The “No Fun League” is fun once again! The National Football League announced that end zone touchdown celebrations are allowed. Players will now be allowed to use the football as a prop and celebrate as a group. The NFL will still penalize any celebration deemed offensive or in bad taste, including those that embarrass opponents or mimic the use of weapons. Players will be on the clock with their celebration though, as the 40-second play clock will begin once an official signals touchdown and teams will have to snap the ball for their extra-point by the end of the clock. Now that celebrations are back, get your popcorn ready as we look at some of the best celebrations of all time.
Dirty Bird Flaps in the End Zone
The “Dirty Bird” celebration was made famous by Atlanta Falcons running back, Jamal Anderson, back in 1998. “It’s ‘The Dirty Bird,’” Falcons tight end O.J. Santiago explained to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after a win against the New England Patriots in 1998. “I got to give credit to Jamal for creating the dance, but I came up with the name. You raise the roof first [with palms facing the sky], cock your wings [with thumbs in armpits], and then start flapping ’em.”
The “Lambeau Leap” is arguably the most iconic celebration of all time. The first Lambeau Leap was invented by safety LeRoy Butler who scored after a Reggie White fumble recovery and lateral against the L.A. Raiders on December 26, 1993. “I was excited because I’m going to score my first touchdown,” Butler said, “All this stuff is going through my head. And as I’m about to score, you see me point right there to this guy. And I jump. And this guy just kind of grabs me.”
The Fun Bunch
One of the first ever group celebration, the Washington Redskins “Fun Bunch” made high-fives super cool. The Fun Bunch included wide receivers Art Monk, Virgil Seay, Charlie Brown and Alvin Garrett along with tight end Rick Walker. The Redskins would win the Superbowl in 1983, rising to high-five glory.
Can You Hear Me Now? I’m in the End Zone
One of the funniest celebrations of all time goes to Joe Horn for his cell phone celebration. It was ESPN Sunday Night Football against the New York Giants during the 2003 season and after scoring his second touchdown, Joe Horn retrieved a cell phone from underneath of the goal post padding and pretended to make a call. He would later be fined $30,000 by the NFL.
The Ickey Shuffle
It was the end zone celebration that first got banned. The “Ickey Shuffle” was a touchdown dance by Cincinatti Bengals fullback Elbert “Ickey” Woods. Woods would shuffle his feet to the right and hold the football out to the right, shuffle his feet to the left and hold the football out to the left, and finally finish by doing three hops to the right and spiking the football into the ground. This led to the “Excessive Celebration” penalty but it still remains one of the most iconic celebrations in NFL history.
Anything Terrell Owens Did
Whether it was pretending to take a nap using the ball as a pillow; dumping an entire bucket of popcorn on himself; or placing the football in the middle of the Dallas Cowboys star on the 50-yard line, T.O. never ceased to entertain. Owen made football fun to watch. T.O. will be remembered as an end zone celebration legend.
Anything Chad Ochocinco Did
Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson takes the cake as the most creative end zone celebrator of all time. Some of his most wild and entertaining celebrations include: putting the football with the pylon; dawning a “future HOF” jacket, reviving the football with CPR, taking control of a camera, proposing to a NFL cheerleader, and lest we not forget the Irish Riverdance.