I am sure that we all have seen it – a player makes what is in reality a routine play and starts dancing, strutting and preening like it was the Monster Play of all monster plays. Usually it involves something as routine as making a tackle (not even for a loss being necessary for the spasms to commence), making a catch for barely a first down and signaling like the Red Sea should part, or even just being in the vicinity of an incomplete pass and celebrating like it was Mardi Gras. After watching several occurrences of these demonstrations this past weekend I got to thinking that perhaps the Football Gods would soon be taking some action.
Consider this – Shawn Merriman does his whatever it is after sacking Damon Huard for a loss. On the very next play Dwayne Bowe goes 50 for a touchdown. FIFTY yards. I can only assume that Merriman was too exhausted from his gyrations that he was unable to be in on the play. Consider this – two St. Louis Rams defenders acted like they had made the defensive play of the year when in all reality Dallas quarterback Tony Romo had overthrown his receiver. NEXT play the Cowboys had a big pass play (they might have actually scored, I was too busy laughing at the two who were no where to be seen on the play). Consider this – one of the Grammatica brothers kicks a field goal and injures his leg celebrating. Way to go there, bucko. Take yourself out of future games by celebrating. And whatever happened to Mark Gastineau, the man who invented the “Sack Dance”?
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy seeing the players acknowledging a good play as much as anyone. What I DON’T care for is watching some self-centered jerk acting like HE was the only one who was involved in a play.
Take, for example, our own Mr. Tyron Brackenridge and his actions this past weekend. Yes, he did pick up the fumble and score. Yes, he was in the right place at the right time. However, by the way he acted, even BEFORE, he crossed the goal line he gave the impression that he was the one who rushed Philip Rivers, hit Rivers and caused Rivers to fumble. Gyrating and posturing and dropping the ball. Thank goodness Jared Allen was following and paying attention to the play, not the player, and picked up the ball.
Prancing wide receivers also get me. They should perhaps remember that the offensive line probably gave the quarterback time and that other receivers took defenders with them which made it possible for them to catch the ball (their job) and score. Theatrics are not necessary and do not add any points to the scoreboard.
Referee’s throwing flags for “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” after such shows are not going to have any effect until the touchdown is called back. Punishing the kick-off team is just absurd.
Marcus Allen had class – hand the ball to the ref. Walter Payton had class – hand the ball to the ref. Too bad that jerks like Ray Lewis (remember his “It’s All About Me” intro at the Super Bowl?) and Terrell “Dancing on the Star” Owens are what people seem to see.
But, I will just keep my faith in the Football Gods and will continue to believe that those who offend them will get their deserved rewards.