FanDuel - WFBC

January 04, 2004

Are the NFL's fines for excessive end-zone celebrations racially motivated?: This op-ed piece, from The Buffalo News, says Yes.

posted by Jaquandor to football at 06:42 PM - 52 comments

Dare we contemplate the possibility that recent NFL rules with attendant high fines were initiated solely to curb black athletes' premeditated displays in the end zone because the displays offend the cultural sensibilities of the largely white leadership? Mr. Runfola thinks the only reason the NFL has banned the excessive celebrations is to keep the black man down! That's bull. If the NFL allowed the celebrations to go unchecked, they would get even more extravagant and silly, turning the league into pro wrestling with a ball. I want to watch football, not some dumb skit the receiver came up with Saturday night. Plus, Runfola's suggestion is a nightmare: If anything, the NFL should change the rules to allow all players to express themselves as individuals, so there will be no league penalties assessed against their teams, with only their coaches deciding whether the behavior displayed was acceptable. Yeah, that will work. Stick to social sciences, professor.

posted by dusted at 07:22 PM on January 04

because all we white folks can do is shimmy, and thats just sad.

posted by chmurray at 08:13 PM on January 04

Are they racially motivated? Depends what that question means. The NFL is not doing this because of any prejudice against blacks. But the professor is correct about the cultural differences. It's not that the players are being fined because they're black, but there is something to the theory that that NFL officials are doing the fining because they're white.

posted by spira at 08:44 PM on January 04

yeah, because black people know how to celebrate, and white people don't... is that really the argument?

posted by chmurray at 08:51 PM on January 04

chmurray: apparantly so. Most white players are concerned about mastering the technical aspects of the game, a behavioral style that fits within the cultural context of mostly white NFL authorities, according to Kochman. Black culture, in contrast, is reflected by athletes projecting a strong individualistic image in performing with flair and celebrating with unbridled enthusiasm. I feel comfortable saying that this is utter bullshit. The real -ism at play here is AGE. Grandpa doesn't like seeing the players call up their agents after the touchdown because Johnny U. never did that. No one likes seeing that the spirit of the game has passed them by and if you're over fifty and watching the NFL, all of the players and quite a few coaches (owners, even?) have little in common with what that 50+ fan knows to be an athlete. Whatever. A little advice to people who get annoyed by celebration after touchdown in the No Fun League: Get over it. You sound like Hank Hill. Jesus, if they could get away with it, these same guys would also bitch about dreadlocks on players. Oh wait, they do. But it's not racially motivated, folks. These guys aren't pissed at the uppity negroes. They're pissed at the uppity players. It's just different from what they're used to. Makes 'em feel older. /living with a grandma. trust me on this one.

posted by forksclovetofu at 09:33 PM on January 04

forksclovetofu: I think you've hit the nail on the head. The split on the good/bad for the celebrations almost always seems to be young/old. Don't worry...eventually our generation will be in charge of the league and we'll get to run it our way.

posted by grum@work at 10:28 PM on January 04

Here's a way to make both sides happy...strike all the rules in the books concerning celebrations from the books. Let them go wild, let them use any props they want...hell, let them hire choreographers to map out a dance number. But...don't let the networks televise any of the celebrations, a la streakers. That way the players can ham it up as much as they want, and no one outside the stadium has to watch them make asses out of themselves. Maybe then the players will stop dreaming up retrded celebrations, and concentrate on something more important...like, oh I don't know, the game...

posted by MeatSaber at 11:25 PM on January 04

i am in total agreement with meatsaber, as i've said before, the reason why this seems like a problem is because sports media and telecasts of games spend a good deal of time catering to this nonsense. you'll see just as many replays and highlights of silly behavior that has no beering on the outcome of the game as you will plays that actually effect the outcome. i don't believe the age argument. i'm 24 and i think it's pretty stupid. spike the ball? no problem. do a dance? no problem. start using props? give me a break. going to the middle of the field to stomp on the opposing teams logo? pretty damn stupid. what do the people advocating celebrations want? there's excessive celebrating on even the most mundane play now. players celebrate making a tackle after the opponent has gained yards. it's not a black or white issue. it's about the integrity of the game. by saying it's okay to celebrate excessively you're opening up a can of worms that's going to lead to all sorts of behavior that's going take away from the play and make celebrities out of players who talk better than they play.

posted by oliver_crunk at 07:37 AM on January 05

oh....and jeremy shockey is exhibit a in the discussion regarding whether this is a racial issue. i've seen more trash talk and stupid celebrations from him than just about any other player in the league.

posted by oliver_crunk at 07:40 AM on January 05

The only part I agree with is that the networks might want to use some common sense on how often they should show these. But that's not going to happen. Otherwise, as long as the player doesn't take ridiculous amounts of time to do it, he can put on a Broadway play for all I care. If you don't like it, the opponent should beat his ass. That's the funny part of the Horn incident. Didn't the guy catch four TD passes against the Giants? If New York shuts him down after one TD catch, no cell phone. Right? The integrity issue is bullshit. From the moment you flip on the TV to watch the game or when you pay your 15 bucks to park at the stadium, you're getting a lot more than 60 minutes of football. You can start with the contrived TV timeouts, the music that's pumped throughout the stadium, the pre-game shows, the sham sideline interviews. And we're talking about the regular season games. That's before you get to the Super Bowl, which has staged a show at halftime for many years now. And we're talking about integrity? So it is funny that people have no problem with those things -- sanctioned by mostly white management -- but cry bloody murder when Joe Horn or Terrell Owens makes an ass out of himself for 40 seconds. Finally, no one complained about Jeremy Shockey being a punk until he called one of the establishment sacred cows, Bill Parcells, "a homo." So while I disagree with the scholar's semi-assertion that black folks need to act crazy, there's no demonstrated need to stop those who want to do so.

posted by jackhererra at 10:45 AM on January 05

I think the NFL really tries to enforce it's "No Fun League" image and takes things too far, but I've yet to see an entertaining version of these over-the-top celebrations by anyone not named Terrell Owens. Even TO goes too far at times (the Dallas star celebrations)-- should that be ok?

posted by yerfatma at 10:57 AM on January 05

I'd respond to this ... but I'm sure ROSS T. RUNFOLA would label me a racist.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:09 AM on January 05

I don't mind a touchdown celebration as long as:

  1. It doesn't taunt the opposition directly (pointing fingers, dancing on logos, humping the mascot).
  2. It doesn't take more than 15 seconds (or so). Joe Horn's phone celebration was fine, but organizing an acting troupe in the end zone for your 30 second performance of "Barber of Seville" is a bit much.
  3. Nobody is put in danger of injury. Dance like a crazy mofo, but the moment you fling a football into the crowd or pull out a starters pistol to do your Cowboys impersonation, it's going to far.

posted by grum@work at 11:13 AM on January 05

humping the mascot monitor just got a Poland Spring spritz. has anyone actually done that?

posted by jerseygirl at 11:19 AM on January 05

The integrity issue is bullshit. From the moment you flip on the TV to watch the game or when you pay your 15 bucks to park at the stadium, you're getting a lot more than 60 minutes of football. You can start with the contrived TV timeouts, the music that's pumped throughout the stadium, the pre-game shows, the sham sideline interviews. see that's the problem. because it's acceptable in all the other facets of the 'presentation' of the game, it should be just fine for the game itself. that's bullshit. by saying that it's okay, you're saying it's okay for stuff like this also: players wearing their uniforms which ever way they like, taunting opponents, kicking and throwing stuff at opponents and the crowd and, of course, the run-of-the-mill violent undertones to some of the celebrations, as if football wasn't violent enough. so yes, it's about the integrity of the game. while "there's no demonstrated need to stop those who want to do so", there's really no reason why it should be allowed, let alone encouraged, in the first place. act like a pro....if you're good enough you can get your own teevee or radio show and save it for that. this isn't the XFL or the WWF, the reason why the 'no fun league' has been successful has been the quality of the play not the quality of a players latest end zone stylings. Finally, no one complained about Jeremy Shockey being a punk until he called one of the establishment sacred cows, Bill Parcells, "a homo." fans in the NY metro area have been complaining about shockey since day one. the parcells deal was the first to get picked up nationwide, i'd imagine. dude's out of control and i'd bet the next coach isn't going to stand by and let shockey run wild without some disciplinary actions.

posted by oliver_crunk at 11:39 AM on January 05

Did anyone stop to consider if this is about team vs. individual? Not old vs. young? Or black vs. white? The argument is put forward by a mind that considers the individual to be primary in all situations. As does our modern western society. Which is all fine and dandy except for one small fact. Individualism as primary is not always good, especially on a team. Anyone think today's athletes, in general, have their priorities messed up? Anyone consider today's athlete's selfish? Anyone want less selfish behaviour in their team sport? Besides, excessive celebrating is foolish until after the final whistle. Why fuel your opponent?

posted by garfield at 11:39 AM on January 05

Garfield, I couldn't agree more. It hurts your team. It takes focus away from the efforts of your teammates. It can offend opponents (no matter how well crafted). It can result in penalties. It can result in fines. It fires up the other team. And it's not very sportsmanlike. I can think of so many reasons not to celebrate (in the outlandish ways) that I find it hard to believe it's acceptable to anyone. And on the other hand, I can think of only one reason to celebrate: Ego. Perhaps some find it entertaining, but I certainly don't. As a coach in the NFL I would play a video tape for my squad during pre-season. It would include Gus Ferrotte. It would include TO's Sharpie along with selected Seahawk highlight of his next meeting with the Seahawks. And it would include items like that doofus from the Browns costing his team the game by ripping his helmet off. Not a soul in Cleveland thought that was too entertaining.

posted by 86 at 12:06 PM on January 05

Ego IS part of the game. These are professional athletes playing at the top of their or anyone else's ability. If they celebrate, they celebrate. That's their prerogative. It's the coaches' and team's responsibility to make sure that those celebrations don't cost the TEAM in terms of POINT PRODUCTION or WEAKENING THE DEFENSE. If they can't do that, they're not managing their players very well. Outside of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, if these guys wanna blow their own goddamn money on fines, who are we to stop them? I'm still not sure what the issue is.

posted by forksclovetofu at 12:34 PM on January 05

Reggie White believes that blacks are better at celebrating, and whites are better at organization and rules. I've been waiting to throw that link down for years.

posted by rocketman at 12:39 PM on January 05

Here's the key quote: "We always should look at the situation and ask ourselves a question. Why did God create us differently? Why did God make me black and you white? Why did God make the next guy Korean and the next guy Asian and the other guy Hispanic? Why did God create the Indians? "Well, it's interesting to me to know why now. When you look at the black race, black people are very gifted in what we call worship and celebration. A lot of us like to dance, and if you go to black churches, you see people jumping up and down, because they really get into it. "White people were blessed with the gift of structure and organization. You guys do a good job of building businesses and things of that nature and you know how to tap into money pretty much better than a lot of people do around the world. "Hispanics are gifted in family structure. You can see a Hispanic person and they can put 20 or 30 people in one home. They were gifted in the family structure. "When you look at the Asians, the Asian is very gifted in creation, creativity and inventions. If you go to Japan or any Asian country, they can turn a television into a watch. They're very creative. And you look at the Indians, they have been very gifted in the spirituality. "When you put all of that together, guess what it makes. It forms a complete image of God. God made us different because he was trying to create himself. He was trying to form himself, and then we got kind of knuckleheaded and kind of pushed everything aside." There you have it: touchdown celebrations are just one piece of the face of God!

posted by rocketman at 12:42 PM on January 05

It's the coaches' and team's responsibility..... Is it now? Huh. Interesting view. So, the player can act in their interest and celebrate, but the player isn't responsible if those actions hurt the team. It's the coach's fault.

posted by garfield at 12:44 PM on January 05

Outside of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, if these guys wanna blow their own goddamn money on fines, who are we to stop them? uh....we're the paying customer. some people won't watch or go to the games. for any number of reasons and some of it is the players 'ego' and their 'goddamn money'. some people think it stinks and would rather let their dollar talk somewhere else. Ask the NBA about it.....they know all about what happens when the players start acting like 'their prerogative' is the end all be all. seen those nielsen numbers lately? I'm still not sure what the issue is. celebrating and the race card. the NFL is holding the black man down. nonsense says oliver crunk.

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:09 PM on January 05

1) Grum@work's celebration guideline is a good one. 2) Seeing as Horn's display happened with the clock stopped, it's not of the game any more than loud music that comes on after a touchdown. 3) The point is that you can't play the integrity card with Horn, then more or less ignore the rest of the "integrity issues". It seems like the NFL picks and chooses, based on popularity contest and not common sense. 4) Forks doesn't seem to be saying that the player isn't responsible. Obviously, he has people to answer to. But the people who should be holding him responsible are his teammates and coaches, not the NFL office. And a team has an issue if its coach can't get that message across to his players. 5) As for the paying customer: He doesn't draft players. He doesn't call plays. He doesn't hire or fire coaches. So what makes him think that he should have any more control over players than owners, GM, or coaches. If the owner puts an excited brand of sport on the field, paying customers will show up. If not, the customers will stay home, regardless of the integrity card.

posted by jackhererra at 01:34 PM on January 05

2) Seeing as Horn's display happened with the clock stopped, it's not of the game any more than loud music that comes on after a touchdown. well horn could have been penalized for the play. the point is....it damn sure was a part of the game. the rules don't stop being applied because the clock has stopped. 3) The point is that you can't play the integrity card with Horn, then more or less ignore the rest of the "integrity issues". It seems like the NFL picks and chooses, based on popularity contest and not common sense. huh? a player planted a phone on the field of play. then when he scored he used it as a prop to celebrate. are you saying that this is okay behavior for a player in the NFL? if it is okay, integrity is surely erroded. and i'm condused by 5?

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:44 PM on January 05

err...confused.

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:45 PM on January 05

You can take away the player celebrations, you can take away the mascot humping, for sure you can take away the pumped-in music. But you take away the cheerleaders and I'm turning off the TV!

posted by billsaysthis at 01:48 PM on January 05

garfield: I stand by that comment. if the coach can't control his (her) players on the field (court? oh, this is silly...) then the coach is to blame. Controlling the players and making sure they play to the best of their ability is the COACH'S job. That's what he gets paid for. Controlling means waiving (see Gruden) or motivating (see Vermier, Bellicheck) or intimidating (see Parcells) or whatever. When coaches are doing their jobs, celebration that COSTS THE TEAM doesn't happen. Outside of penalties, I'm not sure how a celebration "costs the team" anything. oliver: you know, a LOT of people DO like the individual player's ego and attitude. How many casual football fans knew Joe Horn's name prior to that MNF craziness? How many jerseys did that sell? The NBA was based on the popularity of it's players. Comparing the neilsens for an NBA game and a NFL game is utterly disingenuous. There are a few good BUSINESS reasons the NFL doesn't push its "player/celebrity" status the same way that the NBA does. One is that the NFL's overwhelming parity does not allow for Jordanesque shows of dominance. The other is that the half-life of the players is drastically shorter. The average career of an NFL running back is, what, four years? It's not good business sense for the NFL to build popularity on broken backs. This is good for the NFL and (arguably) for the fans, but lousy for the players. At heart, this is really what Warren Sapp is saying; he's just so damn belligerent that it's difficult to hear. On preview: what jackherra said.

posted by forksclovetofu at 01:53 PM on January 05

I have one irrefutable fact that leaves Mr. Runfola's theories moot. The NFL did not create the celebration rule until: Brett Favre (noted good football player, and white guy) took to taking his helmet off on field to celebrate touchdowns. I believe during a Super Bowl of all things (anyone remember the year?). Celebrations? Super Bowl? Never.

posted by lilnemo at 02:03 PM on January 05

And a team has an issue if its coach can't get that message across to his players. The simple fact of the matter is the message needs to be sent in the first place, to some players. It should not even be an issue. A player should know this, and should exude this team-first quality. It's part of the definition of a player: to help the team win. Not self-glorification possibly at the team's expense. Fork, I think we agree, I just think the solution starts with the player, and not someone else. Do anything that 'could' jeopardize the team's chances, regardless of being penalized, and your ass was just wiped with Elmer's, for the long sit ahead. And for non-penalized costs to a team: How about celebrating before a play ends. Or how about taunting (celebrating pre and post game) that fires up the other team. Or my personal favorite, injurying yourself while celebrating.

posted by garfield at 02:06 PM on January 05

injurying: to milk all the free stuff you can while on jury duty.

posted by garfield at 02:09 PM on January 05

Fork says: "Outside of penalties, I'm not sure how a celebration "costs the team" anything." Week Six. If you don't think that Seattle's secondary was so damned pumped up for that game, specifically for defending against TO, you're nuts or you've never played a sport in your life. You alos may want to re-read the quote in the game recap from Willie Williams. That little extra edge and effort is enough and their is no reason to give it to your opponent. And knowing that your opponent will only come at you harder, what on Earth beside pure ego and idiocy would lead you to celebrate in that manner? It defines selfishness. It clearly puts yourself ahead of the team. And by inviting the opponents to play just a little bit harder for personal glorification... that's just dumb. And it's only one of the many reasons.

posted by 86 at 03:01 PM on January 05

a tangent in response to forks: while i agree that comparing the NBA and NFL nielsens is silly, i didn't really develop my point. i cited the NBA nielsens because they've been going down consistently since the gold ole days of jordan, bird and magic. though there isn't any concrete evidence to suggest why. some say it's because the NBA hasn't had the star quality that it once did. i think that does have something to do with it, but in addition to that, i think that today's typical NBA star is selfish, arrogant and cares more about their own style on the court than whether their team wins. granted some of these qualities could be seen in jordan and company, but it's not so up front as it's been in the last 5 years or so. that said....it's been a big reason why i haven't watched as many NBA games as i used to. and i think with these celebrations in the NFL you can see a parallel to what has been happening in the NBA. to tell you the truth......it's a turn off to me. while some people may appreciate it, the ego and such, the NFL has built a bulletproof business model that has stressed teamwork....and there's nothing about some of these 'celebrations' that smells anything like teamwork or winning. just braggadocio....and i suspect the longer that type of behavior is accepted by the league, the more people will be turning the channel or going somewhere else for their sporting needs.

posted by oliver_crunk at 03:25 PM on January 05

garfield: i agree you agree we agree. Agreed? Agreed. 86: yeah, but that "edge and effort" comes from the wronging of their EGOS. These are professional athletes, people paid insane amounts of money to violently stop one another. Their personal drive and ego is HUGE. Lots of people complained about Hasselbeck's "and we're gonna score" comment, but not too many people bitched about Al Harris' big "We're #1" finger on the return. Where's the line? And who are we to draw it? I'm getting off topic. My point is that ANYTHING can be used for motivation. In terms of firing up a team, I can think of a few coaches who have said and done things infinitely more detrimental to the team than anything TO ever did (Brian Billick's "Fuck the Titans" and Vermeir's comments about the Bengals come to mind immediately). As Joe Horn pointed out, Joe Horn doesn't want to offend Joe Horn's opponents, Joe Horn just wants to have fun with football the way Joe Horn does. Joe Horn said that. I'm not explaining myself well. But really, I don't see any problem with CREATIVE celebration in terms of firing up the other team inordinately. What I WOULD oppose would be open taunting or shots at the other team's manhood. The first guy who produces a doll of the other team's mascot and then rips it up after a TD? That's when the party's over. oliver: i agree with you that the NFL is more successful as a business than the NBA. I disagree with your conclusions. I'm of the opinion that the reason the NBA has gotten less interesting is due to the lack of power in the East, the overabundance of blowouts and too often reallypoorly officiated games. Personally, I'm waiting till after the Superbowl is determined to really get back into basketball.

posted by forksclovetofu at 06:42 PM on January 05

I know I'm late to the party here, but I'd like to mention that I love the celebrations. Even the really bad ones. Shit-talking, too. In a world where at least one major-league player is being arrested for sexual misconducted or drug offenses every other day, I hardly think it's realistic to expect them to act with class while they're on the field.

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:19 PM on January 05

1) Another thing that didn't help the NBA is the style of play, which went defensive in the early 1990s. Strangely enough, a team-oriented style of play. 2) The NFL has stressed the NFL. Which is admirable, and it's a great business strategy. It just has nothing to do with teamwork, or the other catchword, integrity. Talk about teamwork in June, when the league's roster cuts make the Marlins' 1997 fire sale look like small potatoes. 3) To make this clear. The game was not going on when Horn took his phone out. He was not holding up play. He was not taunting anyone. As far as the positioning of the phone, it was tucked in below the goal-post. Not exactly a case of offensive tackles tripping over Horn's phone on the 50-yard-line. Once again, "I don't like it" seems to be the limit of the integrity argument. 4) In the real world, not all 45 or 53 players are going to be clear-thinking individuals. So while it would be nice to think that each player would consider each action. They don't. That's why you have a coach -- to tell them not to taunt, but also to tell them to stay out of the neutral zone and not to carry the football like a loaf of bread.

posted by jackhererra at 12:18 AM on January 06

Once again, "I don't like it" seems to be the limit of the integrity argument. i guess not. horn was fined for his conduct on the field. obviosuly the NFL feels that his behavior was not becoming of an NFL player. that behavior lacked integrity. still not sure why this behavior is acceptable or is even defensible. it's just not. whether the clock had stopped or not.....there's 52 players on one sideline and 52 on another. seems like there was a game going to me and the 70k+ folks packed into a dome. they're not there for the cheerleaders.

posted by oliver_crunk at 08:42 AM on January 06

To make this clear. The game was not going on when Horn took his phone out. He was not holding up play. He was not taunting anyone. As far as the positioning of the phone, it was tucked in below the goal-post. Not exactly a case of offensive tackles tripping over Horn's phone on the 50-yard-line. Once again, "I don't like it" seems to be the limit of the integrity argument. So next year, Joe Horn could bury a Hummer at midfield, dig it up and do donuts to celebrate? By your standards, he wouldn't be holding up play, it wouldn't be direct taunting and no one would be "tripping over it." I also take issue with the idea that he wasn't taunting the other team. You don't think planting a cell phone in advance of a game says to the Giants, "Shit, dog, I KNEW I would score on your sorry ass!" I simply don't understand why someone, anyone in a New York uniform didn't lay a nice helmet on one of Horn's knees at some point later in the contest. Gives you a good reason why Fassel's not there anymore. Somewhere, a line needs to be drawn. Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, the "Ickey Shuffle" and the Fun Bunch were all great examples of players just enjoying themselves. Planting a goddamned prop is just too much, and it needs to be stopped. You want to watch those games, Jack, go right ahead ... but that killed my wavering kinship with the Saints. I turned the game off, and I won't be purchasing Saints' merchandise in the future. That's how I cast my vote, and it's the only one the NFL gives a damn about.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:02 AM on January 06

Anything can be used as motivation...but why play with fire. Coaches sometimes are desperate for motivation. It simply makes no sense if the idea is to win the game. Its like making an unnecessary move in chess, just because you can. It's DUMB! I think the underlying thinking here involves the degree to which one thinks they can escape reprisal for their actions. The stand-out at the local park is gonna yabber til the sun goes down each and every time he dunks on someone, if no one is there to put him in his place. Put that same ass clown in a real game, and his jaw all of a sudden clamps up. TO is such an ass clown, and if it weren't for his freakish size, his mouth would be alot smaller as well. And that's just it. You can never know what you can get away with. Gamesmanship is fine, if it gives you an edge and you get away with it. But what does celebrating get you? Personal aside: The one experience in my HS career that sticks out where the other team crossed the line, counted their chickens early, and defeated my team in the last game of the season handing us our only loss, the next year, we remembered, and put the hurt down on those cocky pricks, completing a perfect season. Even now, I'm still motivated to kick ass.

posted by garfield at 10:10 AM on January 06

So next year, Joe Horn could bury a Hummer at midfield, dig it up and do donuts to celebrate? By your standards, he wouldn't be holding up play, it wouldn't be direct taunting and no one would be "tripping over it." I'm pretty sure digging up a giant Humvee-sized hole at midfield would be "holding up play" and I'm pretty sure someone is going to be "tripping over" the hole left behind. :) wfrazerjr: You probably didn't like Rod Tidwell's celebration near the end of "Jerry Maguire" either. :) garfield: And what you did should be enough reason for a coach to come down hard on his team when it thinks about celebrating.

posted by grum@work at 10:26 AM on January 06

garfield: And what you did should be enough reason for a coach to come down hard on his team when it thinks about celebrating. But that's between the coach and his players. Gamesmanship/Taunting/Celebration can get into the heads of the opponents, which is why it's tried so often, and that's why coaches often tolerate it. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. Sometimes it makes sense given the context. Other times it doesn't. The general rule is that if you can't beat the unsportsmanlike opponent, beat him. Period. It's a rather inexpensive method, in terms of time and money.

posted by jackhererra at 10:41 AM on January 06

I'm pretty sure digging up a giant Humvee-sized hole at midfield would be "holding up play" and I'm pretty sure someone is going to be "tripping over" the hole left behind. :) Just a slight exaggeration to prove a point that there's no question that digging around in the padding on the goalpost, then grandstanding while pantomiming talking on a cell phone also held up the game. It would also be difficult to jackhammer through the concrete underneath the Superdome turf, I suppose, but if you turned Joe Horn upside-down and bashed his thick skull on there a few times, I'm sure it would do the trick.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:36 AM on January 06

Also late to the party, but I would like to suggest an alternative take: Excessive end zone celebrations (in particular those from Terrell Owens and Joe Horn) expose the NFL to ambush marketing efforts by companies who don't want to pay the expensive sponsorship premiums that the NFL is currently able to command. In the case of Sharpie, though the firm decided not to formally endorse Owens, they did receive an estimated $500,000 in free exposure from the incident. While obviously not all end zone celebrations end up like these, it makes sense to complete nip the potential in the bud as much as possible. (What is to prevent some company in the future from deliberately designing these types of "campaigns"?) So I see this not so much as a black vs. white thing as a struggle for economic power between management and labour.

posted by smithers at 12:27 PM on January 06

Yeah, the whole 'Golden Palace.com' tatoo thing was lame as hell.

posted by garfield at 12:45 PM on January 06

Additional grumbling. Heh. "The Rocket". Good idea!

posted by forksclovetofu at 01:44 PM on January 06

5) As for the paying customer: He doesn't draft players. He doesn't call plays. He doesn't hire or fire coaches. So what makes him think that he should have any more control over players than owners, GM, or coaches. To understand how stupid this comment is, apply it to government [A bit US-centric. Apologies. As for the gender slant, I picked that up from the original post]. "As for the taxpayer: He doesn't nominate Supreme Court judges. He doesn't make foreign policy. So what makes him think that he should have any more say in what his elected officials do with his hard-earned money?" For the most part I stopped attending live *professional* sporting events. For one, I can't afford attending the game what with the parking, the ticket prices, the concessions, etc. But mostly, I can't stand all the me-ism. As for the celebrating, as my wife said when she saw an NFL player celebrating a 9-yard catch (dispite the fact that the players team was significantly behind, and this play didn't even produce points) "It's your job, dude. Just #@%&ing do it." Another way to see how stupid the celebrations are is to watch the newest Windows commericals.

posted by scully at 10:05 AM on January 07

Another way to see how stupid the celebrations are is to watch the newest Windows commericals. There is a Tim Horton's commercial running in most large Canadian markets where it shows someone doing some mundane office task (clearing a paper jam, getting a faulty stapler to work, clicking "save" on a document) and then smiling and doing some mini-celebration and then going to Tim Horton's to celebrate with a nice, tasty sandwich and coffee. Mmmm...sandwich. When I see that ad, I must be getting the same feeling that terrapin (and others) are mentioning about excessive celebration. It's ridiculous to celebrate something that is typical for your job. The big difference is: taking a handoff and plowing through a line of 300lb men who are trying to separate you from the ball (and your head) and scampering 64 yards to the endzone is probably more "celebration-worthy" than clearing the paper jam.

posted by grum@work at 10:46 AM on January 07

Great thread.

posted by vito90 at 11:50 AM on January 07

damn, it ain't over, is it? Don't we have an applicable Simpsons quote, for God's sake!?!

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:29 PM on January 07

(insert animation of Homer being electrocuted/high on something/walking like an Egyptian/acting like Bugs Bunny after having drank poison or faking death.)

posted by garfield at 03:28 PM on January 07

Wally: Who's ready for some football! Homer: FOOOTBAAAALLL! Moe: Homer, we've been running around cheering for an hour, where's the game!? Homer: You guys were following me!? I was following Flanders! or Pat Summerall: Well John, what did you think of tonight's episode? John Madden: I loved it! The last minute addition of Wally Kogen to the lineup was a bit of a gamble, but it really payed off. Pat: Marge and Lisa painting eggs. Did that work for you? John: Oh, big time! They came off the bench with a huge effort, and allowed Homer and Bart to make some significant gains. Pat: Did it strike you as odd that in a Superbowl show with Dolly Parton we didn't see any football or singing? John: I hadn't thought about it Pat, but in retrospect, it was kind of a ripoff! What a way to treat the loyal fans who have put up with so much nonsense from this franchise! Pat: Any final thoughts? John: Nah, I'm too mad let's get the hell out of here! Best I can do on short notice ;)

posted by scully at 03:30 PM on January 07

Homer: The other day I was so desperate for a beer I snuck into the football stadium and ate the dirt under the bleachers. Wonder if he found a Hummer, a cellphone, or even a Sharpie under there? ;)

posted by scully at 03:31 PM on January 07

Thank you, folks. I am sated.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:29 PM on January 07

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