The Perils of Excessive Celebration: Detroit Lions Stephen Tulloch Injured While Gloating Over Sack

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.43.14 PM 1We have previously discussed the excessive celebration rule in the NFL (I am rather old school and I do not like seeing the growing signature celebrations of players). However, not since Bill Gramatica has a player put himself on the injured list due to his celebratory dance. That distinction rests with Detroit Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.43.14 PM 1Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.43.14 PM 4In the video below, Tulloch celebrates a sack of Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter of Sunday’s game. His rather acrobatic move results in his being helped off the field and sitting out the second quarter.

You may recall in 2001 when former Arizona placekicker Bill Gramatica tore an ACL while celebrating a converted field goal in 2001. Not only did the celebration thin the Lions lines but the Packers then capitalized on it for a 59 yard march.

The Lions are now playing their fifth nickel of the season due to injuries.

It raises an interesting question of when NFL players cost a team dearly with a completely unnecessary action like this one. With a team that has to be winnowed down to just over 50 players, each slot is incredibly valuable to a team. This is not how the team wants to have to burn a slot. Under the old celebration rule, the player would have been acting outside the scope of his responsibilities in such a display and could conceivably be alleged as a breach of his agreement with the team. Today, players are being allowed to develop elaborate dances and gestures to celebrate successes on the football field.

Finally, the Bears win over the Jets was sweet tonight. I will note that it was a line almost entirely composed of secondary players when the critical drive ended. It was great to see these guys given a chance to play and to do so well. However, it has been a devastating loss of starting players as we head into the blood match with the Packers.

19 thoughts on “The Perils of Excessive Celebration: Detroit Lions Stephen Tulloch Injured While Gloating Over Sack”

  1. It’s actually very complex in this active life to listen news on Television, therefore I just use web for that reason, and obtain the newest information.

  2. Justice Holmes, “I really don’t understand all the celebrating for moves and plays that are nothing more than the players doing their jobs. It says something about the players that they are so happy they can execute a good play.”


  3. I abhor all those narcissistic little dances. It adds nothing to the game. It’s enough to make me stop watching.

  4. Ok, I will play devils advacate a little on this. I have already stated that I don’t like the excessive celebration antics but, I do remember in the 80’s when the NFL came down on the New York Sack Exchanges Mark Gastineau for his celebrations after a QB sack. I think he might have been the reason for the rule changes. I remember thinking at the time what is the big deal. If a running back or a receiver can trot around and spike the ball in Gastineaus face why can’t he return the favor on a QB sack? After all it is his equivalent of a TD that he will only do about 10-15 times in a year.

  5. Groty, We had a lively debate on Sherman. My take was it was not @ all spontaneous. It was the Richard Sherman Act, the persona to get endorsements. And, as we see w/ all his new endorsements, it worked. I have a theory that much of this horseshit comes from black men who didn’t have a good father in the house. I could go through a list of great black athletes from Barry, Michael, Jr., and many more who had strong fathers and act like real men, not circus clowns. Only a woman can teach a girl how to be a woman and only a man can teach a boy how to be a man.

  6. I am of two minds on this one. I agree with Nick that Barry Sanders was one class act. He let his talent speak for itself on the field. There’s a lot to admire in how dignified he was – one of the best running backs to ever play the game – after every run.

    On the other hand, testosterone laden alpha males aren’t shrinking violets. Expressing exhilaration after a play is a way to get teammates pumped up. I’d guess most fans enjoy it, too.

    On a side note, but sorta related, I was in the minority of people who enjoyed Richard Sherman’s outburst in his interview with Erin Andrews after the Seattle/San Francisco game last year. The majority of people condemned it, and it gave the United States of Internet Outrage something to pretend to be indignant about for a few days. But it was refreshing to me to see a moment of unguarded, spontaneous, raw emotion. Not the stale, scripted, presumably focus group tested responses in which the winner talks about how great the loser was, blah, blah, blah.

  7. I think part of it comes from excess emotion in the player and some in being a show-off for his buddies. Some of these celebrations are group events. I think stopping it is on the team, not the NFL, they have their hands full with finding a replacement for Goodell.

  8. I’m like JT and hate all that “look @ me” horseshit. It was a sack, early in he game for chrissake, not a game winning touchdown. The GREAT Barry Sanders, who played for this bozo’s team, would make the most incredible runs for a touchdown and then just quietly hand the ball to the ref and trot off the field. “Ain’t no big thing, done it before and I’ll do it again.”

  9. I saw it live. What the bozo was doing was mocking the signature move of Aaron Rodgers where he pantomimes showing off his championship belt. It has been made famous as the “Discount double check” from the insurance ads. So, the mocking invoked “instant karma.”

  10. ShakingMyHead, I thought the same thing. Read the piece and then watched the video expecting something outrageous. But I will add, I don’t like most of the over the top celebration stuff.

  11. Justice Holmes: I’m sure it has to do with competition and team sport, most likely to try and make themselves seem harder to beat. In the NFL you are not just playing for yourself and your teammates but the tens of thousands of fans that are invested in your success. Also being in a contest is not very much like going to a regular job.

  12. I really don’t understand all the celebrating for moves and plays that are nothing more than the players doing their jobs. It says something about the players that they are so happy they can execute a good play.

  13. all the man did was jump up then down and you can see his ankle twist sheesh give it a break reading the article you would think he did a triple sault backflip or something. your age and his are years apart stop watching if you dont like the celebratory dances,moves, etc. always something for you to complain about isnt it

  14. da bears remember it takes 11 players to make the play work not one. I believe it was woody hayes who watched a player do a td dance, then told his players to act like they had been there before

  15. I like some of the celebrations after a touchdown. I don’t like the big guy getting the Quarterback acting like he is Goliath. The “no celebration” rule eventually passed down to college football. It’s a judgment call and usually tacky. The game is, after all, about winning.

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