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24 May 2017, 04:04 | Susie Olson
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Owens made a name for himself over the course of his 15-year career as one of the most dynamic players in the league, amassing over 15,000 career receiving yards to go along with 153 touchdown receptions. The league decided it would loosen up the celebration rules, and commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a letter explaining the new policies.
Citing player safety, National Football League owners have shortened the overtime period from 15 to 10 minutes for the 2017 season. In the announcement, Goodell wrote: "Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized". The cracking down on celebrations in recent seasons had more than one fan decrying the NFL as the "No Fun League".
At the league's annual meeting in March, owners banned leaping over the offensive line to block kicks, approved instant ejections for egregious head-to-head hits and OK'd centralized replay review from the NFL officiating command center in NY. Some will claim player health and safety, but that's a bunch of nonsense. Playoff games will also use 10-minute time blocks in overtime, but won't end in ties.
The NFL's goal is to make celebration penalties more consistent without disrupting the flow of the game. Under the old rule, teams would trim rosters from 90 to 75 before the final preseason game, then 75 to 53 in the last cut down day. Second, the league will allow a second player to return from injured reserve. But enforcement was widely seen as overbearing last season when players were penalized not only for snow angels but also, for example, when they pretended to shoot jump shots with the football. A team game in which the players celebrate joy upon a successful on-field accomplishment.
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