10 mostly regrettable Super Bowl fads, from the Dirty Bird to the Dab
Every few years, it’s hard to tell where a Super Bowl team ends and where the celebration craze it rides to the big game begins, and this season has been no different with the Carolina Panthers Dabbing all the way to San Francisco. These sorts of things are great for that team’s fans, but like chewing on tinfoil for folks in any other NFL city who might be watching. Fortunately for everyone who isn’t a Panthers fan, the nice thing is these things have a way of disappearing rather quickly.
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY SportsSam Sharpe
The Fun Bunch: 1982 Redskins
Like canned laughter on an ‘80s sitcom, the Fun Bunch’s group end-zone high-fives were both contrived and perfect for a simpler time that hadn’t yet seen the advent of widespread individual dances. The Redskins receivers, led by future Hall of Famer Art Monk, broke out the move for the first time in an opening-round playoff game, and it was all the rage by the time Washington beat Miami in Super Bowl XVII. Maybe we were all just ready to jump in the air at the same time when the NFL strike ended that year.
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The Hogs: 1982 Redskins
It’s a good thing social media wasn’t around for the ’82 'Skins because it wouldn’t have been able to handle the Fun Bunch and the Hogs at the same time. While Washington’s receivers were high-fiving in the end zone, their O-linemen were proudly wearing the nickname coined by position coach Joe Bugel in training camp. The Redskins’ line, massive by early-'80s standards, plowed the way for John Riggins to batter the Dolphins with 38 carries for 166 yards in a Super Bowl XVII win. Meanwhile, the nickname inspired a group of male fans to dress up as The Hogettes, sporting pig snouts, wigs and hats -- yeah, we don’t get it, either -- and that tradition continued until 2013, despite the 'Skins fielding some really bad lines for years on end long after the original Hogs retired.
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'The Super Bowl Shuffle': 1985 Bears
The ’85 Bears were known for humiliating opponents with the most ferocious defense in NFL history, so it was no surprise they released the most self-confident piece of braggadocio in sports history almost two months before whipping the Patriots in Super Bowl XX. While the Bears piled up wins, the song rose to No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later even scored a Grammy nomination. The best lyrics were pure Sweetness, sung by (of course) running back Walter Payton: “We’re not doin’ this because we’re greedy; the Bears are doin’ it to feed the needy.” Chicago-area homeless got several hundred thousand dollars in donations from proceeds, and we got a rap that’s still fun to sing along with 30 years later.
The Ickey Shuffle: 1988 Bengals
Bengals running back Ickey Woods burst on the scene with 1,066 yards during his 1988 rookie season, and the Ickey Shuffle that came after most of his 15 touchdowns left the lasting legacy the rest of his injury-shortened career (three seasons, 459 yards) never could. The dance was hardly elaborate, but it had Cincinnati on the balls of its feet right up until the Bengals lost to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII. Woods told the Chicago Tribune at the time that the inspiration for his self-named shimmy was heaven-sent: '(It) popped into my head, like a miracle,' he said. 'The Lord must have been talking to me and told me if I go out and do this I’d become famous one day.'
Getty ImagesRick Stewart
The Mile-High Salute: 1997-98 Broncos
Of all the Super Bowl silliness, the Mile-High Salute has had the most staying power. Running back Terrell Davis is credited with popularizing the idea of saluting fans and/or teammates after a touchdown when he led the league in rushing scores in each of the Broncos’ back-to-back Super Bowl seasons. And such frequent exposure gave the salute deep enough roots in Denver that you’ll still see it pop up from time to time today. If you can’t get enough heading into yet another Denver Super Bowl appearance, the Broncos' website still has a page dedicated to it.
Getty ImagesBrian Bahr
The Dirty Bird: 1998 Falcons
The Falcons have made it to only one of 50 Super Bowls, and The Dirty Bird is remembered at least as well as that team, which lost 34-19 to Denver in Super Bowl XXXIII. Jamal Anderson ran for 1,846 yards in 1998, but his greatest contribution might have been inventing the dance that seems to start with the Ickey Shuffle and build up to a wing-flappin’ crescendo. If you want to know the moves, just check out Anderson’s Twitter account: @jamthedirtybird. We’d live in the past, too, Jamal.
AFP/Getty ImagesRHONA WISE
The Bob ’n’ Weave: 1999 Rams
St. Louis no longer has its football team, but it’ll always have the Bob ’n’ Weave, the signature end-zone dance of the ’99 Rams, a team that went from 4-12 to 13-3 in one year and ended up as champions of Super Bowl XXXIV. Taking a page from the Fun Bunch of the early 1980s, the B&W was a group thing. One guy scored, then waited to dance until his teammates showed up in the back of the end zone. Oh, for the days of The Greatest Show on Turf.
The Discount Double-Check: 2010 Packers
Back in 2010, Aaron Rodgers was a really good quarterback turning into a great one, and somewhere along the way he decided that pretending to don a championship belt was the best way to celebrate rushing touchdowns -- an oddly endearing move for a player not known for excessive exuberance before or since. The maneuver became such a thing that Clay Matthews and Rodgers posed with an actual physical championship belt after Green Bay downed Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV. Rodgers has only belted up a few times since that season -- but the move lives on in State Farm commercials, under the name everyone knows it by today: The Discount Double-Check. On the field, it’s still used to mock Rodgers after a sack -- but that’s just bad karma, right Stephen Tulloch?
Getty ImagesRob Tringali
The Salsa Dance: 2011 Giants
Today, Victor Cruz is an oft-injured receiver who hasn’t played for a season and a half, but in 2011 he was a salsa-dancing sensation who went from undrafted in 2010 to racking up more than 1,500 receiving yards for a Giants team that shocked the Patriots (again) in Super Bowl XLVI. Things didn’t get really fun until Kate Upton did her own version when New York hosted the Super Bowl two years later.
Getty ImagesPatrick McDermott
The Dab: 2015 Panthers
Cam Newton didn’t invent the Dab -- it sprang from an NSFW rap/dance song by the rap group Migos -- but he made it viral and turned it into the Panthers’ go-to celebration when he first dabbed after a touchdown in October. The beauty of the Dab is in its simplicity; anyone can do it -- even 79-year-old Panthers owner Jerry Richardson got in on the act after the team clinched the NFC South title.