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The after-game handshake

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Hello, my name is Melissa, and I am not a jerk because I do not want to shake your hand after a game.
After the completion of a match the two players regularly share a ďgood gameĒ handshake. I have had many discussions with friends about why I dislike this gesture. I always come off as the jerk of the debate. ďYou arenít being very sportsmanlike.Ē

Just to give a short background of my experience with sports and sportsmanlike behavior, I played basketball all through elementary school. After a game, you would line up for the after-game handshake. It wasnít a handshake however, it was a high five, no wait, make that a low five. Hands at hip level, you walk alongside the other team and slap hands. We barely made eye contact. In high school, I ran track. After finishing a race, you would go through a version of an asthma attack after killing your lungs in the burning cold air. We never shook hands. We just walked away and put our sweats back on. So, personally, I never had a lot of experience with the after-game formalities.

When I started playing Magic the Gathering, it was just playing. I played a friend, the game ended, and that was it. We didnít shake hands or anything, it was just a game. When I started going to public events, playing against strangers, thatís when the hand shaking/sportsmanlike behavior started. When I lost, I was sad, bummed, pissed, I didnít want to shake the winnerís hand. Yes, I look like a sore loser jerk. When I won, I didnít want to shake anyoneís hand. I felt like it was patronizing to my opponent. Itís like the you tried, but you lost. Sucks-to-be-you-handshake. Therefore, I felt like a jerk again. This is about 25% of the reason why I do not like the after-game handshake.

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The even larger reason I dislike the handshake is the thought of germs. We have both been playing. It can be tense. Hands may be sweating with nervousness. Someone might be chewing on their nails while playing. They could be scratching their nose (which is a habit of mine). The worst, they sneeze in their hand while holding the dice. Letís also not forget that we can both share basic action dice. Then the game ends and we are expected to shake hands. Sorry, yuk, no thank you. This is now another reason for looking like a jerk: the potential look of disgust on my face for having to touch my opponent. Iím sorry everyone, I have a little bit of the OCD, donít touch, donít touch. I carry hand sanitizer in my purse.

So, while cold and flu season is running rampant and weíre all dropping like flies left and right, I would like to put out a call to action. Can we start, or at least be okay with the fist bump? I feel a lot better doing an after-game fist bump. It feels more friendly after winning or losing, plus is less likely to spread germs. How about supplying some hand sanitizer on sight for games as well? Has anyone been to a Lego store? They have hand sanitizing stations everywhere. Itís a necessity with all those kids puking on the Legos that are out there for free play. Letís also try not to sneeze or cough into our hands. Do the, ďyou look like Dracula,Ē cough in the elbow. Plus, parents please, teach your kids to do this too. Children are the biggest offenders. I have had them not only sneeze into their hand of dice, Iíve had them just sneeze across the whole board. I have scolded other peopleís children, but I shouldnít have to.


  1. chalos13's Avatar
    I can support a post game fist bump. Next time, just throw it up there before they get to the handshake
  2. SarkhanMad's Avatar
    germs aside, this is the best argument in the post:
    "It’s like the you tried, but you lost. Sucks-to-be-you-handshake. "

    Such douchebagery... (if that's a word)