In honor of NCAA Tournament time I'd like to tackle Excessive Celebrations. No doubt the college kids from each hopeful school will eagerly be awaiting the opportunity to storm the courts in the tradition of youthful exuberance. There's nothing wrong with students relishing in victory the same way athletes do. Safety and the well-being of our fellow man/woman should always be of utmost concern, but it should not take away from the climactic experiences that can be had when passioniate fans emote. A Fearful & Hypersensitive society has been created through the mass media's proliferation of scare tactic consumerism. But no need to get all Mike Moore on everyone. Willy Wonka probably said it best, "A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men."
Granted, a healthy amount of restraint could do some good on the ever-present need for kids & adults alike to show-boat and look good, rather than play hard. It infuriates me to hear NBA analysts like Jalen Rose proudly profess their willingness to 'get out of the way' of a potential highlight reel dunk, as opposed to Playing Defense. Shudder the thought of actually making the effort to foul someone or attempt a shot block that might result in you getting dunked on. Yet given any chance to shoot a 3 at the buzzer or perform a circus dunk so they can be seen on SportsCenter, most players will abandon all strategy in such circumstances to seek the flash bulbs.
Michael Jordan and ESPN undeniably have contributed to Sports & American Culture in many ways. Though I never saw Jordan give the eye goggle after a 3, he did on rare occassion give a pointed stare or a monstrous-yell after thunder-dunking on someone. And rightly so. Making a great play is absolutely an appropriate time to express emotion and maybe a little flair. But when every time-out becomes a mosh pit of jump-butt-bumping and dancing, the game begins to suffer. When
did it become acceptable to celebrate every good play, instead of expecting & demanding such effort without unnecessary, added antics? I prefer making the play and then making another play and then making another play and then another. If my team needs a boost, I will shout out loud. If the crowd is lackluster, I will try to get them up. But I won't divert my attention from the task just to gain admiration. I won't sacrifice my team or the win for the limelight. Every player doesn't need a creed, but every player does need discipline.
Don't get me wrong. I hate the NFL for being so anti-fun. Fining players for high-socks and different colored wrist bands is beyond Corporate Conformist Fascism. Endzone Celebrations & Rehearsed Dramatic Acting in football are welcome diametric occurrences from the rigid play calling and strict rule enforcement of the NFL.
Like any other discipline or activity, a Balance must be found to reach a harmony. The Martial Arts teach people to appreciate their successes internally. To supress ones overt jubilation is to realize a level of self-command most athletes will never understand. The Point is to never sacrifice performance and strategy for popularity and attention. Winning is not about Vanity. Success is not a product of incessant celebration. Learn to put others above yourself. Sacrifice for the good of the Team. Set a screen so your teammate gets an open look. Get back on D. And Wait to Celebrate.