It happened, everyone. It finally happened.
The NFL players finally got something they wanted, and something that was well-deserved, which was being allowed to celebrate.
For years these players have been denied and frowned upon for wanting to put on such demonstrations, which really only made them want it even more.
The iconic wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson may have been--probably most likely-- the cause of this huge problem, but that's basically put to rest now.
Let's be honest.
Of course, Owens' celebration on the Dallas Cowboys star is as debatable as it is disrespectful:
And Johnson's riverdance could be interpreted as offensive:
But all of that put aside, isn't it at least amusing to watch? Don't we all want these athletes to show us a little emotion?
I mean, they are human too, and sometimes we forget that because of their talents and abilities that seem so out of reach to the average person. However, these little glimpses of personality make us feel somewhat closer to them as an actual human being.
...Or is it just me?
Well, either way, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy doesn't seem to object to this change at all via The Washington Post:
“The celebrations so far have been playful and imaginative,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. “As important, the players have been respectful to stay within the boundaries of sportsmanship and not draw the ire of their coaches with prolonged celebrations that result in delay-of-game penalties. Yes, in line with our expectations during the offseason when we worked with the players and clubs to liberalize the rule.”
It's also nice to see the league commissioner, Roger Goodell, thinks nicely of the change via The Washington Post:
“We saw a lot of interest in … allowing the players a little more freedom to be able to express their joy, their individuality and, frankly, celebrate the game,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the time.
The new change has been running rather smoothly, and it's also given us, the fans, something more to talk and laugh about--not to mention what this must feel like for the players.
Moreover, according to ESPN and ESPN Stats & Information penalty database:
Taunting fouls have dropped by about 45 percent from over the same period last year... Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, which include but span more than illegal celebrations, are down about 22 percent.
Thank you 2017 for this greatness. May we see more "duck, duck, goose" chases and other splendid shenanigans in the years to come.