So the big story coming out of yesterday’s season finale – besides Buffalo having a 21-point lead and somehow losing by 28 – was the benching of star WR Stevie Johnson following Johnson drawing a penalty for “excessive celebration” after his first quarter TD catch. Johnson pulled up his uniform to reveal a “Happy New Year” message, which drew the flag. Coach Chan Gailey had previously said that anyone drawing a penalty for excessive celebration would be benched, and he stuck to his word.
Of course, given that Johnson is one of Buffalo’s best players, and that Johnson is a free agent that Bills would love to re-sign this offseason, I’m sure many Bills fans thought Gailey’s stance was a ridiculous one to take. But maybe you thought that Johnson’s constant cries for attention were getting old and Gailey had to make a stand.
For the record, Johnson didn’t have a problem with the benching. Johnson thought that revealing a message would be okay, given that his infamous “Why So Serious” T-shirt last year didn’t draw a flag. So he was surprised when it did draw a flag and knew Gailey would have to bench him. “I didn’t understand why I couldn’t go out there and [reveal a T-shirt] a second time, but I got the penalty and coach made his decision and I had to ride with him,” said Johnson after the game. “Coach said if something like this happens again and I get a penalty he’s going to have to do what he did today. I don’t lose any love for him. He was true to his word and he has to be.”
But what do you think? Was Gailey in the right?