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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

January 24, 2005

A Response to Sam

Sam Hieb has asked me to respond to the issue of celebrating on the opposing teams field after the road team has won the conference title game. From a professional perspective it makes sense from a logistical standpoint. Football teams are made up of 53 players, a coaching staff, support staff, management, etc. I don’t have exact numbers, but I think it is safe to say that we are easily talking about 100 plus people that you are going to try to fit into a locker room, and then bring in the media to cover the event for the live broadcast, as well as print media, and we are talking about a bunch of people in a confined area. Also, if you have the celebration on the field, you only need to have one plan in place. If you are going to hold it in a locker room you need to have two distinct plans (regardless of there similarities). Another factor to consider is that the NFL has always embraced the television audience, and having the celebration on the field allows for the TV viewer to embrace the moment at a higher level. Finally, I think the NFL teams have it right in treating the locker room as a place of sanctuary for the players. Less media intrusion allows them to celebrate as a team without the presence of cameras and reporters.

As for your reference to the Panthers celebrating in their locker room last year, I think that came out of need for player safety. The jail built into the old Veteran’s stadium was not a novelty idea, but created out of necessity. I think if the Falcon’s had won they would have celebrated in their locker room out of necessity. The Steelers have proud football franchise, and the Rooney family has to be one of the classiest ownership groups in all of sports. That respect carries to the fans who root with all their heart for their team, but have respect for their opponents as well (if this had been the Browns it might have been a different story, but that won’t be an issue any time soon).

From a fan’s perspective (and yes, I am a die-hard Patriots fan) being able to celebrate on the opposing teams field is the right that you have earned after coming into hostile territory and earning a victory.

Take the perspective of the Ryder Cup (just to keep up the golf theme here). When the Europeans destroyed us on our home turf this past year, they earned the right to celebrate on the course, not have to go to a locker room to do it.

Not the most organized thoughts I’ve ever had, but I’m still giddy over the victory.

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