After hearing Bob Costas during halftime of last nights Pittsburgh Steelers & Kansas City Chiefs matchup it’s quite clear that Costas does not have a clear grasp on what the NFL or sports in general is for that matter and that’s entertainment.
His browbeating of Stevie Johnson for his end zone celebration, which included a mocking of Plaxico Burress shooting himself in a NYC nightclub, was laughable and annoying.
Costas decided to give us a lecture on the elegance of the spiking of the football and led us into a few sentences of his own displeasure towards new school ways of celebration and self promotion.
The whole thing was dry, nit picky and even somewhat racist seeing as how every athlete highlighted in his montage was black.
A couple things for Costas; 1. This guy must really hate soccer if he hates celebrations. Matter of fact he must hate basketball as well especially when Dikembe Mutumbo would block shots and wave his finger like a mother would at her child for a bad act.
The point is that celebrations are a part of sport. Mockery of opponents happens after goals, touchdowns, big hits, fan chants and fight songs. Hey Costas, have you ever heard “Texas Fight?” The words go “Texas fight Texas fight, goodbye A&M,” a slight towards rival school Texas A&M sung every time they score a touchdown. How about those chants done by Duke fans? My personal favorite was “Sweat Gary Sweat” which made fun of Gary Williams perspiration issues. To call out athletes for mocking opponents after touchdowns is ludicrous because it’s in every aspect of sports culture on and off of the field from athletes to fans to marketing. Who has a Yankees T-shirt that read “Hey Pedro who’s your daddy?” Complete with a pacifier? Roger Clemens didn’t make that shirt Bob, the Yankees organization did.
Also if Costas feels the need to chastise self promotion then he really needs to do research and actually look at sports as a landscape.
Self promotion goes back to the days of Jack Johnson in boxing who reveled in the fact that he was a black man that had sex with white women and beat white boxers and let everyone know about it. Or how about the king of self promotion Muhammed Ali? Did Costas have Ali in mind during his little tirade?
Or just some food for thought how does Costas view Rex Ryan and his supreme braggadocio, or Al Davis and his leather suits and moniker “Just Win Baby!” Does Costas have an issue with the way Mark Cuban stays in the headlines for the Dallas Mavericks even though he’s never shot a basketball in his life?
If Costas has a beef with self promotion then he must have a problem with sports as a whole.
Personality and creativity are what makes sports a whole. Of course we love the games but we come for the little intricacies of the game. The things we’ve seen on TV that drew us in closer. Cardinals fans love baseball, the also love Ozzie Smith’s backflips, Bulls fans loved basketball, what drew them in closer was Michael Jordan’s tongue wag, there’s Jobs Chamberlain’s fist pump after 8th inning strikeouts, Jaromir Jagr’s military style salute after goals… things that athletes don’t necessarily need to do but do because it’s who they are. It’s a part of their character that we enjoy and emulate.
So if there’s no issue with those things then why is there an issue with touchdown celebrations? Stevie Johnson’s in particular.
Did he go to far by dropping to the ground which cost his team 15 yards? Yes. He knew the rules and shouldn’t have done that. But for Costas to say he cost his team 7 points is preposterous, especially when Chan Gailey decided to attempt an on side kick at his own 20 and give the Jets a short field to work with. Now that was the real stupidity. I guess Costas was too busy not paying attention to the game to realize that.
Lastly there’s the notion from Costas that players should be punished for their acts of creativity. Which is with me… As long as you fine Ryan for saying his team will win the Super Bowl and always falls short, you fine Jerry Richardson for saying his players shouldn’t get tattoos, you fine Jim Schwartz for mocking players on the field like he did Dez Bryant or any other self promoting figure in sports that isn’t just an athlete.
What Costas did last night was show how out of touch he is with the current state of sports and not just football. If you have a problem with self promotion and mocking opponents then you should just stop watching sports in general because it exists on every level.
It’s why Oregon and Maryland have eccentric uniforms, it’s why bands have lines in fight songs dissing their rivals, it’s why fans wear “Yankees Suck” tees. That’s just how sports works. Sometimes like Stevie Johnson we go to far, but it’s all for fun and intrigue.
So to Bob Costas, the next time you feel like attempting to mockery of someone or a culture, understand the landscape of what you’re speaking about. If you did then you would realize that it’s all over sports from football to hockey to soccer.
We all like to show off and rile up opponents, It’s how the game is and it won’t change.
(my last two cents on this is the following: I knew Costas was out of touch on this subject when on Twitter Rob Lowe was agreeing with him on the subject… Rob Lowe… Yep that’s when you had to sit back and laugh at it.
Also the biggest thing that Costas forgot was the guy and team Johnson made fun of.
The New York Jets are the biggest group of self-promoting players and coaches in the league that haven’t won anything. If any team deserved to be made fun of it’s them.
Finally he made fun of Plaxico Burress who shot himself in the leg with an illegal handgun at a nightclub when he was ruled out for a game two days later in Washington. So yeah, he kind if deserves to get made fun of for that.)