Ahead of the Curve
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Trivial sport traditions that should fade away:

 

1) Gatorade bath: Hastening the demise of George Allen didn't stop this tiresome prank.

2) Gasping-for-breath interview (track & field): You couldn't give them one minute?

3) Outdoor pre-game: Almost as annoying as the inane street crowd on the Today Show.

4) Missed free-throw hand-slap: Nice job, you just missed the easiest shot in the game; or, I better slap his hand so he knows I'm still his friend.  How sweet.

5) World Series home field (all-star winner): A Series you probably won't get in, three months down the road was never gonna' provide motivation for an exhibition game.

6) Walk-off bunny-hop (celebration): Do they know how embarrassing this is to watch? If some football fans thought baseball might be sissified, this celebration is the clincher.  But we must always be careful to never stray into the "no fun zone," right?  Could a walk-off pillow fight be next?  Maybe Peter Gammons and Buster Olney could referee. 

7) Pie-in-the-face (post-game): It stopped being funny after...well, it never was funny.  I'm waiting for a player to get ticked-off and deck the guy who pushes the foam into his face.  I thought for a moment Hideki Matsui was the guy but he thought the better of it.

8) Climbing the fence (at the raceway): Not what I'd think a driver would want to be climbing after a victory, with all that beauty in the winner's circle.  But then, boys will be boys.  Not as goofy as smashing a custom-made guitar or kissing the bricks.

9) Berating the umpire: Old baseball tradition reigned-in by American League founder Ban Johnson.  Painful to watch when it turns George Brettish.  Every call is now subject to outrage.  It's not helped by cry-baby commentators the next day (see Mike & Mike). 

10) TV-studio ball fields: Better suited for Saturday morning television.  I don't need to see ex-jocks standing up and making awkward playground moves.  They're not too excited about it themselves.  I'm thinking a college intern thought this one up.

11) Ball grabbers: Sadly for Steve Bartmann he's become the standard by which all knucklehead fans are now measured.  And sadly for the rest of us, many fans learned nothing from the Bartmann incident and keep screwing-up games to get a collectible. 

Steven Keys

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