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Harlem Shake video costs NY hockey team spot in sectional playoffs

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

As the Harlem Shake dance craze continues to take over both the internet and high school sports -- keep an eye on this space Tuesday to see the full extent of the Shake’s influence on prep sports -- one team has felt the full wrath of letting their wild-side impulses get the best of them. Before you click on the version of the Harlem Shake below, please note that there will be some high school players wearing scant clothing at about the 15-second mark. They’re not naked, but they’re not quite fully dressed, either.

As reported by the Journal-News’ high school hockey blog, the Nyack (N.Y.)-Tappan Zee (N.Y.) High boys hockey co-op team forfeited its first round Section I state playoff game against Lakeland (N.Y.)-Panas (N.Y.). While there was no official reason given for the forfeit, there’s little question about what caused the forfeit: A rather racy version of the Harlem Shake, performed by the Nyack-Tappan Zee squad and posted to YouTube during the second week of February.

In fact, if there was any question that the aforementioned video was responsible for the playoff forfeiture, it seemed to be answered by a Nyack-Tappan Zee senior on Twitter.

“We were forfeited from playoffs for a borderline inappropriate video in the locker room of Harlem shake,” Ice Hawks senior forward Corey Aronson tweeted on Friday to a friend, according to the Lo-Hud hockey blog.

You can see a copied version of the YouTube version of Nyack-Tappan Zee’s Harlem Shake above (the original was taken off line) and judge whether you think it’s worthy of a self-imposed playoff forfeiture.

Was the video objectionable? Potentially. Was it done in poor taste? Almost certainly. Was it worthy of mandatory forfeiture of a playoff game after a long season aimed at earning that spot? That’ a tough one.

Clearly the lesson from the video and its subsequent penalty is that teens need to be more careful about what they’re putting online for public consumption. Whether an entire team’s season needs to be ended to ram home that point, at the expense of their teammates, is another matter entirely.

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