The Incredible Exploding Whale

Steve Bardens

Blow it up, then bury it. #COYS

A quick note, from someone who hasn't written in a while:

This was the first internet meme I remember. We'd gather around the computers in the college library (we were still using painfully slow dialup in the dorms) and howl - I mean, absolutely HOWL - at this video about The Incredible Exploding Whale:

As with all memes, there is a kernel of truth buried amidst the silliness. And the moral of this particular story seems to go as follows: Sometimes something big and beautiful - a dream, an idea, a whale - dies, and what's left parks itself on the strand outside your doorstep, and what are you going to do now, smart guy? The thing's too big to cart off, too far gone to cut up, and hey, you've got this box of explosives lying around and the means and will to use it: why not vaporize the stinking mass and start over fresh? Reclaim the beach for the living?

You've watched the video, so you know that's not what happened. To me, this is Spurs 2013-2014 encapsulated almost perfectly: a beautiful thing gone belly up and washed ashore, a harebrained idea and a bunch of dynamite, and then wreckage and the long, arduous and thoroughly unpleasant cleanup process. (And yes, in this metaphor the reign of Tim Sherwood is a shredded, half-exploded whale carcass.)

It's easy in hindsight to make suggestions. Do something else. DO ANYTHING ELSE, JUST STEP BACK FROM THE DAMN DYNAMITE. But when something once big and beautiful washes ashore - a thing you loved once, the reason you're here - there are no good answers. And though we're all coated in putrid whale blubber and one of us lost an El Camino, you sure as hell can't say it wasn't a show.

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