Celebration violations could be flagged and not fined

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Earlier this morning, I argued that the NFL should handle improper celebrations not with penalties imposed against the team but with fines imposed against the player. And, of course, the opposite is actually what may happen.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL actually may dump the fines but still throw penalty flags.

That approach would eliminate a large amount of the criticism that the NFL experiences, with the No-Fun-League no longer picking player pockets. Still, moving the kickoff point from the 35 to the 20 could have a major impact on a game. What if there’s a borderline celebration after a go-ahead touchdown late in a Super Bowl, resulting in the team that’s losing getting an enhanced chance at tying the game or winning it? (Under current rules, that should have happened at the end of Super Bowl XLIII.)

Also, a penalty for illegal celebrations essentially guarantees that there will be an extra kickoff return. With the NFL trying to legislate that play out of the game, that’s definitely a reason for penalty flags not to be thrown for celebration violations.

As a practical matter, this approach shifts the focus to the teams, and it gives the teams an even greater incentive to insist on compliance and accountability. With the league no longer punishing the player who celebrates in a manner that draws a flag, maybe the coach will be more willing to do so himself.

39 responses to “Celebration violations could be flagged and not fined

  1. NFL is so stupid.
    Love my team and 30+ years of watching but I hope ratings plummet and teach the owners and puppet goodell a lesson.

    Bring back the fun.

  2. So long as the player committing the act is wearing the correct color socks – which would result in a fine in the neighborhood of $15k.

  3. For goodness sake, just let them dance throw “grenades” that “explode” and “knock everybody over”. I like the creativity of a well planned celebration. Plenty of others do as well. People who don’t like it can start their bathroom break a few seconds earlier.

  4. It’s really not that hard…you don’t have to like the rule (I don’t, and the players obviously don’t), but you DO have to act accordingly.

    You can only control your own actions. Dont want the penalty? Don’t do an egregious dance after scoring. Problem solved!

  5. Literally no one cares about the celebrations. In fact, a lot of people enjoy them. I don’t get why the NFL is so hard up on this. Who are they trying to appease?

  6. The “look at me” culture that pervades the NFL conflicts with the predominantly conservative ownership and viewership ideas of heroes. Like most fans I think the game is about team – not individuals. The clash between the selfish individual and collective team cultures is at the heart of the dispute. If the NFL wants to promote the team (collective) ethic it has no choice but to penalize the team; if it wants to promote the individual spotlight it should punish the individual. While some revel in the “fun” aspect of the celebrations I find many repulsive containing political (or cultural) messages that are outside the game. Soon we will need to deal with “spontaneous” support of Kaepernick’s disrespect of the flag. While it will be unpopular on the message boards I believe the NFL has no option but to put standards in place – and enforce them. If a player disregards the standard penalize the team and let the team punish the individual.

  7. If they lighten up and cut the players a reasonable amount of slack on celebrations and that still gets violated then why not a penalty and a fine? But if the restrictions that exist now are kept in place it would be just another 15 yard penalty that could impact the outcome of a game. Over something as ridiculous as 3 pumps vs 2, smh

  8. Imagine if the NHL penalized players for celebrating goals. Is there any other pro sport that penalizes celebrating scores and big plays?

  9. “Stiller43 says:
    Mar 23, 2017 11:59 AM
    It’s really not that hard…you don’t have to like the rule (I don’t, and the players obviously don’t), but you DO have to act accordingly.”

    Maybe, maybe. Though the last part is kind of moot when people are already turning off their tvs because of not liking the rule. Players acting accordingly doesn’t mean much when fans aren’t watching at all.

  10. Judging by the number of thumbs down on posts that are pro celebration, I guess most fans don’t like celebrations either. I’m very surprised by that.

    For those of us old enough to remember Earl Campbell, I guess he should be the NFL example for what to do after scoring a TD. Show no emotion, gently set the ball down in the end zone and slowly walk back to the bench. Earl was even cool doing that, not sure that any other play could pull that off the way he did.

  11. The NFL’s stance on celebrations is so wrong on so many different levels. Let the players celebrate for crying out loud! It might improve their precious tv ratings. Impose a few simple rules: no direct taunting of the opposition; no sexual simulations, no props brought onto the field; and celebrations cannot exceed 15 seconds in duration. Penalties, not fines should be used.

    Funny how Tebow never got flagged for his nauseating Tebowing.

  12. One of the earliest celebrators I remember was Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. His dance was awesome. He would prolly be suspended under today’s rules. SMH

  13. Eject the players for excessive celebration.
    That would end this nonsense.
    Act like grown men.

  14. The fines are chump change to the players. A penalty would affect the entire team and may give the celebrating player pause before he goes off and does something really stupid.

    Best celebration? I loved Randy Moss using the vertical field goal upright as a stripper pole. LOL. Good times. What was your fave?

  15. I remember once when all we were waiting for is what T.O or OCHOCINCO would do after a TD, what kind of celebarations they would perform. This would actually bring more people to watch in anticipation of the newest creative TD celebration.

  16. This is the Full Metal Jacket approach: Sgt. Hartman made Private Pyle sit and suck his thumb while the rest of the platoon had to do extra marches, pushups etc… because Pyle kept messing up.

    One sock-party later and all was well.

  17. How about no fines or penalties unless the celebration is excessive enough to cause a delay of game.

  18. The celebrations are indented to be fun. You know like a game of football, when your out playing with your friends and you make a big play you get up and celebrate. The NFL is trying to kill individuality they want everyone to be the robots of sports. No individuals can be individuals, wear your uni the way we tell you, no different colored shoes, socks, sweatbands, no celebrations that aren’t just spiking the ball. Trying to police everything kills the game. Excessive celebration does nothing bad for the game, you don’t want players celebrating don’t sign that player to your team. Stop being afraid of players speaking there minds embrace it. Fans of teams with players that do elaborate celebrations typically love it, gets the stadium energized, the NFL keeps looking for ways to bring people to the stadium instead of watching it on tv the electric atmosphere of being there is what brings people there, stop dulling down the content.

  19. Soon they will be drafting players on how well they celebrate, the game has really gone to hell. Like to see if the league had coaches like Lombardi,Grant, and Landry how much celebrating would go on.

  20. Not a huge fan of some of the celebrations, but not opposed to them either. However, what if refs had the power to “eject” a player who crosses the line for the next set of downs/drive. No team penalty, no fine. Just a passing thought. I understand what “crosses the line” might be arbitrary…but it is already that way.

  21. I don’t mind the taunting/celebrations. Whenever I have a great Skype team call at the office I rip off my headset and throw it into the interns cube section. Then I get in their face and tell them how much better I am than them. It’s just part of competition and having fun!

  22. Everbody, just R E L A X! The NFL has built it’s viewer empire, us (on billion dollar tv and cable contracts) based on Entertainment which couples our intense team loyalty to the weekly thrills of victories and agonies of defeat. The NFL realizes this, I hope. The owners are not stupid stupid enough to kill the golden goose which is you and I, faithfully and religiously going to or watching the games from our living rooms.

  23. i am by no means an older man but even i cant stand these guys with their excessive nonsense.

    i watch to see you play not dance

  24. If you truly don’t want these prima donna’s doing the “look at me” endzone dance, it is a lot more simple than they are making it.

    No fines, No penalties…just don’t televise the celebration.

  25. I don’t really care for the celebrations myself, because about 90% of them are dumb, and now that Steve Smith is gone, that number will probably go up to around 95%. But I don’t particularly mind the celebrations either.

    I think, as long as the rule is clear about what is illegal, it’s fine. No props, no taunting an opposing player, no sexual gestures (which I don’t mind myself, but I suppose it’s a fair enough parameter). What we definitely don’t need is yet another instance in which it’s the referee’s discretion, and some bozo ref changes the outcome of a game because he thinks doing the chicken dance is going too far.

  26. No obscene gestures – the finger
    No dunking the goalpost or anything that would tile the goal post.
    No disrespcting other teams logo, mascot or physical player.
    No foreign object brought onto the field.
    No longer than 20 seconds

    10 yard penalty on kickoff

    Oh and allow players to throw the ball into the stands.

    Multi billion dollar sport can afford to buy a few more balls per game.

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