Johnny Manziel gave ESPN their ratings wish during Monday Night Football when he flipped the Washington Redskins a middle finger.
Thanks to JFF’s now-infamous gesture we got to thinking: what other moments have put a bird on sports history?
Let’s take a stroll down the middle (finger) lane …
Think Johnny Manziel was the first Browns’ player to flash the finger? Nope. That honor belongs to former Browns’ punter Chris Gardocki, who, despite having an incredible streak of over 1,000 punts that have never been blocked, got a little riled up and flashed the bird twice in a game towards the Steelers after being tackled by Joey Porter.
Back in 2006, and prior to his animal cruelty charges that changed his life forever, Michael Vick wasn’t too happy with the crowds reaction, and showed his displeasure with both hands.
Chuck gave the TNT Crew an “accidental” bird, live on television
Where would the internet be, especially Twitter, without this idiot? Jose Canseco showed off his sharp wit in the Blue Jays clubhouse back in 1998.
Chicago QB Jay Cutler doesn’t like it when the cameras are on him off the field.
Yankees pitcher Jack McDowell didn’t just give visiting fans or an opposing team the bird, he gave the home crowd at Yankee Stadium the bird when they booed him for a poor performance. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “boo birds.”
Most are aware of the 2009 incident where Titans owner Bud Adams did what old guys do best and just didn’t GAF, as he flipped off the crowd from his owner’s box and was subsequently fined by the league a whopping $250,000. But here’s another view of Bud giving the finger to the away team while on the field! Legend status achieved. [fast forward to the 2:30 mark for the goodness]
Bud Adams wasn’t the only one flashing birds during Titans games. Defensive coach Chuck Cecil showed a ref what he thought about a neutral zone infraction call that eventually cost him $40,000.
Incidental birds still count. As former Texas coach Mack Brown showed us back in 2012 during his halftime chat with an ESPN sideline reporter.
SDSU’s 2012 Conference Player of the Year, Jamaal Franklin, either gave the bird to a ref or a group of New Mexico fans sitting behind the bench. Instead of admitting it, Franklin denied ever giving the bird in the first place.
Most players give high-fives and slaps on the butt after a nice sack on the opposing QB. Not in A.J. Hawk’ case. He shows his excitement by flipping off his own Packer teammates!
Mike Ditka can do whatever he wants and look BA while doing it. And that includes flipping off the cameras during halftime of a Bears game.
The hate between Louisville and Kentucky is strong. As was evident when Cards’ player Brian Gaicomini flipped off the hostile Wildcat fans back in 2007.
I almost forgot how much fun it was to watch the on-field antics of Milton Bradley. Here he is flipping off the Texas Rangers fans.
I don’t think middle fingers are supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. But Glen “Big Baby” Davis accomplishes just that.
What do you do when someone boos you? Well, if you’re former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer you get pissed off, and go back on the field to get that win. As he did against the Dolphins back in 2000.
Flippin’ birds has a history. LSU’s “Pistol” Pete Maravich gave the Alabama student section a double dose of middle fingers in 1970 as he was leaving the court.
There should be a special place for those who give the middle finger during the playoffs. As Bruins player Andrew Ference did during Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals against the Habs.
And the most famous of middle fingers belongs to this little guy, Mikey Wilson, who back in 2002 showed his support for Feyenoord during the UEFA Cup Final against Borussia Dortmund. This picture has since been photoshopped by countless sports fans all over the world to reflect their feelings towards a rival team.
If there are any more birds that should be included in the “Best Middle Finger Moments In Sports History,” sound off in the comments below!