Loosen Up: NFL to allow some flair in celebrations


In an email from Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to fans in an effort to deliver "a more exciting game experience", the commissioner said the new guidelines came after conversations with more than 80 current and former players.

Sports' Tom Pelissero reported from the owners meeting in Chicago on Tuesday that Commissioner Roger Goodell would announce the changes.

Pelissero noted the celebrations that will no longer be penalized are group celebrations, using the ball as a prop after scoring touchdowns and making snow angels.

Last season, the National Football League penalized and fined 26 players for excessive celebration, according to MMQB.com, which reported Goodell met with more than 40 players about the issue on at least two occasions. Some will claim player health and safety, but that's a bunch of nonsense. Having the players on the field for 90 minutes of regulation is physically demanding enough.

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A concern is that it could lead to more tie games, but the stats show it will not have a major effect. Over the past five years, with the 15-minute period in use, the league has averaged about one tie game each season.

The shorter overtime period will be used in the preseason and regular season. 22 of those went past the 10 minute mark. But this is a good step in the right direction toward making the National Football League more about what the fans want.

On the plus side, 480 players (15 per team) will have more opportunities to prove themselves and make the squad. Instead there will be one mandatory roster cut, going from a 90-man roster to a 53-man roster. Last season the league adjusted the rule as well, not requiring the teams to identify the player designated to return in advance.

An emphasis is being placed on "spontaneous exuberance" which is to say players will be allowed to react in the moment, and even WITH THEIR TEAMMATES! The player must be on IR for at least six weeks and they can return to games after sitting out eight weeks.