Challenges On Ice


Unless you’ve been under a rock the last two weeks or completely infatuated with keeping up with who the Rangers might trot out to pitch tonight, you’ve noticed that your Facebook and Twitter feeds have been dominated by friends and celebrities posting personal videos of the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.”

A genius promotion that has redefined the term, “viral,” The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has literally reached around the globe. The challenge – dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and posting the video on-line – began as a way to support pet charities among golfers. In only a few weeks, it became a major fundraising tool for ALS, a neurodegenerative disorder, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

According to Topsy, a social analytics company, there have been more than 118,000 tweets using the hashtag #icebucketchallenge. It began with 100 tweets on July 15 and recently exploded last week, with daily tweets of more than 32,000.

Of course, sports teams and celebrities have gotten into the act, posting some of the more memorable of the videos.

Former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo may have the best video reaction to ice water running down his back. And if you watch it again, close your eyes and you can imagine the Cookie Monster taking the same challenge. Click here to watch.

I’m not sure what it is, but NHL players seem to have the best knack at being the most creative in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Maybe it’s the ice part.

Paul Bissonnette’s challenge

I give LA Kings forward Marian Gaborik top marks for really bringing the “ice” into the challenge.

But the Coyotes’ Paul Bissonnette takes the cake with his answer, a full-fledged video production complete with helicopter and glacier water.

Even NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman got into the act: click here

Best dressed challenge? That one easily goes to NY Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who fulfills his challenge from the balcony overlooking a picturesque village in what we assume is in his native Sweden. I like that he challenges former Dallas Star Loui Eriksson in his video as well.

Best use of dress-up clothes and including your kids? That award goes to NFL tight end Tom Crabtree: click here.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the entire team got into the act as well.

Want passion? Look no further than college football (duh).

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian participated with help from his team: click here.

Then Texas Tech stepped up in a big way. First head coach Kliff Kingsbury challenges Texas native Beyonce before the team does its stuff. Then the fire department lends a hand.

Of course, not all Ice Bucket Challenges have gone smoothly. I stumbled upon two beauties while doing research and had to share them: click here.

Then of course there are our own Dallas sports personalities.

icebucket_081314_650Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett takes his turn: click here.

Tony Romo, Kyle Vallero and Dez Bryant get in on the act, including the need for a censor blooper.

Troy Aikman sports a UCLA Bruin’s tee, and challenges Jimmy Johnson, Jerry Jones and Pam Oliver.

Stars forward Tyler Seguin does his duty and challenges Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika, with a condition.

Heika responds and fulfills his condition in a creative way: click here.

Expect to see more fun posts this week, and that’s great news for a great cause. As of last Thursday, the ALS Association, made up of 38 chapters, had raised $7.6 million in donations in two weeks, much of which was from 145,918 new donors. That compares with $1.4 million raised during the same two-week period last year.

There is no treatment nor cure for ALS, but with positive movements like the Ice Bucket Challenge, money is being raised for research and the message is being spread for awareness.

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Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks,, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.


  1. Great coverage Rob!
    My girl friend’s father passed away in early June after living with ALS for approx. 3 years. Everyone in her family, including myself have “taken the plunge” in honor of her dad, Jim and all those suffering from this disease.
    I receive the scoreboard articles on my iPhone email and have enjoyed reading and following you all at Scoreboard…keep up the good work!
    Sincerely, John Purcell…yes that John Purcell from St Paul

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