NFL Makes Good Call, Relaxes Celebration Rules

The league has been embattled in controversy but this is worth celebrating.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) reacts after thinking he scored a touchdown during the NFC Championship Game. (Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

During this NFL season, on the eve of Super Bowl LII, the Philadelphia Eagles took home the NFL’s Celebration of the Year honor, making its debut at the league’s annual awards show. The Eagles won for their Electric Slide celebration, which happened during Week 12 when rookie corner Rasul Douglas pulled down an interception and was joined by six of his teammates for an impromptu and enthusiastic group performance of the well-known dance. Then during the Super Bowl, the NFL aired a commercial showing Odelle Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning rehearsing a choreographed Dirty Dancing-inspired routine. Last March, the NFL relaxed their celebration rules, and it also decided to devote its biggest marketing moment of the year to the new celebration-friendly climate. Sports Illustrated writes that this is the best decision the league made in 2017. In 2016, the league came under criticism for legislating fun out of the game. There were 30 excessive celebration flags thrown that season. But in 2017, franchises were encouraged to celebrate, use the ball as a prop, and collaborate as groups. Players took advantage of the new platform to show off their own personalities, and most teams took advantage of the ability to celebrate as a group, like the Steelers’ hide-and-seek or the Vikings duck-duck-goose celebration.

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