Skip to comments.The 'Look at Me' generation takes it to the gridiron
Posted on 11/13/2004 7:39:36 PM PST by qam1
Recently my wife and I were watching a football game on TV. Well, actually, I was watching the game; my wife was walking through the living room and just happened to look over at the television set.
She enjoys watching football about as much as I enjoy watching rhythmic gymnastics. (That would be a good punishment in the criminal justice system. "You have been found guilty of racketeering and embezzlement, Mr. Dweebler, and this court sentences you to six years of nothing but rhythmic gymnastics on your television."
"Noooo, your honor! Anything but that!")
Anyway, just as my wife looked at the TV, a player caught a touchdown pass and began to dance in the end zone, waving wildly to the crowd with one hand while pointing to himself with the other hand, and generally strutting and preening like a Mongol warrior who just sacked an enemy village -- or Donald Trump arriving at the office on a typical morning.
My wife was aghast at the vain, self-centered behavior. She said to me, "When you played football in high school, did you act like that when you scored a touchdown?"
I thought for a moment. Hmm, let's see high school football back in the mid-1970s. Well, if I had scored a touchdown and then proceeded to do the "I'm-the-center-of-the-universe" dance, my head coach would have immediately sprinted to the end zone and pounded on my helmet with both fists.
A moment later, my mother would have climbed down from the bleachers and also sprinted to the end zone -- not to stop the coach from beating me, but to take over and continue the beating when the coach's arms got tired.
"Let's put it this way," I replied to my wife, "if I had acted like that during a high school football game, once the coaches were finished with me at the following Monday's practice, not even the crew from CSI-Connecticut would have been able to identify the body."
People who grew up in the 1960s and '70s are labeled "The Me Generation." I have to admit that many of us who are Baby Boomers can be pretty self-centered. But people who have grown up in the last couple of decades should be called "The 'Look at Me' Generation." People today are not only self-centered and vain, but they now insist that everyone else must pay attention. There were no "reality" programs on TV back in the '70s. If you made a fool of yourself back then, you hid and hoped no one saw you.
Nowadays, people eat bugs, get stranded in the jungle, sing off-key, and endure Donald Trump's insults in front of millions of television viewers. And they do it willingly! They want people to see them do that stuff.
It's not even a criminal justice system punishment (like the rhythmic gymnastics thing). Say what you will about the self-centered '70s, but we didn't have an entire one-hour TV show focusing on some unemployed, illiterate jerk who is proud of the fact he's sleeping with his mother-in-law and his wife doesn't care -- or whatever the heck the latest episode of Jerry Springer is all about. And back in the '70s, we didn't have that bastion of narcissistic exhibitionism run rampant: rhythmic gymnastics. ("Ooh, ooh, look at me! I'm flitting around with a ribbon! I deserve a gold medal!")
My wife and I usually don't agree about much while watching TV. She likes emotional drama; I like explosions. She likes the ribbon flitters; I like off-tackle, plow through the line touchdowns.
But we both agree that once someone does score a touchdown, he should refrain from those stupid "look at me" dances and just jog back to the bench. And we both agree that if a player is compelled to strut and preen and show off after a touchdown, he should be forced to wear a leotard and ballet slippers, and wave around a silly ribbon.
Nah, not even that would shame today's players. They'd just enjoy all the attention.
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I did kind of enjoy Ickey Woods's "Ickey Shuffle." In much better taste than the old Dexter Bussey "Pelvic Thrust."
Terrific piece- thanks for posting it:)
He didn't want them carrying on after they made a touchdown. He told them: "Boys, when you get in the end zone I want you to act like you've been there before"
I know I'm in the minority, but I don't mind at ALL when football players do their little dance. It's entertaining! It's fun! So what!
And while we're on the subject, any time there's a sack and the defensive player celebrates like he just found a solution to world hunger, erase the sack, move the ball forward 15 yards and award the offense a first down. That should stop that as well.
It's a game, sure. But a little decorum and humility works wonders. No need to act like liberals every time you do the slightest little thing right.
Naaa, the "me" generation is the baby boomers. They will undoubtedly go down as the most selfish generation in history, willing to bankrupt the country, and impoverish their children and grandchildren so that they can get their Socilistic Insecurity and Mediscare.
It's "Show Biz". It's TV. It's Media-Hype.
boomer here. and nah.. you are wrong. take your insults elsewhere. it was the "best" generation that decided it would be a good thing to rob their children to pay themselves social security. it was the "best" generation that drafted their children to kill and die in the viet nam war which they were to lazy to stop the pols from escalating. bust them. you too.
I grew up adoring Havlechek (is that correct spelling?) and later on it was other Celtics... Parrish and Bird. Even Jordan, who certainly upped the ante in terms of flash, wasn't a complete ass like latter day players.
What the hell is HE complaining about...they're just doing what his generation taught them.
And costs the team 15 yards.
Jeez, newbie, grow a thicker skin. Comments made about one group are understood to have exceptions.
The boomer generation was responsible for the crap in the '60's and the loss in Viet Nam in the 70's and gave us what is now the most liberal bunch of Democrats that ever existed. They gave us abortion on demand, free love, AIDS, and homosexual marriage.
However, I will give you one thing, the "greatest generation" failed miserably in raising their children or else we wouldn't have had the problems int he 60's and 70's.
And if you consider just WHO was responsible for the majority of the crap we are paying for today, you can point your finger right at old FDR. Here is a link from the Cato Institute that details how screwed up FDR's policies were: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1048166/posts
Mike Shanahan says it best. When you score a touchdown, you should act like you've been there before.
That's why I always liked John Stockton and Karl Malone. The perfect antithesis of the NBA's current archetype.
Yet, there was the Mile High "Salute".
Gee, I don't know, why would a generation of people be desperate for peer or parent attention? Why would that generation be ALLOWED to misbehave in such a way?
Could it be their parents acted like idiots and let their kids get away with murder--or worse, acted like idiots and ignored their kids outright, so that the children crave ANY attention at all?
I loathe the fact that a big component of sports is now trash-talking. But you want to pin the blame on someone for the rise of trash-talking, pin it on the folks who encouraged it and then continue to watch as they mutter about it. If you don't like it, don't watch it. If it's so awful, STOP IT. If you think whining about it is the answer, you're probably a Boomer.
That you are right about the self-styled "Greatest" generation doesn't change the fact that the Baby Boomers are the biggest pack of preening, self-congratulatory, 'we-are-so-great-we're-humble-enough-to-let-our-parents-be-the-greatest' liberals since the Radical Republicans of the 1860s.
I remember Jack Lambert. When he made a tackle, he'd simply get up and walk back to the huddle (snarling all the way, mind you). He never understood these guys who jumped up and down after making a play: "Hey, that's what we're gettin' paid for."
There were plenty of people in the 70's willing to be jackasses in public. Streakers, Candid Camera (people had to sign a release for their bit to air), and shows like "That's Incredible!" and "Real People". Football had Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.
But the point is missed if we draw conclusions from the participants in the show. Who the hell wants to watch such drivel?
Athletes showboat (particularly in the NFL) because it boosts name recognition and can result in precious endorsements. The idiots on "Survivor" are there because they are flashers and we are the willing voyeurs.
Yes, the NFL should immediately change its product. It's not like it just signed a history-makingly huge TV rights contract or anything that would indicate that people like watching the product as-is. The NFL is obviously a huge flop because of these antics.
The NFL is a violent and fast game where adrenaline rushes fuel the players all game long in an almost tribal war, and celebratory strutting is perfectly natural in that setting. It's just like scalping your downed enemy or creating shrunken heads from them. It's meant to humiliate them in defeat.
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