Why did the NFL decide this year to ease up on celebration penalties? The league’s former head of officiating says it’s about reaching a younger audience.
Dean Blandino, who left the league office to join FOX this month, told Colin Cowherd that the league wants to make sure it’s not too stuffy for millennials
“I think that part of it is trying to reach the millennial and this new age of fans and having more fun,” Blandino said. “And there was a committee, I was part of that committee with different people at the league office in looking at our game, looking at in-game downtime, looking at how our fans watch the game, looking at eye-tracking technology and where their eyes are going.”
Blandino said the league has been talking for some time about needing to change its image among younger fans, and the movement to revise the celebration penalties began before this offseason.
“It definitely has been something that’s ramped up,” Blandino said. “I would say it started even earlier than six to 12 months. This has probably been two to three years in the making.”
The early indications are that the NFL’s strategy worked. The feedback from fans to the relaxed celebration rule has been positive.