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eGuider Exclusive — February 16th, 2009
Top 10 Moments in Professional Athlete Generated Video (PAGV)… of All Time
by Brendan Lopez
It's no secret that consumer generated video (CGV) has spread like wildfire over the past several years. The people making these videos were once primarily tech-savvy individuals, but nowadays, anyone with an Internet connection can easily share their story (or strategically placed screenshot of cleavage) with the world. In the spirit of this month's Superbowl, however, I wanted to call attention to a group of consumer video generators who only rarely get their moment in the web video sun: professional athletes.
Although not all of their videos are exactly Oscar caliber, and I can't exactly respect any video that features Shaquille O'Neil rapping, it's not everyday we get to witness the creativity (or attempts at creativity) of professional athletes.
#10 Shaq Disses Vlade Divac
Shaquille O'Neal is arguably one of the NBA's most dominant basketball players of all time. In 2002, Shaq and the Lakers crushed Vlade Divac and the Sacramento Kings in the Western Finals. While winning graciously would certainly be admirable, and appropriate behavior for a pop culture icon, the Shaq Daddy has never cared for societal expectations. See his breakout performance in 1996's Kazaam for further illustration.
While hanging out in the back of his team bus, Shaq created a handheld music video with a special message for Vlade Divac. The video prominently features the Cheers theme song, an unexpected artistic choice by Shaq Daddy that probably speaks to some underlying symbolism. For those of you who can't get enough of Shaq-flavored melodies after watching the clip below, I'd recommend picking up a VHS copy of Kazaam immediately. Sure, it's over a decade old and reeking of mid-nineties schmaltz, but how often do you get a chance to see a hip-hop rapping genie of Shaqular proportions?
#9 Terry Tate: Office Linebacker
Lester "Mighty Rasta" Speight is a triple threat. He's a football player, professional wrestler, and television actor (appearing in such shows as Arli$$, Malcolm in the Middle, and Prison Break). And although he looks like one of the most intimidating dudes you'll ever catch on Youtube, he apparently packs some legit comedic chops. Case in point: his performance in Terry Tate: Office Linebacker.
Although this Reebok series originally aired during the 2003 Super Bowl, it found its true home (and massive viewership) online. Speight plays Terry Tate, a football player hired by an office to increase workplace productivity. Tate encourages employees to respect each other's property and get their work done on time. What are his tactics, you ask? Well, he violently attacks them and screams until they basically wet their pants. It's safe to say that most companies would be two to three times as efficient if they brought Tate into their office. I know I'd be more motivated if Terry Tate threatened to kill me every time I slacked off.
#8 Huck & Chuck
Mike Huckabee was an underdog candidate in the 2008 United States presidential election. Chuck Norris is the world's deadliest man. Put them together and you have the most lethal presidential ticket since Bush/Cheney. I mean, how could this combo create anything but a stirring success?
It's difficult to say exactly what undermines Huckabee's credibility in this video. Maybe it's the fact that he looks a little chubby on camera. Maybe it's that he enlisted the help of a throwback television action hero to bolster his campaign. Either way, I think the only way Chuck Norris could have truly made a difference in the election would be if he had strangled Huckabee's opponents to death with his bare hands. (Note: Some might not consider Chuck Norris to be a professional athlete, thereby disqualifying him from this list. I recommend that those people step into Chuck Norris' personal martial arts dojo and repeat those words to his face.)
#7 Men's Olympic Basketball Team at a Gas Station
NBA all-star Chris Bosh is known for his goofy sense of humor. But what happens when you give a goofy, slightly self-indulgent guy a camera in the days before he competes in the 2008 Olympics? The following video showcases Bosh and fellow Olympic teammates Lebron James, Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams hanging out at a gas station and snacking on some Wendy's.
While the video isn't exactly a model for production quality, it's definitely cool to see these players outside the context of a basketball game or some highly polished TV spot. It's also encouraging to know that you can still be a star player in the NBA and eat horribly unhealthy food like the majority of Americans. Pay attention all overweight, unsuccessful high school athletes: the problem is you, not your daily Oreo cookie McFlurries.
#6 Tiger Woods Solves a Rubik's Cube
Tiger Woods is pretty much universally accepted as the greatest golfer on the face of the planet. He is known for his tireless work ethic, his ability to win PGA tournaments at will, and of course, his net worth of about a googabillion dollars. But with all the notches on Tiger's belt, one has to wonder how he'd stack up against the most rigorous intellectual challenge/ childhood activity known to man: the Rubik's Cube.
In this video collaboration between Tiger and EA Sports, it's clear that the Rubik's Cube is a worthy opponent for the world's great golfer. While in reality Tiger probably would have just paid someone to solve the Rubik's Cube for him so he could get back to
a) playing golf
b) making money or
c) a combination of 'a' and 'b'
since he's already on camera he decides to take a more creative approach. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Tiger wouldn't need more than three takes to shoot this video.
#5 Kobe Jumps a Car
Some would say that Los Angeles Lakers all-star Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA. Still others (probably Lakers fans) would claim that he's the best basketball player in the history of the game. With that kind of hype, a guy would have to pull off some pretty incredible stunts to measure up to his own reputation. Like jumping over a moving car, for example.
While skeptics like to dwell on the fact that this video is most likely fake, Kobe's jump is impressive any way you slice it. And if you claim that the car is digitally added to the scene, well, that just leaves the door open for tons of possibilities. How do you know that Kobe didn't actually jump over a cheetah or a helicopter, and they just added the car in later to make it seem more plausible?
#4 Bruce Lee Plays Ping-Pong
Bruce Lee is a martial arts icon, plain and simple. Even contemporary martial artists like the inimitable Jet Lee and Jean Claude Van Damme could never hold a candle to a Bruce Lee spinning roundhouse. While the circumstances of Lee's death are still cloudy with conspiracy theories, one thing is for sure: if and when he is resurrected, he will dominate the global ping-pong circuit.
While some might take offense to posthumously puppeteering an actor's corpse to sell products, at least it's in the name of the universally loved sport of ping-pong. In the video below, Bruce Lee takes the same mind blowing level of skill he applied to martial arts and funnels it into hitting a plastic white ball. Even Forest Gump would tip his cap to Lee's posthumous performance.
#3 Fantasy Football Fever
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are caught up in fantasy football fever, devising intricate fantasy rosters filled with their favorite NFL players and pitting them against each in other in fierce competition. The task of devising such a roster is often a tremendous time and emotional investment, and often leads to broken friendships and divorce. Fortunately, NFL.com has created a series called "NFL Fantasy Files," which provides some valuable, time-saving insights.
Not only does this video have that jaw dropping quality we love to see in viral videos, but it features some premier NFL players, like Marc Bulger (St. Louis Rams) and Chris Chambers (San Diego Chargers) showcasing their comedic chops. While these players are all insanely gifted athletes, there's no doubt that their stunts are entirely CGI. Sure, this series might lead to a few kids trying to catch a football by punching through a sheet of wood, but that's a small price to pay for this caliber of entertainment.
#2 Chris Bosh: NBA All-Star
Playing in the NBA All-Star game is an honor that only a select group of players realize each year. In 2008, Chris Bosh put up some solid numbers for the Toronto Raptors, but his competition from other Eastern Conference forwards was fierce, and he was by no means a lock for the All-Star game. Plus, Toronto isn't exactly known for their enthusiastic basketball community.
Chris Bosh posted a video on his Youtube channel that promoted his quest to play in 2008's All-Star game. In the video, which borderlines on bad and "so bad it's good," Bosh plays a used car salesman with a heavy Texas accent. He urges fans to fill out their ballots and vote him into the All-Star game. Bosh told the National Post in 2008: "I want to relate to my fans. I want them to know that I like to have fun and I'm not just this crazy guy who plays basketball every night." Apparently, Bosh knows what he's doing. He was named to 2008's All-Star game (as a result of a Kevin Garnet injury) and was also named an All-Star reserve in 2009.
#1 Ronaldinho's New Shoes
Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho is like a god in Europe and South America, but we don't see much of him in the States. Maybe it's because hardly anyone in the States watches soccer. Or maybe it's because when we do watch soccer, most of us mistake him for Ronaldo. Either way, this video makes Ronaldinho accessible to soccer and non- soccer fans alike.
In one of the most watched Youtube videos of all time, Ronaldinho puts on some magic shoes (low and behold, made my Nike), and performs some of the most incredible soccer tricks you'll ever see. Sure, a good portion of his tricks are CGI. And yes, it's essentially just an elaborate ad for a global corporation. But at the end of the day, the video is still incredibly addictive, as evidenced by the more than 27 million views on Youtube alone. Well done, Ronaldo… I mean, Ronaldinho.
Contributor: Brendan Lopez
Brendan is a freelance writer and improvisational actor living in Los Angeles, California. He studied English and Girls at Brown University and contributes to a number of entertainment and humor blogs, including DoubleViking.com.