The picture above shows Matt Bryant, kicker for the Atlanta Falcons, celebrating his game winning field goal against the Seattle Sea Hawks in the 2013 divisional playoffs. This kick was reason to celebrate as the Falcons gained enough yards in the final 30 seconds of the game to have the opportunity for this kick to be attempted. The kick was good from 49 yards and all but sealed the 30-28 victory with only 8 seconds left in the game. I can understand the high fiveing and sideline dancing in this case. The rest of the game...not so much!
I am not the biggest Pro football fan. I did participate in a fantasy league this year and follow the Falcons just enough to know who is on the team and how they did each week, but for the most part I mainly stay focused on college football. I was reminded why as I watched the Falcons in their play-off game on Sunday. The Falcons took an early lead and looked great going into half time with 20-0 advantage. You would think I would have been happy as the team from my home state seemed to be doing pretty well, but I was upset because my son was watching this game with me and no child should have to watch grown men act this way. Catch a pass...do a little dance. Get tackled...get up and jaw with the tackler. Get burnt on a long pass...laugh about it a do a little clap. Score a touchdown...do a choreographed touchdown dance. Get shown on the sideline...flash a money pose. Who are these people????
Where has the example setting athlete gone? Where is the guy who catches a pass and hustles back to the huddle? Where is the guy who gets tackled and tells his tackler "Nice hit" as he gets back to his feet? Where is the defender who gets upset with himself for blowing a coverage and tells his teammates that "I've got the next one"? Where is the guy who scores a touch down and simply flips the ball to the official as if to say "I've been here before and plan on being here again shortly"? Where is the guy who says "Hi Mom!" on the sideline.
I'm sure there are still players out there who possess these qualities, but they are becoming fewer and farther in between. Why would I want my kid to watch a NFL game? What kind of example is being set by these "all about me and my money" athletes of today? Not a good one I'm afraid!
I watched the Falcons loose a 27-7 4th quarter lead. As the Sea Hawks were driving down the field for their 3rd consecutive score, a defensive back for the Falcons was able to deflect a slightly under thrown ball and helped the ball fall incomplete. He danced. I told my son that he should get his butt back in the defensive huddle and worry about the next play, not show off like he did. I reminded Reid that football is a team sport and no one man is the hero. I also told him that it was foolish for a player to be dancing after one play while the team has been getting the stuffing beat out of them the entire 2nd half and that particular player had missed numerous tackles. It was embarrassing! What happened after the dance?? The Sea Hawks went on to score a go ahead touchdown with 30 seconds left. Who was dancing then??
The Falcons "rose up" and made two great plays to get into field goal range for the game winning kick, but I was not dancing....
I'll leave that up to the show boats that play in the NFL!