*NFL stars who celebrate touchdowns by dunking the ball over the goal post will be slapped with a penalty for excessive celebration beginning next season.
Dean Blandino, the league’s vice president of officiating, confirmed the rule change during on “The Dan Patrick Show” Tuesday, saying dunking the ball over the crossbar will now be considered a foul along with other touchdown celebrations that involve props.
Previously, dunks were grandfathered in as a legal celebration, along with the Lambeau Leap.
“We grandfathered in some, the Lambeau Leap and things like that, but dunking will come out,” Blandino said, according to NFL.com. “Using the ball as a prop or any object as a prop, whether that’s the goalpost, the crossbar, that will come out and that will be a foul next season.”
New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will likely have the toughest time adapting to the new rule, and likely inspired its creation. Twice in his career, his celebratory dunks have knocked the uprights off balance. Last season in Atlanta, a Thursday night game had to be delayed while workers re-leveled the crossbar.
Graham, who has caught more touchdown passes over the past three seasons (36) than anyone else in the league, is also a former basketball player at the University of Miami. The 6-foot-7 Graham has made the goalpost dunk his trademark celebration.