Jimmy Graham's signature celebration after scoring a touchdown is slamming the ball through the goal posts. One problem: this one time he broke some goal posts in Atlanta and the NFL decided to make dunking illegal.
Graham didn't care for the rules during the preseason, throwing down a pair of jams against the Titans, drawing penalty flags and enraging his coach. It was (probably too big of) a big deal over the weekend, but Sunday the Saints tight end admitted he's "gotta stop" dunking for his team's sake.
"You know, for four years and however many touchdowns, I've always dunked it. And I just gotta stop doing that now," Graham said.
Graham is stuck in a tough spot. He believes dunking on the goal post is "not hurting anyone" but also said he "would never do anything to hurt the team." He's right on the first part, at least until he goes full Darvin Ham and a Georgia Dome goal post falls into a crowd of Falcons fans.
Sean Payton admitted he was "upset" with Graham after the tight end dunked twice in the preseason game but sounded much cooler a couple of days removed from the incident (and having spoken to Graham about it).
"Listen, I'm his biggest fan," Payton said. "And I'm sure as we get going here, that type of thing isn't going to be a problem. You know, rules are changing constantly whether we like them or whether we voted for them or any of those things. But listen, he's outstanding. He'll be ready to go. And then what took place in the meeting will be between he and I."
Look, it might be a dumb rule that Graham can't dunk on the goal posts. There are safety reasons, sure, but it stinks when fun things get taken out of the game. Graham totally gets that.
"The rule [is] unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it's fun for me," Graham said. "And I feel like a little kid out there. And sometimes I act like it."
But the rules are the rules and if it costs you 15 yards to dunk on a goal post then it's not worth dunking on the post. Simple as that.