The year is 2010, and our society has advanced in so many ways. In a scant 20 years, we've gone from the ability to even own a cell phone being a luxury to being able to do everything from watch television, stream music, play games, and download porn on those very phones. (Okay, maybe you can't play Words With Friends on Gordon Gekko's brick phone, but he no doubt upgraded as soon as he could.)
Ironically, while the technology to view homemade video has advanced to the point where you can watch a gajillion movies by merely having a handheld device and a clear signal, many of the actual homemade videos themselves have not caught up in terms of production value, content, and (this is the big one) self-awareness....and I thank God for that every day (BIG train wreck fan here).
Case in point, the new University of Georgia freshman orientation video. Observe...
Okay, where to begin...how about we just go chronologically?
0:15 -- Dramatic, stoic music plays in the background of a slow-motion shot centered around the lower body of blonde woman who has her skirt hiked up high enough to where her belt nearly grazes the bottom of her boobs. Immediate "cool rating" of this video out of the gate is set at -37.
1:00 -- We immediately find out two things -- first, the chick with the hiked up skirt is actually pretty hot. (Her name, as shown for a total of .002 seconds, is Hannah Drum; I'm guessing she has new friends on Facebook this week.) Second, this video is going to have "kung fu movie" levels of voice/lips moving synchronization. Awesome.
1:07 -- First male voice, we now also know the singing is going to be really terrible, too. This is getting more awesome by the second.
1:10 -- We have our first overly happy future "Up With People" dancer, where the level of excitement on his face is about a thousand times of the level of excitement in his voice, like someone just told him UGA won the rights to the next Comic Con.
1:35 -- First refrain hits (my hands were up, were yours?) and it's making karaoke night at the Wild Wing Cafe look like an Elton John and Billy Joel concert. We also get a Beatles Abbey Road tribute with four students crossing the street single file (even the first one barefoot)...which is awesome if you're expecting a freshman class with an average age of 57.
2:00 -- I've always wanted to go see a game at Georgia. Seems like it's one of those college football "bucket list" things to do. Now I'm fearful that their male fans wear headbands and I'll get thrown out before halftime for punching someone.
2:10 -- "This is definitely not a Georgia Tech party." Somewhere, Georgia Tech fans watching this video laugh maniacally, light up a fatty, high-five, and crack open a bottle of Jack Daniel's.
2:23 -- Mark Richt makes his first appearance in the video, posing like a WWE wrestler in a Summerslam promotional poster in lighting that was apparently approved by the makers of The Blair Witch Project. Somewhere, Urban Meyer watches this video, laughs maniacally, lights up a fatty, high-fives Steve Addazio, and cracks open a Venom energy drink.
2:26 -- Instead of using some stock footage of an actual sellout crowd at a football game, they opt for a dozen dorky students sitting by themselves in an empty stadium with pom poms. Theater of the mind, peeps.
2:30 -- I will say this, despite the shitty production value and sheer "whatever opposite of hipness" is of this video, the chicks are still kind of cute. I went to Notre Dame and any of the chicks in this video would have been the hottest girl in the dorm next door in South Bend. Which makes me laugh when the girls jump on the rope to ring the bell in this video -- if they filmed this scene when I was at Notre Dame, the tower would have come crashing down when the first girl decided to hang on the rope.
2:40-3:00 -- "Party in the UGA"....and by party we mean hang out in the courtyard, fake laugh, and try shit on at the bookstore. Party on!
3:17 -- Georgia coach Mark Richt makes his second appearance, channeling his inner "house league soccer celebration", running through the hands tunnel and then striking the Summerlsam pose again. Somewhere, Nick Saban watches this video, chuckles under his breath, lights up a fatty, and wonders who he can go dog-cuss today.
3:32 -- Possibly gay men jumping around as though they are definitely gay.
The rest of the video is a montage of more bookstore-shopping, fake laughing, arm-wrestling, and gyrating. Conspicuously absent from the video would be the biggest piece of proof positive that UGA is indeed the mecca of collegiate partying -- the mugshot of ousted athletics director Damon Evans, who was pinched for DUI while holding the panties of a woman in the car with him...a woman not named "Mrs. Damon Evans." She exists, she just wasn't there.
Some will say this video traces its lineage to the 2007 Appalachian State promotional video, a valid point.
However, I fancy myself to be somewhat of a guilty-pleasure paleontologist, and the roots of cringe-worthy video go back much farther than 2007. In fact, I would go back as far as the mid-80's, and if we're going back to look at head scratching video dinosaurs, then I give you Tyrannosaurus Rex -- the 1986 Rams in "Ram It"...
Okay, let's start with the lyrics...
"RAM IT...do you know how to RAM IT, let's RAM IT!"
I mean, in a society where we seem to have gotten more risque with each passing year, there is no chance in hell an NFL team greenlights these lyrics in 2010, proof of how coked up everyone was back in 1986.
Next, I love how this R&B vibe song has lily-white, feathered-hair Nolan Cromwell (with rhythm that makes Navin Johnson look like Michael Jackson at the Grammys) at the very front of the dance group. Excellent choice! (1:18 we get Cromwell's solo which includes the lyrics "I like to RAM IT as you can see, noboy likes rammin' any more than me." Amazingly, this ranks about 38th on the list of disturbing things about this video.)
The rhymes in this video also have the same rhyme scheme as every other football team video of that era. Mad Libs look like this...
I am (NAME), and I am (something rhyming with NAME)
When the other team's see me, you know they (do something rhyming with NAME)
I get lots of (some statistic) and that's really good
You know nobody comes RAMMIN in my neighborhood!
LET'S RAM IT! YOU KNOOOOW HOW TO RAM IT!!
1:40 -- some dude named "Herc" from "West V-A" tells us that he likes to "RAM IT all day and RAM IT all night." He fails to mention with which relative.
2:13 -- Tight end David "Big Daddy" Hill rocks the microphone, just a couple years before he would leave football to become the father on Family Matters under his stage name Reginald VelJohnson.
2:32 -- Ron Brown, fresh off sucking helium, reminds us how much he likes cars and women. No mention of football. Amazing things didn't work out better with him.
3:08 -- Saxophone bridge, an `80's staple. And it's always a large African American rocking the sax, homage to Clarence Clemons. Jackie Slater does the honors.
4:00 -- Whoever #20 was, he just uttered the lyrics "the ladies agree, before they know it they're ramming with me." He basically just said he bangs a lot of chicks in a team promotional video, proof that maybe Pete Rozelle was phoning it in the last few years he was in office.
Okay, that's probably enough. While certainly this video embodies everything that was horrific, indulgent, and oblivious about the `80's, what separates this one from the pack (and let it be known, it was a crowded pack back then) is that they actually made a 90-second "Making of Ram It" video.
Now, making of Star Wars back then, I get that. Making of Thriller, absolutely. Making of Ram It? I'll summarize for you -- gheri curl, porn moustaches, full body dry heave dancing, a thousand lines of coke, lather, rinse, RAM IT. I guess in some sense, the fact that it's 90 seconds long tells you all you need to know.
Between the completely overblown pride in the final product along with Cromwell and Eric Dickerson making it sound like this is validation of why kids look up to them, this "making of" video is ten times more entertaining than the video itself.
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"They look up to us and they want to be like us, because when I was young I wanted to be like O.J. Simpson." -- Eric Dickerson
O.J. was known as a guy who liked to ram it from time to time.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.