You’re running. The 50,000 above you roar. The last defender falls and you’re home free. Touchdown. What do you do? You could give the ball up and walk back to your sideline. How about a sweet touchdown celebration?
You break out the crazy dance you always do or that dance kids do in their living rooms or something more noteworthy. In my time, Sunday to Sunday, Terrell Owens would break out some crazy stunt after a score. Victor Cruz would salsa, and, last year, Cam would Dab.
Roger Goodell might call these celebrations extracurricular, not part of the game, and fineable offenses. But it’s an identity. Everyone can’t be Ivory Christian of Friday Night Lights (2004 movie), a stoic teenager who let his strong defensive play speak for itself. This year the celebrations haven’t stopped. And this past season these celebrations and the characters behind them caught my eye.
With some of the rule changes, this year should be just as good, if not, better.
Odell Beckham Jr
OBJ’s 2016 season started with a whimper. Beckham Jr. did not catch a TD until Week 5 against Green Bay. On Sept. 25th, a saga that rivaled any TV romance began. A heated match against Josh Norman whipped OBJ into a tantrum. He brought his anger to the wrong kicking net.
Odell hit it. And it hit back.
On October 16th, OBJ broke his slump with a 75-yard touchdown run. Did he whip? Did he Nae-nae? No. The Wide Out dashed down the sideline found the kicking net and embraced it. The same day, after scoring a 66-yard reception ran to the kicking net and proposed.
I’m not enthusiastic about this act, it was a twist of the knife against my Ravens.
In his breakout rookie year, Ezekiel Elliott lit up scoreboards. On December 18th, the Dallas Cowboys faced off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After punching it in from 3 yards out, Elliott made a beeline for the big red Salvation Army kettle behind the end zone and jumped into it.
His donation was a step beyond Terrell Owens who dropped the ball into the Salvation Army Kettle. This stunt had a great effect as $185,000 were collected afterwards, mostly in increments of $21 for Elliott’s #21
There’s always a glitch. A outlier in the data that ruins the curve. Marquette King is a Punter for the Oakland Raiders. In 2015, he broke out from an oppressive Head Coach in Dennis Allen. King has been the Raiders Punter since 2013 and solidified his place with booming punts averaging 48-yards. He is responsible for Raiders opponents starting at the 25-yard line on average. His repitoire has caught the ire of Pat Mcafee and Travis Kelce. Kelce imitated King’s trademark ‘Riding the Bronco’ celebration sparking a mild shouting match.