The NFL has caught major heat from fans this year over the increased number of excessive celebration penalties. The rules seem to have expanded to penalize any player for any action after any play, with no clear guidelines to follow. Players and fans alike are getting fed up with it.
That’s not likely to be helped by what might be the worst call of them all. During the Giants-Rams London game last Sunday, Case Keenum threw a bad pass that ricocheted and was caught by Landon Collins. Collins ran the ball back, breaking several tackles to make it into the endzone for a pick six. After the play, defensive end Owa Odighizuwa mimed taking a photo of Collins with an invisible cell phone. While the broadcast quickly cut away, you can see it at the 27 second mark in the video below.
He was flagged for his actions, and today the NFL announced a fine of $12,154 for the incident.
Giants DE Owa Odighizuwa was fined $12,154 for pretending to take a picture of S Landon Collins after his pick-6 on Sunday. … Yes, really.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 28, 2016
This is insane. The excessive celebration rule was put into place to keep over the top suggestive and inappropriate celebrations out of the league. This qualifies as none of those. He mimed doing what tens of thousands of fans were already doing for real in the crowd, taking a photo of an incredible play.
At this point, the celebrations are so insane that there’s clearly another reason for it. With a new CBA agreement between the league and the Players Association approaching in the near future, it’s likely that Roger Goodell and his cronies are deliberately ramping up the calls because they know the players hate them. They’ve essentially created a fake bargaining chip, doing something that the players hate so that they can stop doing it in the future in exchange for concessions during CBA negotiations. If this is the case, the idea that the NFL would deliberately worsen the quality of their product just to get more money into their own pockets and out of the players is absolutely disgusting. Roger Goodell has proved to be one of the worst things to happen to the league in quite awhile.