The New NFL Celebration Penalties Are Good For The Game

JJ Watt saluting after a sack (picture via

JJ Watt saluting after a sack (picture via

The NFL preseason is underway and many teams have completed their first week of action. And as expected, there was a bunch of sloppy play. Plenty of players were jumping offsides, holding and committing all kinds of silly infractions. But the preseason play and sloppiness are not the main things that fans seem to be complaining about. During the offseason, the NFL added some changes to the rules. One big change involves the celebration of sacks and other big plays when directed toward the opponent. Taunting players is something that the NFL is trying to discourage, so when a player is deemed to be taunting an opponent through dancing, spinning or spiking the ball in front of another player, a flag will be thrown.  When this rule was first explained, most assumed it meant that all players would be flagged if they danced or celebrated a touchdown or big play, when that is not the case at all. Even with that, some feel the NFL is going overboard with their crackdown on things. But when you really look at it, the rule makes perfect sense.

More times than not, kids are taught to use good sportsmanship on the field. And when they are not following the rules, they get in trouble, penalized or get taken out of the game. Aspiring football players pay attention and listen to their coaches for the most part, but they also watch the league where they aspire to be: the NFL. Imagine a kid making a big play and jumping in another player’s face because he thinks that is the thing to do. He would surely get in trouble for doing something like this. But his reasoning may be that he saw it on the television and thought it was ok. Whether we like it or not, kids can idolize and mimic just about anything. So by penalizing the unsportsmanlike thing they may see, it will help them to understand that some things are unacceptable on the football field.

In many situations on the football field, people can get into heated arguments. Those heated arguments can go on for the entire game between players and even teams. And when big plays happen, someone could take it to the next level and taunt the other team or player. When that happens, you run the risk of some violence breaking out on the field and that would be a black eye for the league. Just one incident spiraling out of control could cost the NFL sponsorship money and that’s what they don’t want. Eliminating or discouraging taunting takes out that element of violence that could happen and it makes for a cleaner game.

Rules are rules. No matter how much folks complain about them, they are not going to change because the fans want them to. And quite honestly, once the rules are actually explained, they really are not that bad. The overreaction to them has been interesting to observe. Hopefully after everyone has calmed down, they will understand the rules and the extreme talks of not watching NFL football will go away.

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7 Responses

  1. cj

    Let them celebrate. Just cause kids may copy it doesn’t mean you take fun away from the game. Are you serious?

    Don’t taunt or celebrate after a big play? Spiking the ball is awesome Brady did it for years and there’s no guarantee kids won’t do it anyway. “no taunting” what a joke.

    Such a kindergarten country we’re becoming

    • Let taunting lead to something bad happening on the field and then you might have a different story.

    • Besides, the NFL did not say they couldn’t celebrate big plays.

  2. Well, I’d say let them celebrate! In the NFL, there are players from all walks of life..many come from an urban environment where poverty and crime go hand and hand. Making it from college to the pros is a dream come true! So..let’em long as its not offending a player on the opposing team!

  3. Lets not use the kids as an excuse to police up the No Fun League. These athletes are professional and not role model no matter who looks up to the parents, parent and coaches, coach. Our society is the way it is because we all look to other to solve our problem because it’s never our fault

    • Not using the kids as an excuse here. Whether we like it or not, kids are influenced by what they see. In a sense, they do see some of these figures as role models. Just how it is.



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