By Michael Bennett
The NFL has been praised far and wide for its plan to put the fun back into touchdown celebrations.
A bunch of billionaires have finally noticed that their product is so homogenized, so soul-less that people are turning it off in droves.
And they have allowed a higher degree of celebration after a great play.
That’s what this is all about!
According to the rules announced Tuesday, group celebrations will now be allowed, including previously verboten acts like rolling around on the ground and using the football as a prop.
Among the actions that remain banned are those depicting a weapon or aimed at embarrassing opponents like Randy Moss pretending to moon the fans at Lambeau Field or Terrell Owens (above) racing to midfield to claim the Dallas Cowboys star for himself.
But there’s another banned category as well: “celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game,” according to commissioner Roger Goodell’s letter to fans announcing the changes.
And few celebrations have lasted longer than recent Lambeau Leaps.
Aaron Rodgers took 24 seconds to get off the field after jumping into the stands on a Lambeau Leap last season.
But group celebrations will need much tighter choreography or they still will get flagged. The Washington Redskins’ “Fun Bunch”celebration in the early 1980s took up to 30 seconds to organize depending on where the players were on the field or on the sideline. A variation of the “Bob & Weave” popularized by the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams in 1999 took 20 seconds.
The Lambeau Leap could be cutting it close. Last year, Aaron Rodgers took 24 seconds to get off the field after jumping into the stands following a rushing touchdown in a game against the Vikings on Dec. 24
Indeed, the Packers may simply need to edit the celebrations to an appropriate length. While the extended director’s cut that Rodgers debuted last year will likely cause a delay penalty, the celebration wasn’t always so time-consuming: The first Lambeau Leap by LeRoy Butler in 1993 took all of six seconds.