The NFL star and originator of “The Spike” was 82 years old

Homer Jones, a former NFL wide receiver for the New York Giants (1964–1969) and Cleveland Browns (1970), has died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 82 years old.

Recognized for his considerable size and speed, Jones was a well-respected football player who, fittingly deadline, still holds the NFL record for career yards per reception at 22.3 yards. He was also credited with inventing the “spike” landing celebration.

the nfl star and originator of “the spike” was 82 years old

Jones’ first use of the “spike” came in a 1965 game where after scoring a touchdown, he threw the ball hard into the end zone. He later revealed that he did so because of a new rule introduced at the time in which a player would be fined $500 if he threw the ball into the stands, a common occurrence after a touchdown.

Born on February 18, 1941, in Pittsburg, Texas, Jones attended Texas Southern College (now Texas Southern University), where he played football and starred in track and field. In 1963, he was drafted by the AFL’s Houston Oilers, but a knee injury during training camp ruled him out.

The New York Giants then picked up Jones, offering to pay for his knee surgery. He played for the Giants from 1964 to 1969 before being traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1970. He retired in 1971.

“Homer Jones had a unique combination of speed and power and was a threat to score whenever he touched the ball,” Giants president and CEO John Mara said (via “He was one of the first players (if not the first) to throw the ball into the end zone after scoring a touchdown and quickly became a fan favorite.”

Mara added, “I remember him as an easy-going, friendly individual who was well-liked by his teammates and coaches.”

Jones is survived by his six children.

See more tributes below.

Leave a Comment