November 04, 2009

High School Refs: All Celebrations are Unsportsmanlike: In the D.C. area, high school football referees have begun flagging celebrations so tightly that a player who twice chest-bumped a teammate after touchdowns may be suspended for a playoff game. Two other players were flagged for pointing to the sky after a play in other games. "In the old days, there was a certain level of celebration that was allowed," said high school coach Bill McGregor. "Now it's basically no celebration."

posted by rcade to football at 08:34 AM - 9 comments

Players deserve some level of celebration on the field, although I often find it makes the players look low class. It should be acceptable to celebrate with your teamates, but it should never be directed at the opposing team or taken 'over the top". What is over the top? This is the problem. It is a judgement that is made at the time of the celebration. As a coach, I discourage celebrations. My philosophy is stay focused and let your play do the talking. Celebrate off the field after the game. This is hard to impose on kids who are hyped to play, but I'll put a player on the bench to think about it when I find it in poor taste. Bottom line - official makes the call and it stands. We can talk about the ability of officials at this level to make good judgement calls, but that is another topic.

posted by lab at 10:23 AM on November 04

I've noted in enough threads how sick I am of celebration penalties. It doesn't hurt anyone, and it doesn't give either team an advantage, so it shouldn't be a penalty. That said, I'm fine with penalizing "taunting" or clearly pre-meditated showboating at this level, but I'm completely against penalites for "being happy", which it sounds like is what is happening here.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:25 AM on November 04

Celebration is teammates congratulating each other for good play.

All of the other crap (posing, chest bump, goofy dances, etc.) is not celebration and belongs only in the WWE.

It's unfortunate that we have a generation being raised watching the bonehead antics of guys such as TO, Shockey, and the guy so embarrased by himself that he had to change his name in Cincy. True role models for our youth.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:43 AM on November 04

Football being such a team sport, I mainly object to celebrations where a player is attempting to elevate himself or call attention to himself individually.

I've noticed with more frequency these days, that when a player gets in the end zone, his teammates will gather around him pretty quickly before he has a chance to get deep into a solo routine.

If they quit showing the celebrations in such prolonged, exquisite close-up detail on TV, that would help.

posted by beaverboard at 12:52 PM on November 04

What is so wrong with a player celebrating a touchdown? This is the problem that I have with the No Fun League, they hardly market these players to begin with and when a players scores a TD and celebrates, people want to frown upon that and now it's trickling down to HS and it's embarrassing to suspend a HS player for chest-bumping his own teammates.

Whatever happened to the Ickey Shuffle? No one made a big deal about that when Ickey Woods would celebrate his TD's with his trademark dance but if a player nowadays wants to have a little fun after scoring a TD, that player is considered selfish.

Don't allow it to go over board with the celebrations but don't disallow it all together either. Sports are supposed to be fun so let these players have a bit of fun.

posted by BornIcon at 01:14 PM on November 04

Celebration is teammates congratulating each other for good play. All of the other crap (posing, chest bump, goofy dances, etc.) is not celebration and belongs only in the WWE.

How is a chest bump "not celebration"? It's just a gesture, like high fives, bumping fists, back slaps, hip bumps, and so on.

posted by rcade at 01:46 PM on November 04

All celebrations should look like this.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:56 PM on November 04

Joe Paterno has it right: "Act like you've been there." To the coach who reminisced about the good old days, that must have been in the 1990's. My recollection of the 1970's was that a player scored, handed the ball to the referee, shook the hands of their teammates, and went back to the bench. If I were a college coach and saw a player dance in the end zone and yell like mad to incite the crowd, I would think twice about recruiting the kid.

posted by jjzucal at 08:49 PM on November 04

I agree with Paterno personally. I've always felt that it was just as telling and effective to act like it was no big deal as to dunk the ball over the crossbar, or machine gun the other wideouts.

But that's me. Just me. It's what I like. That's all.

One of the best things about the CFL is they let the players do touchdown celebrations. Some of them are fantastic. Really fun. I think some of it's a bit bush, but these guys only get to play once a week. We want them to be full of fury and passion, but forbid it from being expressed in any way?

I think touchdown celebrations are warranted. They make sense. It's the sac dances that don't make as much sense, but I guess that's the defense touchdown celebration.

Basketball is always obsessed with it's image and the NBA constantly concerned with how it thinks it's being perceived. And the NFL seems to forget that it can be great and all billionaire-ee and still be a fucking game.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:05 PM on November 04

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