The celebratory fist pump goes back centuries, generations, even millenia. It's said that when a dying Caesar asked Brutus, "Et tu, Brute?", Brutus simply responded with a fierce fist pump, right in Caesar's face. Rumor has it the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas ended with Abe delivering a sweeping, five-step, uppercut fist pump. To this day there's a divide among people on whether or not Winston Churchill celebrated the end of World War II by flexing his right bicep and pointing at it with his left hand, or if he just pumped his fist and went about his business. (Come on, don't insult my intelligence, there's no doubt he did the fist pump.)
But these men that I have listed below are the best of the best. The best at delivering a fist pump with conviction, vigor, certitude, overwhelming enthusiasm, and a small amount of cartoonish, exaggerated goofiness.
5. Rafael Nadal
More for the frequency in which he utilizes the fist pump, which is almost every single point. In addition, tennis on its own lends itself to the act of fist-pumping very well.
4. Chris DiMarco
As I stated in a previous post, I'm rooting for DiMarco to win a major only to see what kind of fist pump he busts out for the occasion. His face when delivering looks like a cross between Sebastian Bach and a demon from "Doom".
#3 - Wayne Gretzky
Sadly, despite my endless scouring of the internet, I can't find photographic or video evidence of the badass fist pump Gretzky pulled in the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs. He simply crouched down and pumped his fist parallel to the ice, rather non-chalantly, as if to say, "That's right, I'm Wayne F'n Gretzky." It fit the moment flawlessly, and inspired hundreds of thousands of pee-wee and bantam hockey kids to shamelessly emulate that exact fist pump. (The closest thing I can find is a compilation video that has some of his best moments/fist pumps.)
#2 - Jimmy Connors
While he's not #1 on this list, he clearly deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award for all he's done to pioneer the fist pump. Yes the quality of this video is terrible, but I've never seen a more hilariously gratuitous fist pump in my life. It was obviously well earned (I'm not a tennis guy, but holy shit what a point), but still. The natural ease and ferocity in which he unleashes it is something to behold, maybe even moreso than the point itself. The slow motion of it at the end never fails to crack me up. I remember the first time I did fist pump of that nature, when Neve Campbell and Denise Richards started making out in "Wild Things".
#1 - Tiger Woods
Duh. Like there was any doubt. There are roughly 37 different camera angles of this memorable fist pump alone, from the 2005 Masters.
(Honorable mention: Howard Dean (disqualified for not being relevant anymore) , Blue Man Group (late to the party, guys)
And of course, I'd be a fool not to link to one of my favorite websites, fistpumps.com.