Choreographed Sportsmanship Courtesy Of the NCAA

Mitch Wilson@sportschatplaceSenior Writer IAugust 15, 2009

The NCAA has decided that this season all games in week one of the college football season should start with both teams shaking hands. I guess they decided that just the captains shaking hands when doing the coin toss doesn't cut it anymore.

Personally, I don't see the point, especially before a contact sport. In hockey, the players shake hands after the series is over and in college hoops the players shake hands before the opening tip, but not even all players shake hands with one another.

Since the NCAA complains that games take too long and they can't stuff in commercials at the rate they want to without the games going five hours, I'm wondering if the teams need to leave the locker rooms a few minutes early to execute this thing.

But why stop it at handshakes?

How about a group barbecue the night before the game, and a backgammon tournament or a game of horseshoes. If that doesn't work, how about they all rent a VFW, grab some acoustic guitars and hav a sing-along.

I think college football is played with plenty of sportsmanship. They took away players being allowed to celebrate making a great play, maybe next they'll say if the home crowd cheers a sack it's 15 yards and an automatic first down.

The NCAA took away the horse collar, something it was fine with for 100 years and something we never heard anything about until the NFL made it illegal. Maybe next they outlaw gang tackling.

Maybe they should even take the handshake to the next level and just make it a group hug. I think those Alabama and Auburn players and fans can't wait until their players sit around the campfire a few hours before the Iron Bowl and sing "Kumbayah" arm-in-arm.

Another step we can expect soon is for all college football stadium food to go vegan. I thought I heard the tomatoes from the ketchup being used by a guy next to me last year at the stadium start to whimper as it was squeezed from that little foil package it comes in.

Maybe I'm taking this whole thing just a little too far, but something doesn't sit right with me about this one. I think if the guys want to shake hands after a hard-fought game then so be it, but a handshake before doesn't make much sense in this case.


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