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December 18, 2003

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

Maybe I’m just getting old and out of touch with what’s hip and what’s cool, but I could not believe what I saw Sunday night during the NFL football game on ESPN. After scoring a touchdown, Joe Horn, a receiver for the New Orleans Saints, retrieved a cellular phone that he had stashed hidden in the padding of the goal posts and celebrated his score by placing a phone call home. This comes on the heels of the antics of one of my least favorite players, 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens, who celebrated his TD by pulling out a marker from his pants and autographing the football before throwing it into the stands.

What are these guys thinking? Or are they thinking? Well obviously some thought went into the “celebrations” as the props had to be put into place. Are they trying to get endorsement deals from U.S. Cellular and Sharpie? Maybe they are hoping for careers after football in acting? Who knows, but in my book all they are doing is making fools of themselves.

Sure this is the NFL, and its great to see a little emotion out of these guys who are getting paid millions of dollars to play a game. Still I’d much rather see the good old high school football rule that calls for a penalty for un-sportsman like conduct when a player celebrates a touchdown.

Then again, most of these idiots in the NFL (I mean the excessive celebraters not NFL players as a whole) could care less if they get their team a penalty. Who cares if you cost your team 15-yards and jeopardize the game for the rest of your team? You’re in the spotlight right?

What scares me more than the fact that these antics are getting worse and worse is the fact that the morons doing the performing are becoming some of the more popular players in the league. Look back on the likes of Deion Sanders, the biggest showboat of them all. There is no arguing the man’s talent, but his dancing and his high-stepping routine to the endzone made him one of my all-time least favorites.

The same goes for Owens. The guy’s a jerk, plain and simple. He’s always whining about not getting the ball enough or about how everyone else is to blame for the team’s poor performances, then he drops a couple passes or makes stupid penalties. Perhaps if he was more focused on the game than on what he would pull out of his hat next to shock the world, his team would be winning. Maybe he should switch to cheerleading (he swiped a cheerleader’s pompons after one TD and did a little cheer for the camera) since he seems to be more about show than about substance.

Just spike the ball, give your teammates a few high fives or give the football to a kid in the crowd (whose $80 ticket is helping pay your salary). Why make a fool of yourself, alienate your teammates and infuriate your opponent? Better yet, do like one of my newest favorites, San Diego Chargers’ running back Ladainian Thomlison, simply hand the ball to the referee and go about your business. You would think these guys would rather be remembered for scoring the winning touchdown in the big game than for dancing around like a kindergartener with ants in his pants.


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