What does that mean? Less ridicule, less fun, more penalties. How boring. “To mock is to try to fool that other player into some kind of activity that is not allowed in football,” McKay said. “This year, the first issue that was brought to our attention by the NFLPA was that there was too much taunt player against player, and there was too much on your face.” With that in mind, there was another mocking penalty during the Cowboys and Chiefs game that received less attention, but was perhaps more appropriate. Nevertheless, he does not follow this general rule to address the opponent. In a brawl between Cowboys C.J. Goodwin and Chiefs Rashad Fanton, Goodwin grabbed Fanton by the helmet and a flag was thrown that players, announcers and probably most fans assumed were on Goodwin for the face mask. But the flag was actually on Fanton for unsportsmanlike behavior in hindsight. What he did was pretend to shoot a gun towards the sideline, a gesture with slightly more violent effects than pointing at another player.
The league says this serves to end any form of malice or tension between teams. Let`s face it: if there is ill will between the teams, it was probably there before there was taunting. Here`s how rivalries work: two teams are close to each other or always play big games against each other. Even if the alleged mockery leads to hostility between teams, it is an issue that should be settled between the teams themselves, without the involvement of referees. Any ill will resulting from taunts usually lasts no longer than the single game in which it occurs. To repeat, it is normal to pretend that you are tearing your shirt, but it is not correct to point at it. What about applause, you ask? Disagree. Just ask Tashaun Gipson, who received the mocking penalty for celebrating a save at third base by hitting too close to Bengals receiver Ja`Marr Chase. Jump kicks aren`t cool either. One of the most controversial flags of the season came when Cassius Marsh took a jump kick after firing Ben Roethlisberger. The rules for dealing with Covid 19 have changed dramatically compared to last year.
In 2020, before vaccination was widely available, the league was focused on social distancing and preventing possible outdoor infections. Players were tested regularly, with positive people isolated. The league is happy to continue to crack down on taunts, but fans may not feel that way. The increase in mockery flags has not been well received by NFL fans. One former NFL player even went so far as to say that the new rule “ruins the game.” Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady also criticized the new rule. One of the NFL`s most controversial rule changes will return in 2022. The league wants to continue to strictly enforce mockery penalties next season, according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post. Meanwhile, Vincent said there is still no consensus on whether the league will change the rules in overtime to ensure possession of both teams. If there is momentum, it could be to make a change only for postseason games. The league made mockery a goal of the year, and the referees threw flags like crazy.
In a matter of weeks, there were even enough mockery calls to encompass an entire leading role. As was the case with mockery, players who mock receive an unsportsmanlike behavioral penalty that is good for 15 yards. The NFL didn`t change the rule or its penalties on or off the field for mockery, only the stricter enforcement of the rule for this season and next. NFLPA President JC Tretter denied that the players` association agreed with an increased emphasis on mockery. That`s not the only controversial mockery call made this season, but it`s certainly one of the most important. The main problem with punishment is the fact that it is fixed on emotions rather than facts and established rules. What constitutes ridicule always develops for no clear reason. Since the NFL is so determined to end the controversy and clashes between teams, maybe it should take a step back and look at how some of its rules have made things much worse.
This year, 12 rules were proposed by the competition committee or a single team, with a final list of six new or amended rules established by vote of the owners. What are they, how have they changed and what does that mean for the league? Meanwhile, two experienced coaches — Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs and John Harbaugh of the Ravens — discussed expanding the Replay Assist program, which has been rolled out with great success in 2021. The rule allowed repeat infringers at the stage to advise referees on a limited selection of objective appeals, but many coaches and executives believed advice had been given on other ineligible appeals. Reid and Harbaugh said they appreciated trying to correct as many mistakes as possible, Vincent said, but they wanted it to be made official as a general rule. The NFL defines mockery as a deliberate act toward another player, while excessive celebration is a celebration after a game that is not aimed at opposing players. Marsh`s violation was the 27th mock call in the NFL this year, according to NFLPenalties.com. Eleven of those calls were made in the first two weeks of the season, the total number for the 2020 season. Not only are constant penalties controversial, frustrating and disruptive, but they have also decided the results of some NFL games this season. On Nov. 8, a highly questionable penalty changed the outcome of a Monday night football game between the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers. Bears linebacker Cassius March had a huge sack against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to drop a fourth.
The rule of mockery per se has not been changed. NFL teams will only focus on taunts during the 2021 season, which means: no more bending of the opponent after a big run, no more excessive foul talk on the court, and maybe more Tyreek Hill-Deuces thrown on a big game. The NFL and competition committee reviewed the 61 mockery penalties from the 2021 NFL season. Of those, both sides agreed that 56 were the types of appeals that referees should apply next season. The league`s internal review of the 2021 film revealed a total of 61 mockery flags in 2021, the highest number in at least two decades of play, after the focus was on reducing hostilities between players. Of that total, 56 were attributed to actions the NFL will continue to legislate on, a list that includes survivors and/or pointing opponents as well as a move to an opponent`s bench. For the second year in a row, the NFL Competition Committee, NFL coaches and the NFL Players` Association have strongly recommended that mocking an opponent be a priority to continue promoting sportsmanship and respect for opponents. The NFL is returning to “No Fun League” mode, with the league`s competition committee deciding that mockery should be the focus of official teams entering the 2021 season.
While ridicule was always in the books like a 15-yard penalty, this year we`ve seen more flags for players talking a little bit. These are the new rules you have to follow this season. You can`t blame players if they`re confused about what`s “mocking” and what`s not. In today`s match Chiefs vs. Cowboys, for example, Clyde Edwards-Helaire received the mocking penalty for pointing the finger at Cowboys linebacker Luke Gifford. I mean, okay, nobody likes to be pointed at him, right? It`s so accusatory! Yes, I do. The other 14 teams avoided ridicule for nine weeks. Monday`s controversial call was the Bears` third mockery penalty this season, tying them to the mostly NFL`s Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks. Two mockery penalties committed by a single player in the same game will result in an automatic disqualification. In addition, the mocking player may be subject to additional disciplinary action depending on the severity of the action.
The league released its video on rule changes and annual priorities on Tuesday, explaining annoying things to players such as minor changes to kickoff formation and illegal forward pass rules. He also indicates that the strict application of the rule against mockery will be the focus this season. Several NFL owners have been vocal in expressing their disdain for taunts on the field. Given the number of NFL competition committee members who have supported the increased emphasis on ridicule over the past season, it looks like the crackdown will continue. Marcus Spears talks about the partnership between the NFL and the XFL and why he wants a rule change regarding simulated penalties in the former. (1:35) Two weeks into the 2021 NFL season, officials punished the players for 11 taunts. That number matched the total number of taunt penalties from the 2020 NFL season. That hasn`t deterred the NFL. A September report suggested the league was satisfied with the mockery approach.
Of those 11 penalties, the NFL reportedly approved nine. While Jalen Dalton of the Saints and Chris Westry of the Ravens were hit with mocking penalties during the preseason, Colts running back Benny LeMay became the figurehead of the mocking new rules.