NEW YORK (WFAN) — “It’s Rockette time.”
That was Mike Francesa’s reaction Tuesday to the NFL’s decision to relax rules on touchdown celebrations. The league announced that it will now be legal for players to participate in group celebrations, use the ball as a prop and go to the ground following TDs.
“This is to placate the younger fans who they think want this,” the WFAN host said. “Their studies show them that the young fans want these celebrations. They want this stuff after the touchdowns. They want this nonsense.”
Here was Francesa’s reaction to some other rule changes announced Tuesday:
• Eliminating the waves of preseason roster cuts and creating one deadline to set the roster at 53.
“Why would you do that? Figure it out yet? To eliminate the importance of preseason games,” Francesa said. “No longer will you be able to add a player who gets cut after the first cut. … Now you’re going to have to add all your players at one time. The whole league is going to have to add their players at one fell swoop. What it does is it again is another way it minimizes the imporance of the preseason games as they head towards a way, I believe, to eliminate those preseason games. They’re a nuisance. They don’t make any money. The networks don’t want them. Their partners don’t want them. They’re headed in that direction.”
• Cutting the maximum length of overtime from 15 minutes to 10.
“They have a couple of things on their mind here. Safety is one of them,” Francesa said.
Francesa noted that 22 of the NFL’s 83 overtime games over the last five years lasted more than 10 minutes into the extra period.
• Increasing the number of players who can be designated to return from injured reserve during the season from one to two.
“Injured reserve should be completely readjusted,” Francesa said. “This is another step toward that. They don’t want people stashing players, I know, on injured reserve, but the bottom line is you shouldn’t have to lose players for the whole season. So now it’s two versus one, and I think it’ll be more in the future. There’ll be more flexibility there.”
• Centralizing instant replay through the NFL officiating command center in New York.
“I actually think it’s a smart thing,” Francesa said. “That’s the way the NHL’s always done it. They came up with the best system, and everyone’s moved to their system, and it actually works better.”
To listen to the segment, click on the audio player above.