Posted on: September 16, 2008 9:19 pm

Premature Celebration

When I was a young little Toxin, the Houston Oilers had a player by the name of Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, whose specialty was punt returning. And he would sometimes break one for a score and then do this silly leg wiggle afterwards. Most of us found it amusing and kinda cool. I think one of the things that made it so awesome was that it wasn't something everybody did. So, when White Shoes danced, we didn't mind it. Also, White Shoes never....EVER...danced until way after he had crossed the goal line.

Times have changed.

Nowadays, we are so bombarded with touchdown celebrations that it has become overkill. What used to make us laugh or fire us up, quite honestly, makes us....well some of us...yawn. What's that? Deion is high-stepping again? Yawn. Chad is changing his name and creating a Riverwalk Dance step? Yawn. Yet another receiver is motioning for a first down after making an 8 yard reception in a game in which his team trails by three touchdowns? Yawn!

But, recently, these celebrations have reached absolutely absurd proportions. Well, that's not quite true. This isn't something that is recent. Unless you consider 1993 recent. We all remember 1993? Leon Lett? Holding the ball over his head before he got in the end zone and then having the ball knocked out of his hand? Several years ago, I witnessed a high school kid do the same thing. He was lucky. The ball was never knocked out of his hand. Still, he's lucky I wasn't his coach. He would have spent the entire next practice running with the ball held over his head.

I may sound like a killjoy to you, but I have noticed this trend for several years and keeps getting worse. And, last night, what DeSean Jackson did just is absolutely insanely beyond comprehension. Except that I do know exactly why it happened! It's a cultrual change in sports. Where players go out of their way to create these celebrations. Placing cell phones underneath the goal post pads. Or making sure that some other prop is in place that can go along with some sort of end zone celebration. Terrell Owens, in his first year with the Eagles, went so far as to spend time studying Ray Lewis' entrance dance and then performed that exact dance, step-for-step, after scoring a touchdown in the Eagles win over the Ravens that season.

I don't want to sound like a killjoy. I understand this is a game and that it should be an enjoyable experience for the players and the fans. I don't want to be all No Fun Leagueish when it comes to celebrations. But, it seems to me, that there are some players who need to prioritize the celebrations. Some guys...I'm talking to you DeSean Jackson....need to understand something.

Scoring the touchdown is more important than celebrating the touchdown.

Category: NFL
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