From ‘hype videos’ to hanging with Russell Wilson

How Kamiak grad Josh Cashman got ‘Twitter famous’
By Brandon Gustafson | May 22, 2019
Courtesy of: Russell Wilson’s Twitter (@DangeRussWilson). Kamiak grad Josh Cashman, second from the right, with Seahawks players D.J. Fluker, Russell Wilson, and Jaron Brown. Cashman made “hype videos” that got posted all over Twitter, and inevitably led to him playing “Super Smash Bros.” with Wilson, Fluker, and Brown Thursday, May 16.

If you’re a fan of the Seattle Seahawks and have a Twitter account, it was hard to miss.

During the second half of Seattle’s 2018 season, when the team caught fire and made the playoffs in a “rebuilding” year, the question on Twitter after the games weren’t about the team’s next opponent, but instead “When is the next Cable Thanos video going to drop?”

Cable Thanos – account username @CableThanos_ – was a Twitter user making elaborate “hype” videos, showing some of the best plays from the Seahawks’ most recent games.

Those videos were mixed with movie, music, and pop culture references, elaborate use of Photoshop, and ridiculous sound effects like giant explosions and loud “whack” sounds straight out of an action or superhero movie, and, of course, audio and visuals of the hit Nintendo video game series “Super Smash Bros.”

The videos also took shots at members of the media who counted the Seahawks out either before the season started, and after the team started 0-2.

As the weeks went on, the videos started getting more views and shares on Twitter, and several media outlets were picking up on it. Soon enough, even the Seahawks’ official social media pages, and Seattle players were reposting the videos. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson even gave Cable Thanos a shoutout on Twitter, calling the Seahawks fan “a legend,” and challenging the Twitter user to a game of “Smash.”

The user’s identity was a mystery at first – both the username and profile name were simply “Cable Thanos.” Eventually, the profile name was changed to Josh, and revealed he was a student at Western Washington University. Soon after, Josh revealed his name is Josh Cashman, a 2014 Kamiak High School grad who lived in the Mukilteo area nearly his entire life.

So how did Cashman, a guy from the small town of Mukilteo, turn into a Twitter celebrity who spent last Thursday hanging out with the highest paid player in NFL history?

“Really, it started as a joke,” he said.


The origin

The Seahawks had just beaten the Detroit Lions 28-14, bringing the team’s record to 4-3. It was the first time all season Seattle had a winning percentage over .500. Cashman released a video the next day, showing highlights from the win, as well as clips showing media members talking about how bad they thought Seattle was early in the season.

“The season was supposed to be a wash,” he said. “We’d just beat an OK Lions team, and were just over .500. I thought it would be funny to make a hype video after beating a team that wasn’t very good.”

The idea was to post the one video and be done with it, but after Seattle’s next few games, people were in his Twitter mentions clamoring for new videos. That first video has nearly 1,000 reposts and nearly 3,000 likes.

The video that really took off was after Seattle’s 30-27 win over the Carolina Panthers – dubbed a “must win” for the team if it had any hope of making the playoffs.

“That video just blew up, and the team kept winning,” he said. “So I just kept making them.”

That video has more than 2,600 reposts and 8,700 likes. The video, and others, has been part of different online news articles and discussions from groups like Deadspin, 710 ESPN, GeekWire, and the Seattle Times.

Cashman said one of the funniest things about the last few months of the season were people’s reactions to his videos.

“Some people take it way too serious,” he said. “These were never supposed to be serious hype videos. They’re very tongue in cheek.”

Initially, Cashman kept the pet project to himself.

When he revealed his name, people from Kamiak started reaching out to him.

“It’s cool those people from high school are complimenting me on this, especially because I did it just for fun,” Cashman said. “I didn’t really tell anyone at first. My roommates didn’t know.”


“Smash” with Russ

May 16 was one of the biggest days of Cashman’s life – meeting the face of his favorite sports franchise and getting to play one of his favorite video games with the Seahawks quarterback, as well as offensive lineman D.J. Fluker and wide receiver Jaron Brown.

What was the day like for Cashman?

“I got there around 12:30 to his (Wilson’s) office in downtown Seattle. It’s like crazy nice,” he said. “At first it was just his office employees, and we talked about the videos and all that.”

Soon, Brown arrived and the two set up a room with Cashman’s Nintendo Switch and started to play a few games of “Smash.”

“In the middle of a game, he (Wilson) arrived. I acknowledged him, but I also didn’t want to lose my game,” he said.

Soon, Fluker arrived, and the four played a few warm up games before Wilson and his employees live-streamed the session on social media.

“It was super fun,” Cashman said. “It didn’t feel forced at all. D.J. and (Brown), they know the game, so it wasn’t just a beat down.”

As for Wilson’s skills?

“He was pretty bad,” Cashman said, laughing. “He’s a button masher. He’s not awful, and he survived longer than I thought he would.”

Cashman said he understands why the star quarterback may not be up to snuff at the popular game.

“He has other stuff he has to worry about. He has a wife and kids, he’s a star football player,” he said.

Aside from photos and memories, Cashman also left the day with a souvenir of sorts.

“He signed my Switch,” he said. “I’m not a huge autograph guy, but this has special meaning for sure.”


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

At one point, the Philadelphia Eagles’ social media department posted a video eerily similar to Cashman’s videos. It showed posts from Twitter users saying the team wasn’t good; it had movie clips, pop culture quirks, and even had some “Super Smash Bros.” mixed in.

How did Cashman find out?

“I woke up to more than 80 notifications on my phone, and was like, what’s going on?” he said, laughing. “It looked like it was inspired by some of my videos, and people were all mad about it … I got inspiration from lots of other stuff for my videos.”

The video upset members of “Seahawks Twitter,” believing it was knocking Cashman’s work without giving him proper credit, but it was actually a blessing in disguise.

The person who made the video for the Eagles gave Cashman a shoutout on Twitter, and that resulted in Cashman making a “2018 NFL season in review” video for the NFL’s official website.

“In the end, I was grateful it happened,” he said.

Cashman’s future

Cashman wants to keep making Seahawks videos next season, and hopes it won’t be a “curse” like it was for the Seattle Mariners.

Many of Cashman’s followers reached out to him about making a hype video for the baseball team after its hot start, and soon after the video posted, the team started playing worse, eventually falling under .500.

Now that he’s seen the success of his videos, Cashman wants to pursue a career in video design now that he’s spent more time doing so, and is genuinely enjoying his time making them.

He was initially studying computer science, but said he was struggling in the major.

“I don’t really love computer science, but I knew it paid well. I’m just not super into it,” Cashman said. “I want to finish school and maybe pursue making videos.”

Cashman has also been creating content for the website, and set up a digital design Twitter page @CashmanDesigns, where he continues to make content.

One of his videos depicted a fake Kanye West video game that looked like a “choose your fighter” menu for a fighting game. There are different West “characters,” each based on the different albums the artist released.

Cashman’s main account and videos can be found on Twitter @CableThanos_. He has more than 18,000 followers.

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