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Shutdown Corner

Michael Boley celebrates TD by pegging ball at end zone bystanders

Chris Chase
Shutdown Corner

There were a number of "what the --- ?" moments in Monday night's New York Giants vs. St. Louis Rams game, but nothing that topped Michael Boley's end zone celebration after scoring on a long fumble recovery.

1. As he runs into the end zone, Boley holds the ball in a taunting manner. To whom? Fans in the stands? (Nope, the Giants were playing at home.) The guy in white wearing the backpack? (Boley doesn't think anyone in a backpack should be out so late on a school night?) Or the "Monday Night Football" sign affixed to the wall around the end zone? (He's ready for some football but doesn't need Hank Williams Jr. telling him so?)

2. Boley then winds up for a pre-meditated throw that went directly at the head of the guy with the backpack. It ricocheted off the forehead of that poor sap and into the head of a cameraman. Watch the whole thing again and without context you'd think that the taunting/throwing combination was always meant for the guy in the backpack. It was a flawed celebration perfect in its execution.

3. Obviously, that's not what happened. Boley's celebration was the kind of thing you often see from defenders who are so surprised to be in the end zone they don't know what to do. Boley probably thought the ball taunt was a good idea, realized it wasn't and then decided to act all nonchalant and throw the ball at the wall, completely unaware of the presence of three men standing in his line of vision, all of whom served as potential targets.

4. The throw had more juice on it than anything Eli Manning completed on Monday night.

5. Hearty props to the cameraman, who kept rolling even after a football deflected off his head. He stayed with the shot! Give that man one of your dozens of Emmys, Steve Sabol, or at least have a fruit basket waiting for him when he gets home.

6. ESPN showed zero replays of the celebration, nor did the announcers allude to this moment once during the broadcast. But they did mention 243 times that Sam Bradford was drafted No. 1 a few years ago and that that guy, Steve Spagnuolo, used to coach in New York.

Update: The pegging victim was a Giants video intern named Michael Brown. Aside from some redness on the face, he was OK. Boley joked about his role in the pegging, poking fun at himself for not heeding to the old call of "act like you've been there."

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