Edwards-Helaire’s provocative appeal was the correct application of a bad rule


The answer has gotten pretty darn close to Pavlovian.

It goes like this. An NFL player shoots a foul for taunting, then Twitter explodes with cries of “NO FUN LEAGUE!” “

Leaving aside for the moment the question of why watching taunts makes football more “fun” for anyone, resisting the rule at this point is futile. The league created it. The league has placed great emphasis on its application. Several coaches have defended him, loud and clear. So when, for example, a player like Chiefs Clyde Edwards-Helaire points directly to an opponent en route to the end zone, yes a flag will be thrown.

It’s simple at this point. You can hate the rule (I definitely hate the high bar “you won’t land on the whole sideline” that was created to justify Tony Corrente’s decision. Gran Torino moment against Cassius Marsh from two weeks ago), but that’s the rule. Like all the other rules. No outfit. No pass interference. No jump across the scrimmage line before the snap. And no mockery.

The real question is whether the rule will be applied consistently and fairly. The Week 10 games included a few incidents of taunting that went unreported; Bills right tackle Spencer Brown was not fined for showing aggressively towards the Jets sideline, and Patriots running back Rhamdondre Stevenson did not, according to a league source. was fined for playing against a Browns defenseman after a touchdown.

It is the challenge to move forward. Report it whenever this happens. Punish him systematically or not at all. At this point, it is not unreasonable to expect that this will not happen. The league decided that for some reason they didn’t want these behaviors.

Meanwhile, be happy that the league has yet to adopt the college rule which, if applied to Edwards-Helaire, would have taken his touchdown off the board because the taunt happened before he did. enters the end zone. As the powers that be hear more and more criticism of the current taunt rule, it is possible that they will become deaf enough to extend the rule and potentially erase the outcome of a given play.

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