And if people talk about it, guys like me can write about it, too.
Sometimes showboating slips past the thin line of creativity and into the realm of the absurd. For instance, Chad Johnson doing the river dance after a touchdown is creative. But Chad Johnson changing his name to Chad Ocho Cinco is ridiculous.
At the same time, Terrell Owens borrowing a cheerleader’s pom-poms to celebrate a TD is funny, but T.O. pulling a Sharpie out of his sock or dashing out to the star at midfield is the ultimate in jack-assery.
I mean really… who keeps a Sharpie in their sock? Even if you lived in a nudist colony in which you wore only long white tube socks and only had a fist full of markers to write with, you still wouldn’t stash them in your sock. Not even if you were playing nude football in the colony league.
Money is OK to store in a sock, not a Sharpie.
In the case of Eagles rookie DeSean Jackson, a little bit of showboating turned into embarrassment. That’s especially the case when the game is televised to the largest cable network audience to ever watch a football game. So when Jackson streaked away for what looked like a 61-yard TD reception only to ruin it by flippantly spiking the ball on the one-yard line, it turned into one of those plays everyone will remember forever.
And Jackson was only playing in his second NFL game.
Fortunately, Jackson’s gaffe did not cost the Eagles much more than some nervous laughter and red faces. Afterwards it seemed as if it was OK to laugh about the fact that the kid intentionally fumbled the ball before reaching the end zone. After all, who doesn’t want to keep the ball from their first ever touchdown? Instead Jackson got rid of it as if it was on fire and then moved to the back of the end zone to do a little humpty dance or something.
Talk about embarrassing.
But then again everyone who has ever played sports has done something really stupid. Sometimes those acts of stupidity are burned into the memory banks forever. Like the time I scored a goal for the other team in the final quarter of the semifinal playoff soccer game in one of my first years of playing the sport.
After the ball slipped past our goalie and nestled into the back of the net, my teammates and I fell into a state of shock. Most kids just stood at their positions on the weather-worn field and cried big crocodile tears, while a couple of others crumbled to their knees as if they had been shot by snipers.
It was a bad, dark day for a bunch of kids who took our little soccer league very seriously.
Anyway, what happened was I lightly kicked the ball to our goalie so that he could pick it up and then boot it as far as possible to the other end of the field. It’s a pretty mundane and everyday soccer tactic that even we used as little kids. Rather than play back on our heels on the defensive end, we could just the pressure a bit by kicking it far.
Instead of the goalie scooping up the light little kick, the ball rolled through his legs and into the goal. The whole thing happened as if it was in slow motion and as soon as I kicked it I knew something bad was about to happen. Who would have known that the one seemingly simple play would have resulted in the only goal of the game?
So that year we didn’t get to the championship that season and we didn’t take home a trophy. Instead, all I got was this lousy story.
On another note, during a seventh grade basketball game in our ultra-competitive CYO league, my friend Paul once buried the most magnificent long-range hook shot I have ever seen. It was a shot right out of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar school of the sky hook. Paul must have been at least 20-feet from the basket when he turned without hesitation and just nailed it as cleanly as any shot ever.
The problem was it went into the wrong hoop. It was two points for the other team.
How awesome is that?
Finally, our old pal Doug Glanville penned another op-ed piece for The New York Times. This time Doug wrote about an event I remember well and attended with great apprehension and excitement.
Certainly anyone who was there that night will never forget the Phillies’ first game after the Sept. 11 attacks. Check out Doug Glanville’s remembrances here.
Next up: J.A. Happ, Marty Bystrom and Ryan Howard
photo from Bryan Graham's "For the Record."