B.J. Upton Gets Top Play Honors from Deion Sanders on NFL Network

Jamal WilburgCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2012

September 20, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton (2) celebrates after hitting the game-winning three run home run in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Deion Sanders kept his promise to Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton. Upton did the prime time dance Sanders made famous on his way to the plate following his walk-off home run against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.

Upton told Greg Zeck from MLB.com that the dance was a spontaneous celebration.

"I don't know, man, just kind of happened," Upton said. "I couldn't figure out anything else to do. Just had some fun with it and I guess I decided to go 'Prime Time.'"

The fact that he chose to do the dance wasn’t too surprising, as Upton is a fan of Sanders and Florida State Seminoles football, where Sanders played his college ball. Every year when the Rays player nameplates above their locker change for college football season, Upton’s has the garnet and gold of the Seminoles.

The dance got the attention of many; including Sanders himself, who tweeted Upton the promise hours after it happened.

@bjupton2 Man Much Much Love i must put u on the top 10 plays of the week on NFL network sunday night for that walkoff HR man. #Truth

— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) September 21, 2012

Not only was the play placed within the top 10, it was the No. 1 overall play on the network.  Yes, a baseball play, was the top play on the football network.

It’s not normal to see choreographed dance move celebrations following walk-off home runs or hits.

Unlike touchdown celebrations in football, walk-offs do not occur with the same frequency.  Normally you have the team run out to meet the batter at home plate with a lot of jumping and a batting helmet tossed to the air or ground. Standard protocol for normal home runs is simply to run the bases.

Don’t expect full-blown dances to become a common theme in MLB. However, it was highly entertaining for a one-time, prime time moment for a team trying to keep its head above water in the playoff race.


Jamal Wilburg is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.

Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or visit his website.