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8 Of Some Of The Most Expensive Football Celebrations

In the National Football League, $30,000 will buy you a crotch grab, a poncho-and-sombrero performance, or two goal post dunks. That odd price list may be news to you, but it probably isn’t to Marshawn Lynch, who has paid the league more than $130,000 in fines in one season. The NFL has charged players for “excessive celebrations” since the 1980s—anyone remember the “Ickey Shuffle”?—and tightened the rules around behavior it deems unsportsmanlike repeatedly in the intervening years, most recently in 2013.

$30,000: Chad Johnson, wearing a poncho and sombrero, 2009

Johnson—who changed his last name to Ochocinco in 2008 and then back to Johnson four years later—completed a typically superhuman catch for the Cincinnatti Bengals in a game against the Detroit Lions during the 2009 season. He then executed a seamless costume change, donning a dark gray poncho and a sombrero on the sidelines. The league was not amused.

$30,000: Jimmy Graham, goal post dunks, 2014

In what may turn out to be the largest single-celebration fine of the 2014-15 season, the NFL stuck New Orleans Saints tight end Graham with a $30,000 fee for dunking the football through the goal posts, twice, during a preseason game in August. In an impressive display of practical logic, the league’s reasoning for prohibiting this act is concern that a player might actually move the posts if he hits the structure hard enough.

$20,000: Marshawn Lynch, subtle genital gesture, 2015

Many of Lynch’s fees were penalties for not showing up at media events, hence his “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” response to most of the questions reporters asked him at a Super Bowl Media Day. Another chunk of that money, though, was paid for two post-touchdown groin grips, the second of the two obscene celebrations that earned Lynch a fine this season, executed during the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers in late January of the 2015 season.

$11,025: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Captain Morgan pose, 2014

After catching a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of a game against the Atlanta Falcons in 2014, rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Seferian-Jenkins placed the ball under one foot and assumed the Captain Morgan stance. He then posted a picture of this entirely unoriginal choice of celebration on Instagram. The league fined him, but the 15-yard penalty that came with the display probably hurt more: The Falcons used the field position to score a touchdown that helped seal the deal in a victory over Tampa Bay.

$10,000: Wes Welker Snow Angel

In the midst of a 47-7 rout of the Cardinals in 2008, then-New England Patriots wide receiver Welker fell to the ground after catching a touchdown pass and made his mark on the snow.

$7,875: Kenny Stills, Lance Moore, hip thrusts

Stills and Moore win the award for best-earned fine with their re-enactment of a sketch from the Comedy Central show Key & Peele. In the skit, Keegan-Michael Key plays a football player who gets flagged for hip-thrusting three times, rather than just two—the joke being that the league’s punishment system is arbitrary. In a December 2013 game vs. Tampa Bay, the Saints’ Moore caught a 44-yard touchdown pass, dropped the ball, and thrusted three times while Stills did his best impression of a vigilant referee.

$7,875: Dez Bryant, throat slash

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was penalized for a throat-slashing motion after scoring against the St. Louis Rams in 2013.

$7,875: Justin Houston, short-lived collective joy


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