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Ranking The Planking

January 15, 2013

Inspired by the tweets of @jmikeblake and @UMWolfpack87, here are my top 13 (a number as random as his actions) Shadrach Thornton planks (as of Tuesday at 12:00pm): (confused? explanation here)

13. Initial Plank. Deg. of Difficulty: LOW; Humor Factor: MEH

By virtue of the fact it kicked started this whole thing, this one made the cut. There is humor to be had if you imagine that moment when Shadrach bolts from his seat and exclaims loudly, "OH, IT'S ON." 


12. Planking A Dude. DOD: LOW; HF: MEH

Nothing too terribly complicated here, but this one made the cut because at some point, either Shadrach said to the dude, "Hey, let me plank you," or the dude said, "Hey, want to plank me?" A bizarre request any way you slice it.


11. Before And After Plank. DOD: MEDIUM; HF: MEDIUM

It's not easy crawling under a ping-pong table, and I don't say that because of personal experience. Just one look at all the cross supports and folding legs means you really gotta get in there and have a want to do it. And clearly, Shad has a want to do it. And maybe I'm missing the obvious, but I have no earthly idea if there's a subtle context to the "Before/After" split frame. Leave your theories in the comments, I guess.


10. Tree Plank. DOD: MEDIUM; HF: MED-HIGH

For one, I don't know how you plank a tree with scores of limbs and outcroppings, but he pulled it off. But moreover, trying to decipher the "DONCHU CLIME TREES" amuses me. Is it a warning? "Hey kids, don't you go around climbing trees. It's dangerous business." Or is it scornful question of the viewer? "Wait, don't you climb trees? Doesn't EVERYONE climb trees? Get with the program!" EDIT: Folks have pointed out to me that it's neither, actually: it's a reference to a standup bit by Katt Williams. Just another missed cultural reference to make me feel old(er).


9. Recycle Plank. DOD: LOW; HF MED-HIGH

Save the planet, kids–one plank at a time. By recycling an internet meme that died out a year ago this is actually quite a meta plank, all things considered.


8. Awkward Lady Plank. DOD: MED-HIGH; HF: MED

Not sure if this is Shadrach's significant other, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't care if she's not. She WILL be planked. This one is a few notches higher because of the awkwardness (can you say "sexual tension"?) and her unique leg prop method.


7. Night Desk Plank. DOD: MED; HF: HIGH

There's something to be said for taunting another man with a plank. Planking, by its very nature, requires you to remain stationary and face down–not a very confrontational position. And yet here we have Shad, getting up in another man's face by getting up on another man's desk. The accompanying text hints at a challenge not taken by the gentleman in the chair. Plank, lest ye be planked.


6. Planks On Planks On Planks. DOD: MED-HIGH; HF: HIGH

We can tell this plank is likely what kickstarted the thrill-seeking portion of the planking evening. We have what appears to be an endtable stacked on top of another endtable, capped with a…library card catalog drawer??? All of which is then planked. Not easy. But the accompanying text, in all its typo'd glory, is spectacular. If we're being grammar/spelling ninnies about the whole thing, he only correctly spelled the words "I" and "SHIT". Oh? Misspelled. Yeah? Misspelled. Stack? GLORIOUSLY misspelled, so badly it became another actual word. Too? Misspelled. When you're a man on a planking mission, there's no time for autocorrect or proofreading. On to the next… On to the next…


5. Coke Plank. DOD: MED; HF: MED-HIGH

The evolution is clear: Shad simply MUST get higher. More elevation. When you're confined to the interior space of a college breakroom, the highest surface attainable is likely the nearest vending machine. Which is what Shad targeted here. The accompanying text makes it clear that he's gained a lot of confidence in the Plank Game and will be moving on to (literally) bigger things.


4. Change Machine Plank. DOD: MED; HF: HIGH

We as Americans are naturally drawn to money. We are children of a capitalist society, after all. So a large machine that dispenses money–that also happens to have a flat top–will make for a natural planking target. But the text is what elevates this to number four. Why? Because he's not planking on "dollar signs"…he's planking on quarters. Lots of them. 


3. Cat Planking. DOD: HIGH; HF: HIGH

Now to the fun part of the evening: trespassing. Dangerous trespassing, at that. I'm guessing Shad was in the car on the way over to Carter-Finley when he spotted the CAT dealership nearby and exclaimed to the driver, "YO STOP THE CAR." Consider the route Shad had to have taken to get to the top of this backhoe. Tracks -> Cab -> Armature. Not an easy scale, and easily 12-15 feet off the ground. This is the part where you, as a State fan, started getting really, really worried about depth in the backfield for next year's team.


2. Murphy Center Plank. DOD: VERY HIGH; HF: HIGH

You've walked past these wolves hundreds of times as a player. Perhaps you've secretly envied what it must be like to be the highest wolf on the statue, surveying the world beneath you (trees, a road, a parking lot and a horse complex). It's time you get a taste of that yourself, Shad. Go get it.


While this is the pinnacle of achievement of Wolfpack landmarks, it falls short of my number one plank. Perhaps you disagree, but my #1 plank has to be…


1. It's trespassing of a business…still open and serving customers. 2. It's an icon of American culture. McDonald's–the Golden Arches. We add (just as I did) "Mc" in front of words all the time to make new words with new meanings. As targets go, based on market cap size, there are none bigger. 3. This is OMG PLEASE DON'T DIE crazy-difficult. I don't even know–in all seriousness–how he got up there. The shape of the sign–with the sloped sides at the bottom and the rounded arches up top–make it seem almost an impossible object to climb. And it probably goes without saying that a fall from that height would've likely ended his career, if not his life. 5. The Cream Of The Cream: A big, giant F-YOU in the accompanying text. "YEAH, RONNIE. WHAT. COME GET IT." Three question marks spanning two lines serve to drive the point home that in the Planking Game, there is none better than the one, the only, Shadrach Thornton.


Shad, let me be the first to say I can't wait to see what you can do with flash mobs (once you discover them).

EDIT: NEW #1(b): Planking Debbie Yow's Desk!


Ok, so literally as soon as I hit "Publish," we get Shad's latest plank, and it's not hard to figure out why and how it came about. It's Debbie Yow's desk–clearly after he's received a very stern talking-to by Deb who no doubt called him into her office this morning after all of the planking photos got circulated.

Now the really cool thing to me is this: After their talk, Yow gets in on the act! She lets him plank her desk, obviously, but as you can see, somewhat blending into the background in the upper left-hand corner, is a set of Wuffies made from the fingers of none other than Debbie Yow. Well played, Debbie. Well played.

You could've really played the bad cop role here and made him shut down his account or somesuch, but instead you saw it for what it is–a college kid having fun doing crazy, funny shit. Shad has apologized for the foul language and promises no more danger-planks, at Yow's behest I'm sure, but bravo to Deb for winning Coolest AD of The Week.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 18, 2013 3:17 pm

    I’m glad I saw this as It needed a compilation review.

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