RENTON, Wash. - The Seattle wide receivers' end zone celebration game is becoming the stuff of legend.
With success, however, comes pressure, and it appears that what started out as innocent fun has turned into a weekly challenge to raise the bar with each performance.
“Unfortunately, it is now," wide receiver Doug Baldwin said if the pressure is on to deliver. "At first, it was all just about having fun, right?"
Oh, it's a lot of fun. And creative. And it creates anticipation for the next time a Seattle receiver reaches the end zone.
Baldwin's top three dances thus far are ranked as such:
1. The Five Heartbeats (see below) - A dance tribute to the 1991 movie, "The Five Heartbeats" about a fictional musical group. The receivers performed the dance following Jaron Brown's touchdown against the Chargers.
2. - Drum Line - The receivers mimicked a scene from the 2002 move, "Drumline." This was performed following a Brown touchdown against Oakland in London.
3. Nolan Ryan (see below) - In Detroit, the receivers reenacted when former Texas pitcher Nolan Ryan hit White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura with a pitch leading to one of the more famous baseball fights in MLB history. Seattle broke this celebration out following Tyler Lockett's touchdown at Detroit.
Baldwin, the veteran of the receiving corps, said the celebrations are worked out during down time at practice.
"We’re on the sidelines talking through what we would do together and what would be good ideas and then we just throw it together so it’s really just us having fun as a unit," he said.
As much fun as this has been for the receivers, Baldwin doesn't want it to get out of hand.
"I think that’s going to be one of my pushing points for the second half of the season, is let’s not make this an expectation," he said. "Let’s just have fun with it like we were in the first half of the season. It has become an expectation. Now everybody’s asking us what’s coming up next, but first and foremost we’ve got to score so let’s take care of the football aspect of it first and then just have fun if it comes along."
Yeah, yeah, yeah...that ship has sailed. We want more and they'd better be great. The judges will be waiting.
What could be fascinating to see is if the defense has something planned for when it scores a touchdown. Corner back Shaquill Griffin, when presented with the possibility, said that there had been discussion among the defensive players about what they might do should one of them get into the end zone.
"I think I'd be the choreographer for that one," Griffin said. "I'm pretty sure I could come up with something. I don't know how many dancers we have in this group but I'll take it upon myself to figure that part out."