The game was Catholic High vs. Blue Hills for the Massachusetts State Championship.
With Catholic High trailing by six points, this kid broke loose for a long run. Twenty-five yards from the goal line he raised his fist. He did not dance in the end zone. He did not point at the other players. He did not throw the ball in the stands. He raised his fist for one second before he crossed the goal line.
Ordinarily when there is “Excessive Celebration” the infraction comes after the score. The penalty is 15 yards to be marked off on the ensuing kickoff. The penalty is to encourage “Good Sportsmanship.” In this case the “Excessive Celebration” came before the touchdown. The play was called back and 15 yards was assessed from the original line of scrimmage. For raising his fist his team was penalized 7 points and 80 yards and any chance to win the State Championship.
Much has been said whether or not the penalty should have been called. Much should not be said; it is simply NO, NO, FREAKING NO!! The referee was obviously being an anal retentive, a rule is a rule, asshole. This call was made with the absolute most stringent interpretation of a rule in the most inappropriate time possible.
My biggest complaint, however, is not with the referee. Referees tend to be anal about rules and are not very good at analyzing the appropriateness of a call in a given situation. My beef is with the opposing coach.
Blue Hills Regional Technical School athletic director Ed Catabia told The Boston Globe on Sunday that the referee made "a great call, the right call."
"We try and play by the rules, and the rule is 'no celebrating,' " he said.
What a smoldering pile of stinking shit.
If the Blue Hills coach had any class he would have instructed his team to step aside on the next play and allow Catholic High to score the points they rightfully earned. They still would have had six minutes left to try and make up a one point deficit and earn the State Championship blemish free.
Regardless of the outcome, if the Blue Hills coach had instructed his team to give up a touchdown, his team would have been celebrated for years as an example of what good sportsmanship truly should be.
If a Blue Hills player so much as clapped his hands after this game it would have been true “Excessive Celebration”.