Sportress of Blogitude

NFL to crack down on football-spinning-related celebrations this season


There are plenty of reasons why the NFL frequently is referred to as the “No Fun League.” Here’s another one. Reports out of training camps of the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers indicate that a roving band of referees touring camps are advising players and teams that the league intends to crack down on any and all post-play celebrations involving the spinning of the football.

In other words, treating a football like a top is not the tops, so far as the NFL is concerned. And if a player commits such an egregious act? That’s a 15-yard penalty for taunting.

No Fun League, indeed.

As Pro Football Talk notes in its report on the “No Spin Zone” that the NFL will become, rules have been on the books for some time now that address unwelcome outbursts of exuberance by players. As indicated in the NFL’s “Official Playing Rules” for 2012, the following are listed as examples of no-nos: “These acts include but are not limited to: sack dances; home run swing; incredible hulk; spiking the ball; throwing or shoving the ball; pointing; pointing the ball; verbal taunting; military salute; standing over an opponent (prolonged and with provocation; or dancing.”

Dancing? Did the NFL relocate its league offices to Elmore City, Okla.? (That’s a “Footloose” reference, by they way — try and keep up)

Further, no Incredible Hulk? How about tributes to Hulk Hogan instead? Can players still flex their 24-inch pythons after making a big play? Are other superhero-related celebratory demonstrations also unwelcome? Because if the NFL is going anti-Marvel and giving carte blanche to odes to characters from the D.C. universe, well, that just wouldn’t be fair at all.