Too much celebrating in pro sports

Column by Hunter O. Lyle — Sports Editor

While it pains a Spurs fan to admit this, Kawhi Leonard is incredibly unique. Without even looking at the game of the Clipper’s new superstar, which speaks volumes compared to the stoic personality of Leonard , the Klaw differentiates himself from the rest of the pack by refusing to participate in the most increasingly annoying fad: over-celebrating anything and everything.

Leonard has never really shown any true emotion after a highlight, or really any emotion ever. A man of pure business, he merely walks on the court, gets his 20 plus points and leaves, something that made him at one point, my favorite player of all time.

However, this is not a trend that is catching on in pro sports. Frankly, the opposite is happening, and it is turning a game more into a spectacle than a sport.

In the NBA, you can place a safe bet that anytime a big man slams home a dunk or swats a shot, they will most likely flex their muscles as hard as they can while staring someone down. The same rule applies to any defense in the NFL, especially the Pittsburg Steelers, who apparently must gather together and pose for an impromptu freeze-frame after any sack, regardless if it is only the first quarter — save that for the Superbowl.

While I am not against a mean mug or shimmy here or there, I am against celebrating everything. It takes away from the moments that really could be emphasized by extra flair. Buzzer beaters, vicious posters, an ankle snatching cross and jumper — these are all great moments for a little hot dogging — and sticking with our two sports: touchdowns, pick-6s or forced fumbles all warrant some self-appreciation.

Another factor of this is the classic argument is that playing a sport well is the athletes’ jobs. They get paid to jump high and slam the ball down through the rim or to catch a ball in the end zone, or snatch one out of midair – but should a salesman slam on his chest for properly filing his TPS reports at the end of the day?

I love watching Lakers forward Lebron James pound his chest after a poster, Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell’s signature ‘Ice in the Veins’ celebration after a clutch three or even Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ‘Put on the Belt’ after a caught hail Mary. All I am saying though is that not every small moment in sports is worthy of a whole dance performance.

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