Sport

Andrew Johnston

by
June 14, 2018

IT’s oddly fun seeing people celebrating success.

We are probably used to, in this country, a late night celebration from our premiership teams, followed by a family day the next day.

Rarely do people publicly go nuts.

So it makes the celebrations of one man seem even more hilarious.

Alexander Ovechkin is the captain of the Washington Capitals in the NHL.

The Caps have been playing professional hockey since the 1974 season and this year won their first Stanley Cup.

Ovi has been with the Caps since 2005, and hasn’t seen much success.

Now that he is finally part of a championship side, he’s gone a bit nuts.

Among his highlights: standing in random sections of the Washington Nationals baseball park holding the cup up — even when cameras aren’t on him — just to get the crowd excited.

Doing multiple keg-stands out of the Stanley Cup.

Swimming in random fountains in Georgetown, a suburb of DC.

Attempting to make snow angels in the fountain, which is pretty difficult to do.

Racing and wrestling people.

Oh, and he announced his wife is pregnant — though I assume that’s unrelated to the cup win.

But who is going to blame Ovi for having a little bit of fun to celebrate what is an incredible achievement?

I mean, how many sporting franchises have been waiting that long and still haven’t won a championship?

In the AFL we only have two sides who haven’t won a premiership, both of whom were formed in this decade.

They don’t have tradition, they don’t have strong fanbases (especially not GWS) and in Gold Coast’s case, they don’t look like winning a flag any time soon.

If ever.

So you have to look more at the teams who had a long time between drinks in their celebrations.

Richmond in 2017, the Dogs in 2016, Geelong in ’07 and Sydney in ’05.

In those occasions, 37, 62, 44 and 72 years were the gaps between premierships.

And of those, what moment really stands out?

Jack Riewoldt getting onstage to sing with the Killers is probably the best one.

It was a bit of harmless fun, and we all enjoyed it happening.

So why don’t we get as much fun out of our athletes?

The city factor is huge for me.

Because, especially in Victoria in the AFL and NSW in the NRL, most teams are based around the same city, you don’t have the same full city (even state) love for your team.

At game seven of the NBA east finals, there were nearly 30 staff or players from fellow Boston teams the Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins at the TD Garden cheering on the Celtics.

I mentioned Ovi celebrating at a nationals game.

He was invited by the Nationals, and threw out the first pitch, a ceremonial role bestowed upon members of the community.

It’s obviously never going to be the same in Australia.

We don’t have 30 teams all based in different markets.

We have nine teams in Melbourne in the AFL.

When a team wins, we don’t see the whole city getting wrapped up in the fun of it.

It’s unavoidable, but is also a shame.

I want more silliness.

Ovi hasn’t hurt anyone.

No violence like in Philly after the Super Bowl.

Everything has been relaxed and calm.

They’ve just been having fun.

And to be honest, I’d love to see that.

Wouldn’t it be funny to see this kind of behaviour from our AFL players?

I’d like it.

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