What's the Big Flipping Deal?: In Defense of Desmond Reed

Casey ClementCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2008

This year, at the 94th annual Rose Bowl, No. 7 USC kicked the living crap out of No. 13 Illinois.

We were all prepared to see a blowout, and thus didn't expect too much excitement to transpire in tranquil Pasadena this New Year's Day.

But then, midway through the first quarter, my new favorite Trojan—tailback Desmond Reed—pulled out some gravity defying acrobatic skills and executed an elegant front flip over the goal line to score the second touchdown of the game.

I was so delighted by his tomfoolery that I gave out at least 15 high fives to celebrate the occasion.

Immediately afterwards, Reed was slapped with a 15-yard penalty. Pete Carroll, who's usually beaming from the sidelines (what with his gorgeous tan and those amazing pearly whites), was furious at Reed for his display of "excessive celebration."

But what Carroll calls "excessive," I call "inspiring."

Instead of penalizing multi-talented players for radical tricks, I for one think they we should be rewarded.

Now I’m not talking about passing out extra Gatorade to every darn player who finds it appropriate to execute a mediocre "worm" or "dirty bird" after scoring a TD. Only extra special tricks like front flips and/or walking on hands would warrant such praise.

We watch football to be entertained and have fun, so what’s the big flipping deal if the players want to kick it up a notch by tossing gymnastics into the mix? Hell, if every player started doing front flips and one handed back hand springs over the goal line, I’m quite sure that the ratings amongst 14-year-old girls would go through the roof.

If you’re still outraged by Reed and his blatant disregard for the rules, please consider the following. I'm quite sure after reading it you will quickly change your mind:

1. Football = Fun.

2. Front Flips = Fun.

3. Therefore, Front Flips + Football = Twice the fun, for everyone.

Convinced yet? No? Oh, you think that college football should be a dignified pastime? That it is has an old tradition in this country as a gentleman's sport, and that we should leave the crazy shenanigans to those uncivilized cavemen who play for the professional teams?

Well, my only reply to that, my dear friend, is boo flipping hoo!

If you want to be a mama's boy and only watch "civilized" games, you should change the channel to the BBC and watch a lovely game of cricket.

Football is a raw, rough, and flashy sport—and I for one am happy to embrace it in all of its showboating glory.

In closing, I would like to send out a message to the perpetrator of the flipping touchdown that cost the Trojans 15 yards:

Fight on Desmond!

And if you want to please this fan, start working on a back flip for next season.