Today is one of my favorite days of the year, it’s National High Five day. I am very pro-high five, even more so than the average sports fan who likes dishing out high fives. High fives are always a sign of celebration, so the more high fives that are in my life the better. I even find that high fives work as a great way to avoid awkward handshakes with girls, to set the tone at the beginning of a conversation, or to put an exclamation point on at the end.
To celebrate the awesomeness that is the high five I thought it was appropriate to look back at some of the greatest moments in high five history. Great high fives are everywhere, but these are the ones that stood out the most to me from the world of sports.
I’ve gotta start with the greatest high five in the history of the world. The day when Hulk Hogan turned heel a Bash at the Beach and joined The Outsiders to form nWo. All us Hulkamaniacs knew that when Hogan high fived Hall & Nash that it signaled the end of Hulkamania and sealed the deal with the dark side.
And speaking of old school WWF wrestling, when I was a kid I was at a dark match at the Civic Arena. We had seats near the aisle and as Shawn Michaels came down for his entrance he gave me a high five.
The greatest golf shot of my lifetime is Tiger Woods chip back in 2005 at The Masters. Myself along with every other person on the planet absolutely lost their shit when he holed that shot. This amazing moment was capped off with a first ballot Awkward Golf High Five Hall of Fame high five between Tiger and his caddie.
You train your entire life to deliver crisp and loud high fives, always on target. On the biggest high five moment of his life, Tiger’s caddie Steve Williams delivers a wrist to wrist high five that deserves to have numerous flags thrown at it. There’s different levels to awkward golf high fives, but none has ever been on a stage as large as the one from this moment and failed so spectacularly.
The NFL is full of great high fives. One of the greatest plays in NFL history is Joe Montana to Dwight Clark. Upon catching the improbable game winning TD to send the 49ers to the Super Bowl, Dwight Clark and Joe Montana connect on a double high five, albeit one that turns into a loving embrace.
And it can’t be the greatest moments in high five history without giving some love to 1980’s NFL touchdown celebrations. High fives in all shapes and styles.
The NBA Playoffs have arrived and they are not without awesome high five moments. Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals and the Shaq and Kobe Lakers make an unbelievable I can’t believe what I’m seeing comeback against the Kings. To seal the victory Kobe unselfishly throws an alley oop to Shaq that brings the house down. In true Kobe and Shaq fashion, however, even their high five’s can’t get along. Kobe’s “I’m gonna go for a high five” succumbs to a barreling Shaq running with his arms down low low five. This becomes the greatest low five in high five history.
As if to atone for not paying any attention to Kobe during the initial alley oop celebration/high five Shaq seeks out Kobe on the bench and offers up his big paw for a monster high five (22 second mark). What does Kobe do? He delivers a slap high five to Shaq’s forearm that Steve Williams would approve of. I now understand why Kobe and Shaq couldn’t co-exist on the Lakers longer. Their high five game wasn’t in sync.