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Jimmy Graham is going to have to resist that urge to dunk a football over the goalpost and then hang from it the next time he scores a touchdown. The NFL announced today that it has banned goalpost dunking.
NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino confirmed on The Dan Patrick Show Tuesday that players will be penalized for hanging on the crossbar, starting immediately this season, reports NFL.com.
The ban will actually be covered under the ban on other celebrations after a touchdown. It will be considered using the ball as a prop, which was already restricted. So, the NFL won’t have to add yet another rule to the rulebook.
“We grandfathered in some, the Lambeau Leap and things like that. But dunking will come out,” Blandino explained. “Using the ball as a prop or any object as a prop, whether that's the goal post, the crossbar, that will come out and that will be a foul next season.”
There are two possible reasons for enforcing the ban. Firstly, they don’t want a player like Graham destabilizing the goalpost again. Second, there have been suggestions from the NFL Competition Committee that the goalposts may grow by five feet.
A third possible reason is that the NFL wants all its players to be emotionless robots, even when they put their team ahead.
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
USA Today reports that the owners also approved a change to replay rules, allowing referees to communicate with the New York league office to help speed up review time. They will still make the final call on the field, though.