The ’90s were a wonderful time in our lives. I fondly remember a weird blue hedgehog thing, a dance that looked like a circular convulsion, and devices that played actual CDs in your pocket.
I also have glowing memories of NFL happiness, and the various ways glee was expressed. The younger folk amongst us may not remember a time long ago when the NFL allowed real fun and individuality to exist on the field. But it happened, and it was glorious.
So come with me, and let’s pass the time on this default Friday afternoon by remembering the best touchdown dances of the ’90s.
The Mile High Salute
Simple but effective, the beauty of the Mile High Salute was its inclusion. Terrell Davis would salute pretty much everyone in Denver.
The Primtime Dance
A man of many gyrations both in the endzone and long before the endzone, Deion Sanders’ Primetime Dance — or strut, or wiggle, or whatever he calls it — is immitated pretty much every Sunday in the fall. But for my money, the Burger King guy (the king) had the best version, and it’s not close.
The Dirty Bird
Those crazy running backs, man. They were always taking the lead on zany team collaborations. Jamal Anderson may have invented and popularized the Dirty Bird, but I always liked watching his offensive linemen try to join in. When the Falcons were wearing their away unis (the white whites) the linemen looked like giant tumbling snowflakes when they were dirty birding.
The Ickey Shuffle
If you say this isn’t the best touchdown dance in the history of football, you’re wrong, and you’ve never been more wrong about anything in your life.
Elbert “Ickey” Woods had a career that was cut far too short by knee injuries, most notably a torn ACL in 1989, a time when that rip was a potential career killer. He was out of football at the still ripe age of 25 after rushing for 1,066 yards with 15 touchdowns as a rookie (which earned him a Pro Bowl appearance). But his stumbling shuffle will live on forever.
The Chicken Dance
I’m not sure how or why this particular body movement started. Merton Hanks defied the laws of modern medical science when he didn’t break his neck at least eight times. Hanks also invented the bobblehead.
The wall banger
Unlike the others, this celebration wasn’t a recurring one, mostly because the human head isn’t design to sustain repeated blows delivered by a concrete wall. In 1997 Gus Frerotte scored on a one-yard plunge, one of only six rushing touchdowns he’d record throughout a 13-year career. He was pretty jacked, enough so that Frerotte thought he could win a battle with a wall. Nope.
Frerotte later had to leave the game and was taken to the hospital with what turned out to be a sprained neck. Wall 1, Frerotte 0.