We are here. Over 30,000 votes after the first vote was cast last week, we've elected our representatives in the championship round of GIF Tournament IV. Their names are SNIPED METS FAN and DOINK!, and we've come to love them so.
The animated sports GIF that wins the vote today will join a pantheon of legends. A brief history:
GIF TOURNAMENT I. In this tournament, we were met with the daunting challenge of judging every animated sports GIF since the inception of the Internet. Years-old GIFs were dug from message-board obscurity and brought to light. Many legendary GIFs made their mark, including HOCKEY MASSACRE, RUNAWAY UTILITY CART, and YANKEE ENTHUSIASTS. The championship between MORTIFIED MICHIGAN PUNTER and THE RAPTOR was engulfed in scandal when massive vote-rigging occurred. A makeshift tribunal was organized, and after a re-vote, THE RAPTOR was crowned as the greatest animated sports GIF of all time, a title he still holds today.
GIF TOURNAMENT II. This one was a bit of a wonder. DAMN IT, ASTROS, a spectacular collage of baseball failures, was somehow upset by BUCK SHOWALTER. This unlikely return continued when SHOWALTER defeated an animated legend, DAVID ROBINSON GIFBOMB. To be frank with you, I did not, and do not, feel as though BUCK SHOWALTER was worthy of greatness, but this is how we voted.
GIF TOURNAMENT III. The great JADEVEON CLOWNEY fell in the Final Four to TIM LINCECUM, who advanced to score an impressive championship win over LAKERSBRO. The results of that final still dismay many, and GIF TOURNAMENT IV's comments sections were peppered with laments over the great NBA GIF's demise.
And now, as we prepare to vote in GIF TOURNAMENT IV, we know one thing for certain: for the third consecutive time, the winner will be a baseball GIF. Baseball is such a divisive game: as with any sport, there are millions who live and die for it, but no other sport is so hated. It's boring, they say. It's slow, they say. And yet, sports fans of all sorts congregate to vote for baseball GIFs, time after time.
Baseball is perhaps the most essentially GIF sport. There is more of it, and so there are more and greater failures. The two GIFs we have before us today are certainly such failures, and both end with calamity.
I have had the floor for long enough. As I present these two GIFs for your judgment, I will include some observations and insights that some of y'all have left in the comments.
Voting will end tonight at 11:30 p.m. Eastern. Good luck, GIFs. Good luck, everyone.
GIF TOURNAMENT IV -- CHAMPIONSHIP
(14) SNIPED METS FAN vs.
(14) SNIPED METS FAN.
Via @ckirsch714's Vine. Special nomination. Has not previously appeared in THIS WEEK IN GIFs. Received 887 votes in Round 1, 1,114 votes in Round 2, 1,008 votes in Round 3, and 903 votes in Round 4.
I think we’re overlooking a critical piece of the puzzle here - SNIPED METS FAN HELD ONTO HIS BEER!!!
I don’t care which coast you’re from — East or Midwest — that’s AMERICAN
- Valued Internet subscriber Area Sports Athlete
I expect that something like the 900th viewing, you discover that the game was actually played on the Moon or the cardinal birds on the pitcher’s jersey actually move like portraits from Harry Potter books or something.
I don’t know if I can even vote in good conscience. It’s like being asked to choose between infinite fish and break vs. water into wine. Making the pick feels blasphemous.
- Valued Internet subscriber icebrand
After viewing Sniped Mets Fan about 100 times, I just realized:
His buddies hardly even notice. As the guy is falling over a row of stadium seats—which surely is not something one can do quietly—the guy standing directly next to him leans in to say something to the other guy. Then as he settles in, they both slowly glance over right as the GIF ends. Both are entirely nonplussed. It’s not that they don’t notice, because it would be impossible not to notice. It’s that they don’t care. They don’t care by instinct. Because it all happened so suddenly, they didn’t have time to decide whether or not to care. I think we all have friends that we wouldn’t really react if they fell over a row of seats, completely randomly and assuredly loudly, at a baseball game. This GIF is about more than a funny thing happening to a guy one time. This is about the human condition and how we relate to each other.
- SB Nation's James Pennington
Special nomination. Has not previously appeared in THIS WEEK IN GIFs. Received 591 votes in Round 1, 415 votes in Round 2, 863 votes in Round 3, and 755 votes in Round 4.
Doink! How can you vote against Doink! It’s got the Turn and the Prestige TWICE: Chavez’s grimace then “dawww” face, followed by Eppley’s doink and then T-Rex arms. It’s all just too good…
- Valued Internet subscriber RarefiedAir9
@jon_bois Did you notice a ball is already in DOINKs glove?— Wally (@WaltSobchek) June 24, 2013
Every time I watch DOINK! I think that maybe this is the time that I won't laugh
But every time that ball hits Eppley’s head, I lose it. And I mean after watching it loop 12 times over every round. At that point, each successive loop somehow becomes even funnier than the last and I give up on trying to not laugh.
- Valued Internet subscriber xgamblorx
As I write this, I have no idea how I'm going to vote.