The “best bench in basketball”?

By Dominic Chamberlain

Sports Editor

Let’s talk about the Monmouth Hawks; more specifically their bench.

I am, without question, a fan of sport. There isn’t much that gets me more excited than a close game with a lot of emotion coming from both sides, regardless of the sport being played. The energy and atmosphere that the emotions from players can create makes for some of the best sports memories that I have. But for some reason I find myself conflicted by the emotion showed by the Monmouth Hawks men’s basketball team.

If you don’t watch ESPN on a daily basis, then you may not be aware that the Hawks have been on SportsCenter a fair amount over the past week. This is due in part to the fact that they upset the number 17 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

But that isn’t my conflict with the Hawks. My conflict comes from the tendency of the Hawks’ bench to celebrate like a soccer team.

The Hawks have done it all in their celebrations; they did the player acting like a fish, a human basketball hoop that another player dunked on, and even lining up under-center and mimicking a football play while the blocker held up three fingers, which represented the amount of points they just scored. All of this has led to a YouTube user compiling the best celebrations so far, and entitling the video “Monmouth has the best bench in basketball.”

They aren’t the best bench because they outscore their opponent’s bench by some ungodly figure, but because they celebrate cool when something on the court happens.

Don’t get me wrong I love a good celly, but when it comes from the court or field of play. Who hasn’t watched Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson’s touchdown celebration highlight reel? Who doesn’t know about the time Terrell Owens celebrated on the Dallas Cowboy’s star, or his equally famous popcorn celebration? These two men are a large reason as to why the NFL has banned using props, including the football, to celebrate.

What if whenever Owens scored, some backup lineman poured a whole thing of popcorn in his mouth? I don’t think that would go over well.

Maybe it’s the cynical Griff inside me that makes me feel this way; facing the fact that Monmouth is a good team and the Griffs will have to play them tonight. Or maybe I’m upset because secretly I think it’s really cool and I’m upset that the Griffs aren’t the ones who came up with these crazy bench celebrations. Maybe if it was a different team, say one that isn’t in the conference or on the Griffs’ schedule, I would be more accepting of it.
But for now I don’t like it although part of me hopes the Hawks do start celebrating tonight in the Koessler. That way they can focus on their celebrating, and we can focus on kicking off conference basketball with a win.


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