Video: Bob Costas' Ignorant Rant on Touchdown Celebrations | Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline

Bob Costas’ Ignorant Rant on Touchdown Celebrations (Video)

by Robert Littal | Posted on Monday, November 28th, 2011
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When I was 16 years old, I was a brash youngster.  I was a good wide receiver on my High School team.  My favorite players were Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders.

My nickname was Playtime (a combo Playmaker and Primetime) and I made a lot of plays. One play in particular though, I remember to this day.

We were down in a game my junior year trying to make a comeback.  Corner try to bump me, but I avoided it and took off down the sideline.  Had him beat by at least five yards and QB thew a perfect pass, but right before the ball got there I let out a……..

“Wooooooo Gotcha!!!!!”

That momentary lapse in concentration to taunt the corner took my focus off the ball and I dropped it.

That is the day I learned humility and not to taunt your opponent. I had let my myself and more importantly my team down.  Taunting on any level should be discourage, but what I learned you can celebrate without taunting your opponent and letting down your opponents.

There is a clear line between taunting and celebrating.  I learned a hard lesson that day.

Fast forward to today and you have Stevie Johnson mocking Plaxico Buress shooting himself and a couple of things went through my mind.

First, I thought it was a bit much, but he isn’t the fight player ever to mock another player’s dance or unfortunate event.  Secondly why did he fall on the ground because that is what caused the penalty?  He wasn’t taunting, he wasn’t thinking.  That speaks of immaturity.  Johnson apologized for it because I think he realized he took it too far.  Being humble and understanding you made a mistake is part of the maturation process.

Did I think anything of Johnson being able to celebrate? No, because what he did was within the rules and he didn’t do it toward a Jets player.  It was more of a class issue than a taunting issue.

Just when the “incident” had died down, here comes Costas riding in on his High Horse and with an utterly ridiculously Sunday Night Football Monologue.  I will break it down line by line, to tell you why it was so crazy and why it did have stereotypical overtones.


Costas starts off taking a shot at the Kardashians, he states things like watching the Kardashians makes our society stupid and graceless.  Right from that moment you should have stopped listening to anything he says.

Because you like looking at Kim Kardashian that makes you “stupid and graceless”?  What if I watch Fear Factor, CSI or The Bold and The Beautiful what does that make me?  Is that how we quantify our intelligence and grace?

It gets better though.

Costas speaks on Homer Jones who in his words created the Simple and Elegant spike.

But what Costas left out was that Jones “preplanned” the spike because he wanted his “own” celebration since other players threw the ball in the stands.  Jones wanted to be “different” and stand out as an “individual”, had nothing to do with elegance.

This was Costas first lie.

Costas then makes the assumption that  Mark Gastineau Sack dance wasn’t as cool as Barry Sanders handing ball to ref.  But in reality Gastineau dance was cool and it doesn’t mean anything was wrong with Sanders handing the ball to ref.  One isn’t better than the other, but once again I guess that makes me stupid and graceless if I like Gastineau’s way of celebrity right?

But this is the line where Costas monologue could have made a good point but went off track.

“There is a difference between spontaneous and/or good-natured displays of enthusiasm and calculated displays of obnoxious self-indulgence.”

The problem is Costas differences is based on ignorance.  The Lambeau Leap or The Dougie.  To someone under 40 the Dougie is just a fun silly dance.  The Lambeau Leap is a calculated maneuver, so that didn’t make any sense.  The montage proceeds to show celebrations that the conservative majority approves of while putting down harmless celebrations of players just having fun in their own way.  Is Marion Barber face planting a back flip really that bad?

Bob Costas is not the judge and jury on what is fun and what is self indulgence especially when his whole persona is self indulgence.

If the monologue ended there I probably wouldn’t have written this article, but Costas then leaves a subliminal message that is hard to ignore.

hey, knuckleheads, is it too much to ask that you confine your buffoonery to situations that don’t directly damage your team? Week after week, game after game, we see guys who think nothing of incurring penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, costing their team’s valuable yardage, even late in close games.

Today’s most conspicuous culprit: Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson, who after a TD catch versus the Jets, thought it would be a good idea to go Marcel Marceau, pantomiming, among other things, Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg. But in this case, it was Johnson, who shot himself in the foot, as his display cost his team a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. And given a short field, the Jets proceeded to score in a critical game that wound up, 28-24, New York.

Almost all the highlights shown in the montage didn’t lead to penalties.   That is the first hypocritical comment.  Stevie Johnson who is being called out for “Buffoonery” didn’t get penalized for being “Marcel Marceau” he was penalized for going to the ground, so the so called “Buffoonery” didn’t cost his team it was his lack of knowledge of the rules that did.

Costas second lie is the 15 yard penalty gave the Jets the short field.  While they were pushed back, the kicker shanking kickoff was the reason the Jets started in Bills territory.  That was conveniently forgotten.

Using a term like Buffoon while singling out a majority of African-American players is nothing but code for “hood, Ghetto, hip hop & Afrocentric” type behavior and that is exactly how the majority of the white audience will take it.

When in reality from Rodgers “Championship Belt” dance to Jared Allen “Hog Tie” dance, celebrations have no race, but I am sure the term Buffoon wouldn’t have been used if was Jordy Nelson who mocked Plaxico.

Stevie Johnson and Plaxico Burress handle the situation like men, the only Buffoon in this situation is Costas who by perpetuating stereotypes with bold face lies and ignorance, proved he isn’t as smart as he think he is.

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  1. Chad says:

    I agree with you Robert. What a pathetic rant!! Does he not realize that it’s all done because the guys are having a good time on the field. Who cares if they go a bit overboard? Does he want the athletes to be stiff and not provide extra entertainment?

    After all isn’t that the reason we watch sports. It helps create ratings & interest which indirectly pays his big contract. He should embrace any element of sports that creates ratings and TD celebration dances do.

  2. snicket916 says:

    i can’t believe how much you whine bobby boy. costas is mad because all of these ignorant, young, black, yes i said black athletes are ruining the team aspect of professional sports. they choose to make the game all about them rather than the team.

    • JayP says:

      If it wasn’t for these young BLACK athletes, American professional sports would suffer greatly….

    • A.E. says:

      He never says ‘black athletes’ are ruining the game. This is not a race issue. Now I ask you this: you honestly think it is alright for a player to have an excessive ‘song and dance’ after a touchdown? I would suggest they try out for ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ The issue comes down to self respect and pride of team and city. I’ve seen it all- cellphones being used, imaginary swords, guns, throat cutting, chicken dances. I suggest this: The team that wins the Superbowl should be allowed to have 30 minutes of dancing after the game. Those who want to watch can stay tuned. I would guess that the only people who will continue to watch the 30 minute dance off are the non real sports fans.

  3. Deevee says:

    I’ve never heard this chump wax poetic about the trash in the in field @The Prekness,and these people throw beer @ one another and swim in potapoty water.He reminded me of Joe “Selfish act”Buck.

  4. eman762 says:

    Thanks Rob for bringing common sense to sports reporting, I get tired of listerning to the social elite pontificating on whats classy and whats low brow. Guys like Costas make watching sports tiresome with their social commentary, and lack of understanding that players are indiviuals who perform and celebrate in different ways. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

  5. Craig says:

    I remember when I was younger I used to anticipate what Steve Smith did in the endzone in response to what another receiver did, but now the NFL has taken the fun out of that.

    Thats the reason Chad Johnson isn’t doing good on the Patriots its because hes not having any fun, the Patriots don’t look fun anyway(the jets look fun)but yet they don’t even need him on the team but he is the one that gets criticized, but it is his fault for picking that team.

    Bob Costas is just another uptight rich white guy on his high horse who thinks he knows everything.

  6. John King says:

    Bob; You are a complete ass. I Thought (until tonight, like I’m certain many others)that you were an intelligent person. To blame a loss an a celebration penalty should underscore a need to abolish such a ridiculous rule; a true football aficionado would agree. In fact, you were once a critic of this most controversial ruling. So who bought you, Bob? Who paid for that ridiculous ‘soapbox’ you were ranting from at halftime? But guess what, regardless; we, the fans WHO MATTER, tell you to go home and SLEEP IT OFF, and Maybe, yes, MAYBE; we won’t switch to Netflix in favor of listening to any future verbal defecation.

  7. belosh88 says:

    So much of the agreement or disagreement with Costas has to do with the age of the viewer. I’m 39…. and I agree with Costas. Anyone over 39 disagree with Costas? And seriously, how can you not agree with the part about the detriment of taking costly penalties in favor of pre-meditated celebrations? Instead of turning this in to a “Here’s Why Bob Costas Sucks” discussion, imagine EVERY player doing a Stevie Johnson type celebration after scoring, even kickers after extra points, … In fact, let’s do it in other sports, too. In baseball after a bunt single. In hockey, they could do figure skating moves after scoring goals. Michael Phelps and his USA teammates should have a synchronized swimming routine planned if they win an event. Maybe there is a connection between Larry Fitzgerald’s on-field class and the fact that he is back in school finishing his degree…….or the fact that Barry Sanders never wanted attention after scoring a touchdown, nor did he want attention in a post-carreer brodcast booth. If you are over 25 and you like excessive pre-mediated celebration, good for you…..but I bet your dad HATES it. :)

    • Matt Robinson says:

      Belosh – well done. Not all athletes, black or white, celebrate the way that some of these walking expletives do. And Larry Fitz isn’t the only modest player who lets his pre-celebration performance speak louder than some tasteless bs afterwards. Calvin Johnson. Litall – settle down about somebody telling it like it is.

  8. Fat Boy Slim says:

    Johnson mocked two Jets players during his celebration! First was Plaxico, second was Holmes ..he was doing his TD celebration of the Jet and thus going to the ground I guess was to symbolize the Jets crashing (maybe the season…IDK). Any case it was stupid thing to do and per the rules was a penalty. I agree with the rest that didn’t cost them the game or the TD…his dropped passes had more of an impact on the outcome! It all comes down to race, but sometimes we make it easier for other to criticize us by our actions.

  9. Cletus says:

    While I do agree with you on Costas’ ill-informed and ridiculous rant (funny how his rant is as much a display of obnoxious self-indulgence as the celebrations he railed against) I have to take issue with you reading into the use of the term buffoonery as having some sort of racial undertones.

    “Using a term like Buffoon while singling out a majority of African-American players is nothing but code for “hood, Ghetto, hip hop & Afrocentric” type behavior and that is exactly how the majority of the white audience will take it.”

    I am a white, 40-year-old man and when I heard Costas use the term buffoon, my mind didn’t think about African-American players any more than it did white players. The term itself refers to a clown or jester, or someone given to clowning and joking. Stop trying to make everything a racial issue. I’m sure that it seems like African-American players are being singled out is because they make up the majority of NFL rosters, not because they’re black. I have a feeling if Jordy Nelson had mocked Plaxico Burress’ nightclub shooting incident, the terms buffoon, moron, and classless would have been used freely by many people, white or black.

  10. kirk says:

    I am over 40 years old and I do not have any problem with the players having a little fun after a touchdown. yes ! Stevie Johnson TD celebration was a little bit to much, but Bob Costa comments was way to much, It seems like Costa was trying to get Stevie Johnson a big time for his celebration.

  11. To me this article is an example of overkill on top of overkill on top of overkill. Overkill #1 is Stevie Johnson’s TB “celebration”. I have nothing against endzone shenanigans that are more involved than a simple spike or handing of ball back to official. Sports is entertainment & if a guy comes up with something amusing to share his joy after scoring, fine by me. But when it strays from simple celebrating/showing off and ventures into taunting, a line has been crossed that warrants a penalty. And to penalize your team 15 yards in a non-blow out game is selfish and deserving of criticism. Pantomiming shooting his own leg clearly was a dig at a particular member of the opposition, not random expression of joy. Not cool. Did Bob Costas respond by going a bit too far with his reproach? Perhaps, though he certainly made several valid points in the process. It was the combination of the penalty yards and the shank that put the Jets in position to score shortly after, so I wouldn’t say Costas was caught in a lie, he simply didn’t give full disclosure. Whether you preferred Barry Sanders celebration style or Mark Gastineau’s is of course a matter of taste. Barry’s runs were so entertaining that they didn’t really need punctuation with a follow up dance. Mark often put in more effort celebrating a sack than getting one. I found his schtick amusing as did many, but many others found it obnoxious. You can’t please all the people all the time so you may as well please yourself. I doubt Bob Costas is a racist, and even if he is, there was nothing racist by his or anyone else’s use of the word “bufoonery”. Bufoons come in all shapes, sizes and shades. The rant by Costas may have been overkill #2 but it wasn’t enough IMO to warrant your rant as overkill #3. And your rant didn’t really warrant mine. So now we’re at overkill on top of overkill on top of overkill on top of overkill.

  12. D says:

    Any time Bob Costas wants to get on a soapbox like that, I like to remember he was in Pootie Tang.

  13. Cohen says:

    While I agree with your general sentiment about Costas, I think you’re missing something important that was unsaid in all this…the gun aspect. Not that *that* was what specifically drew the penalty, but the NFL/NFL mouthpieces are very sensitive about guns, in the real world or in celebrations. Plax’s incident in particular.

    Last week, the NFL fined Brian Rolle on the Eagles 10k for his scarface/machine gun celebration. Is there any doubt SJ is going to be hit with a fine this week and the gun part will be cited??

    And while I think SJ’s celebrations hit more often than they miss (and count me as someone who thinks the lambeau leap is only great when it’s an opposing player doing it), I also think he probably could have selected a better target this week. I mean, if you’re going to do something mocking the Jets, isn’t Rex Ryan the better target?

  14. Big Daddy says:

    The overdone celebration by players is pathetically out-of-hand, particularly since most of it is ‘celebrating’ what they’re paid to do. Chest bump…endzone dance…six-shooters in holsters… “WooHoo…I did my job!”

  15. A.E. says:

    Costas is not the only one talking about this nonsense behaviour. It does come down to respect for your opponents. I’m watching the Monday night game and all three announcers, especially Gruden, are tired of the taunting and excessive behaviour that some players are partaking in. First it’s excessive dances, then it’s taunting, whats next-loss of respect for your fellow team mate and opponent? We know where it starts, but there is no telling where it ends. And that’s the concern here. What price are sports fans willing to pay?

  16. dean says:

    This confirms my belief on how utterly weak minded our society has become. You have the audacity to call Costas’s rant racist? You are the buffoon. “Johnson didn’t cost his team his lack of knowledge and understanding did” Bravo for your 2 cent breakdown of Costas. You are an idiot. Using your logic Costas wasn’t racist his inability to find a better word then buffoon was. This is exactly why there is a dark and ominous tone amid everyone that this country is collapsing. It is not lack of style or our inability to interpret these excessive celebrations the same way you do. It is a clear case of some having self control and display graceful victory and some with primitive paleolithic urges that they seem they cannot control. It is weak and those that look on laugh, but we all laugh as if they are a dancing clown thus shifting the position of power to us laughing at these clownish neanderthal buffoons.

  17. don says:

    The first thing that came to my mind when I heard buffoon was Bryant Gumbel talking about Willard Scott. Sorry Buddy, It’s not the racist term that you’re trying to sell here.

  18. Hob Lunk says:

    Let’s add “buffoon” to the ever-growing list of words that are not permissible when discussing anything remotely associated with Black culture.

    It astounds me that certain demographic groups can cry “racism” because their feelings are hurt or someone else’s comments rankle them in some way. What an AWESOME social power to have: to make absurd accusations just because you’ve been rubbed the wrong way (from your own hypersensitivity no less), and to do so KNOWING that they vast majority of “white guilt” Americans wouldn’t dare call you on it.

    Well, I’ll call you on it. Grow up, you damn baby!

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  20. Tard Ovit says:

    I quit watching many professional sports because of the celebrations of ignorance. I also question the sharpness of anyone’s mind that finds the Kardashian’s entertaining, except for solo private fantasies.

    I would like to see them play the game, instead of making it a “look at me” exhibition. Classless and clueless.

  21. methuselah signs says:

    If I say you’re going out on a limb by trying to start a franchise called “buffoon is white code for black people,” are you going to accuse me of comparing you to an ape and call that code for blacks also? It isn’t about who is black. It’s about warrior-heroes acting like silly overwrought junior high schoolers who have impulse control problems. These guys are the gladiators of our era, risking crippling injury in a violent competitive arena. To have them then carry on like egotistical, spoiled children is disconcerting and that’s what has people against the demonstrations: It is incongruous given the context of the game.
    Wanna dance? Do it the way Hines Ward did. Somewhere else, and well.
    Besides, as clumsy as most of these guys look with their little dance moves, it makes people wonder how on earth they fooled the coaches and got on a professional football team where the ability to coordinate muscles oughta be important.

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