Remember Gil's Video Challenge, in which contestants aged 25 or younger had to make videos showcasing their special talents in no longer than 30 seconds? Well, the Top 10 have been revealed, and no, Sanjaya is not in this Top 10. I guess these 10 all get signed Arenas jerseys valued at $169. You can now vote for the winner, who will be dubbed Challenge MVP and enter the Gil's Arena Hall of Fame. You can vote once a day until midnight on May 24. Here are my viewing notes.
Entry One: Alex Botwinick of Teaneck, N.J. misses a lot of jumpers, and then executes a 980 dunk, or some such.
Comment: Gilbert doesn't really dunk that often.
Entry Two: Dominic Wagner, Age 9, of Alexandria hits a bunch of layups in youth games.
Comment: But no Hibachi-themed celebrations?
Entry Three: James Vuong of Gaithersburg dances funny in a shopping mall.
Entry Four: Matthias Kaiser of Fort Lee, N.J. and his friend (Robbi?) hit a variety of circus shots and dunks in one of their driveways.
Comment: "I feel like I want to smack somebody; turn around and [bleep] slap somebody." Those are not acceptable lyrics for this contest, sorry.
Entry Five: Defensive back Mike Speer of Bourbonnais Illinois refuses to give up during a youth football game, chasing down the RB from behind to save a TD.
Comment: Would it make me a bad person if the first thing I noticed was that young Mike was greatly assisted by the fact that the RB stumbled right before contact? If the RB maintains his footing, I think he's gone.
Entry Six: Mike Min of Mount Prospect, Ill., wearing something on his head and speaking very quickly while using his pen name of "Ming Mao," displays his homage to Gilbert, a Gilbert super hero drawing, and then chops various things around his house while talking like 8,600 words a minute.
Entry Seven: Ernest Ponraj of Loma Linda, Calif. creates a Gilbert "Agent Zero" painting before your eyes, also in fast motion.
Comment: No sound, but I sorta liked this. Also, it would appear that Ernest Ponraj is a student at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry which, bearing in mind Gilbert's tooth problem, should only help him in this contest.
Entry Eight: Daanish Ahmed of Leesburg performs billiards tricks while wearing a track suit of some sort.
Comment: I've seen more english on a DeShawn Stevenson jumper.
Entry Nine: Blair Wynne of Lock Haven, Pa. sends a bunch of still photos of herself, playing field hockey and just posing, along with some cursive script I can't make out. The first photo seems a bit out of place.
Comment: She is, as it turns out, a very accomplished hockey player. The former NEC player of the year, as a matter of fact. I wonder if winning this contest would ruin her NCAA eligibility.
Entry Ten: Travis Ritzert from Hartland, Wis. says "What's Up Hibachi," makes a between the legs layup, falls over, and then hits a long three.
Comment: There's actually a place in Wisconsin called "Hartland" where little white boys hit layups in their driveways?
All in all, I'd say it's a pretty disappointing showing, considering my expectations, the inclusion of "singing" and "poetry" on the contest rules and the Arenas involvement. Plus, I was sort of hoping for a Brendan Haywood entry. Always wondered what his unique talent was.
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