DETROIT — After registering his seventh sack of the season, Aidan Hutchinson celebrated the play with what seemed like a downward fist pump dance.
He balled his fists high then began shaking them down in a rhythmic motion.
What might have seemed like an ordinary dance for those outside of Motown was actually a huge deal for those in the know as the Detroit Lions went on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 34-23 on Sunday.
The Lions’ No. 2 overall pick was actually hitting Detroit’s iconic “Blade Dance” — or the “Boss Up” dance, depending on whom you ask.
The dance was made popular by the late rapper Blade Icewood in the early 2000s on his song “Boy Would You.” It has become embedded within popular culture in Detroit through Grammy-nominated artist Big Sean, rapper Icewear Vezzo and countless others over the years.
The Wolverine got him!#MINvsDET | 📺 FOX | #ProBowlVote | @aidanhutch97 pic.twitter.com/2qhCCmIxfJ
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 11, 2022
“Some of the boys put me on, some of the boys told me about it,” Hutchinson told ESPN. “[Lions lineman Michael Brockers] was sending me videos of it. And I had to for the city of Detroit. And I did it, and I thought it went well, and maybe we’ll keep it going a little bit.”
Hutchinson’s move left former Lions running back Joique Bell impressed.
“It’s a young kid that’s out here and he gets the culture. He knows what’s going on, and he wants to be here. That’s the dope part about it,” Bell said. “And the way he plays shows that. Him hitting the Blade Icewood dance, he’s just that type of guy, and we needed that type of guy to be here. We haven’t had that since Ndamukong Suh. He’s forming and creating that identity for the Detroit Lions’ defense, and we need that badly.”
Hutchinson is a native of Plymouth, Michigan, and he attended Divine Child High School in Dearborn — which is considered Metro Detroit; but he is learning about the authentic Motown culture, including the white buffalo horn-framed Cartier sunglasses, which are known as “Buffs” around town.
He says he might pull out a pair “maybe if we make it to this playoff run.”
Hutchinson wasn’t the first NFL player to celebrate with the dance.
Former Carolina Panthers receiver Devin Funchess, another Detroit product, once got his ex-teammate Cam Newton to join in on the dance during a game in 2015.
In addition to Bell, Detroit natives Allen Robinson II and Brandon Graham also have used the dance for touchdown celebrations.
Hutchinson also has been paying homage to the late Michael Jackson throughout the year by celebrating tackles and sacks with his famed leg kick after making plays. Hutchinson has accepted the fact that his “Billie Jean” performance on “Hard Knocks” will likely follow him for the remainder of his career after he performed the song in front of teammates.