More on wide receivers: WRs take center stage
The concept of the flashy, attention-seeking receiver is not a new one.
Back in the day, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, John Jefferson, Michael Irvin and Andre Rison were known to put on a show.
The difference today is the amount of attention these kids are getting. That has prompted more glitzy, self-absorbed displays than ever.
But I don't think it's ruining the game. Even though such theatrics draw a lot of notice, you're talking about less than five percent of the players who participate.
Some of these antics have been funny. I thought the Sharpie incident with Terrell Owens was kind of comical, clever. That he kind of made a wager with Shawn Springs, who had played for the Seahawks at the same time and was represented by the same agent, and had the confidence to predict he was going to score and then do it was impressive. T.O.'s ensuing pompon celebration was funny.
On the flip side, what he did with the Dallas Cowboys star was uncalled for. I had never seen anything like that. It goes against everything that the National Football League is supposed to stand for. T.O. took it too far. That incident and the Joe Horn cell phone fiasco were ridiculous.
Now Chad, he's fun to watch. I really don't see him do stuff that's personal. Yes, he does all kinds of tricks, but that just seems like the person he is. He's just having fun. As for the cornerback score sheet? That's how all wide receivers think. When the schedule comes out, you don't just look at the teams – you look at who you're going up against. And you start to make mental notes. All he did was put his list down on paper.
The bottom line: When you draw attention to yourself, you are walking a tightrope. I don't mind if you have a little bit of fun, but many kids are taking it too far.
The thing that concerns me is the economics. There have always been celebrations: the Redskins' Fun Bunch in the 1980s, the Rams of the late '90s. The league made adjustments to these celebrations with fines. But now, guys are making so much money that the fines don't hurt. If Art Monk got a $5,000 fine, the Fun Bunch would have dispersed. To me, the lack of respect for a hard-earned dollar makes it difficult to see where there is going to end.
And yeah, I can admit I was a prima donna. I had a couple of celebrations that might have been a little over the top. One time we played Denver at home in the late ‘90s. I caught a touchdown and we ended up winning the game. After the score, I did a Shannon Sharpe muscle-man pose. He did the same thing earlier, so it was "right back at you." He's a fun guy so he didn't take it personally. Besides, I'm not a big muscle-man guy anyway.
We also started doing the Lambeau Leap in the Metrodome, but that's as far as it went for me.