A Changed Game: After the Whistle
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The Way it Was

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Enough is Enough

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Monkey See, Monkey Do

Deion Sanders high-stepping down the sideline
When you think of the term "excessive celebration," many recent events and players come to mind. Deion Sanders, a.k.a "Prime Time", made the high-step fashionable and did not even wait to get into the endzone before he would start dancing.3 Often, he would be lined up waiting to receive the punt, dancing before the play even started. Many other players have followed his lead and even taken celebration a step further, which has caused a heated debate over when enough is enough. Terrell Owens signing a football in the endzone during a game Lately, excessive celebration has become almost synonomous with Terrell Owens, wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. Owens always seems to come up with new ways to shock fans and the media. Perhaps his most well known celebration was the famous sharpie incident. On a Monday night in front of the entire nation, Terrell Owens had a big game against the Seattle Seahawks in October, 2002. Owens had two scores on the night, with one coming on a 37 yard reception midway through the fourth quarter. Few people remember anything about the catch, however. What made the score memorable was what Owens did once he reached the endzone. After crossing the goal line, he bent down and pulled out a sharpie permanent marker from his sock. He then signed the ball he had just caught and handed it to a friend in the stands. Terrell Owens with pom poms in the endzone When asked about the move, Owens simply said, "I just tried to be creative. I was just trying to have fun. It was a situation where I knew we would be going to the end zone in the fourth quarter."4 Owens also picked up a pair of pom poms in the endzone on another occasion, and performed another controversial celebration in Dallas. Celebrations like these attract a lot of attention from the media. With ESPN's coverage, as well as every newspaper in the nation, it is only a matter of time before the next star wants the spotlight on him. Journalist Paul Daugherty jokes about the situation, saying, "One of these days, when players celebrate touchdowns with end-zone tailgate parties and two-minute concerts by Mary J..Blige, you'll yearn for the night Terrell Owens whipped out his Sharpie and signed his touchdown ball for his financial guy in the first row." 5 The trend shows no sign of slowing as the media provides more coverage of each celebration. There is also a generation of hopeful superstars that have watched this trend develop and is ready to jump into the spotlight.
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What's your definition of "excessive" celebration?