The Armchair Quarterback's Guide To The No Fun League

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November 11, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) dunks the football over the goal post after scoring against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Armchair Quarterback’s Take Of The Week

The NFL Has Taken Their “No Fun League” Rules Too Far (Or Have They?!?)

Normally I save my “Rant of the Week” for the end of this column, but this week I couldn’t wait that long. I love the NFL. In fact, if I’m being honest, I have an unhealthy obsession with the NFL (specifically my beloved Kansas City Chiefs), but sometimes the league does things that just boggle my mind. That happened again this week when word came out that the league would be banning the goalpost slam dunk celebration that was originated by future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez and was (up until now) going to carry on with the Saints Jimmy Graham. Unfortunately for Graham, that’s not going to happen now because the NFL decided to include this particular celebration in their ever expanding insistence that no NFL player ever be seen having fun.

That would be horrible. You know…..someone having fun…..playing a game.

This is serious people! This is a profession. They’re getting paid. Therefore they may not have fun. Right? I mean what kind of example would that set for the children? People having fun while doing their job! Blasphemy, I tell you, BLASPHEMY!!! Children should know that a job isn’t a place to have fun. We shouldn’t get their hopes up! It’s a soul crushing daily grind that you just fight to survive. When a football player scores a TD it should look exactly like it does when someone files a purchase request with their boss or when a waitress delivers an order to their table. People don’t get to slam dunk anything when they do their daily jobs, so NFL players should set the same example.

The NFL is clearly in tune with the fact that people watch the NFL to see people doing a job. We tune in every week in record numbers to see players execute their professional responsibilities, not to be entertained. No, no, no, not to be entertained by an athletic competition, but to see people being professionals. This is not an escape from our daily problems, it’s inspiration for how we can all be more professional. In fact, we should probably stop referring to these displays as “games” and call them what they are, displays of professional football responsibilities.

Thank you for being so in tune with your public, NFL!

So since the NFL has perfectly nailed the people’s desire for the NFL to be serious. Let’s not stop there. After all, it’s not like the NFL is just flexing it’s muscles because they can. It’s not like they’re just trying to prove their authority over the players that tend to get all the media attention and fan adoration. No sir, they really care about giving fans what they want and giving their employees the professional work environment that they need. So since this is what the fans want, I feel that the rules need to extend to them as well.

So without further ado, I present to you the………

No Fun League Fan Code of Conduct:

1. Prior to games, no fan shall be allowed to tailgate in any fashion. You don’t throw a rack of ribs on the grill before work, so you shouldn’t at an NFL display of professional responsibilities either. Fans will be encouraged to bring a healthy meal or snack in a brown lunch sack. Salads and fresh fruits and veggies are highly encouraged. NFL concession stands will now be under the same state health guidelines as public school cafeterias. (We recommend the tuna casserole, it almost tastes like real tuna!)

2. No alcohol will be allowed on the premises or sold at the game. You can’t appreciate the subtle nuances of someone executing their professional responsibilities on the football field if you are under the influence. Plus, you can’t drink at work so you can’t drink at a No Fun League professional display either. This is a no brainer people.

3. Fans should at no point “high five” anyone, especially strangers. Germs are often transferred from hand to hand so besides being more professional this is also an issue of public health. If you absolutely feel that some kind of physical contact is needed to show your appreciation of the professional displays on the field, fans should use the “fist bump”. However, the NFL feels that if a “fist bump” must be executed, it should be done in the awkward hesitant style of a middle aged white guy. This best represents what the owners of the NFL feel would be appropriate in a professional work environment. “Fist bumps” that are too natural or “cool” in nature, while not banned (yet) are frowned upon.

4. There will now be an official NFL noise ordinance in place at all NFL displays of professionalism. Instead of using decibel readings to determine who the loudest NFL fans are, they will now be used to ensure that all displays of football professionalism maintain a noise level that is safe to the long term hearing of both the fans and professionals on the field. If a home team’s fans (or perhaps it would be better to label them professional supporters) top the designated decibel reading their team will be assessed a 15 yard noise penalty. When professional supporters see an act of football professionalism displayed on the field that they approve of the NFL recommends that fans smile, nod their heads up and down, and “golf clap” at an appropriate controlled decibel level. When the opposing team has the ball on a key third down, professional supporters may give that team a “disapproving scowl” and think “negative thoughts” towards the success of their third down attempt, but must be sure not to make any noise that would top the established decibel level or their team will be penalized.

5. In place of the Pro Bowl the NFL will be implementing an employee of the month program. After every professional football display, professional supporters will be encouraged to cast a vote (only one per week) for the football professional they feel did the best job. That professional will have his picture displayed on a plaque at the entrance to the stadium and receive a complementary employee of the month coffee mug. At the end of the season the players at each position that received the most votes for employee of the month throughout the season will be named to the league wide employee of the year team. Football professionals that are selected as employees of the year will receive an all expense trip for two to Hawaii and a souvenir engraved ball point pen. Warning: professional supporters caught trying to cast more than one vote per week for the employee of the month will be banned from all NFL events for life, no exceptions.

6. While the NFL hasn’t figured out a way to enforce rules 1-5 on a professional supporter’s private property (yet), all professional supporters are strongly encouraged to practice these rules at their home or anywhere that they may watch a professional football display. In fact, the NFL recommends that professional supporters not watch NFL professional football displays in groups of more than six people. It is the belief of the NFL that when watching professional football displays in a “party” or sports bar atmosphere that it is hard to maintain the professionalism necessary to truly enjoy the NFL professional product.

That is all that the No Fun League has come up with at this point, but don’t worry if other issues come up you can trust they will be dealt with in a swift and professional manner. So now no one has to worry about the noise and distractions that have plagued NFL professional displays in recent years. This is serious. These are paid professionals performing serious work and we want professional supporters everywhere to be able to appreciate that in appropriate fashions.

UPDATE: League insiders are reporting that the NFL’s Fan Conduct Committee has “grandfathered” in a few traditions. The “wave” will be allowed once per professional football display and professional supporters may still do the “de-fense, clap clap” cheer as long as it doesn’t rise above the established penalty decibel level.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really relieved that the NFL is finally cracking down on all the “tomfoolery” and “shenanigans” that get in the way of truly enjoying football. Thank you Roger Goodell and all the NFL owners, for your reasonable and in no way trivial or overbearing policies that keep this game from being too entertaining.

Now on to the Armchair Quarterback Odds and Ends of the Week……………

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