NFL Illegalizes the Goalpost Dunk, for Whatever Reason
This method of celebration has never been particularly creative, but it has become a standard form of post-score jubilee. The emphatic maneuver is also the signature celebration for such notable players as Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham.
Gonzalez, of course, retired after last season but is still understandably perplexed by the decision. Gonzo declared his sentiments via Twitter:
While Gonzalez is now free from the shackles and restrictions of the modern NFL, New Orleans Saints tight end/wide receiver Jimmy Graham is not so fortunate. The dominant hybrid is still subject to the silly mandates and spirit-crushing whims of the league office and so will no longer be allowed to indulge in his favorite touchdown celebration. If you recall, Graham visited the endzone 16 times in 2013, so this is a fairly common occurrence.
I'm sure Jimmy will put on his thinking cap and come up with another inventive way to enjoy his future touchdowns. The problem is that it shouldn't be necessary in the first place.
What exactly is the motivation here? Beyond the occasional stoppage in play to realign the goalpost after a particularly aggressive dunk, what possible harm does this celebration produce? The NFL continues to monitor everything from contact to enthusiasm, but apparently, it will not rest until the entire spectrum of human emotion is heavily regulated.
In the meantime, for a future homage to his basketball days, Graham could possibly show some finesse with a nice fade away jumper or fundamentally sound bounce pass.
Perhaps Jimmy could even make the argument that the league is stifling his creativity and civil liberties, thereby using the resulting leverage in his ongoing contract negotiations to extract some more coin from the Saints.