NFL

Mock TD celebrations nothing new

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)

Colin Kaepernick did the ultimate in-your-face touchdown celebration last weekend when he imitated Cam Newton's Superman pose on his home turf.

After racing into the end zone in the third quarter of San Francisco's 23-10 playoff victory at Carolina, Kaepernick pretended to rip open his shirt with both hands, copying Newton's tribute to the superhero.

''That's not the first, nor will it be the last time somebody does that,'' Newton said after the playoff loss.

Of course, Kaepernick played it down, saying it was ''just a little shoutout.''

Taunting an opponent with his own touchdown dance is nothing new in the NFL. It happened a few times this past season to New York Giants star Victor Cruz, who celebrates his TDs with a salsa dance. Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson and Kansas City's Dexter McCluster did their version of the Latin steps after scoring against the Giants.

Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert broke out the Dirty Bird dance after a TD against Atlanta, even though former Falcons star Jamal Anderson retired more than a decade ago.

Touchdown celebrations are often unique and quite amusing. There was no telling what Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens would do whenever they scored. Johnson's zany celebrations included proposing to a cheerleader, performing CPR on a football, using a pylon to putt the ball and the Irish jig. T.O.'s stunts included pulling a marker from his sock and signing the ball, borrowing a cheerleader's pom-poms, eating a fan's popcorn and doing sit-ups.

Joe Horn once pulled a cellphone from under the goal post and called his children from the end zone. Ickey Woods had the shuffle. Tim Tebow went ''Tebowing.'' Deion Sanders high-stepped and pranced. Billy ''White Shoes'' Johnson was the original with his ''Funky Chicken'' and ''Six Shooter'' dances.

But nothing shows up an opponent like beating him and stealing his moves. So, here's a Pick 6 of some of the most memorable mock celebrations:

THE RAVEN: Terrell Owens caught a short pass from Donovan McNabb, broke a couple of tackles and ran into the end zone to help the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Baltimore Ravens 15-10 and improve to 7-0 on Oct. 31, 2004. Then T.O. dared to mock Ray Lewis by doing the fearsome linebacker's ''squirrel'' dance in the end zone.

Owens and Lewis had a little history that started earlier that year when T.O. nixed a trade from San Francisco to Baltimore and forced his way to Philadelphia. Imitation may be considered the highest form of flattery, but Lewis wasn't pleased.

''Don't be a coward and wait until you make one play to do something,'' Lewis said afterward.

DISSING THE STAR: This list couldn't have only one contribution from T.O. Long before Jerry Jones gave him ''$25 million reasons to live'' and play for Dallas, Owens disrespected the famed Cowboys symbol. During San Francisco's 41-24 win at Dallas on Sept. 24, 2000, Owens twice ran out to the star logo at midfield after TD catches, thrust his hands in the air and looked up to the sky. Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith answered Owens' first celebration with his own, slamming the ball on the star to reclaim his territory. But when Owens did it again late in the game, George Teague tackled him. Owens was suspended one game by Niners coach Steve Mariucci and fined.

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT: After beating cornerback Fred Smoot for a 59-yard TD catch in Carolina's 38-13 win over Minnesota on Oct. 30, 2005, Steve Smith sat down in the end zone and pretended to row a boat. It was a direct jab at Smoot, who earlier that month organized the infamous ''Love Boat'' scandal involving several Vikings players.

REMEMBERING KING JAMES: Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew celebrated a TD run at Cleveland Nov. 20, 2011, by mimicking former Cavaliers star LeBron James' pregame powder-toss ritual. Browns fans, still angry that James left for Miami, booed. But they got the last laugh when Cleveland rallied to win 14-10.

LAMBEAU LEAP: After intercepting Brett Favre's pass and returning it for a TD, Minnesota's Fred Smoot did the Lambeau Leap in Green Bay. Of course, fans didn't welcome him with open arms and one guy even doused him with beer. Favre then rallied the Packers to a 9-7 win on Dec. 21, 2006.

DON'T SHOOT: Buffalo's Stevie Johnson pretended to shoot himself in the thigh after scoring a TD against the New York Jets on Nov. 27, 2011. Johnson was making fun of Jets wideout Plaxico Burress, who spent 20 months in prison on an illegal weapons charge after he accidentally shot himself in the leg. The Jets won 28-24.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

Tagged: Bills, Dolphins, Vikings, Giants, Jets, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Redskins, Panthers, Ravens, Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, Fred Smoot, Steve Smith Sr., Ray Lewis, Stevie Johnson, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick

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