Chicago Bears fever is sweeping the city right now with fans loving the victories, the wins – and the touchdown dances.
It is only as of May 2017 that the National Football League relaxed the rules about celebrating after a touchdown.
Players now scheme and even practicing to make sure when their big moment arrives, they are ready to perform. Players become unabashed and creatively choreograph routines. With sanctioned celebratory skits, the NFL no longer stands for the “no fun league.”
Dan Bernstein, radio co-host at AM670 The Score said it’s good for the fans, the players and the team alike.
“I love it. It incentivizes teams to score,” he said. “You want to score a touchdown. You don’t want to punt because you’ve been working so hard on the Rockettes thing you’ve been using. You don’t want to get to the end of the game and not use it.”
For years, dance moves in the end zone during game time typically resulted in big fines. The Steelers’ Antonio Brown got hit with nearly $10,000 for twerking. In 2016, penalties considered taunting or unsportsmanlike were up 220%, compared to 2015. That’s around the same time the NFL was through policing the stunts saying “spontaneous displays of emotion” will now be allowed.
“There are players who thought their artistic side was being kept down by owners because they could,” Bernstein said.
The new rules allow players to now celebrate as a group. They can hit the ground after scoring. And they can now use the ball as a prop.
They cannot do anything displaying violence or using offensive imagery. That includes shooting a gun or bow and arrow. Players can’t delay the game or taunt the other team, and you still can’t twerk. No sexually suggestive moves permitted.
Last weekend, Bears’ Bradley Sowell stole the show with the Bears one and only touchdown for the game. He said he stole his touch down dance moves from his daughters.
“I don’t know where he seen that dance from, but I know he has some moves,” Bears Tarik Cohen said. “I saw him dance before. Just happy he got into the end zone and got to show his moves.”
Cohen said he’s dreaming up what he and the rest of the offense are going to do next.
”We just bring ideas to the table and see who gets the most votes so to say, and we just put it out on the field,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens. Like when we started to row a boat. We all just fell in line. It didn’t matter if you knew how to row a boat or not.”
Cohen said he love the opportunity and what it does for competitive drive.
“It just makes us want to get in the end zone that much — just to show off our dances that we make up. So I’m all for it.”
Bernstein said the NFL also loves it. It drives social media content. And referees also love it because there is less policing on the field.
“Maybe there is an old grumbling coach in a press box somewhere who’s saying that’s not how they did it in my day. Act like you‘ve been there before,” Bernstein said. “But those people are going to be dead soon and we won’t have to worry about them.”