Image via Associated Press
Thanks to people becoming more sensitive to celebrating in sports, we unfortunately haven't had as many epic dances or creative signs as we once had.
We all know that the NFL—sometimes referred to as the "No Fun League"—has cracked down on letting guys express themselves, but there even seems to be a quick hook on technicals in basketball too.
After the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West in their rival's stadium a few weeks ago and were called "classless" for the way they jumped into the outfield pool, it got me thinking about some of the other ways athletes have gone wild in their celebrations.
Some may call these disrespectful, but I'd like to think of it as giving the opponent some tough love.
I'm not sure if this technically counts as a celebration or not—after all, it wasn't really a game-winner—but because former Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson embarrassed former LA Lakers guard, Tyronn Lue—not once, but twice—when he first broke his ankles and then stepped over him, it got a nod from me.
Maybe this is just a form of taunting. But if Iverson had not won the league MVP that year (2001) or been one of the most popular players in the game, I'd like to think someone would have thrown an elbow to his face in defense of Lue.
Talk about ridiculing a grown man's dignity.
Almost every college football fan has seen the famous Heisman pose that former Michigan great, Desmond Howard pulled against rival, Ohio State after a punt return touchdown in the 1991 affair.
But many of us may not have seen former Washington wideout, Mario Bailey's, response after having a sick game against Howard and the Wolverines in the Rose Bowl in the same season.
The Huskies may have won the game—earning them the national title—when Bailey had a Heisman-worthy performance of catching six balls for 126 yards and a touchdown. But Howard's response to the whole thing was great, saying, "He's (Bailey) invited to my house to look at the real thing."
Known for his signature finger wag after blocking anything that came near the rim, Dikembe Mutombo was one of the most menacing defenders in NBA history.
But after the G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan, exchanged words with "Mt. Mutombo" at the 1997 All-Star Game, acknowledging that he had never posterized him, you know MJ made a mental note.
As fate would have it, Jordan ended up conquering the steep climb of the mountain, not only stuffing one in Mutombo's face but then, naturally, breaking out the finger wag for good measure.
If this isn't enough to convince you that the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs hate each other, I'm not sure what you need to prove it.
After scoring a touchdown in the classic rivalry game—formerly known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"—not one...not two...not three...but pretty much every single player on the Georgia sideline ran onto the field to participate in a little excessive celebrating.
At the time, the Gators were the defending national champs, boasted the most polarizing player in the sport, Tim Tebow, at quarterback and had won the last 15 of 17 games in the series. So to say that UGA wanted to stick it to its opposition is probably an understatement.
Naturally, the act caused an uproar—but that could have only been because Georgia won, 42-30.
Talk about a grudge.
After the Brewers' Carlos Gomez jacked a homer off the Atlanta Braves' Paul Maholm last week, it was obvious that the Milwaukee outfielder had circled the game on his calendar.
Why? Well earlier this season, Maholm had hit the batter with a pitch, which made Gomez seek revenge at the earliest opportunity.
Belting a 400-foot bomb is a good way to get back at another guy. But disrespecting him and his teammates while rounding the bases is probably something to avoid.
Atlanta catcher, Brian McCann got ultra defensive, not allowing Gomez to even cross home plate, which started a scuffle between the teams.
Come on blue, it's the dog days of summer. Let the boys play.
Simply put, this dunk by former Seattle SuperSonics great, Shawn Kemp, is absolutely dirty.
For anyone who remembers the "Reign Man's" days in Seattle, anytime he got within about five feet of the rim, he was leaping over anyone in his way, putting them on a poster.
In this instance, Kemp admits (30-second mark) that he had it out for poor Alton Lister of the Golden State Warriors, after things had gotten testy between the two teams during a playoff series.
Degrading a dude by pointing in his face not once but twice, after stuffing a ball on him is a good way at showing him up.
Hence, we all got the "Lister Blister."
It always sucks when you're playing a sport and your team blows.
As a pro athlete, I imagine it's worse than a regular guy getting blown out during an intramural game.
So when former Washington Capitals player, Donald Brashear, scored a goal against the New York Islanders back in 2007 for a team that was lousy, he didn't want to take crap from anyone.
As you can see here, he didn't. He slugged his opponent, Brendan Witt, in the face just a few seconds after netting one.
With a knockout like this, it's no wonder the former NHL enforcer signed a three-fight contract to compete in MMA a few years ago.
As I mentioned in my opener, the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks won't be sending Christmas cards to each other anytime soon thanks to a little NL West rivalry that saw a few bench-clearing brawls this season.
So you better believe that LA just loved the chance to not only beat its new rivals to win the division on their home field, but then act like summer camp kids on a 100-degree day by hopping into the swimming pool in right center field to celebrate.
As you'd imagine, D-Backs players weren't too fond of their opponents' cannonballs, with a ton of mixed, sour reactions to the whole thing.
Just like other players who have returned to their former place of employment, then Manchester City player, Emmanuel Adebayor, probably couldn't wait to set foot on the pitch against his old team, Arsenal, when making his return in 2009.
It's one thing to be able to channel the emotions of going head-to-head with familiar faces—both on the field, on the sidelines and in the stands—but it's another to perform well.
So when Adebayor put his first of two goals in the back of the net, he was probably just sprinting to the other side of the field to make sure the fans hadn't forgotten about him—which, based on their nasty reaction, they seemed not to.
The forward did apologize, but deep down we all know he loved every moment of this.
As a senior at University of Kentucky in 2007, I remember going nuts over Stevie Johnson making some unbelievable plays to win huge games for the football team. (Editor's Note: The dude appearing to cry in this video—12-second mark—was my college roommate and still a good friend. The local media had some fun with him for his unheralded emotions a few days later.)
Johnson honestly helped put the program back on the map. UK football got as high as No. 8—and hosted ESPN's GameDay—at one point that season.
But even I was a little put off by his mocking of both Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress of the Jets after scoring a touchdown against them a few years ago, acting as if he shot himself in the leg—as Burress famously did a year prior.
Johnson probably learned his lesson when the league slapped him with a $10,000 fine, deciding a more subtle celebration would be the best way to go in the future.
As someone who has played soccer since I was three, I know that being a goalie is not an easy position to master.
Shots are fired at you from all angles, with a variety of speeds and spin, making it difficult to stop from getting behind them.
That's why some resort to a little intimidation to help them out.
For Hartford goalie, Nenad Cudic, though, busting out some playground cartwheels backfired on him. Stony Brook's Berian Gobeil scored on a penalty kick and then mocked Cudic for his lame attempt at psyching him out.
His team may have lost the game, but at least the goalie was able to laugh about it—and get a web redemption from Daniel Tosh.
Never mess with another team's symbolic logo.
That's the message the Cowboys sent to then 49ers wideout, Terrell Owens, who decided to polarize himself on the famous Dallas star during a game in 2000—attempting it twice.
At first thought, it seems silly that this pisses off grown men as much as it does, but I get it—that logo stands for more than just a five-pointed piece of paint at midfield.
For trying to play sheriff, T.O. was suspended without pay by his former coach.
All was forgiven by 2006, though, when Owens donned the star on his helmet. He caught 235 balls for 3,587 yards and 38 touchdowns in his three seasons with Dallas.
As someone who admits to still laughing at everything involving bathroom humor, I thought former wide receiver Randy Moss' fake moon at the Green Bay Packers crowd during a 2005 playoff game was hilarious.
Unfortunately, the league didn't find it as amusing.
Moss scored the touchdown, his Vikings won, his celebration got bashed, and he was a little lighter in the wallet—I'd consider him to have come out on top in this one.