…you’d better not cry

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I’ve written before about showboating in sports and in baseball, so by now I’m sure you know that I’m not a fan. I’ve talked about how the likes of Art Monk would hand the ball to the official after a TD, how Larry Bird would run back down court after a good play, and how the great Cal Ripken Jr. would put his head down and run the bases without flair when he’d hit a home run. Unfortunately that’s seemingly an era in sports which is increasingly gone from what I’m being told.

Yesterday ESPN’s First Take  show covered the latest version of this controversy. Matt Barnes of the L.A. Lakers was critical of the L.A. Clippers for wildly celebrating big dunks. When I saw this, I stood and applauded in my living room. It’s the same argument as in baseball when guys hit home runs and watch their shots, round the bases sickingly slow, or participate in wild celebrations at home plate. (I would say that a walk off home run would offer an exception to this rule.)

I’m not suggesting that there’s a problem with a high-five or two. But maybe those kinds of celebrations should be held for winning series in the playoffs and so forth. As with all things, there is another side to this. The “offending team” will generally argue that if the “umbraged team/player” doesn’t like it, they should stop it from happening. In other words, babies cry. There might be some validity to that also believe it or not. However my point has always been and will continue to be that athletes should look to the likes of Larry Bird and Cal Ripken and to play the game with the class and bravado that they did rather than exculting themselves at that moment.

Again, two sides to every story. The counterpoint there would be that they need to be that free and happy with themselves in order to play with the moxie that they do. So let me get this straight…Kevin Youkilis is incapable of hitting home runs unless he stands at home plate and watches it sail? Ndamukong Suh can’t sack a quarterback unless he stands over the guy and let’s him know it? You get the idea.

Unfortunately from my perspective, of late the babies cry argument seems to be winning the debate. I suppose that I take this to heart a bit because I was raised to respect everyone around me and to understand that everyone has their place in this world. Therefore it stands to reason that when one team beats another (or one player beats another) the other guy was trying just as hard as the one that won. Is it really necessary to further diminsh his effort by showboating? In the video of the First Take program, they briefly touched on retaliation when these things occur. I think that in a sport like basketball it would be hard to retaliate against someone for showboating (or anything for that matter) lest you’re set on causing another Ron Artest incident. However in baseball…oops sorry; that fastball must have slipped out of my hand and ended up in your back.

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