Tuesday, January 11, 2005

‘Ham & Cheese’



The sports pundits are calling what Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss did in Green Bay last weekend a “simulated mooning.” But what Moss actually did was “simulate” defecating on the Packers fans in the end zone after scoring a touchdown and then “simulate” wiping his butt on the goal post.

When Moss wasn’t “simulating” he could be seen on the Vikings’ sideline standing on top of the players’ bench holding his helmet, steam coming out of his nostrils, his four-and-a-half foot tall fro waving in the breeze, hollering at Packers fans to “look at the mother-f***ing scoreboard.”

He looked like Buckwheat’s bad uncle whacked out on cocaine.

Times sure have changed.

Perhaps I should apologize to you young people right away; I’m one of those old fuddy-duddies who remembers the way things used to be and mourns the demise of these things.

I actually remember a time when there was no celebrating or dances in the end zone. I remember the first time I saw anything like that: It was in 1974 when Billy “White Shoes” Johnson (one of the good guys), as a rookie, did something called “The Funky Chicken” in the end zone after scoring a touchdown for the Houston Oilers.

It was innocent enough and everyone thought it was funny. Johnson sparked a generation of imitators, all of whom had their own touchdown celebration dances.

While the celebratory dances of Johnson’s generation were something new to football fans nobody ever suggested that Johnson and the others were not team players otherwise.

This cannot be said of some players today. Players like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens not only taunt opposing fans and players with their celebrations but also speak out against their own coaching staffs and criticize anything that does not give them the opportunity to do more taunting dances in the end zone.

For instance, before the Vikings-Packers game Moss actually was on television talking about his coach negatively. A week earlier, in an embarrassing loss to the Washington Redskins, Moss left the field early and headed to the locker room.

The most enduring image for me this past season was Terrell Owens following his quarterback Donovan McNabb up and down the sidelines, during a game, hollering at him for not throwing more passes in his direction.

Owens himself has been in trouble for taunting after scoring a touchdown and being openly critical of his coaches and teammates… especially while he was playing in San Francisco.

Owens is a talented receiver to be sure, as is Moss, but the 49ers — learning that no one is so talented as to be above the team — finally got enough of Owens’ antics and traded his problematic butt to a more appropriate venue in Philly.

Now, this weekend, the Minnesota Vikings will play the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional Playoff game. The shame for me is that both teams can’t lose. I suppose I can hope and pray that they go into triple-overtime and clobber the living hell out of each other but that might be too much to hope for.

If Randy Moss is healthy (he has a problem with his foot, as well as with his attitude, ego and hair) there is a good chance there may be a riot if he does something stupid in front of the Philly fans, as they are as disgusting a lot as there is in the NFL.

The last I heard was that Terrell Owens was not completely healthy either, so I haven’t heard if he will play or not (I think not). If both play in this game we could witness the nastiest display in football history (actually, Moss is capable of pulling this off alone).

I’m not sure when things changed. And, no, I don’t blame Billy “White Shoes” Johnson for starting it all. The celebratory dance may have been his invention but he didn’t start this young punk syndrome prevalent in sports today.

Mr. Johnson was a clean, fun and good-natured team player. He still stays in great shape and works with younger players, teaching them sportsmanship.

Another one of the good guys, from that same era, was a player named Rick Upchurch. He did celebratory dances too, while playing for the Denver Broncos. He lives here in Pueblo now and runs a Christian football camp for young people called “Rare Breed” (which my kids attend). I’ve never met Mr. Upchurch but I’m suspecting he is appalled by the antics on the field today.

Yes. Times have changed.

Where we once had the “Funky Chicken” we now have the “Simulated Butt-Wipe.”

Yeah… I miss Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and the times of teams and players and the absence of oversized egos.

So… call me an old fuddy-duddy.

I know times have changed, from team sports to individual selfishness, but it isn’t a good change. I’m also not sure when and how things changed. I suspect that neither Mr. Johnson or Mr. Upchurch know the answer either.

I know that many excuse this imbecilic and juvenile behavior that is practiced on the television and seen by young people everywhere. But I long for the time when players were more responsible toward their youngest fans and displayed true sportsmanship in front of large crowds.

“Mr. Johnson… Mr. Upchurch… please pick up the white courtesy phone. We need you.”

11 Comments:

At 10:56 AM, Blogger John B. said...

I guess that I am a 'fuddy duddy' too...and I am not that old!

I have already blogged on this, being the Packer fan that I am.

In the old days, Moss would have been laid out the next time he went across the middle on a pass route (which he rarely does, as he does not like to be hit all that much).

Moss and T.O. are just immature, plain and simple. Their antics are not as much damaging as they are reflective of their immaturity and unsportsmanlike conduct.

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He looked like Buckwheat’s bad uncle whacked out on cocaine."

LOL! That is a description to be cherished!

Whymrhymer
(http://whymrhymer101.blogspot.com)

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger Kerry R. Fox said...

Whymrhymer,

Thanks...:-)

Yes. It had to be "Buckwheat's bad uncle," as I hold a certain amount of reverance for Buckwheat himself.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Cranky Liberal said...

Oh man, that had me laughing so hard I had to put the phone down. Then I realized it was all true and suddenly it wasn't so funny anymore.

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Buzzy Coltrane said...

When Randy Moss was yelling that to the fans, I'm sure he was provoked into doing it. Have you heard how rude fans are at football games? I would have said the same thing to the fans if they were telling me that I sucked after scoring a touchdown.

 
At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless of the fact that I am still butt-hurt about the Packer loss....Moss is an ass.... Bottom line. Ha that kinda makes since w/ the whole "mooning thing".

-bopperholly
http://bopperholly.blogspot.com

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger The Writer said...

"When Moss wasn’t “simulating” he could be seen on the Vikings’ sideline standing on top of the players’ bench holding his helmet, steam coming out of his nostrils, his four-and-a-half foot tall fro waving in the breeze, hollering at Packers fans to “look at the mother-f***ing scoreboard.”

He looked like Buckwheat’s bad uncle whacked out on cocaine.

Times sure have changed."

LMAO, Oh how that made me laugh!! Thanks.

 
At 6:05 PM, Blogger XTAP59 said...

As an old fuddy duddy you claim to be, you would think that you would remember what the NFL used to be before Megacorporations took over and made it a business.
It was a game. A game played by young men. Not because they had to. But because they wanted to and only a select few could join their club.

Now, the NFL has turned the game into a business. Players punch the time clock, have specific rules they must adhere it, wear exact specific clothing less be fined thousands of dollars and perhaps a game or two. (Case in point when EX Cardinal players wanted to continue to wear the #40 Tillman number sticker on their helmet as a tribute their fallen comrade and military hero, the NFL said hell no. If you wear it, you will be fined heavily and may be suspended games.)And yet Joe Buck, the FOX announcer states that Moss' booty shake was the most disgusting thing on air. I would think that not letting former teammates being able to honor their fallen players that died in the line of duty is the most disgusting.

Its not a game anymore.

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger Harrison said...

I was a kid in Pittsburgh--in the 70's. I remember the Steelers prided themselves on not doing any "celebrating" in the end zone. Making a touchdown was so commonplace there was no reason to "celebrate" an ordinary play.

 
At 2:10 AM, Blogger Monkey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger itinerant said...

I guess at 25, I'm a fuddy-duddy too. But I do enjoy a good celebration. That's where I think XTAP59 makes a good point. The No Fun League tries to make the players stop being human (not to mention the race issue), so of course they rebel. When you work your butt off to get into the end zone, you deserve to celebrate, as long as it's tasteful. I love the Lambeau Leap.

You're right about Moss and T.O. being ego-inflated punks. The one difference, which I think shouldn't be ignored, is that T.O. doesn't take plays off. He is selfish and thinks too highly of himself, but at least he runs his routes when he's not going to get the ball, and at least he throws blocks for the other guys.

The other thing about T.O. is that when he was in San Francisco, what he said about his coach and quarterback was true. The game plan was a joke, Mariucci was way too conservative, and Garcia could barely throw the ball far enough to hit the backside of his linemen.

But T.O. showed what a jerk he is when he was hounding McNabb, a terrific QB. Of course, we don't know for sure that he was asking for the ball. They claimed later that T.O. was just pumping McNabb up.

Anyway, though, Moss is nothing but a punk, T.O. is maybe a rung up the ladder from there, and I miss classy athletes.

 

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