If you’re a football fan, odds are, you appreciate a proper touchdown celebration. There’s no better feeling than seeing your team move in for the go-ahead score and seeing what creative maneuvers the star player has come up with for that day. To the players, figuring out the day’s touchdown celebration is often as important as the game plan for the day.
Unfortunately, college football does not allow excessive celebrations. Although players are permitted to celebrate together, they are not allowed to do any dance or celebration that is preplanned or choreographed. So, those looking for the best football celebrations of 2017-18 must limit their search to the National Football League.
The past NFL season was great for football celebrations because the league determined that they would reinstitute the policy that allowed for dances and other fun routines. The prior year, the NFL ruled that players could not partake in many football celebrations with which players had grown accustomed to doing over the past few years, such as:
The policy caused a public outcry of sorts, which many people going as far as to come up with the moniker for the NFL – the “No Fun League.” In a letter to fans in May 2017, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a letter to supporters that said after listing to fans and players, the league would relax the rules regarding football celebrations.
However, we also would love to hear from you. Do you have a favorite celebration from the past year? Did your favorite player come up with something creative after scoring a touchdown? If so, share it with us in the comment section below.
May The Force Be With You
A few seconds into the second quarter, the Buffalo Bills faced 3 rd & 9 inside the red zone. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor hit wide receiver Zay Jones on a crossing route over the middle for a game- tying touchdown. Jones “brought out” his imaginary lightsaber and engaged in a Star Wars-inspired battle with fellow wide receiver Andrew Holmes.
When it appeared that Jones would not win the lightsaber battle, he stuck his hand out as if he was holding Holmes by the neck. This series was a tribute to Star Wars character Darth Vader, who is known for putting his victims into what is known as a “force choke.” This celebration was Jones’ first in the NFL, and we’re excited to see what he can come up with in years to come.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
This celebration from the Detroit Lions paid adage to the famous childhood 80’s game. In the first quarter of a Monday Night Football game against the Green Back Packers, Lions player Marvin Jones caught a 25-yard over-the shoulder touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Stafford. With his teammates watching, Jones engaged in a rock ‘em sock ‘em battle with tight end Eric Ebron.
For millions of Americans, there is nothing better than watching football on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for players, having to play a game on the road, away from their friends and family, disrupts their traditions. However, that did not stop the Minnesota Vikings from partaking in a Thanksgiving meal while on the road in Detroit this year.
On 1 st & goal, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum faked a handoff and then ran a sweep to the left side to increase the Vikings’ lead over the Lions to 12-0. The entire Vikings offense then sat on the ground across from Keenum and simulated eating a Thanksgiving meal. It was an excellent celebration that paid tribute to the special holiday.
Hide And Seek
Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster dominated the league last year. Both fantasy football owners and celebration enthusiasts alike like what they saw out of the first-year player. Smith-Schuster is a name that will become more and more common as we make our way through the list of the best celebrations of the year.
A few minutes into the second quarter, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati were tied at 7. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a 30-yard pass to a wide-open Smith-Schuster, who ran into the end zone for the easy score.
Once there, he and running back Le’veon Bell played a game of hide-and-seek. Smith- Schuster covered his eyes for a few seconds, while Bell ran and hid behind the goal post.
After a few seconds, Smith-Schuster uncovered his eyes and looked for Bell, pretending not to be able to find him.
This was one of the more creative celebrations of the year and demonstrated that Smith- Schuster not only has the potential to be a tremendous wide receiver but a player who excels at coming up with unique celebrations as well.
Going, Going, Gone
In Week 5, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz completed a pass to wide receiver Torrey Smith to put theEagles ahead 20-0 in the first quarter. The celebration that ensued was indeed memorable. Eagles players gathered around to watch the “pitcher” throw to Smith, who simulated being up-to-bat. Wentz even played the role of the umpire. Smith mimicked hitting a home run, with teammates admiring.
Later in the year, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had another baseball-inspired celebration, likely because the World Series was going on at the same time. After this touchdown to go up 26-7 on the San Francisco 49ers, Jeffery again simulated being the batter. This time, the “pitcher,” tight end Zac Ertz, threw the football at Jeffery’s hip. Jeffery simulated charging the mound as if he were starting a brawl.
Duck, Duck, Goose
The Vikings offense excelled with team celebrations last season. Their Week 5 celebration on Monday Night Football is another perfect example of why. On 2 nd & 7, quarterback Case Keenum rolled to his right and completed a pass to a wide-open Kyle Rudolph, who was standing in the back of the end zone.
Rudolph immediately began gathering his teammates.
Keenum sprinted into the end zone to join the celebration with his teammates. The Vikings players sat in a circle, with Rudolph walking around them tapping them on the head. You can hear him yell “Goose!” as he touches the head of an offensive lineman, who gets up immediately to begin chasing him around the circle before the entire team gets up to celebrate the touchdown.
The NASCAR Pit Stop
Midway through the second quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs had a 3-0 lead on the Oakland Raiders.
Quarterback Alex Smith completed a pass on the sideline to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who sprinted into the end zone for the 64-yard score. Perhaps a tribute to his blazing fast speed, Hill’s Chiefs teammates gathered around for a unique celebration.
Hill came to a complete stop with his knees slightly bent and his arms at a 90-degree angle in front ofhim. One of his teammates got down on their knee and began “working” on him. Hill then lifted a leg, allowing that teammate to complete more “work.” Once finished, Hill then sprinted forward as if he were a stock car who had just been through a pit stop.
After a week 13 touchdown, Jacksonville Jaguars running Back Leonard Fournette did what many other NFL players did throughout the year and bring another sport into his celebration routine. Fournette’s game of choice? Basketball.
On 2 nd & goal, quarterback Blake Bortles handed off to Fournette, who waltzed into the center of the end zone with ease.
Fournette then summoned his Jaguar teammates, who lined up as if they were on both sides of the free throw line playing a game of basketball. Fournette pretended to dribble the football and then shot a free throw. His teammates pretended to box each other out, but there was no need to fight for a rebound. Fournette’s shot went through the middle of the uprights.
Lock it Up
We mentioned that JuJu Smith-Schuster would show up on this list frequently. His celebration after a touchdown in an October 29, 2017 game required a prop, which was allowed because it took place on the sideline. Smith-Schuster grabbed a chain and placed it around an exercise bike located on the Steelers’ sideline, thus “locking up his bike” as any city-goer would.
The celebration was meant to simulate the fact that Smith-Schuster had the game locked down. After standing over the bike, someone handed him the football that he had just used to score the touchdown. Smith-Schuster spiked the ball, and let out a monstrous scream demonstrating how excited he was to have put points on the board.
Of course, we could not make it through our list without including Smith-Schuster one last time. As Christmas approached late in the 2017 season, the Steelers wide receiver paid tribute to one of the most popular holiday movies, “Elf.” Smith-Schuster recreated the snowball scene, pretending to die and through a snowball that took out two bad guys. It was an excellent way to celebrate the holiday season.