Is it just me, or have championship celebrations gotten a tad bit staged?
Hear me out on this one. When the Boston Red Sox clinched the American League East Division title, did anyone notice that the lockers and walls were all covered with long, draping sheets of plastic that said Budweiser?
Now, I am sure some fans out there saw those plastic sheets with the Budweiser bow tie and decided to raise another frosty one.
To those who did that, congratulations. You bought into the Budweiser marketing scheme.
Now, you might be saying 'Ed what's the big deal, I had a beer to celebrate. So what?'
Professional sports, as much of us know, have become more about sponsorship and less about fan appreciation and the love of the game.
Long gone are the days when players would spontaneously spark up a cigar, put their arm around their teammates and truly relish the moment of winning a title.
Now, players have Oakley goggles handed to them as they enter the clubhouse after winning a big game to protect their sensitive eyes from a flying cork or a little booze. Come on, really?
Heck, I even saw some players wearing ponchos in the clubhouse after the Red Sox clinched the division against the Blue Jays last week.
When the Los Angeles Dodgers secured the National League West Division title in Arizona last week, I have to say that I truly enjoyed their celebration more than that of the Red Sox.
For those who are unfamiliar with Chase Field in Phoenix, there is a pool located behind the right center field wall.
After winning the divisional crown, the Dodgers, spontaneously, decided to scale the fence and jump in the Diamondbacks' pool.
Some in the media criticized the Dodgers for doing it because it was disrespectful. Who cares? They were excited that they just won the NL West crown with a record above .500.
I bet any baseball fan can agree with me when I say being above .500 in the NL West at season's end is an accomplishment in its own right.
Back to the Dodgers hopping in the pool. Did I mention that they were in Arizona? It's hot.
Kudos to the boys in blue for having an impromptu pool party. It is much better than walking into the locker room where damage control has already come through and essentially party-proofed everything.
If the mother from the TV show, "Everybody Loves Raymond," saw the amount of plastic in the Red Sox locker room, she would be very impressed.
Back to the Red Sox celebration, here are a few things I did like. Whenever I hear the Standell's song "Dirty Water" it instantly puts me in a good mood. But, when Johnny Gomes ran back to the clubhouse to get a military helmet and salute the fans that was by far my favorite moment of the entire celebration.
I could do without the staged champagne pours, excessive amounts of beer being wasted.
Give me a unique celebration like Gomes' over the standard alcohol shower. That small gesture probably made those military veterans inside the ballpark and at home feel honored.
Does Gomes remind anyone else of Kevin Millar? It might be just my opinion, but this group freakishly resembles the "Idiots" of 2004.
Even if this team does not win the World Series, they have already gone above and beyond what the so-called "experts" predicted at the start of the season.
The rugged facial hair of Gomes and Mike Napoli combined could house roughly 5 to 10 baby birds. What prompted the scraggly appearance to return to the Red Sox clubhouse? Could it be that embodies the overall nature of this team?
Jake Peavy walked out on the field in a sleeveless T-shirt with a can of Bud Light and a cigarette. For that I say, Jake, enjoy that cigarette, you earned it.
Here's to hoping we see another celebration like this come October.