Over the weekend, two animated GIFs took the sports web by storm because, well, they are hilarious.
Tim Duncan and Buck Showalter, two men who have experienced significant success in their respective sports, would seem unlikely candidates to be left hanging when offering their hand out for a high or low five. Duncan is a surefire, fire-ballot Hall of Famer. Showalter helped build the Yankees and Diamondbacks into World Series-ready franchises.
And yet both men recently had to deal with ignominy of being left hanging by their teammates/players.
So the question is: who played it off better?
First, let’s look at Tim Duncan:
Duncan reacts with genuine emotion.
He gets passed up by two teammates, even thrusting his hand forward for an unrequited high five to the second one. Then he leaves his hand hanging in mid-air for a moment before plaintively closing his unslapped hand into a melancholy fist and dropping his head in either sadness, shame, or both.
A legend like Tim Duncan should never have to deal with something like this. Shame on his teammates. That’s Tim Duncan you inconsiderate, disrespectful slobs.
Unlike Duncan, Buck Showalter shows no visible signs of disappointment at being left hanging. In fact, he plays it off about as well about as well as one can when being left hanging in full view of the cameras.
As you can see, Mark Reynolds does not even acknowledge his manager trying to give him some dap. In fact, it looks like Reynolds doesn’t even see him, which means more of the blame in this case should be placed on Showalter for making a poorly-timed, inconspicuous low five attempt. In Duncan’s case, I’m not sure how his teammates could not have seen his attempt.
But Showalter does a great job of pantomiming a completed five, jolting his hand downward as if it had been fived upon, then even adding a vertical fist bump to the action for good measure. While this follow-up action looks nice, I think it would have been awkward to pull off in reality with Reynolds’ momentum taking him the other way. A horizontal knuckle pound likely would have been the only option for a post-five follow up.
So…who played it off better?
My vote goes for Duncan, because he didn’t really play it off at all. He simply allowed his genuine emotion to be visible to all, which is rare for a guy whose stoic disposition and utter lack of on-court emotion have been well documented.
Showalter is definitely calm and cool, and he makes a great attempt with the pantomime, but it’s unrealistic both in execution and underlying emotion. Showalter had to be sad inside despite his collected outward demeanor. Come on, this is a guy who has led two franchises to the brink of greatness, only to be relieved of his duties and see the franchise – the Yankees and the D’backs – win the World Series the next year.
Something tells me Reynolds gave a strong five, probably followed by a pull-forward one-arm hug and back slap, to whoever offered up their hand next. That’s just how things go for Buck Showalter.
So I’m going with the Hall of Famer Duncan for flipping the script and showing some real emotion.
Who gets your vote?
And to close, let’s make the sports world whole again. There is no need for these two sportsmen to be left hanging.
Complete that five guys:
There, doesn’t that feel better?