Allen seemed incredulous Monday that his calf-roping celebration has even become an issue, considering he's performed it throughout his seven-year NFL career. But coach Brad Childress informed him the day before the Detroit game last week that the NFL called and said Allen would be penalized and possibly fined if he performed the celebration again.
"Yeah, I just figured after seven years of doing it ... but hey, whatever," Allen said. "Rules are rules, I guess."
Allen's teammate and fellow defensive end, Ray Edwards, had a harder time biting his tongue.
"It's terrible," Edwards said. "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."
The league prohibits players from going to the ground in celebrations except in prayer. In his sack celebration, Allen takes a knee, pretends to rope a calf and then throws his arms in the air. Allen, who has 73 career sacks, said he could live with the fine, but the 15-yard penalty forces his hand. He'll do his roping while standing up.
OK, so we get that the NFL doesn't want excessive celebrations. At a certain point, we might even agree with it because if there aren't at least some rules in place, where do you draw the line with idiots who can't control themselves?
But there are a lot of galling things about this Allen news. First and foremost is that he's been doing it his entire career. We can't stand when something is fine one day and wrong the next. It's inconsistent and arbitrary. Even more ridiculous, though, is the ticky-tack reasoning. A player cannot go to the ground to celebrate except in prayer? Can you even imagine the stodgy room where this rule was invented? But yes, Jared, by all means, if you can do this celebration without going to the ground, all is well. It's just devoid of any common sense. It's like saying you can't bust open a pinata with a broom handle, but a mop handle is fine. (First-ever pinata analogy here on RandBall, we think).
While we don't want to see the Vikings' penalized, and in practical terms we applaud Allen for taking the high road and essentially biting his tongue, we know he is 100 percent right to feel this is completely ridiculous.