Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just throw the flag

Simple is better.

I have felt that way most of my life about just about everything. In fact when I find myself trying to over-complicate things, my approach is to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks to deal with.

During the day on Sunday I was watching week 7 of NFL games in earnest to wait for the first big helmet to helmet hit to see what the referees were going to do. I saw no such hit.

I did see a bunch of good legal hits, and even ones that I would have considered "on the edge." There was one trend I did notice however, the celebration of the defensive player who made such a hit, regardless of the gain that had just occurred.

This was odd to me, celebrating just tackling someone. Now I can see a sack being celebrated (tackling the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage when they are in possession of the ball), or a play that results in a turnover or similar possession change. But just a run of the mill tackle with such celebration?

It got weirder ...

After watching a few games I noticed that more than a few touchdown celebrations were very muted. A team that just scored, really did not celebrate.


I wonder if it is the NFL's current policy on "excessive celebration" that has something to do with it? Now I agree, there was a point in time when things were a bit out of control. Take TO's "sharpie gate" for one. It is tough to argue that end zone celebrations were going a bit too far, but has the NFL gone too far in instructing referees to decry ANY such activity?

Compare with today's game and the hits that are leveled on players, and the accompanying celebration. Is THAT going too far in the wrong direction? My answer is yes.

Today NFL referees are being asked to decide metaphysical questions regarding helmet to helmet hits. Did he mean it? What was the intent? All of this at warp speed.

My solution is simple to put a little sanity back in the game. If a player excessively celebrates after tackling another, penalize them for excessive celebration.

Still bust them for the helmet to helmet stuff, but also take some time to prevent the seeds of those types of hits from growing, by getting everyone to calm down, just a little.

Throw the flag.

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