19-year-old baseball wunderkind Bryce Harper has answered plenty of questions with his play in his rookie season with the Washington Nationals. But on Tuesday night, he may have given his best answer of the season with his mouth, not his bat.
After Harper hit a towering home run in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, a Canadian journalist asked him if he was going to celebrate with a local beer, since the legal drinking age in Ontario is 19, not 21.
Harper responded with this quip, as seen above: "That's a clown question, bro."
The line has already exploded on the sports blogosphere, with numerous parodies, jokes and even T-shirts featuring the phrase. Video remixes appeared overnight, including spoofs of Barbara Walters, Jessica Simpson, and other memes like David After Dentist.
In the original video, you can hear a team PR representative attempt to shoot down the question, but Harper was already prepared to refuse the inquiry. CNN.com religion editor Dan Gilgoff wrote Wednesday that the incident underscored the conflicts of professional sports and Harper's Mormon faith.
"Nineteen-year-old baseball phenom Bryce Harper isn't known for drawing attention to his faith — he's kinda the anti-Tim Tebow in that way — but he didn't hide his dismay Tuesday when thrown a question that intersected squarely with his Mormonism," Gilgoff wrote.
Meanwhile, ESPN reported Wednesday that Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia knew the identity of the Canadian journalist who posted the question. Pedroia said he was ready to "blow him up" when the Sox visit the Jays later this season.
In any case, Harper's response has crossed cultural boundaries in a way that only the Internet can facilitate. "If Twitter has its way, 'That's a clown question, bro.' will join 'Don't tase me, bro.' in the annals of popular rhetorical comebacks," NPR.org's Eyder Peralta wrote.
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