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Thursday, April 22, 2010
Readers discuss rule changes

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Earlier this week, I mentioned a little tidbit in Bruce Feldman's blog about the lack of uproar about celebrations in soccer, celebrations that are much more elaborate than anything we're used to seeing on the football field. Here's what you had to say about that issue, and the recent rule changes in general.  Some of these explore some interesting points of discussion on the interpretation of the rule, as well as the reasoning for the rules.

Here are a few of the more interesting responses:

Ryan in New York says: Forgive the Andy Rooney impression, but when I was a kid we played neighborhood football. Let me clarify: We actually used a football and not joysticks. A Hail Mary touchdown wasn't complete without an Ickey Shuffle or a moonwalk. And love him or hate him, Ocho Cinco always brings a smile to my face. It's a game, folks. Not a funeral. These rules are getting ridiculous and turning college athletes into robots. What's next? Forfeiting a TD after a chest bump or a high five? I know that's a slippery slope, but so is this area of regulation. Keep up the good work.

Jim in Bainbridge Island, Wash., says: This rule's application is WAY too subjective... not nearly black and white enough to be enforced fairly. The change now leaves too much on the shoulders of the ref's personal interpretation. Nuff said.

Zech in Barcelona, Spain says:
i personally hate on field celebration, but what i hate more is giving more power to the refs. i think that this rule puts the outcome of the game in the refs hands to an unacceptable degree.

Joey Gilsdorf in Salina, Kansas says: I think this new rule change is absolutly rediculous. It is to much of a judgment call, it is one thing to penalize for excessive celebration but to take points of the point if the "penalty" is commited outside of the endzone is rediculous. We are going to see many situations in the upcoming season where we say why did they call that excessive celebration, and how did they not call that excessive celebration. It's just another way for officials to control the potential outcome of the game (like the 1 second put back on the clock in the Big 12 Championship game). I'll debate anyone on that all night long.

Josh in Lincoln says: I think the celebration rule is ridiculous, and here is why. Sticking with Nebraska, an interesting point was brought up in regards to this rule about a week ago by Steve Sipple here in Lincoln. He mentioned how in 1995, Tommie Frazier's fascinating 75 yard touchdown run against Florida could have been called back, because he looked behind him and kinda slowed down as he ran into the end zone. Not only that, Frazier also had a 40 or so yard touchdown run that he strutted into the end zone on (in the same game, but earlier) and LP did a little strut dance into the end zone on his second touchdown of the game. Those runs, especially TF's 75 yard run, are a big part of Husker history and Husker lore. I can't imagine something like that being penalized. It's glory would be nullified forever. I understand excessive taunting, but this rule just seems so subjective that it is going to hurt the game, not help it.


Jeff in Quechee, Vt., says: I need clarification on the new ban on writing messages on eye black.It is illegal to write messages on eye black with a marker now, but what if you just write directly on the skin below your eyes? Is that legal?If not, what about marking messages on your arms with a marker? If that's not legal, why is it legal to have tattoos showing on your arms?And if the arm tattoos are legal, could you get a tattoo on your face with your eye-black message, making that legal?