The NFL's constantly been labeled the 'No Fun League' by disgruntled fans. The name is warranted given the amount of outrage there seems to be whenever a player decides to celebrate, lay a little trash talk or interact with the fans. There used to be a time where we'd get dances like the Dirty Bird or the Ickey Shuffle and nobody would bat an eye.
We've gotten some classics like Joe Horn pulling out a cellphone from the uprights or Terrell Owens taking out a sharpie and signing the football, but those days are long gone. Teammates can barely even celebrate anymore and risk getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. They also risk receiving the NFL's biggest F word - fine.
The NFL loves to hand out fines for just about any excuse they could find; whether a player's socks or shoes don't match the uniform or promoting the wrong brand, the NFL is like an overbearing babysitter that doesn't let the guys just breathe.
Heck, look at the Panthers this year. The team has had an unbelievable season and keep defying critics week after week. What does everybody talk about though? They celebrate too much!! Wahhh!
Celebration and showmanship has always been a part of football and if not for colorful characters of the past, the league wouldn't be as popular as it is today. Coach Ron Rivera even admitted the league has gone soft after the team's pregame baseball bat ritual was criticized due to Odell Beckham reportedly feeling threatened and lashing out during the game. "To avoid the situation, set of circumstances, let's just eliminate it," Rivera said. "It's the No Fun League for a reason."
You can't help but roll your eyes whenever the NFL hands out a fine these days because it really does seem like you can't have any fun even though sports still fall under the entertainment banner. Here are 15 fines that just left us fans scratching our heads. For the record, we'll be sticking with the silly fines. Fines that show you just how petty the NFL can be.
15 Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch is known for what he doesn't say to the media; which is pretty much anything. After being fined in 2013 for not speaking to the media, Lynch was fined $100,000 last year for the same thing. Lynch has said he simply doesn't say much because he feels "forced to do something." Lynch found a loophole to not speaking, simply repeating, "I'm just here so I won't get fined," at Super Bowl media day. He gets paid to run, not to talk.
14 Colin Kaepernick
The NFL sure loves to show how much they care about breast cancer awareness. They smear everything in pink for the month of October and part of the proceeds for pink gear sold go to that cause, so they say. Colin Kaepernick tried to do his part by rocking pink beats, as he's known for always having a pair on him. Unfortunately, due to the NFL having a partnership with Bose, they couldn't allow this grave injustice from Kaep! He was fined $10,000 for wearing these at a press conference.
13 Cam Newton
Cam Newton sure has taken a lot of grief in his NFL career, a lot of it unjustified. In his rookie season, Newton had the nerve to wear Under-Armour branded facemask instead of a Nike one, who has a huge partnership with the NFL. The league fined the rookie 10 grand for this outrageous display of defiance! Is this where the supposed 'character issues' with Newton kept popping up?
12 Wes Welker
An NFL player's career has such a short shelf life. A player will have their time to make as much money as they can, then they'll be off into retirement and the machine will keep going. Wes Welker was trying to earn some cash on the side while promoting Bonk energy bars, a company he had invested in. Welker was fined $10,000 for promoting the brand by in 2011. Welker had been wearing a hat of the company's all season, but got fined out of nowhere for it midway through.
11 Brandon Jacobs
Brandon Jacobs didn't have an extremely long career, likely due to the physical style he brought with his running game. Jacobs was frustrated in an early season game against the Colts in the 2010 season and accidentally threw his helmet into the stands when trying to hit the bench. The fans didn't seem to mind, happy they had a potential souvenir, but the NFL didn't see the humor in the incident and billed Jacobs $10,000.
10 Randy Moss
Randy Moss was one of those interesting characters that made the game exciting in his career. In a 2005 game against the Packers at Lambeau Field, Moss decided to celebrate a touchdown by fake mooning the Green Bay crowd. Some watching at home loved it, while the Cheese Heads certainly didn't. Sure the gesture was over the top, but he didn't actually moon anybody. Nevertheless, the NFL is the no fun league for a reason and made Moss fork over $10,000.
9 Nate Burleson
I don't know what "What up Doe!" is supposed to mean, but I'm sure I'm not alone in saying people wouldn't really think twice about it and just carry on with their day. Nate Burleson revealed this shirt in a 2010 game. In that same game, he punted a ball into the stands and was forced to pay $15,000 for his actions. I don't know if the NFL was more outraged at the shirt or the punt.
8 DeAngelo Williams
If one ever wants to argue the NFL is just a cold blooded corporation that doesn't really care about the noble causes they throw out there every year, here's a good argument for you. Cancer awareness is personal to DeAngelo Williams, who lost his mother to the disease. Williams had "Find the Cure" written in eyeblack and was fined $5,000 by the NFL for a uniform violation. In addition, Williams asked the league if he could wear pink accessories all season for the cause, but the NFL refused. I guess they only care about cancer awareness for one month of the year.
7 Troy Polamalu
What does a good husband do when he gets hurt? He calls his wife to say he's okay. That's exactly what Troy Polamalu tried to do after suffering a concussion in a 2011 game. Polamalu borrowed a doctor's phone on the sideline to let his wife know he was fine. He was fine(d) alright, as the NFL doesn't allow cellphone use under any circumstance by players during a game. If Polamalu was aware of the rule, then he probably cares more about how his wife feels than the league.
6 Clinton Portis and Sean Taylor
In the 2004 season, teammates and former Miami Hurricane alums Sean Taylor and Clinton Portis received $15,000 worth of fines for uniform violations. What were these egregious acts? They wore red socks instead of white. The pair were again fined in 2005, this time for Portis wearing black shoes and striped socks while Taylor was fined for wearing striped socks as well. Apparently the NFL thinks they're also the fashion police.
5 Ryan Clark
The 2007 season was marred by tragedy in Washington as star safety Sean Taylor was killed during a home invasion. Ryan Clark decided to pay tribute to his fallen friend, wearing eye black with the no.21 written on it. Seems like sensible, good gesture right? The NFL is apparently above long lasting friendships, as they fined Clark $5,000. Does the NFL really not have a soul at all?
4 Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall apparently made a fashion choice so poor that the NFL felt it was worthy of a $10,500 fine. What was the outrageous offense? Socks with sandals? Sweatpants with a dress shirt? Bright green shoes? Yes, definitely bright green shoes. The league fined Marshall for wearing the shoes, which were worn to raise awareness during Mental Health Awareness Month. Marshall suffers from bipolar disorder, so the cause meant a lot to him. Marshall again paid that amount, but this time to charity, to match his fine.
3 Frank Gore
The NFL clearly hasn't caught on that it's not very fashionable nowadays to wear your socks too high. Frank Gore is aware of this fashion trend and thus during the 2012 season he began wearing his socks lower. The NFL couldn't stand for this and fined Gore a total of $15,000 for wearing his socks too low. Despite the fact that Gore won the NFC Championship the day he was fined the second time for that offense, he must have been rolling his eyes.
2 Chad Johnson
Chad Johnson was one of the great entertainers of the NFL in his career. Every time he scored a touchdown you got excited just to see what he was going to do next. While a touchdown was being reviewed in a game against Baltimore, Ochocinco jokingly pulled out a dollar bill and tried to enact bribing an official. People watching clearly loved the display, but the NFL as we know, doesn't have a sense of humor. They would fine Ocho $20,000 for the antic.
1 Brian Urlacher
It was hard to decide what to put in the top spot, but the fact that Brian Urlacher was fined $100,000 for wearing a Vitamin Water hat warranted the top spot here. On media day of Super Bowl XLI, Urlacher thought the biggest thing he had to worry about that week was Peyton Manning, but it was the NFL brass he had to fear. After wearing the hat, the Bears' leader was handed the massive fine. Let's hope the company treated him well, at least.