 14 was tabled to May, but it doesn't have the support of Tagliabue and the Committee and is expected to fail.

The Committee also completed a six-page clarification of the writing of the holding penalties that it hopes will bring uniformity to the calls and the coaching of offensive linemen.

Overall, it was a good day for the committee.

cincinnati chili
03-30-2006, 06:27 AM
So glad I'm not an NFL fan. I can understand cutting down on the "taunting" types of celebrations (preventing fights, etc.), but cutting out the other celebrations is a good way to appease the 60+ demographic at the expense of newer younger fans.

Football players are entertainers. It's supposed to be fun.

Johnny Footstool
03-30-2006, 10:17 AM
Since you can't go to the ground following a touchdown, I guess guys who go to one knee and say a prayer will be penalized, too.

That won't go over too well.

NJReds
03-30-2006, 12:12 PM
I don't watch football for the celebrations, so this doesn't really bother me. Celebrate...don't celebrate, it's not really a big deal.

That said, I don't think they need to be worrying about TD celebrations so much. They should be focusing on the basics (holding, possession, pass interference). The officiating in last year's playoffs (actually all of last year) was horrible.

NJReds
03-30-2006, 12:14 PM
Johnson told a Cincinnati reporter Tuesday that he will have his own competition committee meeting with Keyshawn Johnson and Owens to come up with creative ways to celebrate touchdowns.

Now that's a meeting I'd like to attend. :beerme:

Chip R
03-30-2006, 12:29 PM
Now that's a meeting I'd like to attend. :beerme:

The egos in that room. :eek:

Griffey4Prez
03-30-2006, 05:01 PM
Football is really turning into a pansy sport, I mean im not big on celebrations, but there good for a laugh now and then...

sportsguy75
03-30-2006, 08:47 PM
Since you can't go to the ground following a touchdown, I guess guys who go to one knee and say a prayer will be penalized, too.

That won't go over too well.


Good call!

Chip R
03-31-2006, 09:57 AM
Good call!

Yeah, that will be interesting. My guess is they will make an exception for prayers as they are not celebrations - if you want to get technical about it.

savafan
03-31-2006, 11:56 AM
Yeah, that will be interesting. My guess is they will make an exception for prayers as they are not celebrations - if you want to get technical about it.

Technically speaking then, neither are marriage proposals, right?

Johnny Footstool
03-31-2006, 12:37 PM
Technically speaking then, neither are marriage proposals, right?

Exactly. CJ went down on one knee for that celebration, and Fisher said that would be a penalty. If the rule holds true, no exceptions should be made for prayer, because the referee can't verify that the player is actually praying and not mouthing obscenities at the opposing d-back.

Chip R
03-31-2006, 01:33 PM
Technically speaking then, neither are marriage proposals, right?

Depends on who you are proposing to. ;)


If the rule holds true, no exceptions should be made for prayer, because the referee can't verify that the player is actually praying and not mouthing obscenities at the opposing d-back.

Exceptions shouldn't be made but what happens when a ref penalizes a team because a guy prayed in the end zone? The caca will hit the fan. They had a tempest in a teapot here a couple of years ago when John Kitna was fined for wearing a hat with a crucifix on it instead of one with one of the bazillion sponsors of the NFL. I suppose a person can pray standing just as easy as if he is kneeling but that really isn't the point.

Larkin411
03-31-2006, 02:39 PM
This last season was the first time I ever really watched NFL football games in their entirety. It was really bizarre to see the celebration stuff after being so used to the restraint in college football.

Maybe they should have an idiot clock and you have to finish your celebration in the time alloted.

Chip R
03-31-2006, 02:44 PM
Maybe they should have an idiot clock and you have to finish your celebration in the time alloted.

:laugh: Might be a good compromise.

Johnny Footstool
03-31-2006, 04:47 PM
Exceptions shouldn't be made but what happens when a ref penalizes a team because a guy prayed in the end zone? The caca will hit the fan. They had a tempest in a teapot here a couple of years ago when John Kitna was fined for wearing a hat with a crucifix on it instead of one with one of the bazillion sponsors of the NFL. I suppose a person can pray standing just as easy as if he is kneeling but that really isn't the point.



I agree. The first time it happens, it will generate more controversy than all the outrageous celebrations combined.

I were a coach and an opposing player kneeled after a touchdown, I would be all over the officials to throw a flag, and I would be all over the league office to enforce the letter of the rule. I'll bet there are a lot of coaches who will do the same.

It all just illustrates the silliness of the rule.

Chip R
03-31-2006, 05:02 PM
I were a coach and an opposing player kneeled after a touchdown, I would be all over the officials to throw a flag, and I would be all over the league office to enforce the letter of the rule. I'll bet there are a lot of coaches who will do the same.

It all just illustrates the silliness of the rule.

Yeah. I'm not much for the celebrations. I don't care if a guy spikes the ball or does a quick deal where he celebrates with his teammates but I think guys like Chad Johnson might want to focus more on becoming a better player than his next TD celebration. But I don't care for rules legislating against them either. And we'll get into a whole big deal if kneeling for prayers is penalized - but if it isn't, I can't see a coach telling a ref to penalize it. What coach would publically be against prayer?

DropDocK
03-31-2006, 06:42 PM
Maybe they should have an idiot clock and you have to finish your celebration in the time alloted.

I'd go with that.

I don't really care if they celebrate but the extent some guys take it to, like CJ and Owens, is absurd sometimes. Give me back Barry Sanders any day. Do you moves on the field of play, get the TD, and toss the ball to the ref like you've been there before.