For years, premeditated celebrations were considered taunting and cost the offending player’s team a 15-yard penalty or automatic first down. The rules for celebrations relaxed in 2017 to make room for “spontaneous displays of emotion,” according to a letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, allowing for post-play dances that are good, clean fun. Will a chicken dance force a penalty on the field? It seems unlikely.
The news of the Shake Shack chicken dance deal hit X, formerly known as Twitter, on ESPN podcaster Adam Schefter’s page. Commenters have been tagging players under the post, including 49er George Kittle, who likes to shimmy on the field, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, who does little moves like blowing kisses and the “rock-a-baby” after plays, and Viking Justin Jefferson, who does his signature “griddy” dance in the endzone.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is known for an endzone waddle — it’s the wrong bird, but those skills look transferable (the Dolphins aren’t playing on Sunday, but perhaps Waddle could give some lessons on fowl play to other teams). With 24 NFL teams in competition on Sunday, November 12, there are plenty of chances for an end zone chicken dance and plenty of players with the opportunity to unlock the code if they’re up for a little wing-flapping fun. Even if your team loses on Sunday, you might find solace in a free chicken sandwich.