If you don’t know what the Harlem Shake is by now, I’d suggest doing a quick YouTube search and see the newest sensation to take over the internet. I also warn you that you could waste hours of your life like millions of people, including myself, on these silly videos. They are just that: silly – yet for some reason, I can’t help but click on these thirty second clips and crack a smile. People have created about every imaginable Harlem Shake video, which got me thinking, what if the Atlanta Braves got in on the act?
Fans too often view athletes as celebrities and forget the personal aspect to them. We see them performing in front of millions or talking in front of cameras rather than their everyday life off the field. Social media allows a small glimpse for fans to see their favorite athletes personality and lives. That interaction is one of the great aspects of Twitter. Fans love to see their favorite athletes outside of their work, and adding to the craze that is the Harlem Shake would generate huge fanfare.
The Braves have some personalities on the roster. Kris Medlen, Tim Hudson, Craig Kimbrel and Jason Heyward are players that could lead the dance. Or the Braves could make one of the new players lead it as a form of hazing. I can picture Justin and B.J. Upton waving bats in the hysteria. Kimbrel and Medlen waving around tomahawk chops like madmen. How about Freddie Freeman playing catch with himself in the background and Dan Uggla doing push-ups on the ground? The ideas are limitless, which is one of the reasons the videos have caught on to so many people. However the Braves chose to attack it, I think it would be a lighthearted and simple way to build some chemistry on a new team. Baseball is such a long grind, and successful teams find ways to have fun over that grind. This would be a great chance for the team to have some fun amongst themselves before the long grind begins.
For this to take off, there would need to be fan involvement. The Braves could sell 50-100 tickets or auction off spots for fans to have a chance to go crazy with the Braves. The Braves could team up with Hudson and let the proceeds go to the Hudson Family Foundation. Or simply allow a certain amount of fans get in on the action for free. Spring training is a fun opportunity for the fans to get an early, close look at the players. Getting the chance to be a part of a video with them would enhance the experience and be a wonderful experience. They could bring their signs and big heads just to live it up for a few moments and share an experience with the Atlanta Braves. How many people get a chance to do that?
It’s a silly dance and a silly idea. The Braves are worrying about who will play third base or how to set up a rotation this spring training – not making a silly video. The growth of fan interaction and social media have created bizarre movements to go viral. Perhaps, the Braves should become part of this bizarre movement and build team chemistry, have some fun and make a fan’s day. Sometimes players need to have fun over a long season, and sometimes fans just want to see a player’s silly side.