Barring some miraculous outbreak of good taste and civilized decorum, virtually nothing – from fines to taunting penalties – will alter the NFL’s joining the NBA in an ongoing dissent into hip-hop hell. There is no re-bottling the genie of boorish behavior.
The game is largely played by black athletes, very few of whom would be mistaken for the second coming of Gale Sayers or Julius Erving. They are the hip hop generation, and if you don’t like it, don’t watch. That’s why there’s tennis and golf and why there used to be hockey.
Ironically, for all the notoriety caused by Randy Moss’ latest episode, it is one of the more benign examples. The simulated “mooning” of Green Bay Packer fans, it turns out, was more turnabout than turn-off.
Apparently there’s a long-running, stupid tradition among some Packer drunks of “mooning” the opposing team bus after games. Moss responded in kind. Even Tony Dungy thought it was practically funny. As opposed to some of Moss’ other imbroglios over the years, this one wasn’t even illegal.
But if the NFL and its network co-conspirators really wanted to do, well, SOMETHING other than issue pro forma statements and levy fines to the obscenely compensated, here’s what they conceivably could do. Add this directive to the TV coverage guidelines: keep the cameras off show-boating individuals after a play has ended.
Go right to replay, put up a graphic or look for reaction shots in the stands. Do not, repeat DO NOT, linger on wide outs, running backs, defensive backs, defensive linemen, etc. who go into their individual, look-at-me, juvenile antics. If no one save enabling live partisans could get a look, there might, repeat MIGHT, be less incentive to do it.
As it is, tackles, incompletions, first downs, sacks, fumble recoveries and interceptions are all preludes to trip the light fantastic as only mugging athletes can. And that’s why touchdowns – events traditionally worth “celebrating” – seemingly require an upping of the ante, i.e., the (moon) shot heard ’round the sports world.
As to whether the networks, who pay outrageous sums to televise pro football, would want to make such a change, that’s a long shot. Likely a no shot. They like exploiting the trash-talking as if it were merely gamesmanship; they follow sophomoric, classless antics as if they were mere extensions of enthusiasm.
They think there’s not enough of us who know the difference
.They are probably right.