We’ve seen some pretty creative goal celebrations in recent years. Diego Fagundez salsa danced his way into the hearts of New England Revolution fans in 2011 after burying a header during his first career start against Seattle Sounders FC. A.J. Soares celebrated his first career goal earlier that season by planking (remember planking?). And who can forget the Dube Dance, a traditional African dance used by Kheli Dube?
All memorable, for sure, but none of them created quite as much buzz as Roweing.
The craze was born in mid-August when Kelyn Rowe capped off the Revolution’s 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire with an insurance goal in the first minute of stoppage time. To celebrate, Rowe straddled the advertising boards and began “Roweing” while teammate Ryan Guy provided direction as the coxswain.
It was an immediate hit among Revolution fans and it also drew nationwide attention on social media, prompting Rowe to proclaim he’d stick with the celebration so long as he kept scoring. And keep scoring he did.
Just one week after introducing the world to Roweing, Rowe scored again in a home game against the Philadelphia Union. This time, he got everyone involved, joined in his imaginary boat by teammates Juan Agudelo, Chad Barrett and Fagundez.
At that point Roweing had become Rowe’s staple, but it needed to be performed in the appropriate context. For instance, when Rowe scored late to cut New England’s deficit against the Montreal Impact to 4-2, he gave a subtle, solo nod to his celebration while jogging back to midfield, but nothing elaborate.
The phenomenon even spawned a contest in which fans submitted photos and videos of themselves Roweing. The contest provided some absolute gems.
The only thing more fun than Roweing in the regular season is Roweing in the playoffs, which Rowe did after scoring a fantastic goal to put the Revs ahead 2-0 in their first-leg victory over Sporting Kansas City. It was the biggest and best version of the celebration to date, including Rowe, Agudelo, Fagundez, Andrew Farrell and Dimitry Imbongo.
But was that the last we’ll see of Roweing? Was it simply a 2013 phenomenon, or will it continue into 2014? Perhaps Rowe has something different up his sleeve? We’ll find out soon enough …