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Spike-tacular: Gronk's signature TD celebration a huge hit

The Gronk Spike.

How has such a simple touchdown celebration reached astronomical levels of popularity? It's just one guy -- one really beefy guy, mind you -- throwing a football into the ground like it just talked bad about his mother.

"All the fans liked it, so I just kept with it," Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski told the Boston Herald on Thursday. "I always wanted to spike. Couldn't do it in college or high school, so I just started it here."

The Gronk Spike has been a huge hit with Patriots fans, and the team has taken notice, scheduling a contest Friday night to give away tickets to Sunday's AFC Championship Game based on the best Gronk Spike imitation. Gronk's advice to the hopefuls?

"Spike as hard as you can, I guess."

Just how much force of pressure does a Gronk Spike produce? An average of 645 pounds per touchdown, which is somewhere between a kicker booting a field goal (450) and an NBA player's takeoff for a slam dunk (700). You won't believe this, but there's a Gronk Spike calculator for this, thanks to the Herald enlisting the services of Dan Thaler, an organizing member of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

The formula can't be easily explained; you'll just have to check it out for yourself. And while we're at it, may we recommend the Gronk Spike 1812 Overture video?

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