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If You’re Going To Taunt, Make It Count

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 30: A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with teammates after catching a touchdown in the first half of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Taunting should not be a 15-yard penalty. The sport where players ram their brains into each other for my entertainment should allow a little jawing. That talking too much after a play merits the same penalty as spearing someone after a play is just silly. Taunting should be a 5-yard penalty, like when players used to get 5-yard penalties for spiking the ball after a play that did not result in a touchdown. So what if it sets a bad example! If anything, we should be discouraging the youth from playing football.

Today, A.J. Brown of the Philadelphia Eagles received a 15-yard penalty for taunting two Steelers defenders after his third touchdown of the day.

With current NFL rules as they are, it only makes sense to taunt when it’s not going to hurt your team too much. Here, A.J. Brown taunts Steelers defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 39) and Ahkello Witherspoon (No. 25). “Hurts and Brown are going at the Steelers #25 like I’m still wearing it playing corner,” former Steelers DB Ryan Clark tweeted.

Now this is a taunt. It was Brown’s third touchdown of the first half. He had previously beaten Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds for his first touchdown, and beat Fitzpatrick and Witherspoon in basically the same spot for his second. He was just pointing out that the Steelers had put two guys on him all game, and he’d scored three touchdowns.

Yeah. Taunting shouldn’t be 15 yards. Players should avoid taunting as a result. But if you’re going to do it, make sure it really burns.

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