NFL Celebrations That Prove the No Fun League Wrong
As we sit and watch our favorite NFL team every Sunday, we anticipate the great plays and momentum changing swings that take place in NFL games. We also love seeing the players do their dances, taunts, and wiggles. These are also known as some of the best celebrations you will see in NFL play.
Like in some of my other columns, I will be counting down some of the NFL's best. However, this time, I am not going to rank them from 1-10. They are simply so different and great that they all deserve to be mentioned.
So the dirty bird is about ready to leave this A-train and guide you on the list of the best NFL celebrations in recent memory. So as T.O. would say, grab your popcorn!
The Fun Bunch
The Fun Bunch was a group of Redskins receivers during the early 80's that loved to celebrate the art of the touchdown. They felt that a group high five would demonstrate their love for of scoring six.
The group started when Art Monk went down, and the others thought it would be a tribute to high five as a group. In 1984, the NFL began being No Fun for the bunch as they were slapped with excessive celebration penalties.
In my humble opinion, there's nothing wrong with a group high five. The NFL must have been really PMSing back in those days.....
Gilbert Brown: Grave Digger
Gilbert Brown was a big man in every single way. You could spot him from a Goodyear Blimp from a mile up in the air, and could notice him every time he got into the offensive backfield by his "gravedigger" dance.
After a tackle for a loss, or sack, would come up in a shoveling motion, double pump and shovel the dirt on the phantom opponent. This move was a fan favorite in Green Bay for several years.
Also a fan favorite was the Gilbert burger from Burger King, which was a double whopper with everything on it. No wonder he was so big....
Brown will forever be known for this lil' dance that symbolized burying his opponents back in the mid 90's. If I had been on the opposing team and saw this I may have needed a change of pants.....
Billy White Shoes Johnson and His Funky Chicken
Billy "White Shoes" Johnson came up with one of the first celebrations in NFL history. It was called the funky chicken.
Johnson was a small man, but not in stature. He made the '74 Oilers team as a return specialist. He became one of the best in the mid to late 70's. He is still best known for the dance.
The dance was, I guess, kinda like a chicken dance, but entailed Billy closing his thighs in and out as his body shimmered. I guess that this is the best PG-13 way I can describe it. The other may be HBO late night format.
Either way, this should be the grandfather of professional football celebrations....
The Ickey Shuffle
Who could forget the great Elbert "Ickey" Woods from the AFC champion Bengals in 1988?
Woods ran for a career high 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in his rookie season that year. He would help create one of the biggest fads in NFL history with the Ickey Shuffle.
It was exactly that, a shuffle. After a score he would shuffle his feet to the right with the ball out in front, then shuffle to the left and exchange hands. It seemed so simple! How is it that someone else did not come up with this?
The shuffle fell on hard times due to injuries for the rest of its career. Now the "Truffle Shuffle" performed by Chunk from the Gonnies is just as popular.
The life of Fred Lane was cut way too short after he was killed during a domestic dispute back in 2000. However, what he gave to us, and the NFL, will last a lifetime.
Lane was the man who created the "worm," as his touchdown celebration. He would basically dry hump the ground while moving forward, in a worm like formation. That is all I can say about that. It was as simple as the Ickey Shuffle, only it was a ground based celebration.
Merriman is well known as a defensive stronghold of the Chargers, and maybe a little for allegedly putting the "lights out" on Tila Tequila.
Merriman is known for celebrating his big plays with what is known as the "lights out" dance. It is not that hard to do. In fact it is easier than doing the "Electric Slide" at weddings.
All he does is, after a big play, jump up and down, throwing his hands up and down as if he were turning a light switch off. If you ask me, it is not that creative, but who can argue with a big bad linebacker.
Speaking of the "Electric Slide," you have to put that on this list as well.
Back in the day of Houston's Run and Shoot offense, Warren Moon had a plethora of receivers to throw to. One of which was Ernest Givins, who was well known for his touchdown celebration.
Givins basically did another simple move that many people can do, the Electric Slide. To those of you who are not from the US or planet Earth, it is basically a slide in which you plant one foot and slide the other toward it. The only difference between the wedding version and Givens' was his lil' shimmy.
To this day, I wish Tecmo Super Bowl had let you have the option of Givins doing his dance. It would have made it so much more classic.
1998 Atlanta Falcons
The 1998 NFC champions had a dance all of their own; it was called the "Dirty Bird."
This simply was an inverted chicken dance with a shimmy. Most notably, former running back Jamaal Anderson was famous for this execution of brilliance.
All their was to the dance was a simple hop step from left to right, followed by a right arm up and into a chicken wing, followed by the same from the left. Then you flapped. Seriously, this is what propelled the Falcons to the title? An inverted chicken dance?
The Lambeau Leap
The following celebration is still done to this day, and may be more popular than beer and cheese in Wisconsin. Okay, it's not, but it's still popular nonetheless.
Basically it is a leap into the crowd at Lambeau Field, home of the Packers. That is it. If you have thought the celebrations were so easy a caveman could do it to this point, well, it gets easier.
The "Leap" was invented by former Packer safety LeRoy Butler, who did it after scoring against the Raiders in a 1993 game. Recently ,the "Leap" earned headlines when Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco decided to invade the Lambeau faithful.
I guess Ochocinco didn't care whether he had a crappy Miller beer dumped on him that day.
Before he was known as Ochocinco, he was best known as Johnson. In 2005, Chad had a number of celebrations and dances, but nothing compares to the one he did in Chicago with one Dave Walker in the crowd.
After one of many Kyle Orton turnovers early in the game, Carson Palmer hit Chad Johnson in the end zone for a score. Chad got up, got the bug, and did his little jig. It was the Riverdance, which I am not going to try and explain, instead I have attached the link below.
In recent years, the celebrations have become less memorable, so I encourage Chad to take his Dancing With the Stars experience and show me something! And by the way, Who Dey?
T.O. and the Star
While Terrell Owens was with the 49ers, he decided to basically crap all over the Dallas Cowboys star at midfield.
During the 2000 season T.O. ran and celebrated by posing like a God, or maybe a flamboyant receiver, at midfield on the Cowboys star. If once wasn't enough during this beating, he decided to do it again.
The second time was not the charm, as Cowboys safety George Teague decided to throw down on him. Teague got ejected, Cowboy fans booed, and Owens ended up serving a one game team suspension.
Showing up America's team by basically pissing on the star...Even better than getting the popcorn.
Joe Horn: "Hello?"
Answer: "Is this Joe Horn?"
Joe Horn: "Yeah baby I just scored on Monday Night, you see it?"
Answer: "No, it is 2010 and I am wondering what happened to your career"
Horn pulled this great little prank back in 2003 during a Monday Nighter against the Giants.
After a score, Horn spiked the ball, pulled a cell from inside the padding of the goal posts and dialed his kids (or so we are told.) The NFL fined him for $30,000 for using up their cell minutes on off peak hours.
Maybe he should have used the time to ask someone where his career went?
Wrapping Up the Celebration, or Last Call.
I could go on and on with celebrations, whether they be individual, or team oriented. The NFL seems to frown upon these, which I feel, like many others, that they should embrace. In the end it is just entertainment, right?
I could also add snow angels, diamond cutters, flips, and other antics to the list. But, instead, I am going to ask you.
Is there one I left off the list that you think is great? What do you think makes a great celebration? As always feel free to comment on this piece and any other NFL articles I have, because...
It's just my opinion, and I could be wrong. God I love Dennis Miller quotes...