Is anyone else worried about them? In Garrick McGee’s post practice interview the other day, he was asked about it around the 6:20 mark…and whether they have talked to the players about it. He said that they had talked about it quite a bit, especially with Joe Adams since he likes to high step a bit or drag his feet when going into the end zone. He also gave a couple of examples. When Jerico Nelson dove into the end zone after an interception, this year that ball would be brought back out to the 20.
He also said that if Mallett would have thrown a long touchdown pass, say the one to Cobi Hamilton at the end of the first half against LSU, and celebrated too much, it would have been a penalty from the spot of the infraction. So instead of a touchdown, it would have brought the ball all the way back to OUR 10.
Someone’s going to get royally screwed this year.
At least this author is able to find a little humor in it.
No, the reason you will find yourself nearing a nervous breakdown sometime between now and New Year’s is the new rule concerning excessive celebration. It was approved last year but debuts in 2011. Simply put, a player can be flagged for taunting opponents on the way to the end zone, just as always, but hereafter it will be a spot foul if the offense occurs while the ball is live.
Somersault or high-step across the goal beginning at the 2-yard line, in other words, and a 15-yard penalty is assessed. Plus the touchdown is taken away. Plus fans come pouring out of the stands with torches and pitchforks. Plus coaches get doused in Gatorade just to keep them from spontaneously combusting.
We’re talking about taking points off the board because of matters of decorum. Has the pendulum swung too far here on punishment for silly demonstrations of serious joy? Only by about 10 miles.
Wiping out touchdowns just for ticking off some grumpy zebra, why, it’s un-American.
The thing that scares me the most is the subjectivity of it. It doesn’t take an Arkansas fan (or a fan of any other team) to be able to reel off a few games where questionable calls brought them out of their seat. Without expending any energy at all:
- Florida in 2009 (numerous times)
- South Carolina last year when Jerry Franklin sacked Garcia. The infamous “look my players in the eye!” Petrino explosion
- Auburn last year. SEC Refs Explain Iffy Calls…
So now if a player is excited about scoring a touchdown, a ref is going to be able to call it back based on his opinion of the level of excitement. If you thought the conspiracy theories were bad enough before, get ready for the first time this call happens. Especially if a top 10 ranked team benefits from the call in a close game.
If it happens to us….the server this site is on just might explode. And me too.