In the summer of 2013, swimming pool dunks are zooming right past varsity sport status and into the 2016 Olympics. That's just a fact.
As August rapidly dwindles to nothing, the caliber of swimming pool alley oop specials that the internet continues to give us gets better and better, with seemingly more people, props, and danger added every time.
And now, for the first time in this space, we have repeat performers!
The group of suburban rapscallions who gave us the rollerblade/skateboard/12 man special (apparently, they reside somewhere in Oregon, someplace called Tualatin), have put together another video in an attempt to outdo themselves.
And you know what this means....
Actually, it means two things:
First, it means that they can all introduce themselves now using the Troy McClure intro on The Simpsons: "Hi, I'm Jon from Tualatin, you may remember me from such backyard shenanigans as 'Pool Dunk 1: Revenge of the Skateboard' and 'Smear the Queer! Dodgeball's Violent Little Brother'!" You have to already have been in at least one movie to get "Troy McClure" status. They qualify.
Second, it means that we get another video to break down Zapruder style, and everyone knows that's the best way to spend a Tuesday morning. So let's see what Jon and the fellas came up with:
All right, let's break this baby down... 0:00 -- Immediately, let me say that this group of performers gets bonus points for using YouTube as their application of choice to house their video. They did this with their first entry, too, but I'm just now appreciating its functionality in my multi-pausal Zapruder mode that I'm in. Using Vine is klunky and annoying. Vine needs to die. On the other hand, YouTube is smooth and feature rich. It's like the difference between manual roll-up car windows and electronic windows.
0:00.1 -- Our first look at this effort isn't even pointed at the swimming pool, it's pointed at the house, which (and it could just be the lighting) appears to be the same shade of purple as Grimace from the McDonald's commercial. In fact, I'd like to think that at Sherwin Williams, where they have names for virtually every shade of every color, this shade is indeed called "Grimace."
0:00.3 -- There's our guy on rollerblades again, catching the trigger pass from someone off screen. There's no real reason for the dude in rollerblades to wear them for this dunk, so I'm starting to think that perhaps the kid is swimming pool dunking's answer to Roller Girl from Boogie Nights, where he just wears them to mask some sort of daddy issues. If at some point, he buries his face in a plate of cocaine and asks one of the other dudes to be his "mom," then we will have a problem.
0:02 -- Ok, long baseball pass across the yard down to the pool by Roller Boy, and I'll admit that's probably not easy to throw an accurate pass while following through on wheels. You can do anything Roller Boy!
0:04 -- We get our first look at the pool area, and immediately we notice the addition of a monstrous trampoline. For that split second, you get that same feeling you get when you turn on Monday Night RAW and there's a steel cage hanging over the ring -- you just know this shit's about to get good! OOOHHH TRAMPOLINE, BITCHES!
Meanwhile, our first "palace guard" (and if you don't know the origination of the term "palace guard," I'll direct you to 4.8 second mark of this post. Go read it quickly.) makes a clean catch of the long pass and begins the tight quarters juggling act.
0:05 -- First trampoline guy practically splatters himself on the far wall of the pool (honestly, how have we not seen a serious injury resulting from any of these dunks?) and flips it back to a second trampoline guy. Second trampoline guy catches it in a horizontal position about 15 feet in the air (If Gorilla Monsoon were still alive, the kid would be described as "at least 30 feet in the air, Jess!") and flips it to a palace guard coming off the side.
SIDE BAR DEBATE: Since all they're doing is facilitating the pass sequence, are the trampoline guys just "palace guards"? It's a legitimate debate. I would say to shake free of ho-hum "palace guard" status, you have to perform something a) with a high level of risk for serious injury and/or b) requiring superior athletic ability. Using that as the barometer, TG #2 (the horizontal dude) is easily a "speaking role" player. He executes a dive from high in the air while completing his pass, that's above "palace guard" status. As for TG #1, he gets a "speaking role," based on the possibility of breaking some ribs on the far wall, but he's on the fringe. It's a small "speaking role." If this dunk were a movie, say, one of the American Pie movies, he'd be like the Sherminator.
0:08 -- The sequence makes its way around the horn and winds up on the near side of the pool where one of the performers bats the ball to the next guy in line using one of those small trampolines that people used to jog on before treadmills became moderately affordable in suburbia. (Seriously, there was a time, in like 1985, when adults sought exercise by jogging in place on a small trampoline like that in their basements. Usually, within a week or two, they wound up discarded or being used by their kids for shit like this.) Bonus points for creativity, and extra bonus points for being the offspring of a future episode of Hoarders.
0:09 -- And the hit across the pool was spot on the money to the palace guard who's next in line.
0:11 -- Palace guard, palace guard, to a second Roller Boy! WHOA! Second Roller Boy takes the plunge into the drink, which I'm sure his parents are thrilled about. Water is great for rollerblades, you know.
0:11.2 -- Second Roller Boy flips it to the dunker for the finish, and...NO WAIT! (channeling Jim Ross here) GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY! WHERE DID THAT GORILLA COME FROM?!?! THERE'S A GOD DAMNED GORILLA TACKLING THE DUNKER!! SON OF A BITCH, THERE BOTH GOING IN THE WATER!!! DAMMIT, THAT GORILLA HAS A FAMILY!!!
Ok, needless to say, I'm fascinated by the gorilla, mostly because he's not really doing anything gorilla-like. He's just a dude in a gorilla outfit tackling a would be dunker. If there were a director's cut of this YouTube with commentary, I'd guess that the architect of this dunk would tell us the story behind the gorilla costume goes something like this:
"Yeah, Tommy has a little brother named Ralphie who's like 8 years old, and he pissed and moaned that he wanted to have a part in this whole thing. At first, we just told him "go play Barbies on the xBox with your own friends", but he went and told his mom, and she said we couldn't use the pool if we didn't find a spot for Ralphie. So we went in the basement and found an old gorilla costume that Tommy wore for Halloween back in 2006.....thing smelled like piss and dust and rotten eggs....so we told Ralphie he could be part of the dunk if he wore the outfit. We actually intentionally messed up a dozen or so times at the very end so he would have to keep getting in and out of the pool in this wet monkey suit. In fact, he vomited four times!"
0:12.8 -- The dude getting tackled by Ralphie the Gorilla adjusts by flipping the ball over his head, and BOOM! SUCCESS!!!
0:17 -- Wait, what is this? A portable, waterproof camera strapped to the head of the dunker? Are you kidding me? POV swimming pool dunk porn?!? Oh holy hell, this is amazing! We are living this on replay through the eyes of the finisher!
SIDE BAR TOPIC: If you could have first person POV of any play in the history of sports what would it be? I can't decide if it would be something really, really bad or really, really good. I'll pick one of both:
REALLY, REALLY GOOD: The view of Jim Craig, U.S. goalie on the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team, as the final horn sounded, from the celebration to him looking for his dad. That'd be a cool one.
REALLY, REALLY BAD (for me, at least): Bill Buckner's point of view of the play where his error lost Game 6 of the World Series. I want to see just how easy the play looks from the first person POV, and then see what the Mets celebration looked like from Buckner's standpoint (or if he even watched it).
RANDOM: Jim Valvano after the 1983 NCAA Men's basketball championship game. Was it really that hard to find someone to hug?
REALLY RANDOM: Tiger Woods on any of his visits to Perkins from the years 2005 through 2009.
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I don't know if this was the best dunk of the ones we've seen so far, but the production value alone (YouTube, head camera) and the presence of a gorilla (albeit a fake one, I'm pretty sure) are enough to nudge it to the top of the class.
I suppose as self proclaimed Pool Dunk Commissioner, I'll make Labor Day the deadline for any new submissions.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.