NFL’s Excessive Celebration Penalty Could Be Most Ridiculous Rule in Sports

NFL's Excessive Celebration Penalty Could Be Most Ridiculous Rule in Sports The Patriots don’t want to see Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens introducing any new touchdown celebrations in Foxboro on Sunday.

Neither does the NFL.

A simple spike, dunk or dance is still acceptable. But pulling out a cell phone to make a call, using a goalpost as a fire pole or giving autographs with a Sharpie is not.

Also frowned upon would be having a team reel in a fish, give birth, create a human bicycle or go on a Rambo-style killing spree.

And turning into a human toilet?

That might make the NFL competition committee’s heads explode. At the very least, it would cost a team 15 yards, and the perpetrators of the unsportsmanlike conduct would be a little lighter in the wallet.

But what is so unsportsmanlike about a celebrating a touchdown? As long as a player or team doesn’t take their helmets off after scoring — and willfully taunt the opposing team or disrespect the game — is anything wrong with having a little fun?

It’s tough to score a touchdown in the NFL. Last season, the Saints led the league with 64. That means the best team in the world reached the end zone an average of four times per game. Compared to an NBA team that can drop over 50 baskets a game or an MLB team that can plate over 700 runs a year, an NFL team scores a touchdown about as often as Hugh Hefner has an ugly girlfriend. Football players should be able to appreciate a touchdown a little more. They should be allowed to reward themselves for their hard work — and a job well done — with a celebration ritual.

NFL players don’t have to give an Oscar performance every time they cross the goal line. They can act like they’ve been there before like Barry Sanders used to do, but if players want to get innovative and show their creative sides, they should have that right also.

The excessive celebration penalty is un-American. What’s next? No high fives?

The NFL is back, and that’s a great thing. But the league should not take every ounce of fun out of the game so it’s nothing more than a bunch of behemoths with freakish athletic abilities who must display the personalities of crash-test dummies on the field.

Football is entertainment. There’s no harm in celebrating success.

If people want a solemn show on Sundays, they can go to church.

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