Just arrived home from Yankee Stadium -- I still can't get over how great that game was -- and see that everyone is talking about the salute celebration by Kansas State wide receiver Adrian Hilburn, which was flagged by the referees.
The 15-yard penalty led to the Wildcats going for the two-point conversion from about the 20-yard line inside of inside of the five-yard line -- where it is normally tried.
Here is what the referee Todd Geerlings had to say after the game:
Question: What rule was cited?
"Excessive celebration is rule 9-2-1d, which states a penalty is called for: ‘Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player attempts to focus attention on himself (or themselves).’"
Question: What exactly caused the penalty?
"It was the salute, which was the judgment of the calling officials, which were the head linesman and the back judge. Two officials threw the flag, both judged it to be drawing attention to themselves, and that's what the flag was for."
Question: Were you watching for any celebrations?
"These kinds of excessive celebrations have been a priority in the rulebook for the last several years. There's a whole page in the rulebook pertaining to sportsmanship."
Sitting in the press box, my first reaction to the flag was, "What an idiot."
Not because I agree with the excessive celebration rule -- there wasn't much excessive about Hilburn's celebration -- but because I know -- just like everyone else who plays or follows college football knows -- the rule exists.
I understand being caught up in the moment. And, yes. I understand that Hilburn is a 20-something student athlete, who can easily lose track of reality because he caught a potential game-tying TD. But that's the rule!
Cross the goal line, hand the ball to the refs and have your teammates jump all over you. Then go get the two points your team needs to tie the ball game.
However, you can't call us at SB Nation New York homers.
Ed's first response was a candid, "I hate that rule."
What do you think?