"Sometimes there's a man…I won't say a hero, 'cause what's a hero? But sometimes there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place."
Those are some of the first words that The Stranger drawls in his syrupy baritone at the beginning of The Big Lebowski. He's talking about The Dude (proof: "I'm talking about the Dude here," he says), but that description might as well be attached to Sam Crowder as well.
Crowder, a 23-year-old college student, became a hero for our own time and place on Saturday afternoon, when he held up a brilliant sign before the Virginia Tech-Tennessee game in Bristol, Tennessee. "HI MOM!" he wrote. "SEND BEER MONEY." He also listed his Venmo username, in case his mother happened to have her phone handy. His sign was shown on ESPN's College GameDay broadcast and Crowder presumably became the first person to go viral on Venmo. He also raked in a shit-ton of money.
According to Venmo, as of Monday morning, more than 3,000 people have paid Crowder through the app, and even if they only donated $1 each, that's still at least $3,000. Venmo even added $50 to his pile. "Cheers to @SamC2270," Venmo tweeted. "We've ponied up $50 for the cause, next round's on us. Well played, sir. Well played."
Crowder's Venmo account is still receiving donations, with comments that range from the beer emoji–there are so many beer emojis–to thirsty users wishing that they'd thought to make a similar sign, to at least one girl wishing that he'd use some of that cash to take her on a date. (She pointed out that she was #singleAF).
Crowder set up a Twitter account on Saturday–complete with a #BeersOutForHarambe bio–and we sent him some questions to answer, possibly while he casually refreshed his Venmo balance. He likes laughing his ass off but, honestly, if we'd thought of that sign, we'd probably be doing the same damn thing.
MUNCHIES: Hey, Sam. What prompted you to make that sign? Sam Crowder: Just to see if it would work, lmao.
Are you surprised by the reaction it got? Super surprised. I was expecting like five people to do it.
Did your mom actually chip in? No, she didn't have a Venmo at the time. She sure does now, though.
Would you give us a ballpark figure on how much you've received? I don't feel comfortable giving an exact amount, but it's a lot.
Will you be holding that sign up again? I don't think so, I think I can retire. Just kidding, lmao.
What's your beer of choice? Yuengling.
That sign was genius. I think it probably qualifies you for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Hell yeah, tell them to send it to my Venmo if you can.
Thanks for talking with us.