Late in Thursday night’s game against the Rams, Michael Bennett of the Seahawks celebrated a sack by gyrating in a way that was quite undignified and suggestive. Since the NFL is the town from Footloose, he was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The celebration, however, broke a very clear rule — the three pump rule.
If you’re like me, you got this reference right away and did not need it explained to you by someone who stopped paying attention to pop culture 15 years ago, thus a feeling of humiliation washed over you like you haven’t felt since third grade. But if you’re not like me, the three pump rule references a Key & Peele sketch in which Hingle McCringleberry is whistled for excessive celebration because, yes, he pumped his groin area a third time.
Bennett’s three pumps brought great joy to Jordan Peele.
One note: Technically, Bennett didn’t get a penalty for this. There was also a defensive holding call on the play, which the Rams accepted because it moved the ball further down the field. The Rams declined the three pump penalty, probably because of the yardage thing, but maybe because they respected it too damn much.
All of this is indirectly and accidentally sad, as one play later, Bennett had to leave the game because he tackled Todd Gurley so hard it gave him a concussion. If Bennett had only pumped twice, the Rams would have punted and injury could have been avoided. Pumping three times is all fun and games until you’re playing a team with such a bad offensive line that you get in the backfield so fast you’re not fully ready to tackle someone and you crack your jaw on a running back’s shoulder pads.
That concussion is Key & Peele’s fault.