The NFL won major points with its fans on Tuesday as the league announced that it is loosening rules that prohibit certain touchdown celebrations. Effective in 2017, using the football as a prop, celebrating on the ground and group demonstrations will all be legal.
"We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter to fans. "And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements."
The San Francisco 49ers were flagged for making snow angels during a Week 13 loss against the Chicago Bears. The new rule now makes that display legal, should it be snowing again when the 49ers travel to Soldier Field this season.
Demonstrations that are deemed offensive, prolonged or directed at an opponent will still be penalized.
Also of significance, overtime will now be 10 minutes long instead of 15 minutes and the league has also abolished the first waive of preseason roster cuts. Rather than go from 90-to-75-to-53 players, teams will go straight from 90-to-53 on Sept 1 (the day following the final preseason game).