Is the NFL really becoming the “no fun league?” Recently the NFL announced that dunking the football over goal post will result in a penalty. Some may think that the goal post dunks started with TE Tony Gonzalez but it actually began with former Cowboys linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson.
In 1975, Henderson ran a 97 yard TD and slammed it. It wouldn’t be the only time he did it either.VIDEO of HENDERSON I watched that Henderson dunk as a young child and thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw.
How does Henderson feel about the rule change? In March he commented on twitter:
“The dunk over goal post I created week 2 1975 after running 97 yards for TD is a penalty now. Good. Commentators never gave me credit anyway”
Now that comment is classic Henderson. Love to see after all these years and at 61, Thomas from Austin, Texas still has the swag that earned him the nickname “Hollywood” back in the day. Hollywood wasn’t a typical Tom Landry kind of player as he marched to his own beat for sure. A “character” some would call him but he went by Hollywood.
Why the rule change? We can likely thank Saints TE Jimmy Graham who caused a major delay last season in a Thursday night game against the Falcons when he bent the crossbar with a dunk. Graham has kind of ruined it for everyone else so we may refer to it as the “Jimmy Graham rule” next time someone does it and is penalized.
Henderson didn’t bend the crossbar and since he played defense, he surely didn’t get as many opportunities as Graham does playing in the pass happy Saints offense. In my view, Henderson’s celebratory dunks were justified since he didn’t see the endzone very often.
Some may recall that as a linebacker Henderson was an outstanding KO returner. Coach Mike Dikta would call a reverse on the KO which gave the ball to Henderson behind a wall of blockers along the sideline. It was a thing of beauty to watch unfold. He ran it to perfection with his amazing 4.3/40 speed.
Henderson was drafted as part of the “dirty dozen” of 1975. Referring to 12 rookies who made the team and helped Dallas make it to super bowl X.
Henderson’s NFL career was short as he developed a cocaine addiction that became his downfall. Happy to report that he has been clean since 1983.
In 2000, Henderson won the Texas Lotto of $28 million dollars. When asked by the Dallas Morning News what he does every day having won the lottery, Henderson responded, “Not a damn thing, and I don’t start that until after lunch.”
Now that’s classic Henderson.