Sunday, October 12, 2014


Written by: David Sha
Date posted: 10/12/2014

I wanted to touch on a subject that comes up quite often in realm of competitive sports; celebration in the midst of a seemingly losing effort. 

I often hear people criticizing those that choose to celebrate when they do something good while at the time they are down by a considerable margin. This is not exclusive to professional sports. I’ve sat at many domino tables and got on my opponent for celebrating a win after consecutive losses and I’ve also been on the other side of the critique. In most people’s view, there’s a time when it’s cool to celebrate and a time to take your whoopin’ like you have some class.

While the Houston Texans defense was getting ran off of their home field by Houston native, Andrew Luck and  Co., All-World defensive end, J.J. Watt, drew the attention of a local sports-talk show host after celebrating in his traditional fashion for Swatt-ing down a Luck pass. "In the Loop" host, Nick Wright (SportsRadio610 - Houston) was semi-critical of Watt’s antics, I think, when he sent these two tweets during Thursday night’s game….

game tweets

I'm not sure if Wright was passive-aggressively telling #99 that he shouldn’t be celebrating while getting beat down or was he just looking for the opinion of his 35,000 twitter followers, since he posed his tweets in the form of a question. Either way, I hear this kind of stuff all of the time. DJ Swearinger, the Texans second-year strong safety, is often pointed out for slapping his helmet, rolling his hands like "The Big Tymers" on their "Get Your Roll On" video, or striking a pose after making a play. To Swag, as Swearinger is sometimes called, it doesn’t matter how many missed assignments or tackles he has on his unofficial stat sheet or how long of a losing streak the team is going through; he’s going to let you know he’s there.

I'm not sure when the celebrations should be shut down, but the Texans were down, 24-0, in the first quarter and by no means is a game over in the first quarter. By the end of the game, my hometown team made a competitive affair out of what seemed to be an unavoidable blowout. I don’t think that would have been possible if the Texans had turned off the competitive fire that they visibly show after causing their opponents a hiccup just because non-football playing onlookers find it in bad taste. I don’t believe that the Buffalo Bills could have overcome a 32-point deficit in ’93 against my beloved Houston Oilers, if they had decided that they would play without the passion that got them to the NFL in the first place.

I agree that sometimes celebrating is tacky,  if a team obviously over-matched and the game is unmistakably out of reach, but we have to get out of this cliche-driven mindset and allow professional players to be human beings. They are not robots and it takes a certain amount of emotion to get certain players going. 

NBAer Rasheed Wallace was penalized over and over again for his emotional outbursts, but that same fire is what fueled his drive and why he was considered one of the better power forwards of his generation. 

Swag said it best when being interviewed by Lance Zierlein of Sports 790’s "The Proper Gentlemen of Sports". Energy is infectious and one fired-up individual can ignite a whole team to lay it all out. So JJ and Swag need to keep bringing the Juice to the locker room, game field, and neighborhood corner store.



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