Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do you hate athletes strutting their stuff?

When you want to know something, there are options. You can go on-line or to a library and, if you know where to look, you can probably find the answer. I don't need any of that, because I have Ralph, a walking Google/Wikipedia/Encyclopedia Britannica. TV shows? Movies? History? Sports? He's all over it. Can't remember who sung a song many years ago? Ralph not only knows -- he'll sing it for you. He's a happy guy about most things, but there's something that really ticks him off, and he asked me to address it. 
So if I want to continue having access to the fountain of knowledge, I better do something.
Are you sick and tired of athletes showing off after they've made a good play? Does it grind your gears to see a visiting player dance on your home team's turf? It happens in several sports at different levels, but for the sake of this argument, let's narrow it down to pro football, where a lot of the more ridiculous offenders "do their thing".
There's a way to put a stop to a lot of this nonsense. We only need one person to get it started and the rest will start falling in place.
As an example, let's say Green Bay is playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. One of the Packers catches a touchdown pass or sacks the Lions' quarterback, and goes into a dance. 
Most major sports venues these days have giant video monitors, or "jumbotrons", and they're used in a lot of ways, such as live action views from various angles, crowd shots, and replays. Slow motion has been around for a long time, but let's not forget another tool that's available to them. Split screen.
While the Michael Jackson wannabe is going through his "routine", it should be shown on half the screen. On the other half, simultaneously show Richard Simmons in a tutu doing aerobics, or maybe Betty Boop dancing. If it involves several players acting like stooges, then compare them to Larry, Moe, and Curly in a pie fight. When a player exaggerates a signal for a first down, make him the worst clown. Have him side by side with Bozo on the big screen, doing the same thing.  How about Barney Fife, a line of "flappers" from the 20's, Homer Simpson, Charlie Chaplin, Fred Flintstone, Elmer Fudd, Bullwinkle, Tiny Tim, Wile. E. Coyote, The Keystone Kops, Snooki, Lady Gaga, or Justin Bieber, to name a few? Throw in the audio over the stadium's speaker system and the comparison possibilities are endless.
Sadly, there might even have to be the ultimate. As it would amount to the equivalent of capital punishment in the football world, it should only be used for the worst of the worst on-field offenders, to pay their debt to society. This would entail Matt Millen pointing from his half of the screen to the other half and saying, "I want YOU for my football team". With apologies to Mr. T, I pity the fool that finds himself in that situation.
Nevertheless, these guys feed off boos, so obviously that's never deterred them, but the whole crowd in attendance pointing and laughing at them might. Consider: The TV folks would quickly zero in on all this and, in my example, the Packer fans back in Green Bay would see it on their boob tubes, as would the people in charge of THEIR jumbotron. They might want a little payback for that, so the next visiting team that came into Lambeau Field would get the same treatment. In turn, THAT team would go home and do the same thing to THEIR next visitors, and so on. 
Also consider this would end the possibility of Lions' games not being sold out, hence blacked-out to local TV viewers. Regardless of how the Lions fared as a football team, many people would pay the price of admission just to see who got zapped next on the big screen. It would be a show of it's own.
If William Clay Ford can give us a Pinto of a football team for almost 50 years, I say it's high time we at least got a DVD player with some really good comedy routines as standard equipment. Are you with me on this?
If one snowflake in the right spot can trigger an avalanche, then one person running the jumbotron the right way can get this ball rolling.   
Granted, implementing this strategy would only solve half the problem -- the visiting teams.
But gimme a break. I'm only a grunt.
If you want to know how to handle the same situations with the home teams, you'll have to go to a higher power.
Ask Ralph.
He might even sing it for you.


  1. Hail to Ralph..With limited associationnwith Ralph I agree with John's assessment...

  2. great column and I could not agree more. This juvinile behavior is fine for the movies (Jerry Maguire) but it's really tiring when a mediocre player celebrates every time he does his job. Next time I do my job right, I think I will do a little dance.