Football Touchdown Dance
What is a Touchdown Dance in Football?
Touchdown dances have a long history in the NFL, with some celebrations starting controversies and even getting banned.
Homer Jones is credited with starting the touchdown dance craze. Commissioner Rozelle had prohibited the practice of throwing the ball into the stands and added a hefty fine if a player were to do so. After Jones scored a long pass, he went to throw the ball before realizing it had been banned and continued his throwing motion all the way into the ground, thus inventing the spike celebration.
Almost every player does something when they reach the endzone. Even if it is just a fist pump or a chest bump with his teammates, scoring in the NFL is not easy and players like to let their emotions take over. While some celebrations are well known because they are so unique, others are notable due to their consistent greatness.
The Ickey Shuffle was one of the first choreographed dances, and without a doubt the most famous. Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods was keen on commemorating his scores. Although not perfected until the middle of his rookie season, the three step right, three step left Ickey Shuffle culminating in a spike took the NFL world by storm.
The Lambeau Leap is notorious for its uniformity. When any Green Bay Packers player scores a touchdown at home they will run and jump over the wall to sit with the fans. Although occasionally copied by rival players, the Leap is the best known team-wide celebration.
Joe Horn and Terrell Owens both produced infamous dances. Horn retrieved a flip phone that he had hid in the goal post prior to the game, since players were not allowed to have props on their bodies. He did end up getting a penalty and a fine by the league. Owens ran over to a fan and grabbed his popcorn, dumping all over himself, and also signed a football mid-game, giving it to an enthusiastic fan.
In recent years, the most notable celebrations have been the Gronk Spike, a ferocious one handed slam produced by tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Cam Newton's dab. Both players' celebrations have been emulated by kids to the point where they are popular culture staples.