Viral View

Raheel Ramzanali: Examining the timeline of viral moments

James Harden's crossover against Wesley Wright dominated the news cycle. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Last week in the much-anticipated rematch between the Rockets and Clippers, James Harden pulled off the move of the NBA season when he dropped Wesley Johnson with a crossover in the second quarter. While many players fall victim to a crossover and suffer the ever embarrassing ankle break, this one was different, this had the epic stare down from Harden that created one of the most viral moments of the season on social media.

Going viral on Twitter is nothing new for sports moments and because of how common it is, virality now has a timeline of events that most viral moments follow:

  • The Moment: This is the foundation for virality. The moment that made everyone stop and realize that something special just happened. We’re not sure how The Moment is picked, but we as a society just know that it has been picked. In the case of this viral moment, the event occurred roughly at 10:05 p.m. CST.

  • The Bootleg: Soon as The Moment is picked, the first mention we see of it on social is with fans recording their TV and sharing the video so they can be the first to have it. We could all wait about three minutes for the super HD clean versions from official accounts, but nahhh that’s no fun. The first bootleg to hit Twitter occurred roughly at 10:06 p.m. CST.

  • The Official Video: Leagues and teams are REALLY good at getting HD video from viral moments up fast in today’s sports landscape. If a play happened and we didn’t share it on Twitter, did it really happen? Official Video hit the web at 10:08 p.m. CST.

  • The Hyperbole Quote Tweet: This is where the fun really starts with a viral moment. Once the video of the moment hits Twitter, everyone gets in some great hyperbole joke regarding the moment. There were literally thousands of these, but the first one that made me laugh was ESPN’s Jemele Hill tweet that put Johnson into witness protection. These events start soon as the official video goes up and they never end - 10:08 p.m. CST until lifetime.

  • The Internet Bag: Sharing the actual video is fun, but at this point, it is EVERYWHERE. This is why accounts that go into the Internet bag of tricks will shine during a viral moment. Accounts sharing videos and gifs from other memorable moments are fantastic in a viral moment. One of my favorites was this guy using the toddler crossed over video to describe what happened.

  • The Titanic Edit: This is one of the few internet memes I just don’t get, but it is part of the timeline. Somebody will always put in Celine Dion’s "My Heart Will Go On" behind the actual moment and share it. This occurred at 10:28 p.m. CST.

  • The Wikipedia Edit: Wikipedia is the greatest tool and weakness we have on the internet. We literally use it hundreds of times in a month, but we also fall victim to the ease of editing on it during a viral moment. A viral moment really hasn’t gone viral until somebody edits a person’s Wikipedia page. This happened at 10:37 p.m. CST.

  • The Instant Contrarian: I know as a sports talk host I’m supposed to hate the hot take jakes, but gosh, I wish I could’ve jumped in on that trend before and make millions. While most people can’t stand the hot take jakes of the world, I appreciate them because it really is an art to create contrarian takes that will upset people. The hot take jakes really start showing up when something goes viral. There was no chance Skip Bayless was watching the Rockets game, but soon as he saw a moment went viral, he jumped in with the obvious Game 6 blast and “it really wasn’t that great of a move” take. This event occurred at 10:44 p.m. CST.

  • The Good Ol’ JR (Jim Ross) Treatment: If JR wasn’t the voice of your childhood then you need to stop reading this story and go back and watch some great moments from the WWE. If he was the voice of your childhood, then you already know this social media trend where people dub over a JR call to the viral moment. This occurred at 11 p.m. CST.

  • The Sh*t Can We Still Get Play Out Of This?: Look, some social media managers like to sleep and they will miss a great moment, but worry not because these social media managers will play the “let’s get some hits the day after” card and share the moment again. This occurred March 1st at 8:20 a.m. CST.

  • The Next Day Edits: These are the best because the person editing really cares about the quality of work and will put in some actual effort as opposed to the JR and Titanic crew. My favorite was this person’s Fortnite edit. This occurred at 6:41 p.m. CST on March 1st. Also, I don’t play Fortnite so please don’t ask me. Now get off my lawn!

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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