BOSTON (CBS) – It’s not how you picture varsity Harvard athletes in their downtime.
But, as they explain it, this spring break, the Crimson baseball team spent a lot of time on the road. As a result they developed what ended up being an incredibly, surprisingly popular YouTube video.
WATCH: YouTube Video
“I think it’s funny because it’s just a group of normal guys having a good time to kind of a girly song,” explains senior Conner Hulse, who takes partial credit for directing and recording the lip-sync and choreography. “We’re talking about some pretty complex dance moves there.”
As the team headed to one of their games, they rehearsed the routine for “Call Me Maybe” about half a dozen times. The whole thing was meant to entertain their teammates who were riding in other vehicles. You need to see it to appreciate it – and more than 1.4 million people had done just that in the first three days the clip was online.
“We obviously never expected it to get this big,” says senior Jon Smart, a Belmont native.
Jeff Reynolds, another senior whose talents are showcased in the video, offers this explanation as to why the video went viral-and so quickly: “It plays against a lot of stereotypes of Harvard guys; we’ve having a fun time being totally goofy. I’m sure everyone thought we’d be reading books on the way.”
But all their silliness does have a purpose.
Once the team saw how popular the video was getting, they immediately posted a link in their YouTube page to the team’s charity, an organization called Friends of Jacyln.
It’s a group that pairs little kids who have brain tumors with college athlete role models.
A couple of years ago, the team adopted as one of their fellow players a South Shore boy named Alex, who was battling cancer. Now five-years-old, Alex still visits team practices and recently accompanied the team to the celebration of Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary.
“Once the video starting going viral, we thought why not give Alex some exposure, give Friends of Jaclyn some exposure,” says Smart. “It’s a great way to keep things in perspective.”
Team members say Alex’s mom has reached out to tell them he has seen the video – and he loves it.
“Hopefully we’ve been able to give him some happiness in his life, but really he’s given us more than we could ever give him,” says Reynolds.