By Jeff Newman: The NFL created a new rule that penalizes teams for players who dunk the football over the goalposts to celebrate their plays. The rule appears to have been created in response to New Orleans Saints player Jimmy Graham having knocked a goalpost out of balance last season when he hung on the posts after making a 2-handed dunk in a Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Play had to be halted while the goalposts were straightened out. It caused a delay of the game, and this is why the new rule was created to prevent the potential of a game being delayed. Interestingly enough, Graham is saying that he still plans on dunking the ball after he scores touchdowns despite the resulting 15-yeard penalty that the Saints will be getting from the referees. In addition to the penalties, Graham will also be receiving fines from the NFL for the dunks, which is why it seems like a self-defeating move on his part if he does continue to dunk the ball.
Graham is a good enough player that he doesn’t need to use gimmicks to get more attention on himself. It’s understandable for a player who doesn’t get as much attention to be using goalpost dunks as a way of getting attention for himself, but Graham doesn’t need to do that kind of thing. The fact that he’s saying he’ll still continue to dunk the ball seems to suggest that he’s not a team player.
If you’re willing to hurt the team in order to bring attention to yourself, then that’s not a good thing. It would be a selfish move on Graham’s part if he were to continue to dunk the ball despite it resulting in penalties to the team.
Graham said on his twitter: “I guess I’ll have to lead the NFL in penalties next year!”
Graham is a great player, to be sure. He caught 86 passes for 1,215 yards with 16 touchdowns for the Saints in 2013. In 2012, he caught 85 passes, and in 2011 he had 99 receptions. There’s no question that he’s a great player, but he should focus on just playing without hurting the team with his attention-seeking celebrations after scoring.