SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - The Utah Blaze own the best record in franchise history. Quarterback Tommy Grady has set numerous Arena Football League records including most touchdown passes in a season. They've already clinched a playoff spot and with a win this Sunday, will clinch a home playoff game.
But more importantly, the Blaze have turned the touchdown celebration into an art form.
"I'd like to say we're the most creative team in the league," said wide receiver Aaron Lesue, who along with Tysson Poots have been the creative architects behind the celebrations. "I'd like to say that we don't get beat by anybody in that facet of the game."
"We try to punch it in the end zone, be confident in what we do, and then have some fun," said Poots. "It's for the fans, for ourselves, it just makes the game a little more fun."
From the simple backflip, to rowing in an imaginary canoe, to warming their hands by a spinning football, to riding a see-saw, to a bull running through a cape, to even a complex 4-player stationary bicycle stunt, the Blaze seem to outdo themselves every time they score a touchdown.
"We have a really good group of creative guys, so we have fun with it," said Lesue.
"We talk to whoever we want to join us," said Poots. "We try to involve everybody to make it a lot more fun."
The AFL is not like the NFL (aka the No Fun League). Players are allowed to do pre-meditated celebrations without the fear of a penalty or a fine. However, the league does not allow taunting or jumping off the walls, something Lesue used to do.
"No more backflips off the wall," he said. "The league is really cool with us doing our [celebrations]. It's fun."
The fans love it, the players love it, but what about the coaches?
"It's a fan-friendly game," said Blaze head coach Ron James. "To get the fans involved with it, I love the creativity of our players. I love the energy they bring to every game."
Lesue and Poots know they have to keep their material fresh, so they plan and practice their various stunts.
"We think about the more technical celebrations throughout the week," Poots said. "But some of them are just done on the fly."
"It keeps the wheels turning," Lesue said. "We have to stay sharp."
Is there anything they won't do?
"I don't know about that," he said.