The below video shows why Bob Costas is so polarizing. Much of what he does is of the highest standard, but this uppity essay/rant destroying celebrations in the NFL and lifting up the No Fun League will surely divide opinion. His erudite halftime essays are usually worth little more than a trip to the fridge, but this dissertation dissing NFL celebrations quickly drew much praise and criticism on Twitter. The subject of Costas’ silky smooth venom was Bills WR Stevie Johnson for his bizarre TD celebration mocking Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg. A little tasteless? Probably. But did you laugh under your breath? I’m willing to bet yes.
Personally, if Bob Costas, Roger Goodell and the like didn’t turn every NFL celebration into the Scopes Trial, we wouldn’t have this huge problem of supposedly selfish celebrations. Nobody thought the Fun Bunch were horrible human beings after all, right? (Unless you believe group high fives are inherently evil, I suppose.) Guys wildly celebrate goals all the time in soccer, so why can’t people be happy and express themselves when they do something good? As long as they keep their pants on that is…
And here’s the full transcript of the Costas essay from NBC…
“For those of you too busy keeping up with the Kardashians to notice, we live in a culture that in many ways grows more stupid and graceless by the moment. Sports both reflects and influences that sorry trend, so on playing fields everywhere, true style is in decline, while mindless exhibitionism abounds.
In the late ’60’s, the Giants had a receiver named Homer Jones. He invented the spike — and it was great; a simple, elegant punctuation that somehow has devolved into this…(video of excessive celebrations)
Given the tone of the times, it’s probably too much to expect that most players would appreciate that back in the day, this guy (Barry Sanders) was much cooler than this guy (Mark Gastineau), or that there is a difference between spontaneous and/or good-natured displays of enthusiasm and calculated displays of obnoxious self-indulgence. No, that train has already gone so far down the wrong track, there’s probably no turning back.
So our suggestion here is a more modest one: hey, knuckleheads, is it too much to ask that you confine your buffoonery to situations that don’t directly damage your team? Week after week, game after game, we see guys who think nothing of incurring penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, costing their team’s valuable yardage, even late in close games.
Today’s most conspicuous culprit: Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson, who after a TD catch versus the Jets, thought it would be a good idea to go Marcel Marceau, pantomiming, among other things, Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg. But in this case, it was Johnson, who shot himself in the foot, as his display cost his team a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. And given a short field, the Jets proceeded to score in a critical game that wound up, 28-24, New York.
Which raises this question: where are the coaches in all this? Guys are routinely benched or called out for blown assignments. When is a coach going to make an overdue statement and sit a guy down on the grounds of pure selfishness and unprofessionalism detrimental to his team?
By the way, late in the loss to the Jets, Johnson dropped a pass that could have led to a Buffalo win. Shockingly, he didn’t follow it with a rehearsed “my bad” dance of apology. Maybe he just forgot.”