So in a game that had a lot of crazy stories, the biggest involved WR Stevie Johnson. If you missed it, Johnson scored a TD in the second quarter yesterday and proceeded to do this:
Johnson was clearly mocking Jets WR Plaxico Burress, who was sent to jail a few years ago for shooting himself in the leg at the club. That’s actually not was got him penalized: because Johnson hit the ground on his celebration, he drew a 15-yard penalty that was enforced on the kickoff. Sadly, Dave Rayner screwed up the kickoff, and the Jets scored almost immediately to tie the game at 14.
What’s your take on Johnson’s antics?
My take after the jump:
Personally, I thought the mocking Plaxico thing was funny. You know what? Plaxico Burress did something insanely stupid. He took a loaded handgun that he didn’t have a permit to carry into a club, secured it only with the elastic in his sweatpants, and accidentally shot himself in the leg. Now, I’m not saying Burress deserves to be locked away forever: I’m glad he’s back in the NFL and hope he’s turned his life around. But he deserves whatever mockery he gets for the bullet-in-his own leg thing.
Now old white sportswriters/sportscasters are all up in arms today about how “classless” and “tasteless” it was. Bullshit. These games are supposed to be competitive. These teams (especially division rivals) are not supposed to like each other. The Jets and their coaches run their mouths constantly. I was very pleased to see the Bills stand up for themselves yesterday and not back down in the face of the all the Jets’ bluster. A little TD dance mocking the other team is fine by me.
That being said, if you’re going to do something like that, you have to know the rules. And where I’ll criticize Johnson is for going to the ground during the second half of the celebration and getting the penalty. Now you’re hurting your own team and directly affecting the game. Those 15 yards were big, and Stevie has to know better.
Of course, it’s stupid that it’s a rule in the first place. Excessive celebration shouldn’t be a penalty in the NFL. Now, if you delay the game by celebrating, that should be a penalty. But who cares how much someone celebrates? If a coach doesn’t like it, he can put a stop to it. But that shouldn’t be up to the league. And if the other team doesn’t like it? Don’t give up points. (As an aside, it’s the same reason there should be no such thing as “running up the score” in pro sports. Everyone’s on a level playing field. This isn’t Alabama beating Western Wyoming College of Dentistry 200-3. In the NFL, you have no excuse. Don’t like losing big? Stop the other team.)
Anyway, to sum up I have no problem with what Stevie did, except for that he drew a penalty. The way bigger issue is his key drop late in the fourth quarter. Now THAT’S something to criticize.