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NFL to Penalize Goalpost Dunks. Also, Hates You and Fun and Joy. (UPDATED)

Are you an NFL player? Do you ever smile? The NFL is working to eradicate that.

Lesigh, part 1,000tybillion.

The NFL will begin penalizing goalpost dunks this season, per NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino.

I'll be blunt. The NFL has a practical reason for this. Multiple reasons, actually. First, the rulebook does state under Section 3, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Article 1 that acts that are "contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship" are prohibited, including:

(f) Possession or use of foreign or extraneous object(s) that are not part of the uniform during the game on the field or the sideline, or using the ball as a prop.

Additionally, Jimmy Graham's week 12 dunk against the Falcons knocked the goalposts askew, delaying the game while the field crew re-leveled the posts.


If the league passes the proposal coming from the Patriots to heighten the posts by 5 feet to reduce the number of those kicks which referees have to judge whether or not they crossed directly over the zenith of the bar, the posts will be even more top-heavy which, in theory, would increase the likelihood of more post askewing...

And yet, this just feels petty.

A year ago, we were talking about the new rule which outlaws spinning the ball at an opponent. and I cited the AP report which even noted (emphasis mine):

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.

A year later, a retraction needed.

But year after year, we're forced to recalculate the balance between fun and work, between joy and discomfort. We say goodbye to the little reminders that sometimes, football can just be about fun.

I understand the decision. It is practical. It is sensible. But that's kind of the problem too.

Football doesn't have to be a mechanical Sabanite version of football that asks players to be more like Cleatus and less like humans. Football can be fun. Even if the NFL cracks down on the players proving so, we'll always have each other to remind us so.




There's no good reason to not read Spencer Hall:

Calling the NFL "They" at this point seems wrong. Let's call the NFL an "it," an impersonal, monstrous thing that stands somewhere categorically weird: part full-time law firm, part branding consortium, part etiquette council, and part massively gifted real estate scam.


When you become something so inhuman as what the NFL is at its godlike size, the slightest trace of human excitement registers as an error, and must be eliminated immediately.

(UPDATE Pt. 2)

There's also no good reason to not watch Key & Peele: