Vine, the six-second-or-less video platform that zoomers and millennials alike loved, left this world far too soon. In the wake of its destruction is a world full of TikToks and Instagram videos that often have similar energy but never seem to come close to the brilliance that time constraints and boredom beget.
Despite Vine not existing anymore and its most successful creators finding life on YouTube or maybe becoming lawyers or something, their best works still live in YouTube compilations that rack up millions of views from people procrastinating far into the night or maybe had too much to drink and need to hydrate before going to sleep. And some of the best of those Vines are about sports.
Given that sports are taking a bit of a break for the time being, we thought it’s best to dive into the archives and find the very best sports Vines to keep your occupied while you practice good social distancing and stay inside to help flatten the coronavirus curve. These are dark and worrying times, and every bit of humor helps. Let’s all share a laugh or two.
Back At It Again At Krispy Kreme
The title is the entirety of the words spoken in the Vine. In it, a man who holds a paper hat from the donut shop says “back at it again at Krispy Kreme.” Though it’s unclear what “it” is in this case, that question is soon answered as he uses the open space by the donut conveyor belt to put on a goddamn show.
This is a sports Vine because of the pure athleticism on display here. The man is flipping with ease, getting so much air that he knocks down a friggin’ neon sign that’s advertising donuts, both hot and fresh. We never see that sign fall to the floor, but it’s safe to say it’s not going to end well for the intricate glass and gas, nor this man. It’s a technique that’s been replicated perfectly by the Perfectly Cut Screams account on Twitter. Vine is a place where what’s not shown is sometimes just as important as what we see. But this Vine gives us plenty of both.
Way To Go Paul
Sports parents are, in a word, terrible. But hockey parents are up there as some of the worst, and by that I mean they’re perfect for Vine. I’ve seen a lot of bad behavior personally, which is why this Vine just hits different, as the kids say. Once again, the context is lacking here, but Paul is very clearly upset about something that happened on the ice. He walked up to the glass and gave it a short, sharp shove. Which is to say he somehow shatters plexiglass, ruining the game and deeply traumatizing what you’d expect to be his child somewhere on one of those teams. The comedic timing is perfect here as the woman who was just screaming something equally embarrassing as whatever the hell Paul is doing quickly chides him for what he’s done. Because at least she didn’t do that, you know.
Smack The Lip
I have a theory about athletes that goes as follows: There are two distinct types. The first group knows why they are good at sports and exactly what happens in their bodies to make them great at what they do. They can speak eloquently about this, putting said greatness into words and giving us lesser beings some context to the incredible feats that they perform.
And then there are athletes like this surfer, who clearly knows how to surf but cannot grasp the necessary words to make any sense at all. These athletes are equally talented and able to execute in their respective fields, mind you. But one makes for a much more interesting interview than the other. Except for this particular Vine.
Grandma Loves Ping Pong Too Much
The agony of defeat is probably overrepresented on Vine, but that’s because it’s really funny to watch people biff it. Wide World of Sports gave it equal representation for a reason: watching people completely mess up is great. Even if they’re as old and likely as frail as the fine china they’re crashing into over a makeshift ping pong table.
It’s safe to say that the woman involved here is OK because she’s clearly among family and it’s unlikely anyone would post a video online of the time table tennis murdered the elderly. But the “whoooaaaaaa” she lets out as she follows a shot she clearly cannot return is one of both shock and resignation. She got really into ping pong on a table that’s not even designed for it. This is a woman with a competitive streak who did not want to be bested. It’s understandable. But just like all of us, you have to learn your limit to later stay within it.
LeBron James. LeBron James. LeBron James. Bron James. LeBron Jaaaaaa…
(You read all of that in the kid’s voice. I hope said kid becomes president some day.)
His shirt has a shortened version of “athletic department” on it.
Guys Being Dudes
Former Boston College head coach Steve Addazio has an entire group of admirers who’ve likely never seen a college football game because of a series of Vines he posted about dudes. This one is clearly his best, and one that’s stayed in the consciousness far longer than his tenure with BC. This one comes from the team’s camp, with him high above the field.
“What’s better than this?” he asks, before telling you exactly what’s going on. “Guys being dudes.”
The incredible brevity of this Vine still astounds me to this day. It’s the perfect encapsulation of football, both in its absurdity and its overtly unnecessary masculinity. Distilled it its essence, it makes no sense. But that’s what makes it absolutely perfect.
I Can Shoot A Three
The Lakers have signed this young man to a 10-day contract.
We’re Soaring, Flying
This is part of a string of Vines made featuring the song “Breaking Free” from High School Musical. This one in particular is great because it’s the logical conclusion of any cooperative games exercise that’s ever happened. Oh, are we getting a group of people across the gym floor without touching it using planks of wood? Someone’s leaving the gymnasium bleeding today. Sorry, Mr. Gym Teacher.
The camera work here is impeccable, focusing on the real movement of the Vine and not any fixed object. It’s as clear a physics lesson as you’ll ever get in six seconds, starting with the group providing the movement by pulling a rope. The camera moves to the result, which is someone attached to that pulley system crashing into the ceiling of the gym, then sets its sights on the dislodged sound-dampening tile, crashing to a dusty halt at the hardwood. For all the engineering work it took to get it down, there’s no way in hell they’re getting that bad boy up there without anyone noticing. Truly a strong Vine.
Get On Your Feet
The one at the 8:30 mark is what I’m going for here, but this is really just an excuse to put the entire Miel Vine compilation in here so you can watch it at your own leisure. Truly one of the best.
Tug Of War
These sort of athletic events only pop up when something has gone terribly wrong. In this case, it’s an anchor in a lopsided game of tug of war getting dragged straight to hell.
This is one of those Vines where you expect something truly terrible or unexpected to happen and then it just… keeps going. It’s satisfying, in a way, to subvert expectations like that while poking fun at an entire industry of skate videos.
X Games Mode
The audio of this Vine has been used elsewhere, but this might be the best use of it anyway. It’s an impressive skateboard trick, relatively speaking, but the narrator overreacting to this makes it oddly satisfying all around. Especially if you pretend that the person filming is truly impressed by what’s happening here. It’s a nice, wholesome Vine. We need those more than ever.
This is less a Vine and more a way of life, but it’s really wonderful to see this kind of bravado play out. Crossing a dude up in basketball is one of the most embarrassing sports things that can happen, and having a random guy in the crowd demand it and then capture it on film is tough to come back from. The post-modern posterizing lives forever on YouTube, even if the Vine platform is no more. It’s an eternal own Nicéphore Niépce could never have dreamed of when he first started screwing around with silver chloride.
Baby Gets Crossed Up
The spiritual successor to the above Vine, this one is far funnier because of all the moving pieces here. A small child is standing on a basketball court, minding her own business. But older children take advantage of this by setting up a fake basketball scenario, a clear violation of supervision and child care that’s extremely worth it for what happens next. Serious credit should be given to everyone involved for following through here, as the dribbler pauses for a moment to consider what’s happening to the poor child as it lays splayed on the asphalt. Still, no whistle no foul. This is especially funny because he’s playing basketball in socks and Nike slides, and the scream at the end makes this one perfect. It’s one of my favorite things in existence.