January 01, 2012
Here's a good New Year's resolution for Stevie Johnson: Stop acting like a fool in the end zone.
After scoring a touchdown on Sunday against the New England Patriots, the oft-flagged Buffalo Bills wide receiver earned a 15-yard penalty for raising his jersey to reveal a "Happy New Year" message scrawled on his undershirt.
For his efforts, Johnson earned a seat on the bench. Bills coach Chan Gailey, evidently peeved that his star wideout didn't learn a lesson from two previous post-touchdown celebrations, sat Johnson for Buffalo's next series.
Johnson was flagged and fined $10,000 earlier this year for mocking Plaxico Burress by pretending to shoot himself in the end zone. Last year, the wideout was penalized for a similar T-shirt incident. On that occasion, he wrote the quote "why so serious?" from Heath Ledger's Joker character, costing him $5,000.
There's no official guideline for fines on a third offense, which means Johnson could be assessed a major financial sanction by the league.
For what it's worth, I like Steve Johnson's celebrations. They're fun, they're different and they provide some personality in a league where plays and players often seem interchangeable. But, dude, come on. You know the rules! Lifting your shirt to reveal a handwritten message is illegal and draws an instant 15-yard penalty. Period. There's no mystery, there's no gray area; doing stuff like this is going to hurt the team. To know this and proceed anyway is a completely indefensible act.
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