Nothing is better than watching your favorite National Football League (NFL) players score a touchdown and immediately break into their patented touchdown celebrations. These celebratory dances can involve one player or the entire team, it just depends on the players. Undoubtedly, we’ve seen some legendary endzone moves, but which ones deserve to be called the best NFL touchdown celebrations of all time?
As we prepare to dive into the list, let’s take a moment to appreciate the dedication of sports fans. After all, touchdown celebrations are a player’s way of telling the fans – this is for you. According to a recent study, sports fans are so dedicated that they’re willing to end friendships over sports. A survey of 2,000 American football fans found that a staggering 52 percent of respondents are willing to call it quits with a friend because that person cheers for a rival football team. Just imagine what would happen if your friend breaks into an endzone dance in the middle of your living room.
Dancing fans aside, another study found that the average sports fan is willing to travel to see their favorite team play in person. A survey of 2,000 self-identified sports fanatics examined the lengths people are willing to go to in order to watch their favorite sports team play in person. The survey found that the average fan is willing to travel a whopping five hours and 48 minutes plus spend $762.20 on tickets just to see their favorite team play live. Sounds like a great way to spend a vacation and celebrate with your favorite players as they score a touchdown in person.
So, which endzone moves stick in the minds of fans nationwide? StudyFinds did the research, consulting 10 sports and pop culture websites in an effort to bring you a consensus list of the best NFL touchdown celebrations of all time. Our list comprises the five most frequently listed endzone celebrations from across these sites. Think our experts missed one of the all-time greatest touchdown celebrations? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below!
The List: Best NFL Touchdown Celebrations, Per Experts
1. Chad Johnson
The top spot on the list of the best touchdown celebrations in NFL history belongs to Chad Johnson, also known as Ochocinco, and his proposal to a Bengals cheerleader. Johnson was one of the most entertaining characters the NFL has ever seen, so it’s no surprise that one of his legendary endzone celebrations lands at the top of this list.
“After reaching the end zone against the Colts in 2005, Chad Johnson ran over to the nearest cheerleader and proposed to her. The cheerleader accepted Johnson’s mock proposal even though he did not even know her name,” explains Bleacher Report.
Johnson was responsible for some all-time great touchdown celebrations. Some of his other memorable moments include when he mimicked Tiger Woods and used an endzone pylon to putt the football before celebrating with Tiger’s patented fist pump.
“Throughout his NFL career, Johnson’s touchdown celebrations have always left an indelible mark on the audience in attendance. It isn’t easy to select his most memorable occasions. It is impossible to compare it to when Chad Johnson proposed to a cheerleader girl. Just moments after scoring a touchdown, Chad Johnson dropped down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. The young lady consented,” writes U Plaay.
Johnson’s Riverdance celebration was another all-time great, and he absolutely nailed it. However, it’s Johnson’s cheerleader proposal that lands him on top of the list. Of course, he didn’t actually marry the young lady, it was all for show.
“Chad Johnson’s touchdown celebrations were among the best. It’s tough to pick just one as his all-time best, but it’s tough to match when he got down on one knee and proposed to a cheerleader after scoring. In amazing fashion, the cheerleader nodded her head and said yes. Just a classic moment all around,” furthers Canada Sports Betting.
2. Randy Moss
Next up on the list of the best touchdown celebrations in NFL history is none other than Randy Moss mooning the Lambeau crowd in a game against the Packers. This was one of Moss’s last games in Minnesota and it was a playoff game nonetheless. No one really expected Minnesota to compete in this game, and the Packers hadn’t lost a home playoff game in years, so that’s part of what fueled Moss’s actions when he pretended to pull his pants down and moon the Packers crowd.
15 years ago today Joe Buck wanted Randy Moss arrested for fake mooning the Green Bay crowd pic.twitter.com/FzZZDQGCFC
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 10, 2020
“At Lambeau Field, Packers fans have a tradition of mooning the visiting team’s bus after the game. While a member of Minnesota Vikings in 2005, Randy Moss decided to turn the tables on the Green Bay faithful. In the fourth quarter of a 31-17 Vikings victory, Moss scored on a touchdown reception, ran to the back of the end zone, and pantomimed mooning the fans in the end zone,” explains Electro-Mech.
Moss had been playing for Minnesota for several years prior to this celebration, so needless to say, he had enough of Packers fans showing their rears. “It’s the fourth quarter of a tense, inter-divisional playoff matchup at Green Bay’s historic Lambeau Field. Minnesota Vikings legend Randy Moss catches a long touchdown pass from Daunte Culpepper, putting Minnesota ahead by two touchdowns and clinching the eventual victory. To celebrate, Moss ran to the center of the end zone, turned his back to the crowd, bent and pantomimed dropping his pants, in essence ‘mooning’ the crowd. The gesture, Randy claimed, was a response to the Packers fans’ tradition of mooning the visiting team’s bus upon arrival at Lambeau Field. As they’d likely done to the Vikings that day,” explains American Betting Experts.
Moss’s epic touchdown celebration was a little out of character for the Vikings legend, and his acts that day overshadowed an all-time great playoff performance by the wide receiver. However, the reaction by the commentary team is one of the most discussed aspects of Moss’s celebration that day. Legendary commentator Joe Buck did not find Moss’s celebration funny, and he had something to say about it at the moment.
“No one hated this celebration more than Joe Buck did, and that’s part of what made it great. Buck called Randy Moss’ celebration a ‘disgusting act’ before apologizing for having it on the air on Fox. Buck’s reaction to the Moss moon helps elevate it higher up the list. But actually, Moss’ celebration was great and hilarious. He faked a moon toward the Green Bay Packers crowd in the middle of a rivalry game after scoring a touchdown, and was fined $10,000 for the act,” furthers Mass Live.
3. Terrell Owens
The third spot on the list of the best touchdown celebrations takes us from one legendary wide receiver to another – this time it’s Terrell Owens splashing himself with a bucket of popcorn. Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, also known simply as TO, told everyone to get their popcorn ready because he was going to put on a show, and he wasn’t kidding.
Get your popcorn ready.
— SportsDay Cowboys (@dmn_cowboys) January 3, 2018
“You will see Terrell Owens pop up multiple times within the list. The receiver was one of the most entertaining entities throughout his playing career. When with the Cowboys, Owens deemed it necessary to partake in some popcorn after a score,” explains New Arena.
Similar to Chad Johnson, fans couldn’t wait to see what Owens was going to do if and when he reached the endzone. While still playing for the 49ers, Owens pulled a Sharpie marker out of his sock and autographed the football for a fan. That act left commentators and sports pundits wondering if the all-pro had that marker in his sock the whole game.
“Terrell Owens loved to score touchdowns. The only thing he liked more than crossing the goal line after catching a deep pass was celebrating once he got there. One of his most famous celebrations was when he grabbed a box of popcorn from a fan and dumped it into his face like he was going to eat all of it,” writes Mandatory.
Again, Owens always had something fun in mind for his touchdown celebrations. Popcorn to the face wasn’t Owens’ first memorable celebration at Cowboys stadium. While Owens was still playing for San Francisco, he scored a touchdown, ran 50 yards to midfield, stood on the Dallas Star, and emphatically placed the football in the center. Cowboys fans certainly appreciated the popcorn to the face much more so than the Dallas Star celebration.
“The one he might be remembered most for, however, became a sort of Terrell Owens catchphrase — ‘Get your popcorn ready.’ Owens ran over to the crowd after scoring a touchdown, taking a fan’s popcorn and dumping it all over his face. Hopefully he had a chance to eat some of that,” adds Mass Live.
4. Joe Horn
Next up on the list of the best NFL touchdown celebrations is Saints wide receiver Joe Horn and his epic “Phone Home” celebration. Horn was a great wide receiver for the Saints in the early 2000s and is responsible for one of the most memorable celebrations in NFL history.
— SaintsNOW (@SaintsNOW) October 29, 2015
“After scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants in 2003, New Orleans Saints’ wide receiver Joe Horn pulled out a cell phone a teammate had stashed underneath the padding on the uprights. Horn called his mom and was fined $30,000 by the NFL,” explains Bleacher Report.
After NFL players were told they couldn’t use props for their touchdown celebrations, they naturally revolted, and Horn did so by stashing a cell phone in the goal post before the game so he could use it as a prop when he reached the endzone. Naturally, Horn scored on a long touchdown pass and immediately reached for the phone.
“Almost twenty years ago, cell phones were still in the process of becoming fairly ubiquitous. So when Saints wide receiver (the WR position seems to make a lot of appearances on our Top 10 NFL Touchdown Celebrations list) Joe Horn pulled out a phone from under the goalpost after a touchdown on Sunday Night Football to call (reportedly) his mom and kids, he made headlines. This celebration loses some points as it hasn’t aged too well – a flip phone? But in the buttoned-up NFL culture of the early 2000s, Horn’s gesture was memorable and somewhat ground-breaking,” furthers American Betting Experts.
Yes, Horn used a flip phone for his celebration, and no, smartphones weren’t even thought of yet. Similar to TO pulling out a Sharpie, Horn stashed the phone ahead of time and planned to score in that game. Bringing his vision to fruition is part of what makes Horn’s “phone home” celebration so epic.
“Back in 2003, Joe Horn stole our hearts. After a TD catch, Horn reached behind the goal post, grabbed a cell phone, and made a call. This cell phone touchdown celebration continues to make us laugh to this day. Horn ended up getting flagged for the celebration and the NFL fined him $30,000. It was worth it,” writes Canada Sports Betting.
5. Steve Smith
Rounding out the list of the best touchdown celebrations in NFL history is yet another wide receiver – this time it’s Steve Smith with his “Row the Boat” celebration. Smith is the best wide receiver in Carolina Panthers history, and the feisty “little man” always had plenty to say when he reached the endzone.
WR Steve Smith acting like a jack-ass rowing a boat after scoring in a Panther win over the Vikings in 2005 pic.twitter.com/eTmemsvvoC
— VikeFans (@VikeFans) May 5, 2017
“This move had somewhat of a storyline behind it. At the time, members of the Minnesota Vikings had been embroiled in a ‘party boat’ scandal. Wanting to entertain — whilst also making fun of the opponent — Steve Smith decided to pay tribute with a boat rowing celebration of his own. Surely, this didn’t please Minnesota very much,” writes New Arena.
Smith had a nose for the endzone and for entertaining the crowd. The feisty little receiver took this celebration one step further and mocked the Vikings in the process.
“After all was said and done, he revealed that pretending to row was his favorite celebration. After scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings, Steve Smith walked into the end zone to celebrate with his teammates. This action co-occurred as the Minnesota Vikings’ ‘Love Boat’ scandal broke out on the national stage. A significant number of Vikings fans reacted angrily to the news. Steve Smith has risen to the top of the rankings due to that historic event,” explains U Plaay.
Smith could be downright mean, but that’s why Panthers fans loved him so much. Smith wanted to humiliate his opponents, and his boat rowing celebration did just that.
“[Smith] pretended he changed the football’s diaper once, and imitated a buccaneer sword fight another time. But perhaps his best one was when he pretended he was rowing a boat. After scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings, Smith jumped into the end zone and paddled his way forward… Smith was creative, and a little mean, which scores him plenty of points,” furthers Mass Live.
You might also be interested in:
- U Plaay
- Mass Live
- Bleacher Report
- American Betting Experts
- Canada Sports Betting
- New Arena
- Scott Fujita
- Mental Floss
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