In what many publications are calling "bizarre", the NFL and NCAA football organizations are cracking down on what they call taunting. As defined by Webster's Dictionary (2021), Taunting is "to reproach or challenge in a mocking or insulting manner." Ok, so these grown men, yes including at the college ranks (if you can bench press more than 325 pounds, feel free and call them kids), apparently cannot be "insulted" as the definition suggests. So where do we draw the line? Can reporters insult their performance? Can fans still boo? This may be the softest, and most confusing, rule ever devised for football, a sport where fellas crash into each other every 30 seconds until roughly 87 percent of them end up with brain injuries (Time, 2017). And who gets to define taunting? Did we not learn this lesson the last time college and pro football tried this not too long ago, where seemingly the same acts get flagged one play and not the next?
So a dance, or gesture, or glance with some words is worse? Hell, might as well fold up these leagues altogether if you are using that sort of logic.
Also, this type of crackdown has backfired in football just recently, as Slate (2021) points out, the NFL tried to "crackdown" on holding in 2019, resulting in the most ridiculous amount of holding flags that season that even the most vigilant fan could stomach.
And now for something even more ridiculous....
Steven Cohen on Twitter: "It's hard to understand how professional hitters can be this unproductive.The best teams have a more disciplined approach.The slugging and OPS numbers don't lie. / Twitter"
It's hard to understand how professional hitters can be this unproductive.The best teams have a more disciplined approach.The slugging and OPS numbers don't lie.
Yes, many folks worried the owner of the Mets may have hurt his players' feelings. You know, that roster where the least paid baseball player makes a couple hundred thousand to play America's pastime (Spotrac, 2021). It is not the money that is the point, it is the fact grown men who get paid handsomely to not have a day job from 9-5 suddenly cannot be inconvenienced with criticism, and god forbid a joke. Let's not put on heirs here, and pretend an owner can't speak candidly like this, after all, Americans love touting team owners, tv personalities, Hollywood stars, and politicians who seemed "refined" and "polished", only to find out years later how crooked and devious they can be. It is at least refreshing to see an owner willing to be candid and open instead of fake and make-believe.
So everyone can feel safer now, football players and baseball players alike will never feel insulted, however, you may feel a bit insulted next time you fork over $100 to go watch a watered-down league with unenthusiastic robotic-like players who can't hit below the knee or above the chest but it is a completely friendly match where nobody wins and nobody is offended.
Don't even get me started on basketball.
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud and 12oz Sports Writer
Kirshner, A (2021). The NFL and NCAA Are Launching a Bizarre New Crackdown. Slate. Retrieved https://slate.com/culture/2021/08/taunting-nfl-college-football-ncaa-rules-emphasis-why.html
Merriam-Webster (2021). Taunt. Retrieved https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taunting
Sifferlan, A. (2017). Degenerative Brain Disease Found In 87% of Former Football Players: Study. Time. Retrieved https://time.com/4871597/degenerative-brain-disease-cte-football/
Spotrac (2021). New York Mets 2021 Payroll. Retrieved https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/new-york-mets/payroll/