Archived Story

Editorial: If NFL bans dunk, what about the Lambeau Leap?

Published 9:28am Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It is asinine that the NFL would ban football players from dunking the football over the crossbar of the field goal posts after scoring touchdowns. Are league officials going to ban fun in football altogether?

The new rules state that the crossbar will be considered a prop and, as Minnesota Vikings fans who recall the Randy Moss days know, props are not allowed during gametime celebrations.

The new rules seems to target Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson, whose favorite touchdown celebration is dunking the football over the crossbar. Of course, many other players do it, too. It is a simple and harmless celebration. Dunking doesn’t taunt other players any more than spiking the football does. What healthy young athlete doesn’t leap in celebration? It’s natural.

Speaking of leaps, the NFL should be fair and make Green Bay do away with its Lambeau Leap. If the crossbar is a prop, surely the stadium wall and risers are props, too. It seems wrong to do away with one but not the other. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino says the rules committee grandfathered in the Lambeau Leap.

Whatever.

The crossbar dunk joins a long list of fun celebrations no longer allowed in the NFL, which has earned the nickname No Fun League.

We actually don’t mind the Lambeau Leap. We just wish the NFL allowed players greater leeway to celebrate success in non-taunting ways. The next thing you know, the NFL will consider hands a prop in the high five or other players a prop in the bear hug.

Fans want to see the players enjoying themselves out there. In fact, considering all the bad news about concussions, dementia, injuries, bullying, racism, murder, suicide, domestic violence and even low playing time (an average game has only 11 minutes of action), fun on the field might be what keeps the sport popular among children who grow up and become players.