We’ve all seen the good old guy-to-guy ass-pat on the playing field, but not as much as we used to. For some reason, a man patting another man’s hind end isn’t really acceptable anymore, even if you are on the same team. You’ll still see it occasionally (I was actually covering a high school football game on Saturday where Jerry Rice Jr. was playing quarterback, and after one play the coach gave him a double ass-pat, a rare occurrence indeed), but the ass-patters have definitely become the minority in all sports.
If you want to see the ass-pat at its absolute apex (it’s OK if you do, we don’t judge here), go ahead and watch some of those 1980’s Lakers/Celtics games on ESPN Classic sometime. Sure, Magic and Co. were known for being one of the first teams to really popularize the “high five” (or its less popular and infinitely dorkier sibling, the “high ten”), but patting your teammate on the rump was just as common as knee-high socks and towel waving benchwarmers.
Apparently, according to Matt Stairs, the Phillies aren’t worried about seeming “a little weird” or “homoerotic” in their celebratory habits. In fact, from this amazing youtube clip, Matt Stairs either proves either there really is a language barrier between the United States and Canada, or the Phillies locker room is the Turkish prison of Major League Baseball. Whatever it is, Stairs is loving every second.