By: Devin Glennon
Here we are, heading into the 7th week of the 2016-17 NFL season, and it has been a season full of headlines, despite them being predominately negative. Most of these headlines are coming from individual players and their actions, too. Players are constantly combating Goodell’s strict regulations, which I love, because I do not like Roger Goodell in the slightest, and it looks like most of the NFL fans are with me on that. He is constantly trying to control NFL players as if they are kids. His efforts are comical.
NFL player antics has been an aspect of the league for decades. There are always showmen of the game, the guys who love the spotlight and let people know it. All the way back to Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, creating one of the NFL’s first touchdown dances in the 70’s. “White Shoes” was a fan favorite for the Houston Oilers and his legacy is solidified by his dance. With him and players like “Ickey” Woods revolutionizing the celebratory dances, they started a whole new aspect of football that wasn’t there before them. Ickey Woods had a brief, injury-ridden, career of only 4 years, but everyone knows who he is because of his trademarked “Ickey Shuffle”. Since then, this player persona has done nothing but evolve. In the 90’s and 2000’s, finesse players, especially wide receivers and defensive backs continued to carry on the trend. Cornerback, Deion Sanders, aka Primetime, had a gift of entertaining the fans, not just with is amazing talents, but with his charisma and will to break the mold. Wide receivers like TO, Chad Johnson (or Ochocinco, I can’t keep up anymore), and Randy Moss, challenged the integrity of the game at times with their antics and celebrations.
With this sort of behavior, controversy is most likely to emerge, which it did. There is one side of the fan spectrum that is all about the showboating and the trash talk, which I consider myself leaning more towards. On the other hand, there is people like my father that like it traditional and support the “just play football” plead. Whenever Odell Beckham Jr. does his dancing in the end zone, my dad goes on a short little rant about “back in my day, you score a touchdown, hand the ball to the ref, and go back and do it again”. It may be a generation thing, where this is just a new age of football, but Roger Goodell does everything to stop these celebrations from happening. To me, let them celebrate. To my dad, get back to the huddle. Randy Moss gestured taking his pants down and pretended to moon the Packers fans when he scored once, and I love that. I am even a Packers fan! However, what I have a problem with is when it starts effecting your team negatively, and takes focus away from the game and skews your team’s morale. This is what I see with OBJ and his excessive desire for the spotlight. This desire is impacting his attitude badly and now he thinks everyone is against him. When your passion becomes a consistent issue to your own teammates, and Eli Manning is telling you to stop, you probably should. And when it comes to celebrating, I love his dance moves and I love when he pulls off some sweet dancing, but everyone is focusing more on what he is doing on the sideline with his new kicking net wife than what the whole team is doing on the field, and that is unacceptable. Even if Odell is disobeying Goodell, I draw the line when it becomes an issue in the locker room, and I don’t like how he thinks he has leverage over the Giants organization because he is a highlight reel. To conclude it, do not go by Goodell’s rules, go by your team’s interests and values.
(Featured Image: elz473, Flickr)