You know it will happen again this fall. Each week Cincinnati Bengals fans (and opponents) will wait to see what kind of touchdown celebration Chad “I Make Up My Own Nicknames For Me” Johnson will perform. Ugh. I hate it.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those old school guys who thinks that pro athletes shouldn’t display emotion or have a little fun now and then. But when something is that premeditated and done for personal self-promotion, I think it’s tacky.
So, that being said, did you see the hubbub over Aubrey Huff’s fist pumping yesterday? The story has it that the Orioles don’t care for Joba Chamberlain’s fist pumping displays when he pitches, so Huff declared to his teammates that he would do a little fist pumping of his own if he ever tagged one off of Joba. And so he did. I like it. Frankly, I see nothing wrong with Joba’s displays either. I don’t think he’s trying to show anyone up when he punches the air, he’s just letting out some intensity. I say that…and I’m a guy who’s ready to hate just about anything the Yanks say, do, or represent.
Now, I think I need to rate a couple of the displays we’ve seen in the past.
Lastings Milledge’s high fives to the fans.
I loved this one. He had no intention of showing anyone up. He was just a youthful guy showing his youthful enthusiasm. No harm done. Oh…and as a bonus he brought some of the fans into the game by slapping hands with them. I applaud that.
Jeffry Leonard’s “One Flap Down” Home Run Trot
Pathetic. It was a gimmicky thing he concocted to make himself stand out. I would have drilled him if I was a pitcher.
Manny’s Spontaneous High Five
Man-Ram makes a running catch and then runs up the wall and high-fives a fan while making the play before throwing the ball back in. Loved it. It was spontaneous, harmless, and gave that fan a little story for the rest of his life.
The Washington Nationals Cheer from the Bench
While this one was odd, I found that I liked it. Have you ever seen a college baseball game? The dugout is constantly chattering and cheering. Again, it just seems like the team is having fun and I can get behind that. If it rattled the pitcher, he is obviously a bit too soft.
It’s fun to watch a guy like Big-Z pitch because he’s constantly boiling over with emotion. Anger, joy, frustration…they’re all right there on his face.
This little gimmick that was cooked up by Redmond a couple of years ago was just plain fun to watch. It’s purpose? It rallied the team together. I honestly wish we saw a lot more things like this (or the Ray’s team mohawks or the Cowboy Up Red Sox) in baseball.
In short, don’t stand at the plate and glare at the pitcher while your homer goes over the fence. Don’t yell at the third baseman when you run by so he drops the ball (Yeah, I’m talking to you A-Rod). Those are bush league moves. But it’s okay to have fun. It’s good for the team, the game, and the fans. After all, like Crash Davis said, ” So relax! Let’s have some fun out here! This game’s fun, OK? Fun goddamnit.” Well put, Crash.