Sunday, July 27, 2008


Remember when I told you how irked I was with the increasingly over-the-top reactions that sports players had to the least little achievement they had on the field?

Well, it seems that at least one sports writer feels the way I do, namely Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated. His column, "The Day Cool Died," is a must read.


Cool was on a respirator as the end neared, its breathing more shallow with every poststrikeout fist pump by Joba Chamberlain, every dunk-and-sneer from Vince Carter and every one-act play performed by Chad Johnson after a touchdown catch. In its weakened state, it was hard to believe that Cool once walked with kings, that Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Julius Erving, Bjorn Borg and Walt Frazier were never caught without Cool, in competition or away from it. Cool not only added to their mystique but also served a practical purpose. "I always felt that [Cool] gave me an advantage," Frazier says. "It's like in poker, if the other players can't read you, it puts that uncertainty in their minds and that puts you in control."
Ah, but it seems to be more important to be a camera hog than a winner. Add up the number of championships won by Messrs. Chamberlain, Carter, and Johnson. If the total is one or greater, you added wrong.

The piece concludes:
There will be no funeral service, which is how Cool would have wanted it. In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked simply to appreciate players who don't feel the need to punctuate every accomplishment with an over-the-top celebration, who understand the beauty in letting a performance speak for itself. That would be totally Cool.
Thanks, Mr. Taylor. I feel vindicated now. But I will respect the late Cool by withholding my fist pumps, chest bumps, and rump bumps from public view.

HT: The Czabe