What’s In A Name?

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: February 15, 2008

CALIFORNIA — The NFL has many monikers other then the National Football League. This article may well add another moniker to the growing list of non-flattering names.


Some call it the “National Fluke League”. At the beginning of each football season you never know who will play in the Super Bowl. The New York-New Jersey Football Giants are this year’s example of the “National Fluke League”.

In Super Bowl III, the AFL’s New York Jets beat the NFL’s Baltimore Colts. A year later, the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs beat the NFL’s Purple People Eaters of Minnesota and afterwards, the leagues merged.

That is why it is the most popular sport in America. Every team has a chance to go to the big dance. Baseball, basketball, and hockey cannot claim this.


Jerry Glanville who was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in the late 80’s used to call the NFL the “Not For Long League”. This meant that many coaches, officials, or owners would not be in the NFL for a long period of time. He was right, because he left the Atlanta Falcons a few years later and he’s no longer in the NFL.

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The fabulous and colorful end zone celebrations was a trademark of the NFL from the knee knocking, white shoe hopping Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, to the Jazz popping and slide stepping “Neon”, Deon Sanders.

It was part of the game and very few paid attention. This episode is ending with Terrell Owens (Dallas), Chad “Ochco Cinco” Johnson (Cincinnati), and Green Bay’s Lambeau Leap.

Even some of the defensive players would get involved. Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis and his pre-game dance and San Diego linemen Shawn Merriman with his “Lights Out” dance after a quarterback sack.

The National Football League states that if you celebrate alone its okay, but when team members join in it’s considered taunting and yields a 15-yard penalty. Take notice, most of the players that participate in these celebrations are African Americans.

In the early 90’s, the hot rivalry between Dallas and Washington heated up again. Reminding many older football fans of the old 70’s epic football battles. The Dallas Cowboys and the team in Washington started calling the NFL the “No Fun League”.

This was known when the Cowboys and the players from Washington celebrated touchdowns in the end zone with a variety of dances and celebrations. In Washington it was the Smurfs, the Hogs, and the Fun Bunch while the Dallas Cowboys had the newly formed triplets Michael Irvin, Troy Aikmen, and Emmitt Smith.

It was fun until Washington scored in Dallas and the Smurfs and the Fun Bunch wanted to celebrate in the end zone at Texas Stadium. A fierce fight broke out and put end to end zone celebrations.

The NFL’s executive administrators wanted this to stop because it delayed the game. At The turn of the decade then league instituted new rules for excessive celebration in the end zone. Team fines and a 15 yard penalty were instituted the following year. Thus the creation of the ” //<![CDATA[ //]]> No Fun League”.


Some people are now calling the NFL, the “Not For The Lord” League. What the NFL did this year was shameful and should be considered a national embarrassment.

The National Football League told mega churches around the country that they had to limit the number of people at their church Super Bowl parties. Limit the number or pay the NFL and Fox Sports for the telecast that has exclusive broadcasting rights.

Very few Americans heard this so it passed without fanfare or discussion. The same NFL did not inform sports bars or stores across the country of this edict. Oh yeah, I forgot they are selling their products for the NFL and Fox. Beer, wine, soda, shirts, team hats, and team uniforms are some of the products being sold.

Fox Sports also had a hand in this shameful act. They wanted more TV viewers on Feb 3, to increase their ratings. Well, both the NFL and Fox got their wish. Super Bowl XLII was the highest rated Super Bowl of all times, surpassing the Dallas-Pittsburgh game in 1996.

The game was the second most-watched show in television history only behind the last televised episode of MASH.

//<![CDATA[ //]]> One wonders if we have become a country that is so greedy that it would impede on the rights of people to assemble in a peaceful orderly way to watch a three hour football game.

Has money become that important?

The true facts hidden in the issue of American churches having these parties where sports fans are in a save environment. Parties could be held without alcohol or drugs, parties without violence or cussing.

This simple act did not make the executives at NFL and Fox happy. People coming together having fun while watching a sport they love and cared for.

The question must be asked, Is the NFL promoting this kind of American attitude? An attitude that was displayed by New England coach Bill Belichick at the end of Super Bowl XLII.

The NFL has some explaining to do about this recent edict, or the they will continue to be known as the “NOT FOR THE LORD” League.