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NFL's biggest win of 2017 was relaxing celebration rules
smithlucky (IP Logged)
29 December, 2017 01:59
A season of electric slides, potato-sack relays and "duck, duck, goose" proved one overriding point for the NFL: Big problems really can be solved. I'm only half-joking. Maybe you enjoyed some of the elaborately planned celebrations that players have performed after scoring touchdowns or making big plays this season. Perhaps it wasn't your thing. But if nothing else, the NFL successfully walled off a self-inflicted source of damaging criticism by relaxing its unsportsmanlike conduct rules to reflect the reality of modern entertainment.
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The annual "No Fun http://www.officialphilliesshops.com/WOMENS-CHUCK-KLEIN-JERSEY.html League" narrative largely vanished and was instead replaced -- appropriately -- by smiles, fun debates and the occasional internet dash to Google the references. After a season of strife that included player protests and fundamental problems with the concussion protocol, the effective elimination of a negative might qualify as the NFL's biggest accomplishment of 2017.
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The league spent an exorbitant amount of working hours on the issue last winter, speaking to more than 80 current and former players about how to preserve sportsmanship while jettisoning rules that forced flags for harmless celebrations. In 2016, for example, players were penalized for making snow angels, for cradling the Glenn Robinson Womens Jersey ball like a baby and imitating an NBA routine popularized by Kevin Garnett and LeBron James.
The answer was modest but highly effective. The NFL emptied three "buckets" of illegal acts: Players can now use the ball as a prop, go to the ground during a routine and once again engage in group celebrations that highlighted the childhood of many adult fans. It was a modest step, and, frankly, I'm not sure whether officials expected players to take it to the extent they have. Commissioner Roger Goodell used the word "spontaneous" in a letter to fans announcing the change, but the premeditated creativity some players have employed has belied that expectation.
It's difficult to quantify the impact. The expansion of celebrations hasn't reversed problems such as the NFL's broadcast ratings slide, nor should it have been expected to. But it's worth noting that both taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties have dropped back http://www.officialnewyorkislanders.com/Adidas-Clark-Gillies-Jersey to normal levels after spiking in 2016. Taunting fouls have dropped by about 45 percent from over the same period last year, according to the ESPN Stats & Information penalty database. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, which include but span more than illegal celebrations, are down about 22 percent.
If nothing else, that reduction represented a tangible decrease in opportunities for fans and outside observers to ridicule the league for avoidable displays of misplaced morality and tortured explanations. Over time, that criticism conjured a narrative that squarely placed the NFL on a needless defensive.
As most of us already knew, celebrations (with reasonable limitations) haven't led to weekly on-field brawls or the debasement of youth sportsmanship. It has been notable, in fact, how many of the celebrations have drawn inspiration from children's games or otherwise kid-friendly sources -- from the Vikings' leapfrog to the Steelers' reenactment of the "Elf" snowball fight to the Falcons' red light/green light celebration.
Along the way, the world continued to turn on its axis and it was -- gasp! -- fun to see what would spawn in the minds of today's players. In some cases, an expansion of legal celebrations almost assuredly prompted a shift away from what was still illegal. Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, for instance, largely dropped "twerking," which the NFL still considers a sexually suggestive dance. The transition has not been perfect, of course. For one, we still see a silly flag every now and then. Permission to use the ball as a prop did not extend to other parts of the field, so officials had no choice but to penalize Seattle Hau'oli Kikaha Womens Jersey Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman for jumping into a Salvation Army kettle in Week 16.
Meanwhile, it's obvious that some teams and/or coaches have either opted out or discouraged the orchestration. After New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Brandin Cooks celebrated rodeo-style in Week 12, Gronkowski insisted unprompted that it "wasn't planned" and added: "We got yelled at. We're not allowed to talk about celebrations."
I'm surprised that more coaches didn't put the kibosh on celebrations, especially after the Steelers drew a delay-of-game foul in Week 2 after a celebration. The mark-off forced coach Mike Tomlin to scrap plans for a two-point conversion. But even some of the NFL's crustiest coaches have sat back and watched Womens Tennessee Titans Jersey their players entertain. Mike Zimmer's Vikings, for example, http://www.authenticseattlemarinersshop.com/Jarrod-Dyson-Jersey conjured up "duck, duck, gray duck," among others. Zimmer embraced a reasonable approach, one the league should never have lost when it started filling its rulebook with celebration restrictions. "If we score a lot of touchdowns," Zimmer said, "I'll jump in with them."
In all sincerity, the NFL should be pleased with the outcome of this modest initiative. As it girds for an offseason of addressing much more significant problems, it can be guided by an easy lesson: Common sense is always a good path to follow. Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys From China NHL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Nike NFL Jerseys 2016 NFL Jerseys Nike


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