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Blog Entry

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

Posted on: December 31, 2010 1:57 pm
The reason I do believe unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished is not because the penalty is to prevent players from having absurd celebrations, but because it's so inconsistently enforced in both the NCAA and NFL. Last night in the Pinstripe Bowl, a K-State player was flag for unsportsmanlike conduct for saluting towards the stands. However, I've have seen numerous times in the college football players pointing towards the stands, or holding the number 1 sign towards the stands, and rarely there is a penalty thrown for that. Is there any major difference in terms of celebrating by either pointing or saluting towards the stands? No. 

The NFL is just as bad. During a Rams game earlier during the season, a Rams player twisted the ball out of his hands on the sideline after making a catch. He wasn't even doing it on purpose in terms of celebrating. He was just twisting out of his hands on his way back to the huddle. But the NFL refs at the game flag him for unsportsmanlike conduct and literally canceled out the play. While during the season we see numerous spikes in the end-zone, or Michael Vick dunking the ball through the goal post. No flags are thrown for that. That shows how inconsistent these refs have become with this rule. How is Vick dunking the ball through the goal post in Dallas not unsportsmanlike conduct? The penalty has become a joke as the NFL refs randomly call it just to remind people it exists.

These are a few examples of the refs in both leagues being so inconsistent with the rule. That's why it should be abolish. Each ref seems to have it's own definition of what's unsportsmanlike conduct. I don't see anything wrong with players celebrating when they make a touchdown with a spike or a dance. The only time I support this rule is when it way over the top and literally delaying the game. For example, Chad Ocho getting on the camera stand after a touchdown and filming the stands is delaying the game and he should be flag for that. That was so uncalled for, and he is literally holding things up for his shenanigans. Otherwise, this rule is so pointless as it is inconsistent and players should have a right to have a little celebration once a while that both the NCAA and NFL should abolish it. 

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2011 11:27 am

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

You make some good points. I do have an issue when Chad Ocho gets on a camera stand and films the audience. Or when TO takes a fan's popcorn and throws it over his face, but seeing flags for quick salute to the stands is over doing it. I agree that egomaniacal jerks deserve to be flag, but a quick reaction with a salute or something similar should be fine. 

Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2011 10:29 am

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

I don't think that unsportsmanlike conducts should be abolished.  It just need to be refined, which I think is what you really want.  Just make actul rules not subjective rules.  Example #1:  The NBA has a 3 sec. lane violation, translate that into a celebration rule for the NFL.  If a player takes more than 3 seconds in celebrating it become taunting and a 15 yrd penalty occurs.  That way when a player scores a TD, sack, big diving catch, or big play stopping hit, he can show some emotion because he is excited.  It even gives room for the showboating jerks to stroke their own ego, but only for 3 seconds.  Example #2 (which is already a rule): No props allowed period.  Instant 15 yrds.  Example #3:  No celebrating directly at  opposing palyers(no pointing, touching, or throwing objects at the other team). If you do, 15 yrd penalty, it's just that easy.  As far as the fans go, salute them, point at them, throw the football at them I don't care.  Fans are the biggest jerks on the face of the earth, constantly swearing at, degrading, and throwing things(aka: snowballs, etc.)at opposing players, so they can just deal with it.  There you go, 3 actual rules that are not subjective, and can easily be enforced without taking the actual joy and enthusiasm out of the game.
If you think 3 seconds is to long in example #1 make it 2 seconds I don't care.  The point is the spontaneous reactions are a part of the game, and should be allowed in some fashion.  But being a egomaniacal jerk has no place in the game.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: January 1, 2011 8:19 pm

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

The worst part of these celebrations is how selfish they are.  What ever  happened to slapping your teammate 5 or bumping helmets with them.  Its ridiculous to see these pre-meditated celebrations after every single play.  Dont get me wrong, some TD celebrations are really runny(Ochocincos riverdance comes to mind), but have you ever seen how the rest of the team cant go near the guy while he celebrates, for fear of one of these stupid group clebration penalties?  Its uncomfortable to watch.  So I guess its kind of a double-edged sword. You cant bear to watch a guy flex after a three yard run, but you also dont wanna see one of these 15 yard flags influence the outcome of a hard fought game.

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2011 3:22 pm

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

There are actually several rules that need to be re-visited. The biggest b.s. rule is the intentional grounding. This rule is that a q.b. in the pocket cannot throw a ball unless it is in the "vacinity" of an eligable receiver. If this is the case, then how can a q.b. throw the ball directly in the ground to stop the clock and not be called? This is the most intentional form of grounding, in order to stop the clock. The kid who got flagged for saluting was a horrible call.  That ref should be fined and suspended for his actions and sanctioned for his comments.

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2011 2:36 pm

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

I see a lot of disagreement among fans what is fair and unfair. I think it's clear that the rule should at least be rewritten or have some guidelines, or better training with the refs on when to call it. Maybe completely abolishing it could be a little harsh, but some of these calls for unsportsmanlike conduct are so outline that it doesn't seem that disrespectful to the opposing team. The salute is a good example, Unfortunately, we are just going to see this inconsistent penalty continue. 

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2011 2:32 pm

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

That's a good point! I did watch the U, and a lot of the things those players did was uncalled for. I mention how Chad Ocho went overboard, but my issue is how inconsistent they call for it. Also how they seem to determine what is unsportsmanlike conduct is random. A salut is bad, but a spike is good. If they will at least set some guidelines or consistency when to enforce the rule, then I'll be happy with it. 

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2011 6:14 am

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

I personally believe if a player rises above and beyond and manages to accomplish something spectacular or game-changing, let them celebrate within reason. Afterall, nobody wants to see robotic drones out there. That's not exciting to watch, nor is it good for business. However, celebrating after making the common play, deserves to be penalized. Some guys make a tackle on a receiver after allowing a significant gain and then celebrate like they just sacked the quarterback for a game ending safety. I agree, the refs are horribly inconsistent. If players are to be held accountable for not doing there job as well as coaches, then the refs should be held accountable too. keep in mind though, as long as the human element is involved in a judgemental capacity, there will be questionable and missed calls. It's just the nature of the beast.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:25 am

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

If you believe it should be abolished you should really do yourself and everyone else a favor..

Go out and find a copy of 30 for 30 featuring "The U" (Miami)

The showboating, the dancing, the rudeness, the awful fans, etc., etc.  All of it was appreciated by them and made their football games an incredibly ridiculous spectacle.

If you don't come away with anything other then hatred for everything the U stood for back then it would be sad..

"They where just having fun!" by dancing after EVERYTHING, showboating, taunting, etc., etc.?  Like hell it wasn't just to annoy the other team..

Even the players admitted it was to insult the other teams and annoy them primarily..

You really want the NFL full of a bunch of guys dancing and doing the moon walk or high stepping after every play like back then?

Penalize everything and anything..  It's the NFL/NCAA, not local games in Harlem or Southern Flordia...

Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:16 am

Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to be abolished

@TCash:  You have partially convinced me, and the opposing arguments here (including the OP) have partially convinced me also.  So I have a mixed bag.

I think that TD celebrations, within reason, should be allowed, including coordinated "team celebrations" (which are now outlawed).  Only egregious, profane, taunting, or excessively prolonged celebrations should be flagged.  However, non-scoring celebrations (first down "pointing", sack dances, etc.) should be flagged more often if they extend beyond the initial impulse of a player's exuberance.  It is _those_ histrionics that annoy fans much more than a goal post dunk or a salute after a touchdown.  I furthermore think that there should be less tolerance for wide receivers who pantomime "throwing the flag" when they think they have been interfered with.  Maybe once per game it is allowable, and beyond that it is essentially just "showing up" the officials in a way that would never be allowed in the NBA or MLB.

Yeah, everyone knows the rules.  The players also get excited when they make big plays.  And the message is not usually "I, alone, made a great play, so screw my 10 worthless teammates."  It is usually closer to "Yeah, our defense did its job and held a great RB to no gain."  Competitive players inevitably lead to lobbying the refs for a competitive edge.  I just don't want it to be excessive.

As to the OP's point, yes, there is massive inconsistency in what is and is not called.  But that's more or less the state of all officiating in all team sports at this time. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or