Scoring an NFL touchdown is generally a joyous moment. With each football action completed under the specter of injury and scores hard to come by generally -- unless, of course, you catch passes from Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady -- the players in the NFL may go so far with their celebrations precisely because they understand how precious those moment are. Of course, some may just like the attention.
In either case, the reaction of Panthers tight end Jeremy Shockey after scoring a touchdown during Carolina's 28-13 win over Houston on Sunday was hardly what might have been expected. After the referee threw his hands up signaling touchdown, Shockey showed rage rather than happiness, immediately screaming and taunting the defenders.
So why was Shockey so upset? Because, according to Shockey, several Texans players disrespected America during the National Anthem.
"I was pretty upset when they weren't showing respect to America during the national anthem," he said after the win, via the Houston Chronicle. "There were about 10 players who didn't put their arms across their chest. This is America. They should at least give respect to America. I haven't seen it anywhere else in the NFL, but I don't know how you forget to do something like that."
Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans responded by questioning Shockey's patriotism.
"If he's so patriotic, why was he looking at our bench instead of the flag?" Ryans asked. "Why was he paying attention to us during the national anthem?"
Later, Shockey issued an apology on Twitter.
With wins hard to come by for the 5-9 Panthers, Shockey may merely be looking anywhere he can for extra motivation as the team plays out the string. Having signed a one-year contract before the season, one might think earning himself a place on the roster as Newton matures would be reason enough to score touchdowns.