Jared Allen said Vikings coach Brad Childress informed him Saturday before the Detroit game that the NFL had called and said the All-Pro defensive end would be subject to a 15-yard penalty and league fine if he performed his calf roping celebration after sacks.
Allen has done that celebration after sacks throughout his seven-year career so he was surprised that it has now become against the rules.
"Yeah, I just figured after seven years of doing it ... but hey whatever," Allen said Monday. "Rules are rules I guess."
The league prohibits players from going to the ground in celebrations except to pray. On his celebration, Allen takes a knee, pretends to rope a calf and then throws his arms in the air.
Allen joked about how he might change his routine.
"I’m going to carry some cardboard with me and just slide it underneath my knee," he said. "It’s legal right?"
Allen said he will tweak his celebration by doing it as he's standing.
"I ain’t just going to give it up," he said.
Allen said he would keep doing the celebration if it just meant a fine, but he said a 15-yard penalty forces him to change it.
"I wouldn’t be too mad but it’s the 15 yards the really gets you, the penalty," he said. "The fine, I’ll eat the money."
Allen seemed baffled that his celebration has even become an issue now. A league spokesman said Carl Johnson, the new vice president of officiating, wants the rule enforced.
"I don’t know what it is," Allen said. "They decided to tell me Week 3 after seven years of doing it. Whatever. I guess I just won’t put my knee on the ground."
Allen's teammate Ray Edwards was more outspoken in his criticism.
“It’s terrible," he said. "Basically that’s his brand. Everybody knows that’s his celebration and that’s terrible. Let guys have their own individuality. I know this is the No. 1 team sport but that’s his thing he’s been doing ever since he’s been in the league. For them to take that away that ain’t right. It’s not.”
Edwards was asked why he thinks the league is cracking down now.
"They don’t like us," he said. "They don’t like our d-line, period. They don’t like us. For them to say that, what did they say, that it’s excessive celebrating? Now it’s a problem? Lights Out [Shawne Merriman] he’s got his own thing, he does that. It takes Jared what? Two seconds to do his celebration. Lights Out takes probably about five seconds. Anybody who has got celebrations it takes longer. Guys that score touchdowns, it takes longer to celebrate. So how’s that not excessive celebrating, too? If that’s the case you’ve just got to hand the ball back to the referee or make it back to pee-wee because that’s what they are trying to do. I guess you can’t have no fun with football anymore. It’s all business.”