Everyone loves a good underdog story, where someone who isn’t supposed to win or maybe doesn’t have the highest level of giftedness somehow pulls off a battle against a more impressive opponent.
That’s exactly what happened with this gazelle and lion, and I absolutely love it. This lion thought it was going to stroll in and have a nice waterfront dinner, and the gazelle busted out one of the best hesitation moves the animal kingdom has ever seen.
As the small gazelle is drinking water from the pond, it looks up at the last possible second and sees that a lion is barreling right in its direction. The smaller animal doesn’t panic at all, and almost looks like it has been waiting for this moment to try out its new killer (or I guess avoid-being-killed) move.
We usually throw the word “juke” around when we are talking about the sport of football. Usually an offensive player carrying the ball will fake that they are about to go one way, then right before they do, they plant their foot and use the momentum of the push to quickly dart in the opposite direction.
A juke in football usually leads to a first-down, or maybe even a touchdown, but out in the wild, it leads to living another day on planet Earth. This gazelle uses absolutely perfect form, darts out to its right to make the lion think it’s going that way, then right at the last moment, plants its weight into the ground and goes running away from the lion.
As for the lion, it fell hook, line, and sinker for the juke-out and goes flying right by where the gazelle made the gnarly juke move, sending dust flying up all around the wild animal. If I had to guess, the lion skidded across the dirt for probably a good 15 yards, and as the camera pans over to where the lion should be, it is nowhere to be seen.
I’m thinking it was so embarrassed by falling for the move that it decided to evacuate the area as quickly as possible. There’s really no coming back from that one, and I like to think that the gazelle went back to its herd to speak of the move’s effectiveness and teach others the art of the juke.
Take a look:
Seriously, that has to go down as one of the best fake-out moves of all time. Everyone knows the phrase “art imitates life,” but I’m trying to get another saying started with “sports imitate desperate gazelles.”
Doesn’t have the same ring to it, I know.
Just watch this video of NBA player James Harden pulling off this nasty crossover move and tell me you don’t see the similarity between the two clips:
And I mentioned football earlier, so if you don’t think the basketball video does it, check out this one of a young Lamar Jackson in high school sending a defensive player flying off the field, just like the gazelle did with the lion:
If I were an NBA or NFL coach, I would be dialing up that gazelle-lion video everyday before practice for motivation (and technique).