Prior to the 2017 regular season, many fans, including myself, rejoiced when the NFL decided to relax their stance on celebrations. For once, it seemed as if the NFL didn’t stand for the No Fun League. They were actually letting their players have fun playing a game!
Many teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, took part in some of those legendary celebrations last year. Everything from the team photo celebration to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Le’Veon Bell playing hide-and-seek, the league let players loose, but not everyone was a fan of these celebrations.
You can count Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin among those who isn’t a fan.
“It’s not a good look for young people,” Tomlin said Tuesday at the annual coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Young people aren’t allowed to celebrate in that way, so why should we?”
The funniest aspect of this entire scenario is how active the Steelers were in those team celebrations. Bell and Smith-Schuster orchestrated a ridiculous amount of celebrations, many which involved the entire team.
It shows a clear disconnect between Tomlin’s own personal beliefs, and him giving his players the freedom of utilizing the new rules.
“I don’t like it, personally, but we’ve relaxed the rules in that area,” Tomlin said. “It’s for the entertainment of the fans, so I respect it on that level. But personally, I don’t like it.
“It’s just my own personal feeling that young people can’t do it — kids can’t do it in high school games — so why do we?”
Tomlin does have a point, but a large majority of the fan base is likely to think about the attitude of the coach, and the actions of his team. Of course, everyone will point to Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, who wouldn’t even let Rob Gronkowski even talk about group celebrations, let alone allow his team to participate in them.
It all comes down to expectations and coaching styles, but Tomlin’s comments certainly raised some eyebrows with the fan base.