Oct 2, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (24) celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Cleveland Browns in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 31-20. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Touchdown celebrations are back, so we look at three Washington Redskins celebrations from 2016 we won’t forget, and are excited won’t be penalized.
Washington Redskins players and fans will get to have some fun in 2017, as touchdown celebrations are a go. Fun you say?
In a letter to fans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated, “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown. And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.”
The change comes after a painful era that considered these behaviors “excessive celebrations”.
The Redskins were one of many teams penalized for touchdown celebrations. As a result, they too were fined thousands of dollars. That’s now a thing of the past. Redskins fans should look out for some interesting end zone dances.
In 2016, three Washington Redskins players had some great celebrations that were unfortunately penalized. Let’s hope they get the opportunity to redeem themselves this season as we look back at three of the most memorable celebrations.
Dec 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (24) makes a one handed catch against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
3. Josh Norman goes full archery-mode
The first of the notable touchdown celebrations from the Washington Redskins has to be the infamous bow and arrow gesture by Norman. This wasn’t the first time he shot the invisible arrow, but it was the first time he got penalized for it.
According to several reports, he thought he would just get a warning for the gesture. In fact, he thought he got away with it. The league fined him $9,115.00.
In the days after the game, Norman was very vocal about the penalty and accused the league double standard. He cited beer commercials and other things the league accepts. However, when it comes to touchdown celebrations, that’s what they considered unacceptable. He also accused the NFL of taking the fun out of the game.
Not being able to celebrate was a hard change for players who grew up watching players like Elbert “Ickey” Woods of the Cincinatti Bengals. He was known for his famous “Ickey Shuffle”. Celebrations after a big play is just as much a part of football as tossing Gatorade on the coach.
Nov 13, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis (85) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
2. Vernon Davis shows off his jumper
In the Redskins’ 27-20 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, the touchdown celebration highlighted Davis’ second touchdown as a Redskin. Afterwards, Davis explained he was unaware his celebration was deemed illegal by the league. In their terms of excessive celebration, the league prohibited the use of a football as a prop.
Acting like the football was a basketball falls into that category.
Davis claimed he didn’t realize his celebration was prohibited. That’s hard to believe. He’s been in the league for quite a while. Many attribute the NFL’s decision to bring back touchdown celebrations to this penalty. While that cannot be proven, many people thought it was a little over the top (no pun intended). Maybe they did consider Davis when they axed the rule, who knows.
It’s also an unsolved mystery as to why he was fined more than Norman. Maybe the league saw a pattern with the Redskins and wanted to make examples of them. Or maybe they were just out here fining players on whims with no real rhyme or reason. Whatever the case, it’s something that players thankfully won’t have to worry about in the upcoming season.
Dec 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder (80) scores a second half touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
1. Jamison Crowder feels the rhythm
Crowder’s touchdown celebration clearly showed that when you’re losing the game, you literally have zero cares in the world, so have fun. Crowder finished the game with three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.
The CSN Mid-Atlantic tweet below shows the entire performance:
For whatever reason, Crowder was not penalized for this dance. This was surprising, considering he cranked back on a referee. If you look at the entire performance, he even points at the referee. No flag? Maybe the ref was also dancing to the beat in his head.
All three of these celebrations came at very special times. For Norman, it was his first interception with the Redskins. For Davis, it was his second touchdown with the Redskins. Crowder was trying to keep the morale up, obviously.
Whether or not the league considered these penalties when making their decision to overturn the rule is irrelevant at this point. Touchdown celebrations are back. Even if your favorite NFL team isn’t playing, you’re going to watch just to see who has the best dance of the day.
ABC’s Dancing With The Stars might have some competition this fall.