2017 South Side Questions: Problem With Celebrations?

The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Do you take issue with players celebrating touchdowns in elaborate ways?

This is a topic that seems to have divided people in the past when it has come up, so I was curious to see how things split here by addressing the topic directly. The NFL has loosened its celebration rules this year, and we’ve already seen the…let’s say elaborate results.

Just in the past game, we saw a bench press mime and the locking up of an exercise bike on the sideline. We had dice rolling earlier in the season, and a Kamehameha. I’m sure that I’m already forgetting some things, and that is not even touching on celebrations leaguewide.

Some have embraced this looser, less restrictive and more personable NFL, which has for too long been associated with the no fun league, but others don’t seem to like it at all. “Act like you’ve been there before” is the common theme.

Even one instance earlier in the year saw David DeCastro trying to celebrate with a teammate who had scored a touchdown, but who was too busy with his own contrived celebration to acknowledge his presence, and he ultimately walked off.

Some seem to be wondering how much time players spend ‘wasting’ on these celebration plans, though I have a hard time imagining that planning a celebration is coming at the expense of running routes and watching film.

There is definitely somewhat of a generational divide when it comes to this topic, though it’s far from universal. There are plenty of younger fans who don’t care for it, and older fans who think it’s refreshing.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about Mike Mitchell flexing after knocking a receiver out of bounds after a 20-yard completion. If we include that, then the point will be flogged to death. So let’s stick with proper celebrations in big moments—chiefly after scores.

We are going to have fun”, Le’Veon Bell recently said. “We know how hard it is to get a touchdown, the fact that we can celebrate it, we are going to full opportunity. I have my list of celebrations, JuJu has his. We are going to bounce the ideas off each other and come up with the best celebrations”.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • FATCAT716

    The NFL has stood for No Fun League for long it’s kinda refreshing to finally allow a little fun for these guy’s at the end of the day it is a game & it is entertainment.. I love it

  • Steel-on-Target

    I don’t care for the celebrations. I prefer a simple spike of the football or handing it to the ref.

    That said, I’m okay with letting them do their thing as long as it doesn’t result in penalties or take so long that it interferes with the 1 or 2 point conversion following.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I hadn’t thought about it until now. I mean, like REALLY thought about it. Take it internally and analyze my true feelings on the subject. And what did I come up with? I think it very well may be my absolute favorite thing about the NFL right now. Maybe not the actual celebrations themselves, especially since we all now know just how contrived they truly are. No. It’s all about two things that I hold dearer to my heart than most any other: FREEDOM. And individual expression.

    The idea that people can be allowed to feel emotion and not be afraid to show it. For, we don’t celebrate when things are tough. When things are bleak. When things are dark. We celebrate when life is pure. When it’s meaningful. When it’s just downright bliss. What I mean is… we take the time out of our lives to watch these guys play a game for a living. And between fantasy football and gambling and anthem protests and the agony of defeats and the horrific injuries that sometimes occur, football too often is too serious. The bad parts of life creep in and turn the game dark. And that isn’t why we watch. At least most of us. We DO watch as a form of escape. And we try to forget that these millionaires and multi-millionaires are doing a job out there. We try to believe that it is just a game. For that brief time in our lives, it is just a game. A game being played by nothing but grown-up kids. Because if we didn’t do that, if we didn’t let the joy in, if we always remembered that this is just a job, played by insanely rich guys, who feed gambling addictions and who hurt each other and who forget that they are actors on a stage that are supposed to help us, the viewers, to escape our doldrums, and who want to instead selfishly use the time as a platform for protests, then we’d never be able to see the joys in the game.

    That’s why when I say “freedom” and “individual expression,” I mean it all in the best of the ways that help us all to celebrate. By turning the drama of a brutal sport into brief moments of unbridled happiness, we are forced in those fleeting seconds, to not allow the hard times of life to come creeping back in, but instead to allow us all to be kids again. Happy. Carefree. Playful. Innocent.

    I know some of you like me, take the Steelers and pro-football, quite seriously. And our lives are not always going the ways that we want, and we seek refuge in the time on Sundays. And for me personally, as someone who grew up playing sports, I find those moments of celebration to be incredibly fun. I guess in the end my only complaint is, they only last a few seconds. That’s all we get until it’s back to the grind. Back to the job and away from the game. Left desperately waiting for the next moment when we can all be a kid again. If only for a second.

  • LHW

    I personally think some of them are too much. Regardless, something that I don’t like or that is not for me does not mean that others should not be able to enjoy whatever that may be. Have at it boys!

  • Tom Sav

    Im hoping they score so many TDs in the 2nd half and playoffs they run out of creative celebrations..

  • francesco

    I get your point about freedom to do what you feel like doing and therefore express yourself as you see fit…but i have to say that at times these celebrations seem so childish and it gets embarrassing.
    To me these celebrations celebrate vanity.

  • Darth Blount 47

    They are meant to be childish. That’s the essence of fun. Adults rarely truly even know what fun is anymore. I know not everyone had idyllic childhoods. But to be without the restraints of adulthood, is a magical time, in and of itself. I welcome any moment to shed the years and years of toil, and return to Neverland for an instant.

  • treeher

    I’m all for celebrations but I lean more to the individual ones than these contrived group things. What’s a bench press pantomime got to do with scoring a TD? Playing hide and seek? Sort of dumb, IMO.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    As with most things I find myself on both sides of the question. One of my all-time favorite players was Barry Sanders and lets be honest here, the majority of why I liked him was his running style and talent. But there was another part to my respect for him and that was how he carried himself when not running the ball. Score a TD, hand the ball to the ref, and get back to business. And it isn’t that I liked it as an “anti-celebration” so to speak but moreso for what it said about Sanders. I have heard countless players (including Bells quote in your article) talk about how hard it is to get there. So what does that say about Barry that he didn’t celebrate or feel the need to? I can’t say what when on in his mind but what I perceive is a quiet confidence so far beyond all of these “look at me” guys that you can’t even compare the 2.

    With all that being said, I have no problem with celebrations and my main issue with them is that I just haven’t really liked any of what I have seen. I was a fan when TO pulled out the sharpie to autograph the ball, Chad Johnson with the proposal to the cheerleader, Chad Johnson using the pylon to put the ball, and as a DBZ fan I did love the Kamehameha from JuJu. But AB always dances terrible, the hide and seek thing is completely overrated and the bench press was just meh IMO.

  • AndyR34

    Darth…you should write for SD. Dave – set him up! That said, my only problem with the celebrations is there have been too few of them!

  • Anthony Palmerston

    I’m 30 and my feelings are mixed with the celebrations. When it was first reported that celebrations would be legal I was happy about it. Finally the No Fun League was going to get that much better. However, after sitting through it for half a season it’s grown old. The celebrations just feel like they take too long and I don’t want to see it every time a touchdown is scored. I’d prefer to see it when a touchdown was desperately needed or something like that. But seeing a celebration after every touchdown is getting old.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    I liked the way H E A T H celebrated a TD. He handed the ball to the ref, hugged/high fived a couple teammates and ran to the sideline.
    That said, it does not ‘bother’ me when they celebrate.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Now I LIKE THAT!!!!

  • Darth Blount 47

    You’re too kind. And I absolutely agree. More TD’s and less Boz.

    “A little less conversation, a little more action, please.
    All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me…”

  • Darth Blount 47

    Nationally, the Hide & Seek was a huge hit. It was in article after article and featured on Sportscenter and a bunch of the sports shows. People loved it. But… quite a few around here share your sentiment. I think maybe we all need to lighten up a bit.

    I know historically the Steelers are sort of known for bringing the pain and now no cheerleaders and less panache and more lunch-pail, but I personally know quite a few kids and teens who thought and think this is all great. I’m all for adding to the ever-expanding crop of Steeler Nation members.

    I think the bench press was an homage to Deebo and the concept of Bell doing the “heavy lifting.” Lol.

  • Reader783

    What if Boz started celebrating too? Never mind, he’d run out of ideas after 1 game…

  • treeher

    I loved AB’s original dance and was disappointed when he stopped it. I guess I just don’t care for the little skits. They’re not celebrations, they’re contrived performance pieces.

  • stephena

    Until contract time then it’s a business. Nice to have it both ways, HUH

  • #beatthepats

    Im torn, seems to long and practiced. Love the spontanious quick ones , however must admit the hide and seek was embarrassing to me but fun to most, guess im old school, the ball to the kid in the front row is my favorite.

  • falconsaftey43

    I prefer the spontaneous ones, but have no problem with the skit type stuff either. They can be fun. My personal favorite is when Heath would give a little fist pump, you new he was super excited then because most times he just gave the ball to the ref with no emotion, so when he show some excitement, it was pretty cool.

  • FATCAT716

    Agreed

  • dany

    Only right answer!

  • LucasY59

    I didnt like it when it resulted in a penalty, but now that the rules have changed I am fine with them having some fun with it, like others who have commented I also appreciate the guys that just hand the ball to the ref and act like its not that big of a deal, it definitely isnt something I think about too much either way

  • Chris92021

    Football is a game. Games are supposed to be fun. Scoring touchdowns in the league is a difficult thing, made much harder when you have red zone issues and Todd Haley calling the plays. Let the players have some fun.

  • will

    As long as the score put the Steelers ahead or tied the score up or are way ahead before the score…….I am good. Extravagant celebrations when they are still behind look bad.

  • budabar

    Unfortunately they do have an effect on the team, kicking off from the 20 yard line usually allowes the opponent to start their drive on the 35 or 40 yd line which forces our def to cover a shorter field

  • francesco

    So now I’m left to interpret what these skits are about?!

  • francesco

    I agree about it being the “look at me” or “look at us” show mentality. Too much vanity for me to embrace. The only thing missing are mirrors in the end zone.

  • FATCAT716

    Always like reading what you have to say Darth Blount 47

  • FATCAT716

    I concur.. I get so excited to see what they gonna do next but it’s far & few we need more

  • FATCAT716

    Sad but true

  • pittfan

    Okay Peter Pan. Lol

  • pittfan

    I look forward to having choreographed dance routines by Paula Abdul after every 1st down. Lady Gaga for touchdowns and confetti and floats after every game. I mean, let’s really have some fun!

  • LAD

    I am just ok with celebrations… Some of them I like, some others not… but I have a concern with most of the steelers celebrations…. those take a lot of time, and the play clock for the extra point or 2pt att, I have noticed it starts ticking right away… So, the celebration is taking some seconds of the play clock… after the bench press celebration, I believe the XP was kicked with just one second on the play clock (not sure), but if you are going for 2, and the guys are celebrating, you might not be able to go for it because a delay of game or you will have to burn a time out. That is my only concern with it…
    After saying that, I just loved Heath Miller and Barry Sanders when they scored… Just handle the ball… Looks so profesional and such confidence in what they did.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Thanks, FatCat. I like your perspective on things, too!

  • Darth Blount 47

    Well, luckily, it’s not Advanced Algebra!

  • Aj Gentile

    It won’t be this extreme after next year. They just let up on the rules so players are going to take advantage. But it won’t last.

  • Aj Gentile

    Saying that I do enjoy some of the more creative ones.

  • Obi Ryn Denobi

    Ordinarily I’m not a fan of it, but this year, amid the carnage, this country desperately needs a little silly fun!!! Hide ‘N’ Seek was ridiculous!

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Hide n seek and “How much you benchin?” were the best. Them Stillers have some funny guys.

  • MC

    I like a good celebration but these group ones are seeming a little too time consuming and thought out for my liking. Just my opinion, I know a lot of people love them but I like the balance of “act like you’ve been there before” with some flair and creativity. Group ones are looking too gimmicky for me and i’d rather get to the replay of the TD play than see them que up the choreography.

  • MC

    Completely agreed. Seems way too long and planned that it takes the emotion out of the score that just occurred.

  • corduroyninja

    No penalty, no problem. I didn’t like celebrations when they affected the outcome of the game.