I’m at a bar where mariachi is playing and the TV is showing sports. Sports in this case is the most popular sport in the world, the version of football that involves both foot and ball.
It’s a listless game, for the most part; I hadn’t even realized the game had started — players were just milling about. Then I noticed the clock was ticking. I went back to my writing.
I looked up again when the guy watching the TV to my right turned up the volume. “GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL!” There were celebrations and then the guy who scored the goal ran to the sidelines and began furiously unlacing his shoes. A flunky ran up with a new neon-green pair, and the player put them on with a great show of urgency.
While the clock was ticking. The other team waited for him to finish. Perhaps they had to, it looked like he was on the wrong side of the center line. If he was stopping the game by being offside, it seems to me it was a yellow card offense. If not, I say let the guy change his jock for all I care, but his team’s going to have to play without him while he promotes his own agenda. If the clock’s ticking, the ball should be moving.
And what about the rest of the team? This guy was busy immortalizing his own damn wardrobe (and no doubt profiting from it), with no recognition that a whole bunch of other guys worked to create that moment.
While this example was particularly awful, don’t think for a moment it doesn’t happen in other sports. American football even has rules to limit celebrations. But honestly, I have no problem with guys throwing a brief party after they accomplish something. I do have a problem with a player delaying the game to profit personally.
If if turns out he auctions his shoes to support an orphanage, then I will suddenly applaud the opposing team for supporting his philanthropy by not putting the ball in play. I’m not optimistic.