Boxing stumblentator Larry Merchant took to the ring after Floyd Mayweather got headbutted, dropped the headbuttist with two quick blasts of questionable fury and broiled in the stew of booing judgement. There was no question that something magical was about to occur.
How could we have known just how magical that moment would be? That Floyd would call him out as the type that doesn't no shit about the sport he "covers." That Merchant would respond in kind, with the type of statement uttered in times of palsic fury. And that he would do so after connecting with the camera in ways before unseen.
It called for a Photoshop Contest, there's no denying that. And the entries were stellar. Absolutely stellar. But these five, they were the specialest of the bunch. In fact, if they could, they would go back and kick the ass of every photoshop done since 1961.
The winner, though, that would be See You Suckers Later. His subtle artistry is to be commended. Here, he explains his inspiration. Please view the expanded image. It's the only way proper justice is done to the nuance embraced by SYSL.
It's the Burial of Count Orgaz, the most famous work by El Greco. Located in Toledo Spain, the work is noted for its incredible use of white on black to achieve transparency (on the Priest's robe), as well as the inclusion of many of El Greco's friends, and even a self portrait of El Greco himself.
He is the only one looking out from the painting, staring forever slightly over the shoulder of the observer.
Merchant is El Greco.
SYSL will be receiving a gift box from Deadspin HQ.
Now, onto the runner-up and honorable mentions.
I'm not so sure The Zaporozhian's entry — Princess Beatrice from the Royal Wedding with a wee lil Merchanthead in her domepiece — isn't the grandest hat on which I've ever laid mine eyes. So, so, so good. He came out of nowhere this weekend and barely missed out on taking top prize.
For his efforts, The Zaporozhian will get a gold star. He will also get something from Deadspin HQ. It's well-deserved. I will look upon Princess Beatrice Merchant fondly.
Technolojesus ran with the "Brian Kelly Gets The 'U Mad Bro?' College GameDay Sign Treatment" and presented Kelly as Mayweather and Kirk Herbstreit as Merchant. Timely. Fitting. Worth an honorable mention nod.
With The Scream, Edvard Munch brought an "infinite scream passing through nature" to art-history courses worldwide. Cyrus the Virus saw this in Merchant, as did noted art historian Victor Ortiz moments later.
And finally, Polk Panther's Merchantization of the Dramatic Chipmunk will haunt the world in perpetuity.