My favorite sports celebrations.
I tried to keep this list confined to one-off celebrations, not dances that were repeated over and over. So this eliminated things like the Ickey Shuffle, the Atlanta Falcons' Dirty Bird, almost everything The U did back in the late 80's, and unfortunately for me personally, Deion Sanders' gangsta boogie.
Honorable mentions, Just Keep On Runnin' Division:
Bo Jackson vs. Seattle Seahawks
Drew Nicholas hits a buzzer beater and sprints right off the floor.
Next time I hit a huge buzzer beater, that's the move I'm pulling, just running right off the floor. Alas, in real life, I had a chance to win a big city league game a few weeks ago, going almost the length of the floor in four seconds....but I air-balled my running floater from the free throw line and we lost in overtime. Sad. (Although I don't know where I'd run to once I got out the door, since we don't have locker rooms, and I'd have to return to the gym to get my bag with my car keys in it. Maybe I could have one of my teammates bring it to me...I dunno, I'll work out the details later.)
Honorable mentions, National Outrage Division:
Reggie Miller gives the choke sign to Spike Lee
Randy Moss moons Green Bay fans, Joe Buck reacts like Moss just murdered an infant
Honorable mentions, Basketball Players Being Pricks But It's Kinda Awesome Division:
Allen Iverson steps over Tyronn Lue
Scottie Pippen dunks on Patrick Ewing
Shawn Kemp ruins Alton Lister's life, simultaneously becomes role model for thousands of teenage boys across the nation
Honorable mentions, Home Run Pimping Division:
This could absolutely be its own top 5 list, so instead I didn't include any in my top 5. I know I'm biased, but my favorite home run pimping of all time is easily, EASILY, Manny's walk-off against the Angels in the 2007 ALDS, the very same one that Katie made me miss when she called me moments before the pitch. (I learned my lesson, and now virtually never answer my calls or texts during big games, so any friends that get mad at me for that, blame Katie.)
The Top 5:
5. Terrell Owens (and others) on the Dallas star
There's so much to love here. The original celebration, TO running out to celebrate on the Cowboys' logo at midfield, it just meh. But I love how the Cowboys get pissed, Emmitt Smith responds by spiking the ball at the same spot while staring down the 49ers sideline, I love how TO responds by TRYING TO DO THE EXACT SAME THING, and I love how some of the Cowboys defense chased him all the way out there to lay him the F out. And because he's TO, he picks himself up off the ground and goes BACK TO THE STAR AGAIN while his teammates fight his battle.
4. Theo Fleury slip 'n' slide
Similar to Nicholas' buzzer beater, this is exactly how I would celebrate if I ever scored a game-winning goal. Mostly because I can't stop on hockey skates anyway. I'm like Luis Mendoza that way.
3. Desmond Howard Heisman pose
Seems old now, but was ground-breaking at the time. How did it take until 1991 for someone to do this?
2. Brandi Chastain strips down
Homegirl straight popped her shirt off! Of course this is gonna make the top 5, c'mon, I was 16, a girl in her sports bra was still a pretty big deal to me. I know this sounds insensitive, but if Brandi is juuuuust a little hotter, she probably gets the #1 spot here. (Hint, hint, Alex Morgan. Just think about it for the next World Cup, OK?)
1. Tiger Woods finger point as he drops a bomb of a putt
At no point over the last 17 years could you call me a Tiger Woods fan. I cheer for him more now than I ever did, but that's just because he's sort of a villain now, something I thought he should have embraced years ago. But going back to 2000 and this putt: at this point in Tiger's career, my Tiger hate was at its peak. The novelty of the first couple years had wore off, and now he was just dominating every tournament, not to mention keeping my boy Phil from winning majors. But despite all that, I get goosebumps every single time I see that putt. You can't really overstate how Tiger made golf cool, and how he pretty much did it single-handedly. You just didn't see celebrations like that back in the day.
Ironically, Tiger somehow got worse at his celebrations over the years, as evidenced by his famous chip-in at the 2005 Masters. That was every golfer-caddy awkward celebration joke rolled into one right there. He also got worse at not banging random waitresses and asking them to deleter their messages, "huge quickly", but that's neither here nor there.