Today, watching the highlights of the Rangers celebrating their first-round playoff win, it dawned on me how silly some of our celebratory traditions have become. I mean how ridiculous is it when the star player can't even participate in the celebration?
Josh Hamilton is a hopefully reformed drug addict and alcoholic who has to leave the locker room and be sprayed with Ginger Ale instead of champagne. Do you know how sticky that is to have soda sprayed all over you? It's so stupid. Ron Washington, the Rangers' manager, admitted doing cocaine recently and also left the room. The champagne itself hurts guys' eyes so much that they are wearing ski masks to protect themselves. The players look like astronauts in all their protective gear. When you really take a step back and look at it - it's absurd.
It's not the celebrating that's absurd. It's the notion that we have to spray champagne all over ourselves to celebrate properly. I feel the same way about the Gatorade bath. It was cool the first time - Whenever that was. Steve McMichael of the Bears claimed it was he and Mike Singletary that did it first back in 1984 when the Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings in week 13. In 1986, the year the Giants won the Super Bowl, Bill Parcells was doused 17 times. That was cool. It was their little ritual. Now it's just copycat. Be creative people. We can do better!
If somebody hits a game-winning home run or pitches a no hitter, how many times have we seen a teammate take a shaving cream pie to the guy's face? Does that really make you laugh? You probably still think it's cool to give the finger to somebody too. Chuck Cecil got fined for something that was popular 30 years ago. I was embarrassed for him.
It doesn't have to necessarily be spontaneous. It can be prearranged. I laugh every time Terrell Owens pulled a sharpie out of his socks to sign a football or when Ochocinco wore a yellow Hall of Fame jacket on the sideline after a touchdown. That stuff was creative. Who didn't love the Fun Bunch? The Icky shuffle was iconic! Loved it! Anybody remember when Butch Johnson scored a touchdown for the Cowboys in the late 70s and did the California Quake? How about Merton Hanks doing that neck thing after an interception? I really do love celebrations. I just think some of the rote traditions are stupid.
On college campuses, it's out of control. Here at Maryland, a school that I love and graduated from, our students don't know how to celebrate a big win. We think if we beat Duke we have to light frat row on fire or start a riot on Knox Road. We do it seemingly every time. Around the country, if a school gets a big win the kids love to tear down the goal posts. Why? Is that the only way to certify a big win?
I'm not a grinch. I don't hate Christmas! I love New Year's Eve Parties. Fourth of July is a great holiday - but I do think fireworks are stupid. Going to some big gathering at night, getting attacked by mosquitoes, and having your ears blown out isn't my idea of a good time. But apparently it's just me.
I was attacked this morning on Twitter, on our text machine, by emailers, and by my cohosts. Everybody thinks I'm no fun. I beg to differ. I'm all about fun. I just don't think we have to do the same nonsensical and sometimes destructive things every time to officially make it fun.