Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Unsportsman-like conduct penalty IS unsportsman-like

I'm still stewing about some ridiculous penalties called in the past few football games I've watched. A few weeks ago the Patriots played some other team in a snowstorm. And I mean snow STORM, they had to plow the field before the game and then again at halftime with people shoveling the yard lines between plays so the players could see where they needed to go for a first down. The game was fun to watch, while piled under blankets and pillows(b/c it was a storm). The snow was impressive... it started on Friday around noon, went until Saturday around noon and then began again on Sunday at noon. Total accumulation after that weekend was probably 10-12 inches. So this game was fun.

So after a touchdown, with fans throwing snow from their seats in the air in celebration (and the game was already in the bag) Wes Walker drops to the ground in the end zone and makes a snow angel. It was funny. Silly really, to see a grown (giant) man making a snow angel. He was having fun, making fun of the crazy weather and celebrating a touchdown in some nasty weather. And he GETS AN UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT PENALTY? What? That is absolutely ludicrous. He didn't get in the face of his opponent and taunt him... He didn't make any sort of obscene gesture. He was happy, excited and making the most of the situation! And he gets a penalty!? This is absolutely ridiculous. AND come to find out he got FINED for that snow angel too. $10 Grand. My word, what has this world come to?

So... fast forward a month to the Florida/Oklahoma championship game... Florida gets a pivotal first down and the big guy who went up through the middle for the first down gets out of the pack and excitedly makes the first-down sign! (heck, at games I go to, when my team makes a first down the whole stadium yells 'and it's another FIRST DOWN' and we all make the first down sign). So he makes the first down sign, clearly excited and getting the game rolling at a pace Florida likes and what do the refs do? Call an Unsportsmanlike penalty. This one deserves a swear, but I gave that up as of 1/1/09, give me an ----ing break! He was just excited!? He just got a first down, one more first down toward the national championship! A penalty? WTF?

What is this world coming to when players get penalized for being excited about accomplishing something and showing their excitement in a non-threatening and non-taunting manner? Isn't this a bit overboard? Can't these kids (and big grown men) be allowed to make snow angels when the get excited? Can't players who are damaging their body when every play the participate in have a little pleasure in what they are doing? SHOULDN'T they be excited for the game and their success? What is this world coming to?

Now I know those who know all the rules will say something like- the excessive celebration or unsportsmanlike conduct act can't be pre-planned. And perhaps it could be argued that Wes Walker didn't PLAN to do a snow angel, but in his excitement of a touchdown, at that very moment, the only thing his mind thought to do was drop and make a snow angel. He didn't stop and pull out a sharpie from his sock to sign the game ball. He didn't go to the 50 yard line and flap his wings like an eagle. He didn't take out his cell phone and pretend to call someone. HE MADE A SNOW ANGEL. and he should not be penalized for that. Seems like the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties are, themselves, unsportsmanlike. What a pity.

...Please observe a brief moment of silence for the death of my relationship with Tommy Brady. He has decided to marry Gieselle despite my begging and pleading not to. Idiot.


  1. I completely agree, girlfriend! I get so frustrated watching games! I'm the same way with personal fouls. Sometimes in football, someone is going to hit you. Its gonna happen. Grow up, put on your cup, and deal with it!