How Athletes Celebrate
Yo, Adrian! I did it!
That's right, you did it. You won the big game, you've reached a special moment in life and now it's your moment to celebrate.
So what are you going to do?
The rush of victory is intoxicating, and the compulsion to celebrate is nigh inescapable. Everyone celebrates, and few people are more familiar with the tradition than athletes. They commemorate everything from championship titles to first downs and they do it in many different ways.
The following is wide-ranging sampling of the ways athletes celebrate, covering everything from champagne bubble baths to falling off fences.
It's glorious, ugly and weird—it's how athletes celebrate.
Body Slam Themself
TKO-ing your opponent is good, but why stop there?
This MMA fighter took celebration to next level by climbing atop the octagon fence and hurling his body to the earth—because nothing stamps the mark on a big win like a self-inflicted back injury.
Judges Say: NOOO!!!
Phoning a Friend
With more restrictions being put in place every year, it seems as though the celebration is a dying art in American sports—football especially.
So when the NFL outlawed players from keeping objects (i.e. Sharpies) on their person during the game, former New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn simply found a loophole in the system.
While storing his cell phone in the goal post padding wasn’t against league policy (at that point) Horn’s celebration still received a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct during this 2003 game against the Giants.
I really hope he called someone he loved, because it looked like he dialed 9-1-1.
Judges Say: [Insert “Call Me Maybe” joke here]
Twerking on Opponents Head
Intimidating your opponent is one thing, but demeaning them with a booty-in-your-face dance is whole other level of getting in your opponent’s head.
Los Angeles Temptation safety Ogom Chijindu went in for a big hit on Riki Creger-Zier during a Legends League game in May, taking the Seattle Mist wideout hard to the turf.
The show wasn’t over, however, and Chijindu finished off the tackle by standing over Creger-Zier and booty-dropping onto her opponent’s head.
If you’ve seen footage of the celebrations cooked up by Iceland’s Stjarnan soccer club, you’ll know they’re basically miniature theater acts that take place on the pitch.
The celebrations are pre-planned and incredibly elaborate, with names such as “The Salmon,” “The Birth” and “Rambo.”
Judges Say: Great stuff, but when will we see the “Epic Sax Guy” celebration?
Some people question whether he’s always hustling during races, but there is no doubt in my mind that every day Usain Bolt is hard at work shuffling.
Bolt brought the LMFAO party dance out after running the final leg of the men’s 4x100 meter relay in 2011. His run set a world record time for the event, and he celebrated in king of the world style.
Judges Say: Clean. Good form. Carry on, Usain.
Warning: Video contains NSFW language.
Is there a better way to celebrate being the best team in the world at your sport than sinking your teeth into some hot, delicious pizza? I submit that there is not.
The Miami Heat did just this after beating the Spurs in Game 7 to win the 2013 NBA Finals.
LeBron James and company enjoyed champagne at AmericanAirlines Arena, but the real party happened at Club Story in South Beach—where the pizza flowed like wine and beautiful women flocked like the salmon of Capistrano.
Judges Say: “Gimme pizza!”
Get Jiggy with It
You have to celebrate the small victories in life—it’s what keeps us going on days where most things seem to be falling apart.
That being said, it’s hard to think of a time someone celebrated a small victory in a bigger way than Adam Bobrow, the ping pong player/actor-comedian who broke out a minute-long celebration over a single point.
It wasn’t a match-winner, not even close. Bobrow was down 10-1 after scoring the point. It didn’t stop him from celebrating like a dancing fool, however.
Judges Say: You can’t spell “bro” without Bobrow.
What better way to celebrate your birthday than with a cake that’s more detailed than ships people build in bottles?
This is the centerpiece of the cake Rip Hamilton had made for his 35th birthday in February, and it is nigh uneatable it’s so amazing. The cake featured four mini Hamilton’s made of icing, each one wearing a different jersey from the different teams he’s played for in the NBA.
The best part of all of this is that somewhere in this world, there’s a person who was paid money to make miniature Rip Hamiltons out of icing.
Judges Say: That’s just incredible.
Peter Crouch does the robot and puts the world on notice: he’s a lean dancing machine.
Crouch has been known to crank this dance out, along with some other fancy moves, and I can't say that I don't like it.
There's a certain goofy bravado to the whole showing that says, "Usain Bolt, eat your heart out."
Console the Other Team
Taunting is one way to celebrate, but the more compassionate players of the game understand it's wrong to hotdog it.
In this case, a Swedish hockey player goes out of his way to make the other team feel better, hugging one of his opponents who responds with a heartfelt punch right in his face.
Some people just don't understand compassion.
Celebrations like this are why we can’t have nice things.
He claimed he was pointing to a friend in the stands, but Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis certainly appeared to celebrate his game-winning goal by giving the crowd a Nazi salute during a match in March.
Katidis’ arm was eventually brought down and the 20-year-old footballer was banned from his international team for the act.
Judges Say: There’s no room for this behavior in soccer—or, you know, anywhere.
The DX Chop
Thomas DeCoud is bringing it back.
What’s he bringing back? The DX chop, of course.
DeCoud celebrated breaking up a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in January with some kind of drunken stork walk, followed by the signature chop move made famous by the wrestling group D-Generation X.
Bare in mind, Decoud is the same guy who played the “meow” game with Bram Weinstein on SportsCenter, so he’s no stranger to pop culture references or clowning.
Judges Say: That is just wrong, reprehensible and DX CHOP TIME!
Excessive celebration is a glorious thing in sports—until you end up howling on the ground clutching your knee cap.
International striker Maurides Rocque Junior recently learned the importance of celebrating within your abilities when he commemorated his first professional goal with a sprained knee.
Maurides went “full Gramatica,” attempting a celebratory backflip and tweaking his leg on the landing. He had to be carted off the field before play resumed.
Share the Love
If there’s anything DeSean Jackson loves more than scoring touchdowns, it’s the feeling of the football leaving his hands.
On this particular occasion, Jackson celebrates a 50-yard gain by tossing the rock to one of the New York Giants assistant coaches. Unfortunately for the Eagles wideout, the gain was nullified by a penalty.
On the bright side, he didn’t flip it at Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who would’ve torn Jackson an extra 15 holes had the gamesmanship been directed at him.
Judges Say: Wait until you make sure there’s something to celebrate before taunting the other team.
Denny's Grand Slams
You don't have to like Shane Battier, but you have to respect his choice for post-game victory meals.
While LeBron James and most of the Miami Heat dug into pizza at Club Story, Shane Battier and his close friends celebrated Miami's 2013 NBA title by rolling deep at Denny's.
That's right, instead of going HAM at the club, the Heat forward kicked back and chowed down on a late night Grand Slam with loved ones and buddies.
Judges Say: That's a veteran move.
If anyone knows how to celebrate it’s the Miami Heat.
Except for Bosh, who wasn’t celebrating in this video. Nope, that looks more like a prehistoric baptism to me.
Judges Say: Don’t get it in anyone’s eyes, bro.
Oppan champion style.
There were a lot of Gangnam Style celebrations out there, but this cricket one might be the best we’ve seen.
After defeating England and winning the ICC Champions Trophy, India’s Virat Kohli climbed over a banner partition and began Gangnam styling and doing pushups as teammates made champagne rain down from the sky.
Judges Say: Psy would be proud.
After messing around and getting the first triple-double of his career in December of 2012, Tony Parker hit a fancy restaurant to celebrate.
Going 27-12-12 is no small feat for a point guard, and the chefs congratulated him with a customized dessert dish, which appeared to be a waffle covered in ice cream, garnished with hollandaise sauce and apples.
Judges Say: Must’ve been a good day.
Channel the Beast
The Hynoceros cometh!
Part man, part raging pachyderm, Henry Hynoski knows what the people want. They want a grown man pawing the ground with an accurate number of rhino horn-fingers held in front of their face masks.
Judges Say: Definitely not the ugliest fake rhino scene we’ve ever encountered.
Hoist the Trophy (Until It Breaks)
Ah, the joys of breaking a trophy in front of fans, friends and family.
The Spokane Chiefs were excited to celebrate winning the Memorial Cup in 2008, but things took a turn for the awkward when the trophy fell apart seconds after being awarded to the team.
Chiefs captain Chris Burton was handing the cup off to teammate Trevor Glass when the bottom separated from the top and fell to the ice.
Judges Say: It’s alright guys—it only makes the cup that much easier to drink from.