I told Jason English the other day that my husband may be sending him flowers (or a six-pack; I guess that's probably more likely). Because of Jason's brilliant idea to have a mental_floss Fantasy Football league, I've been willing "“ nay, I've been wanting - to watch football lately. And not just for the touchdown dances, which were previously my main reasons for enjoying the sport. But I still like a good celebration. Here are some of my favorites:
1. The Ickey Shuffle might be the most famous touchdown celebration ever; the NFL even allowed Elbert "Ickey" Woods to do it without penalty in the late "˜80s (let's see T.O. get away with that). Check out the Ickey Shuffle in this little montage of dances "“ if you don't want to wait through the whole thing, he's #4 at about 1:30.
2. The Lambeau Leap is a celebration the whole team gets into. It doesn't happen every time, but sometimes when a Packer gets a touchdown at Lambeau Field, he runs and leaps into the end zone stands. Other teams have started to adopt this celebration as well, but it started in Wisconsin. Sometimes an opposing player tries to get some love at Lambeau and more often than not gets shut down "“ that very thing happened to Viking Fred Smoot in 2007. But Chad Ochocinco managed to pull it off just a week ago by planting a couple of Bengals fans in the end zone seats ahead of time. Sneaky. Here's Donald Lee doing the Lambeau Leap last season:
3. Speaking of Ochocinco, he rivals T.O. when it comes to ridiculous (and expensive) TD celebrations. He has "proposed" to a cheerleader, he has putted the football in homage to Tiger Woods, he has whipped out pre-made signs"¦ but my favorite is when he Riverdances. You can see most of these (and lots more) in this video:
4. Steve Smith was on the same college football team (Santa Monica College) as Ochocinco, so is it any surprise that they both share a love of celebrating their hard-earned six points? Like Ochocino, he has quite a few celebrations under his belt, but I like when he turned the ball into a baby, burping it and wiping its butt.
5. Even NCAA football has the occasional celebration, but this one is probably the most famous: the Heisman pose. In 1991, Desmond Howard was one of the frontrunners in the Heisman race and he wasn't above campaigning. When he scored a touchdown against Ohio State that year, he took a little time in the end zone to pose just like the famous trophy. It must have worked, because he was awarded the real thing just a few months later and has been immortalized on the cover of NCAA football '06 striking the pose.
6. If you watched the whole clip Ickey Woods was featured in above, then you also got a glimpse of Billy "White Shoes" Johnson (#3 in the video). His chicken dance is legendary in the NFL. And you have to admit, he really committed to it.
7. The CFL (Canadian Football League) is a lot more lenient about touchdown celebrations than the NFL is, and CFLers take full advantage of that. After scoring on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last year, Terrence Edwards of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers arranges his teammates in a (not-so) impromptu game of Duck, Duck, Goose.
8. Wes Welker of the Patriots saw a fun opportunity after getting the six points last December "“ it had been snowing long enough to leave a dusting on the field, and the almost-pristine end zone was just crying out for a snow angel. So he gave it one. I thought it was pretty cute, but the NFL had just passed a rule banning players from going down to the ground for celebrations, so Welker was fined.
9. Kelley Washington, currently with the Ravens, is known for his bizarre touchdown dance named The Squirrel. If you didn't watch the whole Ickey video, you should do it now (Washington is the first one) "“ the Squirrel is like the cousin to Elaine Benes' flailing thumb dance. If you already watched the Ickey video but can't get enough of the Squirrel, here's another clip:
10. Finally, T.O. No post about touchdown celebrations would be complete without one of T.O.'s controversial antics. I personally really like one of the antics that actually ended up benefiting someone else: the time he got a touchdown against Tampa Bay on Thanksgiving Day and dropped the ball into a big Salvation Army kettle, donating it to them. "That was my donation," he later said. "I hope it's worth as much as the fine."
Do you have a favorite touchdown celebration? Or do you think they're ridiculous and an embarrassment to the league?