Celebrate, don't Irritate
Goal Celebrations gone wild, or are they just annoying. Phill Chadwick reports, the World Cup is
sure to feature many of these;
Maybe I'm just getting old, or maybe I've seen too much football (is that even possible?), but does anyone
else think that goal scoring celebrations are getting a bit much?
That old favourite "I'm Too Sexy for This Shirt - Striptease" was outlawed when FIFA saw the danger in
exposing the puny, sunken chests of some footballers. Not to mention the political issues stirred up by
T-Shirt slogans thus exposed.
But other celebration styles now in favour are just as silly and possibly even more annoying. In the past
few weeks I've identified more than twenty distinct types of goal celebrations, most of which irritate me so
much I almost forget the quality of the goal that triggered it.
Here is a selection of some of the more annoying.
The "Soft Shoe Shuffle". If you want to dance in public, get yourself on "Dancing with the Stars".
The "Tumbling Run", with a backflip finale. Get fitted for a tight leotard and enter the Olympics.
The "I Love This Club Badge Kiss". Don't pretend you do it for the love of the club, you mercenary, you've
just been bought last week after your agent negotiated a huge transfer fee.
The "Dodge and Weave - You Can't Catch Me". Slow down you fool and save your energy for the second
The "Long Knee Slide". The groundsman will kill you for tearing up his turf, and the grass stains will
never come out of those socks.
The "I Couldn't Have Done it Without God's Help - Cross Myself". It can't be fair to use an all-powerful
Supreme Being to help you win a football match, can it? Or maybe the Goalkeeper should have spent more time
in Church this week?
The "Shhhhhhhhhh - Finger to the Lips". Now this one really upsets me. If we can't yell at the football,
where can we?
And its opposite, the "I Can't Hear You - Hand to the Ear". Get your hearing checked, mate, we're yelling
as loud as we can already.
The "Beat the Crap Out of the Corner Flag Boxing Match". I hope this rare type doesn't catch on. Currently
it is, I think, exclusive to Archie Thompson. Come off it Archie, it just looks stupid. Its not a fair fight,
The "I'm a Jumbo Jet - Aeroplane Arms". I gave up that sort of thing when I was six years old.
Now, if I was in charge, any player found indulging in any of the above activities would be shown a yellow
card, at the very least.
Don't get me wrong, scoring a goal in football is a very difficult thing to do. And only a few are scored
in each match. So naturally, it is quite exciting when it happens and some acknowledgement of the feat should
Being a former striker myself, until the old knees gave out, I am not normally a connoisseur of the
Goalkeeper's art, but the quiet dignity that most Custodians display after having pulled off a crucial save,
has much to recommend it.
So, here are my un-officially approved celebration methods, which would restore some dignity and common
sense to the striker's art.
The "One Finger Raised Mini Lap of Honour". Lap to be limited to a wide arc that finishes back at the
player's kick off position.
The "Stand Still and Soak It Up". This is my personal favourite. The player does what he is paid for and
puts the ball in the back of the net. He stands where he is and soaks up the atmosphere. If the goal was of
exceptional quality, one or both arms may be raised to acknowledge the crowd.
The "You're My Hero Lift". The goal scorer may be lifted off the ground by a team-mate. This method can
become excessive if more than one team-mate joins in, or the lift is held for a long period, and should be
avoided where possible.
The "I'm Just Doing What I'm Paid For". This is the ultimate in low-key celebrations. The striker is so
used to hitting the back of the net that it becomes humdrum and he simply walks back across the half-way line,
wondering what all the fuss is about.
The coming World Cup will, no doubt, showcase some examples of all of these, both good and bad. Let's just
hope that the sensible ones outweigh the stupid.
And if, by some glorious miracle, Archie Thompson should score a goal for Australia, please, Archie,
please, please leave that poor innocent corner flag alone!
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