NFL cracks down on grandstanding


The National (US) Football League adopted a 15-yard penalty for pre-planned celebrations, such as last year’s “phone call from the end zone” or 2002’s “autographed football“. Apparently, the existing monetary fines weren’t having much of an effect on players with multi-million-dollar contracts. (Surprised?) So now the league is going to hit them where it hurts: On the field.

I found it odd that the players weren’t penalized under existing rules for having unauthorized equipment on the field.

So does this mean that teams will be penalized for keeping champagne on ice in anticipation of winning a championship? That certainly counts as a pre-planned celebration, doesn’t it?

Perhaps teams which win a championship game now must “spontaneously” send somebody out to the local liquor store to buy a few cases of bubbly once the game ends.

Comments (11)
  1. Tony Cox says:

    Except the penalty is for foreign objects on the field during the game. Champagne on ice is typically (a) not on the field, and (b) after the game.

    Excessive celebrations after scores in the middle of the game is rude to the other team, and frankly unsporting. If it were me, I’d just eject players for unsportsmanlike conduct.

  2. ZirakZigil says:

    I find nothing wrong with grandstanding, though I do agree foreign objects on the field are a problem (as is holding up a game).

    This isn’t little league, and it’s not about the game. It’s about putting on entertainment and loads and loads of moola. I say let them be as rude as they like to the other team in the form of grandstanding – do you think that trash talking doesn’t happen on the line?

    I miss the days when it seemed like every RB and WR had their signature touchdown dance.

  3. Dennis says:

    It’s sports. It’s entertainment. What a bunch of corporate stuffed shirts. Next thing we know, the players will be wearing suits.

  4. Tony Cox says:

    "It’s sports. It’s entertainment."

    And I think that’s the problem right there. Entertainment for the spectators should be a welcome side-effect, not the raison d’etre of sports. Watching a bunch of overpaid babies competing to see who can be the biggest asshole on national television is something I expect from Celebrity Survivor, not sports teams.

  5. Dennis says:

    Well, I’m a non-sports-watching geek, so I guess I just don’t get it…so can you tell me what purpose professional sports serve in society, other than entertaining spectators?

    I mean, amateur sports I understand. That’s people on the field playing the game for their own enjoyment. But why do we pay people to do it, if not to entertain spectators?

  6. Tony Cox says:

    Originally, professional sports was a matter of pride for the town or country where the athletes came from. This goes back to ancient Greece – towns would put up their champions to compete in sporting events, and those champions would often be paid. Yes, the spectacle was important, but it was more about civic or national pride.

    Back in the day, being ‘sportsmanlike’ was something to take pride in, even for professionals. It seems that we’re losing that, and I think it’s a shame.

  7. Mat says:

    Larry Fitzgerald — I’m a big fan. He scores a touchdown, hands the ball to the ref, high fives a guy and runs off the field.

    Look, that’s not how it is anymore, and frankly, I don’t mind a little fun. But delaying the game is a delay-of-game. 5 yards. Illegal equipment is 15, or an ejection at the discretion of the referee.

    Like all legislative bodies, the NFL rules committee did the norm. Rather than make sure current rules are enforced, write more of them.

    Call what’s in the books, consistently.

    I have to admit, the sharpie was f’n hilarious. He should have been tossed, but it would have been worth it still. The Joe on-the-Horn phone, thumbs-down.

    It’s fun, but WWE it’s not.

  8. Mike Dunn says:

    Watch the AFL, its season is going on right now. More touchdowns, and they encourage celebrations.

  9. gerrard says:

    I think professional sports serve as inspiration to excel. Think about the years of dedication and hard work it takes to perform at the highest level of any activity. Add to that the incredible competition that comes with huge amounts of money being on the table. It might sound silly, but watching someone do nearly impossible things with grace makes me feel better about the human race.

  10. sgtrock says:

    Tony Cox:

    "Originally, professional sports was a matter of pride for the town or country where the athletes came from."

    How is this anything like modern US sports, where players come from all over the world, and teams change cities when they don’t get a new stadium or enough tax breaks?

    Sports is entertainment for you and me, period. Entertainment is a massive revenue stream for the suits, period. Entertainers want us tied to the tube so they can make money from the networks that buy their content, and the networks want us watching the entertainment (this includes the news, BTW) so they can show us ads.

    The notion that it serves some "nobler purpose" in mankind is pure bunk, but the suits sure do love you for it. :)

  11. Alec Soroudi says:

    Yes NFL games are for entertainment, but, the rules are there for a reason. While you are not allowed to overly boast a good play in the other teams face (like throwing down the ball at the feet of an opposing player) because it is unsportsmanlike, and hurts the other teams feelings, there is a much more tangible reason for it.

    You have to remember (or realize) that humans are getting more and more aggressive as time goes by. Think about it this way… Team A makes a good play, member 1 (lets call him @) of team A throws the ball down at member 1 of team B (lets call him #) and does an "IN-YOUR-FACE!" dance AT him. # becomes infuriated. After the game (or maybe even DURING the game), # attacks @ (maybe with a weapon), and possibly kills him. Also, the other members, fans, and so on of the teams could get into the fray and now you have dozens of people viciously fighting, and a riot breaks out and people die.

    The rules were not just made by unfeeling "suits", they were made by people who are aware of current society in the hopes of avoiding more violent crimes by professional athletes. We’ve all seen more than enough of that as it is.

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