The NFL, in my opinion, is the best sport in the world. It is a violent game played by phenomenal athletes, who by the way, get paid handsomely for it. Every year the NFL Competition Committee comes up with new rules to “improve” the game. For instance, this year, they got rid of the 5-yard facemask penalty. Now it’s either a 15-yard personal foul, or incidental contact and no penalty…what genius came up with that one?
My biggest gripe, though, is the 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration after a Touchdown is scored (I know this isn’t a new rule, but they are now putting more emphasis on it). I, for one, like to be entertained. These are young men, playing a contact sport, with many emotions and adrenaline flying through their bodies. So, after a TD is scored, why not let them have their fun and dance around a bit? It’s fun…it’s entertaining! Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a good celebration, but I do not condone taunting or showing up the other team. Some guys are ridiculous; they celebrate after a simple tackle, or a catch for a first down. That is a little much…but yet again doesn’t deserve a flag.
There have been many great TD celebrations…Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Earnest Givens and his “electric slide”, the Ickey Shuffle, the Mile High Salute (my least favorite, as I thought it was taunting the other team), the Lambeau Leap, Deion Sanders (Prime Time), Terrell Owens (too many to list), etc…you get the idea. Were they not entertaining? Was it not fun to watch and see what was next? I think so! But the N(o)F(un)L(eague) had to step in and stop it. Done…no more fun!
This rule has taken some of the enjoyment out of the game…we pay good money to see the games…let us be entertained. For example, Terrell Owens got a flag for his Usain Bolt (Olympic Sprinter) impersonation (he put his knee on the ground to simulate the start of a race), but other players don’t get flagged for putting their knee down to “pray”. This rule is too ambiguous.
One opinion is if you don’t want them to do the dance, then don’t let them score the TD! On the other hand, there is something to be said about handling yourself with class and dignity, ala Barry Sanders. Mr. Sanders scored many touchdowns in his playing days. After scoring a TD, he would simply hand (or toss) the ball to the closest referee and go to the sidelines and be congratulated by his teammates. In other words…act like you’ve been there before, and you plan on returning there again! Either way, The No Fun League should let the players decide what is appropriate!