Over the top celebrations usually don’t start out that way. They just happen to end that way.
” Oh YA! How do you like that?” Tom shouted. Pushing his index finger into the chest of his opponent. ” Over the top of you all! Let us guys, know when you girls are ready to play again?”
Tom was one of the smallest on the team. But he could use his rolling voice that seemed to carry farther than he could himself. Being small was at times an advantage. Being built like a beer keg, made Tom seemed extra hard to tackle on the field of play. Football was the game in town, that kept the players out of trouble. At least while they were on the field.
” Tom! ” Coach Dan yelled out. ” What was that all about?” Didn’t you listen to me in the huddle?” Coach Dan had moved over to the side of the sidelines that Tom was occupying for the moment.
“Ya, coach. I did.” Tom was looking down at the ground in front of him, somewhat ashamed that he taunted in that way. Wondering if that was the type of over the top celebration, that the coach has mentioned?
” Tom! Man I wasn’t kidding about the sportsmanship, you can’t do that!” Coach starred Tom down. Looking for some eye contact between the two, as the indication of some kind of understanding. Tom glanced up at coach timidly.
” What’s a good type of celebration? One that doesn’t involve taunting the other team, giving them the psychological advantage.”
” I don’t know coach. ” Tom said. With a barely audible voice.
Coach Dan had a tough type of coaching style, yet respectful of these young men. He knew they needed discipline, direction, on and off the field. Yet they were just boys. If they knew that he had once tried to convince his younger brother, that they had just found him on the door steps of his parents house. As the way of telling him how he came to be. A type of taunting of him. The team may not respect his style of coaching, or even his direction. Now, how can I explain this to Tom, yet make an impact on him? Coach Dan was slightly distracted, for a moment.
“You know what the Pro’s do with their celebrations during the game and after? Don’t you?” Coach picks up Toms head with a gentil lifting motion of his hand, untill their eyes met. Saying again. ” Don’t you?”
“Yea they high-five each other!” Tom answered. Tom didn’t like the game of fifty questions. So he gave an expression to reflect the feeling.
” Or they give thanks to their God, by going to one knee, doing the cross motions on their chests. But that one isn’t what I telling you to do. That’s more personal.” Coach Dan was becoming uncomfortable talking about God and all. He wasn’t the boys minister after all. ” They also at times, after a great victory, pour Gatorade over the coach afterwards. You have watched, or at least seen games like that. Right?”
“Yes!” Tom replayed half heartedly. ” Coach! Going to one knee and thanking God and all. Doesn’t that imply that God picks sides? Doesn’t it give the other team the impression of taunting from God? like God is on our side over your’s?” Tom Gave a slight smile. Knowing coach was uneasy and all. Not the subject that a football coach was to be teaching. But coach brought it to the table didn’t he?
” Follow the Pro’s lead. Being respectful. Don’t taunt the other side after a good play, or score! You use this! ” Coach slapped the helmet on Toms head. ” Don’t waste it! As far as the God thing… good points with that. You can follow what ever your family’s convictions are. You hear what I’m saying?”
“Yes sir.” Tom responded.
After the game some of the parents were standing around, talking to coach Dan. Going over some of their replay’s using memory’s of the game, from their different prospectives, and their positioning in view of the game in relation to the field. Their talking seemed like a quiet hum of semi-excited ex-players, all to eager to give their critique.
Suddenly out of the blue, a women started to scream out.
” Oh Ya! How do you like me now? ” She threw her hands into the air, while spinning around. She then stopped and directed her words towards an older man just sitting there in disbelieve. ” You thought I couldn’t beat you! But spanked you like a red-headed step child. Oh Ya!”
Dan shook his head. ” She makes my job a bit harder with that kind of out burst.” The group of parents barely heard Dan. Fully entranced with the going on’s of the women’s taunting.
Dan looked briefly at the rest of the group and then glanced back towards the women. Realizing that the group didn’t even hear what he was saying. Suddenly out from behind the women Dan saw Tom and his buddy Rick, carrying a bucket of Gatorade. Dan voiced the words ” No! ” But no sound came out of his mouth.
The boys took a hurried aim and slooshed the old woman with Gatorade. Then took off running.
The women screamed out with a piercing high-pitched growl. ” What the Hell ! Who is trying to kill me with ice-cold drinks. Tom! Tom !”
As Tom ran by the group of parents, coach reached out and caught Tom by the shirt. Suddenly stopping him in his tracts, almost lifting him off his feet by getting caught instantly. The look of terror was all over his surprised face. Along with some fear remembering coach’s talk.
“Just what the hell are you thinking with a stunt like that?” Coach Dan barked. While looking for a good explanation.
“You said that we shouldn’t taunt people, but celebrate properly!”
“Yea. But not kill some old woman with a heart attack by cold Gatorade! ” Tom was struggling to free himself. But coach had an iron hold on his shirt. ” Shouldn’t you go and explained at the least?” Coach Dan questioned with more authority then usual.
” What? My Grandma?” Tom shouted back. ” You said if there was a great victory we should celebrate like the pro’s! So I just poured a bucket of Gatorade on my grandmother’s head because she beat my grandpa in a game of electronic Scrabble. Something that never happens! Ever! ”
To the losers it sucks! To the winners it is sweet! The proper celebrations to what ever we’re experiencing at the time. Is at times hard to explain, in choosing, or teaching, or even demonstrating the appropriate celebration to use. Who knows if any celebration is just an attempt in pushing someones buttons, or really just an instance of thoughtlessness, acting in a celebratory way? Aren’t celebrations by their nature spontaneous to the winners of something? Or just the fans way in participating along with their team in a great victory? Celebrations can be pushing buttons indeed. As well just an over the top event in spontaneous celebration?
All the best.