The NFL, occasionally called the No Fun League in years past for its strict rules on touchdown celebrations, has allowed players to express themselves more this season and has lifted restrictions on unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for celebrating. This has resulted in a year filled with funny and clever celebrations from teams around the league. The DC Sports staff debates their favorite celebrations of the year in this week’s edition of the Roundtable.
Matt Severino, Campus Correspondents
The Minnesota Vikings have had a lot to celebrate this season. They currently hold a 7-2 record and are atop of the NFC North, even while dealing with a plethora of injuries throughout the season. The players’ touchdown celebrations nearly top their unexpected success. In my opinion their game of Duck, Duck, Goose narrowly beats out the Leapfrog skit that was on display in Washington this past Sunday. During their Week 5 matchup with the Chicago Bears, tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a touchdown and quickly directed his teammates to sit in a circle. He began walking around tapping them on the head one by one. Because we all played this pretty pathetic game when we were kids, watching a bunch of linemen do the same made the whole thing that much more enjoyable.
Andrew Morrison, Staff Writer
End zone SACK RACE! pic.twitter.com/PIz355ypgr
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 5, 2017
Group celebrations are great. The most significant change in the NFL rulebook this year is that pre-planned group celebrations will no longer cost 15 yards, and that’s led to some of the most creative celebrations we’ve seen in years. Easily the most entertaining and absurd one this year goes to the Chiefs’ potato sack race in Week 9 against the Cowboys. Tight end Travis Kelce caught a touchdown, and proceeded to line up alongside teammates Tyreek Hill and Demarcus Robinson. They then grasped their imaginative potato sacks and had an exhilarating race. Kelce was ultimately victorious, and Hill and Robinson really sold their falls. It was exactly the kind of lighthearted, imaginative play that the NFL desperately needs more of lately.
Conner Gilson, Campus Correspondent
I personally could not be happier about the return of TD celebrations, as they bring with them a sense of camaraderie and playfulness that was absent since the rule change. A little humor never caused any harm, and we can see that child-like humor coming across now more than ever. In the Green Bay Packers most recent game against the Bears, Davante Adams caught a 19-yard TD, and to celebrate, he decided to spread the wealth among his fellow wide receivers by serving them lunch, cafeteria style, because it was “time to eat.” However, when offensive lineman Justin McCray, who weighs almost 300 pounds, came to get his serving of food, Davante declined and gave him a hug instead, perhaps suggesting he lose some weight. It’s times like this in the NFL where you can get just as much enjoyment during the plays as you can after, Adams’ case is just one example of what has been a wonderful return to the acception of TD celebrations.
Kevin Arnold, Campus Correspondent
Group touchdown celebrations have been a welcome addition to the NFL this season and many teams have taken advantage of the rule change. Not only is it added entertainment for the fans, it allows the players to really enjoy the game they grew-up loving and really let out the kid in them. With that being said, rookie wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been taking full advantage of the new rule. His best of the season came at home against the Bengals in Week 7. Juju scored on a 31-yard touchdown reception and was joined in the endzone by teammates Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Smith-Schuster covers his eyes and Bell runs and hides behind the goalpost. He then runs, finds Bell and and chases him down as if it had turned into a game of hide-and-seek tag. This is one of a handful of celebrations that Smith-Schuster has come up with for the season that any fan can really appreciate and enjoy.
Jorge Eckardt, Campus Correspondent
The best celebration this season did come from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it was not the game of hide-and-seek. It was the mockery of the A.J. Green-Jalen Ramsey fight, performed by JuJu Smith-Schuster and Le’Veon Bell. They enacted it perfectly, Bell came up behind Smith-Schuster, put him in a choke hold, and pretended to bring him to the ground. What they did cut out was the fist-fight and brawl that ensued, but it was probably for the best as they prevented any possible injuries. The Steelers have been known for their great celebrations this year, and this one took the cake.
Matt Severino is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conner Gilson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.