I sometimes think Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has a blind spot. But now I think he might also be hard of hearing.
Why do I say that?
Because Lewis obviously can't hear himself talk about the NFL's new rules allowing more end zone celebrations after touchdowns.
Because if Lewis could have heard what he said when he spoke with USA today, he would have busted out laughing at the sheer absurdity of it.
Next season, the NFL will no longer penalize players for using the ball as a prop. So, if you want to cuddle it, kiss it, answer it like it's a telephone or whatever, you won't be penalized 15 yards or fined $12,000 for every offense.
Naturally, everyone wanted to know what an NFL coach thought about the decision, so Marvin Lewis answered his telephone and said this:
“I’m not for that at all. We had a good standard, and the whole standard has always been, 'You want to teach people how to play the game the correct way and go about it the correct way,' and that’s not a very good example for young people.”
Now, either Marvin Lewis has the most deadpan sense of humor in the NFL or the USA Today reporter hung up before Marvin laughed and said, "Aaahhhh, GOTCHA!"
For Marvin Lewis to decry the NFL allowing more liberal end zone celebrations because it's "not a very good example for young people" is perhaps the most open and shut case ever for first ballot induction into the, Do as I say, not as I do, Hall of Fame.
Lewis coaches both Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones, who gave away a playoff game against the Steelers two years ago because they forgot, in the heat of the moment, how to follow all those lessons Marvin Lewis taught them about how to play the game the right way.
You might also remember Lewis coaching Chad Johnson, aka Chad Ochocinco, who changed his name so he could be even more of a 1-2-3-Look-at-Me guy that he became by wearing a gold jacket with Future HOFer on the back after one touchdown, Riverdancing after another and putting a football with the end zone pylon after another.
And, you might be saying -- and if you did, I couldn't blame you -- "Hey, isn't Marvin Lewis the guy whose team drafted Joe Mixon, the player who broke a girl's jaw in four places at Oklahoma?"
Yes, that is the same Marvin Lewis who's against players doing snow angels in the end zone or celebrating with their teammates because that is bad for the kids out there who might be watching.
This is not meant as a defense of NFL end zone celebrations. I think they're dumb and only going to get dumber.
This is an indictment of Marvin Lewis being so obtuse he can consistenly coach a collection of ne'er-do-wells, enable and justify their behavior with the most ridiculous excuses you've ever heard, and then have the audacity to object to an end zone celebration as if it's a threat to the Youth of America.
He didn't sound as bad as Marvin Lewis, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also didn't cover himself in glory when he justified relaxing the celebration standards by saying, "We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown."
Spontaneous displays of emotion?
What percentage of touchdown celebrations are spontaneous, which by definition means, "without premeditation."
If you're going to eliminate every touchdown celebration that's not without premeditation, that's going to eliminate almost every celebration ever, starting with Billy White-Shoes Johnson in the 1970s, up through and including the Fun Bunch in Washington, Cam Newton's dabbing, everything Ochocinco and T.O. ever did and Joe Horn pulling a cell phone out of the goal post padding.
There's one reason and only one reason the NFL is relaxing its end zone celebration rules and that's so it can post its players antics on social media, thus captivating a younger audience, thus bolstering licensing income and building a stronger foundation under what it hopes will be a growing fan base.
There's nothing nefarious about that, but nothing spontaneous, either.
Whether it's good or bad for the kids, well, you'll certainly have to consult an authority with a lot more credibility than Marvin Lewis.