It was only a matter of time before the "Ice Bucket Challenge," which has raised millions of dollars to combat ALS, would inspire copycats. Unfortunately, one of these tributes has resulted in tragedy, as Nick Punto's Bucket of Live Snakes Challenge to Raise Awareness of Intensity and Getting After It (NPBLSCRAIGAI) has injured 452 people.
Punto, the former Twin who is now a utility infielder with the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics, was solemn and soft-spoken in a Thursday press conference.
"I was just trying to build on the momentum that the ice bucket thing was doing for Lou Gehrig's (ALS)," said Punto. "I wanted to raise awareness of the importance of giving 110%. You gotta give 110% everyday. What are you gonna put in a bucket to make you give your all? Snakes. In hindsight, I realize this was a bad idea for a lot of reasons. It's not what the NPBLSCRAIGAI was meant to be about."
Videos of athletes, celebrities, and impressionable children taking the NPBLSCRAIGAI have gone viral over the last 24 hours. The most popular one features retiring MLB Commissioner Bud Selig smothered in rattlesnakes, screaming, "They're eating my sport coat oh god oh god." This quote is already a popular internet meme.
Authorities say the situation could have been much worse.
"After talking with Nick, it appears that his agent talked him out of 'Bucket of Chainsaws Running Full Bore' and 'Bucket of Razors That Are Also On Fire, Man' challenges," said a source close to the investigation.
"I thought it would raise awareness of intensity and getting after it," said Punto. "In a way, it did. A horrible, horrible way."