A Changed Game: After the Whistle
penalty flag
The Way it Was


penalty flag
Pioneers

penalty flag
Enough is Enough

penalty flag
Monkey See, Monkey Do

Warren Sapp yelling with his helmet off


There used to be a time when the running back would squirt through the hole in the line, shrug off three tackles by linebackers twice his size, juke his way through the secondary and sprint untouched to the 40...the 30...the 20...the 10...Touchdown! And then he would hand the ball to the referee and head to the sidelines until it was his turn to do his job again. Those days are quickly becoming a thing of the distant past. Today, not only does an 80 yard scamper illicit a three minute long choreographed dance in the end zone, but even a simple 4-yard run for a first down in the middle of the 2nd quarter prompts slamming the ball to the turf and emphatically signaling for a first down. The team mentality of players like Johnny Unitas and Barry Sanders has given way to the "Just Give Me the Damn Ball" tirades of the Keyshawn Johnsons of the NFL. There have been many pioneers along the way that have moved professional football from a team sport to an individual showcase for national television. Where does the line exist between emotion and disruption? On one hand, you have some of the greatest athletes on the planet performing incredible feats on the field in front of thousands of fans and millions of viewers at home. It would be naive to think there will not be emotion involved in such an arena. Celebrations haven't always been like they are today, however, and there are many who think there is no reason for them to be. Flag wielding referees are not the only ones who fall into this category. The impact of players' actions, especially after the play, is not only felt on the field, but even in youth football leagues across the country made up of 12 year olds wanting to emulate their heroes on TV. The sport has evolved, and emotion has jumped to the forefront.
Home | The Way it Was | Pioneers | Enough is Enough | Monkey See, Monkey Do | Sources

What's your definition of "excessive" celebration?