Fun Fact of the Day: In 1965, New York Giants wide receiver Homer Jones invented spiking the ball as a touchdown celebration. He was in the middle of throwing the ball to the fans into the stands, but he remembered that NFL Commissioner had just outlawed it. He didn’t want to pay the $50 fine (big money back in those days), so at the very last second he threw it into the grass. He named the move “the spike.”
Nyet cool, Russia. Russian hackers called the “Fancy Bears” (not a joke) broke into the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) database and posted American athletes’ confidential medical information. Gymnast Simone Biles, basketball player Elena Della Donne, and tennis players Serena and Venus Williams were shown to have used banned substances in the past, but each of them had received therapeutic use exemptions. For example, Biles explained that she has taken the drug to treat ADHD since she was a child.
Football for all. Yesterday, the NFL named Sam Rapoport the Director of Football Development. She’s going to work on the NFL’s big diversity problem, by developing a pipeline for women in coaching and scouting positions. With her background in women’s tackle football, she seems like the perfect woman for the job.
Spotlight on Excessive Celebration
In Monday night’s blowout victory over the Washington Redskins, the Pittsburgh Steelers had plenty to celebrate! After catching a touchdown pass, superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown broke into a slow twerk. He was hit with a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty for being “sexually suggestive.” That got us thinking about other spectacular touchdown dances. Here’s our spotlight on the penalty:
What’s an excessive celebration? The NFL is slowly becoming the town in Footloose and shutting down more and more end zone celebrations. Some things that are definitely not allowed: taunting players or officials, lying/sitting down on the field, using a prop (including the football), and choreographed dances (usually only called when the celebration involves more than one player).
Why the rule? Each of those rules had to be created for a reason, so you can imagine all the different celebrations people have tried. Here’s a list of some of the best penalized celebrations over the years:
- Washington Redskins “Fun Bunch” (1984)—these pioneers used to play elaborate group patty-cake. Hence, the no choreographed dances rule.
- Ickey Woods’s “Ickey Shuffle” (1988)—this one resurfaced in a fantastic GEICO commercial recently.
- Terrell Owens aka “T.O.” (2002)—way too many celebrations to list. Check out these highlights that include eating a fan’s popcorn and pulling a sharpie out of his cleat to sign the touchdown football.
- Joe Horn’s Cell-ebration (2003)—he called his son in the middle of the game using a cellphone he hid in the goalpost padding.
- Randy Moss pretended to moon the audience (2005)—it was a “disgusting act.”
- Chad Ochocinco Johnson (2005)—another master of the art of touchdown celebration, including using the pylon to play minigolf and proposing to a cheerleader.
What’s still allowed? The “No Fun League” hasn’t successfully eliminated all the fun yet. Spiking the ball, the Lambeau Leap, and dance moves like Victor Cruz’s salsa, Aaron Rodgers’s “Discount Double Check” and Cam Newton’s retired “dab” are all still allowed. It's still better than college football, where virtually no celebration is allowed.
Seen and Heard
Presidential putting. 2x NBA MVP Steph Curry and First Lady Michelle Obama were guests on The Ellen Show yesterday. Steph was chatting about how he’s played golf with Michelle’s husband a few times, NBD. He mentioned that Barry has beaten him before (though he wouldn’t give up Barry’s TOP SECRET handicap), so Michelle gave him a few helpful trash talk tips.