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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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.

That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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