Understated works, even in sports

Most goal celebrations in soccer leave me cold, although I’m glad that the sport grants the players more leeway after scoring than the repressive NFL does. A penalty (in the form of a yellow card) will be assessed for removing one’s shirt, but this just encourages players find more creative ways to celebrate.

Sometimes they use the corner flag as prop. But my favorite use of a prop occurred years ago when a D.C. United player scored against the New York Red Bulls, who had just changed their name to include that drink. As the players gathered round, someone handed the scorer a Red Bull and he contemptuously poured it onto the grass.

Less tasteful celebrations have included the scorer getting down on all fours and pretending to urinate like a dog — don’t ask me why. And then there was Robbie Fowler, long-time tormenter of Everton, smacking his head repeatedly after scoring (yet again) versus the Toffees — apparently in response to Evertonian claims that Fowler was smack head.

Occasionally, celebrations have a sweetness about them. For example, if the scorer is a new father, he and his teammates will celebrate by pretending to rock a baby.

Today, I saw perhaps my favorite celebration ever. Following a goal by Yuto Nagatomo that gave Inter Milan a 1-0 lead over Genoa late in the second half, the Inter players gathered around Nagatomo they exchanged “formal” (but not “very formal” Obamaesque) bows.


JOHN adds: Here it is, the goal and the bow:


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