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WHERE IS LOU HOLTZ WHEN WE NEED HIM?

Updated: Feb 11


Is it just me or does anyone else want to vomit when they see NFL players perform their “touchdown dance” after scoring a touchdown? Honestly, how much time must these players spend practicing these elaborate celebrations? It’s not as if the moves are spontaneous. Most of these players could rival any contestant on Dancing With the Stars. Maybe that’s why DWTS has been won twice by NFL stars. The funny thing about that is the fact that the two NFL players who have won the dancing competition are players who do not engage in the over-the-top, highly choreographed, idiotic moves that many of the players engage in.


Donald Driver has a good reason to eschew the hijinks. He participates in the Lambeau Leap when he scores a touchdown at home. The league permits that celebration due to the long-standing history of players leaping into the stands where the adoring fans, who also own stock in the team, celebrate with their on-field heroes. Emmitt Smith engaged in my favorite touchdown celebration of all time. He simply ran to the sideline once he crossed the goal line. No spiking the ball. No wild hip gyrations. No pre-rehearsed multi hand slap, chest bump, game of Twister. He simply trotted off the field. Then again, Emmitt’s father had a lot to do with the way he chose to celebrate touchdowns. His dad admonished him to “act like you’ve been in the end zone before.” Sound advice. I’m not saying players should never celebrate. I just think it should be when what they have done actually means something other than six points on the scoreboard. Something like the game-winning touchdown in an overtime game. Or the points that clinch a Lombardi trophy in the Super Bowl. That is, as long as it’s not some pre-planned, Terrell Owens hiding a cell phone, 30 second dance number.


When I see these multi-millionaires acting like they are still in junior high, I recall a game I saw on television many years ago. Notre Dame was playing during the Lou Holtz era. One of the Irish defensive linemen sacked the quarterback. In a sack dance reminiscent of Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets, Holt’s defender made quite a spectacle of himself. Almost as much of a spectacle as the coach himself nearly stroking out on the sideline looking for a replacement to send into the game.


When the sub finally made it onto the field, the dancing offender made his way to the sideline, wondering why he had been replaced. When the coach could wait no longer, he ran onto the field and met his young charge. Holtz tried his best to get his face inside his player’s facemask as he made his displeasure unmistakably known. When he finished chastising the over exuberant celebrator, Holtz whirled and pointed to the bench, an indication of where the defensive lineman would spend the rest of the game.


Where have you gone Lou Holtz? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Woo woo woo. Wait, that was Joe DiMaggio, but you get the idea.

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© 2020 by Matthew Sherley.

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