Football is one of the most entertaining sports to watch. Games are filled with excitement, relief and occasionally heartbreak. Fans feel the same emotions as the players do whether you’re on the sideline, or at home watching on TV. But the NFL has taken action against something truly unnecessary and it has affected multiple players throughout the league.
This season, the NFL has been fineing and penalizing players for excessive celebrations now more than ever.
I am a huge Antonio Brown fan. Last season Brown returned a punt for a touchdown and like athletes do, he got excited. What he did next was what truly started this whole conversation of these unnecessary penalties. Brown sprinted to field goal post and lunged himself onto it, hanging like a monkey.
Now I thought this was hilarious, but the NFL did not. After the celebration occurred, the team received an understandable penalty for excessive celebration. But after the game Brown was personally fined $11,576 by the NFL for the celebration. At the time that seemed a lot for a celebration, but Brown was able to squeeze out higher fines by the league.
In his season opening game against the Washington Redskins on September 12, Brown caught an amazing touchdown pass and immediately after began twerking for the opposition’s crowd. Brown was penalized, but this time fined a total of $24,309.
Brown is not the only one getting these charges from the league. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has an ego and we all know it, but doesn’t it seem a little strange that he was fined $12,000 for pretending to photograph a teammate during a celebration?
The idea of these men not being allowed to celebrate is erratic. They have worked their whole lives to get where they are and deserve to be excited when they become a playmaker on the field.
But of course there are going to be a few readers out there who are thinking, “Oh, well these men are professionals…shouldn’t they act like it?”
Picture it this way: it’s math class. You study extremely hard for your test and you ace it; as a result you do a little dance in your desk. Out of nowhere, your teacher comes over and slams a detention slip on your desk for disrupting the class.
Isn’t that just annoying – working hard but not allowed to get excited.
We are living in a new era of football. What used to be a league known for its aggressiveness is now one where you get fined if you oh-so-dare to look at an official the wrong way.
The NFL is a product, the league is selling it to us, and they are watering it down. Ratings have dropped significantly this year…and now I know why.
I love the sports industry because it is always changing, but this is not progress. If the NFL is holding the players back, then how can they expect the league to progress in the coming years?