That section is 100% the opposite of the (home) student section.
Mike Lantry, 1972
THE RULE: Live-ball penalties for taunting will be assessed from the spot of the foul and eliminate the score. Examples include players finishing touchdown runs by high-stepping into the end zone or pointing the ball toward an opponent.
THE REASON: Old men with objects in their rectums get to make rules. The explanation given is that it's because it's team game. Ask any offensive lineman if he minds if a skill position player jigs into the end-zone rather than coldly running in like a pre-2004 Madden avatar. He don't mind. This is about large, oblong objects in old ani, period.
EXPLANATION: If you taunt before making it to the end zone, and are penalized for it, the penalty will now be assessed as a live play. So let's say you are a receiver, and through your mad football skills you beat a cornerback deep, your QB gets you the ball, and now you have lots of green between yourself and the end zone. At this point you should IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM DO ANYTHING TO SUGGEST THAT YOU ARE HAPPY ABOUT THIS.
If you high-step, hold the ball out to a defender, pump the ball in your arms, or pull a DeSean Jackson:
The score is negated, AND you get a 15-yard penalty.
IMPACT ON MICHIGAN: Well, so long as we continue to deploy 18- to 22-year-old athletes who are excitable and love scoring touchdowns, their body language is likely to negate some touchdowns. They don't say so, but I highly, highly, highly doubt this penalty will ever get called on a (white) quarterback who is jumping up and down in ecstasy while his teammate runs in the pass -- this is geared at showboat receivers and running backs. I'm calling it now: we will get penalized for this, because we have young guys who can score long touchdowns and this makes them happy.
I don't know how tightly they plan to call it, but this might count:
That section is 100% the opposite of the (home) student section.
I find the "you suck" chantto not only be disrespectful but to be completely retarded. It isn't funny and no one on the other team is listening. I miss the old days of the Hockey student section. Even thought they were crude, everything they said was funny and clever where are those students.
Sure coaches can beat into kids' head to not do what Tate did. But in the heat of the moment I don't think a lot of kids really think about what they are doing. What Tate did probably came natural and if you asked him 10 minutes later what he did exactly he probably couldn't even tell you.
I just hope that they officials use enough judgment to correctly determine if an act was innocent as opposed to pre-meditated.
"There is a heavy smell of racism in this." You're really going to throw that out there? You can complain about the rule all you want (I don't see a problem with it, celebration <> taunting) but going all conspiracy theory is another level - back away from the ledge...
Yeah, I figured I would be called out on this, and came prepared. Plus to you, sir, for doing it fairly.
Here's how I figure: they're not going to call every single movement that isn't "running to the end-zone," right? It's going to be subjective.
The problem with subjective judgment of body language is that you are a more accurate judge of it the closer you are to recognizing it. Put it this way: if you're a mad golfer, the Tiger Woods fist pump to you is language. You can even pick out subtleties of meaning, because you know it and have a large frame of reference for when it is applied.
But there is a large dissonance between football refs and college players. There is an age gap, a culture gap, and a racial gap.
I would bet all the money in my pockets versus all the money in your pockets that a NCAA refs are more familiar with the mannerisms of white guys, because they are also white guys.
It also goes back to the thought processes behind the rule. These guys had to say to themselves: "There is a problem here" in order to make the rule in the first place. Again, all the money in my pockets versus yours: when the rulemakers imagined some showboating, taunting players WHO MUST BE STOPPED, what was the skin color of the players?
Dollars to donuts it was black, because most receivers and running backs -- who are your most likely candidates to be loose on foot on their way to the end-zone -- are black.
This sport has experienced a culture shift along with its racial shift since the middle of the 20th century, and there are still plenty of "old-fashioned" guys around who long for the days when Bear Bryant would shove a football up your ass if you showboated. Not so much in Ann Arbor, but in SEC country, these "back when football players were no-nonsense tough bler bler" conversations tend to have racial undertones.
It's not overt. But in effect and conceptually, even if accidental, there's a distinct smell.
I teach high school and according to all of the white people the black kids are so loud, but the white kids are little angels. You just don't notice it when it's something you're familiar with.
I am not really buying the racial aspect either. My problem is you are making a serious allegation - that those who made the rule are, at least unknowingly, motivated by racism. (It seems to me that you don't really believe it is all that unknowing.) You support these allegations based on suppositions as to who scores touchdowns and who refs those games. You also assume that those refs will be more likely to call penalties on black placyers for these rules based on a general statmenet about old white guys who ref games. Sorry, I just can't call a group of people at the NCAA bigots or unsensative based on that.
Your point about the rule being entirely subjective is, however, dead on. Different refs are going to view this differently - not becuase they are bigotted but because it is vague and they are human. (Was the ball being pointed at an opposing player or the scorer's own bench or fans? Was he tuanting the DB he beat or talking with the other guy from his own team who is running with him into the end zone? Did he strut or just break stride as he was slowing down in the last couple of yards? Etc. Etc. Etc.)
My bet is that after this year there will be at least one kid who has to spend the rest of his life thinkng about a big loss in a huge game that would have gone the other way if he hadn't made some heat-of-the-moment gesture on his way into the end zone to score a non-winning non-touchdown. That will be very, very sad.
I think that there may be a racial aspect to this rule. I dont know you but i would assume that you have always lived somewhere as racially tolerant as Ann Arbor. That is where i grew up going to King Clague, and Huron. But now i go to school in Pittsburgh and it wasn't til i met people who hadn't grown up where i had, that i realized that there were still people who felt just like they did during the KKK'a heyday. I would guess that about 1/3 of the people i meet have, at the very least, negative feelings towarrd minorities. I didn't have any idea that racism existed, in the numbers that it still does, until the last six months,
I don't throw out "racism" lightly. But I will readily admit that my level for qualification of using the word is lower than probably most people. I think my level is right, but it's certainly not the majority's.
This is the big problem, I think, with "racism" as a term: as a country, we don't all agree on exactly what this means.
Here's Websters' definitions:
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
I'm referring only to No. 2.
I think most people view the relationship of racism to bigotry as zero-tolerance, which is to say, any little bit of racism makes you a bigot, you=hater, end-of-story.
I think this wildly popular definition is absolute and utter crap. It sets the bar so high for what constitutes racism that small or subtle examples don't qualify for discussion. The result is that we no longer have a language with which to discuss the majority of racial problems. So then those who use this definition can see no problems: racism is solved, thank-you everyone involved, let's put away our "42" jerseys and have ice cream.
As with any other sensitivity issue, a "right" answer requires understanding of why the offended party would feel that way. With racial issues, the offended party, African Americans, are seldom listened to or understood before their offense is judged to be unjustifiable. This is a very very very common mistake, and at the heart of probably most of today's racial tensions.
Letting us white guys determine what's appropriate and what's offensive to black guys is a perfect way to ensure people get offended. Sure, oversensitivity can be annoying, but the annoyance of a white guy at having to be more "P.C." is cheerios beside the offense that a black guy would take from a clearly racist, even if accidental, statement.
In parental terms, "be nice to your brother" always trumps "but I didn't do anything!"
Racism and bigotry are not the same things. Racism, when you break it down, is mostly insensitivity, mixed with a bit of cultural bias, and reinforced by whatever level to which you define your sub-culture through the prism of race.
Most racism, as I define it, is accidental. Or at least, the purveyor most likely has no idea that racial triggers in his brain played any role in what he said or did. When a bunch of grumpy old white men get together in a room to nail taunting, they probably aren't consciously thinking "let's stop these black kids," but they are probably playing a highlight reel of black show-boaters in their heads. And in application, I think the cultural difference between the refs and the players will lead to this rule being unfairly applied against black players.
That's the racism I'm talking about. Whether or not this fits your definition of racism, I think we can agree that it is wrong.
Overall, though, I agree that this is a secondary consideration as far as this rule is concerned. The bigger problems with this rule are that it's arbitrary, and more importantly, regulating something that doesn't affect the outcome of the game.
That's the part I personally hate the most about the rule. Say you are a player who catches a long bomb with 3 seconds left in the 4th quarter and you are down 4 points. You then juke away from the lone defender in your area and are clear to the end-zone.
Your first thought is "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" or something to that effect. What sucks is with this rule in place, your next thought has to be
The taunting rule thus regulates...elation. Because what: we have a problem with people feeling elation? Well yes: it cuts into enjoyment of a moment because it offends the tastes of others. That is a real consideration. But next to the damage potentially caused by this rule, purists' potential offense should mean diddly squat to the rest of us. All things considered, we should acknowledge that some people are offended by taunting, and then say "fuck 'em."
The level of offense that purists feel at seeing a person express elation (particularly when they themselves are unhappy at that moment) is not important enough to justify a rule regulating body language, and certainly not important enough to justify increasing the penalty for that rule to the point where it is likely to profoundly affect the outcome of the game, negating a score and probably putting the ball 15 to 20 yards from the end-zone.
That's my biggest problem with this rule: it's selfish and inconsiderate, making the arbitrary taste of some people into The Law and assessing a likely huge penalty to those who break it. It's censorship, and then when nobody takes the censors seriously because their censorship is widely regarded as asshole censorship, the censors deciding to teach their detractors a lesson they'll never forget.
If a person's sensibilities are such that they don't like taunting, I totally respect that. I would also, however, expect that person to realize that their sensibilities are not as important as general enjoyment of the game, and to keep their criticisms within that context. The way to control showboating is to criticize the showboaters. This we do, and it is effective, because players either want to be liked and will check it themselves in the name of trying to be classy, or don't care about being liked in which case they are assholes and we are correct in calling them such. Where the judgment crosses the line is when it leaves the realm of taste and calling out someone for bad taste, and actually penalizing them for it.
In other words, it would be like throwing a guy in jail for making a racist comment. Dislike the guy, or argue with the guy, or ignore the guy, or if you see the guy's problem as something that can actually hurt his performance for you, remove that guy from any position where it can hurt you. But penalizing isn't your prerogative.
This way at least you can't edit the post any more and I'm not hoodwinked into thinking there are new posts in the thread.
Thank you for the long and thougtful reply. We are assignng different meaning and values to the term racism. My issue is that the commonly accepted use of the term goes well beyond insensitivity and is a serious allegation against a person's character.
Further, I still think that you are going out on a limb to say that there were some sort of subconscious racial triggers at play. Do you know who this committee is or what their background is?
I totally agree that this rule is stupid.
Further, I still think that you are going out on a limb to say that there were some sort of subconscious racial triggers at play. Do you know who this committee is or what their background is?
That is an excellent, excellent point. I think you have won this round. I withdraw.
Preach, preach on, Miso. PREACH!
Misopogon: As I see it, taking your argument to its logical conclusion means only a black coach can institute a no-taunting rule on his own team.
Second, isn't your argument equally racist? To illustrate, what if the rule were applied to quarterbacks instead? No taunting as you run down the field to celebrate the touchdown you just threw? Is that OK for a bunch of grumpy white guys to institute, since we all know black quarterbacks mostly just run around?
Actually, the logical conclusion is that you can't create a taunting rule that can be fairly applied, and therefore nobody should create a taunting rule.
As to your second, think for a moment why that would never, ever happen: doesn't that illustrate my point?
Actually, it really is already a rule. Taunting isn't just illegal on the way to a touchdown, it's illegal at all points on the field at all times by all players. I remember a play where a cornerback let a surefire interception go off his hands for an incompletion, and he did five pushups right there on the field (to "punish" himself) - boom, taunting penalty. Yes, it was a silly call.
Don't operate under the seemingly common misconception that this is a brand-new rule - the taunting standards haven't changed and it has always been 15 yards. Plus, if a lineman dances up and down and points at his opponent that he just pancaked to spring the running back for the big touchdown, they're calling that sucker back too.
Of course, the reason you're thinking of it only in terms of the guy with the ball is because 99% of the time, they're the ones doing the taunting. Mightn't that have a lot more effect on the minds of the committee (and everyone here) than race?
Quick thing: I meant "shouldn't" above.
Nowhere did I say that taunting was a new rule.
In the comments earlier I said I should have made that clearer.
I know, but making a big deal out of taunting in general as a racist thing sort of sidesteps (or overshadows) the actual change that happened. Meaning people are using the announced change as an opportunity to take the bully pulpit against the rule itself, not the enforcement tweak that actually occurred.
And it still needed to be brought to the debate that taunting can be called on anyone on the field at any time, white or black, skill position or big hog. Not just the guy racing down the sideline.
There's also this: Taunting isn't the only "subjective" kind of penalty - anyone can also get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, for example. That penalty usually stems from an emotional outburst that's equally spontaneous as one that brings on a taunting penalty. And it can be called just as subjectively. What if the guy heaves the ball downfield in frustration instead of in celebration? Nobody would argue (or I hope not) that unsportsmanlike conduct should be removed from the rule book, because it can lead to dangerous situations. I feel the same way about taunting - you get a bunch of kids on the field with emotions high, and you continue letting them act like assholes to one another, and you're going to have a fight on your hands pretty soon.
Should chucking the ball, under any circumstances, be a dead ball foul (play stands) or a spot foul? The objection isn't that the call is subjective, it's that the effect of the subjective call is being amplified to an unreasonable and unnecessary level with no satisfactory or plausible explanation.
No one is talking about letting people be assholes. The counter is that acting like a bitch because someone made you look bad isn't sportsmanlike either. Grace in defeat, especially when your opponent is being an ass, that is sportsmanship.
The point is (at least mine, anyway) that a kid should be able to flick the ball in the air (Locker) / point at the crowd (Forcier) / Strike the Pose (Howard) / high step (Deion) without worrying if he's going to cost his team the game. We can disagree on whether one or all of those actions is unsportsmanlike and not get anywhere. Even if we did the refs would screw it up anyway at some point. But, please explain, why you think taunting/unsportsmanlike conduct should be considered a spot foul?
Considering that the worst ever celebration call was on Jake Locker, a white QB for Washington, I don't think we can say race is the basis for this rule change.
However, I do think it is a completely stupid rule. If a player leaves the bench to celebrate, or taunts someone, or celebrates for like 20 seconds then throw a flag. But if a player scores he should be allowed to celebrate. I can't imagine how angry I'd be if the Tate TD was canceled out because he pointed to the crowd. How ridiculous would that be?
I think if a player is losing by 30 and he celebrates a first down he should be automatically ejected (this is a joke btw). This rule can be called the Roy Williams rule.
Edit: Sorry I didn't see Jake Locker was already mentioned. In case anyone wants to see this awful case of celebrating here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap6Kn0dkbyY.
There are demonstrations and there are demonstrations. Football, as we all know is a game of high emotion. It almost seems human nature to show some emotion, such as a fist pump, when you make a great play. Maybe the refs will have a ruler which they can use to see how high the fist went. Under 12 inches, OK. Any more, penalty. Aburd.
By the way, I thought Tate's touchdown was at the end of the stadium away from the student section.
Who is that Michigan cheerleader? Sweet!
She featured strongly in my "M Uniform Tournament" last summer:
Ever since, whenever I think "Yay!" I think of her.
I think it takes out a lot of emotion from the fans. Watching Tate run into the end zone pointing to the UM fans was such a great moment in UMs recent history. I hate to think of any classic/emotion filled moment that we will miss because a player is too afraid to show his excitement.
I am telling you now I will not be held responsible for my shatterd television screen when an Odoms touchdown is taken away from this new rule.
It was my understanding that the officials now have the POWER to call a TD back. They don't necessarily have to enforce it at all times. For example, the refs will call a TD back when we are beating ND 45-14 and Jeremy Gallon high steps into the end zone. On the other hand I don't see the refs calling back a TD when Vincent Smith breaks off a 25 yard touchdown run in overtime against OSU and backpedals into the end zone.
I'm 100% sure that this penalty is enforced regardless of game situation. Now it's enforcement is entirely subjective, but there's the rub.
IME, Tate isn't taunting on this play.
He holds the ball out because he want's to make sure it breaks the plane before he's tackled, and when he's pointing to the stands, he's identifying which ladies he'd like to allow backstage after the concert, rock-star style. Therefore, no penalty could ever be called.
Regarding the "celebration" rule change, I recall an LSU-UGA game last year in which the officials faulty interpretation of the "unsportsmanlike conduct" penalty seemed to alter the outcome of the game merely by changing the position from which the ball was kicked.
I shudder to think how officials will subjectively interpret taunting during the play, and how a important touchdown might be taken away because an official did not understand what a player three generations younger than he was doing.
As far as racism involved in this change, I am usually rather hesitant to invoke that card, but I do wonder if Tim Tebow's Gator chomp (which he frequently directed toward the opposition) would cause a TD to be revoked... or if it would largely affect African-American players.
I guess under the new rule what Tate did might be considered "taunting". I think it was on First and Ten this morning, they showed a TD that Golden Tate scored against us and said that what he did would be considered taunting.
I think it is a dumb rule change. It forces refs to make decisions and we all know how that is going to end.
If it wasn't taunting last year, it isn't this year. The NCAA didn't change the definition of "unsportsmanlike celebration." All it did was change the penalty for it.
True, and I should have made that clearer in my post.
My problem is not that this is something new that they're calling, but that they're increasing the enforcement penalty for an arbitrarily applied and conceptually stupid rule.
If you facemask a guy, and then you score, the score should be obviated, because your facemasking might have influenced the play. If you high-step, or backpedal, or raise the ball toward your fans on your way in, that doesn't influence the outcome of the play.
It's like creating a mandatory minimum jail time for marijuana possession: you're increasing the penalty on a victimless crime, not because that is good justice, but because you want to "send a message" about an oft-violated rule.
The first time this is applied, it is going to look stupid, and fans will be upset.
"The first time this is applied, it is going to look stupid, and fans will be upset."
And that first team's fans will in turn demand equal enforcement on all other players.
Perhaps. More likely, they'll decry the rule.
Take, for example, the general response to the NHL's "Intent to
Suck Blow" rule: every time it's called, every team's blogosphere (except the one playing the Red Wings at that time of course) goes into full-on bitching mode.
"There is a heavy smell of racism in this."
I think this was an entirely unnecessary conclusion to draw. It certainly didn't belong in this analysis.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the rule change. Taunting in College Football doesn't seem prevalent enough to single it out for any special harsh punishment.
There seem to be a few common misunderstandings about this "taunting" rule. It is not a change in the unsportsmanlike conduct rule--nothing that was permitted last year is now forbidden. The only thing changed is the enforcement spot of the foul.
Mispogon says "I don't know how tightly they plan to call it, but this might count." That Tate Forcier play was not called by the ref last year, so it will not be called by the ref this year. No impact on that play, because the standard for calling unsportsmanlike conduct has not changed.
If you are running into the endzone and you grab an opponent's facemask at the 5 yard line, you are penalized from the 5 yard line. If you punch your opponent's dong at the 5 yard line, you are penalized from the 5 yard line. If you give them the finger from the 5 yard line, shouldn't you be penalized from the 5 yard line? This rule change seems to be doing nothing other than making the enforcement spot consistent for all penalties.
It seems that too much is being read into this that just isn't there.
Agreed. There's no new penalty being called here, just bringing enforcement in line with all the other ones.
By the way, to answer the racism thing, who is the one player called for a totally wrong sportsmanship penalty that affected a game that is cited more than all the others combined? I submit that it is Jake Locker.
And that was a garbage call, too.
Misopogon's point is that this will affect the behavior of black kids more than it will affect the behavior of white kids. I think he has a legitimate point with that.
My only disagreement with this interpretation, enforcement change vs. new rule, is that its bogus. The other situations prevent the defender from making a play. In the case of taunting, the defender has no shot at stopping the player...otherwise there wouldn't be an opportunity to taunt.
That's where my beef with the rule comes in. Even if you find taunting distasteful, its a slippery slope when you start regulating people's lawful and fair behavior. Misopogon is absolutely right this is about a bunch of cranky (white) dudes not liking what they see and deciding to do something about it, even though nothing is wrong.
This might be going too far with my argument but, this is a borderline first amendment issue.
"Nothing is wrong" is the most subjective way to say that you could possibly have come up with.
Here's the problem. What happens, in football, when someone shows up the opposition? In baseball, you get plunked in the back and we move on. In hockey, you square off and move on. Both sound dangerous, but in truth the unwritten codes keep it from being so. In football, there's really no way to square up with someone who's acting the jackass, so the result is the kind of thing that happened between Miami and FIU, or Clemson and South Carolina. The benches clear and helmets get swung. Or maybe the receiver taunts a safety, who hits him coming across the middle next time - another penalty if it's not timed perfectly.
So you legislate the taunting out of the game so the players don't decide to take things into their own hands. Do you honestly think the game is better if someone is acting like a dickhead on the field?
I could use the same argument on you. Saying "something is wrong" is subjective, too.
Of course I don't think taunting is a good thing. Taunting is not a subjective call in any way: if another player is the object of your actions; it's taunting. Example A: you tackle a guy and stand over him while thrusting your pelvis in his face. Example B: You point at a guy after making a play at his expense. Taunting is an easy call and it is clearly unsportsmanlike conduct.
Excessive Celebration is a tough call. What's the difference between what Jake Locker did and what Tate Forcier did? I defy you to make a convincing argument distinguishing the two situations. Jake got called for it, Tate didn't.
Here's an example that illustrates Misopogon's point: what's the difference between Tate Forcier celebrating on his way to the end zone and Deion Sanders celebrating on his way to the end zone? Which is more likely to be called for excessive celebration? Why would Deion's flavor of celebration more offensive that Tate's or Jake's?
Actually, there's a very clear, very objective difference between Tate and Locker: Locker chucked the ball into the air. The refs have been instructed that any time a player does that, it's a penalty, no questions asked. If you think that rule is stupid, fine; I do too. But the difference is clear as day.
As for Deion Sanders, you're going to have to be clearer on that, because, one, that's the pros and therefore a different set of rule makers, and two, comparing one celebration to an entire body of work is apples and oranges.
Locker got called for unsportsmanlike conduct, not delay of game. Forcier and Locker committed the same "crime".
Go ahead and be coy on Deion if you want. As for your first objection, you do realize he played in college, don't you? And that he was just as flagrant then as he was in the pros, right? Regardless, let me get this straight... taunting is unsportsmanlike in College, but perfectly OK in the pros? That's your threshold? Wha???
To your second objection with the Deion issue, it doesn't matter how often you get a parking ticket, the fine is the same. It doesn't matter if you celebrate your actions one time or fifty. I'm not talking apples and oranges, I'm talking apples and bushels of apples. Quantity doesn't matter. If its a crime: book 'em, Danno.
This is just my opinion, but they are taking all the fun out of playing football. If your a coach just tell your team never to be happy about big plays. Just act like robots the whole game.
In this case, it should be "effect."
I'd also go with affect here. Effect is a noun, affect is a verb. Its tricky though and either works.
If you say it aloud in the above situation, you get to pick "affects" if later the outcome is good or "effects" if the aftermath is not-so-good.
Actually, each of the two words is both a noun and a verb.
The most common form of "effect" is as a noun, but it's also a verb meaning "to bring about."
The most common form of "affect" is as a verb, but it's also a noun (pronounced "AF-fect") referring to emotion or an emotional response.
It's not true that either works here. Only "effects" makes sense.
Very true. And I smell it, too. I have always felt this was a cultural thang.
on is the leap from the 2-yard line and diving into the endzone when there is no reason to do so or the summer-sault(sp) into the endzone, again when there is no need or reason. I have no problem with that aspect of the rule.
Barry Sanders was the greatest running back I have ever seen and he never, not once, danced in the endzone or spiked the ball, he handed to the ref and jogged back to his teammates. He was never criticized for being boring or being a robot.
Herman Moore said it best, "Act like you have been there before."
Unless it is really obvious, the refs won't call this penalty if the game is on the line, the NCAA doesn't want this on their heads to.
If they do in football, will they also do in hoops when someone does some kind of celebration after a dunk? Maybe two free throws and the ball?