There were loads of great athletic celebrations this year, from J.J. Watt hitting the Nae-Nae in the endzone to the entire Colombian soccer team pulling out synchronized Latin dance moves at the World Cup. Unfortunately for some athletes, however, there were other attempts to celebrate on-field accomplishments that went horribly, horribly wrong. Here are the 10 best (worst?) botched athlete celebrations of 2014.
Stephen Tulloch mocks Aaron Rodgers, but clowns himself
If ever there was a “c’mon man” moment in sports history, this is it. Not only did Detroit Lions’ Stephen Tulloch act unsportsmanlike when he decided to celebrate a sack by mocking Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers signature celebratory “title belt” move, but the veteran linebacker hurt himself in the process. Tulloch tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the first quarter of the game on Sept. 21 and has been out of commission since.
Utah celebrates non-touchdown while Oregon runs it back
Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay had the right idea, but he forgot one important rule: To score a touchdown, one must get the football across the goal line. Unfortunately, Clay dropped it, resulting in a fumble that was ultimately picked up by Oregon’s Joe Walker, who ran it back for six for the Ducks while Clay celebrated his non-touchdown in the November game.
Soccer player Layvin Kurzawa’s premature farewell salute
French defender Layvin Kurzawa’s signature goal celebration salute came back to haunt him when the Swedish team he gesticulated farewell to after scoring came back to beat him in an October Euro 2015 under-21 qualifier. Not only that, but the Swedes then mocked Kurzawa’s salute by giving it right back to him during a victory lap around the pitch after they eliminated France from the competition.
Cyclist Eloy Teruel celebrates victory… with one lap to go
Spanish cyclist Eloy Teruel got a little ahead of himself at this year’s Tour de California in May when he celebrated a stage victory before he actually won. Unfortunately for him, while he slowed to cheer, other cyclists who still realized there was a lap to go in the race, got a little ahead of him to. Teruel lost, while Slovakia’s Peter Sagan went on to win.
Nick Young celebrates a missed three-pointer
Swaggy P? It was more like Snafu P when the Los Angeles Laker thought he sunk a three from afar in March and momentarily turned around to celebrate. Upon his double-take, however, Young realized what those of us who were watching already knew. He missed the shot. In the end, though, his comical act didn’t matter. The Lakers still beat the New York Knicks, 127-96
Sammy Watkins’s premature celebration cost him a touchdown
Rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins of the Buffalo Bills is ranked fourth among rookies with 850 receiving yards. He’s had 59 catches and five touchdown receptions. And he could’ve padded those statistics more had he not prematurely celebrated a touchdown before making it into the end zone on Oct. 26. While pointing the crowd during what should’ve been an 89-yard run to the goal line, the New York Jets’ Saalim Hakim tackled him to the ground. The Bills wound up scoring, so it wasn’t a total blunder.
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad’s shirtless celebration causes him to lose gold medal
French runner Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad lost his gold medal at the 2014 European Athletic Championships in Zurich in August after he celebrated his impending win in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase by stripping down. The 29-year-old peeled his shirt off and ran the last few meters while carrying it in his mouth. It turns out that’s a violation of the uniform competition’s uniform regulations. Let’s all just be thankful he didn’t fight with a mascot.
Chris Baker puts politics before his on-field duties
Washington Redskins defensive lineman Chris Baker put admirably, perhaps, put politics ahead of his job in a Dec. 7 game against the St. Louis Rams. After the Washington lineman sacked Rams quarterback Shaun Hill, Baker celebrated with the “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture. There was just one problem: Hill fumbled the ball, which bounced out right behind Baker who was too busy celebrating to recover it. Good thing the Rams were paying attention. The Rams went on to win, 24-0.
Raiders nearly blow first win of the season with premature celebration
Before Nov. 20, the Oakland Raiders were zero for 10 when it came to season wins. So, when the Raiders went up 24-20 on the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football late in the fourth quarter, the team was understandably excited and wanted to show it. There was just one problem — the game wasn’t over. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith tried to take advantage of the Raiders’ latest blunder, but a quick-thinking Justin Tuck called a timeout to save his team’s win.
Lamarr Houston celebrates too hard after sack on backup quartback
Lightning does strike twice in the NFL. On Oct. 26, a second player, Chicago Bears defensive lineman Lamarr Houston, tore his ACL while celebrating a sack. Unlike Stephen Tulloch, the first player to hurt himself in this ridiculous manner, Houston wasn’t celebrating a sack on one of the greatest players ever. He was celebrating a sack on New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo. The Bears lost, 51-23.
Emil Hegle Svendsen almost loses gold medal after premature celebration
Norwegian Olympian Emil Hegle Svendsen almost traded gold for silver in the biathlon in Sochi this year when he decided to celebrate his win before he actually won. That gave silver medalist Martin Fourcade of France a chance to sneak in at the very end. The race got so close, that judges had to turn to photos to determine the winner. It was Svendsen by a hair.
2014 sports in review
You must remember this: The most unforgettable moments
Snap judgments: The year in athlete Instagrams
Freakouts: The year in epic meltdowns
Next up: MLB’s breakout stars
Fresh faces: The NFL’s best rookies
Dry snitchin’: Top D.C. sports phrases