Time for the handshake to go away forever

Time for the handshake to go away forever

Nobody does the Arsenio Hall fist pump better than former Montana Tech football coach Bob Green.

Sometimes he does it really big, just like you would expect from the loudest coach in history.

Other times, Green dials it down for a mini fist pump, like when he is showing support while sitting in a church pew during a wedding.

Nobody is a better quote or soundbite than Coach Green, who spent 24 seasons entertaining fans of the Oredigger and beyond on and off the football field.

His antics were so great that a video of Green’s one-liners, affectionately called “Greenisms,” went viral nine years after he retired from coaching.

Nobody steals the show while doing a video about washing hands during a pandemic like Green, either.

Green definitely did that shortly after the coronavirus lockdown began. The “Old Grandpa Football Coach” demonstrated how people should wash their hands.

As it turns out, however, lots of people are better at washing their hands than Coach Green.

The sentiment of the video is right on, and Green’s heart is in the right place. His execution, well, that is a different story.

“Did you know that right now washing your hands is the most important thing you can do?” Green said. “Now, you’ve got to wash those hands for 25 seconds with hot water and with soap. It just so happens that 25 seconds is how long the Oredigger fight song lasts.”

With that, Tech mascot Charlie Oredigger played — or pretended to play while someone off camera really played it, I couldn’t tell — the Oredigger fight song while Green washed his hands.

Then, Green fell short when demonstrating the proper handwashing technique.

If his handwashing was a long snap on a field goal attempt, it would have skipped three times before it got to the holder.

For one thing, in going to the dispenser for seven pumps in the 25 seconds of handwashing, Green used way too much soap.

Most of that soap was wasted, too.

After each time Green went back to the soap dispenser, he quickly went under the water, washing the soap off before rubbing his hands together under the water.

Now, I am not a surgeon, but I watched M*A*S*H enough times to know that you are supposed the scrub your hands with soap for a time before putting them under the water.

Green, however, has earned the benefit of the doubt for this one, and he more than redeemed himself with his video about the Oredigger Auction earlier this month.

The coach is known as a classic “one-take” guy when he shoots his videos for Montana Tech. Whether he is coaching football or shooting promotional videos, Green does not waste anybody’s time.

That might have played into the less-than-stellar handwashing he displayed in the video. Like the pro he is, Green did not yell cut when he turned on the water to find it scalding hot.

The former Marine soldiered through it.

Still, Green’s hand washing display only reinforces my decision to never shake anybody’s hand again for the rest of my life.

No more fist bumps or elbow bumps, either. A polite nod and a “how you doin’” will suffice just fine.

Any guy who has ever used the men’s room at a sporting event will tell you that a way-too-large percentage of guys do not wash their hands before heading back to the game.

He can also tell you that hardly any man washes his hands for the time it takes to play the Montana Tech fight song. Most guys do not wash for long enough to play the SportsCenter “DaDaDa, DaDaDa.”

Now that the coronavirus ruined so many things this year — and the doomsday folks out there will tell you this is only a warmup for a much worse virus to come — shaking hands should become a thing of the past.

Truthfully, shaking hands is really stupid in the first place. The only thing it is good for is spreading germs.

The handshake originated in the 5th century B.C. in Greece as a symbol of peace. It showed that neither man was carrying a weapon.

Not one person reading this has ever — EVER — engaged in a handshake to show that neither man was packing heat. You can easily have your left hand on your sidearm while you shake with your right.

The handshake does not rank anywhere near as dumb as the elbow bump, but it is really silly.

Of course, over the years we all have all compiled that list of famous people who we shook hands with.

My dad’s claim to fame was that he shook hands with the great heavyweight champion Joe Louis in the early 1970s.

I think I one upped him when I shook hands with Joe Frazier, another great heavyweight champ.

While Louis was probably the better boxer, Frazier fought in a better era of heavyweight fighters. Plus, he had a cameo in the movie “Rocky.”

Sure, the fact that Frazier was still fighting at the time of the movie was released was a major flaw in the otherwise great film, Frazier’s appearance in one of my all-time favorite flicks gives me the win.

I was also fortunate enough to shake hands with William “The Refrigerator” Perry, one of my personal heroes, my favorite comedian Bill Burr, Gary Payton and the great Ken Griffey Jr.

Being nervous and star struck after watching Burr perform from the front row in Bozeman, I accidentally pulled off the old double handshake.

After shaking his hand, I asked for his autograph on the ticket. Then, I extended my hand for a thank-you shake.

Even though Burr went along with it, I felt like an idiot.

For the most part, I never liked shaking hands, and I always despised the double and triple shakers, and we all know those guys who just cannot seem to shake your hand enough.

Even worse is the guy who will not let go of your hand.

Do not even get me started on the bro hug.

Not wanting to be a germaphobe like Howie Mandel, I always went along with any of it. Not anymore.

Unless I meet someone more famous than Griffey, I will not miss the handshake one bit, either.

The cool thing about shaking hands with Griffey was that he initiated it.

I was part of a team of local reporters who traveled to Seattle to cover Butte native Rob Johnson playing for the Mariners, and we got the chance to talk with Griffey during the opening homestand in 2010.

As Griffey left the locker room after our last game in town, he said, “I’m out of here,” and he extended his hand to me for a shake.

Of course, I shook his hand.

Then I was careful to only give it the ol’ Bob Green wash for the next three weeks.

I got to shake hands with the guy with the sweetest swing in baseball. That same hand was used to make probably seven of the 10 greatest catches in the history of the game.

I did not want to wash off that brush with greatness.

If that same situation would unfold from this time forward, however, I would probably jump back and shout, “What are you crazy, Griffey? I am not touching that thing.”

Then, I would make the greatest center fielder of my lifetime settle for an Arsenio Hall fist pump.

— Bill Foley, who washes his hands to the Chicago Bears fight song, writes a column that usually appears Tuesdays on ButteSports.com. He plans to write more frequently during the coronavirus lockdown. Email him at foley@buttesports.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74.



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