Enough Already: 5 Sporting Traditions That Should Be Abandoned
There are many traditions, for lack of a better word, that have become synonymous with certain sporting events and achievements. Many of these, are of course classics that should never be changed, such as the tradition of having each Stanley Cup winner take the trophy to his hometown for a day.
However, there are numerous sporting staples that are either awkward or unnecessary. Here are the top five ridiculous traditions that I'd like to get rid of.
Champange Celebrations for Winning the Wild Card, Division Series, Etc.
Honestly, is it really necessary for every baseball team that makes the playoffs to roll out the beer goggles for a locker room champagne celebration?
In every other sport, these type of celebrations are reserved for the teams that actually win the championship. Celebrating the fact that you're the seventh or eighth best team in the MLB in the same fashion that you would celebrate a World Series victory is simply ludicrous.
I'm perfectly fine with the champagne-dousing that greets the World Series champions when they return to the locker room, and possibly the LCS winners because they did technically win their league. However, for Wild Card and Division Series winners, the celebration is excessive and should be done away with.
Gatorade Baths After Winning the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl
Staying with the theme of unnecessary celebrations, does one mediocre team beating another mediocre team in the Beef 'O' Brady's or Chick-Fil-A Bowl really warrant wasting so much good Gatorade?
In general, I could take or leave the Gatorade baths. When it first occurred in 1984, it was a spontaneous celebration that ruined Mike Ditka's suit, but lately it has become predictable and overused. I'm fine with coaches getting drenched when they win a championship or a BCS Bowl game, due to the fact that these are significant achievements.
However, winning one of 35 bowl games, half of which nobody has ever even heard of, should not result in gallons of Gatorade being thrown away. While we're on the subject, the presentation of trophies should also be eliminated from these mediocrity bowls in my opinion.
Owners Receiving the Trophy After Winning the Championship
This is arguably the most ridiculous tradition in American professional sports. Yes, the owner invested the money in the organization, but it's the players who won the championship.
As is the case in soccer and many other sports, the team captain is the first person to lift the trophy, and rightly so. Having the owner come down from his luxury box, put on the mandatory hat and awkwardly raise the trophy just doesn't sit well with most fans.
The worst example of this tradition occurred in 2009, after the Lakers beat the Magic to win the Larry O' Brien trophy. Anyone who watches the cringe-worthy video above (Joey Buss, a 19-year-old rich kid, accepting the trophy), and says that's the way the presentations should be carried out, clearly is not a real sports fan.
Joey Buss, the owner's son, had no impact on the Lakers' victory, and therefore should not have the privilege of accepting the trophy.
P.S.: The last 15 seconds of Joey's acceptance speech are just painful to watch.
In-Game NBA Coach Interviews
Not much needs to be said about these uninformative exchanges. The coach interviews that take place at the start of the second and fourth quarters of nationally televised games do absolutely nothing to enhance the fan experience.
The coaches don't like having to take time out from their pep talks to give the interview and the viewers know they're going to get a generic, "We need to establish our offensive game plan, and exert more effort on defense," response.
These conversations aren't helping anyone. Most of the time, we're just looking to see which ridiculous suit Craig Sager is wearing on the sideline.
Chants That Have to Be Started By the Arena Announcer
I was debating whether to put Jim Rome is Burning in this spot or not, but I went instead with the forced chants we've all become accustomed to hearing at NBA games.
How often do we hear an over-eager announcer attempt to start something along the lines of a, "Let's go Heat!" chant in the middle of the first quarter when half the Miami crowd hasn't even arrived by then?
On the other end of the spectrum, if you need some guy with a microphone to tell you to start a "De-Fense" chant in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, then you shouldn't be attending basketball games.
Great crowd chants are all about creativity and timing, not generic instructions. This is an aspect of the game that should be left up to the fans.