OK, nobody is watching the NFL on television. The players hate America. The game is even more hazardous to brain health than binge-watching “The Bachelor.” At least that’s what I gather from the alarmists and the trolls out there.
So much sour news around the game.
But one thing the league got right this year, I think we all can agree, is the new, playful touchdown celebration.
If you objected to the Vikings playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” in the end zone, or the Chiefs staging a mock potato sack race, then you officially are as much fun as a paper cut.
When the NFL decided its product should entertain on occasion and relaxed its celebration rules this season, amazing things happened. Players began exercising their imaginations. They tapped into the childish joy that often goes missing in big, corporate sport. They weren’t vulgar with their displays (which presumably would still draw a penalty). They didn’t overdo it, not going so long that it delayed getting to the important insurance and pizza commercials. These celebrations were, in many cases, some of the more amusing aspects of the afternoon.
Now it is the Super Bowl. Everything is bigger Sunday. That means, we hope, the teams take their end-zone pantomimes to even grander heights.
We’ll see how the teams involved react. The Eagles have contributed to the scrapbook of end-zone antics – having at various times pretended to bowl or to play baseball after touchdowns. The Patriots hardly seem the kind of team to indulge in this nonsense, given the demeanor of their coach. As Rob Gronkowski put it earlier this year after one Pats display, “We got yelled at. We’re not allowed to talk about celebrations.” But maybe they can loosen their corset just this one time.
We need something on an epic scale Sunday.
We need a tribute to the upcoming Winter Olympics: I’m thinking a receiver pretending to figure skate (short program) while teammates score him. Sequins optional.
With Justin Timberlake returning for the halftime show, we need a homage to the wardrobe malfunction. It may require a uniform with a trap door.
We need, somehow, to turn a touchdown into a Star Wars bar scene. It’s the Super Bowl, is it too much to ask for each team to bring in a makeup artist?
We need something emblematic of the setting. How about the scoring team gather in a circle and re-create the thrill of ice fishing? A flask would be a nice touch.
We need a Las Vegas-style review, interrupted briefly by a football game.
Not sure what children’s games are left then. This season we’ve had the Falcons play red light-green light, the Ravens engage in a tug-of-war and the Lions play Rock ‘’Em Sock ’Em Robots. Are kids still allowed to play dodge ball anymore? If so, that might be an option Sunday, if it’s not too dangerous.
Or you could lay out a couple of linemen and use them as a backyard trampoline.
Just nothing political, please. That’s what the Grammy’s are for.
There is high pressure to perform Sunday. After all, both teams have had two weeks to game plan. More important, they’ve also had two weeks to choreograph.