That’s right, the NFL is no longer the “No Fun League.” Earlier this week, Roger Goodell announced that the NFL adopted several rule changes that will ease restrictions on celebration penalties. Players can now use the ball as a prop, celebrate in groups, and celebrate on the ground without having to worry about being penalized. However, Goodell doesn’t want players getting any ideas from Key and Peele’s popular video, saying in a lighthearted tweet that those pumps are still banned.
— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) May 23, 2017
What better way to celebrate these new rule changes than by taking a look back at the best celebrations from last season. Let’s get right into it…
10. Joe Flacco Does The Mannequin Challenge
It seems like forever ago, but remember when the Mannequin Challenge dominated social media? The craze was so popular that it apparently caught the attention of Joe Flacco, someone not typically known for his post-touchdown celebrations. After firing a four yard TD pass to Darren Waller, Flacco manifests a run-of-the-mill celebration into a tribute to the hottest internet sensation at the time. Well done, Joe.
9. Odell Beckham Proposes
During the team’s three game losing streak from Week 3 to Week 5, Odell Beckham chose to take out his frustrations on a harmless kicking net, that apparently has the ability to fight back. After torching the Baltimore Ravens for 222 yards and two scores in Week 6, Odell-determined to make amends with the net-got on one knee and proposed to the inanimate object. What a storybook ending that proves in the end, love always wins.
8. Michael Bennett Pumps
Michael Bennett clearly took a page out of star tight end Hingle McCringleberry’s book and hit three pumps, begging for the refs to throw the yellow flag. Roger Goodell definitely did not look kindly upon this, but based on Michael Bennett’s past statements, he could care less. Should we expect the three pumps celebration to make a comeback in 2017? We’ll just have to wait and see.
7. Marquette King Celebrates With The Penalty Flag
You gotta love Marquette King. Sure he cost his team 15 yards, but at the end of the day it came with a legendary celebration. Sometimes “hittin’ dem folks” takes precedent over football. That’s just something people are going to have to deal with.
6. Antonio Brown Twerking
Cover your eyes kids! The league was definitely not happy with this celebration during a primetime game. Antonio Brown-en route to racking up 126 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions- dropped it low and started twerking for all to see. Definitely a questionable celebration, but a memorable one to say the least.
5. Odell Beckham Michael Jackson Tribute
Odell Beckham never disappoints with his touchdown celebrations. Lucky for us, he is constantly finding the end zone. One of Beckham’s reoccurring celebrations involve him breaking out dance moves from one of his idols, the late, great Michael Jackson. In this edition, OBJ pays homage to MJ’s song and dance “Thriller.”
4. Pat McAfee Does The McGregor Walk
Who says punters aren’t playmakers? Pat McAfee threads the needle on this fake punt pass to Erik Swoope that is good for the first down and 35 yards. How does he chose to celebrate? By paying tribute to UFC legend Conor McGregor and doing his “swag walk.” You know what they say, real recognize real. Unfortunately, McAfee’s early retirement means we won’t get to see anymore of these gems.
3. Travis Kelce Salt Bae
Yes, Pro Bowl celebrations count too. Travis Kelce, known for his end zone antics, mimics the internet sensation Nusret Gökçe. Nusret, known as Salt Bae, became wildly popular after his cooking and preparing meat techniques hit the internet. Kelce perfectly sprinkles a little salt on top of that 23 yard touchdown reception. Something tells me we are going to see a lot more of those celebrations come September.
2. Marquette King Rides The Horse
This one was just flat-out hysterical. What better way to celebrate pinning the ball within the Bronco’s five yard line than by “riding a horse” back to the sideline. The NFL needs more punters and kickers with the personality of Marquette King.
1. Ezekiel Elliott Jumps Into Salvation Army Bucket
Zeke clearly had this one planned out because as soon as he scored he sprinted to the Salvation Army bucket and hopped right in. Players love to incorporate props into their celebrations, but none have done something like this. Not only did Elliott produce probably the best celebration of last season, but he also raised awareness-and apparently a lot of money-for a worthy cause.