Back in 2008 former Head of NFL Officiating, Mike Periera, explained that any time a player scores a TD and then goes down to the ground to celebrate, he WILL be assessed a 15-yard penalty…UNLESS he was going to the ground to “praise the Lord”. This would not be penalized, he said, because “I do not want to be struck by lightning.”
Going down to one knee to pray is good, but you’ve got to admit it’s a little played out at this point. Let’s get a little more creative, people! (and as always, I am here to help.)
The 11 Best Christian End Zone Celebrations Ever
1. Making the Crucifix:
For some, too Catholic. For others, too coordinated. It’s like playing connect the dots on your upper torso. How does it go again? Mouth, sternum, left nip, right nip? Bonus points if you finish it off by kissing a cross necklace.
2. Pointing to the Sky:
This is a great way to give praise to God for your achievement, but it can get confusing. Are you pointing to God or are you dedicating the touchdown to a recently deceased loved one? Or maybe you’re a fanatical bird watcher and a peregrine falcon just flew over the stadium with an albino field mouse in its talons. Now that would be something worth looking at.
3. Going to the Ground to Pray:
I appreciate the gesture, but what type of prayers are actually being offered up after a score? I have trouble concentrating during prayer if there are birds chirping too loud outside my window and you’re telling me someone surrounded by 50,000 cheering fans and a bunch of teammates slapping his helmet is going to get past “Dear God..”? Color me skeptical.
NOTE: Many athletes will combine all 3 of these by praying on one knee, then doing the crucifix and pointing to the sky. While it’s a nice combo move for sure, it still doesn’t get you out of the Rookie Tier.
4. Reenact a Famous Bible Story:
There are many Bible stories that can be effectively acted out in 15 seconds or less. Adam biting the apple, David dancing wildly before the Lord, or Saul being blinded on the road to Damascus would all make for great mini-theater in the end zone. Just stay away from anything in The Song of Solomon if you’d like to avoid a flag and a probable suspension.
5. Take Communion in the End Zone:
You’ll get penalized for using props in your celebration, but remembering the life and death of Jesus is worth a 15-yard penalty, right? Bonus points if you can drink the grape juice through your helmet without getting any on your home whites.
6. Slay Your Teammates in the Spirit:
You’ll need a few teammates to join in on the fun, but won’t it be worth it when the power of God drops them to the ground? Bonus points if you have cheerleaders stand behind the players to catch them and lay them gently on the ground. Extra bonus points if you get referees to lay modesty cloths over the slain players’ midsections.
7. Make a Dove Descend on You:
Having a dove descend onto your helmet after scoring a touchdown? Awesome. Dealing with angry reporters in your post-game press conference who think you’re trying to claim you are the son of God? Not so much. Proceed with caution on this one.
8. Force the TV Announcers to Speak in Tongues:
How great would it be if, following your touchdown on Monday Night Football, Al Michaels tried to crack a joke and it came out sounding like gibberish to the millions of people watching? Answer: pretty great.
9. Perform Healing on Injured Teammate:
Why not take a page out of Benny Hinn’s playbook and pray for an injured teammate after finding the end zone? Bonus points if the teammate is in street clothes and immediately runs to the locker room to get his uniform on after God has healed him through your prayer. You’ve not only helped your team by scoring, but you’ve supplemented the depth chart as well. MVP, indeed.
10. Turn the Football into a Swine:
Turn the pigskin back into a pig and you’re not only showing off the power of God, you’re also making a confusing statement against macro-evolution. Bonus points if the pig reenacts Mark 5 by running out of the stadium and hurling itself into the nearest body of water.
HALL OF FAME TIER
11. Being taken away like Enoch:
In the ultimate form of an end zone celebration, let God whisk you away to heaven as he did with Enoch long ago. The downside: you’ll never score another touchdown. The upside: Hey, you went out on top! And you’re in heaven now, which means no more two-a-days at training camp.
And if you’ve got a creative way for a Christian to celebrate scoring a touchdown that I missed, let us hear it.
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