NFL to Get Tough on Taunting, Again

The NFL — or "No Fun League" as its detractors like to call it — is planning to embark on another one of its periodic crusades against "taunting" this season.

But if they didn't keep letting the rules already on its books concerning this particular issue lapse, there would be no need for these repeated crusades.

If the NFL sticks to its guns this time around — and my apologies in advance to the "woke" crowd for using that metaphor — there will be no need for any future crackdowns.

And how come no one proposes that the NBA changes its initials to "NFA" — the "No Fun Association" — when the latter's anti-taunting rules are not only more draconian and arbitrary, but also more Byzantine, than the NFL's rules on the subject have ever been?

Paraphrasing something that Rosie O'Donnell once said: "'Technical foul' — Google it!" (and NBA players can actually get suspended for repeated technical fouls).

If the NFL is truly serious, though, then it needs to impose sanctions that go beyond mere virtue-signaling: If a player scores a touchdown and then obviously taunts an opponent (generally the man that he "beat" on the play in question), the resulting 15-yard penalty must be marked off on the PAT, rather than the toothless alternative of assessing it on the ensuing kickoff.

In addition to essentially ruling out any attempt to go for two, it would made a kicked PAT the equivalent of a 48-yard field goal attempt — and as soon as one of those babies get missed and it costs a team a game, you will never see one of these puerile displays again.

But isn't this catering to the "crybabies," you ask?

No — it is the players who insist on rubbing an opponent's nose in it who are the real immature ones here.

Paul Brown was definitely onto something when he said: "When you get into the end zone, act like you've been there before" — Brown was the only non-ex-player (not sure if that's a word — but then again, no one thought that "calamoni" was a word either until Scoma's, the iconic seafood restaurant located on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, defined it as a tender calamari served in a lemon and butter cream sauce) ever to win a Super Bowl, or an NFL championship before the Super Bowl existed, until Bill Walsh won the first of his three rings in 1981.

There is something to be said in favor of genuinely creative celebrations, like Joe Horn's brilliant cellphone routine (his son Jaycee figures to have an awesome career on the other side of the ball, starting this season), and when Odell Beckham, Jr. lifted up his leg and simulated peeing in the end zone like a dog after scoring a touchdown in a 2017 game against the Eagles — an act that displeased the notoriously sanctimonious Joe Buck no end (Buck called it a "classless celebration").

But if stricter anti-taunting rules will prevent even one Pier 6 brawl (as the late Ralph Kiner liked to call them) like the one that ensued when that jailbird Mark Gastineau taunted Jackie Slater after beating him for a sack against the Rams in 1983, from happening, it will be well worth depriving these idiots of their "fun."

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