Sanzenbacher pokes fun at LeBron in hit organ-donation video
Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher made a video spoofing LeBron james' Nike commercial for a marketing class. The video has over 50,000 hits on YouTube and features several OSU teammates. ( ASSOCIATED PRESS )
COLUMBUS -- Ohio State fans are used to seeing Dane Sanzenbacher in scarlet and gray, and donning a helmet covered in buckeye leaves.
People around the country and across the world are now looking at the senior wide receiver from Central Catholic out of uniform and out of character in a clever video promoting organ donation that he put together for a marketing class.
Sanzenbacher spoofs the somewhat self-absorbed LeBron James production from earlier this year in which James appeared torn over whether or not to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for another NBA team, and repeatedly asked: "What should I do?"
The scenes in Sanzenbacher's two-minutes and 14 seconds video closely parallel those in the LeBron clip, but when Sanzenbacher asks the same question, he debates whether or not to check the box as an organ donor on his driver's license.
The video, most of which was produced in October during the bye week in the Buckeyes' schedule, was rapidly closing in on 50,000 views on the YouTube site as of Tuesday. It shows Sanzenbacher in basketball gear, in a Zorro-type outfit as a villain, and reciting his own literary creation in a pseudo Def Poetry Jam session.
He also appears in a tricked-out SUV, and in a direct shot at LeBron's ultimate decision to leave Cleveland to go play for the Miami Heat, Sanzenbacher says: "Maybe I should take my organs to South Beach."
As Sanzenbacher and his Buckeyes teammates walked into Ohio Stadium Saturday morning, about two hours before Ohio State faced rival Michigan, he said he had numerous fans along the way shouting the "What Should I Do?" catchphrase in his direction. Had he expected such a reaction to the video?
"Not at all," Sanzenbacher said after Ohio State's 37-7 win over the Wolverines. "I figured if we worked on it this much, let's just post it. Then three days later it's got something like 35,000 views. I'm glad it's gotten a lot of hits, and that was the point of it, to kind of spread the word."
Sanzenbacher used Buckeyes teammates Cameron Heyward, Ross Homan, and DeVier Posey in the video, along with a brief appearance by OSU head coach Jim Tressel. Ohio State basketball player Jon Diebler also appears in the clip.
A representative from the organ donation organization LifeLine of Ohio had spoken to his marketing class, and Sanzenbacher got the idea to make the video spoofing James while at the same time delivering the organ donor message.
"I thought about organ donation and it just clicked with me -- that is a decision you have to make too," he said.
Near the end of the video, Sanzenbacher relates to the viewer that there are 109,000 people in the United States on the waiting list for organ transplants, and that every 13 minutes a new name joins the list.
"Should I make the decision to be a hero, and become an organ and tissue donor?" he asks, before the logo for LifeLine of Ohio appears on the screen.
"I can't say how many people are organ donors now, because of the video, but it's definitely got enough exposure to do its job," Sanzenbacher said. "I just never expected the kind of reaction it's received. That's great, because I'm for any way to get that important message across."