The No Fun League… a.k.a the NFL
The NFL has a reputation of being America’s ‘no fun’ league for multiple seasons. From penalties due to excessive celebration or customized footwear, the NFL is on its way to becoming the most hated league by its own players. Recently though, the NFL has become more lenient with uniform regulations and what players can and cannot wear on their feet.
Before this change in the footwear rules, athletes had to follow a very strict set of guidelines. In the past, “according to league rules, each team [had to] choose a single cleat color for players to wear throughout the entire season, along with a secondary team color and a third color for accents. While football is the ultimate team sport, there are individuals who wouldn't mind the freedom to be independent with their footwear from time to time,” Brandon Richard wrote for Sole Collector last February.
However, even with the restrictions on footwear, this did not succeed in doing anything besides scaring the athletes. Ultra popular, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. could be considered a pioneer for cultivating creativity. Beckham is highly notable for sporting customized kicks during pre-games and practices. The first time he stepped out with a pair of custom Nikes on gameday in December of 2016 to honor the late NBA commentator, Craig Sager, the star was fined $18,230. He later explained that he would be auctioning them off for the Sager Strong foundation, but who knew that would come with such a high price.
Views on this topic are rather mixed; while some feel shoes are part of a player’s identity, others feel they may be distracting. Harborfields senior Victoria Sheridan stated, “ I think it shouldn’t matter what you wear, at the end of the day it’s about how you perform on the field.” While she feels that way, freshmen, Michael Cody and Steven Kiewra felt that experimenting with customized cleats may be distracting and would look unprofessional “It might be odd to have one player wearing rainbow cleats and have everyone in regular cleats,” claimed Cody.
As this issue is ongoing, it will be interesting to see what happens this season and how the NFL reacts to the new look in cleats. More importantly, it will be interesting to see how players interpret their ideas and how customizers create these elaborate pieces of art.