“If the National Football League stands for the ‘No Fun League,’ the XFL will be the extra fun league.” That’s how WWE owner Vince McMahon tried to sell his failed football league in February of 2000, and while people still mostly remember the XFL as a joke, McMahon can at least take credit for that phrase’s longevity. Sixteen years later, as NFL players are scared of being fined for every and any gesture of excitement or joy, “No Fun League” is the battle cry of edgy hot takers, but the penalties and fines also have some players staring longingly at another league’s unbridled, hand-shaking party animals.
Washington Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall is the latest player to join the chorus of angst over the league’s strict rules on happiness, and he’s a little jealous of those high-paid NBA players who get to be as celebratory as they want.
“When I first came in this league, you could kind of be different,” Hall said during an appearance on ESPN. “You could do things. You could celebrate in the end zone. The [Terrell Owens] popcorn, signing balls, Joe Horn pulling out a cellphone. You could kind of do some of those things. But now, it’s definitely the no fun league.
“You know, I told one of these young guys, I’m like ‘I am so glad I’m on the way out, because I don’t have to deal with this stuff for too much longer,’ ” Hall went on. “Guys want to come out there and have fun. We are playing a game. I understand, everybody has bosses and we all have to kind of follow the rules. But this is a game, and we want to go out there, we want to have fun, we want to be entertaining. And it’s definitely different and frustrating when you see an NBA player be able to be himself and do sort of different things, and wear his socks a certain way, or wear different colored shoes. And you have us: shoes’ll cost you $5,000, socks not a certain height $5,000, face masks will get you thrown out the game until you change it. You know, it’s definitely tough. It’s frustrating, without a doubt.” (Via the Washington Post)
Steelers superstar Antonio Brown was fined in Week 1 for twerking (or “boomin'”) after a touchdown, and while he called the fine “Nothing to a boss,” he ended up paying $12,000 for the dance moves and another $9,000 for violating the league’s uniform rules with his custom shoes. Then, because he *clutches pearls* danced after scoring a touchdown, he had to apologize.