Sunday witnessed a tale of three NFL celebrations thoroughly denigrated on Monday.
Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins appeared on his way to an 89-yard touchdown after catching a Kyle Orton pass. But the rookie transformed six points into a mere 84-yard reception by raising his hand and showboating several yards shy of paydirt. Strangely, he stared at the Jumbotron, presumably aware of the proximity of his pursuer, in the moments before the play ended before the endzone.
“I said, ‘There were people on that sideline’–meaning his teammates–‘that were upset. We’re playing our butts off and we don’t have time for stuff like that,'” Coach Doug Marrone told reporters. “Those are the things we have to work on–winning and growing up.”
All’s well that ends well. Buffalo romped over the New York Jets 43-23 and Bills fullback Frank Summers brought the ball past the goal line without fanfare a few plays later.
If 20-year-old Watkins remained unaware in the womb when fellow Bill Don Beebe stripped a touchdown from defensive lineman Leon Lett in Super Bowl XXVII, then perhaps J.J. Watt finds himself at the opposite end of a generation gap.
The defensive end did a mock “selfie” celebration after devouring rookie Zach Mettenberger. The Tennessee Titans quarterback has made a name for himself on social media, though not yet in the NFL, by taking photographs of himself sporting ironic facial hair and contrived gestures in the manner of a Williamsburg hipster.
— Zach Mettenberger (@mettshow) October 26, 2014
Watt says he takes his job “seriously” and wondered if the Titans QB does. “Their quarterback had posted a few selfies this week, including one before the game,” Watt, who sacked Mettenberger twice and caused a fumble, told reporters after the game. “And it’s just kind of a reminder, this is the National Football League, not high school. So welcome to the show.”
Watt’s killjoy celebration bitterly divided Caucasians, with those ridiculed on Stuff White People Like siding with Mettenberger and curmudgeonly Archie Bunker-types cheering on Watt’s boo.
JJ Watt is bringing the unwritten rules of baseball to football white people ruin everything.
— OHB (@ohholybutt) October 27, 2014
JJ Watt ripped Zach Mettenberger for taking selfies. At least he doesn’t show up to middle school dances
— Tom Tebow (@IamEvilTebow) October 27, 2014
I like JJ Watt but who are you to judge people? Didn’t you and your #NFL squad wear letterman jackets?
— T.A. (@TA_BOOM) October 27, 2014
Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston heard boos from the Gillette Stadium faithful when he performed his version of a sack dance after bringing down Tom Brady-backup Jimmy Garoppolo in the waning minutes of a 51-23 blowout at the hands of the New England Patriots. Then when he collapsed to the ground–Houston has landed–he heard cheers.
“I have to get an MRI in the morning, hopefully everything is good, but we’ll see tomorrow,” Houston told reporters after the game. “I probably shouldn’t have celebrated while they were blowing us out, but it happens.”
It could be worse. Last week, Indian professional soccer player Peter Biaksangzuala died after performing a gymnastics-like routine in response to scoring a goal. At least he had the good sense to celebrate after scoring–and his team didn’t trail by 25 points when he cartwheeled into a death flip.