If you were power ranking NFL teams by touchdown celebrations last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers would land somewhere near the top in nearly every classification. From hide-and-seek, to Le'Veon Bell mock benching, to JuJu Smith-Schuster locking up his bike, Steelers players had imaginative fun after each score.
Their head coach would like to squash that enjoyment.
Mike Tomlin said Tuesday from the Annual League Meeting he's not a fan of celebrations.
"It's for the entertainment of the fans so I respect it on that level, but personally I don't like it," Tomlin said, via ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "I just think it takes away from the game. It's not a good look for young people. Young people aren't allowed to celebrate in that way [during games], so why should we?"
That's a fiery old take from a veteran coach. Sadly, it's also in line with the thought process from other coaches. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also gave a "save the children!" type response to the celebration rule last season.
Even if the hating celebrations mentality is a sentiment felt by most NFL coaches -- and we suspect it is -- citing poor example to young kids is a woefully faulty reason.
The NFL is entertainment. A game. Displays of joy should be celebrated and nurtured, not snuffed out with the zeal of corrections officer.
What will kids learn watching NFL players rejoice touchdowns with choreographed celebrations? That football is fun? That it's okay to be creative? That achieving a goal is rewarding? So long as these celebrations don't cross into taunts, it's all in the game.
The excuse that younger players aren't allowed to celebrate is also flawed. There is a myriad of rule differences that exist between levels of every sport. Perhaps lower levels of football should allow more celebrations following the NFL's lead, not the other way around.
To not like the celebration rule is a fine personal choice. Tomlin and others are entitled to that opinion -- just as we can disagree. Just say that. Don't use the amorphous "save the children" argument like you've got some higher cause to protect.
Even coaches celebrate is some fashion, right?
Thankfully, Tomlin understands this is one trend he shouldn't rally the troops against.
"I'm preparing, I'm moving on, to be honest with you," Tomlin said. "I don't even see them. I see them on television. In game, you're moving on."
Agreed. Let's all move on.