Don’t look down, Roger Goodell. The NFL is walking a pretty precarious tightrope this season as heinous acts by players and the damaging effects of football on the brain have left both fans and players uneasy about the future of the game. Parents and current players often say they don’t want their kids playing football due to the increased rick of CTE and some brave players are calling it quits early to protect themselves. Terrible acts committed by players already makes it hard to want to root for them but this season we are experiencing an extremely weak set of primetime games.
Now, the NFL has received a new moniker for their new rule banning “excessive” celebrations: the No Fun League. The new regulations have referees throwing flags for everything from touchdown dances, to sack dances, and celebrating a first down. For the last half century, American Football has taken the reins as America’s pastime. All of America gather in their jerseys at their local bar or at home to look up at their picture boxes and watch these athletic freaks of nature strategically bash each others brains in over a leather ball.
I love it. America loves it. But this feeling is waning.
Everything else is being rebooted, so why not the NFL? This sport is one of the biggest spectacles but we are taking out something that adds character to our teams and players. Football players are not the celebrities of yore. Players are having their personality drained right out of them as their freedom to express themselves on the field shrinks. I miss Joe Horn calling his mom from the end zone, Ochocinco with the hall of fame jacket, and what about T.O with the popcorn or the sharpie? It’s gone. These celebrations which added so much to the game have been dulled down to the level that this has become the ideal celebration.
At this rate the NFL is on its way to becoming as unwatchable as baseball. Granted, that’s a ways away but with less talent coming into the NFL in the next few years and with less spectacle, I don’t see the NFL thriving as it has in the past. With all these questions looming over the NFL, the biggest has to be how do we fix the NFL? Nobody seems to have an answer. Maybe its time Goodell asks JJ. Abrams for help. The brain damage has become a major blemish on the sport and the organization but I don’t have the medical know-how to give my input in fixing the NFL’s problem with long term brain damage. What I can complain about bringing back is the spectacle. Bring back touchdown celebrations. Sack celebrations too while we’re at it. Let players hide fireworks to shoot off when they score. Make the kickers do something weird whenever they make a kick (or maybe whenever they miss?). Spectacle needs to return. We need a team as fun to watch as the Golden State Warriors. What we really need is a Colin Kapernick of celebrationsWe need a Hingle McCringleberry.