It may be the start of a new tradition at the Wisconsin men's basketball program. For the second year running, head coach Bo Ryan is drawing the attention of hoops fans around the country for his dance moves in a viral video. Last winter, it was his performance of the Hambone in a courtside interview aired on ESPN. Now with a new season about to start, the coach back on the hardwood dance floor with his rendition of the Soulja Boy.
A thirty-second video of Ryan's cranking dat debuted at the "Night of the Grateful Red," the team's Midnight Madness-style opening practice on Friday, October 12. "You remember the Hambone, right?," asked Badger hoops fan Phil Mitten in a report about the practice. "Well, you only had to wait until right after the player introductions to see why Bo Ryan is still one of the best in the business. And by business I mean the 'old man dancing a young man's dance'-business."
That would be the video of Ryan doing the Soulja Boy dance, which played on the video scoreboard to start the night's fun. "He does these routines well enough to avoid embarrassment, but just well enough to be hilarious," declared Mitten.
A video of this scene unfolding in the center of the arena was published online shortly thereafter, followed immediately by the original promotional clip created by the UW Athletic Department. Over the ensuing week, it subsequently blew up online and further established Ryan's rep as a showman. On Monday, he was quoted in The Badger Herald about the attention drawn by the video, which was taught to him by his daughters: "We were just clowning around in the Nicholas Johnson (Pavilion), and if it wasn't for the pulled hamstring, I would have done it live."
This brief video of Ryan cranking dat follows below.
Yesterday, Badger hoops blogger Scott Tappa commented on the phenomenon:
What do we think of Bo putting this out there on YouTube? Obviously it's part of the well-known practice of using the web's viral qualities for marketing purposes. And not a bad idea, either. Even after a decade of sustained success, most basketball fans still equate Wisconsin basketball with 45-44 scores and post players called "blockers."Tappa subsequently noted the widening online ripples created by the clip as Badger basketball is ready to get underway.
So why not make a short, fairly well-produced video showing that the Badgers' coach is not a 90-year-old from the sticks who longs for the days of peach pail baskets and jump balls after every score? He is, in actuality, a cool guy fluent in urban music and dancing (even if that Hambone video of Bo slapping himself sort of works to counter this notion).
It's incredible -- the different variations of Bo Ryan Does Soulja Boy have racked up something approaching 54,000 views on YouTube. Those people probably come away thinking Badger basketball isn't as lame as they've heard, which can only be positive.
The team hits the hardwood on Sunday, November 4 with an exhibition game against Edgewood College at the Kohl Center, with the season really getting rolling a week-and-a-half later with America's Youth Classic.