10 Jumbotron Heroes Who Rose to the Occasion
In the course of life, there are moments in which we are truly tested. In which our instinct and our wit are put to the test with little to no warning. Fewer still are the moments like this that occur in full view of peers and colleagues, a moment where the flame inside is asked to burn brighter or to risk going out completely. Being put on the jumbotron at a sports game is one of these moments. Even for the most mild-mannered of men or women, for a second, the emotions of thousands rest within their palms, crying to be fed.
Sometimes, the call is answered, and sometimes, the called are found wanting. In certain special cases, however, the pressure reveals a diamond. In the space of 10 seconds, someone is able to cement a place in the annals of internet video history forever.
Here, then, are 10 of the greatest jumbotron heroes of all time…
If you’re the jumbotron operator, targeting a child of a certain, unbridled age is a recipe for, if not success, at least reliable entertainment. Sometimes, though, you may have pointed your camera at someone on a hunch, a certain emanated energy, only to be shown exactly why you felt that pull. This child is one such hero. A young sports fan? Fun enough. But this child seems to have known from the moment he awoke that his moment would come, bearing a painted mark celebrating his chosen Boston Bruins team on his chest in silence, awaiting his destiny. And he rose to it.
Shark Proposal Spoiler
The jumbotron marriage proposal lies somewhere between cliche and classic. It’s certainly not something that’s grown to the point of being groan-worthy, but it’s common enough not to blow any minds or even be unexpected of any couple shown on the big screen. So when a Las Vegas Golden Knights fan descended to one knee, a nearby San Jose Sharks fan knew that the crowd, though happy, needed something else to take this to the next level. Operating off of pure entertainment instinct and probably at least one tall boy, he and his shark costume come rocketing in with a flag and perfect timing.
I hesitate to label this woman a jumbotron hero, for two central reasons: 1) I feel there’s a decent chance that she is doing this specifically to get on the jumbotron; and 2) this clip made me borderline dry-heave and I don’t love that. Look, diet choices at sporting events are gluttonous by design, and that’s part of the whole experience. Baseball is fine, but eating 14 chicken tenders while watching baseball is divine. Even with that qualifier, though, eating mayonnaise straight out of a cartoonishly large jar with what seems to be a borderline serving spoon? That’s beyond the pale. Even if it was a calculated stunt, just the two confirmed heaping mouthfuls of mayonnaise are enough in my eyes to earn the fame.
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the eyebrows are their beautiful, expressive curtains. During an NCAA baseball game between TCU and Coastal Carolina, a young child put on an absolute eyebrow clinic that would have both Jack Black and Dwayne Johnson giving furry foreheaded applause. The pure expressiveness, the connection, the deep link that this small man establishes with a well-calculated wiggle. He’s like a living Mona Lisa.
Ascending past the ranks of simple jumbotron hero to (possibly) living legend, immortalized forever in GIF and video form, is the man known as Popcorn Guy. If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you’ve likely observed this modern-day Dionysus, awash in popcorn-based gluttony as he dumps a dozen ears’ worth of popped corn in the general direction of his mouth. It may not be the most efficient way to consume popcorn, but it’s definitely the most decadent. We’re left with what looks like a man in the throes of a very salty sexual awakening.
It’s pretty rare that you’d go to a professional sports game with your greatest fear being that you’ll be placed on the jumbotron, but when a series of specific qualifiers line up, that can be the case. One particular man was heading to a Valentine’s Day hockey game with his sister, when he realized the inherent dangers in a male/female pairing who really shouldn’t kiss unless they both want a good amount of therapy sitting together during the traditional Kiss Cam. Even though it might have seemed an unlikely outcome, just in case, he kept an ace up his sleeve. When the fear was realized, and he retrieved and unfolded said ace to reveal a sign reading “MY SISTER” with an arrow, he found himself accepted to the annals of jumbotron fame.
Bested By Water Bottle
To be absolutely, completely physically ripped is a constant invitation to the world to humble you. When you have ham hocks the size of honeydews, you’d better be ready to demonstrate that strength on a moment’s notice or be thrown into a pit of embarrassment. This is the reason that I don’t work out or lift weights at all, not because I don’t like sweating and my knees are powder. Anyway, one particular strongman was laid bare by the jumbotron as he struggled to open a water bottle, and the moment, and required torque, both proved too large.
Baby Barehand Catch
Catching a foul ball is a life-affirming moment. Catching a foul ball barehanded? If they could bottle that feeling, it would make Viagra look like baby aspirin. You’d be forgiven for thinking barehanding a foul ball or home run is the ceiling of hit-snaggery, right up until you see this clip. A man, cradling an infant in one arm, effortlessly barehands a ball with the other. It’s unbelievable. After securing the ball, his victory pose looks like some sort of virility statue that women rub the toes of to aid in conception.
The Beer Kiss
When it comes to jumbotron moments, this one is like vanilla ice cream — classic, perhaps a bit dated, but undeniable in its simple joy. A tribute to the basics executed to perfection. Like an expert martial artist, there’s not a single wasted movement to be seen. An approach for the kiss, a masterful feint and the lips connect with the beer bottle instead. I cannot imagine the majesty of seeing this moment live. I think my eyes would burn out like I looked directly at a biblical seraphim.
Okay, we can do away completely with the hero branding here, and also neatly remove any suggestion of “fun,” but it’s definitely one of the weirdest jumbotron interactions ever. I’m talking about a jumbotron shot in which the important person wasn’t even the one in focus, but merely visible in the background: the suspect in an active murder case. After Earle Barranco was spotted by a witness on the jumbotron at a Charlotte Bobcats NBA game, they reported it to the police, and their stakeout of subsequent Bobcats games ended with his arrest in the VIP area.