Goal celebrations have been a cherished part of EA Sports’ NHL series, where they can exist freely and without the death stare of fun-smothering critics seeking to make sports an unenthusiastic variety of vanilla.
It’s a safe space for flamboyancy, which is why we’re happy they’ve provided a happy home for Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista’s infamous “Joey Bats Flip” in NHL 17.
Executed after his series-clinching homer against the Texas Rangers last October, the bat flip became a signature move in baseball and a point of criticism for old-school fans and players like Goose Gossage, who called it a “disgrace.”
(If this were a “$25,000 Pyramid” category, it would be “Something a Pitcher Would Say About a Home Run Celebration.”)
Toronto Maple Leafs fan @MarcQuill on Twitter discovered the new gimmick during the game’s beta phase, as it joins of a collection of celebrations both sublime and ridiculous in the player customization process. That a Leaf can celebrate like a Jay is some level of Toronto sports singularity, we imagine.
This is cool. Well, as long as “MLB 17: The Show” incorporates Teemu’s shotgun gun celebration.