10.31.2005

TD celebrations

For some reason, the current state of NFL touchdown celebrations, which to some represent a cultural flowering not unlike the Renaissance, has many otherwise cultural libertines atwitter. "Not my NFL," they say, though in non-football matters they support free expression of all kinds--not to mention drug use, wanton sexual activity, etc. Yet, for some strange reason, they draw the "freedom" line at excessive touchdown celebrations. "Act like you've been there before!" they say, although in their personal lives they do not hesitate to once again, high-five their friends after their latest sexual conquest, nor do they censor themselves for giggling the 4,000th time after their 4,000th fart. And do they fail to get high or act all high when they ingest drugs for the hundredth time? Act like you been there before, dude!

At the same time, however, I see where they are coming from. This whole TD celebration thing can get well out of hand. However, I think, like any new fad, the most egregious celebrations happened early on, when everyting was wild and new, and for the most part everyone has calmed down. No longer are cell phones hidden in goal post padding, nor Sharpies concealed in socks. However, creative and hilarious celebrations abound--Chad Johnson's Riverdance routine and his football resusitation gimmick, for example. Terrell Owens, who pioneered the excessive celebration, reached his apex when he grabbed cheerleader pom poms and "brought it on"--however, his recent waiter celebration, while creative, failed the funny test. Recently, Steve Smith of Carolina took the cake, in my opinion, scoring a touchdown then taking a seat, acting like he was rowing, glancing back and noticing imaginary pursuers, and rowing all the faster.

Perhaps, to satisfy those so-called purists, we can impose some rules on Touchdown celebrations, which I think are already informally in place, at least for this season. I will add my two cents, and other barrelhouse contributors can add theirs in the comments.

1. No Concealed Props: You may not celebrate a touchdown with any object concealed in your football gear, besides the football and whatever football equipment you have on your person. You may briefly use props around you -- such as the pom poms -- provided that your actions do not constitute "taking without consent" and provided the props are not used for more than 5 seconds, and provided that you return them to the rightful owner after said 5 seconds.

In other words, don't grab something out of someone's hands without their consent, and don't throw the object down after use.

2. You are a Celebrator of One: Do not incorporate your teammates into your celebration. This will cause a) resentment from those excluded, esp. the other team and b) will likely cause a referee to throw a flag. By celebrating excessively, you have chosen a long lonely road. There is no comfort from your celebration storm.

3. Celebrations are restricted to the endzone. Do not stomp on the star on the 50 yard line, for example. You will get cheap-shotted, and you will deserve it. If indeed you have "been there before" then you should know the proper boundaries of the endzone. Also, you may celebrate out of bounds if your touchdown propelled you there.

4. Honor your forebears. You are like dwarves standing on the shoulders of touchdown celebrating giants. Give it up, every now and then, with a nod to the old school. Incorporate the spike, waggling legs, and the strut into your routine.

5. Keep it clean: No fake moons, no real moons, no inordinate hip thrusting or any other innuendo.

1 comment:

Pete said...

I take exception to the claim that Terrell Owens "pioneered the excessive celebration." The true pioneer was, of course, Billy (White Shoes) Johnson.