The NFL is serious about dunking over the crossbars, so serious that it is banning the celebration.
Dean Blandino, the NFL’s head of officials, told “The Dan Patrick Show” that the practice would be penalized beginning with the 2014 season (via the show’s Paul Pabst). Offenders, starting in September, will be hit with a 15-yard penalty.
The NFL cracked down on celebrations and banned the use of props a few years ago, but grandfathered in the Lambeau Leap and the crossbar dunk. The latter was a signature move of Tony Gonzalez and with his retirement goes his move as the league interprets the crossbar to be a prop.
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
The change might also have been goosed along by a Jimmy Graham dunk that knocked the crossbar askew in a game last November and resulted in a delay while a maintenance crew fixed it.
It may seem like the league is taking more of the personality out of the game, but who really wants a delay while, as Patrick said the other day, Bob Vila comes out to fix the crossbar?