When Amon-Ra St. Brown scored the first touchdown of the NFL season, the Detroit Lions receiver celebrated with a dance that almost landed him in hot water with referees.
St. Brown caught a 9-yard pass from Lions quarterback Jared Goff with 2:46 in the first quarter of the September 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, putting the Lions up 7-0 against the defending Super Bowl champions. After the catch, the Lions receiver celebrated by thrusting his hips in a move that drew comparisons to a famous comedy sketch.
“Sometimes life imitates art,” wrote Mike Payton of AtoZSports. “For the Detroit Lions, that apparently happened on Thursday after Amon-Ra St. Brown’s first touchdown of the year. St. Brown did a touchdown dance that’s very reminiscent of the infamous Key & Peele sketch that features the official counting the amount of pumps that tight end Hingle McCringleberry does after his touchdown.”
As St. Brown later shared, the referee in Thursday’s 21-20 win over the Chiefs may have had a similar concern about his dance.
Amon-Ra St. Brown’s Racy Celebration
Speaking about Thursday’s game on the “St. Brown Bros Podcast,” the Lions receiver revealed that referees were close to throwing a flag on his celebration. Like the character in the Key & Peele sketch, St. Brown was able to stay just within the line.
“I hit it, boom, no flag, I get to the sideline, sit down, celebrate boom,” St. Brown said. “And then my receiver coach (Antwaan Randle-El) is like Hey St., one more time and they said were gonna throw the flag. I’m like it’s done now, I got it off. Ain’t no more pumps. Apparently the ref told our head coach that if he does one more pump, then we’ll throw the flag, and then he told our receiver guards and he told me.”
Had St. Brown been flagged on the play, it would have been assessed on the ensuing kickoff, though the outcome of the next drive may not have been different. After the Lions kicked into the endzone for a touchback, the Chiefs drove 75 yards in 13 plays, ending with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Rashee Rice to tie the game at 7-7.
Lions Find a Way to Win
Thanks in part to St. Brown’s performance, the NFC North favorites were able to overcome a late deficit to beat the Chiefs 21-20. After the game, Goff said the team found a way to win against a tough Chiefs team.
“A lot of work has been put in this offseason,” Goff said, “and you want to start off winning the first one, and we did that today. We didn’t play the best on offense, I thought the defense kept us in the game, but we found a way.”
As Russell Brown of USA Today’s Lions Wire noted, St. Brown was one of the key reasons the Lions were able to pull off the upset victory.
‘It’s clear that he’s one of the best and most consistent players on this Lions team,” Brown wrote. “That remained to be true after the first week of the 2023 season for St. Brown and the Lions. In the Lions win over the Chiefs, he recorded six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Let’s jump into the tape and go over some of the best receptions from St. Brown in his season debut against the Chiefs.”