I was watching Monday Night Football this week instead of the World Series. There were a few reasons for this. First, I probably wouldn't care if the two teams in the World Series both came down with horrible bouts of diarrhea, the likes of which the world has never seen, and the whole thing had to be called off for fear of starting the next Black Plague. Nothing against St. Louis or Boston, I’m sure they are fine cities, but haven’t they won enough already?
Second, rarely do you get to see so many WVU players on Prime time NFL football at the same time. Third, the Rams gave out free hot dogs to anyone willing to come see them lose instead of the Cardinals. Not that I could receive a free hot dog from a thousand miles away, but I appreciate the gesture. So I’m watching the game when Golden Tate, the Notre Dame product, not only saves a would-be interception, but manages to make the catch and score a touchdown. Great play. Too bad he spent the next thirty yards it took him to reach the end-zone taunting the other team.
What happened to sportsmanship? Congratulations Tate, you caught a ball with your hands and ran across a line of paint. Give this guy a noble prize (I shouldn't say that too loud, they’ll give them to anyone these days). I don’t poo poo all celebrations in sport. There are real, legitimate reasons for celebrating. For instance, when the Pittsburgh Pirates clinched a post-season berth for the first time since 1992 (along with their first winning season since 1992) they had a good reason to celebrate. But they chose to do so in a reasonable fashion; in their locker room as a team celebrating a great win. Not by pointing at the Cubs players and taunting them for another losing season and for having by far the worst stadium in MLB (how the hell old Yankee Stadium was torn down but Wrigley is still standing baffles).
I am picking on Tate. To be fair, in every professional sport (and college, and High School and little league and fantasy league and squash matches) you see this kind of behavior and it’s just sad. But we just let them go on doing it. We let them act this way by buying tickets and T-shirts and spending our precious time watching them run around on grass fields instead of going out and running around on grass fields. Are our lives so sad and meaningless that we must not only attach ourselves to these teams, live and die by their wins and losses, but look the other way when they act like spoiled children? I am aware he was chastised by his coach and the fans gave it to him on Twitter. But mark my words, when he catches his next touchdown, everyone will forget that he is a giant bag of dicks while they celebrate and watch him do the Triple Lindy as a touchdown dance.
You shake the hand of the person you defeated and thank them for their effort. You act as if you have been there before. You take time to realize just how lucky you are to be in the NFL, making millions to play a game.
It makes me question why I watch at all. Am I contributing to the problem just by tuning in?