Published: October 25, 2006
The NFL Competition Committee spends the first part of the NFL off-season reviewing rules and amending the ones they think have flaws. This past off-season the NFL Competition Committee added their usual amendments to the NFL rulebook, which included many rules that would help to protect the players that play this gladiator sport.
However, one of these rules seems to stick out like a sore thumb to fans and players everywhere.
The “Celebration Rule,” as it is often referred to, limits the activity of a player when celebrating, especially after a touchdown.
“I don’t like it,” Phill Jernigan, a PJC Pirate, said. “I think players should be able to [celebrate] how they want. Just as long as they are short celebrations, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
The rule as reported by nfldraft.scout.com states, “Individual players are prohibited from using foreign objects or the football while celebrating. They are also prohibited from engaging in any celebrations while on the ground. A celebration shall be deemed excessive or prolonged if a player continues to celebrate after a warning from an official. Previously, players were not prohibited from using props or celebrating on the ground.”
Players will be flagged with a 15-yard penalty when in violation of this new rule. The cause for the new rule change was almost certainly because the 2005 NFL season was blanketed with hundreds of end zone celebrations, many more than any other previous year.
Just six weeks into the NFL regular season, fans can already see the difference the new rule has made. Tracy Grant, a third-year PJC student, said, “I think the new rule is stupid. I definitely notice a big difference in the game and not for the better. It seems like all the players just toss the ball to the referee now after a touchdown instead of celebrating and touchdowns are meant to be celebrated. I mean, rubbing it in the other teams’ faces is the whole point of the game, and not being allowed to do that as you please is just stupid.”
Although some fans seem to think it’s the right of a team to taunt the other team after a score, other fans are a little more considerate of the other teams’ feelings.
“I think its great to celebrate after a touchdown but just don’t go overboard and purposely try to throw it in the other teams’ face,” said David Mullin a student at PJC. “The players in college football are not allowed to celebrate, so I think they should let them [do it] when they get in the NFL.”
Although the new celebration rule may have fans screaming and throwing things at their televisions and NFL players quietly walking to the locker room after making the game winning touchdown in a third overtime shootout, there is a dim light at the end of this very long celebration tunnel. The new rule can be changed if deemed necessary by the NFL Competition Committee in early February 2007. So until then NFL fans, try to enjoy watching football, and know that in as little as 17 weeks the world as we know it can be turned right side up again.