Springfield goes viral with two recent videos

Brian Brown, ReporterTwo rather compelling videos made in Springfield have gone viral and garnered national attention.

Brentwood Christian Church Pastor Phil Snider gave a speech with a twist at Springfield City Council this summer that has now attracted more than 3.1 million views on YouTube. And with the St. Louis Cardinals demise in the National League Championship Series, “the saddest little Cardinal” – a Springfield 4-year-old – has drawn more than 1.4 million viewers.

Snider, who was one of 62 speakers to address council Aug. 13 about an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in the city in the areas of housing, employment and public services, initially appeared to be opposed to the measure. He argued against the ordinance for two of his slotted three minutes, citing the Bible several times before appearing to get tripped up on the word “segregation.”

Snider said he must have pulled his notes “from the wrong century,” which included arguments from white preachers in the 1950s and 60s against racial integration.

Writing from the front row to the right of Snider (and off camera), I at first crossed out that he was in favor of the bill before he was finished, thinking I had heard him wrong when he said he supported the ordinance initially. I am the council reporter for Springfield Business Journal, and in the days after the meeting, I struggled to tell my wife and a couple of co-workers about Snider’s twist. In my city beat reporting, Snider never made the pages of SBJ as I chose to cite other provocative, but easily understandable, arguments on both sides.

The 4-year-old Cardinals fan, Cy, is crying and upset that his father is making him go to bed with the redbirds losing 7-0 in the fifth inning of game 7 of the NLCS. “We were supposed to win,” Cy says. The young fan was not comforted by his father telling him, “There’s always next year.”

As a Royals fan, I wasn’t nearly as crushed as the young boy, but I can certainly understand his pain.

As for the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, it was ultimately tabled and sent to a committee for further review and consideration. If the issue comes back to council, it will be interesting to see if speakers try to top Snider’s performance.

If you haven’t seen them, both videos are worth the time. It is not hard to understand why they’ve struck a cord with people.

While I’ve enjoyed seeing those videos become so popular, I think my favorite viral video from Springfield was produced by Jeff Schrag and Jeremy Wicks at Mother’s Brewing Co. Fans of Laverne & Shirley might agree. The video homage to the 70s television theme, originally posted in December of last year, has received a little more than 50,000 views. While not in the same league as the Snider or “little Cardinal” videos in terms of attention, it is pretty funny all the same.

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