Google welcomes March Madness with Slam Dunk Yooodle

Google welcomes March Madness with Slam Dunk Yooodle

Google welcomes March Madness with Slam Dunk Yooodle

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It’s early March, and that can only mean one thing: March Madness is right around the corner.


It’s that time of year when we get down to some serious basketball season research and start filling our parentheses with the wild hope that our No. 1 pick won’t be knocked out in the first round by a Cinderella team. We pay so much attention to the NCAA basketball tournament that a 2022 study by WalletHub found that distracted employees cost employers nearly $14 billion every year.

Yes, it’s a big deal, which is why Google is hosting the tournament and all the madness associated with a Yoodle scoring the first-ever slam dunk in basketball history. (A Yoodle is much like Google’s famous Doodle, except it’s animated and appears on YouTube instead.)

The Yoodle, which features a pair of players facing off in a one-on-one match, commemorates the 87th anniversary later this month of the first slam dunk in sports history. It happened at the West Side YMCA in New York on March 9, 1936, when two American teams faced off to decide which would sail to Berlin for the Olympic debut of the sport invented just 45 years earlier by James Naismith.

The shot by Joe Fortenberry, a 6-foot-8 Oilers center from McPherson, Kansas, left observers “simply flabbergasted,” wrote New York Times reporter Arthur J. Daley, who was covering the game tonight- there. Fortenberry “left the floor, reached out and threw the ball down into the hoop, much like a cafeteria patron dunking a roll in coffee,” Daley wrote, unwittingly giving the iconic move his name. . The Oilers would win the game, as well as the gold medal in Berlin.

But not everyone was impressed, and the NCAA actually banned the dunk in 1967, saying it “wasn’t a skillful shot” and could lead to injury. Others have speculated that the ban was enacted because UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) regularly dunked his opponents during his freshman year at the university, leading many to refer to the ban as “Lew Alcindor’s rule”.

Alcindor dismissed the NCAA’s explanation, suggesting the ban was rooted more in racism.

“To me, the new ‘no-dunk’ rule smacks a bit of discrimination,” he told the Chicago Defender at the time. “When you look at it…most people who dunk are black athletes.”

The ban, which never reached the NBA, lasted for a decade before being repealed, apparently largely due to its popularity among fans. And its popularity continues to grow. In 2022, YouTube videos featuring slam dunks received 9 billion views, a 25% increase from the previous year, according to Google.

The most-watched video related to slam dunks features basketball great Michael Jordan. The video, Michael Jordan Top 50 All Time Plays, has racked up over 91 million views over the past 10 years. Completing the list of players with the most slam dunk-related attendances of all time are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry and Shaquille O’Neal.

But as popular as slam dunk is on YouTube, head-to-head (or 1v1) is still hugely popular. Google reports that basketball videos with “1v1” in the title generated over 195 million views in 2022. Some of the most popular YouTube channels with “1v1” in the title include Professor Live, Jesser, Ballislife, Jeffrey Bui and CashNasty, among others. .


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