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Big Whoops

Given cause for celebration, soccer players can often get carried away

D.C. Unitedforward Alecko Eskandarian (above) celebrated a recent goal against the NewYork Red Bulls--who were just bought and renamed by the energy-drinkcompany--by taking a sip from a can of Red Bull and spitting it to the turf.The stunt, which cost Eskandarian a $250 fine, was brash, but not nearly ascontroversial as these celebrations:

SEPTEMBER 2004Upset at sitting out the first 80 minutes of a game for Germany's Hannover 96,Clint Mathis taps his wrist after scoring a goal (above)--implying he wants toknow why coach Ewald Lienen took so long to put him in. Mathis plays only onemore game for Hannover before being sold to MLS.

JANUARY 2003Brazilian striker Nuñes is fined $5,300 for inciting a riot by imitating a pig.After finding the net against Palmeiras--whose fans adopted a swine as theirunofficial mascot--Nuñes drops to all fours and makes pig faces. Palmeirasfans, whipped into a frenzy by his porcine antics, storm the pitch.

NOVEMBER 2001 Ashe lay on his back after scoring, Seville's José Antonio Reyes feels what helater describes as "a bit of a pinch" in a place you don't want to feelany kind of pinch. Turns out teammate Francisco Gallardo had leaned down and,out of sheer joy, bitten one of Reyes's testicles. Gallardo faces adisciplinary hearing but escapes a fine. Club director Monchi Rodriguez laterdefends the celebration, saying it "was neither terrible nor public. Ithappened in a private place." Touché.

SEPTEMBER 1998Edmilson, a striker for Brazilian team Atletico Mineiro, celebrates a goalagainst archrival America, a team known as the Rabbits, by pulling a carrot outof his shorts and eating it. He wasn't punished by the ref, but later in thegame he is felled by a brutal cheap shot from an America player. When asked howthe veggie, which had been stewing in his sweaty britches for half an hour,tasted, Edmilson says, "Did I find it revolting to eat? Of course not. Idon't find my own body revolting."

APRIL 1999Liverpool's Robbie Fowler mocks Everton fans--who had been taunting the strikerabout rumors of drug use--by pretending to snort a goal line off the field(above). He receives $100,000 in fines.

JULY 1995 PaulGascoigne celebrates a goal for Rangers of Glasgow by pretending to play theflute (left), a pro-Protestant symbol. Shortly thereafter, a fan of Celtic (aGlasgow team with a strong Catholic fan base) pulls up next to him in a car andthreatens to slash his throat.