NFL Relaxes Celebration Rules to Allow 'Snow Angels,' Still Frowns on Thrusting

Ross Houston
May 26, 2017

After years of limiting how - and how much - players could celebrate following touchdowns, the league chose to loosen up its rules, allowing players to again use the football as a prop, celebrate as a group and roll around or flap their arms like snow angels on the ground again if they choose.

"We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown", Goodell wrote in a statement aimed at National Football League fans. It will make the preseason more exciting; now the competitions will last a week longer and we will be able to see more of the bubble players. Rule changes include being allowed to use the ball as a prop, celebrate on the ground, such as making snow angels, and celebrate in groups. If celebrations are deemed a violation by on-field officials, players could still be penalized under existing unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting violations, as well as fined.

Roger Goodell went on to say that the league is still trying to improve and certain types of celebrations, those that delay the game or are directed towards an opponent will still be fined. Where once there were two deadlines for cuts, one after preseason Week 3 from 90 men to 75, and another to 53 after the final game, there will now only be one.

The roster cut-down period rule change allows teams to have a longer evaluation period of players, and allows those players more of an opportunity to earn one of the final 53-man roster spots. A player placed on injured reserve can begin practicing after six weeks and return to game action after eight. The change will include all preseason, regular season and playoff games, although postseason contests can not end in ties. Especially since the amount of ties in the National Football League would have increased by 220 percent in the last five seasons if overtime only lasted for 10 minutes.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The move to shorter overtimes is just one of the changes that have been approved for the 2017 season.

"As work continues on the transformational sports and entertainment district being built at Hollywood Park, we are looking forward to moments such as a grand opening during the Summer of 2020 and the Super Bowl's return to Los Angeles after almost three decades", Demoff said. According to data collected by the league, there have been five ties in the past five years.

Many believe that it will only result in more games ending in a tie, which likely could be the case as there have only been five games that have ended in a tie since 2010.

Los Angeles has not hosted a Super Bowl in the area since 1993 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

The new rule will give 480 total players a chance to be on an National Football League roster for at least another week.

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