Thursday, September 20, 2007

The "No Fun League" Keeps Living Up To Its Name

Last week, I had a few questions about recent penalties handed down by the NFL; were they too harsh with Cowboys coach Wade Wilson for using a banned substance, but too lenient with Patriots coach Bill Belichick in the stealing-signals case?

The debate continues, but I'll bet this one will just inspire a collective "Huh?" and slap to the forehead: Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens has been fined $7500 for a post-touchdown celebration on Sunday--because the ball was used as a prop:
The NFL fined Owens on Wednesday for violating Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 of the official league rules that state, "possession or use of foreign or extraneous object(s) that are not part of the uniform during the game on the field or the sideline, or using the ball as a prop."

Owens used the football to simulate a camera Sunday in Miami, as he mocked New England's illegal video taping of the New York Jets' defensive coaches in Week 1.

"I'm like [Bill] Belichick," Owens said. "I misinterpreted the rules."
I'm sorry, but this is really silly. "Using the ball as a prop" costs a player almost eight grand? This is not about "upholding the decorum of the game" or something like that; it's a league office wielding its power, simply because it can. The Belichick spying incident? Sure. But even people who don't care for T.O. could almost certainly agree that this penalty is too much. Throwing a flag for "excessive celebration" is bad enough, but having something like this cost a player money is going over the top. It's the equivalent of a city fining people for wardrobe violations...oh, wait; that's already happening, isn't it?

Am I all wet here, or is the No Fun League going overboard this time? The comments section is always open...

Catchin' up: My belated posts from Monday and Tuesday are now up. One is about arts advocacy, while the other is yet another revisitation of the saggy pants issue. (There's an odd pair of subjects for you...)

Man with a horn: I didn't have time to post it yesterday, but there was a nice profile of Wynton Marsalis in the Dallas Morning News. I wish I'd gotten to catch the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Meyerson last night (review here).

Buy your textbook, and then set up a perimeter: Georgetown University's law school is offering a cool class--"The Law of 24." (Course description here.)

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