Happy 10-year Anniversary “Mike Gundy Rant Video”
12:58 PM EDT on September 22, 2017
10 years ago today, I was sitting in my living room late on a Saturday night getting drunk with my roommates and playing NCAA 2008 on PS2. We were those cool guys who would spend an entire weekend playing a three person dynasty. It was a blast.
While I was deciding what recruiting pitch I was going to give a 5-star option quarterback with 4.4 speed out of Tyler, Texas (I always went "program prestige" first), I got a text from our co-founder Tony. It went something like this:
Tony: Have you seen Mike Gundy's press conference video?
Patrick: No. What's up?
Tony: Go to Channel 5's website and watch it. It's crazy. He chews into Jenni Carlson.
I ran back to my room, fired up the Dell desktop (Once again, this was 2007), and just like everyone else, was amazed by what I saw. Mike Gundy had lost his mind! I then watched it again... and again... and again. I then called my roommates back to my room to watch it again... and again... and again.
At the time, TLO was barely six-months and very literally an obscure local social blog. I figured it would be a fun topic to write about on Monday, so I downloaded the clip from the Channel 5 website with an MPG video stealer, and then uploaded it to our YouTube channel so I could embed it. I titled the video "Mike Gundy Lectures The Oklahoma Media." I then went back to drinking, playing NCAA football and drunk texting girls. You know, things immature 29-year-old alcoholics do.
The next morning I turned on SportsCenter, and the rant was already the top story. On the clip, ESPN credited YouTube. I wondered if they were using our video, so I checked our YouTube page. This is what I saw:
I couldn't believe it. Over 800,000 people had watched our video in less than eight hours! Remember, all this went down before the advent of social media, and today's insta-video share everything culture, so that was huge. The only catch is that it really wasn't our video. As I mentioned, I ripped it from the KOCO.com website, or ChannelOklahoma.com as they called it back then.
KOCO apparently noticed, because a few hours later I received a copyright infringement notice from YouTube. The video was "unpublished" and replaced by the now infamously captioned "Oklahoma State Football Coach Mike Gundy Upset."
As you know, the video went viral and become a sports media icon. Mike Gundy quotes became instant catchphrases – "I'm a man. I'm 40!" People made t-shirts spoofing the event. The bored lady to the right of Gundy became a local celebrity. Hell, Chad Stevens and Fowler Toyota even parodied it in commercials:
In case you care, that's not the best Fowler Toyota commercial parody. This one takes the cake:
Even though our video was pulled from YouTube, we benefited from it.
At the time, I think The Lost Ogle and Jim Traber's message board were the only websites in the world that criticized Jenni Carlson's sports column writing ability, so we had a SEO optimized "Jenni Carlson" category set up on the site.
As a result, if you searched the name Jenni Carlson, we were like the second or third Google result. Thanks to this intuitiveness, we got a spike of traffic the following week from people looking for more info on the columnist who ignited perhaps the greatest sports rant in history.
Check this out:
The Mike Gundy rant happened only a couple days after we revealed that OU baseball coach Sunny Golloway's daughter posed on Playboy's "Girls of the Big 12" as an OSU student, and the 12,389 pageviews beat that previously held traffic mark. We now routinely (humble-brag alert) reach 20,000 - 30,000 each weekday. Other than Jenni Carlson still spewing out bad sports columns, I guess a lot has changed in ten years.
On the topic of bad Jenni Carlson columns, The Mother of Children has a boring take on the fiasco here. I honestly quit read after a couple of paragraphs, but I'm sure it's uninsightful, overly sentimental and ties everything together nicely at the end. Basically, it makes me want to puke.
Anyway, I'd like thank Jenni Carlson for writing the column, and thank Mike Gundy for totally overreacting. Hell, I guess we should also thank Bobby Reid's mom for hand-feeding him as he waited to get on the bus, otherwise it never would have happened. Each of you brought a lot of joy, laughter and page views into everyone's lives, and we'll always appreciate it. Happy anniversary.