Welcome once again to THIS WEEK IN GIFs, y'all, in which baseball and basketball continue to battle for GIF supremacy. They're arguably the two most GIF-able sports, and they've treated us once again with a stellar crop of animations.
As usual, we would like to campaign for you to vote for the GIFs we love. I got together with fellow GIF enthusiasts Matt Ufford and Dan Rubenstein to discuss our favorites:
Swimming isn't a purely learned human behavior, like handwriting or moralizing about rap music on Twitter. We're born with the instinct to hold our breaths underwater, and babies demonstrate basic swimming motions in water when they're only a few weeks old.
You know what's probably not a learned behavior? Divin' your fool ass on the ground like baseball players do when they slide into a base. I can't really think of any occasion in which our ancestors would have to flop on the ground like that. Over time, we can execute learned behaviors just about as well as our instinctive behaviors, but millions upon millions of years of evolutionary hard-wiring are pretty tough to sweep under the rug completely. That, I think, is how we end up with Ian Kinsler trying to swim in the dirt, and it also helps to explain why I'm cackling at him like a tree ape.
DAMN IT, ASTROS, PART ELEVENTY TRILLION
As Rob Neyer noted, this is the second time Jimmy Paredes, infielder by trade but right fielder by assignment, has completely bowled over a teammate. The first time, he knocked a guy out of the game with a jaw injury. This time, he cost the Astros the game by running into the guy who called for the ball with the score tied, the bases loaded, and two men out in the bottom of the ninth.
It's the most Astros possible way to end a baseball game. At this pace, they're projected to lose 114 games and finish at least 50 games out of first in the A.L. West. In the 21st century, baseball's greatest contribution to our culture is the shittiness it produces.
This moment was choreographed with GIF intentions. The Bearcats' official Twitter account sent this GIF out, after all. It's different from other GIFs in this way, and after some contemplation, I decided that's fine. Some might feel to be an untoward intrusion into our sports GIF world, a cynical attention grab.
But after viewing hundreds of animated GIFs of sports figures embarrassing themselves, why should I be bent out of shape if the stars of a GIF want to claim authorship? It's only fair, and if this behavior results in quality GIFs, we ought to celebrate it.
Welp, once again LeBron James shows up in THIS WEEK IN GIFs with an unreal display of ability that will finish sixth in the poll because it isn't hilarious. And that's fine. I just wanted us all to see this again.
Down by one, with 2.2 seconds left, LeBron takes the inbound pass at the arc and makes it to the rim just as the buzzer sounds. He read the defense and knew he could do that with his back to the net. I don't even understand how a 6'8", 240-pound man is that quick to begin with.
That's either six or seven consecutive misses from one foot away, depending on how you want to count them. The Grizzlies are metaphorically amorphous. Sometimes they are a giant, lumbering beast of the wilderness, and other times they are a flamethrower-torched dump truck that, ominously, has been on fire for years.
Here, they are an upside-down cockroach on the kitchen floor. C'mon, you won, and it's wiggling its little legs. It wants to live. Knock it into the dustpan and chuck it outside, and give a fellow resident of this Earth another few days in the sun.
This GIF has layers, y'all. OK, so first, you have a shirt that says something about a blue collar, and the shirt's collar isn't even blue. It's a shirt wishing it were another shirt, and the way Mr. West is wearing it, that collar is going to stretch out into the shittiest collar ever.