Here are a couple of suggestions for networks and their NFL partners.
First, networks can help the league in the Sisyphean task of advising its officials on differentiating “taunting,” which requires a penalty, from new-age celebrations that are merely sophomoric exercises in mockery. So try this. On a trial basis, don’t let the camera linger on players who score or make play-ending efforts. It won’t rebottle the genie of poor taste and narcissism run amok, but it’s a start.
Showing the cheesy, look-at-me antics and the “trash-talking” dynamic that is nothing more than gangsta preening is reinforcing to the offending players. Surely no one wants to encourage boorish behavior in the name of creating colorful, ever-more-marketable “personalities.” Surely.
As for the league, don’t accentuate the negative with a “no taunting” penalty label. Some self-serving sorts say that makes the NFL the “No Fun League.” Think positive. Call it the “Show Some Class” rule. See how that sounds when it’s called.