This may go under the “Common Sense 101″ category, but the NFL brass has stepped up and fully explained to what extent ball spinning will be punished under their new draconian celebration rules for the 2013 season.
Balls will still be allowed to be spun according to the league, just as long as it is not done in a celebratory or taunting like manner.
As noted by NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy via Twitter, flags will be thrown for celebrations like spinning the ball and performing military salutes only if directed at an opponent.
to clear up bad info re: td celebrations like military salute/spinning ball: only flagged if player does it directly @ opponent
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) August 7, 2013
McCarthy’s tweet comes in light of widespread panning of the NFL’s new anti-celebration rules which go up to banning military salutes and the simple act of dancing after a touchdown. The rules come into effect as the NFL preseason comes into full swing this weekend and will surely put a damper on post touchdown excitement across the league.
“Sportsmanship is always a point of emphasis,” the narrator of the league’s new officiating video says. “Directing verbal abuse at an opponent has no part in our game.” Throwing, spiking, or spinning the ball in the direction of an opponent is a form of taunting that “will not be tolerated.”
It seems that as long as you want to avoid being handed a flag or a potential fine after scoring a touchdown this NFL season the best idea might be to simply turn around and hand the official the ball as the NFL does whatever is possible to take all of the fun out of the league.