We’re all (ok, most of us) football fans, here. And all of our teams, Pro, College, HS, even PeeWee, have been on the receiving end of a bad call. We’ve all seen a game turn, for good or for bad, on that call. And we all know that “bad call” is one of the most subjective terms in the game. So, with all of that in mind, I give you the following video:
At about :07, as the Cathedral HS QB (carrying the ball) passes the 25 and heads for the 20, he raises his hand above his head. Shortly after, as he is crossing into the Endzone, the Ref can be seen throwing a yellow flag. For what? Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Taunting.
The touchdown was invalidated, the ball was brought back. Blue Hills, the team on defense, won the game. This was the “Super Bowl” Game, to claim the Division Title. Cathedral was 11-0 going in, favored to win that title.
This has, apparently, become a ‘thing’. The video is on YouTube (obviously), and people in Boston are pretty stirred up about it. I even heard it discussed on a station out of Houston, Texas (I ♥ Radio. But not a lot, since they won’t let me sign in without using Facebook, but that’s a completely different post. Probably even a rant. Anyway…) The boy’s father says that he was simply “pointing to God in thanksgiving” as he raced down the field. Officials say he was taunting.
Of course, the conversation then inevitably turns to the “Tebow Controversy”, because of the “praising God issue”. For those who don’t know, Tim Tebow is the new QB for the Denver Broncos, recently unseating Kyle Orton (former Bear), who can’t seem to buy a break. I don’t know if it’s every play, like some people allege, but enough to be noticed, Tebow will say a prayer, make a gesture, or make a comment during an interview referring to Jesus. And people are apoplectic about it. “Tebow needs to shut up,” “Tebow should keep his religion to himself,” “God doesn’t care about touchdowns,” are comments that are regularly tossed around in reference to him. I’ve even heard “separation of church and state,” which just makes me giggle.
Those same people, though, think it was awesomely hilarious when Saints Receiver Joe Horn stashed a cellphone in the padding around the goalpost and pulled it out after scoring a touchdown against the Giants.
So, I have to ask: what, exactly, is “excessive celebration”? It is very different, obviously, when discussing professional vs amateur. Is that HS QB guilty of it? Should his team have had to forfeit the championship, and blemish an otherwise pristine season? Should Tebow have to “shut up” about his religion, and quit his on-field praise? Should Horn have been booted out on his well-padded backside for the cellphone stunt? And are they comparable?