No matter what you think about the NFL’s public relations woes, you have to admit that the decision to allow end zone celebrations is interesting. Last season, a player who scored a touchdown could do a little celebrating himself but couldn’t have teammates join him. Thus it was perfectly okay for Antonio Brown to tear off a little flamenco, or, more notoriously, a bit of twerking, all alone, but inviting a colleague to join him in a pas de deux was strictly forbidden.
We warned Brown about the possible health consequences of unrestrained twerking, but it’s all moot now. Under the new dispensation there will be no twerking. However, group demonstrations are now sanctioned, and the response by the players has been mixed.
It must be tough enough to make an NFL squad what with all the weight lifting and wind sprints, not to mention the high speed collisions and locker room interviews. Now they have to be choreographers and set designers. It’s not enough to shake off 300 pound tacklers and out-run homicidal linebackers. Once you cross the goal line you have to put on a one-act play in pantomime.
Last Sunday, after scoring on a long pass against the Colts, Juju Smith-Shuster and LeVeon Bell re-enacted Act III, Scene 1 of Julius Caesar, in which the title character is stabbed to death in the Roman Senate. We’re pretty sure Bell was heard to shout, “Et tu, Juju?” Either that or they were giving each other the Heimlich maneuver. It was too close to call; pantomime is tricky that way.
The Vikings, on the other hand, went old school, or maybe pre-school, by re-enacting a hop-scotch session. The Chiefs re-enacted a potato-sack race . Either that or there were some serious leg injuries left untreated.
The Saints’ Mark Ingram didn’t get the memo because he opted to jump into the stands after a score only to find a group of hostile Bills fans waiting to pour beer on him. He’d have been better off staging the famous “Stella” scene from “A Streetcar named Desire.”
The Browns touchdown celebration? Well, let’s just say it’s still in the planning stage, but if and when we ever see it, it’ll probably be awesome.
The real shame is that the NCAA hasn’t allowed college players the same latitude. We look forward to the day when we will witness moving celebratory enactments like:
The Harvard Crimson – After scoring a TD against Yale, a group of Harvard players will pantomime a scene from the Cherry Orchard, capturing every Chekhovian nuance.
The MIT Fighting Engineers – Following a thrilling touchdown against the Coast Guard Academy, the team will sustain a series of disabling groin pulls while attempting to pantomime the solution to a quadratic equation.
The Pitt Panthers – After scoring the lone touchdown in an otherwise lackluster outing, the players will attempt to pantomime that time last season when they beat Penn State.
The Penn State Nittany Lions – Following an electrifying touchdown run by junior phenom Saquon Barkley, the squad will pantomime picking a buckeye off a tree and throwing it to the ground, but they won’t quite succeed in crushing it.
* * *
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner has begun to serve his sentence at FMC Devins, a Federal prison in Ayer Massachusetts. On his way to the slammer he made a plea for pen-pals to correspond with him while he is incarcerated. We here at Idler Central believe that where there is crime there should be swift and sure punishment, but it should also be leavened with mercy.
We have therefore instituted a new feature to the column, called “Hey Weiner”, in which you can safely correspond with the notoriously randy felon. Here are a few of the initial queries from random readers:
Hey Weiner: Now that you’re in the stony lonesome, you won’t be needing that cool screen name any more. So what do you say? Can I be Carlos Danger until you finish your stretch?
Hey Weiner: If you make me a W-E-I-N-E-R vanity plate, I’ll be your pen pal for the duration. How about it?
Weiner: Send picture
That’s all for this week!
Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook