Browns' Andrew Hawkins Has the Best Takedown of the NFL's Crackdown on Touchdown Celebrations

Andrew Hawkins is a smart dude. He's thoughtful and engaged (as evidenced by his choice to wear a "Justice for Tamir" shirt and even more so with his emotional explanation for why). He's also a perceptive guy, as evidenced by his no-celebration celebration a few weeks ago after scoring a touchdown against the Patriots.

In a piece written for Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback, Hawkins brings all those skills to the table and more in what is the most logical and persuasive takedown of the NFL's crackdown on celebrations to date (at least from a player). Here's a small sample. Do go read the whole damn thing for yourself.

The new efforts to emphasize rules outlawing certain forms of celebration come at a time when the NFL’s prime-time television ratings are down. (As someone whose pension is directly tied to the success of the league, that’s not something I’m particularly excited about.) The NFL, now more than ever, should look for ways to lift individual personalities and help sell its brand, right?

Football is the No.1 reality TV show in the country, and like every good show it needs villains and bad guys. But instead of allowing players to act as the characters it needs, the NFL has decided to assume the role of the villain by taking some of the fun out of the game, all under the guise of “protecting its integrity.” Why do I feel it’s a guise? For starters, they use the celebrations in all of their advertising. They’re cracking down on celebrations and illegal hits, but then turn around and use that material to market their brand on websites and in television commercials. One thing my grandfather always said to me was, “You can’t stand on both sides of a fence.”

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