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The New York Post

ORLANDO, Fla. - The No Fun League strikes again.

Much to the dismay of players and fans alike, the owners sprung a surprise Tuesday by voting to ban dunking the ball over the crossbar as a post-touchdown celebration.

The rules change seemed to come out of nowhere - it had received little to no notice before the meetings started - and came off as a slap at Saints tight end Jimmy Graham and an extreme overreaction to something no one considered a problem.

According to a study by The Wall Street Journal, just 3 percent of touchdown celebrations last season involved a dunk over the crossbar. Nevertheless, one game last season was delayed so the goal posts could be leveled after a particularly vicious Graham dunk.

"I guess I'll have to lead the @nfl in penalties next year! #funpolice," Graham wrote on Twitter after the decision was announced Tuesday.

Graham later deleted that tweet, but other players denounced the move, too.

Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez also was known for dunking before he retired this offseason, and the future Hall of Famer tweeted "I got out at the right time" because of the rules change.

The only other major rules change by the owners Tuesday was much more popular.

The league voted to allow referees to consult with NFL director of officiating Dean Blandino and his aides at headquarters in Manhattan to aid in critical replay reviews.

The switch, which mirrors moves by the NHL and MLB, is considered a test and could be the precursor to all major replays being put in the hands of the league office.

The owners are expected to approve a proposal by Patriots coach Bill Belichick to extend the goal posts an additional five feet, but that likely will not put Belichick in any better of a mood.

That's because league officials have expressed concern about the cost of another Belichick proposal - putting multiple cameras around the field to aid in replay.

Those concerns in light of the NFL's $10 billion-plus in annual revenues brought a sarcastic reply from Belichick.

"We just spent, whatever it was, how many millions of dollars on the replay system," he said. "I mean, there's a thousand cameras in every stadium, so that if somebody spills a beer on somebody, we have it on record, right? Maybe we could have a bake sale. Raise some money for the cameras. Do a car wash."

bhubbuch@nypost.com

   

March 26, 2014

 

 
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