A History and Ranking of the Bow and Arrow Celebration in Sports

There are a lot of imaginary arrows flying around sports stadiums these days. LeSean McCoy is in much more danger on the football field than any real buffalo roaming the Great Plains.

Being 18% Native American, I like the bow and arrow celebration (that’s a high enough amount to get the E-newsletter).


I can’t speak for Indians of a higher percentage, but I’m not butthurt like McCaigBro69 wrote in the LSU Tiger Droppings blog forum.


The Brothertown tribe in me just wants people to shoot their arrows correctly. (I also realize guys may be shooting their arrows because they idolize Robin Hood and his tights or have loved archery since high school gym class.)

Thus, I scoured the internet (went all the way to the 10th page of Google results) for every video example of an athlete celebrating with a bow and arrow and ranked them 1 – 16, using my 20% Native American heritage as a guide.

Let’s begin.

1. Eric Berry

A no brainer #1 choice. It was his first interception after beating cancer and he plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. I also love how he incorporates the ball and shoots at an actual target. His draw of the bow was compact and powerful and he didn’t get flagged. A+ all around. 

2. Brian Cushing


This is what shooting arrows on HGH looks like. If Brian Cushing were an Indian, his name would be Crazy Horse. The rest of the tribe has to constantly tell Brian, “We have enough food for the whole winter, you don’t have to hunt anymore”, only to have Brian instinctively kill anything that rustles the brush. In Big Buck Hunter Safari addition, Brian kills all of the protected black panthers. He just can’t help himself.

3. Josh Norman

The most expensive bow and arrow shot in the history of man. Norman was fined $10K for simulating the firing of a weapon. 

Bowhunting.com thought the suspension was ridiculous, and they seem like a reliable source. 

He also plays for the Redskins, sooooooo I’m confused. The irony, injustice and pure price tag bring this up near the top of the list. 

4. Brandin Cooks

Crooks is not someone I’d like to see in a prairie west of the Mississippi. He handles his bow with defiant purpose. He efficiently incorporates the quiver and destroys the Falcons like the cocky gunslinger in Westerns who lets his opponent shoot first in a duel, only for them to miss and then quickly meet their maker with a precise rebuttal. My favorite thing about Crooks bow and arrow though is his reason for doing it. This is what he told reporters in October:   

“It comes from a passage of scripture found in Psalms 144:6 of the Bible – “Send forth lightning and scatter your enemy, and shoot your arrows and rout them.”

Lawd have mercy on NFL secondarys. 

5. Deshaun Watson


Deshaun’s on fire. Absolutely brimming with bow confidence. His draw is like a sniper who’s so good he knows he’s going to hit the target and never has to rush while his target frantically sees the arrow coming but can’t do anything about it. Love how he’s smiling when he does it. Diabolical yet somewhat soothing.   

6. Iowa State Holder Austin Fischer

I mean he’s a holder. That’s pretty badass. If I worked in HR for the Ames branch of Leo Burnett, I would have hired him on the spot. Can make a bee with no wings buzz. He ended up getting national media attention for his celebrations on a horrible team as a holder. Field goal kicking is also a target and accuracy based endeavor, so he gets extra points for making his celebration relevant.

7. Kristaps Porzingis


The unicorn! Look at the joy on his face. For how goofy he looks, I’d bet that if the big Latvian put his mind to it, he could hit a lot of bulls-eyes. The hand over his eyes for distance and swaggy, blue steel “What What” look at the end puts this over the top for me.

8. Fernando Rodney

The drama here is solid. I enjoy the bow and arrow following the snap of a strike three leg kick.

It’s just the right amount of disrespectful. The pause before he gets into it is nice, and he has strong, compact form with the bow.

9. Jamal Murray

I like the team involvement. That’s a star player making sure the last guy on the bench is invested.

I also give him more credit for doing it in college. Look at Coach Cal freak out that he’s not quickly getting back on defense.

10. Doug Baldwin


As a fan, I get slightly aroused when players mock their opponents’ celebrations. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true.

11. Travis Kelce


This is the celebration Doug Baldwin was mocking above. The bow and arrow is fine and I wish more players would do celebrations that coincide with their team names, but this is a classic case of managing expectations. Kelce is capable of so much more. Bitten by his own snake really.


12. Mike Trout

I like the stare down and speedy draw from the quiver, but the whole motion is too short and fast. Maybe that flies with the suction cup bow and arrows Mike still plays with at his mom’s house (errr also his house), but Tecumseh is rolling over in his grave.

13. Wes Matthews on the Blazers

Meh. Whatever. Don’t think he could shoot very accurately on the run like that.

14. WWE Wrestler Luke Harper

Hahahahahaha. I don’t totally hate the hand motion at the end.

15. Albert Pujols

SMDH. What the hell was that Albert?! What a limp arrow. That muscle bound draw wouldn’t have even hit a deer on the mound. What would Jim Thorpe, Native American and greatest athlete of the 20th century, think of this?


16. Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon Footballer)


He’s second in French Ligue 1 in scoring right now and goal scoring definitely has an element of accuracy to it, but Alexandre looks scary. I don’t think he’s hunting for the right reasons and definitely wouldn’t use all of the buffalo. The sinister way he pulls back the bow makes me uncomfortable, and I really don’t want to know his hobbies when he’s alone.


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