Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don't Cost Your Team the Game

With spring football either coming to a close at many institutions or happening in the near future, it’s time to consider the 2011 season.

One interesting new rule on the horizon will change the way players celebrate.

In the past, you have seen a running back or wide receiver break out a long gain that results in a touchdown. I guess defensive players can do this too.

Often these players would do there own little celebration before going into the end zone. They would dance; strike the Heisman Trophy pose, etc. The player would still get credit for the touchdown and the penalty would either be charged on the extra point-try or the kickoff.

Now if it happens in the field of play, it’s a foul at the point of the infraction and the offending team receives a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty and no touchdown.

This could cost a team the game. Your team might need a touchdown to win the game and as the player makes this play, the game-clock runs out. Sorry, folks, game over.

Another interesting twist to this rule says that an official can flag someone else besides the ball carrier for the unsportsmanlike conduct. Say, an offensive lineman gets excited at about the 50-yardline and starting a taunting motion. By rule, then official can flag this at the 50 and the ball returns to the 35 with no touchdown.

I think this is a good new rule. These individual celebrations are hurting the spirit of college football. Go ahead and celebrate with your teammates, but leave the dancing to that TV show.

Now, if a player breaks out in a dance, the coach and the fans may not appreciate self-expression because it may provide a dire result.

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