At the Temple/U-Mass basketball game, the Minutemen squeaked out an overtime victory. As the buzzer sounded a proud, arrogant Minutemen player jumped up on the scorer’s table with outstretched arms taunting the Temple crowd. This lone action provoked some thought on my part. The following day I watched the Super Bowl. During introductions I saw players dance, stride, swear, taunt and provoke the crowd as well as the opposing team. All of this leads to the inevitable question: what ever happened to modesty?
According to Merriam-Webster, modesty is defined as freedom from conceit or vanity, as well as propriety in dress, speech, or conduct. Sure, athletes are under a lot of scrutiny, but these athletes have no qualms about their actions.
If my team beat the Owls, then I would be overjoyed. However, jumping up on the scorer’s table, facing the hometown crowd and screaming with outstretched arms is just plain disrespectful. Sportsmanship is supposedly one of the key things that coaches teach athletes.
Ray Lewis, star of the Baltimore Ravens football team, claims he just wants the media and the fans to respect him. If only Ray could see himself on television. After getting introduced before the Super Bowl, he performed what had to be the silliest dance that I have ever seen — a dance that would have made Big Bird look like a ballerina. Lewis took a couple of awkward strides, picked up a blade of grass and dropped it, froze, and then started crisscrossing his legs and shaking every part of his body.
Another Raven player, following Lewis, ran through the introduction line with his mouth ablaze. The player’s obscenity-laced jaunt detailed exactly what he was going to do to the opposing team, and was broadcast live to millions of homes worldwide.
It is commonplace for players to spike the football, perform a silly dance, jump up and down, and hug teammates after a touchdown. What happened to simply dropping the ball and heading to the bench with their head held high and a wide grin on their face?
It seems that athletes have forgotten that actions speak louder than words. How about the athletes that guarantee victory before the game even starts? Shannon Sharpe and Ray Lewis promised a Raven victory almost a week before the Super Bowl.
It’s quite interesting that most baseball players today wear more jewelry then their wives. Games have been momentarily delayed in order for a player to take off his shiny necklace. Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth didn’t rely on flashy jewelry to hit home runs. Athletes used to wear rings to signify a world championship or Super Bowl victory. Now athletes have rings for every day of the week.
Perhaps it is just a current trend. Or perhaps it is the future. Confidence, respect and composure have most certainly been lost amid the dancing, swearing, and showmanship. If only athletes would let their record or resume speak for itself, instead of their mouth running amuck. It doesn’t matter how high your spike is, how much jewelry you have, or how smooth your dance moves are. So athletes, please take note, instead of practicing your dance moves, just hold your head high.