For a brutal fifteen minutes it seemed everyone was creating Harlem Shake videos; sadly the world of college baseball was no exception. A cavalcade of teams were making videos of themselves hero costumed and gyrating with a variety of hardball equipment, each only a slight variation of the last. It made me wish for the days when teams were simply trying to one-up each other with “Rain Delay Theater” mini-movies (which are still pretty good overall – keep them coming). Yet even when the meme was at its peak, one school went a different direction when making a team video.
The Lobos of Sul Ross State University, a DIII school in tiny Alpine, Texas have made a delightful spoof of a scene from the popular baseball movie “Major League”, which itself was a spoof of an American Express commercial. In it the Lobos promote the Lobo ID Card and perfectly parody the original movie, substituting a few words and lines when needed. It’s a funny, refreshing clip and has made me a fan of SRSU.
The video was uploaded to YouTube by Lobo senior utility player (and one of stars of the forty-second clip), Dakota Dill, on March 7th and has quickly reached over ten thousand views. When I first saw the video myself a couple of days ago it had just reached the one thousand view plateau, so word about it is quickly spreading – almost exponentially – and making the Lobos as famous as last year’s Call Me Maybe Harvard baseball team (give or take a seventeen million views).
I was able to track down Dill who was extremely accommodating to chat about the video. I was glad I did because learning about some of the background on the making of the video made it even more fun to watch:
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: Whose idea was it to come up with the video?
DAKOTA DILL: It was Coach Mesker’s and one of his buddies that came up with the idea. We received a couple of new players In the spring semester and one of the guys was Zak Enriquez who was our “Rick Vaughn”. The story is, we got off the bus at our first series of the year and a couple of Coach Mesker’s buddies were there and saw Zak and were just like “look at this guy” – exactly like how they viewed Rick Vaughn when he showed up for spring training. So they made jokes about how he has the Rick Vaughn personality and that we should redo that scene during picture day. So since my roommate and I (Brian LaLima) were already making videos for our team’s website, we took it by the horns and the rest is history.
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: The movie “Major League” came out way back in 1989, before any of the team was even born. How familiar was the team with the movie?
DAKOTA DILL: Indeed the movie came out before our time, but our team LOVES quoting movies; we do it constantly. All of our team has seen the movie and we all know a ton of the lines so it just came natural making the video because we pretty much already knew what to say.
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: How was it determined who would get the various speaking roles?
DAKOTA DILL: Well, it was pretty easy. Brian, my roommate, took Jake Taylor’s lines because he’s our senior captain. I was the old “veteran” pitcher because I’m a senior. Zak was Rick for obvious reasons. Acy Kimbro was picked for Cerrano because he’s different and a left-handed pitcher (they are naturally weird); he’s just a west Texas version of our Cerrano. Our third baseman, Jesse Loter, was picked for Dorn because they play the same position; we just told Jesse to be as awkward as possible. BJ Brown, my other roommate, played the coach because he’s the oldest on our team and the way he says that line is spot on. Finally, we picked Turner “Goo” Mattson for Willie Mays Hayes because he is the fastest guy we have and he could do that slide that he does.
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: So the video was just made for the fun of it? Was there anything you were hoping to accomplish?
DAKOTA DILL: Yeah, it was made just for fun. We joked around saying stuff like, “What if this went viral and we got on ESPN?” but we didn’t know what to expect from this video. It’s been well received so far though.
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: What kind of feedback have you gotten since the video was published?
DAKOTA DILL: People absolutely love it. We haven’t heard anything bad about it. It’s really amazing how fast it’s taken off and how people like yourself just fell in love with it.
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: I’m glad you guys didn’t wear tuxes like in the movie because I love your uniforms. They have an old school look and your striped socks really tie the uniform together. Do all the teams in your conference look that good? I’d want to play there just for the jersey.
DAKOTA DILL: Yeah our jerseys are so sweet. We get complimented on them all the time. And no, no team looks as good as us on the diamond.
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: I’m not gonna lie, I don’t follow DIII baseball at all so I’m not aware of your school and team. Are you really on a ten-year conference tournament drought?
DAKOTA DILL: Well, we are Sul Ross State and we are located in West Texas, about three hours away from El Paso. We play in the American Southwest Conference and we actually haven’t been to a conference tournament in 13 years!
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: It looks like you guys have put together some wins and had a reversal of fortune on the diamond lately. Are you counting the projected wins needed to break the missing-the-conference-tournament streak like the Indians did in the movie?
DAKOTA DILL: But yeah we have a better team this year and we really think we can make the tourney. And we are counting the wins, we think we need 10 conference wins to make the tournament, which is very, very doable. We just have to keep playing consistent baseball and stay hungry.
COLLEGE BASEBALL LINEUP: Any plans for a video sequel? Hopefully it will be better than the “Major League” follow-ups. Those were awful.
DAKOTA DILL: We’re not sure if we’re going to do another one or not, we’ll ride this video as far as it takes us then go from there.