Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Pants on the ground for charity
Goldeyes strip to boxer shorts on YouTube to help fund cancer fight
The idea came, fittingly enough, in the middle of the night.
"I woke up and thought, 'What if we get some blue boxer (shorts) and put together a fun video that might get out there on YouTube and get seen by a lot of people and raise some awareness?' " Winnipeg Goldeyes GM Andrew Collier recalls.
"We've done a lot of work with the Breast Cancer Foundation. We've sold a lot of pink hats and raised a lot of money and awareness for them, so we wanted to branch out a little. We wanted to do something with prostate cancer and we thought about selling (blue) ties.
"But after seeing that Pants On the Ground video that went around with American Idol, it planted the idea about doing the same thing with boxer shorts."
The video to which Collier refers is the American Idol audition of a 62-year-old Georgia man named General Larry Platt, whose song, which begins "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground," was basically a plea to every male teenager to pull up his pants.
Platt didn't make the show as a contestant, but his Idol audition struck a chord and to date has been seen on YouTube by over 6.7 million people.
With that as a backdrop, Collier had his game-day production crew put together a hilarious video -- www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5FX1Q1dNtA -- in which everyone from himself and Fish manager Rick Forney to the Goldeyes players go through their daily routines -- working out, doing interviews, playing catch -- wearing nothing below the waist but the baby-blue boxer shorts emblazoned with the Goldeyes and CancerCare Manitoba logos.
The punchline to the video comes at the end when Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, the CEO of CancerCare Manitoba, dressed in a shirt and tie and speaking from a wood-panelled office, makes an impassioned plea for men to get checked out for prostate cancer. The camera slowly pulls out to reveal Dhaliwal, like everyone else in the video, wearing nothing but the blue boxers below the waist.
The video has been viewed by a tiny fraction of what the Idol original has attracted -- it had 4,580 views as of last night.
And Collier said the boxer shorts have become a popular item in the Goldeyes souvenir shop, where they are being sold for $20 apiece, with $5 of each sale going directly to CancerCare.
"The reaction has been great," said Collier. "We have a thousand pairs that we want to sell by the end of the summer and a $5,000 cheque we want to give to CancerCare. That's my goal."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 10, 2010 A1