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The Santana Moss Celebration Penalty


(By Andy Lyons - Getty)

Sixteen times out of 17, I endorse excessively flamboyant celebrations by NFL wide receivers, even if they occasionally draw an unsportsmanlike call. They're entertaining, and harmless, and they strike back at the soulless NFL suits, and they give kids something to imitate, and they make great YouTube fodder.

Here's the 17th time: when you're fighting like crazy to keep your season alive, on the road, against a one-win team, and down by 17 points. In that particular case, maybe it's best to keep the towel in the pocket and the cleats unshined.

Santana Moss was asked repeatedly about his celebration penalty last night (video here); I heard his answer twice. The first time:

"I don't care, I really don't care," he said, when asked if he knew his celebration would draw a flag. "We needed something, something to boost us, and we had a touchdown so I was feeling real good, you know what I'm saying? Other than that, I really don't care about it. What we needed to do is keep scoring."

And it is true that the Bengals failed to capitalize on their field position, and then launched a lousy punt, and the Redskins started at their own 24 and managed a field goal. But, those facts aside, it felt like a chance to seize some real momentum was gone after Moss's penalty and Shaun Suisham's kickoff put the ball in Washington territory.

Still, the second time Moss was asked about it, less than five minutes later, he repeated similar thoughts.

"I didn't really care," he said. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I cared that I didn't know it was gonna be a penalty, but we needed a spark, and a touchdown was everything for us at that moment. As far as the penalty, when I found that it was a penalty, I told Coach Zorn that, hey, I didn't mean to put us in that situation, I didn't know that it was gonna hurt, but I should have known better. We're in someone else's house, they're looking for anything. So therefore I've got to be better with that, know the rules a little better, but other than that, that really is nothing. That's petty, as far as what we have done to date as far as trying to give ourselves a chance to win."

Several other players were also asked about the penalty, but I didn't hear any remarkable responses, and Jim Zorn was not asked about the issue in his press conference.

"They're going to call what they want to call," Clinton Portis said, according to my colleague, Barry Svrluga. "We know they're judging everything, and they're going to make those calls. They told us that before the season. It was going to be flagging you for everything and fining you for everything, so it was no surprise."

"I didn't see what happened, I just play the game," London Fletcher said. "We didn't give up any points off it, but obviously you don't want those things to happen/ But you play with the cards that you're dealt. Wherever the ball's placed, as a defense you go out there and take the field and play football."

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 15, 2008; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Cerrato Explains Why the Skins Don't Draft Linemen

Comments

Obviously, some of the players in the NFL are not the brightest fellows out there, this is another example of it.

Celebrate when the game is over and you've won. Chad Johnson was equally idiotic - any surprise they are both represented by whats his face down in Miami?

Posted by: vmrg1974 | December 15, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

My favorite part is when Ocho Stinko taunted RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACES AND THEY DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. Talk about no heart.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | December 15, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

My favorite part is when Ocho Stinko taunted RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACES AND THEY DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. Talk about no heart.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | December 15, 2008 11:30 AM

Oh, you mean nothing... but laugh? What do they care about humiliating losses, their pockets are still straight.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 15, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Moss didn't do anything wrong. The NFL is wrong for trying to convert a game into a corporate meeting.

As for his comments, Moss is right! The Redskins came out flat, regardless of Clinton Portis' words to leave it all on the field. The team needed a spark. And, what they needed was to allow themselves to feel some 'anger' or some other useful emotional content to fight back and get the heads, as well as their butts, into the game.

What we need to be talking about is Jim Zorn's inability to motivate the team.

Posted by: swblock | December 15, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see him try that crap on Monte Coleman or Wilbur Marshall. Instead they took it like a bunch of wimps.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | December 15, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The fact you find celebrations worthy of emulating explains why you have to listen to the radio and get your stories 2nd hand, Steinberg.

A millionaire celebrating, costing his team, while they are losing badly to a team that won only one game?
Forget the suits, THAT"S soulless.

Posted by: kreator6996 | December 15, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

yeah, Steinberg, that's the kind of behavior our kids need to imitate, not how to be a team player or anything, just the look-at-me showboatin' stuff.

Posted by: eomcmars | December 15, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This is a sad commentary, about the Redskins.
Your right Moss you don't care and that's the problem.

As far as Portis laughing about Johnson, handing him the ball, proves once again Portis is a punk.

When can we rid, this team of the "Pew" U.

Posted by: dashriprock | December 15, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Fun is fun, and most end zone shenanigans add to the entertainment value of some fans. However, Moss's first 3 words say it all, "I don't care". That's very clear in both his words and actions. Other people should care. We know that Moss chose to jeopardize his team’s chance at a victory by forcing a kick-off from the 15 yard line with time remaining in the 1st half. The bigger question is did Moss chose to benefit financially? If Under Armour compensated Moss in any way for promoting their shoes, then people that do care should take action.

Do people care? Why didn't Jason Cambell, Jim Zorn, Clinton Portis or another team leader straighten him out immediatley? Does "stay medium" mean "don't care"? If they don't care, why should the fans?

Posted by: mikestone | December 15, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Steinberg that end zone celebrations add fun and entertainment to a game that is becoming to conservative. Hence the N.o F.un L.eague. But at the same time a player has to be smart enough to realize when a potential pentalty will be insignificant or costly to your team's chances of winning. I understand trying to spark a comeback but I think scoring the touchdown was enough. To Santana: It was a dumb penalty and the wrong time to get creative. But as long as you learn from your mistake and don't ever ever ever try it again, keep catching those touchdown passes. Also I wonder would he have gotten that penalty if he had just used his hand to wipe his shoes. A towel is as much a part of a uniform as a pair of gloves.

Posted by: tywill28 | December 15, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't disagree more about the show boating. Catching a ball for a touchdown is your job - its why you are getting paid. You didn't cure cancer, you didn't put the economy back on track, you didn't solve world hunger, you caught a f***ing ball. Something you are getting paid a lot to do and something, this season, you haven't done very much of. Show boating is disgusting at any time - doing it when you are losing a game makes you a punk. Get over yourselves.

Posted by: RGHII | December 15, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

trade or bench campbell soup. fire zorn. gag snyder the stupid. this team needs a rebuild starting now. top to bottom. it is over. christmas wish: snyder goes bankrupt and sells this team. snyder makes bidwell and bush look like a geniuses.

Posted by: blue111 | December 15, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

My thought at the time was "What the hell is he celebrating? They're down 17-6. He and the whole team should be serious and concentrating on getting ahead. There's nothing to showboat about."

They were losing to a 1-11-1 team. Scoring while way behind against the Bengals was no reason for celebrating anything.

Posted by: charley42 | December 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

i with santana on this one.. i mean lets be real with each other... we had nothing going all day and i think we all as fans were a little excited to see a score...lol...it wasnt the down fall of the team and i think it wouldnt have been a big deal until our bum of a kicker kicks it out of bounds...

Posted by: BANKS-GETS-THE-SKINSDOYOU | December 15, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Moss is a selfish idiot. He hasn't done anything to help his team in a month and a half. They were losing to one of the worst teams in the league and he celebrates his td. It was a classless move and he is one of the biggest problems with this team

Posted by: cmihalitsch | December 15, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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