Columnists, Sports

TUESDAY’S TAKE: Bottom’s Up!

Am I the only one that thinks that champagne celebrations after the World Series, or any major sporting event is absolutely fitting?

The San Francisco Giants deservedly showered one another with champagne, beer, and whatever else they could find in the locker room following their sweep of the World Series on Sunday night.

And I think that was well deserved.

They played what, 178 games this season? And fought multiple elimination games.

And they can’t pop champagne following a big win?

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig expressed his concern earlier this postseason about the champagne centric celebrations (say that five times fast).

“It is something I have talked to the clubs about and will continue to talk to the clubs about,” Selig said. “You want to have great celebrations, fine. But spraying each other with champagne is not that.”

Have a beer and relax, Bud.

Taking a gulp of alcohol and then, while you’re swallowing it, pouring some on your buddy is a fantastic celebration.

I just don’t get why we have to censor professional baseball players who are all of age. They just won the most coveted prize in their sport. And by some measure, the World Series is among the hardest titles to capture. Why can’t they have the bubbly on ice in the locker room? I fully expect any team that wins their respective league’s championship to go out and get blitzed for days on end.

Hell, when I finish this column I’m going to have a beer.

Everybody does it.

Drinking from the Stanley Cup is among the first things done in the locker room following the win.

And we’ve all heard the stories and seen the pictures of a less-than-sober Brad Marchand celebrating the Bruins Stanley Cup victory, all summer long.

Rob Gronkowski definitely had a few beverages on the flight back from London after the Pats embarrassed the Rams this weekend.

John Lackey is a double-fisting machine, even when the Sox lose road games.

I’m sure that many BU athletes are up for a beverage or two after a hard-fought win. I’m sure every sports team or club likes to let loose after an intense game or a long season.

So why is anybody trying to put a halt to that?

It’s a time-honored tradition. And as a fan and drinker, I demand this silly idea that people be more responsible with their victory celebrations end. Celebrating success should not be limited to what the media and the league see as politically correct. It should represent an honest sense of accomplishment, and as Americans we know that involves hitting the bottle.

Now, pay attention. I’m not suggesting a guy should play first base with a flask.

We saw how slippery a slope beer can be in a clubhouse with the epic 2011 Red Sox collapse.

But shouldn’t professional athletes be responsible enough to decide when it’s appropriate to drink?

Incoming Red Sox coach John Farrell said this past week on Felger & Mazz that he hasn’t made a decision about whether he’ll allow beer in the Fenway clubhouse this upcoming season, but that he had allowed it in Toronto.

He said he believes in treating players like grown men. Which they, well at least most of them, are. A responsible approach to a beer after the game makes complete sense. Just look at any softball league.

Farrell’s mature approach is exactly the way all sports professionals should act. I’m not suggesting guys take shots of 151 to celebrate picking up two out of three in a series. A couple beers for celebration after a win or a champagne party following a championship are absolutely appropriate.

So before we turn professional sports victories into an AA meeting, let’s just use some common sense, be mature, and have a drink.


Mike Neff is a weekly columnist for the sports section. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or via Twitter at @mneff2.

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