In our reality show-driven, Jimmy Kimmel-prank-needing, shock-obsessing world, we can expect nearly every major landmark of modern viral culture to be preplanned and choreographed. If something unexpected happens in the real world, it is as likely to be the work of a budding YouTube star as happenstance.
Only one small area of American culture still offers the chance at true, documentarian surprise: The Sports Arena Kiss Cam. It is the perfect antidote to your realization that the Lakers are losing by 24 points. The sudden excitement that comes at seeing a young couple jump into action and express love for each other...just because 17,000 people are watching! It's beautiful, and it should not be tampered with.
Enter the Chicago Bulls:
This "guy on the phone" ruse might have been believable in the first 3-second segment, but once the Jumbotron keeps returning to him and the mascot is magically there to whisk the ignored girlfriend away, we know our reality has been trifled with.
And now, the New York Knicks:
Now, to be fair to these teams, the pranks are only meant to be broadcast live during the game. But, they have to know that at least a few of the 19,812 in attendance are going to be filming on their phones. (Side note: since both of these videos were shot in the correct, widescreen format, I'm inclined to believe that even these uploads are the work of NBA insiders.)
American sports teams: please stop tampering with your kiss cams. For those of us who crave true reality television, it's all we have left.
Editor's Note: Here is the most genuine kiss at a major sporting event in the past year: