Sunday, September 1, 2013

Brief History Of The Foam Finger

The 2013 Video Music Awards will be remembered mainly for one thing: Miley Cyrus molesting a foam finger, as well as "twerking" with some giant teddy bears and against Beetlejuice. She subsequently may have killed the tradition of the foam finger as we know it. We've had a week to digest it all. Let's give the foam finger some love with a brief history.

It all started back in 1971 when Steve Chmelar created one during High School out of paper-mache instead of foam. He did it for the Iowa High School basketball finals, and a picture was snapped by the AP.

Geral Fauss then decided to create some hands and sell them at the 1978 Cotton Bowl game between Notre Dame and Texas. In 1979 he started a company called Spirit Industries that manufactured the very first foam versions.

They started appearing at stadiums all over in the 1980s for all the major sports teams, and the rest is history. It spawned custom versions as well, such as the "Hook 'em Horns" shape used by University of Texas fans. Non-hand versions became available as well, such as the foam tomahawk and foam talons.

And now of course in 2013, nobody will be able to look at one again without thinking of Miley Cyrus and her Hellboy shaped hair simulating sex with one on a stage. Original creator Steve Chmelar stated, "She took an honorable icon that is seen in sporting venues everywhere and degraded it. Fortunately, the foam finger has been around long enough that it will survive this incident." Well, it may survive, but we won't look at it the same anytime soon. So, you probably know way more than you ever wanted about the history of the foam finger. You can thank Miley, she was just being Miley.

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