Chris Chase / USA Today
Thank goodness Tony Gonzalez retired when he did.
On Tuesday, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino announced that Gonzalez’s signature touchdown celebration — the goalpost dunk — will be banned starting with the 2014 season. Blandino told The Dan Patrick Show that dunks will be penalized this year under a reinterpretation of the rule banning the use of a football as a prop.
It was quickly assumed that New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was partially to blame for the rule change. Graham made headlines last season when he bent a goal post in Atlanta with a dunk so thunderous it would have made Dominique Wilkins stand up and cheer.
Look, it’s fun to get worked up about the NFL refusing to allow players to have any fun. And it’s fair to wonder whether the league is simply going to ban touchdowns altogether one day, just to preemptively shut down any joy a player might show on the field. But I get this one (even if the “ball as prop” rule theoretically should ban spiking and handing off to a ref). You can’t have goal posts bending or collapsing. This change is overdue.
Meanwhile, the Lambeau Leap continues to be legal, until the NFL changes its mind on that too because, I don’t know, someone spills hot chocolate on Aaron Rodgers or something.