Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mocksession explores the funny, painful, and bizarre margins of sports

Posted By on 10.08.11 at 08:37 AM

During Joe Torre's formative years with the New York Yankees, television cameras gravitated toward him quite a bit. That happens when you manage the richest and most powerful team in baseball, one that collects American League pennants like stamps and has just as many World Series appearances as you have fingers and toes, doubled. But titles and pennants aside, one thing Torre could never accomplish during those dynasty runs was mustering enough self-awareness to take his finger out of his nose. Regular shots into the dugout during an ALCS or World Series found the now-retired Torre digging for something, anything. Fox got so good at catching him in the act, it got me wondering if the network had assigned a cameraman solely to Torre booger patrol (not terribly unlike the Tebow cam from the 2010 Sugar Bowl).

While you and I likely see Torre's nose picks as quirky, funny asides, helping us maybe poke fun at the Yankees just a little more—I'm actually having a pretty good time with it right now, just two days removed from the team's ALDS defeat to the Tigers—Mocksession.com founder, Tim Burke, has been collecting and curating sports oddities like these since 2006. His screen grabs, video clips, and animated GIFs catch athletes, managers, and spectators in uncompromising positions, or just weirdo moments that Burke finds strangely amusing.

Wired's Erik Malinowski did a short profile on Burke for the magazine's October issue. He writes:

The creation of 33-year-old Ohio native Tim Burke, Mocksession now offers more than 12,500 images, 500 animated GIFs, and hundreds of videos. It’s a must-follow for those who want to see professional athletes doing hilarious things: Bong-smoking Olympic champion Michael Phelps looking high at a baseball game, a Cardinal seeming to spit in an umpire’s face, and, yes, a University of Oregon wide receiver picking his nose during the last seconds of the National Championship game.

Though Burke does get slaps on the wrist from networks who ban his YouTube accounts—he told Malinowski that he's burned through five or six thus far—Mocksession has been growing in popularity. In September, the website recorded its first million-page-view month.

Below is an example of what the site offers: a clip of Ronnie Brewer scrambling for a loose ball, while being sound-tracked by the Mountain Goats:

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