At no point will I ever pretend to understand why the NFL is the way it is, or why it does the things it does. But even this is a bit beyond even the most ridiculous of sporting bureaucratic fantasy plays.

League officials have smacked a Baltimore Ravens defender with a fairly whopping five-figure fine for the apparent “crime” of drinking a beer with fans after sealing a win.

Defender Marcus Peters helped the Ravens break up a pivotal late-game play from the Buffalo Bills last week, preventing the Bills from converting on 4th down and effectively shutting the game down with a shade over one minute left of the clock.

Following that, Peters zeroed in on a small group of Ravens fans in attendance at the Bills home stadium New Era Field, where he grabbed an ice cold froth dog from a fan and proceeded to pour it into the vague vicinity of his mouth, Stone Cold Steve Austin-style.

That act, would you believe, was enough to score Peters a USD$14,037 (or around $20,428 in the local dime) fine for “unsportsmanlike conduct”: a lovely catch-all rule the NFL applies to virtually any action that isn’t shutting up and toeing the line.

Peters, for his part, seems entirely non-plussed about the issue, tweeting out a series of cheers emojis, and even managing to turn the whole thing positive thanks to a very charitable gesture from Bud Lite, who keep hitting these NFL-related PR opportunities out of the dang park. Dilly dilly, and so on.

Fined for drinking a beer, but. Insane scenes. If you applied that across all codes the sports of cricket and golf would cease to be literally overnight.

Let the man drink, you fools!

Image: Getty Images / Timothy T Ludwig