(photo: Schechter, Getty Images)
“Terrell Owens, of the Dallas Cowboys, poked fun at New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick when he leaned against the goal post and raised the football to his face as if he were videotaping with it.
Referees called a 15-yard penalty on Owens for using the goal post as a prop.” – L.A. Times 9/17/2007”
Mr. Owens then took both goal posts and put them on either side of the end zone, stood between them and recited Shakespeare, at which point he was assessed a 25-yard penalty for using the goal posts as a proscenium.
Later in the same game, upon scoring his third touchdown, Owens laid the posts on their sides so that the points were touching, thus creating a rectangle that could have been construed as being a movie screen, stood before them so as to be framed within it, and was assessed 20-yard penalty for using the goal posts to mimic the aspect ratio of a standard 35 mm film projection.
Although Owens complained about the call, League Commissioner Roger Goodell later defended the actions of the refs. “Although League rules confine their language specifically to the craft and art of the theatre, strictly regulating the use of stage properties, period costumes, and the various stage configurations historically associated with that delightful art form—including football in the round, thrust-stage football and “environmental” football, where the players actually engage the audience in an immediate, visceral experience by actually playing the game in the stands and dealing body-crushing blocks and tackles on the spectators—the spirit of the rules clearly include, by implication, film properties as well, including all of the accoutrements, accessories and technology of that magical and ultimately mysterious medium.”
“It was all in good fun,” said Owens, who was subsequently fined $500 for talking.