More and more in professional football we see bizarre touchdown celebrations, strutting and preening after a big play of some sort, and now Chad Johnson has legally changed his last name to his number. What is going on in football today?
The «it’s all about me» attitude that seems to be showing up more and more in our society today, is running rampant through the National Football League. And while some people say it’s just the stars expressing themselves, I personally don’t like it and think that it has the potential to ruin the sport.
How you say? Well, the problem at times bleeds over into the locker room and starts to mess with team chemistry. Look at Terrell Owens for example. Everywhere he goes, eventually he is at odds with someone. And, while a tremendously talented wide receiver, TO starts his antics usually when he is not getting the football as much as he thinks he should.
In two recent games, the football was knocked loose as a player was about to enter the end zone and started his celebration early. These guys were so focused on getting the crowd to focus on them that they screwed up the play itself.
Now for a «quite the opposite» view, take a look at the New England Patriots. Arguably the most successful NFL franchise in recent times. And they focus on finding and keeping players who are team oriented and are willing to fit into their «system». And that system works. Hence three Super Bowl championships in this decade.
So what’s the right way? Well, I don’t think that you can say that there is a right way or a wrong way. But the question for the NFL is which way do the ticket holders prefer? I don’t have the answer to that, but I do know that most NFL fans that I talk to are tired of the antics and prefer their champions to be low key and full of character and integrity.
Now in all of this, there is a glimmer of hope. I read recently that more and more of the younger players coming into the league are not playing the «prima donna» game and are just focused on improving their skills and helping their team win.
I hope that this is the real trend. I’d like for my grandkids to watch these football players and see character, not just characters. If they choose to play the game at any level, I want the players that they try to be like to be someone that they can look up to.
Maybe I’m naïve, but I love the game of football and I don’t want to see it ruined by a few.