March 30, 2011
In the lifecycle of the prom, Wayland High School in Massachusetts had reached the gentlemanly proposal phase. Oliver Levin, 16, wanted nothing more than to ask Sarah, a girl in his journalism class, to the annual spring event. But time was running short … and, honestly, he had no idea what she'd say.
"I knew I wanted to ask this girl. She was, you know, awesome. She's really pretty. She's really cool. She's wicked chill, nice person to talk to, and I wanted to get to know her better," he said.
"I'm a firm believer in that if you're going to do something, do it right. If you're going to commit yourself to something like this, why not make it excellent instead of just something good?"
"Oliver called me and told me that he had the best idea to ask Sarah to the prom: By getting the whole section to yell, 'Hey, Sarah will you go to prom with me?'" said Evan Barber, his accomplice in the burgeoning project. "As the game went on, we figured out that wasn't going to work, so I came up with the idea that made the final video."
The final video is, to use the Levin Scale for Prom Proposals, absolutely "excellent." Via Barstool Sports, which first published the clip, here's how Oliver Levin asked Sarah to the prom … with the help of a dozen random Boston Bruins fans:
So, did she say "yes"?
Not so fast … this was only Stage 1 of the hockey-centric prom date plea.
Once Levin and Barber were at the game, their plan changed several times. The initial idea was to have different fans say several sentence fragments that would be pieced together in post-shoot editing. As they continued, they found more and more fans that went, well, off-script.
"I was in the last row, and these people thought I was the strangest, most obnoxious kid they'd ever seen," said Levin.
Slowly, the video found its cast of characters. The guys outside. The happy couple. The Yukon Cornelius-looking chap in the cheap seats. And, of course, the sign guy who referred to Oliver as "Elliot."
"The Canadian guys were hilarious. I'm not even sure they knew what the prom was, but fortunately that worked out," said Barber.
Levin, 16, is a sportswriter for the Wayland Student Press. The journalism class he and Sarah take is student-run for the most part, with the instructor setting the stage with a slide presentation at the start. On Friday, that presentation included a video submitted by a "random student" that began to play in front of the class.
"Everyone was viewing it, wondering what kind of bizarre video it was going to be, and halfway in this girl gets asked to prom," Levin said.
Sarah watched as the video rolled, the invitation slowly revealing itself until one of the cigar guys said her name.
When she finally turned around to see Levin, he was holding roses.
After the initial shock subsided, she said yes.
"During the last few months, guys asking girls to the prom has really amped up. We've seen a lot of creative guys but no one compares to what Oliver did," said Barber. "I was confident in Oliver. I knew that with this much effort there was no way she would say no."
Barber attended Tuesday night's Bruins game against the Chicago Blackhawks, and it was like a wrap party for a movie cast. He saw Cornelius (of the Bruins blog The Hockey Blog Adventure) and the street vendor again, sharing the news that Oliver Levin had found his junior prom date. They were pleased to hear the news and, perhaps more impressively, actually remembered what the heck it was Barber was referring to.
Was this the furthest Levin ever went for a date?
"By far," he said. "I was banking on the fact that she'd say 'Yes', because that'd be totally clutch."
And if she turned him down?
"There was always Celtics games."
Stick-tap to Dave McBrayer for the tip.