07/27/2015 9:44 AM
JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks put together a complete team effort in Saturday’s dominating 63-16 win over the Tampa Bay Storm, played in front of a record crowd of 13,092 at Sea Best Field. There is one particular moment from the game that has made national headlines over the past 24 hours.
In the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, Jacksonville wide receiver Tiger Jones caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Grady. Jones, who is known around the Arena Football League for his creative touchdown celebrations, proceeded to imitate the “People’s Elbow,” made famous by actor Dwayne Johnson during his professional wrestling career as The Rock. After the score, Jones clotheslined teammate Moqut Ruffins, and performed The Rock’s famous finishing move. Jones’ fellow receivers got in on the action, as London Crawford pinned Ruffins to the ground and Joe Hills played the role of referee.
Within hours of the game’s conclusion, the Sharks’ celebration was selected as SportsCenter’s No. 10 play of the night and was featured on the front page of Deadspin.com. But the best recognition was still to come. At 11:33 p.m. Saturday, Johnson himself tweeted “This People’s Elbow is awesome, right after a touchdown and in the end zone. Boys are havin’ fun!” Two hours later, Johnson followed up with another tweet, calling it “possibly the greatest [touchdown] celebration of all time." Johnson acknowledged the Sharks again on Sunday afternoon, tweeting “Electrifying! Now they gotta win the ArenaBowl!”
Video of the celebration continued to spread on Sunday, as it was featured by ESPN’s official twitter account and showcased on Bleacher Report and a myriad of other websites.
“This is why we call the AFL the All Fun League,” Sharks Operating Manager Jeff Bouchy said. “Tiger and his teammates have set a new bar for creative celebrations, and the team is fired up to be recognized by The Rock himself. ‘The People’s Team’ has a nice ring to it. It would be great if we can get The People’s Champion to Jacksonville to see The People’s Team. Can you smell what the Sharks are cookin’?”
Beyond its social media impact, the Sharks’ victory stands as a milestone in its own right, as the win allowed Jacksonville to both clinch a playoff spot and remain in control of its own destiny for the South Division title. The result sets up a titanic showdown in Orlando this coming weekend, as the winner of Saturday’s game between the Sharks and Predators will clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker and hold first place in the division with one week left to play.
“Sea Best Field was absolutely rocking last night,” Bouchy said. “We are calling on every fan of ‘The People’s Team’ in Jacksonville, the state of Florida and across the country to converge on Orlando this Saturday and turn their arena into the Shark Tank South. Ride one of our multiple fan buses down there, drive down yourself or do whatever it takes to be there. Let’s make it a home game for the Sharks in Orlando and bring the South Division championship back to where it belongs – Jacksonville, Florida!”
The Sharks and Predators square off on Saturday, August 1. Kickoff from Amway Center is set for 7:00 p.m.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The People’s Team is a member of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Shark Nation Memberships for the 2016 season are now available, starting as low as $99. To reserve your membership or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700 and speak to a Membership Activation Specialist. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.
About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 on ESPN.