Back in May, the NFL’s competition committee met to discuss this very crucial subject: End-zone celebrations. It was decided by the powers that be to eliminate penalties for such revelry as long these shenanigans are not offensive or unsportsmanlike. Therefore, 2017 has become a season of creativity in the end zone unlike any other seen in league history! Here is a countdown of the top 10 End-zone celebrations through week 11:
10. Green Bay Packers, Bobsled.
The Packers’ incredible comeback at Dallas highlighted by the magnificence of Aaron Rodgers may have overshadowed this demonstration. But, after Davante Adams’ 10-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter, fellow wide outs Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson joined him in the end zone for a little bobsledding. Bobsled teams are made up of two or four men competitively, but the Packers deserve credit for their originality. Jordy Nelson admitted to thinking long and hard about what they would do as a unit once they scored!
- Detroit Lions, Ping Pong.
Marvin Jones and Golden Tate perfectly orchestrated a ping pong match following a score in the Lions’ week two win over the Giants. What the celebration lacks in the sheer volume of participants, Jones and Tate make up for by really selling the back and forth volley.
- Houston Texans, 4 x 100 Relay Race.
After Tom Savage hit Lamar Miller for a pretty slick first quarter TD against Arizona, the Texans went into Summer Olympics mode. The boys from Houston lined up as if in a sprint relay. What made the celebration great was the ball serving as the baton. It was also a celebration easy for all to see as it took the virtual entirety of the end zone to pull it off!
- Philadelphia Eagles, Baseball Interpretations.
The Eagles’ playmakers must be huge baseball fans because they came up with two beauties during games in October. The first one was a reenactment of a moon shot hit by Torrey Smith. There were several intricacies at play in this celebration that only true baseball fans could appreciate. Torrey Smith’s warm up swings and the team reaction when bat hit ball were very well done.
A few weeks after that, the Eagles were at it again. This time, Zach Ertz hit Alshon Jeffery with a pitch and Jeffery charged the mound. FOX had to appreciate Philadelphia’s effort to advertise the baseball playoffs as the network carries the NFL and MLB extensively during October.
- Pittsburgh Steelers, Bench Press.
On a Sunday night game against the Lions, the Steelers’ got excellent play from their goal line defense…and one very creative team celebration. This craziness featured Le’Veon Bell and teammates amid a mock bench press session. The players jumped into celebration mode so quickly, it made me wonder how much time and effort really goes into these things.
- New Orleans Saints, Mark Ingram, Backpack Kid.
With apologies to Travis Kelce and his “dancing,” Mark Ingram of New Orleans put forth the best individual celebration of the 2017 season thus far. Paying an ode to the backpack kid from Katy Perry’s performance on Saturday Night Live, Ingram flawlessly executed the stunt in a game against Detroit. He has since done the dance several more times.
- Pittsburgh Steelers, Hide and Seek.
The Steelers’ skill players are so joyful and entertaining as a unit, you could actually see them playing hide and seek in real life. But, this on field demonstration earns our fourth spot because of the role playing and childish nature. This is an excellent example of why the league made the right move to allow celebrations to occur without penalty. Joy is good!
- Kansas City Chiefs, Potato Sack Race.
As I mentioned above, I love when Travis Kelce dances after he scores. Kelce was part of a terrific group activity after his score put the Chiefs ahead in Dallas. Anybody who has actually been involved in a potato sack race can see the realism of Demarcus Robinson and Tyreke Hill falling to the ground as they tried to keep pace with Kelce. Going forward, Kansas City better start concentrating on football rather than TD celebrations because they have been struggling.
- Minnesota Vikings, Duck Duck Goose.
On a Monday night in Chicago, the Vikings had a terrible offensive night in the first half as Sam Bradford dealt with an injury. In the second half, Case Keenum and his crew could not be stopped. The result: A fantastic duck duck goose celebration for the ages! Tight end Kyle Rudolph was “it.” While the celebration was epic, the win was a season-changer for Minnesota as they found an offensive identity and have not slowed down since.
- Minnesota Vikings, Leap Frog. Can you believe these Vikings one-upped themselves? First of all, they played a superb offensive game at Washington. Secondly, their guys pulled off the coolest celebration of the season by reverting to their childhood once more. This time it was leap frog. Again, they pulled it off effortlessly and several team members were able to be involved including offensive linemen. If the Vikings are able to play offense as well as they perform these celebrations, we may be crowning them as NFC champions come January!
Brandon Fazzolari is a Super Bowl expert…@spot_bills