New Orleans Saints superstar tight end Jimmy Graham caught five passes in Friday’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, and two of those receptions turned into touchdowns. Graham averaged a touchdown per contest last season and is the game’s premier red zone weapon, so he’s performed his signature “dunk” touchdown celebration plenty of times over the course of his career. But the No Fun League decided to crack down on his celebration of choice this offseason, as dunks are now punished with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsman-like conduct.
Graham picked up penalties on both of those touchdowns, and Saints head coach Sean Payton was visibly upset with his tight end for those two wholly unnecessary penalties. The dunking protest was never expected to carry into the regular season, and it has already come to a screeching halt. Following a meeting with Payton, Graham stated that he will indeed stop his dunking.
He said, via ESPN NFL Nation’s Mike Triplett, “You know, for four years and however many touchdowns, I’ve always dunked it. And I just gotta stop doing that now.”
Of course, Graham doesn’t like that his “however many touchdowns” won’t be followed by a harmless (as he reminds us) and fun cherry-on-top in the form of a dunk, which is a common celebration. I’m sure Graham will come up with something new, so we’ll see what he has in store for us, along with some exceptional catches near- and in- the end zone.