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How a rising livestreamer’s celebrations made it to the big leagues


The celebrations are rippling through the sports world: Athletes point their index finger in the air while saying the words “What’s up, brother?” In other cases, they clink their fists together before waving their arms in a flapping motion, often adding “Tuesday, Tuesday.”

Houston Astros, Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Phillies players have performed the celebrations. ESPN’s Randy Scott recently welcomed viewers to an episode of “SportsCenter” with the hand gestures and catchphrase.

But the rituals didn’t originate with an athlete, a coach or anyone else in the traditional sporting world — they were coined by a popular video game streamer, TheSketchReal, who also goes by Sketch.

Sketch, who has not publicized his real name, did not immediately respond to an interview request.

Sketch’s rise has been meteoric even for a social media era in which stars emerge quickly. He has amassed almost 672,000 followers on Twitch and 1.5 million followers on TikTok, where he predominantly plays the video game Madden NFL 24. Those accounts have gained thousands of followers every day over the last month, according to the analytics firm Social Blade.

Like many other successful streamers, Sketch plays something of a character — a bombastic and excitable trash talker who at times mimics how quarterbacks communicate on the field with their offense.

Usually wearing a jersey for his hometown Houston Texans, his quirky behavior and hand gestures have helped him quickly build a sizable following and catch the eye of professional athletes and sports aficionados. 

A recent TikTok video challenged women to go up to their boyfriends and do Sketch’s “What’s up, brother?” to see if they recognize it, a subtle way of implying just how familiar the streamer has become to young men.  In some cases, the men were perplexed. But in many others, they, too, pounded their fists, waved their arms and proudly proclaimed, “Tuesday, Tuesday.” 

Although Sketch can sometimes be crass and make crude remarks on his channel (he often apologizes for swearing), that has done little to halt his entry into mainstream sports. 

Bryce Harper, a first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, was seen doing the Sketch celebration after scoring a run during a game Sunday against the Washington Nationals. When the Phillies played the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, Philadelphia’s Johan Rojas clinked his fists and flapped his arms after his feet were planted on second base.

After Bo Naylor, who plays for the Cleveland Guardians, scored a home run during a game against the Seattle Mariners on April 3, his teammates celebrated by imitating Sketch’s “What’s up, brother?” catchphrase with their index fingers raised. 

When the Houston Astros played the Toronto Blue Jays on April 1, Astros player Kyle Tucker took a moment to revel with his teammates following a home run with a Sketch gesture.

In the NBA G League, DJ Steward hit a Sketch gesture after sinking a three-point shot to send his team, the Maine Celtics, to the finals.

Some teams have jumped on the bandwagon. The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets posted videos to their team TikTok accounts in which players were greeted with the phrase “What’s up, brother?” and many responded by performing one of Sketch’s gestures. The official TikTok of the NCAA March Madness and the Division 1 Men’s Basketball also filmed players participating in the trend.


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