Premature Celebrations

Yesterday, Sunday, was a day of pain as the NY Giants absolutely blew it against their arch rival Philadelphia Eagles and the NY Jets continued down their “all yak and no shack” path.

This post is not about that, though. Football, yes, the NY teams no, except as examples of the very odd behavior I am about to discuss.

Now I am not a true fan. I like to watch the NFL; college football, not so much. I like to watch lots of sports being executed at the very top level. It is interesting to think about these being the very best competitors in the world.

Imagine the first drag racer to exceed 330 mph in a quarter mile drag race, imagine 3000 hits in major league baseball or a major league pitcher delivering a no hitter, think about facing a person consistently serving over 140 mph in tennis, and more.

Think about Tony Stewart who won the NASCAR, Sprint Cup championship yesterday. He had so much trouble with his car that he kept needing to get it fixed and fell to the back of the pack multiple times. He passed 118 cars to finally win the race, a true champion who, ten races ago hardly had a statistical chance of winning the championship.

Now considering that these NFL football players are the very best in the world, I am totally baffled by the celebration behavior exhibited after almost every play.

A tackle, any old run, no not a first down, not a huge gain, just a four yard run, and forget a real accomplishment like a touchdown. The celebrations got so bad the league had to rule that they could not overdo it. Imagine making those calls?

Is it because the camera is on them? Is it because they are only interested in their own stats? I sometimes suspect this because players celebrate a touch down when their team is thirty points behind. The touchdown goes on their stats while the game is a disaster for their team.

Now I get the psych that is needed to run full tilt into a 350 pound person running full tilt right at you. I understand psyching up for a game. I do not, for the life of me, get these continuous celebrations.

What if this happened in an office. You finish the complex spread sheet you are working on and jump up and start pumping your fist and dancing around your desk.

The monthly report is done. High fives all around.

You hit your revenue target and do a back flip off your desk…

Maybe all of this stuff is related to the transition from being part of the “participation trophy” generation and then getting involved in very serious programs in school.

Maybe it’s just generational.

I love to watch linebackers. They tend to be smaller, very fast, and frighteningly tough. When I was a kid, Sam Huff was one of the best and played for the NY Giants. He helped develop this shy little New Hampshire kid’s love for the Giants (the Boston Patriots did not exist when I was a kid). Today there are the likes of Clay Mathews with his long flowing blond hair. I don’t think Sam would ever have hair like that but it was a different time…

These wonderfully talented defensive players are so critical to a winning team. I love to see them just do their jobs, jump up off the turf with a satisfied shoulder shrug, and get set for the next play. Now some celebrate as well but it seems less so.

Guys it’s a game and a job. Do it well. Do your best all the time. Let’s get back to the shoulder shrug and puffed out chest and leave it at that.

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