The Internet is beautiful, in the sense that certain fads, memes, and obscure pieces of media have multiple life cycles, with each rise to relevancy enjoyed by new generations of online sleuths. Rarely are things that have been dug up true Internet "firsts."
I had to remind myself of that today, as a clip made its way to my inbox that, for a split second, I was sure had never previously been on the Internet.
But of course it had.
Five years ago, on April 13, 2008, NESW Sports posted an article titled "Michael Jordan vs Charlie and Martin Sheen, Video." The post described a show, War of the Stars, and at the end of the description were two video clips.
We could give you some context for this, tell you that it’s actually taken from LSU’s "Harlem Shake" video. But we’d rather not. So here’s a 10-minute loop of Les Miles dancing to an Epic Sax Guy soundtrack. We apologize in advance for how much time you’ll spend watching this today.
Let me just say, first things first, please watch the video above.
Honestly, you, savvy and jaded consumer of the Internet, probably think you have seen it all. And to be fair, there's a lot out there that has already been through your browser and is now passÚ: a dog pedaling a bike, a dog singing along with an iPad (now available on iTunes!), and the list goes on and on. But the video above of Mary Ray performing a swing-dancing routine with her dog (and, spoiler alert, A SECOND DOG JOINS HALFWAY THROUGH) at Crufts — which a cursory Google search tells me is the "Biggest and best celebration of dogs" in the U.K. — is much more of a spectacle of human and canine resolve than most anything you've seen before. Move over Titus, the trick-shot baby, there's a new inspiration in town.
Bonus: For more heartwarming comments, check out the YouTube comments for the video, which show genuine support for Mary Ray and this routine. It will make you believe in people again.
Even though this is the second straight week that Spinks-related gear has come up (leading me to believe a certain someone has a "Spinks Vintage Shirt" Google Alert), this is the better of the two finds. Why? You get TWO shirts. Never underestimate the power of having multiple versions of the same item. It screams, "I can't wait until my significant other and I show up to this party wearing the same shirt, completely being those people." It's corny when you're both wearing full denim outfits with matching cowboy hats, but when it's two matching Tyson vs. Spinks shirts? Fantastic. If you have someone to keep you warm at night, wait for this item to get reposted (no one bid on it), and if you're single, find a way to get these shirts and then get out there and find you a soul mate.
I never want my eBay searches made public for all to see. I'm not ashamed of my queries, but it would just take a significant amount of time to explain some of my searches. My weekly "96 Olympics" search shouldn't raise too many red flags, but "No Limit Tank," "JNCO White Denim," and "God Shammgod" are bound to incite confusion and/or fear. Looking at someone's eBay searches isn't as invasive as stumbling onto a person's iTunes "25 Most Played," the undisputed champ of vulnerability and embarrassment, but it's awfully close.
I bring up all of this because Grantland Editor-in-Chief Bill Simmons spent some time on eBay the other day and made the foolish mistake of sending his findings around. Apparently because he thought the things he stumbled on were cool. This is a mistake, because the things you think are cool on eBay are never cool to the majority of the population. Never. These seven items that Simmons found are no different.
Bryce Harper 5/27/12 4th Home Run #4 Ticket Unused! - $6.00
On the surface, this seems like a perfectly harmless and inconsequential eBay listing that like many others before it makes you ask yourself, "All right, who would really buy this?" But then when you look a little closer, this item makes even less sense, because the very question you just asked gets answered when you see that there are only six available — AND FOUR ALREADY SOLD. Four people saw this listing and then bought it — and that is just in the last 36 hours.
Let's go one level deeper here. The page counter currently has 27 views, according to the little counter thing on the bottom, so that means, besides Sarah Larimer (who found this listing) and me, of the 25 people who previously looked at this item, four of them could not contain their excitement at the opportunity to buy a ticket stub for a game that (most likely) they did not attend and felt compelled to pay $6 to "buy it now." That's almost a 20 percent conversion rate (the rate of views that turn into, in this case, sales) — do you know what converts that high? Almost nothing! The average conversion of selling things on the Internet is LESS THAN 3 PERCENT. Think about what's happening right now: Bryce Harper is bending the conventional laws of the Internet at his whim with ticket stubs of a random game in which he hit a home run. IS THERE ANYTHING BRYCE HARPER CAN'T DO?!
Sunday was the debut of @GrantlandLive, the new Twitter feed where you'll find our live tweets for big games, important events, and uh other stuff, to be determined later. Thanks to those who followed Lakers-Celtics with us. We're looking forward to the next one!
At LAL-Celts and Rondo is wearing sunglasses in the layup line. Hmmmmmm. PS: Taking my tweets over to @grantlandlive during the game.
Chicago Bears/Jay Cutler Sports Plaque -- $19.95
The idea of having this picture of Jay Cutler displayed above the quote, "For the last time, I cannot flag someone for making you cry," is one of those ideas that you and your buddies talk about while watching football one Sunday, it's getting a lot of LOLs around the room, really killing, and then you -- being your enterprising self -- decide to actually go and get it made. You put it on eBay, and that's when you realize, zero bids later, that it's way better in concept than in actual execution. Don't let this discourage you from taking the bull by the horns, though. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take," said NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, and I'm not entirely sure, but I believe he was referencing this very scenario of commissioning a plaque of Jay Cutler to be sold on eBay.
This! From Friend of Grantland, James, who is a walk-on at Oklahoma:
Hey, Mr. Simmons,
I'm James Fraschilla. I'm a freshman walk-on at OU and I recently put out a trick shot video that's gaining some popularity around Oklahoma. It's also benefiting Hayden's Hope, which was started by Dari Nowkhah. If you could look at it, I think you'd be impressed, and I would love if you could get the video out there for more people to see.
(OU basketball no. 13)
Boom! Done, James. Thanks for sending it along. Your move, Titus.
Large Lot of Nascar Race Used Sheetmetal 50 pieces ($50)
There are so many things I like about this. First off, this is about NASCAR, my soon-to-be favorite sport in 2012. Secondly, the fact that people collect NASCAR shrapnel excites me. And third, I love the fact that the seller hand-picks 50 pieces for you with the guarantee of metal from the cars of Dale Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, and many others. I might have to bid on this, just out of respect for the hustle.
On July 28, Jared Bloom started the Twitter feed @fakegrantland, filled with what purported to be rejected stories from this website. We quickly realized they were better than a lot of what we were coming up with in our ideas meeting and greenlit them. (Not really.) Here are excerpts from the best of the (totally made-up) stories he came up with this month:
"Schott Caller: The 1990 Reds Playoff Run and the Birth of Midwest Hip Hop"
"... although, in fairness, his flow is only a little bit whack.
If Jose Rijo was the Reds' Nelly, then Chris Sabo was clearly its Bone Thugs. He brought harmony to a team that was delicately balancing the heavy-breathing gangsta lean of Rob Dibble with the studied stoicism of Ken Griffey, Sr. Is it any wonder, then, that 'Tha Crossroads' was released almost exactly 5 years and 7 months after Piniella and the Reds lifted the World Series trophy? ..."
2 CHICAGO BEARS CEILING FAN LIGHT PULLS FOOTBALL NFL FANS SPORTS MEMORABILIA — $4.99
What's the most handsome a guy would have to be for a girl to still hook up with him after she saw these in his house? I'm going to go out on a limb and say if you're anything below Rob Lowe attractive (let's say you're John Stamos), she's going to see these light fixtures and leave. That being said, if you have a girl who has the sense of mind to leave a dude's house because of some ugly ass light fixtures, she's a keeper, switch out the fixtures and try to get her back!
3 SETS VINTAGE MINNESOTA TWINS GAME WORN STIRUPS PLAIN AND TC — $50
The listed price for these game worn stirrups is $50, but this seller has got to know that no one's going to pay $50 for some dirty old oversized socks. So what's the real "best offer" price here? To me, if someone offers $5, he or she has got to take that and run, because when you're competing with golf lamp at $25 (which is both functional and doesn't smell like shit), you're fighting a real uphill battle.