The Art of Celebration

It’s an exciting time of the year for athletics here in Chestnut Hill, and I’m not talking about the fact that soon all big three sports will be in season. I’m talking about intramurals. With phase two of the intramural sports season starting and phase one in the midst of heated playoffs, you need to be at the top of your game. Your celebration game that is.

Not many people have had the type of celebratory freedom that intramural sports bring. No more strict high school coaches limiting your touchdown dances or obnoxious old man refs cramping your style when you go to let the whole (nonexistent) crowd know that you just drained a three with the defense all over you.

Photo courtesy of Funny Sports Celebrations / Facebook.

Photo courtesy of Funny Sports Celebrations / Facebook.

This means that it’s your time to shine--your time to become the Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco of intramural sports. And this will help you do just that.

The first thing you have to know is when not to celebrate.

So it’s clear that half of scoring or making a big play in any sport is celebrating. But this is strongly dependent on actually scoring. Premature celebration can strike even the best athletes and make then go from heroes to zeros real quick.

For example, Sammy Watkins caught this deep throw from Kyle Orton and began taunting the Jets around the 20 yard line, only to not make it to the end zone.

Gif courtesy of Tumblr

Other super stars such as Desean Jackson and Nick Young have had their issues with taunting before reason to taunt. Despite some of the stars doing it, you don’t want to end up on this list and become the goat of your team. In short, don’t be that guy.

Knowing that you have to actually make the play, there are things that you need to stay away from when celebrating. The single worst thing you can do is hurt yourself. Any athleticism you just gained in the minds of spectators and opponents immediately vanishes when you hurt yourself trying to dance. The likes of Lamar Huston, and most famously Gus Frerotte, are among those who have sidelined themselves for significant time trying to show boat after a big play. It isn’t fun getting hurt, and it’s even less fun getting hurt looking dumb while doing it.

Also, never be afraid to go with one of the classics. The simple high five, the fist pump, the championship belt, the superman, the three point monocle and the flex are all very simple but timeless nonetheless. You won’t gain any big style points, but the effort is key.

If you think you have Sexual Chocolate like moves and want to show that off, don’t be afraid to mimic Victor Cruz’s signature salsa.

Gif courtesy of Tumblr

If you knock down a big time shot in intramural basketball, channel your inner king and break into Lebron’s famous high step; Beat the goalie in a hockey game and do your best Jaromir Jagr salute. Even former Boston College player BJ Raji has his own patented moves.

However, the people that are truly great celebrators are those that do it in big moments, and/or do it with their own flare and creativity. The greats of celebration like Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Tiger Williams and Lance Stephenson always had people on the edge of their seats, not just because of their play, but because everyone wanted to see what would happen if they scored.

Some of the most memorable celebrations can also just come from the biggest moments. Any clutch play needs its clutch celebration. If you aren’t prepared for what you’re going to do after the play, you might as well just head back to the bench. The images of big plays that stick in our heads involve big show boating. No one will ever forget Manny’s emphatic pose after his 2007 ALCS walk off, Joe Carter’s jumping for joy or Kirk Gibson’s limping fist pump. The bigger the moment, the bigger your celebration needs to be.

For those that know they aren’t especially good at their sport and think they will be spending much of their time on the sidelines, have no fear. You too can be part of the celebratory acts. Basketball benches are infamous for have crazy reactions after big plays.

Gif courtesy of Tumblr

Throughout all of this, the most important rule cannot be forgotten--team comes first, meaning that team celebrations are better than individual ones. This has been perfected by a little known soccer team from Iceland named Stjarnan FC.

This group has revolutionized sporting celebration with all sorts of beautiful yet absurd celebrations after their goals. The creativity and team involvement from these show boating specialists is unmatched, making them the best celebrating team in the history of sports.

Scoring or making a big play is only half the battle. Rehearse, practice and go in prepared so that by time you’re in the game and you make that big play, it is all instinct on the celly. Do everyone at BC a favor and help make the game better by celebrating and show boating with taste and creativity in the coming months.

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Carter Montgomery