The 15 Best Bird-Flipping Moments in Sports

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2013

The 15 Best Bird-Flipping Moments in Sports

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    While sticks and stones may break your bones, words will never hurt you.

    But what about middle fingers?

    As we know, a one-finger salute to those we dislike during sporting events has been as popular as beer and hot dogs during a tailgate. Just ask Marshawn Lynch.

    In honor of those lovely beings who aren't afraid to flip a little birdy every once in awhile, here are the best moments in sports where it's happened, by fans, players and, yes, even a potentially senile owner.

    Instead of tweeting a harsh 140 characters to hate on someone, see the folks who have let their middle finger do the "tweet, tweet."

Hall of Fame Mention: Mikey Wilson

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    Image via Jasper Juinen/Reuters
    Image via Jasper Juinen/Reuters

    This entire piece would have been incomplete had I not included this little guy, Mikey Wilson, who showed his "support" before the 2002 UEFA Cup final between Feyenoord of the Netherlands and Borussia Dortmund of Germany.

    It's one of the most famous memes ever created, so the then five-year-old Mikey showed that flipping the bird absolutely has no age-limits.

Chris Gardocki

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    Image via
    Image via

    There's only a few things that I remember about former Browns punter Chris Gardocki.

    The first is that the Browns used to be—OK, still—really bad, so CBS always seemed to flash a stat whenever Gardocki came out to punt after another three-and-out that none of his punts had ever been blocked before.

    The second was this, when in 2000 he flipped his little birdy—twice—towards the Steelers' sideline after being taken down by then-linebacker Joey Porter.

    His decision to flash the "F you"—twice—cost the punter $5,000.

Jack McDowell

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    Image via HOF Memorabilia
    Image via HOF Memorabilia

    I remember the day my beloved Indians were able to acquire 1993 AL Cy Young winner Jack McDowell before the 1996 season.

    In fact, it was that year that my middle school class saw him doing some light pitching work in the batting cages down by the clubhouse during a field trip tour of what was then called Jacobs Field—it's now Progressive Field.

    Thank goodness none of us went up to him to ask for his autograph, though, because we probably had no idea he flipped his little guy to the entire crowd at Yankees Stadium earlier that year while with the Bronx Bombers.

    Who knows what he would have thought to do to a group of middle-schoolers if he was ballsy enough to do this to New Yorkers?

Didier Drogba

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    One of my favorite players of the past decade, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba seemed to only do right by me whenever he played.

    Opinions might be different if you asked anyone who was at the match between Chelsea and Burnley back in 2008 though, when, in celebration of a goal, Drogba not only threw coins at heckling fans, but then flicked up his middle finger for good measure.

    As you'd imagine, the act isn't a one-time incident for soccer players, as Wilfried Zaha did pretty much the same thing while getting harassed by fans during a match earlier this March.

Jake Plummer

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    Image via
    Image via

    Quarterbacks are taught to have short memories, but apparently former NFL signal-caller Jake Plummer wasn't aware of that.

    After tossing a pick against the Dolphins in a 2000 game in Mile High, "The Snake" was getting booed pretty hard from fans behind the Broncos bench.

    Rather than ignore them and prepare for the next series, dude just showed them what was up—his middle finger—before actually going out and leading his team to a 20-17 win.

    Good God, what would the fan have yelled if Denver lost?

    Plummer was hit with a $5,000 fine.

Andrew Ference

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    To all future bird-flickers, please refrain from ever denying showing your finger after being caught, just for the sake of the foolishness.

    That was the excuse then-Bruins' defenseman Andrew Ference used when initially asked about how just his middle finger ended up noticeable during a playoff game against the Canadiens—saying his finger just got caught while putting his fist in the air.

    Ference finally admitted he actually meant to do it, but by then his $2,500 check had probably already been cashed.

Filomena Tobias

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    It's hard to believe, but this lovely, intense lady from last year's Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls second-round series is actually Michael Jordan's neighbor in Florida—and I'm not talking about the one from that ESPN commercial.

    Classy broad, huh?

    After the Bulls' Joakim Noah got tossed in Game 2, diehard basketball mom Filomena Tobias showed just how much she hated the forward, having her true colors come out in this moment—which were even brighter than that shirt she was wearing.

    Tobias apologized—but did get her quick 15 minutes of fame for a few days afterwards because of this.

A.J. Hawk

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    We've seen some funny sack dances over the years, but tossing up a middle finger—towards your own teammates, no less—is definitely a new one.

    After the Packers A.J. Hawk sacked opposing quarterback Sam Bradford in a game a few years ago, he didn't just head back to the defensive huddle or breakdown into a little shimmy. Nope, he flipped his teammates off.

    Former 'mate Charles Woodson didn't quite understand it, and neither did the league, as Hawk was fined a cool $10 grand for his unique move.

Virat Kohli

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Indian cricket player Virat Kohli reminds all of us fans that there can be consequences for trying to yell at a player for an entire game.

    During a 2012 match between his country and Australia, Kohli took matters into his own hands—or at least finger—when he shocked spectators with his single digit.

    The player admitted to doing it—as if there was even a question—and had to fork over 50 percent of his match fee.

This Red Wings Girl

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    Image via
    Image via


    That's all this Red Wings fan can say after being seen flashing the double-bird to the celebrating Phoenix Coyotes just a few feet in front of her.

    Luckily, there was protective glass to separate her from the players, otherwise things could have really gotten messy.

    Seeing that this girl looks to be in middle school, I'm sure she's grounded from the Internet and can't read all the funny pub she's getting for doing this.

Marshall Henderson

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    Thanks to his outrageous behavior and breakout season, currently suspended Ole Miss player Marshall Henderson became a damn star last season while helping lead his Rebels to the NCAA Tournament.

    But it was there that Henderson had a moment he'd really like to forget.

    After losing to LaSalle in the second round, Henderson showed how frustrated he really was with the loss, giving a double-fingered salute to a fan who allegedly yelled some things about his sister.

    Not exactly the best decision for him to do, as he got reprimanded by the NCAA and his school.

Michael Vick

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    Although I'm sure a restless Falcons fan was just upset that then-Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick had just led his team to a blowout loss to divisional rival New Orleans, 31-13, maybe the fan was actually screaming something about Ron Mexico to Vick?

    Regardless of what was said, Vick responded with some sign language that the league didn't really appreciate too much, fining the star a total of $20,000.

Glen "Big Baby" Davis

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    Is it just me, or is this flipping of the middle finger by then-Magic big man Glen Davis a little more obscene—and randomly too sexual—than the others I've shown you so far?

    With a nickname like "Big Baby" and looking like he really enjoys food, maybe Davis just thought he had some leftover icing on his middle finger from a cupcake he had eaten before the game.

    Though I'd like to think that was the case, it was probably in response to Raptors fans razzing him, which cost Baby some big boy coin, $35,000 to be exact.

Rex Ryan

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    Image via
    Image via

    Imagine being wasted at an MMA fight, standing behind a bigger guy who kind of looks like Jets head coach Rex Ryan and, out of nowhere, the Ryan look-alike turns around, showing that it actually is Gang Green's coach and flips you off.

    Would you be excited, mad or just take it in stride?

    Whatever you decide your mood to be, hopefully you'd grab your camera and snap a picture of it like this fan did, which ultimately sacked Ryan for $50,000 in fines after the pic was seen by the league.

Charles Barkley

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    Seeing how former NBA All-Star Charles Barkley doesn't have any title rings on his fingers, maybe he just wants to remind everyone of the fact by flipping off as many people as possible?

    That's the only reason I could think of why he does it so often, doing it here "by accident" while on-air to host Ernie Johnson, and then again to Miami Heat fans who were taunting the "Round Mound of Rebound" during the 2011 playoffs.

Bud Adams

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    It's rare for someone who's worth over $1 billion—yes, with a "B"—and is the owner of a professional sports franchise to be going wild by dancing in his suite with his middle fingers wagging.

    I guess that's just how Titans owner Bud Adams gets down though, showing off those exact moves in celebration of his team's victory over the Bills back in 2009.

    I'm not really sure who got the last laugh with this one, us fans who crack up at the then 86-year-old Adams' actions, Bud himself for his team winning three-straight after its 0-6 start, or the league who collected a hefty $250,000 out of the billionaire's wallet?

    All I know is that this video is absolutely fantastic and more owners should celebrate this way.


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