The first week of 2013 was an emotional one for Ravens fans. Five days after learning about Ray Lewis’ intentions for his “last ride,” a jam-packed M&T Bank Stadium witnessed Lewis in his final home game of his career. At the end of the victory, one of the greatest defensive players of all time lined up on offense, ten yards behind quarterback Joe Flacco who was about to kneel down and run out the clock during the Wild Card Playoff against the Indianapolis Colts.
As the clock read “0:00,” Lewis burst into his patented “squirrel dance” one final time, tearing up the eyes of tens of thousands of people in attendance. Now just imagine this:
Penalty flags fly onto the field as the referee turns on his microphone:
“Unsportsmanlike conduct – dancing… #52 of the offense… 15-yard penalty.”
Lewis wasn’t trying to show up his opponents. He was celebrating in his own style the end of a magnificent career.
However, regardless of any dancing player’s intention, the NFL will now further lay down the hammer on players everywhere as they try to entertain fans of a GAME — a game that is one of the most ENTERTAINING sports in the world.
According to Minnesota-based ESPN1500.com’s Andrew Kramer, the NFL appears as if it is going to embrace the nickname of “No Fun League.”
“Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties will be further emphasized this season, including any player who throws, spikes or spins the ball after the whistle is blown.”
While it seems horrible to take the spike and ball-spin out of football, there’s more – much more. Here are a few other items included in Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1, Note 3 of the NFL rulebook for prohibited acts resulting in Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
Let’s take a look at the rule changes and what it was like when football used to be fun.
R.I.P, “Sack Dances” and “Incredible Hulk” poses.
So-long, “Gronk Spike.”
Or… “Koch Spike.”
Adios, “Spinning the ball!”
Or “dancing” … the thing that has made Jacoby Jones one of the league’s most entertaining players.
While we’re on the topic of dancing, I guess the NFL will have to kill their own Dancing With the Starters segment on NFL Network.
Say goodbye to “pointing” or “pointing with the ball.”
Hasta la vista, “standing over your opponent”… (with some bonus pointing).
We “salute” (also banned) you NFL for taking the fun and entertainment out of our Sundays.
Now that the fun has been sucked out, why don’t you just give every team participation trophies while you’re at it.
UPDATE: Thanks to reader “Stu” for brining to our attention a tweet from the NFL’s PR frontman, Brian McCarthy. Even though it’s not as bad as we originally thought, the league is certainly cracking down and more flags will fly this season. Thanks to ESPN’s SportsCenter for freaking everyone out.