How Will the NFL Taunting Rule Affect the Game? Let’s take a look at some of the issues the new rule will bring into the league.
This past offseason, the NFL Competition Committee, and the Players Association came up with some new changes to the 2021 season. Most notably, the NFL increased the season to 18 weeks with each team playing 17 games, instead of 17 weeks with each team playing 16 games.
This change has had a positive and negative reaction all around the league. The fans, first and foremost, are the biggest proponents of the move. After all, the more football, the better. On the other hand, some players were against it, as it puts an additional toll on them and increases the likelihood of injury.
While this change has had a split reaction, the NFL choosing to emphasize “the taunting penalty” has everyone around the league bashing it, as it takes the intensity and emotion out of football.
How Will the NFL Taunting Rule Affect the Game?
After making a big play for your team, players just as anybody else would get amped. In past seasons, players would not get penalized unless they flagrantly mocked another player. This season, however, it seems like players cannot even show any emotion at all.
In the preseason, a running back on the Colts, for example, carried a pile of defenders on his back for a first down and got penalized after hyping his team up. This was unfortunate to see, considering the magnitude of the play.
Instead of moving the ball in opponent territory, the ball was backed up 15 yards which essentially wiped out the play entirely.
The preseason is often a time where refs look out for the new rule changes. While taunting is not a new penalty, the rule has taken an entirely new interpretation.
While promoting sportsmanship is the intent, there is a fine line between sportsmanship and taking away the emotion out of the game. This is why many were a big proponent of last year’s implementation of the rule instead of this year.
Publicly shaming should not be allowed, but players should have the ability to show their raw emotions after a big play. It not only hypes up the team, but the fans as well.
Let us not forget either that there are plenty of moments in football where sportsmanship is exhibited. Praying before and after with opposing teams, shaking hands, etc., are all great ways players show each other respect.
The No Fun League
Another reason the NFL should reconsider this is because sports, at the end of the day, is pure entertainment. Players celebrating touchdowns, big plays, showboating, etc., are all things fans love to watch.
Look at “Primetime” Deion Sanders, for example, who was known for this. Not only did fans watch him because of his stellar play, his extra theatrics after big moments were something that everyone loved. Fans gravitate towards this, which made him a league favorite.
If a player did some of the things he did today, they would surely be penalized.
Hopefully, the NFL reconsiders the new implementation of this rule. It will not only hurt the game, but ratings will be affected as well.