YouTube Athlete Hall of Fame, Pt. 1

HSAC would like to express its solidarity with the students on campus currently slaving away at their studies. We now present a brief diversion for your Reading Period consumption: the first inaugural class of the YouTube Athlete Hall of Fame, dedicated to those athletes who honed their craft not to win games, but to produce incredible highlights for posterity to view for eternity.

Andrew Mooney: For God’s sake, it’s a highlight reel of 100 dunks from the same dude, and they’re all just awesome. Look at the form on that windmill. It can’t be duplicated: the speed, the full arm extension, the perfectly round arc it traces in the air. Vince Carter was put on this Earth to stuff round things into slightly larger round holes and send them bouncing all over hardwood surfaces, the perfect combination of grace, power, and style. And, I mean, Frederic Weis (9:34)…it’s a testament to French pacifism that they didn’t immediately initiate a retaliatory missile strike for that assault. That’s one of their citizens Carter murdered.

Anthony Zonfrelli: Shawn Kemp may have been the baddest dog ever to play in the NBA. You can feel the primal satisfaction each time he throws down a monster jam or swats a shot into oblivion. The disrespect he shows defenders when embarrassing them with a posterization makes the aggressive, hard-core rap backing track all too appropriate. The only thing rivaling the fury with which he throws down each dunk is the humiliation he makes the defense feel afterward (0:52).

Nick Jaroszewicz: Here’s one for the rafters. High school football highlight tapes don’t get much better than Sam McGuffie, who took YouTube by storm during its “infancy” in 2007. With 3.15 million views today, many people have seen McGuffie elude, knock over, carry, and occasionally hurdle would-be tacklers. After struggling at Michigan, McGuffie found a place at Rice, where he showed a few flashes of his greatness, and was recently picked up by the Raiders, whose insatiable desire for speed and flash seems to persist, even with the passing of Al Davis.

Andrew Mooney: When you re-watch videos like these, you can understand why Texans fans rent their garments when their team passed on Reggie Bush for Mario Williams with the No. 1 pick. He’s a video game character. I remember watching that full-speed hurdle at 0:22 live and laughing gleefully that the underworld had spat up its running back demon to afflict the hated Irish of Notre Dame. After treating the likes of Fresno State and UCLA as rudely as he did, he must have thought he’d rush for 4,500 yards a year in the NFL. He should have five Heismans.

Anthony Zonfrelli: Some entertaining highlight reels are only possible because of “Big Fish-Small Pond” Syndrome, a classic affliction of the high school athlete video mashup. While this tape may be another one of those culprits, this fish doesn’t even fit in the pond. In this video, Seventh Woods, listed at 6’2″, 170 pounds, is shown dominating his high school league…at the age of 14. Though it may not be as “impressive” to see somebody that large continuously dunk over his short white peers, who doesn’t like to see armpit blocks (0:32), MJ-like free-throw tip slams (0:33), and behind-the-backboard shots reminiscent of Larry Bird (0:57)? Let’s hope there’s an Eighth.

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