Running Up the Score

As a Brit who was raised in a hyper competitive environment, I can’t understand the North American obsession with equality and fairness. If I’m winning at something, I want to win by as much as possible – you never know when you may be able to win again so you may as well enjoy it. I also have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not the only person like this – so if the shoe was on the other foot, the opposition would want to do the same to us. Fair’s fair.

If we’re winning 8-0 and I get a chance to blast a volley on goal. I will. No need to feel guilty.

The same goes for celebrating. If I, god forbid, score a goal playing football, of course I want to celebrate. I may never get another chance.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that I don’t understand the brouhaha about Ovechkin’s celebration of scoring 50 NHL goals. That seems like 50 more than I could score in an entire NHL career. The Guardian in the UK feels the same as me. Interesting to note the people who wanted to line up against the young Russian.

I’d rather see The Robot than a polite shake of the hands.


Please don’t get me started on the salary cap.


4 Responses to Running Up the Score

  1. Joe Boughner says:

    Hey Ed,

    Finally – enough of that social media crap!

    I wasn’t really upset about the Ovechkin thing. My frustration with running up the score and excessive celebration starts when it comes to humiliating the other team.

    If Ovi was riding his stick in front of the other team’s bench or taunting them somehow, that’s one thing. But he was celebrating. Scripted or not, he was enjoying the moment. It’s not like he does it after every goal – it was his 50th of the season ferchrissakes.

    Of course, that’s as an observer. When I’m playing, it’s an entirely different set of rules 😉

    I’m a rec-level (which means I’m terrible) ball hockey goalie. And if I’m getting shelled, I HATE when the other team celebrates each goal like it’s their first. If they’re in arm’s reach, they’ll be getting a blocker shot in the back if they’re fist-pumping the goal that puts them up 7-1.

    I recognize that it’s probably not fair but I hate being made a fool of and, rightly or wrongly, that’s what I feel is happening.

    Besides, I’ve learned that the goalie can get away with anything!

  2. John Carson says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Ed. Having watched footie and hockey, I see no harm in players celebrating their joy at scoring a goal.

    In Europe you can pull your jersey over your head, pretend to be a plane and run around for a minute — adds to the fun.

    In hockey, if you so much as attempt a windmill on the ice after scoring, you have to watch your back. Seems a bit uptight to me.

    Joe — I don’t think celebrating a goal is making a fool of the opposition, or goalie, it’s just a natural response to trying to win a game, and a goal is another step forward.

    High five and a robot dance for a good post,

  3. Arieh Singer says:

    Ed, That is all fair in the sports mentioned, but it’s not something I want to see on the pitch at my Ultimate games.

    In a sport designed around the Spirit of the Game it’s not something you see on any point – granted brilliant lay-outs, ‘the greatest’ or a great rundown are all celebrated by both teams. (read more:

    The last thing I want to see is a player spiking the disc after a point and shoving it in an opponents face or gloating in it….but then again, Ultimate is a completely different sport than hockey or footy.

  4. Uma says:

    Hi Ed, I’m a new reader of your blog and I just want to say that I agree with you.

    Specifically, when gems like Crouchy’s robot dance appear, it’s hard to imagine football without it 🙂

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