Maybe Now, After The Raiders’ Gaffe, NFL Players Will Tone Down Celebrations
Their first victory of the season was a few seconds away when the Oakland Raiders created a scenario that was as silly as it was potentially devastating. Beyond that, it crystalized how ridiculous it is that players celebrate so much during an NFL game.
This is not a mandate to end celebrations or an endorsement to change the NFL to the No Fun League. But there has to be some self-control, especially after what happened last night.
In brief, the winless Raiders were a few plays in the waning seconds from upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Alex Smith of K.C. was sacked with 40 seconds or so remaining. It was third down.
The teams lined up for the next play, a play that could have extended the drive and led to a game-winning Chiefs’ play. However, Sio Moore, a Raider linebacker, continued to celebrate as if he had won the lottery, jumping around and flexing and posturing some 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack rambled over and slapped hands with Moore, then two other Oakland players came running in to this silly scene.
Kansas City was about to snap the ball, which would have created an offsides penalty, when an astute Justin Tuck noticed his lost-their-minds teammates were far out of position and called timeout.
Disaster averted; Oakland was able to stop the Chiefs on fourth down and finally win a game. But that didn’t make what happened any less outrageous.
“I couldn’t believe it,” veteran Raiders safety Charles Woodson said. “That was the first time I had ever seen somebody celebrate for a whole 40-second clock. That was ridiculous, and they know it. I told Sio he’s lucky we got the win because we really probably would’ve had to fight, and I would’ve seen exactly what kind of fighter he is.”
Twice this year players have torn their ACL while jumping around after making a play. Others have in the past, too. Now this case of where the outcome of a game was almost determine. Not good.
Celebrate until your nose bleeds after you score a touchdown. Or after you make a play to win a game. But in the game, make a play, get back in the huddle and get ready for the next play.
You just might save your ACL—or preserve a victory.