Best NFL Touchdown Rituals (continued)
6. The "Who Dey" Chant
Paul Brown Stadium
This unusual mantra has been part of the Bengals' mojo for the better part of three decades. There is, however, some controversy regarding its origin.
Some not-so-neutral observers claim it's a knockoff of the "Who dat?" chant sometimes recited at New Orleans Saints games. Others swear it traces its roots to a memorable auto commercial in the Cincinnati market in which the dealership owner asked, "Who's going to give you a better deal than Red Frazier?" before assuredly answering, "Nobody."
Whichever the case may be, this much is certain: Fans of the orange and black have been uttering the cry, "Who dey? Who dey? Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?" and answering back "Noooooo body!" since the team's drive to Super Bowl XVI in 1981.
And, now, when the Bengals score and the call reverberates throughout Paul Brown Stadium, the effect is as deafening as it is exhilarating.
7. The Lambeau Leap
Green Bay Packers
This well-known tradition is symbolic of the close relationship that exists between Packers players and the men and women who not only fill the Lambeau stands, but own the team. It is a fan and player tradition in one.
For Green Bay players, the practice of vaulting into the crowd after scoring plays began on a sub-zero degree day (would you expect anything less?) in December 1993, when team icon Reggie White scooped up a Los Angeles Raiders fumble and lateraled to LeRoy Butler, who scampered into the end zone and out of the end zone then hurled himself into the stands.
Who could blame Butler for being excited? The touchdown helped clinch the Packers' first playoff berth since 1982.
On the eve of his induction into the Packers Hall of Fame this past July, Butler recalled in a hometown newspaper interview what was going through his mind when he took that very first leap of faith
"It was totally spontaneous. I'd just scored a touchdown and just did it," Butler told the Florida Times Union. "People didn't know how to react.
"It was just a way to thank the fans that were stuck in the cheap seats. I wasn't trying to show anybody up. I just wanted to show my appreciation to fans sitting in that cold weather. It grew from there."
Indeed it did. And the cheeseheads in Green Bay are certainly grateful for it.
8. The Singing of "Buffalo Bills Shout"
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Like the Packers, the Bills have their own undyingly loyal fans that support them in a tiny, local market where the winter weather produces conditions that would send others blitzing for the exits in many of the more temperate NFL cities.
When Buffalo scores, the throngs break into a rambunctious rendition of the classic Isley Brothers song "Shout" that includes some specially adapted lyrics to suit the home team.
But it's not just a song. It's a full body experience that warms the soul of every blue-blooded Bills backer in attendance. Fans dance in the seats and aisles as they croon along in mass celebration.
Buffalo Bills Shout
Shout! Buffalo's happen' now.
Shout! We're on the move now.
Shout! The Bills are happenin' now.
Shout! They're makin' it happen now.
Shout! We've got the spirit.
Shout! A lotta' spirit, yea.
Shout! We've got the spirit.
Shout! Just watch it happen now.
9. The Tipping of the Heinz Ketchup Bottles
So, OK, this one's actually a pre-touchdown celebration, but it's pretty original, so it makes the list.
Every time the Steelers cross the 20-yard line and thus venture into the red zone, the two 35-foot-tall faux Heinz ketchup bottles on either side of the Heinz Field Jumbotron tilt 15 degrees, raise their caps and proceed to pour virtual ketchup onto the screen.
As the Steelers faithful wave their Terrible Towels and the men in black and gold chip their way toward the goal line, the screen fills up. Yes, it's a corporate gimmick; but it may well be the most innovative one in all of sports.
And what better topping could there be for a Roethlis-burger, anyway, than at little Heinz when Big Ben is leading Pittsburgh to the promised land?
10. The Pirate Ship Firing its Cannons
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When the Bucs are driving, the vessel comes alive, firing off one initial cannon when Tampa Bay cross into the red zone. When the team scores, the eyes of the giant skull on the boat's bow glow a menacing red and all eight cannons shoot confetti and miniature footballs into the frenzied crowd.
Fans not only rejoice, but some get souvenirs to take home, as well. Now that's a celebration.
Josh Pahigian is the author of several travel guides, including "Ultimate Minor League Baseball Road Trip."
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