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Friday open thread: sportsmanship

USA v Thailand: Group F - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

As I’m sure you know by now, the US women’s team...destroyed? Steamrolled? Boatraced? Exsanguinated? I mean, there’s no polite way to describe a 13-0 soccer game, really. Anyway, the aftermath of the game was interesting, in that a lot of people felt it necessary to weigh in on whether any of it was necessary - the thirteen goals were a lot, but many people also took exception to the team celebrating each and every one of those thirteen goals as if it was the first goal of the game.

My personal opinion is simple. These are professional athletes, on the biggest stage of their sport, performing at a level unseen in a long time. Why not celebrate that? Yes, 13-0 is a very lopsided score, but these women worked really hard to get to this level and this point, and it’s not their fault that the first round of the World Cup fed them an opponent that clearly isn’t ready to compete at this level.

The way I see it, as long as the celebrations aren’t aimed at the opposition, or aren’t taunts or otherwise mocking the opponent, celebrate away - this is what you’ve worked for, this is what you’re paid to be good at. So succeeding in what you’re good at is cause for celebration, for me.

That’s not limited to soccer, either. I love watching athletes get so exuberant about their skills and the deployment of those skills. Bat flips, screaming and chest pounding after throwing down a monster dunk, crazy goal celebrations - you name it, I’m there for it. Sports is entertainment, and that stuff is Entertainment.

Where do you fall on the sportsmanship spectrum? Is there a point where enough is enough for you, celebration-wise, or is it anything goes?