Opponents never seem to learn. Sunday night marked another occasion in which an opponent — in this case Bears defensive lineman Robert Quinn — mocked Aaron Rodgers’ patented “championship belt” celebration, only to have Rodgers bounce back and lead the Packers to a victory.
Rodgers threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-30 win at Lambeau Field over Chicago, even after Quinn sacked Rodgers twice in the first quarter and helped his team take an early lead. Quinn punctuated his first sack on Green Bay’s second offensive snap with the “belt” celebration, a tongue-in-cheek move that has backfired on many opponents before.
That includes Quinn, who did the same thing earlier this season, imitating the belt in Green Bay’s 24-14 win over the Bears on Oct. 17, a game made famous for Rodgers’ “I still own you” exclamation after a rushing touchdown (not to mention his own renewal of the belt celebration). The Bears were leading at the time of Quinn’s sack-and-belt, 7-0.
Heck, even THAT’s not the first time Quinn has tried it and come up on the wrong side of the outcome.
“Imitation is the highest form of flattery,” Rodgers joked after Sunday’s game, a lesson that could apply to the belt celebration or the viral doppelgänger in the stands shown on the NBC broadcast.
Rodgers has been performing the “belt” since 2010 during Green Bay’s run to the Super Bowl, and his commercial campaign riffing on its usage with State Farm Insurance began shortly thereafter.
This can’t be considered a comprehensive list of every time a player tried the maneuver, but many of the mockings have ended quite poorly.
Few have documented this phenomenon as well as Alexander Basara on Twitter (or Youtube), including a comprehensive video on the subject. In June, Dusty Evely of Game on Wisconsin did a full breakdown of how well Rodgers performs after getting sacked by an opponent who mocked the belt, and as you’ll see, Rodgers indeed performs very well thereafter.
January 15, 2011: John Abraham, Atlanta
Green Bay already had a 28-14 lead on the first play of the third quarter when Abraham sacked Rodgers in the NFC divisional playoffs. Rodgers later scored on the drive in perhaps his virtuoso performance, a 48-21 win to knock off the conference’s top seed at their place en route to a Super Bowl title. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Sept. 8, 2011: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
Future Packers tight end Jimmy Graham got in on the fun with a late touchdown in the season opener against the defending Super Bowl champs. That score pulled the Saints within 42-34 with 2:15 to go; they’d get no closer. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Nov. 6, 2011: Antonio Garay, San Diego
The Chargers got to Rodgers to kick off a drive in the second quarter, with the first of two sacks on the drive that nonetheless ended with a touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, one that put Green Bay ahead, 28-17. Green Bay went on to win, 45-38, and moved to 8-0 on the year. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Nov. 24, 2011: Justin Durant, Detroit
Durant sacked Rodgers close to the line of scrimmage with the Packers already ahead, 24-8. The Packers went on to win, 27-15, and moved to 11-0 on the year. Happy Thanksgiving! OUTCOME: Packers win.
Dec. 4, 2011: Dave Tollefson, New York Giants
Tollefson, a 2006 Packers draft pick on the Packers practice squad that first season, sacked Rodgers in the fourth quarter with the Packers nursing a 28-27 lead, and the Giants would subsequently come back and tie the score at 35. But Rodgers took the ball at the 20-yard line with 58 seconds left, quickly maneuvered his team down the field and set up Mason Crosby’s game-winner from 31 yards as time expired for a 38-35 win. If only the Packers could have carried that fortune against the Giants into the postseason… OUTCOME: Packers win.
Jan. 1, 2012: Ndamukong Suh, Detroit
This one didn’t even involve Rodgers in the game; instead it was Matt Flynn who bore the wrath of the star Lions lineman, who fought through holding for a sack on the final play of the third quarter. Green Bay was down at the time, 34-31, but Flynn threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 45-41 thriller. All the quarterback did in that game was set franchise records in yards (480) and touchdowns (six). OUTCOME: Packers win.
Jan. 15, 2012: Michael Boley, New York Giants
OK, they don’t ALL have a happy ending for the Packers. In one of the more frustrating losses in Packers history, the 15-1 Packers fell to the Giants at Lambeau Field in the NFC divisional round, 37-20. Boley celebrated with the belt late in the first half on a sack that killed a drive and led into the Giants’ touchdown right before half to take a 20-10 lead. Boley later had a second sack and finished with a team-best eight solo tackles (three for loss). OUTCOME: Packers lose.
Sept. 24, 2012: Bruce Irvin, Seattle
Irvin sacked Rodgers twice in the opening quarter and busted out the belt for the first. Rodgers didn’t throw any touchdowns in the game, but the contest is most remembered for how it ended. The Fail Mary concluded with Seattle getting a 14-12 win on a highly controversial game-winning touchdown on the final play, one that essentially ushered away replacement refs and the labor conflict between the NFL and its game officials. OUTCOME: Packers lose, but not really.
Oct. 7, 2012: Donald Brown, Indianapolis
Credit where it’s due; Brown not only employed the “belt” celebration but also transitioned into B.J. Raji’s dance, reminiscent of one he had used in the NFC Championship Game the previous season and also brought to a State Farm ad. Brown had just scored a two-point conversion that put the Colts ahead of the Packers with 35 seconds to go, 30-27. It was a gut punch of a loss for Green Bay, which had a 21-3 lead at the half. Rodgers still marched the Packers to the Indianapolis 33 yard line in the time that remained, but Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal attempt was no good. OUTCOME: Packers lose.
Oct. 14, 2012: J.J. Watt, Houston
You can’t blame the Wisconsin native for his own belt celebration after a sack of Rodgers in the first quarter of a Week 6 contest. But, even still, there are consequences. The Packers were ahead at the time, 7-0; they went on to win on the road, 42-24. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Sept. 14, 2014: Stephen Tulloch, Detroit
It’s one of the more famous belt-gone-wrong moments when the linebacker stuffed Rodgers for a seven-yard loss in the first quarter, then tore his ACL during the celebration. The Packers actually lost the game, 19-7, but Tulloch was lost for the season. OUTCOME: Packers lose, but ouch.
Jan. 18, 2015: Jon Ryan, Seattle
This one really stings. The former Packers punter, released after the 2007 season, playfully engaged with Packers coach Mike McCarthy by performing the belt after a fake field goal turned into Ryan’s touchdown pass to Garry Gilliam. At the time, it only pulled Seattle to within 16-7 with 4:50 to go in the third quarter of the NFC Championship game, and if it had stopped there, perhaps it’d be a tolerable foot note on a day the Packers went to the Super Bowl. Instead, as everyone knows, Seattle rallied for a gut-wrenching 28-22 win in overtime, ending the Packers’ season. OUTCOME: Packers lose.
Sept. 28, 2015: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
The four-time Pro Bowler found the end zone with a nine-yard touchdown in the second quarter to pull KC within 14-7 at Lambeau Field. Charles scored three touchdowns that day, but by the time he scored his next one, it only moved his team within 16 points in a game the Packers ultimately won, 38-28. Following the belt celebration, Green Bay scored the next 17 points. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Dec. 3, 2015: Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit
It didn’t even make the broadcast, but Ansah snuck in a belt celebration after sacking Rodgers on the first drive of the fourth quarter, with the Lions ahead at the time, 20-14. You all know how it ended thereafter. Rodgers threw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 61-yard Hail Mary as time expired, for a “Miracle in Motown” win, 27-23. Devin Taylor, who himself sacked Rodgers twice in the game, was called for a facemask penalty on what would have otherwise been a game-ending play, giving Green Bay one last snap. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Nov. 11, 2018: Robert Quinn, Miami (Part I)
Before he tried the belt twice with the Bears, Quinn was with the Dolphins, where he threw Rodgers for a sack in the second quarter that forced a punt with the Packers tenuously ahead, 14-9. Green Bay went on to win, 31-12. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Dec. 16, 2018: Leonard Floyd, Chicago
This one came in a loss, but it’s sort of unfair to include on the record. Floyd sacked Rodgers with 24 seconds left, setting up a Mason Crosby field goal that pulled the Packers within 24-17. The onside kick failed, leaving the Bears with a victory at Soldier Field. OUTCOME: Packers lose.
Oct. 20, 2019: Maxx Crosby, Oakland
This one was really bad news for the opponent. When the rookie Crosby threw Rodgers for an eight-yard loss (his second career sack) and forced a punt in the first quarter, the Packers had a 7-3 lead. Rodgers went on to throw two touchdowns before half and two more after the break (plus a rushing score) in a 42-24 Packers win. Rodgers threw for 429 yards and five scores overall. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Dec. 6, 2020: Javon Hargrave, Philadelphia
Hargrave sacked Rodgers in the first quarter of a game that the Eagles led, 3-0. Rodgers proceeded to throw for three touchdowns and 295 yards in a 30-16 win at Lambeau. Also, Football Reference indicates that Hargave has the nickname “Gravedigger.” Are we … allowing someone to steal Gilbert Brown’s moniker? You can’t have the belt or the nickname. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Dec. 27, 2020: Malcolm Butler, Tennessee
It’s hard to fault anyone for being excited after an interception of Rodgers, considering how rarely they happen (even though the Packers were ahead at the time, 33-14). Green Bay ultimately won, 40-14, in one of the more impressive performances of the 2020 season. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Oct. 17, 2021: Robert Quinn, Chicago (part II)
Sure, the Bears had an early leg up on the Packers at Soldier Field. Your thoughts, Aaron Rodgers? OUTCOME: Packers win.
Nov. 14, 2021: Jamal Adams, Seattle
It was only 3-0 in the third quarter when Adams reeled in one of the worst passes you’ll see Rodgers throw, intercepting it in the end zone to kill a drive. The belt didn’t inspire Seattle’s offense, however, as Green Bay went on to win, 17-0. As Rodgers said afterward, “there hasn’t been a lot of positives” for players who mock the belt. OUTCOME: Packers win.
Dec. 12, 2021: Robert Quinn, Chicago (part III)
Rodgers threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns after the belt celebration, but hey, it’d be a lie if Packers fans said they weren’t sweating the outcome after the Bears took a 10-point lead late in the first half. OUTCOME: Packers win.
At least in the examples we found here, the Packers are 16-6 in games where the belt gets mocked. But in those losses, two celebrations came in the final minute when there was little chance to respond, one was in the Fail Mary game and one cost the player the rest of his season with a torn ACL.