The NFL‘s extremely uptight attitude toward touchdown celebrations has long been a source of both frustration and mockery for football players and fans alike.
But Tuesday brought good news for those who feel NFL football should include human emotion: The league has opened up its restrictions on the cheeky celebrations that light up social media but used to bring big fines.
(One of our favorite touchdown dances, however, remains illegal but more on that in a minute.)
This is the button-down, corporatized NFL though so even league commissioner Roger Goodell’s notice announcing the new guidelines read like something composed by a robot with good-but-not-great artificial intelligence.
Today, we are excited to tell you about another change that comes after conversations with more than 80 current and former players: we are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays.
We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown. And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.
Players are now allowed to celebrate on the ground (expect snow angels when the weather gets cold), feature group choreography after touchdowns (is “Gagnam Style” still cool?), and use the ball as a prop (all sorts of possibilities here).
But, Goodell wrote in his announcement, “Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized.”
That appears to mean Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown’s twerking celebration is still cause for a penalty and fine. (Womp womp but we doubt Brown cares.)
So more of this please, NFL then maybe you’ll see fewer fans and commentators calling you the No Fun League.
Fun is good. Allow fun.