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High School Football Player Throws 40-yard Pass… To Himself

Last week a Vine video of high-school football player Gary Haynes (of Manvel Texas High) throwing a 40-yard pass to himself went viral, sparking much discussion about whether the pass was real or fake.

In order to determine whether such a throw to oneself is possible some people have been performing all kinds of calculations trying to take into account vertical distance, acceleration due to gravity, weight of the ball, time from peak to ground, etc. The general consensus is that such a long self-pass would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

But I don't think such calculations are necessary, because I don't see any reason to believe that the video shows anything other than the old "throw the ball off camera" trick... and then have someone else throw another ball back onto the screen so that it appears as if an amazing pass has been made. This is one of the oldest camera tricks there is in sports.

If Haynes produces a video in which the ball doesn't immediately go off camera, then I'll be more willing to take it seriously.

And, in fact, Haynes did repeat his stunt for his high school coach, who recorded it on a cell phone camera. The coach stood further back so that more of the trajectory of the ball can be seen. Sure enough, Haynes throws the ball and then catches it. But he doesn't throw it anywhere close to 40 yards. Looks more like 5 or 10 yards, which isn't very remarkable. This second video is included in a segment about Haynes produced by a Houston news team:

It's also worth noting that throwing a ball to oneself is an old joke in football, and has been featured in previous spoofs such as a) an old scene (from the 1990s?) in which wrestler "Mr. Perfect" throws a perfect pass to himself; and b) a Puma ad from 2013 in which Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs threw a pass to himself. It was this ad, says Haynes, that inspired him to make his own video.

Posted by The Curator on Wed May 14, 2014

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