NFL Enforcement of Fines and Flags


Has the NFL instituted a forceful strategy of flags and fines this season. The game has eliminated any self expression from players who cannot suppress their emotions on the field.

There are flags and fines for bodily movement and uniform violations. Football is a very intense game where emotions run high. Curtailing these emotions for a whole game is nearly impossible. You do not see it often but a few times a game after a big play. Some are stupid reactions by a showoff but there are spontaneous displays that are part of the battle on the field.

With the squeeze on any display of emotion, the NFL is called the “no fun league” by the players. The over-reaching clamp on end-zone celebration, bodily gestures and limiting video content on teams social media accounts is becoming too restrictive.

Of course the NFL wants to protect their image but over-reacting to the extreme removes some of the fun in the “no fun league”. You do not see the NBA getting to extreme in limiting self-expression. NBA players have more freedom to “flex their muscle” and some display of emotion.

NBA ratings were up last year due partly from exciting video of player`s talents. A monster jam or a slick bounce pass is entertainment for the fan. Not so in the NFL whose ratings are down about 10 percent this year. The NFL is still a game but has evolved into very tense competition with no room for individual expression. Enforcement of intimidation flag is still needed with no room for that kind of thug behavior.

The NFL brass has a big responsibility to satisfy the ad sponsors, networks, owners and fans. How to keep the NFL from sliding down its pinnacle rise is trying to keep the crown on the head of the most popular game in town. A tilt in the opposite direction of your previous success sometimes needs a pause for re-alignment and adjustment. Some new rules have helped the game (protecting the QB) while others have gotten to technical and harder to officiate. A 13 billion dollar game has a lot at stake. It has become more than a game when I was growing up — oh so many years ago, I hate to admit. Makes life a little more interesting.