If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a GIF worth?
Tuesday night, after the Astros won, in the same way they've lost so many games this year, I created just one GIF. It wasn't Jonathan Villar scoring from second, nor was it Brandon Barnes' dive that was the number one play of the night on SportsCenter. Instead I GIF'd the one thing you won't see on the highlight reels', Bo Porter's unabashed jubilation as VIllar crossed home plate giving the Astros just their 34th win of the 2013 season:
Click to watch jubilation
As David covered yesterday and despite reports to the contrary, the Astros are not run by robots or nerds buried in stats sheets. There's balance in this organization and Bo Porter jumping and spinning is proof of that. I imagine of CSN Houston could have gotten a shot of Jeff Luhnow we may have even seen a fist pump from the highly analytic general manager.
What I love about this GIF is that there is so much to dissect here. Porter is the center piece and you can relive the play through his arm gestures and his victory pirouette:
He then begins the managerial duty of shaking everyone's hands while he expresses words of a job well done.
In that sequence of emotions we see that Porter actually judo chops Bud Norris in the head and almost hits Brett Wallace in the gut:
I showed Bud Norris the GIF and he responded that he was so excited he didn't even notice. The tweet has since been deleted, probably because as an athlete he has to watch what he says, which is unfortunate. Whatever the reason there was a lot of excitement in the ball park among the fans, players and even coaches.
Back to the original GIF. I love John Malee's reaction. While everyone else is getting excited in anticipation, he's calm and cool and let's out a "hey! we won" expression and that's about it. His expression counterbalances some of the other excitement going on around him. Porter spinning, the players rushing the stairs, the bat boy pulling the helmet off his head. As the bat boy goes out of frame it looks like he throws his helmet to the end of the dugout.
Finally, the fans right behind the dugout. From left to right we have:
- the woman about to reach for her purse before realizing she should probably clap. She even attempts a small little hop.
- The woman who consistently cheers the same way throughout the GIF.
- The super excited woman.
- The kid who doesn't know how how to respond.
- The man who stays cool up until the safe call then looks around for high fives but finds none so goes back to cheering to the celebration on the field.