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Post “Forgive me if I don’t shake hands”

Thursday September 3, 2009

Thankfully the week’s biggest tempest in a teapot has ended with the correct outcome: there will be no pregame handshake between Georgia and Oklahoma State.

Shaking hands after the game is fine. Some teams even meet at midfield for a postgame prayer. Hand out orange slices, shout “2! 4! 6! 8!” all you like, and tip your cap to the other guy for a game well played. But leave the pregame mingling to the captains.

Joe Cox, not surprisingly, gets it:

“I don’t think it’s necessary. I think you prepare all week to play an opponent, you play, and then you show sportsmanship at the end of the game…The last thing you want to really do before a physical game like football is go shake hands with everybody.”

Mixing 150+ testosterone-dripping college students at the height of emotion and preparation before a violent game like football has never seemed like the best idea to me. But in the interest of fairness, we have this compelling logic from the NCAA’s Marta Lawrence:

Perhaps if there was a pregame handshake before last year’s game against Boise State, (Oregon QB Jeremiah) Masoli might not have suffered a concussion on a late hit in the heartbreaking 37-32 loss to the Broncos.

How can one argue with that?

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