The NFL has hired experts to determine whether any of its players are flashing gang signs as part of their on-field celebrations.
I suppose I can understand the concern, but before commissioner Roger Goodell institutes any draconian rules about non-verbal communication, I suggest he take a moment to realize that hand gestures and body language can mean all sorts of things.
Take all the signaling the league's referees do, for example. I know I often receive mixed messages from the officials.
• "Just take my wallet and kindly return to your huddle. I am unarmed."
• "I have caught a butterfly. Who wants to see it?"
• "Your steroids dealer is over there."
• "Hello up there, pretty lady. I might not be as big as Ed Hochuli, but I assure you that I am strong enough to be your man."
• "I'm a little teapot, short and stout."
• "Keep running for home. You can beat the throw."
• "I don't care what you say. That's just how I feel."
• "These are my problem areas when I take off my shirt."
• "Now you've done it. I am going to put on my invisible boxing gloves and box you about the face."
• "Don't make me roll up my sleeves. You won't like me when I'm angry."
• "I look handsome no matter which angle I hold the mirror."
• "If somebody could help me with this itch
• "I have been shot through the hands with arrows. Seriously, this #$%&ing hurts. Get me some help. Now! It's all I can do to keep my calm expression."
• "This is how we were forced to dance in middle school."
• "Oh, no. I think I left the iron on."
• "Talk to the hand, 'cause the face ain't listening."
• "If I could just lose these love handles, I think I'd be looking pretty good."
• "You must be this tall to play this game. Sorry, Colt Brennan."
• "Prepare to get served."
• "What? So I screwed up again. It's only a game."
• "Zzzzzzooooooom. Zzzzzzooooooom. Wheeeee! Look at me, mommy! I'm an airplane!"
• "Can anyone give me a ride home? Preferably a cheerleader?"
• "Whoa, it's getting a bit windy, and I forgot my hairpiece at home."
• "Hmmm. You know, in all honesty, I have no idea what happened on that play. Let me think about it for a few minutes."
• "Raise the roof, y'all. Raise the roof."
• "No, really. It's time to raise the roof, people! Let's go! Raise it!"
DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.