February 11, 2009

Do A Little Dance, Lose A Lotta Points: NCAA coaches to look at modifications to the celebration penalties. But are they tuning them in the right direction?

posted by TheQatarian to football at 08:25 PM - 15 comments

I don't think taking points off the board will go very well, but I wouldn't object to penalties being called after sacks, first downs, big hits, etc if there was excessive celebration. The problem would be what is considered excessive and what isn't.

posted by BoKnows at 08:32 PM on February 11, 2009

As I noted in a column I wrote a while back, I'm sick of the celebration penalties, primarily because while it may be stupid, it isn't cheating, and I believe that penalties should be reserved for things that could either injure someone or give a player or team an unfair advantage. That being said, I can live with a penalty being called if a player does something that is clearly pre-meditated or is taunting the other team. But the NCAA calls way too many penalties for spontaneous displays of emotion at big moments or in big games. (See: Locker, Jake). That sort of thing should not be penalized. If the NCAA does this, then it is inevitable that someone is going to score a big touchdown late in the game to give his team the lead and show his emotions in some way that some uptight ref is going to see as "excessive", then see the TD erased and have his team lose, despite the fact that he didn't cheat. The fans will hate it, but like with the BCS, the NCAA will ignore the fans and do their own thing.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:35 PM on February 11, 2009

yea, what TheQatarian said.

posted by dviking at 08:37 PM on February 11, 2009

I think that's a good viewpoint and example, Q. And I agree, pre-meditated=penalty, emotion in big moment=no penalty. But what I hate, is when a player celebrates after a sack, in the first quarter of a game, or while down 28 points. Maybe force the player to have to sit for a possession, rather than take away points, or by moving the chains back.

posted by BoKnows at 08:50 PM on February 11, 2009

Very well said Q, can't really add on to that at all.

posted by fadetoblack5 at 10:15 PM on February 11, 2009

According to the article, the penalty at stake is turning a taunting/celebrating done before a player reaches the end-zone from a dead-ball foul into a live-ball penalty, which would negate the touchdown. I wouldn't be a fan of the rule change, but I can see the POV where taunting technically takes place during the play at hand and thus could be considered a live-ball foul. If the article's accurate, it wouldn't affect after the whistle unsportsmanlike penalties.

posted by jmd82 at 11:05 PM on February 11, 2009

I think that the proposed rule is dumb as are all celebration rules. They have nothing to do with the game. It is like punishing a team for bad manners. A bunch of old folks wishing the game was like their idealized version of what sportsmanship used to look like.

Doesn't SI or AP proof their headlines, deabtes?

posted by bperk at 12:00 PM on February 12, 2009

The fact that the NCAA is running it by coaches will probably ensure that the removal of points never sees the light of day (I hope.) I can't imagine a coach allowing his job to be placed in jeopardy by the chance that one of his players lets emotion get away from him. At least not any more than the penalty yardage imposed today, at least.

Although the headlines could be a kick "Young athletes' dancing leads to alumni dissatisfaction" "Overexcited young man blows it for his coach"

Thanks. You've been great. Don't forget to tip your waitress!

posted by tahoemoj at 12:39 PM on February 12, 2009

But what I hate, is when a player celebrates after a sack, in the first quarter of a game, or while down 28 points.

I think one thing that has to remembered is that these players are playing in the "heat of the moment" per say. Yes their team as a whole may be losing, but individually a play such as that can be a big deal. While I don't condone the over the top celebrations, I don't think it is fair to fault those players who celebrate their own big play, especially since they aren't being paid to play the game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:04 AM on February 13, 2009

In high school, playing both football and hockey, we would get our asses handed to us if we celebrated anything. A goal, hit, whatever. We could rant and rave and cheer all we wanted in the locker room - after the game. We were taught to respect the other team, and to know that what goes around comes around. I guess I still have that sense of respectful sportsmanship in me. They are team sports, so the play made was to benefit the team, not a reason to draw attention to yourself for an individual accomplishment, which in a lot of cases, was a very small part of the team's success or failure as a whole.

Am I of an "old school" mentality? Maybe. But I do believe that people can control themselves and their actions, so I don't buy the "heat of the moment" angle here. It's just as easy to reset, keep your composure, and make the big play again. The celebration, to me, is purely a "look at what I did" thing.

posted by BoKnows at 10:35 AM on February 13, 2009

Good point Bo. I also think there's a difference between a fist or chest bump after a sack and running 10 yards, falling on your knees, and acting like you've just won the lotto.

posted by jmd82 at 10:50 AM on February 13, 2009

Whatever happened to the good old fashioned pat on the ass?

posted by tahoemoj at 12:46 PM on February 13, 2009

The celebration, to me, is purely a "look at what I did" thing.

Sure, maybe that is what it is to you, but that isn't the only interpretation. The critics of celebration always make it out to be an act of selfishness and disrespect. It could be that people are just having a lot of fun playing a game that they love. You never hear other players say that they thought someone's celebrations were disrespectful or poor sportsmanship. It is always people on the sidelines. Maybe the people on the sidelines don't realize the sheer joy that playing brings to others.

posted by bperk at 02:42 PM on February 13, 2009

Fair enough, bperk. Like I said above, I repect that viewpoint. I'm not sure if I'd categorize the players on the sidelines as always being the critics. But then again, if players on the field feel as I do about respect, maybe they wouldn't express their dislike of a teammates actions publicly. So you or I wouldn't hear it anyway.

posted by BoKnows at 05:20 PM on February 13, 2009

I can appreciate Bo's position. I like the old school mentality. But some of this is just too much. I'm with Q. Let them celebrate. Look at Soccer and the CFL - those goal and touchdown celebrations can be great. It's fun. Holy crap - Sports are fun!?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:02 PM on February 13, 2009

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.