Tim Crone: Celebrations should be about the team
College football teams able to complete some semblance of a football season should be commended. The problems they faced were nothing short of nearly impossible.
The players, coaches and administrators deserve credit for their endeavors. In reaching out to my coaching friends and former players to wish them happy holidays, the conversation always ends up focused on the Kansas City Chiefs.
One of the topics about the team that nearly always surfaces is Tyreek Hill. Hill is the most dynamic wide receiver in the NFL hands down. He is a rare combination of quickness, speed, strength, body control and outstanding hand-eye coordination. He is one NFL player who is able to change the outcome of the game in the blink of an eye.
The combination of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Hill is an exceedingly rare situation. The only problem with Hill is he seems to have a need to show up his opponent. Don’t get me wrong. Players and teams should celebrate a score. However, it is important to avoid making the celebration about yourself.
As a coach, we would practice how to celebrate a score or a win. Players should be happy but always make it about the team. There is no need to stop a foot from the goal line and do a backflip into the end zone.
Hill has had his share of troubles during his time with the Chiefs. Andy Reid and the organization have been willing to help him realize his importance to the game. He has shown growth at times. He spent last fall helping coach high school football and everyone loved him and indicated he was great with kids. That is positive growth!
However, he pulls all those hot dog moves in an NFL game with the high school players watching. What kind of example is he setting? In high school the backflip into the end zone may be a penalty and probably should be.
I realize that the NFL is entertainment and an offensive and defensive team celebration is not bad stuff. But the “look at me” celebration is about showing up the opponent. His antics may be popular with fans but it would not surprise me to see an opposing player decide enough is enough and light up Tyreek’s world after one of his displays.
Defensive coaches and players will eventually get their bellies full of that garbage. Hill is too good to lower himself to that level. He is a superior athlete who is enjoyable to watch.
Reid has a coaching reputation of being able to teach his players how to conduct themselves both on and off the field. A good example of one of his projects is the maturity process of Kelce. In his first three years he had a hard time with self-control that would cost the team a penalty and field position. He has learned to control those competitive emotions and is now one of the best tight ends in the history of football. He still celebrates with his teammates after a big positive play but he has learned to avoid self-centered actions.
Hill needs to learn from Kelce. Football is not being about a choir boy, but being a showboat can cost the team in a key situation. Legendary Jim Brown would hand the ball to the official and pat his teammates on the way back to the bench following a touchdown. He showed he had been in the end zone before and would probably be back again soon. He is a positive example of the way to handle fame.
• The quote of the week is from Jim Brown: “One thing I learned in football is that you must have respect. It is not so important that people like you, but it is an absolute must that you have their respect.”
Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.