Shamokin player's clip all the rage
SHAMOKIN - A short clip of a Shamokin Little Indians youth football game has gained the interest of the Internet after the footage went viral this week.
The YouTube clip topped 850,000 views Wednesday, and counting, and had already been aired on programs on both ESPN and MLB Network.
The viral-video experience for its videographer, Gary Edmondson, of Shamokin, has been a bit overwhelming.
"So many people are contacting me," he said by phone Tuesday. "I'm trying to weed it out as to who's the best to give permission to."
The 30-second video was shot in 2009 by Edmondson, whose oldest son was a Little Indians team member at the time, during a game against Pottsville.
It shows a rather large Pottsville player, large enough to play at the high school level, line up at tailback.
When he takes the handoff and follows his blocks, a would-be tackler from Shamokin - describing him as half his opponent's size would be a stretch - moves in for the tackle and is literally bounced off of the Pottsville player and onto the turf at Kemp Memorial Stadium.
No one was injured during the play.
The collision is a violent one, as is the nature of football, and the absurdity of the size difference between the ball carrier and the defensive players is almost laughable - surely two reasons that the clip was featured Tuesday on major websites and cable shows alike.
At a time when the topic of head injuries in football has been a heated one for footballers at all levels, comments on the YouTube clip are a bit divisive.
Edmondson said the clip speaks for itself.
"People can watch video and draw own conclusions," he said.
The video was uploaded three years ago and had already garnered hundreds of thousands of hits. But it somehow caught the attention of many Web users this week and, as these things tend to go, took off from there.
Edmondson's official version on YouTube jumped from 400,000-plus views to more than 850,000 in the past 2 1/2 weeks. Another version of the same video that was since removed at Edmondson's request soared from 5,700 views late Monday to more than 440,000 late Tuesday.
To put that in context, the next highest view count for one of Edmondson's video clips is 3,500, and many of his others have substantially less than that.
The clip found its way onto ESPN and MLB Network, both of which sought permission from Edmondson, and has been featured on the widely read Yahoo! main page and on Deadspin.com, a popular sports blog. USAToday, too, has shown an interest, he said.
The Shamokin player at the center of the clip didn't respond to an interview request from The News-Item, but by all accounts, including from Edmondson, he's taking his fleeting moment in the limelight all in stride.
"It's exciting. I'm wondering who will contact me next," Edmondson said.
"We're kind of hoping for Tosh.O. We're hoping for a web redemption for the kid," he said of the popular Comedy Central television show.
To see the clip, go to http://bit.ly/V6QJ3H