Penal­ties re­in­force 'No Fun League' im­age

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Howard Fen­drich

Giants re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham Jr. and Red­skins tight end Ver­non Davis were among the play­ers who learned Sun­day that a lit­tle cel­e­brat­ing after scor­ing a touch­down can cost your team a penalty.

The un­sports­man­like con­duct penalty Wash­ing­ton Red­skins tight end Ver­non Davis drew after a TD for shoot­ing the foot­ball at the goal­post like a bas­ket­ball at a rim is pre­cisely why peo­ple joke that “NFL” stands for “No Fun League.”

Turned out to be a truly con­se­quen­tial flag, too: The 15 yards were as­sessed on the kick­off, so the ball was booted from Wash­ing­ton’s 20 in­stead of the 35, and the op­po­nent turned that into a TD re­turn.

“You’re not taunt­ing. I don’t think that’s taunt­ing,” Davis said after Wash­ing­ton beat the fad­ing Philadel­phia Ea­gles 27-20 Sun­day for its fourth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory. “You’re just cel­e­brat­ing, right?” Would seem so. In the same cat­e­gory: New York Giants re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham Jr. drew a 15-yarder for un­sports­man­like con­duct when he yanked off his hel­met after scor­ing on a 66-yard catc­hand-run to beat the Bal­ti­more Ravens 27-23.

NFL Se­nior VP of Of­fi­ci­at­ing Dean Blandino posted a video on Twit­ter to cite the rules that led to the penal­ties, with a speci­ficity that sounded sort of silly. What he didn’t do: Ex­plain why the rules make sense.

On the Davis flag, Blandino said: “You can’t dunk the ball over the goal­post, shoot the ball, fin­ger roll. All of that is il­le­gal.”

On the Beck­ham flag, he said: “You can­not take your hel­met off as part of a cel­e­bra­tion, a de­mon­stra­tion or as part of a con­fronta­tion with an op­po­nent or a game of­fi­cial.”

Red­skins cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man — fined $9,115 this month by the NFL for a bow-and-ar­row pan­tomime after an in­ter­cep­tion — called the flag on his team­mate Davis “crazy” and “ridicu­lous.”

“I guess shoot­ing hoops is frowned upon, too. If I slap some­body’s hand on a good play, maybe they’re go­ing to call us for that — who knows?” Nor­man said. “When is enough, enough? ... I mean, shoot, that’s what we are: We are en­ter­tain­ers.”

Given the league’s predilec­tion for re­mov­ing any un­chore­ographed mo­ments, Detroit Lions re­ceiver Golden Tate’s pock­ets might be a lit­tle lighter this week. After scor­ing dur­ing a 31-28 vic­tory over the Los An­ge­les Rams, he grabbed a cheer­leader’s pair of blue pom­poms and joined in the danc­ing.

“I was go­ing back to the side­line and I just saw these new cheer­lead­ers and I fig­ured, ‘Hey, why not party with them for a lit­tle bit?’ ... Just hav­ing fun,” Tate said. “Just hav­ing a lot of fun.” Not sure that’s al­lowed. In case you missed it, here are the other top top­ics after the NFL sea­son’s sixth Sun­day:

P.I. or P.I.?

Julio Jones, coach Dan Quinn and the rest of the Falcons ap­peared to have a le­git­i­mate gripe after their 26-24 loss to the Sea­hawks. On fourth down with 90 sec­onds left, Seat­tle cor­ner­back Richard Sher­man clearly grabbed Jones’ right arm on a deep pass, lead­ing to an in­com­ple­tion. Quinn protested vig­or­ously on the side­line, yelling and pulling off his hat, to no avail. Jones called it “just a missed call.” Blandino’s pre­de­ces­sor as head of NFL of­fi­ci­at­ing, Mike Pereira, tweeted: “No ques­tion that was PI. They’re all tough, but you have to make that call.”

ALEX BRAN­DON — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wash­ing­ton Red­skins tight end Ver­non Davis cel­e­brates after scor­ing a touch­down in the first half of an NFL foot­ball game against the Philadel­phia Ea­gles, Sun­day in Landover, Md.

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