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League official explains T.O. penalty

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Now that Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips has complained about the "hidden" rule responsible for Terrell Owens' 15-yard penalty following his Usain Bolt tribute Sunday, the league's supervisor of officials Mike Pereira felt the need to clarify.

"You've just got to stay on your feet," Pereira told the New York Times on Monday.

Asked why players aren't flagged for kneeling to pray after scores and first downs, Pereira said, "I do not want to get struck by lightning."

See, it's possible for someone in the league to have a sense of humor. Pereira also said the Lambeau Leap was allowed because it's classified as a spontaneous display of emotion and doesn't normally involve teammates. And while I have no problem with the Leap, let's not say it's a spontaneous reaction. When something has been done by a team for years, it's no longer spontaneous.

I'd love for someone to do something completely radical, like flipping the ball back to the official. That's the way Herschel Walker used to do it. It always gave the impression that he'd been there before and planned on returning soon.

But there's still a place in the league for Billy "White Shoes" Johnson's dancing and Butch Johnson's "California Quake." The league just needs to get over itself and realize that someone touching the ground isn't going to ruin the youth of America.