The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the season at 0-4, and Daddy Tomlin decided it was time to shorten the leash and put the kids’ toys away. Tomlin banned table top games (and possibly moments away from banning Candy Crush) in the week leading up to the Black & Gold’s game against the Jets. Coincidence or not, the Steelers won Sunday’s contest in Jersey, finally scratching a notch into the win column. And as difficult as it might be to relate the banning of table top games to the win against the Jets, it might be equally difficult to think that Sunday only emboldened Tomlin to continue his ‘do’s and don’ts.’
Earlier on Tuesday Steeler Nation was notified that the act of somersaulting into the end zone has been the latest team ‘ban.’ During Sunday’s win, Emmanuel Sanders found himself headed for the end zone for six points and decided to somersault into the end zone for a bit of flair. He made it 3/4′s of the way around and landed on his back. Sanders got some really good height on the jump and landed hard with a couple of bounces on the hard faux turf. Sanders got up unscathed and celebrated with a couple of teammates while headed back to the sidelines.
My observation of the incident was that a guy who hasn’t found himself in the end zone (let alone his other teammates) much this season was really excited to get there and decided to show boat the big play a little bit. Besides, players have to be even more careful now with the new celebration rules – Sanders decided to celebrate early before he technically crossed the goal line. No harm. No foul. Deemed a bit classless by some because the team is 0-4, a bit dumb (that’s my thinking), or just a guy having fun at a football game, the Twittersphere seemed to get a bit chatty about this matter. Well Daddy Tomlin was not fond of the feat of acrobatics, deemed it ‘silly,’ and banned players from that type of celebration.
The NFL stands for the National Football League. At one point, former head coach Jerry Glanville said the NFL stood for ‘Not For Long’ after a ref blew a call during a game. Lately, the quip is that the NFL now stands for the No Fun League – current Commish and douche-canoe Roger Goodell’s attempts to make the league ‘safer’ and more homogeneous has caused the majority of NFL fans to brand the league as just that, No Fun.
If the Commish and the league want to change the rules and nit pick how players act on and off the field, well that’s their prerogative. It’s their league and no matter how much we may hate those choices – we still consume every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. If Tomlin wants to nit pick and ban this and ban that, well obviously that’s his prerogative. But is Tomlin going a bit far with the ‘until you start to do what you’re told, I’m taking all your toys away?’ The table game ban may have been more of a statement than and actual direct effect on the player’s psyche, but is it still in place? Is the somersault ban really about player safety? Or is it more about keeping the players egos in check as they still exist near the bottom of the league? Come on, it’s just a little fun, right?
If it’s really about keeping the players egos in check, then his next step will be to keep AB from signaling a first down with his signature point and ball drop.