Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/21/14
Dimitar-berbatov
Dimitar Berbatov semi-literally took a page out of Keyshawn Johnson’s book. The Premier League figuratively took one out of the National Football League’s in response. The soccer star scored a goal for Fulham England’s Premier League on Wednesday. He celebrated by taking off his jersey and revealing a T-shirt containing a somewhat familiar handwritten message: “Keep Calm and Pass Me the Ball.” Referee Phil Dowd represented the long arm of the law and cautioned Berbatov for removing his jersey. Dowd didn’t have to show the 31-year-old a yellow card. He simply ignored the obvious humor and applied a strict interpretation of that law of the game. The NFL is commonly derided as the “No Fun League,” as players are often penalized for excessive touchdown celebrations and other displays of emotion that officials think goes too far. Berbatov’s message hearkens back to the days of yore (fall of 1997 to be exact) when Johnson, then a talented rookie wide receiver wrote a book titled Just Give Me the Damn Ball!: The Fast Times and Hard Knocks of an NFL Rookie. Berbatov’s situation is different from that great philosopher-receiver’s. Johnson was (and still is) the brash and outspoken type, who liked having a good time. The skillful Bulgarian has a reputation for being moody or even surly.  Earlier this week, Fulham manager Martin Jol described how he must handle Berbatov with care, according to the Mail. “If things are going well then everyone will be happy with him but if things are not going well then he can be unhappy,” Jol told a news conference. “He is used to winning games at the clubs where he was so we have to talk to him. He has to put in the same attitude and work-rate that he always did before.” Berbatov finally displayed a lighter side to his personality, and the league throws the book at him. Sometimes it’s best to give the people what they expect. It can be safer that way. Check out Berbatov’s T-shirt below. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag. Photo via Twitter/@Premier League
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Seahawks players think Russell Wilson isn’t "black enough"

Bill Belichick sent Darrelle Revis home yesterday as punishment

Report: Texas to pay scholarship athletes $10K per year

Report: Widespread academic fraud occurred at North Carolina

NHL postpones Senators/Leafs game after Ottawa shootings

Lions send player home from London after cutting him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Marshall on Jay Cutler: We're like brothers

NBA Board of Governors votes against NBA draft lottery reform

Jamaal Charles admits he hid concussion symptoms

Kobe Bryant on ESPN article: ‘I just kind of roll with it’

Georgia releases statement about Todd Gurley's status

Michigan QB talks about racist messages he receives

Porn star: No one parties harder than Sebastian Janikowski

Outrageous college football predictions: Week 9

World Series Game 2 Preview: Giants vs. Royals

Michigan St. fans troll Michigan campus, paint 'M' green

NFL MVP Watch Week 8: Is Manning still the King?

Fan blows $300 buying hot dogs for his section at World Series

Mo’ne Davis' Chevy commercial won't affect amateur status

WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

10 bold predictions for Week 8 of NFL season

WATCH: Arkansas St. RB scores improbable touchdown

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.