Monday, January 31, 2011

Excessive Celebration in Sports

The sarcastic among the pundits like to refer to the NFL as the No Fun League instead of the National Football League. I guess that's because the players aren't allowed to have enough fun. Call me boring, call me old school, call me whatever you like, but they and other pro athletes are having a lot of fun. They are playing games and making millions of dollars, sometimes without being that kind of fantastic at their sports. To me, that would be fun enough.

So, I watch a wide receiver make a fairly routine catch for a 12-yard gain and a first down. And, he struts all over the field. Hasn't he just done what he is getting paid for? Or, is he the one who is right and in fact, when I help out a client, I should be doing chest bumps with my nearest colleague? I don't think so. That is what I get paid for. Don't get me wrong, it's fine to show some emotion, but this has gone way too far. To a large extent, I blame ESPN the most , and the networks that carry the games to a slightly lesser extent. They show these stupid celebrations over and over again. So, the players really believe, in my opinion, that this is what everybody wants to see.

Don't get me wrong. When B.J. Raji (all 338 pounds of him) ran back an interception for a touchdown a week ago, that was different. While interceptions are part of the game he plays, that was probably a once in a career thing for him. It was unexpected ... to him and to everyone else in the stadium and out in TV land. He deserved some celebratory moments.

But, when you do exactly what it is that you are getting paid for, just treat it as part of your job. I never saw Walter Payton practicing Zumba after he scored a touchdown (OK, there was no Zumba then). Johnny Unitas never shook his booty in an opponent's face. Alan Page didn't do a dance over a fallen quarterback. To players like this, being great at what they did and contributing to wins was enough. And, they didn't get paid anywhere near as much.

Obviously, more people than not disagree with me. But, it's my blog, so here I am correct, until you convince me otherwise. Disagree? Tell me so. Convince me. But, if you think that's easy, You Don't Know John.


  1. Even if it's a routine part of the job, I don't think there's anything wrong with being proud of having done it well and showing it a little. Same way people might treat themselves to drinks later if a day at work were particularly productive. However, the displays put on by a lot of professional athletes are just ostentatious bad taste. And the sad thing is, judging from fan behavior at sporting events, I think that may in fact BE what the (loudest, most obnoxious) sports fans want to see.

  2. I don't know about you John, but I always keep a cell phone in my high heels at work so that I can whip it out whenever I complete a FAS158 disclosure and pretend to call my mama. I've also been known to sign benefit calculations and throw them out to the cubes oustide my office, to watch the analysts fight over it.