clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Roger Goodell finally loosens the reins on NFL celebration penalties

New, comments

One of the most welcome rule changes includes laxer celebration penalties, meaning that player expressions could be better than ever

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL announced a bunch of expected but not insignificant rule changes on Tuesday, including a shorter overtime period, the elimination of the 75 man roster and BAH GAWD THEY CHANGED THE CELEBRATION RULES!

In a letter to fans that reads like it was authored by a cyborg, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (so, yeah) announced that the league will be relaxing on celebration penalties in 2017. You know what that means... more of this:

Just kidding. This celebration would likely fall into the “offensive demonstrations” category, which, along with celebrations “that prolong the game” or celebrations “directed at opponents,” are still expressly outlawed. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Acceptable celebrations include group demonstrations (awesome), using the football as a prop (also awesome) and celebrating on the ground (which puts post-touchdown snow angels back in play, so, again, awesome).

Fortunately, it appears as if Goodell and his gaggle of cronies have finally recognized what 80 percent of all football fans (and 100 percent of all football players) truly desire: the ability to properly enjoy expressions of jubilation.

Of course, Goodell’s lax celebration policies have been met with resistance from NFL traditionalists, including Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

“I’m not for that at all,” Lewis said of the change. “We had a good standard, and the whole standard has always been, you want to teach people how to play the game the correct way and go about it the correct way, and that’s not a very good example for young people.”

You know, the guy who drafted Joe Mixon is right! The NFL does have a standard to uphold, and the man who is responsible for coaching (and defending the on- and off-field actions of) Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict is absolutely the man who should be at the forefront of that fight! We can’t afford to have SELFISH MILLENNIALS like Antonio Brown out there cutting up a rug. What will become of the children?

Anyway, the fact that Goodell has backed off of his borderline militant celebration policy is pretty cool, and it is definitely encouraging that he actively sought players’ input when making this decision. Not all PR has to be bad PR, Rog.

Maybe now that we have some clarification as to what constitutes a suitable celebration, the league can finally go ahead and decide what does and what does not make a catch.