Rejoice, sports fans!
It's October, the best month on the calendar: The NFL season is rolling, college football is fully into conference play, hockey and NBA are getting their seasons going, and Major League Baseball's playoffs are in full swing. So yes, rejoice!
Be careful, though.
Don't celebrate too much. Otherwise, you might hear about it from the residents of Mt. Pious, who earlier this week attempted to demonize Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista for -- gasp! -- flipping his bat (otherwise known as an outward expression of joy at successfully playing well in a significant game).
And here I thought sports were supposed to be fun.
You might as well arrest me, too, Fun Police -- after all, I pumped my fist in the air after Le'Veon Bell punched the ball across the goal line at the gun last Monday night. Lock me up! I'm clearly a danger to society.
I know the NFL is a copycat league, but here's hoping pro football's decision makers don't go any further down the path of America's former national pastime (which, by the by, is now our former pastime in part because of the game's silly "code," unwritten rules and other self-righteous silliness).
Instead, please pay witness to the pushback Mt Pious' curmudgeons are getting from society's level-headed majority, who are confused by why it's become a crime for players to show glee.
Is it really so outrageous -- in a sport that revolves around large men purposely running into each other -- for those men to exchange deprecating wisecracks? According to the rulebook, it is: "No taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams." (I guess the collisions are supposed to take care of said engendering.)
Players also aren't allowed to do a choreographed dance, take off their helmets, use props, pylons or goal posts. And they definitely can't rejoice with a teammate or three.
They're also not allowed to celebrate on the ground ... although exceptions have been made:
Another exception to the un-fun -- the Packers are allowed to "Lambeau Leap." A nice tradition ... although it'd be better if a player would grab a beer from a fan's hand and chug it. And yeah, I understand this is allowable because they're technically off the field of play ... but c'mon, the distance from the white lines is about as far as the average Trent Richardson NFL run.
Y'know, maybe -- maybe -- we oughta consider loosening up on what constitutes a violation.
Now look, I'm not an unreasonable man -- I get why Jimmy Graham breaking the goal post was bad. Those things cost a fortune. I assume, at least. I've never actually bought one, but the specialty fluorescent paint alone is probably spendy. (Fortunately, Graham has done his best to avoid any further goal-post breaking by going invisible this season.)
Back to the main point: Why are the Packers and Tebow the only ones allowed to express glee as they see fit?
Furthermore, why can't a guy celebrate with his teammates? I thought football was the ultimate team sport!
Don't listen to curmudgeons who'd have you believe it sends a bad message to the kids -- that kinda stinkin' thinkin' is for baseball. Doug Baldwin pretended to poop a football in last year's Super Bowl ... and society is still standing. Now of course, some may rightly point out roughly only half the fans share the joy of a touchdown, but that's OK. Actually, it's good. A little heat never hurt anybody -- in fact, it's what most fans expect when they watch pro football. Sure, I suppose it's nice on a grown-up level for opposing players to respect one another, but in the fantasy league called real NFL games, we fans want our guys to hate the other guys.
Instead, it feels like we're a step away from having opponents high-fiving the guy who scored a touchdown. Are we gonna ask fans to keep it down, too? In the not-too-distant future, you might be asked to comport yourself like a golf fan at the Masters. "Shh! This is a big play coming up -- please whisper!"
No! No, I say!
Barry Sanders preferred casually flipping the ball to the ref -- fine! That was his right as a touchdown-scoring member of the NFL ... as in the National Football League -- with the emphasis on "national." Here in the US of A, freedom of choice is our way! And if a diva receiver feels he needs to punctuate his deeds with a river dance or some popcorn ...
... he should be allowed! In the name of Billy "White Shoes Johnson," I beg of you!
Let's get to the games. And if your team wins, please celebrate accordingly.
WARNING: Do NOT continue reading if you don't want to know the final scores of the Week 6 games.
(0-1 this week, 9-5 last week, 46-31 on the season)
WAS: 38 yds/rushing
A. Cromartie: 40-yd INT TD
B. Arians: NOT retired
M. Vick: 2 INTs
T. Kelce: 30-yd TD rec
M. Wallace: 65-yd TD rec
M. Jones: 60 yds receiving, TD
D. Carpenter: 47-yd GW FG
M. Forte: TD rec, TD run
C. Johnson: 2 TDs
R. Hillman: 110 yds/scrimmage
CLE D: 5 sacks
A. Foster: 140 yds/scrimmage, TD
J. Thomas: 15-yd TD rec
L. Miller: 20 car, 115 yds, TD
D. Green-Beckham: 3 rec, 90 yds, TD
G. Olsen: TD
J. Graham: TD
M. Gordon: 120 yds/scrimmage, TD
E. Lacy: 125 yds rushing, 2 TDs
J. Flacco: 340 yds, TD, INT
C. Kaepernick: 320 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
T. Brady: 7 TDs
F. Gore: 45 yds
R. Jennings: 80 yds/scrimmage, TD
J. Huff: 5 rec, 90 yds, TD
Enjoy Week 6! I hope your team wins (unless they're playing my team).