20 Innovative NFL TD Celebrations That Didn't Draw Flags
We all remember the days before NFL's excessive celebration penalty and foreign object rule, when a player's end-zone antics were sometimes more exciting then the actual game.
Although there are some fans who are doing happily without these outrageous actions, I think the casual fan can admit we miss the entertainment that once was the touchdown celebration.
Sure, we still have celebrations, and some players have carried on the tradition well, but the days of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco pulling out all the stops, leaving us to wonder what will be next, are surely gone.
The following 20 slides are some of the best celebrations of all-time, none of which drew flags, but some of which drew fines.
Some of these celebrations are crazy and outlandish, while others are long-standing classics that will forever be a part of the game. So, go ahead and have a look.
Fair warning: as masterminds of the touchdown celebration, Chad Ochcocinco and Terrell Owens have both made the list several times, even with a number of their acts of buffoonery being left off.
Billy "White Shoes" Johnson's Funky Chicken
A fan and team favorite, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson is often credited as the innovator of the touchdown celebration.
One of the greatest returners ever to have played the game, Johnson had a signature Funky Chicken dance that he did pretty much every time he reached the end zone. Johnson was also one of the first players to ever dunk the football on the goal post.
Not very well-known at first, Johnson quickly became known for his return touchdowns, followed by his famous celebrations.
Speaking in modern-day lingo, Johnson had a lot of a little something we like to call swag.
The Ickey Shuffle
The Ickey Shuffle, seen here, was made famous by Cincinnati Bengals' fullback Elbert "Ickey" Woods, who made sure not to draw a flag by doing his celebration with teammates on the sidelines.
Both hilarious and entertaining, the Ickey Shuffle was well received by fans.
Used throughout the 1980's by Woods, the famous dance was resuscitated by Steelers' wide receiver Hines Ward during the 2006 Super Bowl.
Kelley Washington's "The Squirrel"
Not to be outdone by Chad Ochocinco's shenanigans, former Bengals wide receiver Kelley Washington had a few moves of his own up his sleeve.
Following a touchdown in the against the Redskins during the 2006 preseason, Washington broke out into a hilarious dance which he later titled "the Squirrel."
The Prime Time High Step
Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was a star cornerback and returner who referred to himself by his alter ego "Prime Time."
With a career highlighted by incredible plays and numerous touchdowns, not only did Sanders' nickname stick, but so did his end-zone celebration.
Sanders is famously known for his high-step touchdown celebration which has since been duplicated by the likes of current players such as Cam Newton and Devin Hester, who pays homage to his mentor by sometimes doing the dance following a return touchdown.
Terrell Owens Celebrates on the Dallas Star
This touchdown celebration by Terrell Owens is definitely one of the classics. In reality, it was not just one celebration, but actually a series of three between Owens and the Cowboys' Emmitt Smith.
In 2000, after a scoring a touchdown against the Cowboys, Owens, who was playing for the 49ers at the time, disrespected Dallas by sprinting to the middle of their field, standing on the star with his arms outstretched and looking to the sky. The antics drew major boos from the crowd.
In an effort to override Owens actions, Emmitt Smith followed his next touchdown with an identical celebration, much to the crowd's pleasure.
But of course, TO being TO, scored once again and once again proceeded to the star. This time, though, Cowboys' safety George Teague was on a mission to teach Owens a lesson and laid a lick on him as he stood there.
Teague was ejected from the game, but he walked off to cheers from the crowd.
Chad Ochcocinco (formerly Johnson) Is Fined Again
A king of the touchdown celebration, one thing Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco never lacked was entertainment value.
Since many of Ochocinco's most famous touchdown celebrations came before the NFL's 2006 incorporation of the 15-yard excessive celebration penalty, he was saved the flag, however, not the fine.
In fact, Ochocinco has probably paid more money in fines for touchdown celebrations than any other NFL player.
This instance was no different. Having received numerous fines for on-field celebrations prior, Chad was inclined to pull out "Dear NFL, PLEASE don't fine me AGAIN!!!!!" sign following a touchdown against the 49ers in 2003.
Unfortunately for Chad, the NFL once again fined him, this time $10,000. Bengals' coach Marvin Lewis was not pleased with the the preplanned shenanigans, either.
Teach Me How to Raji
When the Green Bay Packers 338-pound nose tackle BJ Raji intercepted Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie for a touchdown, he entertained the crowd with a touchdown dance that can be replicated by no one.
Raji had every reason to dance, as his pick gave the Packers a two-touchdown lead over the Bears in the NFC Championship game.
I prefer this remixed version of the video coverage.
The Invention of the Lambeau Leap
One of the most famously used touchdown celebrations of all time by members of the Green and Gold, the inaugural "Lambeau Leap" took place in 1993 when Packers' safety LeRoy Butler launched himself into the fans following a fumble recovery which led to a touchdown.
The leap, which is now done after virtually ever Green Bay Packers touchdown at home, has been solidified in the history books.
In fact, opposing teams' players, such as Chad Ochocinco and Willis McGahee, have even made a mockery out of the leap, jumping into the arms of fans following touchdowns scored on the Packers.
Terrell Owens Sharpie Incident
In a Monday Night Football game in 2002 against the Seattle Seahawks, 49ers' wide receiver Terrell Owens pulled a Sharpie out of his sock following a touchdown, to sign the football.
Although the celebration drew no flag, many people, including Seahawks' coach Mike Holmgren, were outraged with Owens action.
Owens' stunt was definitely one of the catalysts behind the NFL banning players from carrying foreign objects onto the field.
Randy Moss Fake-Moons the Packer Faithful
During a playoff win over the Green Bay Packers in 2005, outlandish Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss pretended to pull down his pants and moon the crowd following a touchdown.
The gesture, which drew no penalty was much to the disgust of NFL announcer Joe Buck, who was calling the game, as well as league officials. Moss did receive a $10,000 fine, which he claimed "ain't nothing" to him.
Ochocinco's Best Tiger Woods Impression
In a game in 2005 against the Ravens, Chad Ochcocinco (Chad Johnson at the time) used the pylon as a putter, as he proceeded to putt the football across the end zone and follow it up with a Tiger Woods fist pump.
You can see the celebration in this video at the 1:40 mark.
Jamal Anderson Creates the Dirty Bird
The Dirty Bird touchdown dance is another one of the most famous and popular touchdown dances used by members of the Atlanta Falcons.
The Dirty Bird was started by Falcons' star running back Jamal Anderson, who began doing the dance with his teammates following touchdowns frequently during the 1998 season.
Steve Smith Row Boat
Steve Smith's touchdown celebration against the Vikings in 2005 somehow avoided an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, when the receiver sat down in the end zone and proceeded to row a boat.
Smith was a making a mockery of the 2005 Minnesota Vikings Boat Scandal which left some of the team's members facing serious legal troubles.
The Homer Jones Spike
It would be virtually impossible to find a football game today where the football is not spiked in the end zone at least once before the game is over.
The spike has is one of the most frequently used touchdown celebration moves of all time, but many don't even know how the spike originated.
A man named Homer Jones is credited as the first player to spike a football in 1965.
An Antonio Brown Original
It would be hard to make this list without what may be the best celebration thus far this year.
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown's touchdown celebration this season following his first career touchdown over the Pittsburgh Steelers was pure comedy.
The dance moves displayed by Brown were clearly original moves.
Chad Ochocinco's River Dance
As the Ochcocinco saga continues, no one can ever forget this touchdown celebration against the Chicago Bears in 2005, in which the wild wide receiver broke out in the river dance seen here.
Steve Smith Cares for the Baby
When Steve Smith scored a touchdown during the Panthers routing of the Falcons in 2005, he proceeded to pull out a handkerchief and wipe the ball to act as if he was changing the diaper on a baby, before putting it on his shoulder and patting it.
The video can be seen at this link around the 50 second mark.
Merton Hanks Masters the Funky Chicken
An exceptional safety in the NFL, San Francisco 49ers' Merton Hanks was a four-time Pro Bowl selection thanks to his numerous interceptions and returns.
However, what Hanks came to be known for was his funky chicken dance following his touchdowns.
Merton's long neck not only made him a perfect candidate for the funky chicken dance, but also made him appear to have a bobble head while doing it.
Terrell Owens, the Cheerleader
After scoring a long touchdown against the Packers in 2002, Terrell Owens' jumped right in with the 49ers cheerleaders and took part in the action.
Chad Johnson Proposes
Yes Chad Johnson looked like this when he proposed to a cheerleader on the sideline and she said yes.
The stunt was just another one of Johnson's crazy celebrations following a touchdown against the Colts in 2005.