University of California, Davis sophomore Trent Tompkins was at the forefront of a big upset over Idaho on Saturday. In the process, he was flagged for a completely reasonable college football touchdown celebration.
It was super lame.
Tompkins, who is listed as a quarterback on the roster, does a little bit of everything. He plays wide receiver and running back, he lines up in the wildcat, and he even returns kicks on occasion.
At exactly 6-foot-0, Tompkins is slippery and hard to bring down. That was the case early in the second quarter against Idaho as he scored from one-yard out.
The quarterback sent Tompkins into motion from split-out on the right side, he took the handoff and punched it in on something of a counter play inside the B-gap. As Tompkins crossed the goal line, the Vandals defender wrapped him up and needlessly spun him around in the end zone.
It could have very easily been called an unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense, if the officiating crew was being ticky tacky. Instead, the chippiness was rightfully let go.
In response to the extra post-touchdown contact, Tompkins turned back and mocked the Idaho defender with the classic "keep talking" hand signal.
All of that behavior was deemed acceptable by the officials. Rather, it was not deemed unacceptable.
UC Davis was not penalized. Nor was Idaho.
That's when the referee decided to make things all about himself. He decided that the fun was over.
Tompkins, after chirping the defender, stepped away from the hullabaloo and celebrated his touchdown by himself. To do so, he hit a very harmless Michael Jackson-esque dance move.
That's when the penalty came in. The official immediately threw his flag.
Remember, the rag-dolling in the end zone was fine. The hand signal taunting was fine.
Neither instance warranted a call. But one little "hee hee" did.
That is where the referee drew the line. That was too far. A leg kick and a slight hip thrust.
U.C. Irvine went on to win so the penalty was negligible, but that doesn't mean it is any less lame.