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This Week In GIFs: Confusion and eventual failure

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Which type of animated GIF do we value the most? The funny ones, the strange ones, or the ones that seem impossible? In Week 19, we'll find out. Vote, and help us determine a champion.

Welcome to Week 19 of THIS WEEK IN GIFs, everyone. There's a lot of hilarious officiating and stupefying punt-returning to get to. Before we do, you're welcome to sit in as Matt Ufford, Dan Rubenstein and myself discuss this week's field:

Voting will remain open until 11 p.m. Eastern Sunday. Enjoy!



It isn't all that uncommon to see a pitcher fall off the mound. It's forgivable. You're standing on a piece of rubber on the top of a hill, and when you pitch, your body basically turns into this giant network of metronomes that are swinging your equilibrium this way and that. If one of those metronomes is just a little too fast or slow, WHOOP.

But uh, apparently it's nap time in Washington. This is another example of athletes taking a REALLY long time to get up after they fall down. Basketball and football players do this too. If you or I fall down, we immediately get back up and hope nobody notices. These guys are just sorta content to wallow on the ground for a half-hour in front of 40,000 people.



I said so in the video, but I'm genuinely gonna miss these replacement officials. This had to end at some point, but I'm glad we had three weeks of complete bullshit like this.

And this is just such a bullshit thing to happen. The official's presumably chucking his hat because he thinks Ogletree went out of bounds at some point, but ... you're supposed to throw it at the point at which he stepped out of bounds, right? And if he did step out of bounds, that happend like 15 yards in the other direction. So I guess he was trying to note, "THERE'S A FOOTBALL PLAYER RIGHT THERE, EVERYONE. (OH NO THERE ARE SO MANY FOOTBALL PLAYERS AND I AM ALL OUT OF HATS.)"



(Via Bomani Jones' Monday Morning Jones)

I'll let Bomani explain this one:

Here's Jim Harbaugh after conning the substitute teachers out of a challenge when he didn't have a timeout. And before he made two more challenges, meaning the 49ers got five timeouts in the second half.

What follows is the most "I can't believe I got away with that shit" look you could ask for. Oh god. Play it cool, Jimford. Just play it cool. You got this. Straighten your hat. Wipe your nose. Wipe your hand on your hat. Just keep wiping.


Someday I'm going to sit down and list my favorite sports things -- in part for my own benefit, so that I can calibrate my sports consumption habits accordingly. For now, I'll say that these are in the top tier:

  • Punt returns for touchdowns
  • Running up the score
  • Pitchers at bat
  • Fans who run around on the field
  • Airballed free throws
  • J.R. Smith
  • Starlin Castro
  • Fights of the not-Kermit Washington variety
  • Gus Johnson

If there's anything you think I should add to this list, please let me know in the comments. Anyway, South Carolina's Ace Johnson up there is responsible for one of the most impressive punt returns I've ever seen. He sprints, jukes, runs into his own man, leans out of a tackle, sprints, breaks a full-body tackle while juking out of another tackle, jukes backward, sprints, and dives into the corner of the end zone. Magnificent.


(Via Grant Brisbee)

Q: Ooh, look at Ichiro! He got a base hit! Where did he get such a beautiful single?



(Via Grant Brisbee)

The first time I saw this GIF I dismissed it as some sort of manipulation. Like, come on. Someone just took a still of Tommy Hunter and slapped it up there. This is of course a silly theory, but I just couldn't comprehend such perfect weirdness.

The ball looks like it was perhaps five feet away from smacking Hunter right in the face, and yet he stands still as a stone, unafraid. This could win GIF of the Week honors, or it could finish fourth. I suppose it depends upon what we value in GIFs these days. Can this beat Ace Sanders' run or Gio Gonzalez's extemporaneous nap? I don't know.






Matt specifically requested that we include this one, and I'm glad he did.

One more thought before we drop the "replacement officials" business: making this call must have been SO SATISFYING. Perhaps this official really thought that interception was a touchdown. I think it's just as likely that he convinced himself of such. Frankly, telling people what they want to hear feels pretty good. Telling a steel-eyed coach and 60,000 loud people what they want to hear must feel like such a rush.

Of course, so would telling them what they didn't want to hear. They're both a rush. One is like watching a roll-caged Subaru ramp over 30 cars, and the other is like being in that car. These officials, they seem to have preferred the former. Gonna miss y'all.