Just do it!

Deion Sanders. Dennis Rodman. Barry Bonds. Why can’t these self diluted windbags just shut up and play? Why can’t professional athletes score a touchdown, block a shot or hit a homer without the fist-pumping in-your-face antics usually reserved for playgrounds in junior high? When I played ball in high school my coach would rip us a new one if we were caught hot-dogging it.

Surely sportsmanship still exists (Barry Sanders, Grant Hill, Steve Young) but, alas, it seems to dying on the field. Are we satisfied that our kids worship these clowns? Isn’t it enough that each of these buffoons has the purchasing power of the state of Idaho?

I grew up watching Al Kaline, Gale Sayers and Julius Earving. No small talent pool there. But these guys oozed class. Of course, they didn’t have the lucrative extended contracts, endorsement deals and the like. Could it be the money? IS ANYONE LISTENING?

Look for women’s sports to make a big splash in the next few years (or 1 or 2). If the burgeoning popularity of the WNBA, women’s tennis and the almost Beatlemania-like attention being paid to the US Women’s Soccer team is any indication I’d say that the bloated, overpaid, public-funds-for-new-stadiums-demanding professional sports establishment is in for a big, unpleasant surprise.

“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

And while we’re at it…why do they have to make commercials acting like complete morons? That video game commercial with Derek Jeter makes me want to slap him! And the one where Cal Ripken Jr. gets all pouty because some kid won’t trade his crappy Oscar Mayer lunch with him. Oh, Cal. I really want to respect you, don’t be such a ham!

Money is the root of all evil.

Julius Erving not a hot dog? He was one of the first. Talk about a selfish, non-team player. He would do his dipsy doodles and slam dunks, score 30, while his team stood and watched and lost.

Actually, LOVE of money is the root of all evil.

You’re right, CheeseHead, I was thinking of Mo Cheeks. Was Dr J not the inventor of the slam dunk? Or at least it’s greatest purveyor? Hot Dog incarnate! Boo! Hiss!

As far as players who put themselves above the team, I agree with what has been said by others. However, when a player celebrates s/he is only doing what comes naturally. Ever get an adrenaline rush because you did something well? Athletes (which I am not) are already in a state of heightened physical activity when they compete. I know I have let out a “YES!” and maybe even jumped or danced a little on occasion, in response to a positive event.

Now the subject of celebration is a little different from “in your face” finger-pointing and such, but there is a psychological element to any competition, and letting your opponent know you have confidence is half, or more, of the game. Most of these same athletes will, in post-game interviews, say a few kind words about the opposition, but during the game you want your opponent to see and feel your confidence.