A Few NFL Rule Changes: The Good and the Bad

A few new administrative rule changes are going into effect in 2017, and like most of what the NFL tries, some are good and some are bad.

First the bad rule change, and the one where many of you will disagree with me:   The NFL is relaxing its touchdown celebration rules.   Snow angels, using the ball as a prop in a celebration dance, and group celebrations, for example, are all now allowed.

So why is this bad?   It all lacks professionalism.

When you do something well at work and accomplish a weekly goal, do you hug your laptop?  Do you get together with your team and dance?  No, of course not, you are a professional doing your job.   THAT’s what the NFL needs to instill in their players.   You’re not an 19-year-old kid in college anymore.   You are a professional, and you’re held to a higher standard.

Most people argue that watching the TD celebrations is entertaining, but I must disagree.   It’s embarrassing.

Watching grown men gyrate is not entertaining.  Watching Jarvis Landry jump onto a goal post and hump it?  Disgusting.  Watching a group of adults huddle together in the end zone to perform a rehearsed, orchestrated and choreographed dance routine?  No, thank you.   I have always preferred to see the scorer simply hand the ball to the ref.  “Act like you’ve been there before” instead of acting like a fool.   It’s far more professional.

Even when you DO celebrate something, do you act like such a tool like a lot of NFL players?  Probably not.   Nothing wrong with an emphatic high-five or a chest bump.  But to form a dance troupe with your buddies?  Do you twerk with other men?    And then to have NFL fans actually WANT to see that?  I do not get it.

The worst part of all is that the NFL is now allowing this nonsense for non-TDs.   Make a tackle?  Get up and dance.  Push a guy out of bounds? Spike the ball.    Gain 2 yards on a rushing play?  Go ahead and do a back flip.   Where does it end?   This culture of wanting recognition and celebrations for doing your job has to end.

Now onto the good rule change.   Teams will now be allowed to bring back two players from the injured reserve.   So when Mike Pouncey and Reshad Jones get hurt in Week 2, they will no longer be automatically out for the year.    This is a very overdue rule change, and a very fair one.

If someone is hurt in September, you have the right to say, “He may be ready to play again in December, but we’re not sure.”    Now you can finally say that and have the ability to bring him back if he is healthy.   In the past, it was either I.R. him for the entire season, who keep him on the active roster, even though you know he can’t play.   Neither of those made any sense.


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  1. IR was a nice adjustment as it was stupid this is a tough sport they could also add a few more spots and give everyone a chance to send out a better lineup. Every league has a farm team that can be used but other teams can pillage yours that doesn’t make sense either.

    Celebrating I get your point I can live with some of it but sometimes it’s ridiculous. Problem is where do you draw the line…

  2. Yeah I’m not a fan of excessive celebrations and to think the NFL is relaxing its stance is a turnoff for me. I don’t want to relive the Ickey Woods Shuffle or the Dion Sanders dance. These guys have worked their entire lives to become professional athletes only to dumb it down when they do their job. Just doesn’t add up- at least to me anyway. Oh and we all know Pouncey will get hurt again buy why Rashad Jones? 😃

  3. I have to disagree with admin on the celebration. For many fans and myself included celebrations make the game fun to watch. Also if a defense/offense doesn’t want to see a particular player whose known for elaborate celebrations, celebrate than don’t let him make that play. Yes millions of Americans every week complete their weekly goals without celebrating but to be fair scoring a TD in the NFL is a lot harder than turning in a report. Also with the whole act like you’ve been there before that’s a good point. For example Calvin Johnson was for a while the best WR in football and probably the best player in football. But he’d never celebrate or showboat aside for high fives and chest bumps. Would the league be better of if everyone was like that? Sure. But the point I want to drive home is it isn’t the league’s job to force players into acting how they want when they want. For example I don’t like dreads but if I owned a NFL/NBA/MLB team i wouldn’t have a no dreads policy because I’m not in the business to make well dressed men I’m in the business to win championships and make money. The NFL is in the business to make money so whenever they pass a rule with has no effect on revenue or a negative effect on revenue like their celebration rule last year then they are wasting their time. And the biggest gripes I had last year with this rule was officiating on a whole was bad last year. Not just for the Dolphins but every team was constantly complaining about officiating. Sometimes it felt like watching a high school game. Refs were constantly missing holds left and right late hits on QBs. But shit every time a player got close to excessive celebration or unsportsmanlike conduct they got those calls.

    Anyway I wrote this on my phone so I apologize for any typos.

    1. Author

      Axel, great points. It’s refreshing to see well-written counterpoints to my arguments without name-calling etc.
      One of your points that struck me is that it’s not the NFL’s job to enforce maturity. To me, the goofy celebrations correspond with someone’s maturity. You mentioned Calvin Johnson. i always mention Barry Sanders. He zigzagged and scored on the most amazing runs you’ll ever see, then politely hand the ball to the ref. Personally, I loved it.
      The problem this year is the new rule is still vague. It leaves a lot up to the refs, and that is scary. Tom Brady and Gronk always spike the ball with emotion, and that is allowed. No way the refs will call it. But what if Jarvis Landry spikes the ball and it accidentally bounces and hits an opponent? You KNOW the refs will call it.
      And the new rule clearly states that you ARE ALLOWED to use the ball as a prop when you celebrate. So does that mean that Doug Baldwin’s fake poop routine is legal? According to the letter of the law, it IS legal, but you know the refs will call it anyway. They need to be consistent.

      1. Absolutely. I read that some celebrations will still be illegal. For example, while twerking and dunking on the crossbar will result in a penalty. Others might as well. The problems with that will be the discretion of the referees. TB12 could score a TD dunk on the crossbar while twerking and he would at most be warned by a ref. Jarvis Landry takes off his helmet on the field play after scoring a TD and the refs would want to hang him off the crossbar. Obviously, officials aren’t perfect and they miss calls but it would be nice to see consistency on calls and not just sportsmanship ones but all of them. I hate it when one of our own Oline men get called for a clear holding penalty while Wake or Suh is damn near being tackled on some plays and it goes uncalled.

        1. That could be the big problem just another discretionary call that the refs can make to help certain teams. I prefer black and white rules no more grey area…

  4. Showboating is bad sportsmanship in the opponents face.
    Its ok in pro wrestling.

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