Howard, Ohio, others have 'Gangnam Style'

Welcome to Gangnam Style Friday.

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard went "Gangnam Style" during his entrance on "The Ellen Show" Thursday. He also does a pretty mean Kobe Bryant impression and tells host Ellen DeGeneres that he found her "sexy" since hearing her as the voice for the character of Dory in 2003's "Finding Nemo."

YouTube has been flooded with sports-themed parody videos featuring Psy's Korean-pop, rhythmic-dance rap hit, including those performed by Texas tailgaters, an NFL mascot and a very creative Wisconsin fan who has gone "Badger Style."

The original version of this Gangnam Style dance number from the Ohio University Marching 110 from Sept. 22 posted by Sway the Crowd Productions had more than a million views in just 48 hours and more than 5.1 million views as of Thursday afternoon.

That version was removed because of a "security breach" and reposted on YouTube by Thursday night. Several other clips of the same performance have also been posted, including one by Tom McGreevey with more than 232,000 views.

Sway the Crowd's video came about as a result of cooperation and coordination between the video's producer and the university's band, directed by Richard Suk. The original plan was to perform the number during Ohio's game on Oct. 6, but Ohio U. opted to do it earlier after the publicity Psy's Gangnam Style video received its mega-viral status on YouTube (more than 293 million views to date).

"No other band had done it and captured it on film," said Brian Grady, producer of Sway the Crowd Productions. The company worked with the band for a week leading to its halftime performance during the Bobcats' 44-10 victory over Norfolk State in Athens, Ohio. The success of Sway The Crowd's original video was not a complete surprise to Grady. "My goal was only 2 million views," Grady said. The Marching 110's "Party Rock Anthem" video from 2011 has been viewed than 8.9 million times.

Oregon's band did its Gangnam Style dance number (more than 900,000 views) at halftime of its home game against Arizona later that night. That followed Oregon's Duck, who jumped on the Gangnam Style craze with his personalized parody posted on Aug. 30.

The Duck's video was shot entirely on iPhones and now has more than 4.5 million views, with more than 30 percent coming from outside the United States. "The biggest benefit is just the exposure," said Craig Pintens, senior associate athletic director/marketing and public relations. "People who never heard of us outside the country are now exposed to the University of Oregon."

A Gangnam Style video featuring the dancing and lip-synching midshipmen of the 22nd Company of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., has more than 4.5 million views on YouTube since being posted Sept. 16 by midshipman Mark Vetere of DoubleBond Productions.

Those future Naval officers might want to keep an eye on Oregon's Duck, who is also running for president and, therefore, could be their next commander in chief (see Duck2012.com). "He cannot affiliate himself with any party because everybody loves him," Pintens said.


Now that the regular referees are back in the NFL:

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields decided it was time for some of younger-player hazing after their game Wednesday at Fenway Park. Here’s the result, which includes a backflipping Desmond Jennings:

If you see any offbeat links from your favorite sports site or catchy tweets that might be of interest to others, pass them along to me @billsperos or bsperos1@gmail.com.