Shutdown Corner - NFL

So the reason that Terrell Owens's Usain Bolt tribute drew a penalty yesterday was that Terrell Owens (at the 1:57 mark here) used the ground as part of his celebration. That's actually a rule.

So if that draws a penalty, fine. Rules are rules, and if the official NFL rulebook has this insane, arbitrary, senseless rule, then I guess the officials have to call it. From here on out, all players will be required to levitate if they wish to express joy in the endzone. That should be fun.

Here's my question, though: If a guy scores a touchdown (and so as not to cloud the issue, let's say this guy does not have a reputation for celebration like Terrell Owens), and he drops to one knee to thank God, Allah, Vishnu, Ngai, Chuck Noll, or whoever he happens to worship, is that a penalty? 

The act is in recognition of the touchdown, and it involves a player "using the ground," no more or less than Owens did yesterday. Also like Owens's celebration, it doesn't delay the game, taunt anyone, or use any props except gravity. For all practical purposes affecting the game, it's the exact same things that Owens did.

That is, unless you're asking officials to make a judgment call between a guy being a show-off, and a guy being a good, clean, well-behaved, religious boy.

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