Just when you thought it was safe to enter a National Football League stadium in hopes of enjoying yourself you can forget it.
The ‘No-Fun League’ has returned and I really could care less that the latest rule change was “already” on the books but wasn’t enforced.
As part of their usual rules’ changes at the NFL Owners’ Meetings the NFL once again tackled a most serious issue. Players will no longer be able to slam dunk the football over the crossbar of the goal posts. According to the NFL, this is a penalty that should have been called each and every time it has happened but for some reason it was not.
You can bet your bottom dollar it sure will be called now!
The reason it was supposed to have been a penalty is because the player is technically using the ball as a prop for his post touchdown celebration. This particular rule was brought in to end Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens’ persistent use of the ball as part of their TD rituals.
You might remember the ball being rolled like a bowling ball in an effort to knock over the pylon. Perhaps you’ll remember players using the ball as a fountain drink or to stand on as if a hailing conqueror.
I have no problem eliminating celebrations that target the opponent or are done purely to draw attention to one ’s self, but the post-TD slam dunk really doesn’t do either of those. It’s a single act of a player who everyone is watching anyway because he just scored.
I can accept arguments that if a guy scores, calls kinds of attention to himself and then goes and dunks it would be cause for a penalty. But I have no issue for a receiver who catches the touchdown and in the same motion finishes with a dunk.
What I would actually prefer to see is currently banned by the league. I would love to see the ‘fun bunch’ come back. For those of you who are too old to remember the Washington Redskins’ glory days in the 1980’s they had a group of receivers who always celebrated touchdowns together.
I never viewed this as mocking or taunting the opponent. I viewed as teammates celebrating a touchdown which back then especially didn’t happen as often as it does today.
Perhaps we need to consider a famous Jimmy Johnson quote from his days at the University of Miami. Johnson was asked about his players celebrating in the end zone and he said, “ If you don’t want them to celebrate then don’t let them score.”
Seems pretty simple to me.
Added Playoff Teams on Hold
Roger Goodell announced yesterday that while there is serious interest in adding one more playoff team to each conference there is still much to be considered. My own personal opinion is quite clear; I don’t like adding teams period because we don’t want the NFL to end up like the NBA or NHL where nearly half the teams qualify for the postseason.
The NFL still needs to examine how it would schedule playoff games with seven teams in per conference. With an odd number, that would almost have to mean that only one team would get a bye. Plus you have the issue of one team advancing on a Sunday and forced to play the following week on a Saturday. That could mean an unfair advantage in terms of teams having an extra day to prepare.
Perhaps Roger Goodell would be wise enough to just leave well enough alone. But then again that isn’t really his style.