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3/18/2008 02:46:00 PM

Top five strange celebrations by athletes

Brandi Chastain
Brandi Chastain performed one of the most memorable sports celebrations in history.
Robert Beck/SI
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com

What's more important, the chicken or the egg? Or, as it relates to sport, what came first, achieving the goal or the attending celebration? Either way, there days athletes love to show off after making a big play. Here are my top five strange celebrations by athletes.

1. Tiger Woods: A few years ago, Tiger celebrated a great shot at the 2005 Masters by executing the world's most awkward high five. Last weekend, Tiger emoted after a big putt by awkwardly spiking his hat to the ground. Sensing a theme here, anyone?

2. Brandi Chastain: Whipping off her shirt after scoring the winning goal in the 1999 World Cup may have been spontaneous, but Chastain rode the attending publicity for all it was worth.

3. Deion Sanders: I was at the Falcons/49ers game back in the day when Deion picked off Jeff George, raced 90-something yards down the sideline, then danced across the end zone so vigorously that he pulled a muscle and sat out the rest of the game. Deion's shuffle soon took on a life of its own. If anyone should be on Dancing With The Stars

4. Q-Rich/Darius: A few years ago, Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson were two bright young stars for the L.A. Clippers, and whenever either of them scored they'd bang their fists against their heads, a goofy move they have consistently refused to explain. Though they're separated now, they continue the fist bumps. I don't know why, either.

5. Sammy Sosa: Whenever Sammy blasts a ball that looks like it could be heading out, he used to give a celebratory hop away as he sprinted from the batter's box. Did it sometimes keep him from getting a double because he lost a few steps down the line? Maybe. But at least we remember the hop.

What's the strangest celebration in sports? Let us know below…

Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
posted by SI.com | View comments |


Posted: March 18, 2008 3:50 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Jimmy Piersall ran around the bases backwards to celebrate his 100th ML Home Run.
Posted: March 18, 2008 3:51 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Mark McGwire celebrating hitting his 62nd HR was so preoccupied w/ shaking Mark Grace's hand that he missed first base and had to awkwardly retrace his steps.
Gus Frerotte bashing his head into the wall and spraining his neck after rushing for a TD.
Posted: March 18, 2008 4:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Flipper Anderson runing off the field through the tunnel after scoring an OT touchdown vs Giants. Jim Valvano running "who knows where" after NC State beat Houston
Posted: March 18, 2008 4:40 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about Merton Hanks doing the funky chicken after an int.
Posted: March 18, 2008 4:50 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Ya might want to change the caption on the picture. Right now, under the pic of Brandi Chastain in a bra, it says something about the tears flowing for Prarie View......
Mike Eruzine... Miracle on Ice... pure emotion, not an act... and he didn't himself or anyone else in the celebration.
Posted: March 18, 2008 5:16 PM   by Anonymous KALEZ
Actaully, the qrich thing looked like they were throwing up the sign for the maniacs or the forks of the folks, 2 gang signs. which is also likely why they refused to explain.
Don't forget Bill Grammatica tearing his ACL jumping like an idiot after a routine field goal.
Posted: March 18, 2008 8:46 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
emmitt smith at super bowl 28. after every big play against the bills he would get up and push up into he air. thus creating "RAISING THE ROOF".
Posted: March 18, 2008 10:00 PM   by Anonymous Mudcatt
I commend him for not having some prearranged crap planned out like T.O., Joe Horn, Sosa, etc. He was actually caught up in the moment. Most athletes are so caught up in a photo op or however to best make a great endorsement deal that they have no idea what the "moment" is really worth anyway.
He may have used the juice, but he had a great heart! Big Mac HOF!
Posted: March 18, 2008 10:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Doug Christie kiss fingers and point to sky in honor of his wife after basically anything he did.
Posted: March 18, 2008 10:45 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Billy Grammattica celebrating a field goal in the first half which gave his team a 3-0 lead and tearing his ACL. Doesn't get any better than that. And by better, I mean worse.
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:57 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Al McGuire doing his funky dance after Cuse wins!
Posted: March 19, 2008 1:29 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The Ickey Shuffle, cool... but also akward
Posted: March 19, 2008 6:43 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
one of those little Grammatica kickers injured himself while celebrating a feild goal
Posted: March 19, 2008 6:46 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The Late Alan Kulwicki pioneered the "Polish Victory Lap", before Nascar celebration was all about the burn-outs
Posted: March 19, 2008 7:35 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: March 19, 2008 8:35 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Bill Gramatica tearing his ACL while celebrating after making a FG.
Posted: March 19, 2008 8:37 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Bill Gramatica tearing his ACL while jumping around after kicking a FG.
Posted: March 19, 2008 8:52 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Anything by Terrelle Owens.
Posted: March 19, 2008 8:55 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Grammatica. Nuff Said.
Posted: March 19, 2008 9:14 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tommy Lasorda's no-arms hippity-hop onto the field after Kirk Gibson's half swing corked bat homerun beat Oakland in the 88 Series. Gibson's fist pump limp around the bases not bad either.
Posted: March 19, 2008 10:16 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Robbie Fowler. Scores a goal for Liverpool against cross-town rival Everton after being taunted all game by Everton fans for his alleged recreational drug use. So after the goal he goes to the touch line in front of the Everton supporters, gets on his hands and knees, and proceeds to "snort" the white line on the field.

If that happened in the NFL, he would have been banned for ten years.
Posted: March 19, 2008 10:19 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Kurt Busch's victory 'snow' angel with no snow.
Posted: March 19, 2008 10:34 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'll also go with Gramatica's ACL-tearing, career-ending, idiotic celebration.
A prime example that sometimes the celebration can overshadow or possibly even ruin the thing being celebrated.
Posted: March 19, 2008 11:06 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
when T.O ran out onto the Dallas Cowboys star at midfield and then got racked.
Posted: March 19, 2008 11:38 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
As kind of a side issue, does anyone but me wonder about how athletes come up with their choreographed hi-fives and dances? Do they spend time in practice on this? Did Shawn Merriman practice for hours in front of his mirror planning his "lights out" dance? The group celebrations, chants, and dances are even more wierd to me. When do they practice these and how do them come to a consensus on the routine? Just wondering?
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:05 PM   by Anonymous RTB
Teemu Selane skeet shooting his glove with his stick after breaking the rookie scoring record was awesome

Posted: March 19, 2008 12:16 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Merton Hanks' awkward, painful, and hypnotizing, neck "waggle" after any big play.
pretty weak list. how about magic johnson practically smothering kareem after a game winning shot in an early regular season game. kareem is like "get off me you freak".
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Dave "Tiger" Williams stick ride after scoring a goal ...
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:29 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about Hulk Hogan after he comes back from a beating, leg drops his opponent, and pins him for the 1-2-3. How practiced is that? The greatest spontaneous celebration ever is by the all time great Michael Jordan after he sank the winning shot over Craig Ehlo then he jumps into the air pumping his fist repeatedly. Just by leaving that off your list, just shows how ignorant you are about sports. You also have the tiny little coach being lifted into the air by one of his players, and all four of his limbs kicking and flailing in excitement after winning during the NCAA March Madness tournament.
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:35 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Daunte Culpepper's fist roll after throwing a touchdown. I think it's a frat thing, but it still looks ridiculous.
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about Tyler Hansbrough's celebration of his game winner vs. Virginia Tech last week? Definitely awkward to see a big man run and jump like that.

Posted: March 19, 2008 12:48 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
While I appreciate the photo, pulling off one's shirt after a goal had been common in men's soccer before Brandi Chastain whipped her's off.
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:53 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Adam Morrison banging his head with the ball while he was a Zag.
Posted: March 19, 2008 12:55 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about the Nigerian striker who emulated peeing like a dog on the field, following a goal, a few World Cups back?
THE OHIO STATE celebrating the TD return by Ginn, Jr.

Anyone think they'd like that celebration back? Anyone?
Robbie Fowler...no question
Posted: March 19, 2008 1:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Robby Gordon's "victory" burnout and donuts at Montreal last year when he didn't even win...watching him celebrate had to be the most ackward thing i've ever seen in NASCAR
Posted: March 19, 2008 1:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Landon Donovan and his "I LOVE ME" kising himself all over before he takes a penalty kick.
Posted: March 19, 2008 2:03 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The Q and Darius celebration was for "putting the antennas" up, because they were "on".

Do some research....
Posted: March 19, 2008 2:09 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I can't believe nobody commented on how Jason Kidd blows kisses to the ring when he is shooting free throws.
Posted: March 19, 2008 2:20 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tiger's hat slam last week was not awkward. It was filled with passion and was executed with a lot of style. It certainly suited the occasion. And I loved Brandi's celebration. She's not the most feminine of females, but it was creative, unexpected and pleasant.
Posted: March 19, 2008 3:00 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
any touchdown dance T.O comes up with...just needs to be either more creative or just appreciate getting paid the big dough to do what he is supposed to do.
Posted: March 19, 2008 3:02 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Jason Kidd's kiss blowing before free throws - now this is strange
Posted: March 19, 2008 3:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
John Daly celebrating a rain delay by getting drunk in the Hooters tent.
Posted: March 19, 2008 3:45 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
Time to go old school! Does anyone remember Jeffrey (Don't Call Me Jeff) Leonard's One Flap Down home run trot? He would circle the bases with one arm (usually the left) flat against his body. What was that about?

BTW, Jason Kidd blowing kisses at the free throw line is NOT a celebration. It's Jason's way of acknowledging his son.

As for the photo caption, it's just Lang Whitaker showing his intelligence, or lack thereof. There is always one glaring omission or mistake in his columns, the fun part is finding it!
I always thought the Butch Johnson "California Quake" end zone celebration was quite odd.
Posted: March 19, 2008 5:09 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Way back when the Colorado Rockies were a hockey team, they had a player named Ron Delorme who used to mime a bow-and-arrow shot at the net after he scored a goal. He made the mistake of doing it to Don Cherry's Bruins and paid for it later. Cherry hated the guy.
Posted: March 19, 2008 5:14 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Gus Frerotte on the Skins when he headbutted the wall and hurt his neck
Posted: March 19, 2008 6:49 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
This one's a little more recent than Jeffrey (Don't Call Me Jeff) Leonard's One Flap Down.

Remember Jamal Anderson and friends from the Atlanta Falcons during their Super Bowl run? They had one called "The Dirty Bird." The Dirty Bird is the sole reason choreographed group celebrations in the NFL are now a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

There was even a Dirty Bird contest at one of the events in Miami the week before Super Bowl XXXIII!
I know because I was there.
Posted: March 19, 2008 7:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Q/rich and Miles' celebration means "antenna's up" or "antanae up."
Posted: March 19, 2008 9:16 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Theo Fleury


'Nuff said.
Posted: March 19, 2008 10:41 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how bout jim valvano after the wolfpack won the championship
Posted: March 20, 2008 3:22 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Tyler Hansborough's recent celebration run following his game winning jump shot in the ACC tournament. Kinda looked like a "special" kid who just went #2 in the toilet for the first time
I think Patrick Roy celebrating his "glove save" of Steve Yzerman in Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals was classic! Oh yeah, he didn't save it. Because of his arrogance, the puck fell out of his glove and he basically threw it in his own net. The Avs went on to lose Game 6 and subsequently, Roy and the rest of the Avs were "shelled" by the Wings in Game 7, by the count of 7-0. This marked the 2nd time that the "Great Roy" was pulled from a game that he played the Wings in......Hey Pat, remember the Montreal versus Red Wings debacle?
Posted: March 20, 2008 1:18 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Dave "Tiger" Williams, riding his hockey stick like a witch on a broom after scoring a goal.
Posted: March 20, 2008 1:22 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tiger Williams first game back in Toronto after getting traded to Vancouver. He scores and rides his stick down the ice after his goal waving to the crowd. The place was going crazy. Fowler was pretty funny as well
Posted: March 20, 2008 1:23 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tiger Williams first game back in Toronto after getting traded to Vancouver. He scores and rides his stick down the ice after his goal waving to the crowd. The place was going crazy. Fowler was pretty funny as well
Posted: March 20, 2008 1:55 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Randy Moss, pretending to moon Packer fans after scoring a touchdown... still makes me smile.
Posted: March 20, 2008 2:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Don't forget, before Tom Brady was "Tom F-ing Brady, Greatest Guy in the World", he would celebrate like the Waterboy, with the worst limp-wristed high-fives in football.
Posted: March 20, 2008 2:57 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What...seriously....no one put's Kirk Gibson's pinch hit home run to win game 1 of the 88 world series. How about Sid Bream and David Justice celebrating at home plate in the 92 NLCS after Francisco Cabrera's game winning pinch hit?
C'mon, these are all sooooo lame! The strangest celebration of all time was Jose Antonio Reina back when he played for Sevilla in like '02. He scored a goal and bit his teammates penis on nation al Spanish television.
Posted: March 21, 2008 4:28 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Ripping your jersey off is not strange. It's just the starting point.

Posted: March 21, 2008 4:49 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
even more football depravity
(Christiano Lucarelli is maybe the height). But probably the weirdest is the kneeling chicken bunny hop.

Elmo Wright of the Kansas City Chiefs has to be given credit as the strangest. It seems tame by today's 'standards', but in the late 60's, Wright, for better or worse, introduced the end zone dance to the NFL. Nobody does the funky chicken like the original by Elmo.
Posted: March 21, 2008 12:40 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Terrel Ownes pulling the sharpie from his sock and signing the ball before throwing it into the crowd after a touchdown
Posted: March 21, 2008 1:35 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Strangest, and worst, celebration in the entire history of sports has to be all this ridiculous yelling and screaming done by NBA players after a basket. I must just be getting too old to understand it's significance, but it's just stupid, man. About as stupid as all this tattoing that goes on, which has apparently now become a pre-requisite for playing basketball professionally, and in some cases, or otherwise.
Posted: March 21, 2008 3:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Ted Turner after winning the '77 Americas Cup.....classic. Google it
Posted: March 23, 2008 1:42 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
joakim noah dancing like a loon last year.
Posted: March 23, 2008 7:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Erik Zabel prematurely celebrating his 5th Milan-San Remo win... only to get pipped on the line by Oscar Freire.

Nothing compares to a celebration that literally costs a victory...

Or, how about Judith Arndt giving the "you're number one" sign to the German Cycling Federation for leaving Germany's best sprinter for the Athens course (Petra Rossner) at home.

Arndt, the strongest, but not the quickest in the field was stuck with towing lucky Sara Carrigan of Australia to the "easy" victory...
Posted: March 24, 2008 6:08 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Lindsey Jacobellis' premature jocularity in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

She was so far ahead of the field in her snowboard cross event that if she had just finished her run decently she would have won gold. Instead, she tried an unnecessary trick on her final jump which was just a few yards from the finish and fell on the landing, ending her gold medal quest. Poor Lindsey had to settle for a silver.

Thankfully, the only thing Lindsey hurt, aside from her gold medal chances, was her pride. On the plus side though, she was on the sports highlight shows for weeks. She even made the cover of SI.
Lindsay Jacob-Ellis going for the big air and crashing to lose the gold medal in Olympic Boarder Cross.
Posted: March 25, 2008 11:09 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Billy "white Shoes" Johnson of the Houston Oilers with oen of the greatest endzone dances ever after punt returns resulting in touchdowns &...

Sweet Lou Johnson of the Los Angeles Dodgers who used to clap his hands all the way around the bases after hitting home runs!
Posted: March 25, 2008 5:19 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Someone mentioned the Nigerian striker, but I also recall watching a KC Chieves game, and (it may have been Merton Hanks) a player either intercepted or caught a pass for a TD, then dropped to all 4's in the end zone and hiked his back leg up. A proud moment for KC fans everywhere.
Posted: March 25, 2008 5:20 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Someone mentioned the Nigerian striker, but I also recall watching a KC Chieves game, and (it may have been Merton Hanks) a player either intercepted or caught a pass for a TD, then dropped to all 4's in the end zone and hiked his back leg up. A proud moment for KC fans everywhere.
Posted: April 30, 2008 9:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Pat Riley dance after heat championship.
Posted: June 19, 2008 11:19 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Marat Safin dropping his shorts.
Posted: August 4, 2008 12:02 PM   by Anonymous Panama Jack
Wait a minute... Gus Frerotte in the Redskins-Giants tie game in 1996 has to be... hands down... the weirdest celebration I have ever seen in LIFE!!! Remember when he head butted the goal post and caught a concussion after scoring a rushing TD?
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