Thankfully, within the worldwide abyss of darkness, there are a few examples of joy that make the filth seem tolerable. The thing about these pockets of good, however, is that the best ones are not found on purpose. They can't be sought out. You have to accidentally stumble across these goldmines.
This was the case as two sports-related events accidentally led me to the Internet's Eighth Wonder of the World. The first: Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, in his spare time, interviews athletes on his web series, The Real Rob Report. This became big news earlier this week, as he landed an interview with Darrelle Revis, who spoke candidly with his fellow NFLer about his willingness to play for the Jets or whomever decides to take him.
Athletes interviewing athletes. Very interesting.
The second: Kobe Bryant, responding to questions about Ibaka's cheap shot on Blake Griffin, said, "I probably would have smacked him in the mouth."
Kobe being Kobe. Very interesting.
So we have athletes interviewing athletes, and Kobe being Kobe. What about, say, an athlete interviewing Kobe? That's surely never going to happen —
What is this? Where are they? How did this happen? When did this happen? Do either of them know they're being filmed? Who paid for this? Did anyone pay for this?
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.
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?!
Tonight is a perfect storm of sports. There are two Game 7s in the NHL playoffs, eight NBA teams playing for better seeding on the final night of the regular season, and the NFL draft begins. Thus, there could not be a better night for Grantland Live.
I'll be honest, I know it's hip to be disaffected by things and "snarky" about them and whatever, but I think this item is very appropriately priced. It's $12, roughly the same price for a movie ticket in most cities, and that seems like a very reasonable amount of money to pay for a piece of some pretty cool turf in a nice case. In fact, a quick call to a framing store tells me that if you had brand-new, not-particularly-special turf, and wanted that put in a case, it would most likely cost more than the $12 that this encased turf would cost! (Me: "How much would it cost to have a 3"-by-3" piece of turf encased?" Frame store guy: "Sorry, we don't do that here.")
This week's grossly overpriced item is this empty box with a picture of Wilt Chamberlain on it, which previously held a basketball and is now being sold for $40. Even if you're the biggest Wilt fan and are like, "OK, I HAVE to have this box with Wilt's face on it," you're still getting ripped off, because the box looks like it was hastily opened by some overzealous kid in the 60s who had no idea that 40 years in the future, there would be something called eBay on the Internet (which he also didn't know would exist) by way of which he could sell, to a stranger, the box that he just opened like some sort of crazy animal. Did you really want to play with your basketball so badly that you couldn't open the box like a more civilized person? Really? Is that how your parents raised you? Ugh, you disgust me.
This listing is for a fake ring. You, the purchaser of this ring, are not a champion. Is the eBay auction for this ring the first thing you've ever won in your entire life? It wouldn't surprise me if it were. You are almost as bad as the kid who didn't know how to properly open the Wilt Chamberlain basketball box.