A highlight of UVU’s lacrosse club team went viral Saturday night as professional athletes from Odell Beckham Jr. to Donovan Mitchell chimed in on the clip.
Preston Burbidge, the UVU player shown, crosses over his Simon Fraser University opponent, waves to him as he falls to one knee and proceeds to shoot and score a goal.
As of Sunday afternoon, the video had been viewed over four million times on major sports highlight accounts of Instagram alone. On Twitter, Barstool Sports’ tweet of the video had 2.9 million views and over 75 thousand likes. ESPN’s Facebook post of the video had another 1.5 million hits.
Ciarán Giroux, a photographer who posted the video to his Instagram account, had the likes of Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell commenting on his post. “This is just ridiculous,” Mitchell said, followed by five fire emojis. Mitchell wasn’t the most prominent star to like or comment on the video across platforms.
Several members of the Indianapolis Colts commented, including quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Actor Michael B. Jordan and rapper Rich the Kid each shared comments with two emojis. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo liked the video. In the lacrosse world, Paul Rabil, Marcus Holman and Myles Jones commented their praise of the play.
On many of the posts of the video, commenters hailed the footwork and gamesmanship put on display by Burbidge as “savage” while others took the opportunity to make lacrosse jokes terming the video “Chad on Brad violence.” Barstool Sports’ tweet of the video read “You have to immediately drop gloves and throw hands if someone is this disrespectful to you.”
Those who know Burbidge, including his own coach, said it is not common to see him taunt his opponents. He said there was more to the play than is seen in the video. The opponent, who Burbidge sent stumbling, received a slashing penalty on the play for hitting him in the head.
“Preston is an awesome guy—he’s not one to show off,” head coach Brian Barnhill said. “He’s a guy you want as your friend.”
Barnhill said Burbidge has spent volunteer time with the team at UVU’s Marisa Nellesen Center for Autism and is a great teammate.
“I’d say I try not to be too cocky,” Burbidge said. “I wouldn’t say this is a very average deal.”
Burbidge said it was a spur of the moment decision to wave and he had not been exchanging trash talk with his opponent.
“He meant to hit me—I don’t know if he meant to hit me in the head, but that’s where it ended up,” he said.
Since going viral, Burbidge said he was excited to see so many athletes and celebrities engaging with the clip. He has seen his own Instagram account explode—doubling his number of followers overnight and receiving messages of support from friends and family.
He said it was a cool highlight, but he would like to see this attention translate into support of UVU’s lacrosse team. They currently sport a 2-0 record, including a win over Utah State, and play their next home game March 29 against Texas A&M.
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.