The Middies: Best Celebrations of 2017 (So Far), Part II

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  • By Ralph Warner
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The Middies are The Checkdown's midseason awards for the best pop culture x football moments of Week 1 thru 9. Each day this week, we'll present nominees for the best celebrations and reveal the winner on Friday.

Yesterday, we brought you the first installment of The Middies: The Best Celebrations of 2017 (So Far).

Today, we're keeping it moving with some dance moves from an All-Pro tight end and the NFL's youngest player paying homage to an anime series that ended before he was even born.

Travis Kelce's Dance Party

Game: Washington vs. Kansas City
Date: 10/2/2017
Celebration by: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce

The Chiefs were in the midst of their 6-0 start to the season when they squared off against Washington on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs were feeling themselves a bit, and after their upset win against the Patriots in the opener, can you blame them?

This 2017 swagger was personified in the dance Travis Kelce did after a 17-yard touchdown reception -- the chicken head dance (not to be confused with the chicken dance.).

This jig was made even more awesome because of two factors: 1. The perfect shot of the fireworks in the background 2. No. 70 (OT Bryan Witzmann) with the amazing (waddle?) dance that I have no name for.

Kelce has already matched his career-high for touchdowns in a season (5) and continues to be one of the most interesting personalities in the league.

JuJu Smith-Schuster's Kamehameha

Game: Steelers vs. Ravens
Date: 10/1/2017
Celebration by: Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

A post shared by The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) on

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is the youngest player in the league, but the 20-year-old still has a love for pop culture throwbacks. In Week 4's Steelers vs. Ravens game, the rookie caught an 11-yard touchdown pass then broke out a move that both casual anime fans (and video gamers) instantly recognized and started debating.

Gamers saw it as the Hadouken from Street Fighter, while anime fans saw it as the Kamehameha from Dragon Ball Z.

Both of these iconic pieces of Japanese pop culture debuted way before baby JuJu was born. The original Street Fighter hit arcades in August 1987, while Dragon Ball Z's original TV series run started in April of 1989.

As the debates of which franchise JuJu was referencing raged on, we went into detail about the history of both the Kamehameha from Dragon Ball Z and the Hadouken from Street Fighter.

JuJu later confirmed which one he was actually paying homage to.

Despite being born 10 months after the final episode of Dragon Ball Z's original run, JuJu is one of the many other NFL players with love for the wildly successful TV series.

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