UPDATE: 11:10 a.m. ET — In what can only be described as a truly wild coincidence, Jersey Jerry sunk a hole-in-one at almost the exact moment this story published. On shot 2,627 he bounced a ball right into the hole, ending his Sisyphean task. It was amazing and a just reward for more than 36 hours of livestreaming.
In The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus posited that “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” — that the struggle of forever pushing a boulder to great heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.
Camus might’ve been full of shit. Because I’m watching a Steelers fan named Jersey Jerry do perhaps the closest thing I’ve seen to a Sisyphean feat and he isn’t exactly thrilled about it.
Let’s go back and explain. Jerry, an employee at Barstool Sports, started a YouTube livestream around 10 p.m. on Tuesday where he’d keep going until he got a hole-in-one on the office’s high-tech golf simulator. He’s still going. For the math adverse, that’s more than 36-straight hours and three calendar days. Before sleeping — on a livestream, mind you — Jerry was up for nearly 40 consecutive hours, since he began this thing after a full work day.
Here’s the livestream, which is on Part 4 because YouTube cuts livestreams off after a certain amount of time.
It’s difficult to overstate how big this stream has gotten. It’s weirdly captivating to see this man keep going. Part 4 of the livestream has, at this writing, nearly 70,000 people watching at any given time. Part 3 racked up some one million viewers in total. The channel, Jerry After Dark, has grown from around 30,000 subscribers to well over 100,000.
This TikTok from @Jackmacbarstool does a good job breaking down how its grown. The PGA Tour has posted about, hugely popular athletes like JJ Watt and Brooks Koepka have commented — it trended on Twitter the same night the Epstein list dropped. Tom Brady, freaking Tom Brady, compared himself to Jerry.
Part of the appeal is Jersey Jerry is about as everyman as everyman gets. He’s not particularly great at golf. He’s sort of your average golfer at a muni course on the weekend — to be clear, that’s my exact skill level. I’ve accepted I will never, ever hit a hole-in-one. It’s freaking difficult. Near impossible. Jerry is taking it on.
As of this writing, Jerry has taken more than 2,600 strokes. He’s come within inches of the hole but nothing has sunk. The close calls, however, are part of the fun. They look so. damn. good. Look at this. There have been multiple like this.
Watching this man come so close, and yet be so far from finished, has been thrilling and honestly a bit worrisome. I’m worried about this guy. He has created his own personal hell and it’s a virtual recreation of Pebble Beach No. 7. At one point Wednesday night, Barstool’s Big Cat basically had to force him to go to bed because thing’s were getting super delirious. Jerry was duffing shot after shot into the water without realizing he was accidentally playing from the rough instead of the tee box.
It’s hypnotic and captivating. Over and over, shot after shot. You, as the viewer, even fall into a rhythm. The backswing, the ping of the club hitting the ball, the thwap of the projector screen, held breath, no hole-in-one, another mulligan, start it over.
Jerry’s friends and coworkers cycle in, give him words of encouragement, bring him food, get him IVs and chiropractors. They’ve called the manufacturers of the simulator to even see if it’s possible — they promise it is.
It’s tough to explain how much of a herculean effort this is. Jerry has oscillated between positive and ready to collapse. But he has not stopped. The most golf balls I’ve ever hit in a row, for context, is maybe 125. And it kind of sucks after 100. Doing the same movement, over and over, is tiresome and takes so much concentration. I ran a marathon this year and I’d rather do that right now, all over again, than do what Jerry has done. It’s not even a question. The fact that he’s still going and hasn’t quit is a testament to his stubbornness and, of course, the unlikely massive popularity of the stream.
I simply need to see Jerry be freed from this simulated prison. As of around 11 a.m. eastern time, he’s had two incredibly close calls this session. But no hole-in-one. So sure, one must imagine Sisyphus happy, but I’d rather see him off the mountain altogether.
Online, golf is for everyone