First-World Dude Problem #2: The Midair Celebratory Bump

Over the course of history, we’ve seen an evolution in the way that athletes celebrate after scoring a point or winning the game. The ancient Aztecs celebrated a victory in ullamaliztli by scalping their opponents. The Romans exchanged undergarments with their teammates whenever they had a shot come particularly close to the pallino in bocce. And teams of Visigoths would pass epic bowel movements into the same bucket and ceremoniously deliver it to their opponents after winning at beer pong.

Modern-day athletes continue to celebrate in unique and ever-changing ways. There’s the butt pat, the high five, the fist pound, the chest bump, the hug, the kiss, the double kiss, the excited tangle, the victory dance, the pileup, the headbutt, and the uniform tear.

I love it when athletes celebrate as long as they’re not directly mocking the opponent. You just scored a touchdown or a goal in front of millions of people–celebrate! Let us feel your joy!

But there’s one type of celebration I really don’t understand: The type that puts you in physical danger.

Some examples of that are listed in my second paragraph. But there’s one such example that has become extremely prevalent in professional football and basketball: The midair celebratory bump.

You’ve seen this happen. A player scores a touchdown. One of his team mates runs over, and the two players jump into the air and basically bounce off each other.


Pretend that you’re a football coach observing this type of celebration from afar. You have highly paid 300-pound men jumping high in the air and colliding into one another, intentionally throwing both players off balance as they try to land on the ground. This is just asking for a torn Achilles or a strained ankle.

Is anyone else seeing what I’m seeing?!

I say let’s keep it clean from now on. Reduce the risk of injury and go back to the way the Romans did it. Especially if we’re talking about women’s beach volleyball.

5 thoughts on “First-World Dude Problem #2: The Midair Celebratory Bump”

  1. I actually don’t think the chest bump is a particularly harmful way to celebrate, but I have always questioned when multiple players actually jump on another football player who has just scored. To me, that seems like a receipe for injury.

    Also, have you noticed that football players sometimes unnecessarily dive into an endzone when scoring a touchdown? I think Adrian Peterson broke his collarbone doing this either in college or early in his pro career.

    • Oh yeah, the dive is completely unnecessary. I mean, all of these things look jubilantly cool, but why would you put yourself or your teammate in danger?

  2. NO! No, no, no. No undies exchanging. That’s just gross. Why in the world would anyone do that?

    That picture is a chest bump fail. I’m sure someone can get hurt if one of the parties is not prepare for it. I mean, it’s the whole weight of an individual coming down on another with the gravity, speed (they usually have a small sprint before the jump) and the force… I think they are trying to kill each other or have some “battle” scars to remember their victories.

    And do they really do the kiss, the double kiss, or the excited tangle to celebrate a score or win? I haven’t seen those. But the butt pat surprised me at first. I only see that in football. Lots of butt touching. Why? Big rough grown men in tights touching each other butts.

  3. We chest bumped in the early 70’s.
    U definitely had to be careful. My friends started doing it in sandlot games.


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