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Akrum Wadley breaks a run against Wyoming with his signature high step move Stephen Mally/The Gazette Photo.

Akrum Wadley breaks a run against Wyoming with his signature high step move Stephen Mally/The Gazette Photo.

Tim Globokar, Opinion Assistant Editor

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The Iowa football team’s 31-14 win over North Texas was expected and rather uneventful, except for the two unsportsman- like conduct penalties for excessive celebration, one of which cost Iowa a touchdown. Akrum Wadley’s 74-yard touchdown was taken away because of two slightly elongated steps before the endzone. This move is such a classic that it is literally programed into “Madden”, a NFL video game, as a preset celebration anyone can do with a click of a button. However, don’t blame the referee because this specific celebration was banned this past year in a rule change. The rule itself is a way to keep players from having fun during the game.

What is wrong with a little fun? I don’t think Wadley’s two steps hurt anyone’s feelings and Hawkeye fans could care less if an opposing team player points at the crowd for a second. Players shouldn’t just be pawns on a board for the fans to yell at. The players are people too, people who are trying to win a game. If I was at home playing Monopoly and landed on Park Place and Boardwalk, I would celebrate, just like if Joey Drahozal breaks a 44-yard touchdown near the end of a big Friday Night Lights game. Football is ultimately a game, and shouldn’t games be fun?

While the rules do specify many celebrations that are deemed “inappropriate”, it doesn’t cover every celebration. This makes it hard, especially for high school teams, to decide how much is too much. Oftentimes, away games for high school football are officiated by local refs. Sometimes, these refs have a nephew playing for the home team and tend to look for ways to subtly penalize the away team. I have seen this first hand as a player, it could be as simple as too much eyeblack or celebrating for too long, but at what point is it too much? The penalties have gotten to the point that celebrating at all is discouraged for away games. This makes the game less fun for players and for fans. The players in high school, the NCAA, and NFL all work too hard to become robots for us to watch. The celebration rules need to be changed. In the words of dads all around the world, “Let the kids play!”

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