Update: Just wanted to make something clear. It was brought to my attention in the comments, and I just saw for myself, that the wonderful Down Goes Brown recently broke down the same clip on Grantland. This was entirely unintentional as I totally missed his article and had no idea that it existed. Read his much funnier, more informed, and all-around better breakdown here.
I’ve been thinking a lot about weird stuff on the Internet and how social media and things like YouTube make weirdness so much more relevant, viable, and/or drilled into our collective consciousness. For example, I will always remember April 8th, 2013 not as the day when we moved into our new office (though we did and it is incredible) but as the day that we first heard the genius that is Accidental Racist. If you haven’t heard the song yet, stop reading this, go to YouTube, and change that. There is a hole in your life you did not even know existed that this song will fill. It is the best. I have read the lyrics around 28 times and I could go on for like 20,000 words on LL’s verse alone but I’ll spare you the inner workings of my brain.
I bring this up because in the age of YouTube and Twitter, infamy can be instantaneous. Look at the mere existence and celebrity of the Denver Nuggets’ JaVale McGee. Yeah, he had a lot of amazingly stupid plays last season (and I will love him forever for it) but the cult of JaVale lives on because of his clips being on YouTube and his utterly bizarre Twitter account. YouTube allows crazy-ass plays to live on forever in our memories and allows us to discover plays long since forgotten (or at least ones that haven’t shown up on a Sportscentre Top10 for a couple of years).
Really, all this is just an excuse for me to talk about this play that I had totally forgotten existed that I found on YouTube and now I can’t stop watching because it’s just as densely packed with weird greatness as Accidental Racist (well, maybe not quite as much). Because we’re talking about weird, old stuff we’re of course talking about the great Patrick Roy. If you know where I’m going with this, you should be excited. Here is the play in question:
There’s just so much going on there. I mean, I kind of get where Roy was coming from – his team was down 3 goals and he wanted to push the puck up as quickly as possible. I think. I hope, at least. Let’s also not ignore that the player Roy dangles past was none other than Wayne Gretzky. It’s just so bizarre.
Some other highlights:
*The Announcers: The escalation of disbelief is truly incredible. The sequence that begins with “look at this,” and quickly turns into maniacal laughter before ending with the perfectly timed “he’s out of his mind.” Weird plays often lead to play-by-play disasters, this was wonderfully navigated. Full marks.
*The half second delay between the Avalanche forming a play and the whistle blowing the play dead. It’s like nobody on the ice was sure if that was allowed or not.
*The highlight, for me, comes at the 20 second mark when, after being called for a penalty, Roy raises his arms Fat Tony-style as if to say “what? What did I do?” This is the “RIP Robert E. Lee” line of this clip. It can’t be topped. You know what you did, Patrick.
*Referee Paul Devorski shaking his head and laughing. Guessing he didn’t expect to have to call that penalty when he woke up in the morning.
*The sheer murder in Marc Crawford’s eyes at the 0:35 mark. Holy crap. Something dark is going on up in there.
*The fact that Roy did a spin move with nobody around him. It was like Shaq trying to dribble through his legs at the NBA All-Star game except it was in the middle of a game.
*Once again, Patrick Roy dangled Wayne freakin’ Gretzky.
All in all, it’s just a fantastic clip. Now, imagine, just imagine, if that play were to happen today. With YouTube and Twitter and the like, this play would immediately become an incredibly famous play. Imagine if Martin Brodeur were to do that to Sidney Crosby. We’d immediately put that on The Score, we’d talk about it on the podcast, it’d be all over YouTube and in certain corners of Twitter. It’d be crazy. It’d be great. Our Internet abilities have allowed us to experience the weirdness to an extent like never before and this is a very good thing. Yeah, there’s certain times where this can backfire (see: Shake, Harlem & Style, Gangnam) but it’s really a small price to pay for being able to overanalyze silly things that make us laugh for the rest of time. It’s one of the many, many things that makes sports great.
Embrace the weird. If we don’t, we may never experience something like Patrick Roy’s buffoonery or Accidental Racist ever again.
And that would just be a shame.