Texans defensive end Connor Barwin and Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver both suffered horrific leg injuries on Sunday that will likely keep them out for the remainder of the season, if not longer. But they will live on forever on YouTube.
"It sucks to have my season end," said Barwin, who dislocated his ankle. "But, I have to admit, my mangled leg going viral is a pretty big silver lining. The only thing that takes my mind off of the intense and all-consuming pain is seeing the YouTube pageviews rise."
While the NFL usually cracks down on those who post footage of games on YouTube, in the case of gruesome or hilarious injuries the league takes a hands-off approach.
"It's a great way to grow the popularity of the league," said Dale Jackman, the NFL's director of digital media. "Seeing a guy's leg snap in half, who doesn't like that? It bridges cultures. The Leonard Weaver video has gotten 100,000 views in Singapore alone this morning. Video of a Peyton Manning touchdown pass wouldn't get 100."
Weaver says he is spending his time waiting for x-rays and test results by reading comments about his leg bending the wrong way on sports message boards.
"To see someone write: 'OMFG. So disgusting. I have to see that again!' — well, that really means a lot," said Weaver, between biting down on a stick to fight through the pain. "Not everyone is lucky enough to have a moment in their career that people can remember and I feel really fortunate … AHHHHH! OH GOD! OHHHH! OH GOD! IT HURTS SO MUCH! CUT IT OFF! JUST CUT MY LEG OFF! OR KILL ME! PLEASE GOD JUST KILL ME! … to, you know, have that impact on so many people."