A Shutdown Corner reader took the time to email us the other day and offer an interesting suggestion in light of the much-debated Golden Tate taunting call on Monday night: Make it a spot-of-the-foul penalty, which would negate any touchdown that might happen after it, as a way of dissuading players from acting out.
A dutiful Shutdown Corner writer who shall remain anonymous (hint: it was me) explained to the reader that taunting was not viewed the same as, say, clipping or holding where an offensive player is gaining an advantage by the taunting. (And if you watch Tate on Monday, he actually looked to be slowing himself down by doing so.)
Well, now the NFL might be considering changing the existing rule. Score one for the fans, including our prescient reader.
NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino appeared on NFL Network Wednesday and said that the league's Competition Committee could consider changing the rule to the way college football has it. In the NCAA rules, a player who commits a taunting penalty on a touchdown will have it called back and a 15-yard penalty will be slapped on top of that from where the taunting first occurred.
“A lot of people felt that the touchdown shouldn’t have counted. A taunting foul is always treated as a dead-ball foul, meaning whatever happened during the play counts, and the foul is enforced on the next play, which would be the kickoff,” Blandino said.
“In college, this action would take back the touchdown. Tate started taunting at the 25-yard line. The college rule, that’s enforced at the spot of the foul, so they’d go from a touchdown to first-and-10 at the 40, which would be a gigantic penalty. The NFL rule, it’s a dead-ball foul, [but] it’s enforced on the kickoff. But I’m sure that’s something that the Competition Committee will look at in the offseason.”
Even though nothing is gained from the taunting, enforcing the stricter penalty certainly would give players something to think about if they choose to do so. For one, a livid head coach awaiting them on the way back to the sideline.
We'll see if this one has traction, but there likely wouldn't be much movement until the committee meets again in the offseason.
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