By Gio DiFazio
In a world of Gronk Spikes and bat flip”s, we all have to take a minute and think about whether we agree with the nature of post-play celebration that takes place in professional sports today.
Last Sunday Vernon Davis was flagged fifteen yards for scoring his first touchdown since the 2014 season. After snagging a pass in the end zone, he quickly ran up to the goalpost, and with a half-hearted attempt, shot a jump shot through the goalposts with the football. The penalty was assessed on the kickoff, which led to a touchdown.
Antonio Brown decided that the best choice of dance moves was a pelvic thrust that has become known as the “twerk.” Not only did he draw the harsh unsportsmanlike call, but he was fined over six thousand dollars by the NFL. Again in week four, he decided to again, twerk, but in a much milder manner. That resulted in his second unsportsmanlike and a $24,000 fine.
These are just two of the many celebrations that have been deemed illegal by a league that believes that it is obligated to rob us of the amazing moments in which the game offers.
Plucked right out of the NFL rulebook, from the league’s website, “These acts include, but are not limited to: throat slash; machine-gun salute; sexually-suggestive gestures; prolonged gyrations; or stomping on a team logo.”
Antonio Brown clearly violates the rulebook, but all there is to say, is watch the video for yourself, and draw your own conclusion. The issue is not the celebration themselves, but the rules and spotlight the league has now placed on them.
We can all only imagine what other senseless and mindless these new “crackdowns” on post-game celebratory gestures will lead to. Of all the labels that Mr. Goodell has earned himself in the past year and a half, the most recent is the “Get of my lawn,” stereotypical old man.
This generation of athletics is much different, in an infinite amount of ways. It’s easy to remember the days of “hand the ball to the referee when you score,” but what actual good does that lead to? Sports are very emotional, and the fact that professional organizations and the media take time to spend more on what happens after the play than during it, is saddening.
As stated earlier, what good will happen from restricting a highly entertaining and progressive element out of football, and sports all-together.
The argument of respect the game, and respect your opponents can be easily made, and frankly, when it comes down to it, watching an opponent relish in the glory of a victory is, well shitty. Real shitty. Like my dog just died shitty. Football has been played longer than I have been alive, and it will be around when I am dead. BUT appreciating the game, is seizing the opportunities that it gives you to show your emotions and bask in the moment which was brought on by hard work and sacrifice.