Monday, March 23, 2009
A lot has been made recently of Alex Ovechkin's 'excessive' celebration of his 50th goal. Yeah, this was a few days ago, but I've been like the most people and spent the last week obsessing over college basketball. Now that my team is out and my bracket is totally busted, I can start going over the sports news I've been missing out on. One such piece of controversy, was Alex Ovechkin pretending to start a fire over his stick after scoring.
Ovechkin has always been known for his celebrations. Every goal he or a teammate scores he jumps up and down like a crazy person. He scores a lot of goals, third season in a row over 50, and he celebrates a lot. So far, this has been lauded as great for the game. An explosive player who shows great enthusiasm and truly enjoys playing the game. It has made hockey more fun for people to watch. People who nothing about hockey know who Alex Ovechkin is. He brought personality to the game. And it seems that he has done it for the love of the game, not for his own personal glory.
So why all the criticism? Yeah, maybe it was a bit of dick move, but it was fun. What's wrong with some celebration. I'm not saying he should start whipping out Sharpies and signing pucks, but an occasional over the top celebration is not a terrible thing. Not every goal celebration should involve antics or props, but an occasional clip is ok. It brings attention to the league. Suddenly people are watching hockey for something other than fights. And maybe, they'll be like me, they'll watch a little hockey for some other reason and realize that hockey is actually pretty fun to watch.
Purist will decry any change. But the league should embrace some fun. That's the point of the outdoor game right. To bring in new viewers. A star gets press and some interest and some fans. So let the guy play and have fun. The NBA just took out a huge loan and is still considered a run away more popular sport than hockey. Let the league address excessive celebrations if or when they get out of hand. Until then, enjoy the star power.