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Chris Johnson and the Curious Incident of the Towel Celebration That Didn’t Get Fined
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 26th 2008 4:30PM by Will Brinson (author feed)
Filed under: Patriots, Steelers, Titans, Pressing Issues, NFL Real Talk, NFL RumorsChris Johnson (and his wallet) have already met the wrath of Roger Goodell this year — Johnson celebrated an early season touchdown by wailing on some bongos and got fined. It followed then, that he would get slapped with a similar monetary amount after pulling out a flag attached to his waist and waving it around during a touchdown celebration.

But he won’t, and PFT found out why, after emailing NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:
“It was a towel that is legally part of his uniform,” Aiello said. “There is not a violation of rules.”

“Due to past inappropriate acts while on the ground,” Aiello wrote, “the player demonstration guidelines were modified two years ago to prohibit celebratory actions while on the ground. So it’s a blanket rule (not a snow-angel rule). You can’t go the ground to celebrate a play.”
Of course, this also explains why Wes Welker got stuck with a $10K fine for being creative. But more than that, it points out what a rigid, Spanish Inquisition style of discipline Goodell is taking with the NFL. The thing to do with touchdown celebrations is review them case by case — although admittedly that leaves a lot more room to wiggle on the appeal process — and just say “at your own risk of being fined.”

Then, when something funny humorous, quick and original — like bongo playing or snow angel making — happens, it becomes a “no harm - no foul, let’s move on” scenario. And when someone behaves stupidly, they get slapped with a fine. Hard to see how too many people would be upset by that.

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