Roger Goodell: I Have 10,000 Reasons Why I'll Never Take You to Mardi Gras!

Sherman L. McCleskyCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2009

I'd been a party-goer for quite a while now. I love parties, but not for the reasons you think. Take, for example, a party I'd attended three years ago.

Here I was with my girlfriend, sipping some brew, when all of a sudden, violent noises started to come from upstairs. It appears that two guys had gotten into a fight over a girl; just as we broke it up, the police arrive.

One of them tried to run, only to have the police chase him down and arrest him. I started to laugh then mumbled, "Beat his a**". My girlfriend got angry and yelled at me for saying that. I'd responded by saying, "The man ruined a perfectly good party; he deserves to get his A** kicked!"

Nobody likes a "party-pooper"; it sucks having that one person around you who is determined to take something that was fun for everyone and deliberately ruin it. So that's my passion in life now; to go to parties with my girlfriend and try to guess as who is going to be that special nimrod.

Well, in this week in sports, I'd found such a nimrod.

Eighteen days ago, Pittsburgh Steeler's receiver Santonio Holmes, was lining up for a 2nd-and-goal play. On the previous play, Holmes had dropped the catch, but was determined to not make that same mistake twice. The adjustment he'd made may forever change the way receivers catch the ball near the sidelines.  

As he headed towards the sideline of the end zone, Holmes saw the ball coming in his direction. So when he jump to catch the ball, he'd hooked his feet together, so to ensure that one foot could not possibly touch inbounds without the other.

The result? The greatest Super Bowl winning catch in history.

Awestruck by the moment, Holmes grabs the football and does an imitation of LeBron James' pregame ritual; he shakes the football as if it was powder in his hands and throws it into the air.

The crowd went wild and so did I; why? Because I had bet on the Steelers.

So the Steelers, with that catch, go on to win Super Bowl XLIII 27-23; Santonio Holmes goes on to become the Super Bowl MVP, and Pittsburgh is having a party. It was a pretty good party, until somebody invited Roger Goodell and the NFL's front office.

So Roger comes to the party 18 days later and tarnishes the legacy of the greatest catch in Super Bowl history, by allowing the league to fine Santonio Holmes $10,000, for a celebration display that nobody was talking about...Until now!!!

To make matters worse, the fine may have come as the result of instant replay???

"The Steelers were not penalized for excessive celebration, apparently because the officials were getting ready for the point-after attempt and did not see Holmes' display in the corner of the end zone.

Two weeks ago, NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said the celebration should have drawn a 15-yard penalty on the following kickoff. Such penalties result in an automatic $10,000 fine."

So Mike Pereira, the vice president of snitching...Uh, Officiating, thought that it was important that we need to crack down on these "thugs" who tries to celebrate once-in-a-lifetime catches.

Folks, please put two and two together.

The NFL had fined a man $10,000 for getting caught up in the greatest moment of his life; an incident that the officials, the players from both teams, and the fans weren't even thinking about it. To add insult to injury, Goodell responds to this action with inaction...

"NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said before the Pro Bowl that the NFL competition committee may consider making such celebrations legal if they occur long after a play ends.

"As you know, part of this rule is to avoid having a reaction from opposing players and, from what I could see, only seeing it once, it didn't seem like it was anywhere near that," Goodell said."

Who's his PR agent, Bud Selig???

If this was not a defining moment in the debate over excessive penalties for celebration, I don't know if there will ever be a defining moment. These men are human beings; they're not robots, for crying out loud!!! Allow them to enjoy the moment!!!

This weekend, I plan to go to Mardi Gras to have a good time. If on my way there, I see Roger Goodell on the side of the road, needing a ride to New Orleans, I'm going to driving right by him.

Sorry Roger; I would like to help you, but you're a party-pooper; you'd ruined Santonio Holmes' party, you're not going to ruin mine. C-ya!!!