That infamous ‘big man’ dunk from last season, where former Buccaneers left tackle Donald Penn threw his 330-pound body into the air, tossing the football over the goalpost to celebrate a touchdown catch — it is no more.
On Tuesday, NFL VP of officiating, Dean Blandino, confirmed to “The Dan Patrick Show” that beginning in 2014, dunking the ball over the crossbar will be penalized.
“We grandfathered in some, the Lambeau Leap and things like that. But dunking will come out,” Blandino said via NFL.com. “Using the ball as a prop or any object as a prop, whether that’s the goal post, the crossbar, that will come out and that will be a foul next season.”
Penn, who was released by the Bucs and signed by the Raiders, already took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.
— Donald Penn (@DPENN70) March 25, 2014
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, who has celebrated his touchdowns with a 360-degree spinning dunk, wasn’t too happy either. He tweeted, “I guess I’ll have to lead the @nfl in penalties next year! #funpolice.” The tweet was later deleted.
In all fairness, Graham does hold some responsibility for the rule change. His dunk in the first half of the Saints’ 17-13 win over the Falcons last season severely disfigured a goalpost, causing a game delay as workers tried to level the unit back to its proper position.