There seem to be a lot of “I’s” in these teams

Column by Andrea Doray
Posted 9/17/19

“Adore me! Adore me! More! Louder! On your feet! Adore me!” I write this as I’m watching the first of five football games I’ll take in during the next 36 hours or so, now that Monday Night …

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There seem to be a lot of “I’s” in these teams

Posted

“Adore me! Adore me! More! Louder! On your feet! Adore me!”

I write this as I’m watching the first of five football games I’ll take in during the next 36 hours or so, now that Monday Night Football is a double header. The Broncos, of course, are the pivotal game for me, but, overall, I just can’t seem to get enough football.

What I have had my fill of, already, is the “adore me” attitude of some – too many – players.

You’ve seen it – a player makes a tackle or a catch or a sack or a first down, he celebrates with a fist pump or something similar, and the crowd cheers for his accomplishment. After all, that’s his job and the stadium, his office (albeit a loud and raucous one). But sometimes somehow this just isn’t enough. The player holds his arms up in the air and waggles his hands and fingers: “C’mon, more, more, more for me!”

Yawn.

Imagine such big-headed behavior – from an adult – at your place of work, your kid’s school, your dentist’s office, or, perhaps most importantly, in your own kitchen as your emergency after-hours plumber stops the spraying leak under your sink.

Any of these settings – especially your kitchen – are great places for celebrating a job well done. But I hope the image of any of these job-doers leaping around, taking a sweeping bow, throwing up his or her hands and begging for additional adulation is as hilarious to you as it is to me.

Before you say it, yes, I know … this is football, and most fans willingly comply with such requests for full-throated awe. Some people I know find even these self-aggrandizing performances amusing and regard them as entertainment – in an industry that makes its money from fans’ investment in the entertainers.

Football is a physical sport and outsized egos are part of the game. Last I heard, though, football is also a team sport. Play together, win together, celebrate together … with the operative word being “together.”

Oh, I’m not talking about spiking the ball after a touchdown, serving up the Mile High Salute (which was once deemed as “excessive celebration” by the often-unfathomable NFL) or the elaborate meme-worthy dances in the end zone.

Yet I do long for the poise of Eddie McCaffery who simply dropped the ball to the turf after he scored, and I appreciate the focus of Phillip Lindsay who – rather than spending time applauding his own achievements – bounces back up for the next play with his team.

By the way, have you ever noticed a field goal kicker egg the crowd on? No, me either.

I’m just over it, the persistent “me, me, me first, and all me” arrogance of some players (Antonio Brown, anyone?). I am aware that the nature of the game today does favor the super-talented, the larger-than-life stars whose celebrity can define, if not dominate, the team’s personality … which is not always a bad thing. Patrick Mahomes comes to mind.

I suppose, however, that when even Mahomes begs for such attention, I might have to give up my objection to these exhibitions. Until then, perhaps, football players, you could do your best, and celebrate with your team when you add your individual accomplishments.

After all, that’s your job.

Andrea Doray is a writer who realizes that opinions on sports teams or players generate the most passionate responses. Just don’t send hate mail to her at a.doray@andreadoray.com.

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