If you're a blogger or a talk show host (or someone like myself who is attempting to be both), it is the gift that keeps on giving.
If you're trying to be a productive member of society or a contributor at your place of work, it's the silent killer, especially "Related Videos." If you get caught in the death trap of continually clicking the Related Videos to the right of whatever it is you're watching, it can be like getting swept into an ocean undertow of guilty pleasure.
Fortunately, colleges still seem to think that the best way to promote their schools and their sporting events is to take some of their most awkward-looking students and put them in music videos. The latest? University of Minnesota.
In an effort to remind fans that they must -- repeat, MUST -- wear gold for this Saturday's "GOLD OUT" against the University of Miami (Ohio version, the lowercase "u"), the school put together a video to the song "Midas Touch," a random 1986 song that peaked at number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100 (which is the musical equivalent of receiving two votes in the AP college football poll in like Week 8, and never being heard from again, which actually makes it an entirely appropriate song for the University of Minnesota).
Trivia question: What group is this in the video singing this song? (Answer below).
As awkward videos go, this one is actually fairly tame. The school lets the inherent ludicrousness of the '80s do most of the heavy lifting, splicing actual video from the music video for "Midas Touch" throughout this short feature. Probably the most cringeworthy parts of the video are the contrived reactions of each student as they get magically adorned in gold Gopher gear from Goldy's magical touch.
Starting with each kid at the 1:20 mark, going from right to left:
Student #1: Asian student who, quite frankly, looks kind of pissed and confused that Goldy would thrust this crappy, two-sizes-too-small bookstore T-shirt on him. Understandable.
Student #2: Heavyset young lady who appears to be moderately excited for about 1.2 seconds that she's wearing a new T-shirt, but then realizes that her Asian friend next to her is still confused, which leads her to temper her somewhat bridled enthusiasm.
Student #3: Blond-haired girl having a casual conversation with her friend to her right, probably something along the lines of "Why the hell are we all sitting here alone in this stadium? This is soooo stupid!" And then -- POOF -- new T-shirt! She looks down for one mundane second and then does what any gossipy chick would do -- she resumes her conversation.
Student #4: Another blondie who continued the conversation with Student #3 the entire time, including the entirety of Goldy's mystical placement of gold garb on #3, and yet despite watching Goldy cast his magic T-shirt spell on her friend Student #3, somehow Student #4 is shocked that when Goldy touches her head, she gets...wait for it...wait for it...a GOLD FREAKING T-SHIRT. NO WAY.
Student #5: Girl dressed in ball cap, she looks almost frightened, like the magic Goldy is raining on the row of students somehow is a harbinger for much darker things to come, like Goldy would go down the row and go "T-shirt...T-shirt...T-shirt....T-shirt....ELECTROCUTION!!!" Apparently relieved that Goldy's otherworldly touch yielded merely a gold, women's football jersey instead of, say, 10,000 kilowatts of electricity, Student #5 manages to crack a smile.
Student #6: Wavy-haired female student staring off into the distance, perhaps wondering what they're serving at the dining hall that night, Student #6 acts the most surprised of all and even goes with the tried and true "pointing at self as if to say "I get one of these, too??" Yes, go figure. Five students in a row got one, yes, you got one, too. Student #7: Male student who is holding still like a four-year-old waiting for the barber to cut his hair. Goldy's touch not only magically gives him a gold T-shirt, but it moves his arms from his side onto his legs and temporarily freezes him for two seconds. I sense we're only scratching the surface of Goldy's Jedi powers.
And now to save you the time of the "Related Video" death spiral, I'll give you a few other awkward college videos right here in this space. You're welcome.
The University of Georgia's "Party in the UGA":
Notre Dame's "We Are N.D." (with Freekbass...I still have nightmares about this):
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...and the Casablanca of horrific college promotional videos, Appalachian State's "Hot, Hot, Hot":
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3PM weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.