NFL touchdown celebrations have been the cause of much conversation—and consternation—over the years. Should planned celebrations be allowed? How much is too much? And what if a celebration goes beyond good, clean fun to something that’s meant to shock or demean?
Touchdown celebrations themselves have morphed and evolved over the years, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better TD celebration than the pregnancy announcement that New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson busted out after reeling in an important touchdown reception during an epic matchup against the Los Angeles Rams this past weekend.
Many observant fans were quick to guess about the significance of Watson’s unique touchdown celebration when, after crossing the goal line, the journeyman tight end quickly tucked the football under his jersey and then rubbed his “baby bump” and proudly held seven fingers up as he waved at the cheering crowd:
Did @BenjaminSWatson just announce his wife is pregnant as his TD celebration?
— Jason Romano (@JasonRomano) November 4, 2018
Ben Watson may have just made the greatest pregnancy announcement in history. pic.twitter.com/8euaRFI0dJ
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) November 4, 2018
After the game, reporters asked Watson about the meaning of the celebration and he confirmed that his wife Kirsten is indeed expecting—and twins, no less!
“We have had a few miscarriages over the past years, so it’s been really tough. We tried one more time and now we’re going from the Watson five to the Watson seven,” Ben said. “We wanted to share that. We want people to pray for us. We want to be open about it and we are excited. You never know when you’re going to score again.”
It was a beautiful, heart-warming, life-affirming moment for the Watson family, but Ben and Kirsten are no strangers to using big moments for the glory of God and for uplifting the dignity and value of human life.
Ben is a 15-year veteran of the National Football League. He and wife Kirsten are passionate about using their platform for advocating for the least of these, and Ben consistently speaks up about and out against slavery and sexual exploitation (he does a lot of work with the International Justice Mission), racism (he wrote a book titled Under Our Skin and has appeared on the Focus on the Family broadcast more than once), abortion (he and Kirsten donated an ultrasound machine to a pregnancy clinic), fatherhood (he wrote a book for new dads titled The New Dad’s Playbook) and other important issues. His bold, compassionate voice on these subjects has inspired many, and we have to respect the strong, dedicated nature of his personal life as a husband and father.
So, although the announcement of his wife’s pregnancy with twins was a surprise, those who know anything about Ben Watson as a man aren’t surprised that he found such a fun and heartwarming way to affirm the value of human life in the womb on such a prominent national stage.