The "No Fun League" Strikes Again, Blames It On "The Captain"

Lou DiPietroAnalyst INovember 12, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 08:  Brent Celek #87 and Jason Avant #81 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate after Celek scored on a 11-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on November 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Apparently, the NFL doesn’t want to have a little Captain in them.

Or so it seems after the league banned poses similar to the one Brent Celek struck after scoring a touchdown this past weekend. You know the one: right leg up as if standing on something, right hand on right knee, and left hand on left hip.

You know, the “Captain Morgan” pose.

Yes, that’s right. The league, claiming knowledge of a league-wide campaign where Morgan distributor Diageo would donate money to the NFL Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund every time a current NFL-er struck the pose on camera, shut down the barely-off-the-ground guerrilla campaign.

“A company can’t pay a player to somehow promote its product on the field,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Yahoo! Sports. “Every league has the same rule. It’s come up before, companies trying to use our games and then players for ambush marketing purposes.”

Yahoo also quoted an unidentified league official as saying that while Celek won’t be fined for his actions, anyone caught doing the pose will be subject to “significant” penalty.

And so the world asks…are you serious, NFL?

In a league where active players are being sent to prison at the rate of one a year, with celebratory actions ranging from Sharpies in socks to cell phones in goalposts—don’t you think they have a lot more to worry about than an un-mitigated advertising campaign?

First of all, they’re not paying the players. The donations would go to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Program, which helps retired players cope with various hardships or issues.  

At $10k per pose, they could have collected nearly $700,000 just for all the touchdowns scored in Week Nine. But instead, in essence what you might get is that the NFL doesn’t care about you, if you don’t play there anymore.

Obviously, that’s not the case, but it won’t stop someone associated with the fund from making that incredulous claim.

But second of all, again I implore: What’s wrong with the celebration?

The NFL doesn’t call penalties for dunking the ball through the goal post, nor have I seen many for teammates running 50 yards down the field to do a mid-air body bump.

Short of anything collaborative or pre-meditated—and yes, I understand this could be construed as both, but I’m thinking more along the lines of, say, the Riverdance exhibition in BASEketball —most celebrations shouldn’t even draw a flag, let alone a “significant penalty” from the league.

Hell, move that right arm up into a stiff position and you know what you get? The Heisman pose.

The fact that the league acted so quickly—at all, really—on this is indicative of the fact that they really don’t have a clue.

We have convicted felons, teams in danger of having a national Monday Night Football game blacked out, and hell, one of the league's teams actually uses a pirate as its mascot, yet a five second shout-out to help those who came before them is disallowed?

I think I need a shot of Captain just thinking about how stupid that sounds.