NFL Bans Dunking Over Crossbar; Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez Respond
By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Photos like the incredible one above will become increasingly scarce in coming years. The NFL is banning goalpost dunks, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told the Dan Patrick Show.
Just in. The NFL will not allow dunking the ball over the goal post next season. It will be a penalty. Cannot use the ball as a prop.—
Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) March 25, 2014
New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham dunks after he scores touchdowns, following in the footsteps of longtime Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez, who was previously the best known practitioner of this celebration.
Gonzalez, for one, was not pleased by the news.
The NFL says no more dunking over the goalpost. This one I don't understand. Looks like I got out just in time.—
Tony Gonzalez (@TonyGonzalez88) March 25, 2014
Graham did not take it too well either.
Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson has also been known to dunk over the crossbar. How the wide receiver will celebrate touchdowns now remains to be seen. It seems quite unlikely he will take to dancing like teammate Joe Fauria, and jumping into the crowd like Joique Bell to lead fan in a cheer does not seem Johnson’s style either.
Players are generally prohibited from using the ball as a prop in celebrations, but the dunk had been allowed. According to ProFootballTalk, the event that spurred the change was a two-handed slam by Graham in 2013 that knocked the crossbar out of alignment.
The banning of dunking over the crossbar, one of the most athletic and innocuous celebrations in football, provides yet another example of why many refer to the NFL as the No Fun League.