Sunday, December 07, 2008

NFL Celebrations Make Me Want to Vomit

I'm sorry, but I need to rant. My thoughts might not be in any particular order, and I may repeat myself, but hear me out because you might like it. So here it is:

NFL players are full of themselves. Now I know what you're thinking: "Say it ain't so, Howard! Say it ain't so." But its true. I'm not really sure how it all started, so I'll go ahead and give credit to referring to yourself in the third-person. That led way to players being so clever that they figured out how to spell their initials using their own two arms (LJ, LT, TO). And most recently, players very publicly changing their name to something so different because they needed to new way to draw attention to themselves. The only thing that these players love more than football, nay, the money they make by playing football, is the themselves. As if this "I'm so important that my name on the back of the jersey is way more important than the team name on front of jersey" mentality wasn't enough to make me hate the NFL and most of its players, watching today's Cowboys/Steelers (which was a good game, as far as professional football goes) and Thanksgiving day football (possibly the only games this season that I have watched in their entirety) reminded me of another reason why I hate football. These dudes celebrate every play as if they have never made a good play before in their entire lives. I'd like to give these guys the benefit of the doubt, since they're in the NFL, that they have in fact made big plays before... or had a tackle, sack, catch, 20 yard run, etc. So why can't these players act like they've been there before? In tonight's game a Steeler player returned a punt for 20 yards and celebrated by shaking uncontrollably, similar to that of a Tonic-Clonic Seizure. What is that? During the Cowboys' game on Thanksgiving, one the Cowboys' defensive lineman flapped his arms after every tackle. Personally I would be much more intimidated by a player that made play after play and simply returned to the huddle to prepare to kill again, like a machine whose only job is seek and destroy... without making an ass of himself every time. Now would that be so hard? I know its not fair to group every player into this category, because there is the occasional breath of fresh air like Barry Sanders that would simply toss the ball to the official after scoring a touchdown and just jog back to sideline to ready to do it again... like a machine. Can you name any current NFL players that do this? Possibly if you're a die hard fan, but for smart people (read: hockey fans) its not very likely. Some celebrations are classic, and should be loved, such as the Lambeau Leap. Its not about self-promotion, making headlines, getting on SportsCenter (which has taken a huge dive in highlights and is more worried about rumors or Dancing With the Stars than actual sports), or making sure every camera is watching you; its about thanking the fans at the stadium because the people of the city literally own the team. This celebration rules. Sacking a quarterback and then pretending to dig a pretend grave with a pretend shovel is dumb. Scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl that could win the game and dunking the ball over the uprights is not only a clutch play, but a decent celebration that shows is another tip of the hat to these players' athletic ability. Gathering a fumble and celebrating while running toward the end zone from the 15 yard line is dumb... And even more dumb when you get caught up to at the 2 yard line and get the ball knocked out of your hand (stupid Leon Lett). The NHL players have it right. If a player scores a slam dunk, back door goal, the first thing he does is find the player that made the pass. An NFL player would celebrate his ability to stand there and while the other guy made him look good. When was the last time a wide receiver sought out the quarterback after making an amazing play? Hockey players get together, tap the goal scorer on the hat, tap his shin pads, and go to the bench. They don't stand at center ice while wearing cape or skate by the other bench while telling their opponent to suck it. That would be uncouth. There is no stupid dance. There is no self-promotion. They line up and get ready to do it again. Like a machine. There are always exceptions, and certain situations allow for excessive celebration. Think late 1980's Theo Fleury sliding on his knees across center during the Stanley Cup finals when he scored the OT winner. He slid, and then he and the team dog piled on the goalie. Together. As a team. No one did a stupid dance. No one pulled a cell phone out from behind the goal post. No one did the "Soulja Boy." Catch the fucking ball. Pat the quarterback on the ass. Get ready to do it again. You get to keep your dignity, show some class, and no one will fine you. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. In case there you were curious about all of the pictures that I included, I felt bad not including some because when I searched for football celebrations there were just so many vomit inducing images that I needed to share some of them. For fuck's sake, celebrating a good play should not come equipped with a penalty or a multi-thousand dollar fine. Have a good night.


Jason said...

I thought this exact same thing last night in watching that very same game.

Hockey players have long been the classiest of the major sport athletes. They don't need dress codes to show up in suits, they don't self serve, and they don't do steroids.

Howard! said...

To quote John Buccigross: "Hockey players are too hung over to do drugs. Please never bring this up again."