Flamboyant goal celebrations piss me off. They’re classless, ignorant and show no respect. Celebrating a goal to show off is just dumb.
The main reason a lot of these circus acts for celebrations drive me up the wall is because they suggest one individual on the team in more important – or above – the rest of the team. Looking at it more bluntly, it’s a selfish act. Instead of congratulating every player on the team for working towards a common goal, players will run off alone and take their jersey off; or point to the name on their back; or even perform an act with a few players that they’ve practiced with in training.
Some will ask what’s wrong with pointing to the name on your back? My answer: what’s wrong with pointing to the crest on your chest…the crest of an entire organization that contributed to this moment…this goal? What makes you think that because you’ve scored a goal, your name should be hailed above all else?
Celebrations that stem from utter joy and result in team bonding, i.e. high fives and hugs, are what it should be about. Don’t get me wrong, important/crucial goals will often result in some crazy celebrations, but those celebrations are genuine and stem from pure joy. On top of that, they rarely result in acts of stupidity.
So where do you draw the line? When is it ok to do a certain celebration and when is it not?
My decision making tree is as follows: (1) if it puts you above the team, don’t do it. (2) If it makes you stand out, don’t do it.
Let me give you an example. This past week I watched an MLS game between the New England Revolution and the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps. The game was tied (0-0) and Vancouver was down a man due to a red card. Then, they caught a break: a penalty shot. The penalty shot was taken by Eric Hassli who was already on a yellow card. After scoring the penalty shot, he ran off the field and took his jersey off so he could throw it into the crowd. The controversy, many suggest, is that he had a jersey under his shirt, so technically he didn’t take his shirt off.
The question isn’t whether or not this should be a yellow card, the question is why he would take his shirt off in the first place. I never condone taking your shirt off because, like I said, it’s a selfish act. Most importantly, however, how dumb do you have to be to do something like that knowing you already have a yellow card and knowing your team is already down a man? It’s not like he scored a goal out of the blue and took his shirt off in a trance of joy; he obviously planned this out and didn’t even hesitate when he scored.
By the way, the game ended up finishing 1-1…woops.
Keep the stupidity at home. Have respect for your team and for the game. Score the goal, congratulate your team, pat yourself on the back and head back to your end.