As a coach a celebration of being drench in Gatorade or water is great, I know it’s normal but it makes you feel like you really did it. My first time was in an overtime game that we should have lost, but came out with the win. Even though it was cold I was so proud of my players, and the respect they gave me. I know in the MLB the pie in the face for rookies getting their first HR, or shut out is common too. But in this article some are just silly to me. Barry Sanders did it best! You can argue but handing the ball to ref like you’ve been there before, and I’ll do it again is the best celebration there is.
I would like to start off by saying: I am NOT trying to bash Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (NHL), Jose Reyes of the New York Mets (MLB), or Chad “Ocho Cinco”(or whatever his last name is) of the Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) or any professional soccer player. I think that Ovechkin, Reyes, Chad whats-his-name, are one of a kind type players.
You can call it excitement, you can call it zeal, you can call it showboating. But which is it?
No. I am just asking when does celebration become “excessive” and when does “excessive” become showboating? I believe that it is a thin red line between all three, easily broken, like a twig or an arm. Though the type of celebration I’m talking about is during a game…not after a game.
I realize that celebrations in sports is all part of the show… but when do you know when to stop celebrating and just sprint on down the first-base line? Jose Reyes, as well as other Major League Baseball players, celebrate after hitting home runs. Or, as Reyes would put it…”pimp” after hitting a home run.
Alexander Ovechkin jumps all around, pumping his fists, celebrating wildly and flashy after scoring a goal. As famous Canadian color hockey commentator Don Cherry said about Ovechkin, he does not like what Ovechkin does, and is highly critical of Ovechkin. Cherry compares Ovechkin to that of a soccer player; showboating and rubbing it in after scoring a goal.
Personally, I know that celebrations are an integral part of sports…but whatever happened to sportsmanship?
In a different segment, Cherry compares the traditions of ice hockey and the traditions of baseball. He is right in saying that in baseball there are traditions of not rubbing it in.
The example Cherry uses is of Ryan Braun, the rookie third baseman/outfielder for the Brewers. After Braun watched a home run he hit go out, he got a look from Lance Berkman while rounding first. Then after arriving back at the dugout, his manager, Ned Yost told him in the dugout: “You don’t do that.” Finally, in his at bat the next game after getting the look from the Astros’ catcher, he is then drilled.
The tradition in baseball is you do not rub it in if your cruising by a big lead. That tradition has not changed, and is constantly passed on to the next generation. What is the tradition in hockey? Well, according to Cherry, it has changed. It’s OK to rub it in. It’s OK show up your opponent.
I find some of the celebrations in sports funny, like what Terrell Owens does after scoring a touchdown. But I don’t condone actions like that. If you are going to excessively celebrate after scoring a goal, touchdown, or hitting a home run, then you should know the consequences of your decisions or actions.
If I’m a defenseman in the NHL and I just watched Ovechkin or any player gloat and over zealously celebrate after scoring a goal, I’ll lay back in weeds and wait for my chance to hammer them to the ice. That’s just me.
A pitcher, and you do not sprint down that first base line after hitting a home run, not only does the next batter get buzzed, but your next at bat? You go down. I’ll drill you and show no qualms about it. But that is just my personality—I do not like getting shown up.
I am not trying to rant about the issue…well, okay just a small rant, but I believe that the lack of sportsmanship in sports is horrifying. Here’s the thing: If the stars of sports—your Reyeses, your Ovechkins, Crosbys, Owenses, etc.—if they did not showboat, I believe that their respective sports would be better for it.