While the emphasis has been on the Bengals rookie class, the NFL recently changed the rules on end zone celebrations. Marvin Lewis doesn’t agree.
The NFL is a game that’s played by men for millions of dollars. In recent years, the rules and strict conduct of its employees have been so overbearing that it became known as the No Fun League. So, when Roger Goodell decides to take off the warden outfit and allow some fun, Marvin Lewis says it’s wrong. Suddenly, a “game” that needs to be a little looser will be a bad influence on kids. Yeah, okay. That’s not the idea behind the rules change.
Letting a player express his emotions after a touchdown isn’t going to lead to WWIII. If anything, the emotional charge will be sent through the whole team. In fact, we may see defensive units get fired up to keep certain players from scoring. Remember when Chad Johnson would talk about his celebrations for the upcoming weekends? When the opponents were asked how they felt, it was always about keeping him out of the end zone.
Lewis had that guy on his squad. How does he forget the Riverdance, wiping the ball’s butt and the Tiger Woods fist pump? When kids see their favorite player do something fun and entertaining, it’s good for the league’s image. What’s wrong with the product as it is? That’s a list that can go a mile long. But, the bottom line is the stoic nature of the play. Yellow flags are flying around like gnats on a hot summer day. Let the guys have some fun and watch sagging ratings soar again.
Business As Usual
Wait. Didn’t you know the NFL’s ratings had dipped? Actually, per Business Insider, the ratings had slipped 9% for the entire year. The playoffs reflected a 6% drop in viewership. Lewis may not like the idea of celebrations but the league is a business. At the end of the day, it’s all about profits. If guys dancing in the end zone will get ratings boosted, it’s all good.
The Bengals are currently in the midst of a firestorm, with the addition of Joe Mixon to the team. There are fans who have turned the other cheek and there are diehards who want him gone. Lewis has made a habit of giving hard luck players a second chance. But, during the Lewis regime, there have been players that would have been starters on the Mean Machine ( good movie…The Longest Yard ). But, now it’s about the kids being influenced?
Frankly, Lewis should have had that mindset when Vontaze Burfict was taken or in dealing with the antics of Adam Jones. Instead, Marvin decided to look the other way and keep those players–and others from the past–employed by the Bengals.
More Important Matters
This isn’t a good look for Lewis. The Bengals are in the stages of a year that could be make-or-break for him. He needs to stay in the good graces of both fans and players.
Taking such a hard stance on something so trivial is eye-opening. If there weren’t the questionable players in the Bengals history, it would be acceptable. Maybe if Lewis took a harder stance on getting a playoff win and advancing to the AFC Championship game, this would come across as natural.
As of this moment, the whole vibe feels…strange and awkward. Can we just start the season? I wanna see Mixon score and do the Moonwalk.