Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL are going way too far with the Unsportsmanlike Conduct Rules that they have put in place; the most recent is spinning the ball. It has been reported that referees working training camps are warning players that they’ll be penalized if they taunt opponents by spinning the ball.
RULE 12 – SECTION 3 – ARTICLE 1 – NOTE 3
Penalty: Loss of 15 yards from the succeeding spot or whatever spot the Referee, after consulting
with the crew, deems equitable. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic First Down.
Note 3: Violations of (b) will be penalized if any of the acts are committed directly at an opponent. These acts include but are
not limited to: -sack dances -home run swing -incredible hulk -spiking the ball -spinning the ball -throwing or shoving the
ball -pointing the ball -verbal taunting -military salute -standing over an opponent (prolonged and with
The NFL will apparently emphasize cracking down against spinning the ball and a number of other player celebrations. From what I’m understanding, the league doesn’t intend to penalize players who spin the ball in celebration after a touchdown, only on the actual field of play.
There will be a lot of outrage (from players and fans alike) over the NFL cracking down on players engaging in these sorts of celebrations. Some of it is justified: spinning the ball is a cool celebration, requires some skill and is relatively harmless. Spinning the ball — or spiking it, throwing it, shoving it and pointing it — is not like making a throat-slashing gesture, which seems forbidden for good reason.
A player should be able to celebrate after a TD or a Sack. The player should have the right to do so. Celebrating gets the players and the fans pumped up for the game. Fans spend a lot of money for their love for football, we should be able to see it how we want! Nothing wrong with dancing after a good play! If you can’t get into your opponent’s head, then you take out the mental aspect of a game that involves both physical and mental prowess.
This is a very violent sport, so when a player accomplishes a touchdown or a sack, he should have the right to express himself in a way where it is not taunting or degrading an opponent. It seems like the NFL wants a “gladiator sport in a Sesame Street environment” and you cannot have it like that.
I’m Just Saying…