Sometimes you find a thing, and you think that thing is great. There’s an immediate reaction to said thing—wow, this is awesome, and I want it to continue to be awesome—and then you keep watching/eating/listening to/wearing this thing until it suddenly stops being so great because you’ve worn it out. Maybe this should be written in the first person? I don’t know, but I like to think I’m occasionally similar to other human beings and that this over-exuberant doing of stuff isn’t a me-only phenomenon. Certainly the internet makes it easier than at any time in human history to take this particular human tic to the extreme. I/you/we can wear ourselves out on something we like in less time just one brief, endlessly looped moment.
Yet, I’ve watched this at least 500 times:
And I still laugh every time it cycles through. The bowl cut. The glasses. The chubby exuberance. The towel windmilling. The fact that he’s wearing a Zach Randolph jersey. And, most importantly, the Iverson-style arm sleeve. This is pre-teen kid wearing basketball performance gear to sit in a chair at a sporting event in Memphis, Tennessee, and with all due respect to love and 77-degree Saturdays, that is quite arguably the best thing ever.
At the very least, this is depicts a moment as close as any human being can aspire to come to pure, unadulterated, holy-mother-fucking-shit happiness. Presuming that the point of living a human life is to be happy and, you know, make others happy, it’s seriously not a stretch to label this looping image as the greatest thing currently existing on Planet Earth. This kid just really fucking loves basketball, Grizzlies basketball. At the risk of sounding too “this is what sports are all about”-like, this is basically what sports are all about, if we must use those seven words together. A middle-schooler losing his goddamn mind over five dudes doing something related to putting an air-filled leather sphere into a metal circle is something that will make a lot of people smile, even if they don't care about the Grizz as much as some Classical staffers, or at all.
From a big-sports-news standpoint, this week has been a terribly shitty one: the suspensions for incentivized headhunting in the NFL, a (former?) Knicks star nearly tearing off his hand in a fit of fire-extinguisher-as-victim rage, and Junior Seau taking his own life. It’s all bad, unequivocally so. Others have written more brilliantly than I ever will about these things, but all these stories seem like a terrible reflection of whatever the “sports world” now is. You watch sports for your own reasons because you’re an individual and that’s what individuals do, but not even the most psychotic, weirdo, pain-craver would feel validated by any of this stuff.
But, even though sports are a choice/diversion/distraction/whatever, watching sports is part putting up with this bummed-out stuff while you hope for other, not-awful things. (Obviously, you put up with it to a point, a point that’s inching ever closer, it seems.)
So, that’s where our court-side, arm-sleeve buddy comes in. None of this other, darker stuff goes away—and it shouldn’t—but he will always be happy in that little loop, which is the best part about it. It’s just a bonkers, ridiculously great moment, and it there on a loop, unending, as a reminder that, somewhere, someone is feeling that good because of some silly, great sports thing. Sports are supposed to be fun, generally, and this little dude is getting that. The sweet gear and the braces are just a bonus.