The NFL’s Unraveling, One 15-Yard Penalty at a Time



Thursday night in the 49ers-Cardinals game the NFL took its role as the destroyer of all things fun and exciting and emotional to new depths when it flagged Niners running back Carlos Hyde for a 15-yard taunting penalty after he ran for a first down, then flexed. Defensive back Marcus Cooper gets an assist for causing the flag after he got in Hyde’s face following the run, which in turn prompted the flex.


With so much at stake, and with so many games decided by the turn of one possession, a 15-yard penalty can be enough to completely change the fortunes of a team. Not to mention changing the final score, when so much money is also at stake for millions of sports gamblers.


Twice now Antonio Brown has been fined for his end zone celebrations and the Browns Terrelle Pryor says that he was fined for mimicking LeBron James during a celebration, which came on the heels of a completely botched taunting penalty against him that cost the Browns an opportunity to win against Baltimore. This of course all comes in the wake of the $10,000 fine of Josh Norman for shooting a pretend bow and arrow.


It’s one thing to try and deescalate tensions between players that may be exacerbated by one player specifically targeted a taunt towards another. But end zone dances, flexing, and nods of respect from one Cleveland athlete to the city’s most famous athletic hero can’t help but feel like arbitrary cracks down on the thing we love most about sports – the emotion of the athletes.


And just as important to a league that deals in billions of dollars is the impact these penalties have the final point spreads and sports bets in Las Vegas. There’s a perfect bet for every sports fan, and we devote our time and energies to help those fans find it. It sure is a shame with an overzealous zebra stripped official with an itchy flag finger ruins that perfect bet by derailing a drive with a completely meaningless and unnecessary penalty.


It’s time to stop the insanity and let the men play. Football is dirty, nasty, physical, and emotional. And that’s exactly why it’s so popular.

Garry loves writing, editing and ranking keywords in the search engines. His passion for basketball, football, baseball and other sports has led him to write. He has been writing and promoting his blogs in the past seven years.

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