A Tweet of a video surfaced on Monday of Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster performing the (for some reason) popular milk crate challenge.
What is the milk crate challenge? It involves walking on stacked milk crates and trying to do so without falling to the ground after losing your balance or the crates collapsing underneath your own weight.
Why are people doing this social media-inspired challenge? I don’t know, maybe they got sick of posting pictures of their dinner?
Anyway, back in my day, milk crates weren’t used for such challenges; they were used to store milk in supermarkets. And if they weren’t being used for that, they acted as stools for when you really needed to reach something on the top of the meat case and didn’t feel like going to the back to find a real stool.
The really interesting part about my day is it included football players doing things off the field, like surfing, playing pickup basketball, acting, horseback riding and maybe even breakdancing. But I don’t recall anyone getting bent out of shape over the risks those old football players were taking by doing such things.
Ah, such simpler times when one could look at a professional athlete doing something entertaining away from the field and not scream, “HE COULD GET HURT!"
That was your general social media and talk show response to Smith-Schuster, a 200-pound receiver who likes to go over the middle to catch passes in front of lunatic linebackers (when he’s not blocking them into the following week), walking on some wobbly milk crates right before the regular season starts.
Of course, the outrage over Smith-Schuster's milk crate challenge wasn’t much of a surprise, as every single thing comes back to winning, and if you’re not doing that enough, it must be because of social media activity, logo dances, touchdown celebrations, brand furthering and video game playing.
In other words, “THIS IS WHY THEY DON’T WIN!”
Also, it seems like everything comes back to folks just not enjoying sports, which involves people playing games. It’s supposed to be fun, right? Speaking of my day, players used to dance after touchdowns, and we’d all sit around the television and laugh and giggle. We’d then practice our own touchdown celebrations in the backyard.
I wonder how many of the kids I grew up with in the 1980s are now the adults who call in to talk shows or go on social media to complain about the amount of fun these football players are having on the field and off? I hear some of you when you call these shows, you know? I hear your voice and think, “Well, this guy must be in his 60s.” But I’m often surprised to discover that you’re younger than me, a 49-year old man who wants to see Dua Lipa in concert (and I don’t care who knows it).
Speaking of my age, for my special day back in May, a friend sent me a video of the “Happy birthday!” touchdown celebration the Steelers receivers performed in a game last November in honor of Smith-Schuster’s birthday. (Don’t worry, Pittsburgh won that game.)
I laughed out loud because I thought it was funny and highly creative (the “lighting” of the football was fantastic).
Thankfully, the NFL has loosened its restrictions on touchdown celebrations in recent years. Unfortunately, it’s clamping down on taunting in 2021. What’s taunting? Is it talking trash to an opponent? Is it flexing? Is it pointing?
Maybe dancing on an opponent’s logo will now be considered taunting.
Ah, yes, Smith-Schuster’s logo dancing. The disrespectful act which inspired the Bills and Bengals to defeat the Steelers late last year. Remember when Steelers players would make bold statements before a game such as, “They’re soft!” and we’d rally behind the player? Remember when Joe Namath could make a guarantee before the Super Bowl and only the opposing team and its fans would get angry? Remember Joey Porter’s exposed abs at midfield? Remember when Hines Ward would taunt the Dawg Pound or mock the River Dance? Remember when you didn’t think everything had to do with pumping up the other team?
Remember having fun?
I just have one final thing to say, and I’m going to say it directly to you, JuJu Smith-Schuster. If you could do another milk crate challenge, one where each crate you walk on includes the logo of every Steelers’ opponent for 2021, that sure would be something.
We still have some time before the start of the regular season.
Just think about it.