Darrick’s Rant of the Week #2: Bring Back NFL Touchdown Celebrations

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… (cue Star Wars opening music):

(I encourage you to play this as you listen to my opening paragraph)


We knew of a football league that allowed for some of the most outlandish, outrageous and outstanding post-touchdown celebrations. We relished to watch every game featuring these creative masterminds with hopes that we could be lucky enough to see them score a TD that game and to see what trick they had up their sleeve that day. We watched the most unique dance moves, the best impersonations and the best prop usage since the WWE…. THEN (end opening music, Cue Sith music):

(No I will not be linking that as well….what you want me to? Okay, okay fine. You don’t have to play it for long though, I have other things to show you other than Star Wars music! C’mon!)

Roger Goodell and his ragtag crew of fun-stealing bandits began slowly stealing away one of the most enjoyable portions of the NFL. In 2004, the NFL first began adopting the 15-yard penalty for “excessive celebrations.” This penalty was in addition to fines for choreographed or multiplayer celebrations like the infamous Joe Horn hidden cell phone trick.  Then, in 2009, owners voted 29-3 that the NFL would no longer allow any celebration that exceeded simple ones such as Lambeau leaps, spins, dances, etc. would still be allowed. This made celebrations like Chad Johnson’s and Terrell Owen’s usage of props and other areas of the field, illegal. Great touchdown celebrations, like the ones in this video, were slowly but surely being killed off – no more cell phones, no more sharpies, no more pylons as golf clubs, no more proposing to cheerleaders. What has this world come to?

The rules continued to mount as the NFL then outlawed “leaving your feet” at any stage of a touchdown celebration in order to avoid both a penalty and a fine. The NFL has never officially ruled out the TD celebration, but they have made it so expensive to do it even when the fans love it – this way, few people consider taking the chance. So no props, no leaving your feet (this even includes flips), no going anywhere off of the field to do anything.

I understand the NFL wanted to mount a crusade of eliminating the presence of showboating and to maximize professionalism in the NFL, but at the end of the day: Isn’t the NFL all for the entertainment of the fans? If the fans (like myself) love watching players celebrate after touchdowns, then why are you letting teams that complain about it (simply because they’re mad he’s showboating after just burning their shitty secondary for a 80 yard touchdown) dictate the direction of how the NFL manages it.

The NFL didn’t experience a decrease in ratings, performances of players or overall quality of play as a result of this trend – so why outlaw every aspect that can add some flare to a touchdown celebration? Now, the best we can get is a championship belt from Aaron Rodgers or a shirt-tear from Cam Newton:

(Jump to :24 for the dance + shirt tear)

No offense to these moves. In fact, they’re still popular among fans and myself, but they pale in comparison to what we used to be able to get as rewards for watching the best of the best touchdown celebrators.  Look at the State Farm commercials Aaron Rodgers got as a result of Rodgers’s move:

Here’s what I want NFL fans and fans of mild forms of showboating around the world: cut the crap NFL. Give the fans back what they loved: touchdown celebrations. You’ve tried to create a more professional environment and that’s great and all, but the NFL is for entertainment, not to remind us of always remaining professional around-the-clock and living in a “fishbowl.” We watch the NFL to get a release from our everyday lives of professionalism, there’s nothing wrong with a dance here or stealing a cameraman’s camera there.

BRING BACK WHAT WE LOVE!!!!!!! I can’t be the only one who misses this stuff!

Enjoy and sincerely from all NFL fans:

Screw you Roger Goodell

This Rant is Over


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