BRONX, NY – This past Sunday I had the pleasure of watching a good portion of the Giants/Jets fiasco in an establishment known as The Piper’s Kilt, located on the Northern tip of Manhattan in a neighborhood known as Inwood. Fellow MTM contributor Junoir Blaber was supposed to be there. But, upon entering, he was nowhere to be found. So I did what anyone would do, I texted Tall Matt and told him to come on over. After all, he lives in the neighborhood. He responded: “On my way.” Good man. We ordered some burgers and drinks and watched the game. Oh, and he also gave me an idea for today’s column after one of the players celebrated a second down tackle a bit too much. Being enthusiastic on the field of play or as a fan is one thing, but we must have levels. Here’s what I’m talkin’ bout.
Butch Johnson. I think the first time I remember a player whooping it up a bit too much was way back in the late ’70s/early ’80s watching Dallas Cowboys receiver Butch Johnson. This guy would celebrate every single first down and on the rare occasion he caught a touchdown he would do something called “The California Quake.” He was a moron. In 8 years with Dallas, this “look at me” clown scored a grand total of 19 tds. His highest season reception total was 41, second highest 25. Yet he grandstanded on just about every catch. In a way, he was the father of needless excessive celebration.
Odell Beckham Jr. During the same Giants/Jets game I alluded to earlier, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. missed a catch in overtime. But rather than running straight back to the huddle, he instead kicked the ball he missed catching and incurred a delay of game penalty. His coach, Old Tom Coughlin, almost became radicalized on the spot, except that he probably remembered the OBJ is one of the few players he has that’s worth a damn. That being said, players that can’t control their emotions are career killers for coaches.
The Dutch Windmill. Can’t mention demonstrative on-field celebrations without including Dutch Kincaid, fictional New York Yankees (who else?) slugger on one of my favorite episodes of the old sitcom Cheers. Whenever Dutch would take Sam Malone deep he would go in to a gyration celebration home run trot known as “The Dutch Windmill.” It was fairly hilarious.
Golden State Warriors. Going into Tuesday night’s tilt in Indiana my Golden State Warriors are off to the 22-0 start to the NBA season. They won it all last year and are treating this season not as a self-congratulatory victory lap but as a challenge to be better than they were last year. Watching a team that knows how to shoot a basketball is something to behold. You can keep your posturing and posterizing dunks, I’ll take what Golden State brings to the table. Other than this paragraph, I am doing my best to curb my Warriors enthusiasm. Though, truth be told, I’m finding it amusing when anyone talks about any other team this year like their games really matter.
Bat Flips and Heaven Pointing. Far too many Major League Baseball players these days are concerned with cultivating some sort of exclamation point celebration to punctuate each and every one of their meager achievements. With hitters it’s the home run bat flip, which Jose Bautista took to nuclear levels last post season. And with pitchers, it’s pointing up to the skies like some deity or deceased relative helped them strike out Lucas Duda, as if that’s some great accomplishment. I’m all for baseball quirks but, c’mon guys, you can do better.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the always enthusiastic Grinding Ax Walter Hynes.