Friday, March 31, 2006

Dudley on TD Celebrations

Ralph,

I was scanning GoErie this morning and I found John Dudley's blog. He keeps it up to date, but there are very few comments.

One of his recent posts is about NFL TD celebrations. His article, and my reply, appears below. I thought this might get some conversation going on our Blog (some of which might carry over to his).

It's all about synergies, baby.

Doc.

No more post-TD skits?

By John Dudley

Just as Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and Steve Smith are elevating post-touchdown celebrations to off-Broadway levels, the NFL has once again cracked down on the type and duration of theatrics players may engage in after crossing the goal line. This is an ongoing issue for the league, but it's back on the agenda at this week's annual meeting in Orlando because competition committee chairmen Jeff Fisher, coach of the Tennessee Titans, and Rich McKay, general manger of the Atlanta Falcons, believe enforcement hasn't been strict enough recently.

If you long for the days when Barry Sanders set the standard for the understated celebration by simply flipping the ball to the referee after he scored -- he had, after all, been in the end zone a few times before -- then you'll appreciate the fact that the league wants to penalize offenders' teams 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.

Such penalties always seem to get the attention of coaches, who you can bet will be particularly vigilant about enforcing the celebration ban if they face unsportsmanlike calls. Naturally, the league will provide for some, uh, wiggle room, allowing that dances are permitted as long as they aren't too lengthy or involving too many teammates. (And that's just what we need -- NFL officials with more latitude on judgment calls.)

One curious portion of the proposal calls for players to come to their feet before beginning a celebration. Those who begin gyrating or dancing while still on the ground will be penalized.

So much, then, for the celebration I'd truly like to see -- T.O. writhing on the turf beneath a stampede of greased-up agents.

My reply:

John,

So, are you for or against TD celebrations? Am I right to assume that you prefer the low-key Barry Sanders approach?

I must admit that the regulations against TD celebrations seem racist to me: White men behind desks telling black athletes that they can't jump and dance and more or less create inspired water fountain buzz for Monday mornings...basically because it's offensive to white audiences to watch a black man gyrating and proclaiming his physical dominance in the white world.

Personally, I don't care what the athletes do, as long as they keep their clothes on, avoid sexual innuendo, and it doesn't take more than 30 seconds. I love the creativity of it...and you gotta admit that whole cell phone routine was brilliant.

Cheers,

Doc

2 comments:

DocTorDee said...

I wanted to post John's blog address, but when I was on his blog, it only said www.goerie.com in the address window. It wasn't until they sent me a separate email that I figured out his specific link.

Anyway, here it is:
http://www.goerie.thinkhost.com/blogs/dudley

Ralph said...

Doc:

Were you able to post a comment on John's blog? I tried it twice, both dealing with his post on girls being allowed to wrestle against boys - and was unable to log on and post for some reason. Very discouraging. Maybe that's why he doesn't have more comments.

As far as TD celebrations go, the only valid reason for reigning them in that I have heard is that they lead to problems with kids in youth football leagues get carried away trying to immitate them. I think they actually cited feedback from youth football coaches as the impetus behind the most recent action to curtail the celebrations. Based on my experience with a seven-year old son, I can definintely tell you I don't want to see him doin' no end-zone celebrations. Of course I am the proverbial white guy behind the desk, but I think it leads to cockiness and bad attitudes among kids when you encourage this type of thing. Sure, it's fine if millionaires want to entertain us by strutting around like big egomaniancs, and I enjoy a good TD or T.O. celebration as much as the next guy...but kids, well, we're trying to teach them to be humble, because most of them will never be millionaires and encouraging, or even endorsing that type of behavior, I agree is bad news. Anyhow, if that's the real reason they did it, I think they made the right call... however, as Dudley said, NFL refs suck and if you want to give them more power, please upgrade the personnel...