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A closer look at Rutgers' trademark celebration


If you've ever watched a Rutgers men's lacrosse game, you've probably noticed something about the sideline every time the No. 8 Scarlet Knights score a goal.

As Zombie Nation's "Kernkraft 400" plays on the loudspeakers, the entire sideline raises their sticks above their heads and moves them up and down.

In the above tweet, Dan Aburn of Inside Lacrosse refers to the celebration as the "NHL 94," an homage to the retro video game where the players would celebrate in a similar fashion.

However, this sparked debate on Lacrosse Twitter, as ESPN lacrosse play-by-play man Anish Shroff pointed out that the Tusken Raider from Star Wars did it first.

The origin of this celebration for Rutgers goes back to the beginning of the year, when junior attacker Connor Vercruysse scored his first goal of the season and celebrated by raising his stick above his head.


"It kinda started in the first game after I scored one of my first goals. I was just trying to put my hands up and start doing that," he said.

There was never an intention for it to be a team celebration, as that goal was just the Knights' third of the season, but the move clearly caught on with the rest of the group.

"We were kinda just talking about it, went up and down the sideline and was like 'After every goal, we're gonna do this, put our sticks above our head and just go with it,'" Vercruysse said of how the celebration made its way to the rest of the team. "I think it was from NHL 94, something obscure. But it kinda just caught on and we do it for every goal."

And when asked furthers about the NHL vs. Star Wars debate, Vercruysse was adamant that the move had nothing to do with the famous Sci-Fi franchise.

"It's definitely not Star Wars. Nothing against Star Wars, but I was never a big Star Wars guy," Vercruysse said.

The celebration has been a staple for Rutgers this year and Vercruysse added that there are no plans of switching things up with just three games left in the regular season.

The Knights play with a unique energy at High Point Solutions Stadium in front of their home fans and even they got into the action in the team's win over Michigan on Sunday.


"It just kinda brings life to the sideline if things are getting stale, there's not a lot of energy (or) we're not getting that loud," he said. "When we score one of those goals, (we) just have something to fall back on, a fun celebration that everyone loves doing."

For updates on the Rutgers men's lacrosse team, follow @GriffinWhitmer and @TargumSports on Twitter.

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