February 25, 2019
There may be nothing more adorable than watching your little one venture into the world and try their hand at a recreational activity. And if you've ever sat on the sidelines of your L.O.'s practice, game, or recital, you've undoubtedly thought to yourself, "What in the world is my kid thinking?" A hockey dad from Ontario, Canada named Jeremy Rupke had that exact thought while watching his 4-year-old Mason out on the ice, and he became so curious that he decided to put a mic on his son. The result: an absolutely hilarious, entertaining, and altogether adorable video with full audio that chronicles the little boy's 50-minute hockey practice. Unsurprisingly, since it was published on YouTube on Friday, February 22, the clip, called "4 Year Old Mic’d up at Hockey,” has gone mega-viral, wracking up 3,400,305 views to date.
"My wife Sammy and I would watch him at practice and wonder what was going through his head," Rupke tells Parents.com. "He would skate by his friends and coaches, and we wondered what he was saying. I had all the equipment, so I decided to mic him up and find out."
As it turns out, Mason says a lot—to his coaches and teammates but also to himself. He asks, “Am I a good score-der?” and cheers himself on, is proud when he can skate with both feet ("one two, one two, one two!"), gets excited when he sees his "friiiiiiend," believes he's won (even though they're not playing an actual game), decides he should nap in the middle of the rink, and he really can't wait til after practice, because that's when Dad's gonna take him to "Badonald's" (McDonald's).
It's no wonder that the super-cute video has been called "so pure" and "hilarious" by tons of viewers, including pro athletes like Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watts, Canadian hockey commentator Bob McKenzie, and Olympic silver medalist Jillian Saulnier,
An abridged version of the video got tons of attention on Twitter, as well, wracking up over 3 million views so far.
Rupke tells Parents.com that he's been making hockey videos for 9 years, generally on the basics—like how to shoot, skate, and stickhandle—but more recently he's expanded to more fun, entertaining content. Mason's involvement in the Timbits program with Hockey Canada has clearly inspired his dad.
"He's a fun little guy and says some pretty funny stuff," Rupke says. "Mason loves any video I make that he's in, so he really liked this one. His favorite parts are when he falls over. I love the parts where he's encouraging himself and reassuring himself. It's adorable to hear him trying so hard and letting himself know that everything is OK after he falls!"
The hockey coach told The Washington Post that he was surprised by just how much his son had to say out there—and the internet's enthusiastic response. "I didn’t know how much he actually talked,” Rupke said. “I’ve made videos in the past that have gotten over a million views. I’ve never had a video do this, like be a sensation.” He also noted that he's pretty sure Mason wasn't "putting on a show," given that he wasn't even aware of the mic's purpose.
His L.O. started hockey back in October, so he gets credit for not only becoming a viral star, but developing such an impressive skill set in such a short period of time.
Rupke says little Mason enjoys watching the video, but "doesn't have any grasp of how people are sharing it and how well-received it is." Nonetheless, the proud dad is psyched to have touched so many people's lives with his creative project. He told The Post, “To hear the amount of joy that it’s bringing to people and how enthusiastically people are sharing it with others, it’s amazing." Not to mention that the video's popularity supports Rupke's main goal, which is to “share the love of hockey.”