New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is hardly the first NFL player to spike a football after scoring a touchdown, even if he may be the most notable current practitioner of the move. According to USA Today, Sports Illustrated and various other, longtime Giants wide receiver Homer Jones pioneered the "spike" celebration in the 1960s.
A generation after Jones first threw the ball down to the turf after scoring, Gronk revived the art. In an era of convoluted, choreographed endzone dances, Gronkowski's spikes were both economical and brutish. Both attributes made them -- and him -- quite popular.
Upon reaching the endzone for the first time in the 2012 season, Gronkowski began his signature move but somehow botched one of the simplest celebrations in sports. After catching a 2-yard pass from Tom Brady in the Patriots' 34-13 trouncing of the Tennessee Titans, Gronkowski wound up for the spike but the ball slipped from his hands. Unaware that he'd fumbled the ball, he followed through empty handed.
Upon realizing that he'd whiffed, even Gronk seemed surprised that he had somehow screwed up one of the most basic moves this side of Tebowing.
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