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NFL got it wrong Outlawing Dunking the Football

When I think about ways to improve the NFL, outlawing celebrations like dunking of the football don't quite hit my radar. Apparently Roger Goodell disagrees with me.

Jimmy Graham Dunk
Jimmy Graham Dunk
Ronald Martinez

Roger Goodell has no problem with his game becoming too expensive for the majority of his customers. Nor does he have a problem with racially offensive team names or poorly officiated games. What does have a problem with you ask? The important things of course.

You know, the things that are really killing (or potentially threatening) his game. Things like using the football as a celebratory prop; dunking said football over the field goal cross bar; end zone celebrations in general; socks that are too high/low; towels that are too long; shoes and chinstraps that are the wrong color; etc.

In other words, Roger Goodell's business plan for the NFL includes: Pricing out the average customer, supporting racial insensitivity, taking games away from loyal customers and moving them to London, all while simultaneously removing as much fun, entertainment and individuality from a business that is ultimately a child's game and whose very popularity is predicated on fun and entertainment. Business 101 Roger Goodell style is slightly different than the course I remember taking in college.

One thing I do remember is how fun and exciting the game used to be when touchdown celebrations were part of the game. It started in the ‘80s with the Washington Redskins "Fun Bunch." Remember the excitement generated when Ickey Woods would score and the crowd waited for the Ickey Shuffle? Or when Deion would do his dance? Or more recently, the unofficial competition Chad Johnson, Steve Smith and Terrell Owens had going on?

Don't get me wrong, I do not like celebrations geared towards taunting or showing up the opponent - those should always be penalized. But nothing about the Ickey Shuffle fell into that category. Nor did Chad's putting of the football with the pylon or Steve Smith rowing his boat or Terrell Owens pulling out the Sharpie. Those celebrations were fun and entertaining.

They didn't show up the opponent or slow down the game. They added excitement to the game - in a good way. The outlawing of using props was stupid yet slightly understandable. But now the football dunk is outlawed? What is next? The spike? Is the chest bump still ok? What about the age old high five? Is the high five ok as long as no more than 3 high fives are given out? Because at 4 I think it starts to become a bit excessive and offensive.

Think about this for a moment. In 2014, excluding quarterbacks, 18 players scored 10+ touchdowns. That means really good players score a touchdown maybe once every 2 games. Average players may only get in the end zone 3-4 times per year and the average NFL player has a career of just 3.5 years. Getting into the end zone is not an easy task and the accomplishment should be celebrated.

Let these guys celebrate when they get there. Why not embrace the entertainment aspect of the game and the accomplishment of scoring a touchdown? Allow the players 15 seconds after the touchdown to celebrate. Hell, it takes a minute or two after the touchdown for the extra point to get kicked anyways, so why not let the players celebrate and entertain the fans while the refs set up the extra point?

As long as the celebration is not offensive or directed at the opponent, let the players celebrate and let the fans enjoy it. If the entire offense wants to line up in the end zone and rip off 15 seconds worth of the Electric Slide, let them do so. If you want to build more popularity and excitement around the game, make it more fun and entertaining for the fans.

Instead, Goodell is focused on raising the prices all while making the game less fun and entertaining. I guess in the big picture, it makes sense. After all, without such great and forward thinking leadership, the fans may be subjected to players scoring touchdowns and dunking the football while wearing off colored shoes, having their socks too high and sporting towel which are too long, all while enjoying reasonably priced beer. The game would self-implode.