The Best Bench Celebrations Ever
Sometimes the best action takes place just away from the court.
This goes out to all of the athletes who managed to infuse vitality into the game from one of the more unlikely of places.
While the rest of us are fixated on the game, they are pulling off some hilarious antics from the sidelines. Of course, this isn't relegated to just the NBA or bench-warming superstars like Robert Sacre—a player who should head into the Hall of Fame based on his reactions alone.
As you will see, we spotted some bench theatrics from a healthy swath of sports. Of course, we haven't featured every last instance of athletes going nuts off the court, pitch or field, so remedy that egregious error in the comments section below.
We love to see hilarious handshakes, delightful dances and dugout headbutts, so keep them coming.
From the poignant to the absurd, here are some of the more memorable moments when the bench went wild.
The Fine Art of Kent Bazemore
Sure there are a myriad of athletes who know how to bring some dazzling dance moves to the bench area. Sometimes it seems like a prerequisite to being an NBA benchwarmer.
However, there are some who do it so well that they deserve their own compilation, a celebration mixtape of sorts.
Thankfully, Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine spotted this one of arguably the best in the game at providing bench theatrics.
Kent Bazemore is just working on a completely different level. We are actually sad whenever he enters the game.
Sometimes a shout or fist pump just won't suffice. In those circumstances, it's best to go full Hunger Games and shoot an imaginary arrow into the heart of the competition.
We would also like to take this time to thank Busted Coverage for spotting the player using an invisible telescope right next to Katniss Everdeen here.
The arrow celebration was so epic, we darn near missed it completely.
Georgia Clears the Bench
Let's go ahead and lump this one into one of the more polarizing bench celebrations to take place in college football.
Per ESPN, the Georgia Bulldogs were lacking for enthusiasm during the 2007 season. At least, that is how coach Mark Richt saw things, so he encouraged players to go all out and garner excessive-celebration penalties when they scored.
Well, things got a wee bit out of hand.
While he later contended that the purpose was to have the players on the field go berserk, those on the bench decided to get in on the action, leading to Richt apologizing to the SEC for the wild on-the-field party.
The good news, however, is Georgia won the game over Florida, 42-30.
This is using your head.
We have little doubt that this amateur soccer player was itching to break the dugout the moment he scored. As soon as the ball finds the net, he does his best to shun his teammates in order to sate his need to smash something.
Metro thankfully breaks down what is going on at this Italian soccer match:
After capitalising on a howler by the Ponticelli goalkeeper to score, the Riolo Terme striker scurries off in celebration (vaguely reminiscent of the end-credits chase scene on The Benny Hill Show) with one thing on his mind – to give the dugout an almighty headbutt.
As the report states, you will get a red card if you go full Bonk's Adventure on the side of the dugout. Perhaps a simple high five will suffice next time.
Holliday and Wainwright
Ah, the MLB dugout handshake, a time-honored tradition of inanity. We could really spend an entire article on the best but chose to just include some of the more memorable recent iterations.
We assume that at some point Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday sat down and actually choreographed this idiocy, and we are so glad they did.
Michael Phelps and Team USA Go Wild
We may be playing it a little loose with the term "bench" for this one, but we like to think those swimmers already out of the pool qualify—if only to enjoy one of the more remarkable finishes in recent Olympic history.
The race would garner Michael Phelps his second of what would eventually be a historic eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Anrio Adams' Snack
We don't know what kind of cereal Anrio Adams is imagining as he mimes his celebratory snack. It could be something sensible like Wheaties or an altogether delicious bowl of something like Count Chocula.
In the end, it hardly matters because this has to be one of the most wonderfully absurd celebrations in basketball history.
The Funky Panda
Pablo Sandoval is far more than a pudgy third baseman who manages to get to hot shots despite carrying the weight of a semi-truck.
No, he is also a man who understands the importance of the spirited handshake. According to the Giants slugger, no MLB celebration is complete without a ridiculously complex dance move.
This duet with Hunter Pence really could have won pretty much any season of Dancing with the Stars.
Simply Robert Sacre
Like Bazemore, Robert Sacre is more artist than basketball player. He paints with a wide palette of colors, delving deep into his seemingly endless array of brush strokes.
We could sit here for hours debating whether he is a genius or mere spirited performer. Let's just call it a tie and say we love to see the Lakers score, because that means Sacre is about to go to work.
Yunel Escobar's Antics
If you don't stop Yunel Escobar, he will just continue down the dugout into the clubhouse and out of the stadium, slapping fans' hands until he collapses from exhaustion.
If you live in the area, chances are that you have been on the receiving end of an Escobar celebration.
Seton Hall Swagger
Peter Dill is my spirit animal.
Some guys spend their time on the bench watching the game and imagining what they might do if they ever get some playing time.
Then there are some who use the time far more wisely, coming up with a Thor hammer smash, which is now how most of you should celebrate any of your own respective personal accomplishments.
The next time you get a raise at work, throw down the hammer like Dill here.
Some soccer coaches like to keep things refined on the sidelines, remaining stoic amid utter chaos. Then there are those like Paolo Di Canio, who have a propensity to go crazy.
We rather enjoy the crazy, so it's no surprise that this compilation of coaches sliding all over the pitch makes our list.
While featuring the funky moves of Arsene Wenger, the video does miss out on some refined insanity from Borussia Dortmund's coach Jürgen Klopp, so you can remedy that fact by watching some highlights here.
There were more than a few times during the 2013 season that Boston Red Sox pitcher Koji Uehara was darn near unhittable—one of the many reasons for the team's ultimate success.
However, there was a moment when Uehara decided to go above and beyond in dishing out the hits. Just ask Shane Victorino.
Jose Iglesias Gets Iced
Look past the handshakes and high fives and you find one of baseball's more beloved celebrations: the cold shoulder.
There is nothing better than watching someone slam a home run only to get back to the dugout and receive nothing but silence.
For Jose Iglesias, it was how he enjoyed his first home run.
Bulls on Parade
Jimmy Butler had just played some solid defense in the Bulls' Game 2 win over the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs.
The fact that he followed that up with a dunk very nearly caused Nate Robinson to turn into the Hulk and begin smashing fans in the arena.
Morneau Gets Iced
As you can hear in the video, the Twins' Justin Morneau hadn't enjoyed a trot around the bases since April 28, 2013.
Finally, on June 19, he managed to get ahold of one, giving his teammates a chance to deliver him an entire serving of ice as he got back to the dugout.
The veteran knew it was coming, so he did what anyone would do in that circumstance. He gave himself some high fives.
Lulz for the Lakers
It's almost like the Lakers got together for a family portrait to celebrate Shannon Brown's massive block. Head to the 37-second mark and you will see how NBA players react to utter dominance from one of their own.
According to Kobe Bryant's face, it's essentially the same as when you are served some really stinky cheese.
Andy Reid Gets Low
We know what you might be thinking. There is nothing all that fantastic or epic about Andy Reid's bump into DeSean Jackson. It's just darn funny.
While Jackson gets up, Reid uses adrenaline, exuberance and every last ounce of his muscles to get roughly an inch off the ground.
We are just glad that nobody needed to call the trainer in the aftermath of this celebration.
Simply the Best
Seeing as how the NBA went through the trouble of compiling an awesome display of the best bench celebrations from 2012-2013, we might as well include it here too.
A tip of the hat to Deadspin for spotting this fine mix of benchwarmers going nuts for our benefit.
Logan Schafer Gets Iced
Poor Logan Schafer, he doesn't seem to have a friend in the world.
All he wants is some credit for hitting his first home run in the bigs, which the Brewers' contingent is proud to provide right after they completely ignore him for a few moments.
I still say they caved too early.
Jim Valvano Rushes the Court
There are countless moments that feature a coach losing his mind and rushing onto the playing surface after a hard-fought win. Tommy Lasorda's iconic dash to the field following Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series comes to mind.
However, there is something so sweet about Jim Valvano's sprint onto the court after an unlikely championship run for the NC State Wolfpack against the high-flying stars from Houston.
In fact, the spirited run onto the court sticks in the mind nearly as well as his emotional speech delivered at the 1993 ESPYs.
How Not to Celebrate
There isn't a whole lot to do when you are twiddling your thumbs on the pine. To that end, the Internet is chockablock filled with hilarious bench antics, so plunk down something that was missing in the comments below.
However, while we have covered a great deal of tomfoolery taking place in the dugout and across various benches, we can't leave without giving one example of how not to celebrate from the best seats in the house.
According to Busted Coverage, both gentlemen in the video are just fine, so you can feel comfortable in chuckling at their misery.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!