Dozens Of Men Called Josh Battle At Field In Order To Determine The One And Only Josh
Apr 30, 2021 by apost team
In a grand showing of people desperate to get outside, hundreds of men named Josh flocked to Air Park in Lincoln, Nebraska, on April 24th, 2021, to have a mock battle that would determine who among them should be named the "one true Josh." The group came armed with pool noodles and used them like swords in an epic battle of silliness that had a heartwarming ending as a young boy dubbed "little Josh," a 4-year-old, Joshua Vinson Jr., was named the winner.
The inaugural event was coordinated by Josh Swain on Facebook after he created a group chat with users that all share the same name as him. Swain is a 22-year-old student from Tuscon, Arizona. The battle grew to include all people named Josh.
He told the group in the initial message, "You're probably wondering why I've gathered you all here today," someone else replied, "Because we all share the same names...?" Then the initial Josh Swain proposed, "Whoever wins gets to keep the name, everyone else has to change their name. You have a year to prepare, good luck." The event was planned near the beginning of lockdown and gave the group something to fun to look forward to.
The battle was filled with hundreds of smiling faces, some in costumes, all gleefully hitting each other with pool noodles until little Josh arrived on the scene to defend his name. With a red pool noodle he happily swung away until the end of the fight was called, and he was named the winner. Vinson Jr. smiled widely as the other Joshes placed a paper crown, that was too large, onto his head.
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The winner's father, Josh Vinson Sr., told the Lincoln Journal Star that his son had suffered from seizures when he was two years old and had to receive treatment from Children's Hospital. Little Josh is doing much better now, and his father said his win was "pretty awesome," and felt meant to be. Vinson Sr. looked so happy and proud of his young son, they seemed to have shared a very special memory.
When Swain initially created the event in 2020, he meant it as a joke and forgot about it until a screenshot of the group chat started to circulate online. This was in large part to a college student from Nebraska who made a video advertising the event on the social media platform TikTok that gained 1.3 million views. This spread the word quickly, and soon there were hundreds of people planning to attend the battle.
Swain had the idea to contact local food banks so attendees could bring donations to the event. He made a post on Reddit asking for help setting up the donation drive, and Betsy Walker, a 20-year-old from Lincoln, answered, and together they were able to organize three carloads of donations for local food banks.
Betsy said this to the Lincoln Journal Star about the turnout, "It's been such a really good show of people coming together for a good cause, but also something just really fun, I think after everything we've been through in the past year, it's really good that we've had this." It is incredible that such a silly event ended up raising so much support for the Lincoln community.
After the event, Swain said, "I am having, like, an out-of-body experience, I'm sitting in my hotel room alone, just trying to act like I wasn't with 2,000 people just fighting for their name. It's incredible." Swain couldn't have been more surprised over the event's incredible turnout. He also coordinated donations to be made to Children's Hospital and by April 25th had already raised $10,000.
Reactions to the battle have been legendary. The event was live-streamed and viewed by people all over the world. Swain has already begun getting attention from those keeping up with the event. He said, "I'm just a guy, and people are like 'Oh, my god. Can I get your autograph? Can we get a picture?' I'm like, 'Yeah, I guess.' It's so weird. It's so bizarre."
Even little Josh has been gaining attention as the event's official winner. His father said, "He loves attention. He's always wanted his own YouTube channel, so there he is. He's famous." He sure is. The crowning of the "one true Josh" has been covered by news stations across America, including ESPN and NPR.
Overall, this silly event brought people together after a hard year and gave them something to smile about. It was also an incredible opportunity to raise money for sick children and food for local food banks. Swain said this about the situation, "It just shows how Lincolnites — how incredible they are, how incredible the internet is. It's bizarre, but (in) such a good way." We hope there will be many more fun-filled events like this in the future.
What do you think of this epic Josh-battle? Do you think this is an effective way to raise money for charity? Let us know your thoughts, and don't forget to pass this along to your loved ones.