The Curious Case of Kige Ramsey

The study of "YouTube Sports"  star Kige Ramsey's improbable rise to fame, and the question of whether he will be able to capitalize on this success in their future, or be left with nothing more than memories.
  By traditional standards (as if there were any for this sort of thing,) Kige Ramsey is certainly not the most successful internet sensation of all-time. The young founder of the quasi-fictional YouTube Sports is probably not the most unlikely internet sensation of all-time either. However, you could certainly make an argument that Kige Ramsey is a perfect example of the new homegrown celebrity of the internet age, and all the potential glory and pitfalls that come with such status.

  Using only what appears to be a relatively low-budget digital camera of some sort, a working knowledge of computers and YouTube, the occassional visit to WalMart, and the information in his brain, Kige has evolved in approximately 4 years time from random YouTube user "SlyFox4569"  to popular sports blog Deadspin's SportsHuman of the Year finalist in 2007 to a Facebook user with over 3,700 friends, and nearly 2 million views on over 1,000 videos uploaded to YouTube. You can even buy Kige t-shirts at (which I hope Kige gets some sort of royalty for.)

  Now, left on its own, that might not exactly sound like a meteoric rise...but then you watch one of his videos. You quickly realize that Kige is nothing more than an awkward, slightly overweight Western Kentucky college student who does not appear to have any significant background in sports or broadcasting, and probably didn't score a 1600 on his SAT. His videos are 1-man, unscripted productions that often leave the host clumsily stumbling through a 1-2 minute presentation involving numerous awkward pauses.

  Yet, despite all his perceived shortcomings, Kige has found a level of success and exposure on the internet that even the most knowledgeable of bloggers/vloggers can only dream about. Which only begs the question, how exactly did this happen? 

  Kige's appeal, while initially somewhat perplexing, is actually quite easy to explain. His videos are not informative or traditionally humorous enough to attract any significant viewership on those merits. They get their appeal from an unintentional humor coming from a source that male and female viewers alike can find both sympathetic and non-threatening. While the whole setup and production value of Kige's videos is laughable, the content, while not often intended for humor, provides the true entertainment. Most of Kige's videos are sports-related, and often have to do with his home state of Kentucky, but his first big hit was actually a video titled Nicole Richie, where he pleads for the star to get tested and get help for a disease called "anorexic." The disorder he was referring to is, of course, really called anorexia, and as far as I know, there is not test for it. Of course, it takes both sincerity and genuineness to pull off such a statement and make it appealing to viewers, and these are two qualities that Kige certainly seems to have.

  From the Nicole Richie video, Kige found a cult following of sorts across the world wide web, and with a little help from various blogs, his catchphrase of "This is Kige Ramsey for YouTube...(insert topical area here)" has become well-known to thousands of people. However, while most of these people will spend a few minutes viewing Kige's latest material or following some of his various Facebook updates throughout the day, something that many probably never consider is the reality of Kige's situation and where he goes from here. Is it realistic to think that he could one day break into the world of sports talk radio, as his Facebook-stated goal? I mean, the kid has a tough time filling 2 minutes of air on many of his videos. Let's not forget the fact that he has zero professional training in broadcasting of any sort, which is typically a requirement for any job in the field. So, if not sports radio, are there other areas where Kige can go from here with his internet success?

  While I can't say for certain, if the answer is no, then you have to wonder if the internet, and it's fleeting fame, has set a seemingly nice young man up for disappointment when he realizes the dream career that his internet success made seem so inevitable is not likely attainable? Now, I'm not sure of his financial situation, but seeing as he is scheduled to graduate college in the summer of 2012, I imagine that eventually Kige will need to find a legitimate way to financially support himself. When that time comes, it's tough for me to imagine that he will be able to capitalize on his internet glories to do so, and all that will be left from Kige's days of internet fame will be memories...and tons of videos.

Check Kige's profile or add him as a friend on Facebook.
I have no affiliation to Kige Ramsey and all facts have been attained through YouTube, Deadspin, and Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. William Hun made a killing off of his lack of talent and sympathetic, non-threatening personality. Unfortunately, I think he's one of the lucky few. Alas for poor Kige. Keep truckin, Kige! Keep truckin.


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