So far this year, there have been two instances at training camp scrimmages where the officials have pointed out that spinning the ball on the ground can result in a penalty. This act will fall into the category of excessive celebration and taunting.
With the amount of rules that seem to come out every year, it seems that a game of competition is now moving towards who can stay within the rules the best. At some point I wouldn’t be surprised to see kickoffs and punts taken away as well as flags for the quarterbacks.
Although this rule is not new, 2012 Rule Book, I personally don’t remember last year when a player way flagged for spinning the ball. The unsportsmanlike penalty reads
“These acts include but are not limited to: sack dances; home run swing; incredible hulk; spiking the ball; throwing or shoving the ball; pointing; pointing the ball; verbal taunting; military salute; standing over an opponent (prolonged and with provocation; or dancing.”
The Panthers and Vikings are the teams that have so far reported that the officials are making it a point to mention this new/old rule, which leads me to believe that we are in for a some stricter enforcement of some of the rules that are in the book, but swept under the rug for entertainment purposes.
Is a celebration worth 15 yards? I would say for Buffalo Bills fans there would be one time that a celebration would be worth the 15 yards. 10 seconds left on the clock, Bills are up by 21 points against the Patriots and it is a game to determine who makes the playoffs. At this point the I would give the 15 yards for a little celebration.