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NFL cracks down on celebrations, says there is too much "smiling."
August 11, 2014 - Shaunna Dunder Hershberger
With about two weeks of training camp and the first round of preseason games under our belts, I can come to this conclusion: Preseason football is exciting for the first two minutes. You're all, "Yay! It's football!" and the next thing you know, you're flipping stations and you realize, "Hey, I haven't seen this episode of Finding Bigfoot before," and it's so long crappy, boring preseason football.
It doesn't help to watch too many NFL preview shows either because everyone would have you think Johnny Manziel is the only player ever to play the game - even though he's currently listed second on the Browns depth chart. But the NFL wants you all to know what Manziel ate for dinner, what kind of soap he uses in the shower and how many clean white socks he has left in his dresser. I know I care deeply about that kind of stuff - I could NEVER cheer for someone who uses Zest soap instead of Dial! OMG!
It can be difficult to navigate the murky waters of sloppy preseason football and constant coverage of Johnny "We Have to Know Everything" in order to learn what else is going on in the NFL world. But that's where I, your future NFL commissioner, come in - to fill those gaps between preseason and the start of the regular season with interesting tidbits. You're welcome.
If you did manage to stomach at least a series or two of any preseason game, congrats! And also, you may have noticed some of the new rules in play this year. Yes, the NFL continues to suck all the fun out of the sport by cracking down on some really awful things that tarnish the league's reputation, like celebrations involving dunking the football over the goal posts. The horror!! Our youth doesn't need to see that!
Speaking of goal posts, the uprights are 5 feet taller this year. And for the first two preseason games, extra points have been moved back from the 2 yard line to the 15, making it equivalent to a 33 yard field goal. The idea is to try to make the extra point more "exciting." I don't know how you can put "extra point" and "exciting" in the same sentence, but whatever, NFL. If they're so dead set against extra points, then just get rid of them all together and make touchdowns worth 7 points. Or keep touchdowns at 6 and make teams go for 2.
Sidebar: Your future commish and her husband had a debate about the NFL's extra point experiment. Actually, the debate was mostly my husband tossing out suggestions for extra points or 2-point conversions, while I shot down every single scenario and provided a better idea in its place. Husband to me in a serious voice: "I don't think I like you as commissioner." Indeed.
Moving along with new rules, better leave your smack talk in the locker room or save it for the parking lot after the game, because anyone taunting or using "abusive language" at players or officials will get slapped with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I wonder if we can get that abusive language part to cover fan behavior as well?
And finally, one of the major points of emphasis this year will be defensive holding. To keep it simple, DO NOT TOUCH a receiver after 5 yards. No more jersey holding or pulling. Hands off the receiver! I have a feeling this one is going to get frustrating for fans and players quickly because it's probably going to get called ad nauseam in the first few weeks while players adjust to the new rule.
And that, friends, is how you can squeeze an 8-paragraph column out of the NFL preseason. Next week, I hope to know and report on how much cream and sugar Johnny Manziel likes in his coffee.
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