Rapture Guy: The Interview Comment Count

Ace February 15th, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Within minutes of posting the Rapture Guy gif last week, a friend alerted me that she did, in fact, know Rapture Guy, and could set me up with an interview—that is, as soon as Rapture Guy returned from Mardi Gras. Clearly, this would be an interesting interview, and on Wednesday evening I got the chance to sit down and chat with the star of the latest MGoMeme.

Rapture Guy has chosen to remain anonymous, and given whose opinion he sought on the matter, I think we can all respect that decision.

"Lloyd Brady is actually a friend of mine, so I know his real name," Rapture Guy told me. "When someone posted on my Facebook wall, 'you’re the new Lloyd Brady,' I was like, ohhhhhh god. I said to him, 'you did it right. I’m going to follow that idea. I don’t want my name out there.'"

He was kind enough to give us a few background details anyway. The man you see above is a junior at the Ford School of Public Policy, as well as a Chinese minor, and he hails from New Jersey—that's where the instinctive fist-pumping comes from, he says.

After the jump, you can find the entire transcript of our interview—in it, he finds a higher power, compares the Ohio State game to Mardi Gras, explains the magical qualities of his banana suit, and by chance runs into his counter-MGoMeme in New Orleans.

[ASSOC. EDITOR'S NOTE: After discussion with the author, this article has been edited materially from its original form in order to remove parts that could have been damaging to someone's reputation based only on hearsay and a grainy gif, and which took attention away from rapture guy. I want to thank the readers who argued with me and turned me around on this--Ace asked both Brian and me to approve the original--and I apologize for having to kill off their comments in order to follow their wisdom.]


Ace: Were you a Michigan fan before you came here?

Rapture Guy: Actually, truth be told, I wasn’t. I wanted to come to Michigan, but prior to me coming to Michigan I was never into college sports. My dad has always been a die-hard college sports fan, so I always loved watching them, and my brother went to Syracuse, so I was an ipso facto Syracuse fan. And then, from the moment I got accepted to Michigan, I started following them. Then I hit the ground running here, got a great group of friends—we go to all the away football games, and [Tuesday night] was actually the first State game we didn’t go to. That’s probably a good thing, I don’t even want to talk about it.

Going to the moment in the gif—what, if anything, was going through your mind at that point?

A lot of my friends made fun of me because I’m the farthest thing from a religious guy, and they’re like, “who the hell were you talking to?”

It was kind of a “seeing God” moment.

Exactly. Honestly, I was just so ecstatic that I think for a brief moment, I was like maybe, maybe they have a point, maybe there’s something up there.

So Nik Stauskas’s three made you find a little religion, possibly?

Religion, I don’t know. A higher being? Damn good chance. There’s a damn good chance.

So if that was your reaction when Stauskas hit a go-ahead three, what did you do when they actually won? Was that the high point or did you have to bring it up to that level again?

I’m trying to remember. It’s worth noting that it was a little fuzzy night, to say the least. After we won, I think I grabbed “Overalls Girl” [laughs] and I think I just lifted her up as high as I could, and then the guy with the hard hat who was right next to me—we’re all very good friends, the kid who’s in front of me who falls down in [the gif], whatever." 

[Ed-S: This is the part that was edited, as well as its associated end-note]

So is the banana suit a normal thing for you?

I was expecting this question. The banana suit only comes out for the biggest of games, only the biggest of games. I’ve had the banana suit since I was a freshman, and like I said it doesn’t come out for normal games. I brought it to Nebraska, for the away football game…

That didn’t go so well.

That didn’t go so well. But Nebraska fans, being the nicest human beings on Earth … I walked out, and the quote that rings through my ears every time I wear the banana suit is this little old lady, who’s about 80 years old, sees me—I have the banana suit and the top is down and I’m walking and my head’s down, I’m on the verge of tears, coming down from a good drunk, it’s just not good—I walk by her and I hear as I’m walking by, “that’s the saddest banana I’ve ever seen.”

Since then I’ve been, well, I’ve got to watch when I bring that out, because I don’t want to hear those words ever again. So I wore it last year for the State and OSU basketball [games], and we won, so I figured it’s evened itself out. Except while we were playing [this year’s OSU game], the banana suit, the top falls down and you have to stuff the top of it, put newspaper in there. It kept falling down over my eyes, and I’m a tall guy as it is, and as you can see from whatever I like to step up on the [bleachers], and it kept falling down.

When it was up, we kept missing shots. Then it falls down, and Tim Hardaway hits a three. So I’m like, okay, coincidence. Then I put it back up and Timmy takes another three, I step up, and it falls off, and he hits it. So I look at my friend and I’m like, “it’s staying off.” I mean, (a) I hate it right now, and (b) it’s lucky. The rest, as they say, is history—Tim hits everything under the planet.

Ohio State game vs. Mardi Gras. What’s the breakdown there? What was the more exhilarating experience?

That’s like choosing your favorite child. That’s hard. The Michigan Man in me obviously says OSU. The man in me says Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras was really just an extended OSU game, while OSU had a lot more glory. I’ll say this: coming down from OSU was great. Coming down from Mardi Gras was Hell on Earth.

Do you read MGoBlog? I will not be offended if you say no.

I’ll be honest, I read it only when someone forwards an article to me, which actually happens a lot. Also, I studied abroad in China this past summer, and everything got blocked, but MGoBlog is up and running. So while I was in China, desperately trying to attach to something American, I was actually reading it a lot over the summer. But I would not consider myself a die-hard, I’m sorry to say.

But you said you know Lloyd Brady personally, so you’ve at least come into contact with the MGoMeme phenomenon.

That’s what I was saying, when somebody sends me stuff, especially the fun stuff—I get a lot of the inside jokes. I had seen the Notre Dame, what’s it [puts his hands to his face]…

Facepalm Guy.

Which, by the way, randomly, I bumped into him on Bourbon Street, and I didn’t know that until I came back. I came back and I was like, wait a minute, I’ve seen that guy somewhere. I bumped into that guy on Bourbon! We had a chat and then I came back and was like, oh my god.

Take me back through when I texted you to get an interview, thinking you’d known about all this.

I was sitting at this café [in New Orleans] that served alligator, and you don’t get a chance to eat alligator every day. I was a little bit intoxicated—it was Mardi Gras. You send me the text. I don’t know an Ace, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I looked at my friend, and he’s like, okay, brings it up on his phone, and I just go, “Ohhhhhh, no. This is not good. How do I handle this?” My friend goes, you can either embrace it, or you can resist it, and that doesn’t help anything. So I’m like, alright, f*** it. And my friend goes, “I’m calling you Rapture Guy for the rest of time.”

And then you said you talked to your mom….

Yeah. So, my mom does not know about this gif, and I want to keep it that way. Last year I got the, “[Rapture Guy], I see you on television more than you call me,” which is not a good sign. When she first saw the banana suit, she said, “remember, you have a family to represent, it’s not just you out there.” So right after the game, she calls me and says, “while the pure elation you showed was very cute and made me happy that you’d experienced that happiness, I’m going to reiterate the fact that you are representing more than just yourself, you’re representing your family out there.” I was like, alright, fair enough. Then I of course get a text from my dad, “What the hell are you wearing?”

How weird is it to see yourself in an animated gif?

Weird. Weird is the only word I can think of. As I said to my friend, I’m not sure if it’s a high point or a low point, but it’s certainly one of the two, and I’m not sure which one yet.

We’re considering it a high point.

I’m glad you’re looking at it as a high point.

We’re putting you in contrast with Facepalm Guy

I saw that. I’ll put it this way: I’m glad I’m the high point and not the low. I would prefer that.



February 15th, 2013 at 12:51 PM ^

You know, there's always some a--hole in the world to ruin something great.  I mean, WTF was that guy thinking grabbing Overalls Girl?  Unabashed joy abounds and some a--hole has to cop a feel?  Man, nothing is sacred.  I hope someone runs into him at the next game and calls him out on it.

My name ... is Tim

February 15th, 2013 at 12:53 PM ^

Am I missing something about this Overall Girls controversy? Is everyone referring to the beginning of the gif? If so, it looks like the hand placement could have simply been inadvertent - I wouldn't necessarily start calling that guy a "creep" just yet. Maybe it wasn't inadvertent, but it seems sort of cavalier to basically accuse the guy of intentional sexual assault based on a brief gif and some second hand comments.


February 15th, 2013 at 1:08 PM ^

There is so much jumping around and craziness going on, then for a split second there is a hand on her stomach.  If a creep was really "feeling her up" I don't think it would take a few re-watches for her to realize it.

I'm not saying I'm 100% sure there were no ill intentions, but that's kind of the point.  I don't think anyone could get a 100% decision from watching that, so maybe toning back the "creep in the headband" comments would be appropriate?


February 15th, 2013 at 4:04 PM ^

The guy with half a blue face directly to her right. He touches her right boob at the start, then wraps his other arm around her and grabs her mid section at the end!.

It only takes one creep to spoil a great moment.

My name ... is Tim

February 15th, 2013 at 1:21 PM ^

I am no way defending anyone here, but sexual assault is a serious charge to levy against someone and a delicate subject for a victim of it. I think MGoBlog is an inappropriate place for such an accusation to be levied given the forum, the lack of first-hand involvement in the situation, and the lack of any information regarding the woman's wishes regarding the situation. Imagine if the action is inadvertent and you're that kid reading MGoBlog now and your fellow friends, students or family are reading about what a pervert you are. Conversely, imagine you are the girl and the situation is something she feels embarrassed about, and now this whole thing is being discussed on a sports message board.


February 15th, 2013 at 1:18 PM ^

If you look closely, not only does Overalls Girl have to push his hand out of the way, but even after that he tries to put his arm around her waist—he's definitely getting too touchy-feely with somebody he doesn't know. She felt uncomfortable about it in retrospect, and that's coming from someone who spoke with her directly.

My name ... is Tim

February 15th, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

I think that's a perfectly reasonable conclusion - and my own personal hunch is that that guy probably is a creep - but I think if it's going to be addressed, and especially in such a serious tone, you owe it to the girl to speak to her to see if that is something she would want addressed in such a manner and you owe the guy involved at least an opportunity to adress it too. I realize that's probably not possible, but I think the footnote implies that this guy has committed a crime - sexual assault - and it's only treated in the context of an interview with some guy who was nearby who was the star of some comedic gif. 


February 15th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

I'll agree that this is not the ideal forum for such a discussion. I'm not trying to imply that the guy committed a crime nor that he needs to be thrown in jail or anything of the sort. That's up to the girl to decide what to do, which is what I tried to express.

It's possible what he did was in part an accident, but he still grabbed a woman he doesn't know in an area that he shouldn't be grabbing. I don't think that's up for dispute at this point.


February 15th, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

You can easily create false memories or feelings with the right line of questioning; basic psychology research has taught us that. And how much of her arm movements are directed towards that guy? Her other arm moves in sync, signaling that at least some of her motion is motivated by joy. Sexual assault is a heavy accusation to make.


February 15th, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

not even sure he went all boob grab.  It looks like the hand made contact with the boob, but it looks like it was more in the "did you see that" kind of grab.  It seems from the GIF that overalls girl actually took a moment to consider whether it was a boob grab before concluding it wasn't and continuing to celebrate.  I think this replay is inconclusive at best with regard to intent.  Things get crazy in the Maize Rage.  I don't think I see a foul there.

Swayze Howell Sheen

February 15th, 2013 at 1:11 PM ^

i think more attention needs to be given framed (to the left) between Rapture Guy's upwardly extended arms. That dude looks he is having the most emotional momemt of his life, verging on sweet tears of joy.



yossarians tree

February 15th, 2013 at 1:17 PM ^

It's...it's....PERFECT. Rapture Guy holds the center, but there really is so much going on here, and Michigan fans will be studying this film for decades. There is so much to garner here. It is equal to Zapruder.


February 15th, 2013 at 1:52 PM ^

shirts on either side of the frame.   They are not wearing the "highlighter yellow" maize that is currently de rigueur in Ann Arbor. Are these atavistic M supporters?  Plants from another B!G school trying to start something in the Maize Rage mosh pit?  Perhaps they -- gasp -- bought their garments at Walmart?   

Clearly, far more analysis is required to understand what we are really looking at in this gif.


yossarians tree

February 15th, 2013 at 2:02 PM ^

There is a man wearing a stars and stripes ballcap who makes a maneuver early in the gif, jumping down one flight of steps, DISAPPEARING from view briefly, and then reappearing at the end with a very guilty and, I might add, salacious and suggestive tongue-wagging grin on his face. Perhaps this man should be identifiied and brought in for questioning next.


February 15th, 2013 at 2:03 PM ^

Can we just get rid of the allegations of a crime? There is nothing definitive in the gif and frankly I have trouble believing the two people wearing the same overalls standing right next to each other do not know each other. Regardless, there's not enough evidence to make any allegations either way.

Let's just not go there.


February 15th, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

I'm not a lawyer, but isn't this what hearsay is? 

We don't know the girl said that. Some anonymous guy says that she doesn't know the guy standing next to her, wearing the same overalls.

That's all I'm saying.

You can make an argument either way - my point is that MGoBlog is not the arena to make this argument and I don't think one of the main writers should be fostering that argument.


February 15th, 2013 at 2:07 PM ^

One of my favorite characters from this .gif is my man in the HAIL shirt and white under armour, in the upper left of the .gif.

He's got the lean-back Hulk scream going. 

That. Is. Epic.

Go Blue



February 15th, 2013 at 2:12 PM ^

Assuming that the primary thought of someone at that game at that point of time, who was in such a euphoric state, being surrounded by people jumping around, was to intentionally and maliciously grab a single boob seems a rather cynical and even dangerous accusation to make.


February 15th, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

I thought he was going for the tap on the arm there and missed (everyone was moving, no surprise). It looks like he's trying to get her attention or say something or the like. Still, I wasn't there. I don't know if he'd been looking at her creepily all game, I don't know if he had tried other stuff earlier; all I see is what's on the screen. So it makes sense to defer to her and the other people that were there.


February 15th, 2013 at 2:15 PM ^

This is the kind of great reporting that makes MGoBlog the phenomenon that it is.

As to the sexual assault, I go with the victime, who knows best what happened.  Up to her to follow up on it, if she chooses.