Is this what it has come to, then? Player celebrations make for excellent video snippets on sports television broadcasts, to the extent that they have gone from spontaneous joyful reactions to carefully coordinated choreography routines.
It has reached epidemic proportions.
NFL gridiron spectators now see players posturing elaborately for simply doing their jobs. Defensive backs launch into ecstatic displays when the opposition quarterback simply misses the receiver they were guarding.
The AFL is not immune and has not even undergone the vaccination.
Now we learn that West Coast’s Max Jetta has announced that if he goals in the upcoming finals game with Melbourne, he plans to emulate Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant’s escapades when they scored a winning basket.
When the Eagles beat Collingwood in the qualifying final, Jetta received some much-desired attention for emulating Cristiano Ronaldo’s antics when Ronaldo scores a goal.
How about giving us a preview, Jetta, just in case you do not goal?
Jetta’s inspiration comes from watching YouTube videos of celebrations staged by Jordan and Bryant.
“I’ve been watching them when they hit the winning shot, fist forward and they tap the ground twice,” Jetta said before Saturday’s preliminary final against Melbourne at Optus Stadium. “So I might do that one.”
Compared to the attention-seeking narcissists of American sports, Aussie athletes are more circumspect, something Jetta hopes to change.
The NFL until last year used to throw the penalty flag and levy a 15-yard “Unsportsman-like conduct – excessive celebration” against players who wanted their image on ESPN while dancing like fools. The penalty was essentially meaningless and the NFL eventually succumbed to fan pressure in order to allow players to celebrate good plays or touchdowns as though it was the first time they had ever made a good play, or scored a touchdown.
Fear not, Jetta, we will be watching for your planned spontaneity and hopefully see many replays of you acting like a reality show contestant on “So You Think You Can Footy.”