Drew Brees came into Monday night’s home game against Washington needing 201 yards to break Peyton Manning’s career passing yardage record of 71,940* yards. He could’ve dinked and dunked his way to the record, but fuck that—in the second quarter, with his team already up 20–6, Brees unloaded a long ball down the right sideline to Tre’Quan Smith. Break it in style!
A happy Saints celebration on the field was followed by an awkward NFL celebration, where Brees received some kind of dipshit laminated certificate commemorating the moment, and then handed the record-setting football to Hall of Fame president C. David Baker:
But however preplanned the ceremony may have been, it still apparently ran afoul of the NFL’s rules against having a good time and enjoying success. In perhaps the most NFL moment in NFL history, a ref flagged the Saints for excessive celebration, and they were hit with a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff:
Joe Tessitore’s incredulity is perfect. It’s one of the signature records in football, and the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame participated in the celebration, and it still drew a friggin’ flag. Never change, NFL.
UPDATE: Kevin Seifert of ESPN says the penalty was called on Tre’Quan Smith for taunting, and was not for excessive celebration: