Play it again: The Sports YouTube Hall of Fame (part two)
College Contributor Network
In part one of our introduction to the Sports YouTube Hall of Fame, we discussed the prevalence of YouTube in the modern world of sports, outlining its impact and importance. We also laid out the criteria that the committee (of one) looks at when forming each class in the Hall. That's how we arrived at the eight highly-questionable, highly-watchable athletes below.
Sports YouTube Hall of Fame inaugural class:
Jason Williams' top 10 career plays
Jason Williams is physically incapable of making a routine chest pass
Jason Williams shows you the best Sacramento Kings basketball
This guy is the reason there's a YouTube Hall of Fame. Pound for pound, few NBA guys delivered more entertainment than Jason Williams. His style on the court was nearly unparalleled, his interviews were highly enjoyable (that accent), and the consistent surprise he delivered on every possession make J-Will an easy first-ballot choice.
His YouTube package is astoundingly cool. Rainbow alley-oops, behind-the-back elbow passes, draining 28-footers -- there's something different every time. Few players were so unique, and few players have the Spiral Potential of Williams on YouTube -- you can even see him crossover Gary Payton and school guys on the Orlando Pro-Am at 38 years old (he still talks trash too -- "I ain't travel since I was six!").
Plus, tough to beat a nickname like White Chocolate. You know he earned that.
Ronaldinho top 30 skill moves ever
Ronaldinho tribute: Impossible to forget
Ronaldinho humiliating great players
Being someone who admittedly is not the biggest soccer fan, watching Ronaldinho highlights strip away everything I don't like about the sport. His moves are exciting, effortless, and distinguished, to be sure, but it all comes with an attitude of pure joy. He managed to amaze without appearing selfish or showy, and that comes across in his YouTube package.
Notice how the majority of his clips are fan tributes -- that's important. He carried enough of a draw and was such a transcendent talent that his YouTube presence can sustain itself through sheer devotion -- there's not a lot here from ESPN or other broadcast stations. Ronaldinho thus created a unique culture on the pitch and online, and his moves are entertaining as hell! He's in the Hall.
Reggie Bush (Helix High School/USC edition)
Reggie Bush high school highlights (otherwise known as "The Tape")
Reggie Bush USC highlights
Way back when: Reggie Bush
I'll be honest, the last video really pushed Bush into the Hall. His highlight reels are fantastic -- he never looks like he's trying, not even once -- but the gem of that MaxPreps interview gave him that critical second dimension.
Did you ever expect Bush to look like such a dweeb in high school? Goofy glasses, bright-colored shirt, banana-yellow backpack -- he was doing the Kevin Durant before it was cool! Reggie Bush was a little trend-setter at Helix High! I love this!
And while we're on the subject, doesn't it speak volumes that his high school quarterback was none other than Alex Smith? No wonder the guy checks down so much. Reggie Bush is in the Hall because his highlight reel is legendary (there's The Shot, The Catch, and now The Tape -- sports media is amazing) and his YouTube package is a total education.
Shaq memories: Highlights after 19 years
Funniest Shaq moments of all time
Shaq freestyle Kobe diss: a** taste?
Shaq put together the perfect case to be in the YouTube Hall of Fame. He has compilations of breaking backboards. He has music videos. You can even watch his clips from Kazaam, in which he bursts through a wall, appears out of a tornado, and breaks out into a rap (again -- amazing). Shaq is a YouTube gold mine. The full breadth of the Big Aristotle/Big Shaqtus/Big Banana/Real Deal can only be experienced on YouTube.
Finally, he might be the most quotable athlete ever; here he is on poor officiating:
Shaq: They're starting to wonder why the league is losing money, that's why. People pay good money to come watch these athletes play, and [the refs] try to take over the f***ing game.
Reporter: Shaq, we're on live . . .
Shaq: [looks directly at camera] I don't give a s***.
One of a kind.
Bo Jackson NFL highlights
Bo Jackson Kansas City Royals highlights
Two differences between Jackson's Hall of Fame case and those of Reggie Bush and Shaq.
One, Jackson's highlight tapes make his speed really apparent. Reggie always looked like he was jogging past everyone, but Bo just looks like a cartoon character out there.
Two, while Shaq threw down plenty of good material, Bo occasionally sneaks in the killer one-liner. "One-word: hustler" is a classic, but it was in ESPN's recent 30 for 30 Brian and the Boz where Jackson released another killer. After Bo infamously trucked Brian Bosworth at the goal-line to score a touchdown, he turned and looked at the highly-touted rookie linebacker and said, "Next time, have bus fare."
WHERE THE HYPE MEN AT?!
Ronda Rousey's armbar vs. Meisha Tate
Sometimes, it just takes one video to enter the Hall. Rousey certainly has other clips in her package, but I want to focus on the most important one for this induction ceremony. This is the perfect YouTube Hall of Fame video.
Edgy, intense, entertaining, and it has that key can't-look-away factor. Even the announcer declares aloud that he feels uncomfortable with the replay, but the producers keep going. I screamed when I watched it, but then I somehow went back and watched it again. I'm never going to forget what that looks like. What more can be said?
Shaun White's Vancouver 2010 winning run
GoPro: Shaun Flippin' White
Shaun White: Halfpipe snowboarding (from the New York Times)
I thought it was important that an extreme sports athlete make it into the Hall, just because the concept of a skateboarding or snowboarding trick is so easily digestible, punchy, and exciting (the will-they-or-won't-they-land-it is continuously intense).
Shaun White has the nod from the Sports YouTube Hall of Fame because of how easily he visually sets himself apart from the other snowboarders. The height White has off a halfpipe, especially at Vancouver, is far and away greater than anyone else in the field, and as a viewer, it makes for something instantly recognizable as historic.
When White was in his prime, he did tricks no one else could even afford to practice. He had more speed, more power, more spin, more height, more everything. On YouTube, that comes across really well, and the man himself gives some great interviews to supplement the skill.
Pistol Pete Maravich
Pistol Pete Maravich top 10 plays
Ultimate Pistol Pete LSU mix
Pete Maravich – Unforgettable
Pete Maravich should have played in the YouTube Era of Sports. This is someone who would be trending night in and night out. He would be shared all over Facebook, re-tweeted out of his mind, and mimicked by kids all across the country. He should carry the standard for highlight reels.
Alas, he was born too early, but the YouTube archives still bless us with his presence. Arguably the best video in his package is his LSU reel -- every shot he takes is as pure as you can imagine, every sneaky pass and pump-fake carries a certain fluidity, and every flop of that mop-top is memorable. If anyone deserves the Hall, it's Pistol. His induction is special because its vintage -- it shows off YouTube's incredible depth and incredible reach. Sometimes, the best stuff on there is indeed the old stuff.
And the beauty of the Sports YouTube Hall of Fame? It will only grow larger. More and more athletes are waiting in the wings -- waiting to break out into web sensations, or simply waiting for the next ballot to roll around. Until then, we can appreciate the fact that YouTube changed the way we take in our favorite athletes. We have more exposure and more insight into their performance than we ever have before. Their videos shock us, wow us, and keep us coming back for more and more highlights. We never have to miss anything again. We can always be current and updated and in-the-know.
Simply put, YouTube continually gives us new reasons to be fans. More than anything, that matters.
Tyler Daswick is a junior at Northwestern University. He is a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers, Indiana Jones, and writing stories about cowboys and banditos. Follow him on Twitter: @AccordingtoDazz