Get a couple of former Pittsburgh Steelers on a podcast and you could listen to those guys for a couple hours. They sure have some great stories to tell. Former Pittsburgh Steelers’ outside linebacker Joey Porter Sr. served as this week’s guest on the All Things Covered podcast and was asked about his most memorable moment not as a player but as a coach, his hilarious celebration with CB William Gay following Gay’s pick-six in a 2015 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The celebration was so extended that it drew a flag, cameras capturing Gay and Porter on their knees “swimming” to each other in a big embrace. On the podcast, Porter was asked about that moment.
“We were going through a stretch,” Porter told the show. “To where, we weren’t playing with that Steelers passion…we were in the defensive meeting room one time, man. I was like, ‘man, y’all don’t get excited when y’all make plays. Y’all don’t.’ I said, man, we used to make a play and just wait for all the brothers to come and beat our helmet up.”
Consider it message received for Gay. After jumping a screen and housing an A.J. McCarron throw 23 yards the other way, Gay went full Key and Peele to celebrate the moment. It was a historic one too, his fifth pick-six, tying the franchise record alongside Rod Woodson.
Gay began by dancing with CB Brandon Boykin in the end zone before doing the same with S Mike Mitchell towards the Steelers’ sideline. That seemed to draw the flag for excessive celebration and Gay got his money’s worth, dancing with CB Antwon/Valentino Blake.
As the ref announced the penalty for his celebration, cameras then captured Gay and Porter embracing on the sideline, leading play-by-play announcer Greg Gumbel to remark on the “somewhat ridiculous celebration” between the two. And though if you’re like me, you’ve seen the moment a dozen times already, it still puts a smile on your face.
Porter told the show the celebration was slightly pre-planned.
“We had this conversation in the meetings one time and I was like, ‘man, I’ll get on my knees man for the celebration.’ And then Gay got the pick-six.”
True to his word, he did, leading to a hilarious moment. Porter told the show it’s one of his favorite memories, one that made him wish he was still playing in the NFL and not just coaching.
“I’ve got a big ‘ol picture of that on my wall.”
Though focusing on celebrations may seem trivial, there’s value to it. Value in being a good teammate, and providing energy for your team to feed off of. It’s a point even Bill Belichick has made in the past, encouraging his players to celebrate with teammates after they make plays. For Pittsburgh on that day, it worked, beating the Bengals 33-20, giving the Steelers much to celebrate during and after the game.
Check out the entire interview below.