Individual celebrations undermine team wins

Individual+celebrations+undermine+team+wins

Abby Kempf

[dropcap color=”#” bgcolor=”#” sradius=”0″]F[/dropcap]irst and second grade Pee Wee Hoops players explode into screams and high-fives whenever they defeat their tiny opponents.
The RBHS girls’ swimming and diving team jumped up from the bleachers and screamed, even knocking a few people off of the shaking stands, when they were announced as back-to-back state champions.
National Football League players have an assortment of different victory moves, ranging from the elegant spike to the flashy ickey shuffle.
How much is too much, though?
National sports leagues all carry different regulations limiting the amount of celebration performed after winning a match, sinking a three-pointer or scoring a touchdown.
The NFL restricts taunting and celebration, even fining or suspending players for particularly atrocious or ostentatious violations. As an attempt to curb celebration, the NFL instituted an automatic 15 yard penalty against any player who uses a prop to celebrate, such as a glove, towel or goal post, in 2006. In 2009, The National Collegiate Athletics Association approved a new zero tolerance policy for excessive celebration to cut back on game times and to avoid embarrassment.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide-receiver Antonio Brown was memorably fined Dec. of 2015 for a spiderman-on-the-goal-post move following his impressive touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts. As he gripped the post in a giant hug, the NFL gripped paperwork detailing a $11,576 fine. Starting in Oct. of 2015, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton brought the national dance craze, “dabbing,” to the stadium. His dab celebrations last almost as long, if not longer, than his actual touchdown runs.
These players have taken the team away and have put all of the emphasis on themselves. Sure, Newton is a terrific player, but without linebacker Luke Kuechly, wide receiver Steve Smith, Jr., tight end Greg Olsen and center Ryan Kalil, Newton wouldn’t have made it to the Super Bowl.

Western society and its focus on the individual have created a generation of people who love being the center of attention and who will say or do anything to get it.”

From self-proclaimed god, rapper Kanye West, to self-absorbed hopeful presidential candidate Donald Trump, to tiger-blood-filled actor Charlie Sheen, celebrities and other household names preach an elaborate lifestyle that focuses solely on the individual and their own glory. It is impossible to turn on the television or get on any social media site without seeing some celebrity’s newest outrageous tweet or see a headline about something offensive said by a well-know name.
No matter how trendy, dabbing or jumping on a goal post doesn’t celebrate the whole team and all the hours of practice put in and the intricate workings of each player throughout the game. It simply highlights the single player, the last link in a much longer chain to produce the points. It’s time to honor the age-old saying “Don’t be a ball hog,” and put the emphasis back on the team as a whole.
Let’s take it back to Pee Wee Hoops and high-five each other when we win. Let’s jump up and down with our team, celebrating the times and triumphs of every swimmer after we’re all named champions. Next time you sink the winning shot, hug your teammate and thank them for coming through with the vital assist.
Art by Stephanie Kang