Barry Laminack: 7 things I hate about sports

Celebrations should happen when you actually win something big. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I'm by no means an old man, but at 44 years old there are some things that bother me - and I don't care if you don't like it.

I'm not old school in that I don't think anybody should be having fun out there on the court or field, definitely not. It’s just that some of it is annoying to me.

These young whippersnappers might like it, sure, but they need to stay the hell off my lawn!

Also my back hurts and I need a nap.

And who took my tools? I can't find my hammer so I’m pretty sure somebody broke into my garage and stole it because there’s no way I just misplaced it.

Anyway, here are 7 things I hate about sports, grouped by league but in no particular order.


Pregame Handshakes

The pre-game “handshake” is getting out of control. First of all, the players are acting like they haven’t seen each other in months, when in reality they just saw each other in the locker room.

And what used to be a simple “high five” is now a choreographed dance. I swear the next step is to have some guy yelling out steps like they do at a square dance.

“Everyone Box The Gnat!


Now we Do Si Do.”

(yes, I had to google that sh--)

The hoody warm-up

Let's be real Mr. NBA player; it's not cold in the gym so you don't need to wear the hoodie. You're only doing it because you think you look cool, but you actually don't. You look like a scuba diver that just got out of the water.

Free throw celebrations

This has been bothering me for YEARS now. So much so that I’m kind of actually used to it. High fives and dap should be reserved for celebrating a great accomplishment. Making a free throw, aka THE EASIEST SHOT IN BASKETBALL, shouldn't be celebrated.

This is especially true IF YOU MISS THE DAMN THING!


Uniform Strictness

Hey NFL, lighten up already.

There’s a reason somebody said that NFL stood for “No Fun League.”

Let the teams be free to explore different options for their uniforms. If some teams want to stay traditional so be it, that's their option, but let other teams that want to try different color schemes and different uniform looks do so. Take a page out of the Oregon Ducks book for goodness sake. It's fun and people gravitate to it, and it might just help you sell more merch.


Regular season walk-off win celebration

Winning 1 of 162 games isn’t that big of a deal, but you wouldn’t know that when you watch most teams celebrating a walk off win. In fact, if you didn't know any better you’d think said team just won the World Series.

Save that for the October, not for game 47 in May.

Exception to the celebration is the bat flip. I love the bat flip. We definitely need more bat flips in baseball. I want bat flips so grand that StatCast starts to track their launch angle.

Home run nicknames

I'm looking at you, “Springer Dinger” fans.

This might be the dumbest thing ever. How about we just call it a home run and enjoy it for what it is. It doesn't have to have a fancy name, does it?

OK I really like “McCannon baaaall” (said by Geoff Blum, when Brian McCann goes yard). That one's really great, otherwise they're all just really stupid.

All right I really just hate Springer dinger.

Also, I'm super pissed that no one ever called it a “Conger Donger” when Hank Conger was here and would go deep, #MissedOpportunity.

The Unwritten Rules of Baseball

Could someone please write all the #&(%@*$! rules down, already? I can't keep up with all this nonsense used by these sensitive ass baseball players. I swear to Zeus, baseball should be the choice of millennial sports fans the way some guys in the game are so sensitive about what amounts to absolutely nothing.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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