In case you haven't already seen it, there's a video making its rounds on the web that purports to show a hunter snagging a quail right out of the air with his bare hands as it zooms past—much to the amazement of his buddies. It's embedded below.
The real question, though, is whether or not the events in the video are legitimate. Being that I'm skeptical of just about anything that "goes viral," it's no surprise that I have little faith that the events depicted in the video were a completely random and coincidental event. Whether the whole thing was staged, or simply a matter of fancy CGI work—like that "eagle" that allegedly tried to make off with a baby a few months back—I'm not buying it. Here's why:
1. Playing it too Cool The hunter in question (identified by MSN as Matt Carter), seems to be playing the whole thing a little too cool for me. He's completely unperturbed at the sight of a quail flying straight for him, and seems to casually look it into his hand the same way a baseball or football player might with a ball—like he knew it was coming. Hey, maybe I'm wrong and this guy's just got ice in his veins. But I remain skeptical.
2. The Video's too Perfect From the convenient close up of Carter just ambling through the field as the bird comes in, to the obvious post-production edits, the video doesn't do its content any favors. If this had been something that happened in the corner of the frame, or the video had gone up raw, it would have had a stronger case. But the cameraman has a seemingly fantastic angle on Carter as this all happens, and later went to work on the video a little bit before uploading it. That muddies the water, in my book.
3. The Obligatory Self-Promotion You'll note that the video ends with a plug for an upcoming book, written by former NFL Quarterback Colt McCoy (who also briefly appears in the video) and... Matt Carter. Numerous reports have already pointed out how "coincidental" it is that there's a viral video going around just before the book's launch, and it's hard not to agree. A "viral" video with an ad at the end? Seems too perfect.
McCoy himself makes little more than a cameo in the video, offering only a chuckle and the compliment of "sweet catch." Seriously, Colt? If this whole thing is legit, your buddy just made a better catch than any receiver you had on the Browns ever did. Give me more enthusiasm.
That all said, maybe I'm being entirely too skeptical. Watch the video below and make your own call. Did this guy make the catch of the year?