As it turns out, Roger Goodell didn’t come up with the idea to relax the NFL’s celebration rules by himself.
The NFL commissioner announced Tuesday that the league would relax the rules on celebrations, allowing the players to use the ball as a prop, celebrate on the ground and as a team. And one of the NFL’s most notorious celebrators — Chad Johnson — apparently gave the commissioner some input on the rule change.
“I knew the rule change was coming; I had talked to Roger a couple of times at length, maybe two or three times before the rule change came out,” Johnson said on the “B-More Opinionated!” podcast, as transcribed by ESPN’s Katherine Terrell. “He asked my advice on what he could do to be able to loosen the reins on the celebration rule but, at the same time, maintain the respect of the game.
“I said there’s a fine line and you have to find a way to find the balance and be able to let the players have fun and be themselves without losing the integrity of the game as well.”
The former Cincinnati Bengals star and Goodell butted heads more than a few times over celebrations during the receiver’s 11-year career. But five seasons after Johnson last caught an NFL pass, the league finally agreed to have a little more fun, with some help from the man himself.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images