Friday, February 25, 2005

John 3:16 Revisited

The world wide web never ceases to amaze me. Over the past half-decade, the information superhighway has completely altered the way we communicate, the way we shop, the way we look at titties, and now it's changed the way we hold up signs at sporting events.

Earlier this week I relayed a funny anecdote about the incredibly cool geekdom of Phish fans. In lieu of paraphrasing myself, here's the copy-and-paste function at work:

"I finally fell asleep watching the Wyoming/SDSU college hoops game on ESPN. A funny little story here: On the Phish nerd message board, someone started a thread about how he was going to hold up a Phish-and ESPN letters-related sign at the game, something like 'Every Sports Phan Needs FLUFFHEAD.' I didn't see it by the time I drifted off, but I woke up to tales of the sign making it on TV, multiple times (for the uninformed, Fluffhead is an old Phish tune shelved by the band after the hiatus, clamored for by some fans). Bottom line, ESPN showed not only the front of the sign, but also the back, which read: That's Right, Fluffhead Newbs. Gotta love the Phish community, where this is considered hilarious." It is hilarious.

Meanwhile, a ton of congratulatory posts soon flooded Sign Guy's message board thread, all expressing genuine pleasure in their fellow man's good fortune. The buzz took over, and throughout the week there was continuous chatter about the Rainbow Man of the Phish community. I posted the story here the day after the appearance and spoke with a few associates about the niche hilarity, just for the sake of chronicling life's events on this here online record.

Behold the power of the Internets! The story broke nationally today, outside the Phish world, when the bright fellow that constructs's college basketball Power Rankings gratuitously included it in this week's article. Since there's very little to say about 16th-ranked Utah Utes, Power Rankings instead told the tale of Sign Guy's quest to get on national television with a Phish-related poster. And that's funny considering this comedic episode had absolutely nothing to do with the Utes.

The widely-read column credited your very own Ace Cowboy for alerting it to the story, which gave me a nice stiffy in the downstairs area: "Power Rankings reader A.C. informed me that, during Big Monday's San Diego State-Wyoming tilt -- which took place an hour after the Utes fell to New Mexico -- a man was holding up a sign behind one basket that read 'Every Sports Phan Needs Fluffhead' on the front and 'That's Right, Fluffhead Newbs' on the back..."

The buzz on the message board had since died down. But armed with my newfound fame and an early notification of the Power Rankings being published on SI's site, I went back to the boards to sound the trumpet of success to those involved and the rest of the interested fans. Within 20 minutes my post filled up with a hundred-plus comments, more than 250 as I type this, nearly all of which couldn't believe how awesome this whole episode had turned out (one or two cynics accused a fan of hacking into SI's site). This was an epic day in the community, as Power Rankings even linked to both the PT message board and the digital camera screenshot of Sign Guy in action. This was probably the brightest day since the fog crept in when the band took its final bow that soggy August night in Vermont.

Well, the buzz is back, and it's stronger than ever. Now it's almost tangible, people are downright giddy about the events of the past few days. How fucking cool is this? Great job everyone! This is amazing! And the new mission has become clear: don't stop at one midnight game in Wyoming, let's make the Fluffhead sign a national phenomenon. This can't be the end of the story, this must be the start of something extraordinary! The boards' patrons are feeling it, and the time is right. Because of the Power Rankings exposure, thousands and thousands of sports fans have been primed. The seed, planted.

There are more than 50,000 PT members spread out across the country, and boards dwellers everywhere are talking about canvassing the nation's arenas with the new millenium's version of John 3:16. I have tickets to this, I want to go there, who's going to the Final Four? This could actually happen. Sounds delusional, sure, but everyone probably laughed Rollen "Rainbow Man" Stewart out of the room in the late '70s. And I'll say this...Never ever underestimate the power of an inside joke. After all, that's pretty much what Phish is/was, the greatest inside joke in the history of music.

To Sign Guy, to his accomplice, to Power Rankings, to the guy that snapped the digital shot of the sign on television, to all the fans involved on the boards -- thousands of people smiled and laughed and ROTFL and LOL and LMFAO this week because of your actions and words (I can't stand those acronyms, but let's go with it). I'm lovin' this whole thing like McDonald's, ba da ba ba baaa. In the best of worlds, ESPN in six months will do a Chris Connelly-narrated, five-minute segment on the sudden influx of Phish signs in sports; the worst case is a funny memory for everybody. I'm happy either way.

Man, I'm starting to sound a helluva lot like Doogie Howser at the close of an episode. So, fan or not, support this endeavor because it's fun to be a part of things like this. We may be witnessing a deviation in the current path of human history. Spread the love, and may God continue to bless the fucking Internet.


At 5:58 AM, Anonymous arbitropia said...

great stuff
PT has become the band

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Thanks, arb...I just love it when people come together in the name of the absurd.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger ethan said...

three things:
(1) congrats on all this very impressive hoopla you spawned. next time you see LG tell her to buy you a beer and put it on my tab.

(2) is mulgrew gonna end his friendship with you now that you're a bigger internet quasi celebrity with him? first the eagles, now this...

(3) with your new fangled power on the information super highway - i thinks it's time to release the drew brees story to the public.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger TJ in OH said...

LOVE the Brees story.

Mark your calendars - April 15&16, Astros at Reds, Fluffhead sign to make its debut at Great American Ballpark.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Well, I didn't start it, but I do love the fact that I'm prominently involved. The guy that held up the sign is the one who deserves the praise...I'm just an intrepid reporter, Ken Babbs-esque.

The Brees story is out of my's been posted here (twice) and now it's up to the mainstream media whether or not to pick it up. They should, if they know what's good for 'em.

TJ, I'm bookin this trip to Cincy if you can guarantee me we're takin' signs into the GAB. Griffey ain't gonna know what hit him. Well, actually, Griffey will mostly likely be on IR by April. Austin "Danger" Kearns ain't gonna know what hit him.

Fluffhead signs everywhere, work it.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

bravo ace bravo!!!! austin 3:16 says u just kicked some ass!!! exclamation points for everyone!!!!!!!

i just really wish i was in on this joke, so confused, but hey, i want stadiums to look like a raw is war episode, just signs all over the place, like an arrow pointing to the next person over saying i'm with stupid, and the sign says u got to have a membership carrrrrrrd.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous JJBE22 said...

nice little summary deal. PT is epic.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

PT is indeed epic. Confirmed. Thanks, jjbe...

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous The sign holder said...

Since this has now about dead, for the meantime, I wanted to say this was my second attemt at the Fluffhead sign being aired. I am amazed at the attention that it got, mostly due to this blog, so a big THANK YOU for passing it along. I really hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!!

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Funny stuff, Sign Guy, you provided me with my big laugh of the week...

You the man.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Kati said...

And I'll say this...Never ever underestimate the power of an inside joke. After all, that's pretty much what Phish is/was, the greatest inside joke in the history of music.Well put AC!

-Another PTer

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Fluffhead sign said...

It only took 7 years but your idea has exploded in recent months with high profile fluffhead signs at Whitney's funeral and the GOP debate among others


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