They don’t call it the “No Fun League” for nothing

Posted on January 21, 2011


Every professional sports league is like a social science lab experiment for approaches to government regulations. And the NFL is what the European Union would look like if the President of the European Commission could live out his technocratic dreams.

Why leave a matter to the judgment, discretion, professionalism, or sportsmanship of your personnel, one NFL Commissioner after another must ask himself, when you can tweak the rules to define more precisely what is and is not allowed; and when you can rely on any electronic means to monitor compliance?

And why limit your powers to merely regulating every aspect of play on the field and in the equipment room, when you can also control what goes on between games? Should anyone be surprised, then, that within a week of the spiciest mid-week verbal jostling in recent memory, Commissioner Roger Goodell raises the specter of defining a “line” beyond which trash-talking must not stray.