Well, this was just ridiculous. Halfway through the second quarter of the Miami Dolphins-Oakland Raiders Sunday night game, an official popped Raiders tight end Lee Smith with a 15-yard personal foul penalty. Problem was, as Smith protested, “I was just kidding around!”
Hold up, Lee Smith got hit with a personal foul for what now? pic.twitter.com/GYHrVSWYm5
— Marshall Hughes (@marshallhughes) November 6, 2017
Replays after the play showed that, yes indeed, Smith was mock-leaping at Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godcheaux after the play was over. But it was clearly a goof; Smith was leaping in the air with no intent other than to play around with Godcheaux. Apparently, however, an official didn’t see it that way, and Oakland got dinged with a 15-yard penalty. (It didn’t end up harming the Raiders; they would go on to score later in the possession.)
The penalty was reminiscent of one called earlier this year when the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller joked around with the Buffalo Bills’ Tyrod Taylor yet still got tagged for 15 yards. It’s penalties like this, that have neither purpose nor merit, that give the NFL its “No Fun League” rep. Yes, busting on referees is an easy practice. But this time around, it’s warranted; heaven forbid anyone playing this game be allowed to have any kind of fun.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.