THE “FINE LINE” OF CELEBRATION
by: Mario GoLuza
Recently an incident regarding Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers resurfaced the issue of how much celebrating is too much celebrating?
After Newton reached across the touchdown line against the Titans, he decided to showoff his dance moves. In most similar cases we would not be talking about this issue, however his “extended” dance display stirred up controversy with the Titans, especially their defense. Numerous Titan players including cornerback Perrish Cox cautioned Newton that his “show” likely put a target on his back not just with the Titans, but throughout the NFL. Although some players like Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson spoke out on Newton’s defense, others would consider this type of action a “diss” to their team and thus deem retaliatory measures appropriate. In such cases, is it worth displaying this type of risky behavior and risking your value to the team over a dance?
American Football isn’t the only football dealing with these issues. FA’s Reading FC was initially fined £100,000 by the FA Regulatory Commission under Rule E.20 for fans running on to the pitch and celebrating Reading’s first appearance in an FA Cup semi-final in 88 years. Reading argued they were unjustly fined citing numerous previous incidents involving English Football Clubs that only resulted in few major fines, mainly due to those teams being cautioned numerous times before punishment issuance. Subsequently, the FA Appeal Board reduced the fine to £40,000 and thus set a new precedent resulting in a more “lax” celebratory regulation.
The question remains: “How much celebration is too much celebration?”
Celebrations are undoubtedly a part of the game. No matter the sport, it’s a way for players to express their emotions while involving the fans in the festivities. However, there is a threshold that when surpassed, celebrations become taunts. This is where the fine line must be drawn. But, until that fine line is defined, these issues will continue to arise in all sporting arenas.