On the ground celebrations, using the ball as a prop and group demonstrations are all once again allowed by the National Football League showing that even that most curmudgeonly professional sport in America has some common sense.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent an email to fans today explaining why the league is reversing it’s recent decisions to ban any sort of fun from the game. He also outlined that the three things I mentioned above would not be perfectly acceptable. I cannot tell you just how right this decision is by Goodell and he should at long last be applauded for bringing back some basic common sense to the game.
While these types of celebrations will not be penalized any longer, they still could have a bearing on a game. With the NFL instituting a new “play clock” of 40 seconds after a score, players will still need to celebrate and then get their respective behinds off the field. With that said however, this is a great move by the NFL.
Goodell cited conversations with over 80 current and former players who told the Commissioner it was time to let the players have some fun again and I think it can be done the right way too. Celebrating as a team and being demonstrative away from the opponent is vital in making this work. Part of the reason the celebrations became more and more restrictive was due to players taunting and showing up the opposition. That still won’t be allowed nor should it. Lengthy celebrations and those that are deemed ‘suggestive’ or ‘inappropriate’ are still not allowed either.
Scoring touchdowns should be about celebrating with your teammates because football is the ultimate team game. I look forward to seeing offensive linemen be part of celebrations again and I look forward to what guys like Antonio Brown will cook up for when they score (as long it has the required amount of hip thrusts). Just because the game of football requires discipline doesn’t mean it cannot be fun.
Kudos to the NFL for righting this wrong and for allowing these men to treat football as it was always supposed to be treated; like a game!