Over the past five months of THIS WEEK IN GIFs, we have reviewed and voted on over 200 animated sports GIFs. In so doing, we selected 32 of those to compete in GIF TOURNAMENT III. And at long last, we're almost ready to crown a champion. The winner will enter GIF immortality along with the GIF TOURNAMENT II winner, BUCK SHOWALTER, and the original GIF Tournament champion.
Voting will remain open until 11 p.m. Eastern tonight. Let's dance, y'all.
Has received 5,935 total votes in the tournament.
Over the 25-year history of the animated GIF, it has stretched and expanded and tested its boundaries many times over. The two-frame blinking light became the "Under Construction" sign became the waterskiing squirrel became the "That's Racist" kid became, eventually, a means by which we could capture a real-life event, as though it were a very short film.
GIFs tell stories, but I don't think I've ever seen an event that looked so ... scripted, so artificial, and yet entirely organic. Lincecum flings a handful of sunflower seeds at his face like some kind of ding-dong and looks to his teammate for approval, and the camera passes by, unshaken. Nobody cares, Timmy. Not me, not Zito, not the fella behind the lens. You're in your own little world, and it's a grand world.
What y'all said:
The slow build is pitch perfect. Looks unspectacular and run of the mill and then BAM! Snacks are everywhere, reminiscent of the confetti bursting from roofs after a championship. The last shit-filled grin of Lincecum seals it.
- Valued Internet subscriber redwing19
the Lincecum gif is so totally in the spirit of Michigan Punter, Buck Showalter, etc: capturing the oddities and delights of athletes and those who watch them.
- Valued Internet subscriber Attie Hat
GIFs shouldn't have cinematography.
Lincecum’s does. There’s a pledge, a turn, and a prestige. The camera operator was just getting a standard shot to kill time, but it stumbled across baseball people being bored because they’re about to watch baseball.
- Baseball Nation's own Grant Brisbee
Has received 3,017 total votes in the tournament.
In the year-plus since YANKEE ENTHUSIASTS entered our lives, we have searched for a successor -- a GIF that celebrates the expressive chuckleheads of a cocky fan base. Well, if LAKERSBRO is a sibling, it is certainly not a twin. Instead of an ensemble cast, it illuminates a single, flawless bro.
A bro with a Dwight Howard jersey that matches his friend's. A bro with a baseball cap worn in a backwards fashion employed only by plumbers since 1996. A bro who wears sunglasses indoors. How long was he wearing those shades? The entire game?
Look at that gawk. The GIF is a silent medium no more: you watch this, and you hear the "HAWWWWWWWW" from months and miles away.
And would you look at that? It's Frank Robinson.
What y'all said:
D: Ryan, why were you wearing sunglasses inside, bro?
R: I was wearing the sunglasses inside cuz I knew the camera always looks for people wearing shades cuz they r usually famous. My plan worked hahaha.
- Valued Internet subscriber MonkeyChow
Wearing glasses wasn't spontaneous.
Capturing the little bit of Bromerica that occurred when he took them off? That was spontaneous, and awesome.
- Valued Internet subscriber cablinasian
My favorite part about Lakersbro
Is the OTHER guy. Had he been wearing basically any other t-shirt in the world, he’s essentially invisible here. But instead? IMMORTALITY.
- Valued Internet subscriber Saunderson