CBS Sports.com Feature: Chinese football league shows the NFL why it needs to let players celebrate
- Updated: October 17, 2016
Breakdancing and elbow drops are just the tip of the iceberg.
The NFL has caught a lot of flak for cracking down on touchdown celebrations in recent years. It seems to have gotten even more strict and confusing in 2016, as players have been fined for “celebrations” that other players have gotten away with for years.
It makes us think back to the glory days of Terrell Owens’ popcorn and Joe Horn’s cell phone, and wonder what touchdown celebrations could look like if the NFL just let players do whatever they wanted.
Well we don’t have to wonder anymore — all we have to do is watch the China Arena Football League.
Founded in 2012 but currently in its inaugural season, the league apparently has no restrictions on touchdown celebrations and the players take FULL advantage.
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With the official announcement of approval from the China government, the new professional league will be called CAFL (China Arena Football League), and the Beijing based operating company, formerly known as Ganlan Media International, will carry the same name.
“We think this acronym says it all,” said David Niu, the President of AFL Global, the founding corporation based in Conshohocken, PA, USA. “The league, and all of our efforts, are unique to China. We want to highlight the fact that we are playing American-style football, not to be confused with soccer. And we want to emphasize that this is China’s first ever professional league, played by the best players in the world.”
Many of the rosters will feature Chinese players, who have been learning and training for the arena game specifically for over a year, at 6 select Chinese Universities, under the guidance of AFL Global.
CAFL headquarters are located in Beijing, with leadership comprised of senior media executives and sports professionals with an array of government and commercial experience.
For more information please contact the following:
Lou Tilley, VP CAFL Communications and Media
Alvina Alston, CAFL Public Relations