9 Worst Habits in the NFL

Gordon BlockContributor IIIDecember 28, 2011

9 Worst Habits in the NFL

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    Fans of the NFL know best, so when they see something that doesn't appear to be right, they aren't afraid to point it out.

    Whether it's outrageous policies, selfish antics or even dangerous play, it's pretty clear that these tendencies have gone on for too long without being changed. 

    These habits, a combination of the worst behavior of players, coaches and the entities around the league, are the most grating for fans to see on a continual basis.

    Here are the nine worst habits in the NFL.

Mark Sanchez: Hold on to the Ball!

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    There wasn't a whole lot to like about the play of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez Sunday as he was dominated by the New York Giants defense.

    Throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble, Sanchez struggled in keeping possession for his team.

    The issue of turnovers is one that has plagued him all season.

    He leads the league in lost fumbles, with eight so far this season.

    One suggestion for Sanchez—keep your eyes and hands on the ball! 

Networks: Consider Less as More with Pregame Shows

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    The pregame show is the last time to get news and analysis before kickoff, but unfortunately all the major networks have agreed to let their talent try to turn their programs into a laugh riot.

    The result—an hour (possibly more) of five or more commentators goofing around at their monster-sized desks, with plenty of joke attempts but little in the way of information or interesting background for the day's games (that would just get in the way).

    Deadspin has been excellent in breaking down this phenomenon, compiling footage of the pregame shows for these kind of forced comedy moments.

Oakland Raiders: Cut out the Cheap Penalties

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    The Oakland Raiders have needed some breaks this year, and they have made it tougher on themselves through the ridiculous number of penalties they have amassed.

    With 155 penalties for 1,293 yards, they should be able to catch the single-season record for penalties next week (the Kansas City Chiefs amassed 158 penalties for 1,304 yards in the 1998 season).  

    Last Saturday against the Chiefs, they had 10 penalties for 57 yards, but one of those was on a fake field goal play that would have given them a first down.

    The next play, an attempted field goal, bounced off the post for a miss.

    The Raiders are hanging on the verge of either winning the AFC West or seeing their playoff hopes crash and burn. They'll have the best chance of entry if they can drop division rival San Diego Chargers Sunday.

NFL: Stop Overcharging Fans

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    The NFL is great entertainment.

    When the league calls fans to "Come to the NFL" in their advertisements, we follow without question. 

    However, it's disappointing to see the many ways the league and its teams have gone out of their way to charge major prices for its fans.

    Average ticket prices in 2010 were $76.47 (which seems a little low), making a trip to see a game in person a daunting one for anybody trying to make it a family outing.

    Additionally, trying to purchase any team merchandise is painful for anybody trying to save a few bucks.

    As an example, I saw a message earlier today selling a shirt to commemorate the San Francisco 49ers playoff qualification this season (along with Coach Jim Harbaugh). Clicking the link, I saw that the simple T-shirt was going for $32. Thanks, but no thanks.  

    We get it—this is not a charity that is being run here. However, it'd be nice to be able to see some games in person and scoop up some team gear without having to break the bank. 

NFL: Hold off on Flagging Awesome Celebrations

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    It's hard to not be a fan of Pierre Thomas' bow placement touchdown celebration Monday night, and it's a shame that creative displays like that cannot have a place in the NFL game.

    It's not exactly new for the league to put the kibosh on what they consider over-the-top celebrations, but it does seem like those kind of calls are being enforced now more than ever.

    While the NFL looks to restrict these actions, it can get pretty annoying for fans who just wanted to see a little bit of excitement from the players. 

Rex Ryan: Quit Talking Trash Before Games

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    New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is known for being a big trash-talker, but I think we'd all appreciate it if he could hold himself back until after the game.

    Little good comes from the rants, except for annoying fans of both teams and giving inspiration to the Jets' opponents.

    As the New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs showed Sunday, this kind of inspiration can lead to opponents ready to put a hurting to the Jets.

    In the Giants' case, they were able to quiet the Jets quickly, beating them 29-14.

James Harrison: Stop Leading with Your Helmet

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    Again and again, it's the same story with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison.

    Harrison has developed a nasty habit of creating helmet-to-helmet collisions, putting opponents and himself at major risk of head and brain injury. 

    For this hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, Harrison was suspended for a game.

    Just another punishment for a player who has seen himself get fined and berated for his dangerous style of play.

Punters: Stop Kicking to Patrick Peterson and Devin Hester

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    Punters of the NFL—you know what is going to happen when you kick to the Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson or the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester.

    They are going to score on you.

    Stop kicking to them. You have been warned.

Ndamukong Suh: Stay out of Trouble

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    He may be very talented and the NFL's most charitable player, but Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has built a reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the league.

    In addition to several ugly tackles against opposing quarterbacks, Suh drew plenty of controversy after he stomped on the Green Bay Packers' Evan Dietrich-Smith on national television on Thanksgiving Day.

    Suspended for two games after the incident, Suh will need to stay out of trouble as the Lions prepare for their first playoff appearance since the 1999 season.