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When good celebrations go bad: A cautionary tale

Want to celebrate that big win? Go for it, just make sure you don’t trend for all the wrong reasons.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Arizona vs Xavier Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the University of Adidas at Lousiville defeated Notre Dame in a double overtime game that, thanks to the machinations of Mike Brey’s “offense,” was something less than a barn burner. Still, the Cardinals were excited to pick up a big road conference win and bolster their tournament credentials. Excited at the moment, Darius Perry did this.

We’ve all been there. It’s a big moment, maybe you just closed a big account at work. You see Jim from HR at the copier and launch into a chest bump. Unfortunately, one of you flies backward into the cooler and launches water and cups everywhere. It’s a rookie mistake, and it’s because you don’t have your execution down. Instead of the hero, your the clown who ruined the carpet.

It happened to Malcolm Bernard in this clip as well. Everything looks good, Xavier is going to the Elite Eight, and Bernard, who came to X just to play in the NCAA tournament, has the ball. As Malcolm gleefully runs out the clock, he completely obliterates an unsuspecting Conor Peterson. It’s another great moment for a celebration, (sort of) ruined by poor execution.

So how do you get this right? How do you avoid either sliding across the floor on your own buttocks or under the rather sweaty set of Malcolm Bernard’s?

- Eye contact and communication: You’re running, your teammate is running, and the distance is shrinking. Make good eye contact. Make sure your boy, or girl, knows what is happening. Double jumping high fives? A chest bump? Whatever it is Tre and Malcolm are doing in the lead picture? Making eye contact and finding a way to convey your idea is key.

- Launch angle: Much like in baseball, launch angle is vital in a good celebration. Conor Peterson got flattened because Mal, in all his exuberance, took a very shallow angle. If you do that, you are going to smash your teammate. Conversely, if you see him jumping at you more than jumping up, you need to brace yourself and start looking for a safe landing place.

- Size disparities: If you are Leighton Schrand and stand 6-0, 155, you don’t need to be chest bumping Tyrique Jones. Know your role. Find someone your size for your celebration. Note that Perry above hits a player at least four inches taller than him, possible seven footer Anas Mahmoud. Don’t do that, you’ll get nuked.

- Landing: The most important part of a good celebration is sticking the landing. Don’t be Bill Gramatica and tear your ACL or Kendrys Morales and break and dislocate your ankle. Jump, make contact, and bounce clear. If you can tell you are going to land on your butt or off balance, try to roll on a shoulder or let your ample posterior handle the impact. Don’t be trying to break your fall with a hand. That’s asking for a broken wrist.

And there you have it. Celebrations happen at the best times in life, don’t let your be marred by a simple mistake turning you into an internet laughingstock. With just a little bit of knowledge and practice, you too can celebrate like a champ.