Football Zebras
ControversyLeague down-lows high five

League down-lows high five

Week 11: Titans at Texans

The NFL, prior to Thanksgiving, addressed a mini-controversy regarding a high-five gesture exchanged between Titans quarterback Vince Young and referee Jerome Boger (picture). Frankly, it was much ado about nothing, so I didn’t take time to post this until after the holiday.

There are several times where players have exchange pleasantries with the officials, and this does not compromise the objectivity of calling a fair game. In fact, we should see more of that to offset all of the arguing over calls.

The league has a perfectly logical explanation as to why it appeared that the two exchanged a high five, although I disagree with the “appearance of an inappropriate action” in their statement:

The signal for a dead ball (NFL rulebook)
The signal for a dead ball (NFL rulebook)

It was not Jerome Boger’s intent to exchange a high five with the player. It began with the referee making the proper administrative signal and resulted in the appearance of an inappropriate action.

As Vince Young took a knee on the game’s final play, Jerome Boger jogged in with his right arm in the air to signify the play was over. That is the proper administrative signal for the referee.

As Young turned around, he saw Boger approaching the line of scrimmage with his arm raised. As Boger moved toward the line of scrimmage, he started to bring his arm down. However, before he lowered his arm, Young, moving towards the referee, raised his own arm and the two exchanged what appeared to be a quick high five.

Perhaps Boger should have penalized himself 15 yards for excessive celebration.

Ben Austro
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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