Once and probable future practice squad receiver Anthony Armstrong can be forgiven for botching his pre-season touchdown celebration Friday night against the Bills. After all, the Redskins were winning, and not many with the team know what to do in such situations anymore.
Add to that Armstrong's unlikely and hardscrabble journey to the NFL through the ranks of the Intense and Arena Football Leagues, and it's no wonder he spazzed out and released his would-be spiked ball early. He's not sure to make the team, so a touchdown means everything.
"It just slipped out of my hand," Armstrong told Redskins Blog. "I was going for this real big wind-up but then just dropped it."
Tight end Chris Cooley, who "wanted to be there for him," lent a hand by picking up the lost ball and spiking it himself while performing a compensatory "white-guy crazy fist-pump."
All's well that ends well, of course, but what about next time? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Do what Iceland does.
Maybe not the Salmon Fish Celebration exactly, but perhaps a variation on what's easily the greatest Other Football celebration ever. Personally, I'd like to see a version in which Armstrong scores, pretends to hunt an offensive lineman playing a bear, followed by the whole offense pretending to stuff and mount him. Very American.
2. Pull on a blue shirt and tuck them into the shiniest blue pants ever made by the hands of tiny foreign child laborers.
Armstrong would forever be remembered as the guy who got flagged for excessive celebration by turning himself into a giant blueberry, but Donovan McNabb is dressing like a very tall Smurf, and someone needs to tell him. Seeing a similarly-attired man humiliated for life might be the only thing drastic enough to send the big guy off to a Big & Tall for a makeover.
3. Just stand there and soak it in.
For Armstrong, each time he touches the ball might be the last he touches one in the NFL. Even a spiked ball has proved a little too much, so why clutter the moment? He should toss the ball aside, throw his arms in the air, turn his face to the crowd, and take in the moment. It's a place few people reach, and even fewer will be able to remember after a few years in the league take their toll. Only problem: boring!
4. Go back to his roots.
Not West Texas A&M, of course, because no one cares about that. We're talking Arena League, and one ball-busting spike mishap in particular. If you can't spike it right -- and Armstrong obviously can't -- spike it funny.