Massive crowd gathers for Josh Swain battle, started by internet meme

LINCOLN, NE — What would happen if the internet became real life?

We got the answer to the question nobody was asking on Saturday in Lincoln. The internet is a giant pool noodle fight.

“It’s a little crazy, but I think it’s pretty epic,” Tyler Anderson of Dixon, IL said.

“There’s really no description for it," Josh Swain of Omaha said. "It’s just kind of strange.”

“I honestly thought it was a huge meme,” Josh of Omaha said.

The biggest of memes started with Josh Swain of Arizona. Last April, he tweeted screenshots of a Facebook message challenging other Josh Swains to a fight to keep the name. The random meeting place… Lincoln, Nebraska.

Josh Swain of Omaha was the only challenger. They duked it out… with rock-paper-scissors.

For all other Joshes in attendance… a pool noodle fight for Josh supremacy.

Four-year-old Josh of Lincoln there with his dad, Josh Sr., won the crown.

As for Josh Swain of Arizona, he’s never been more popular.

“It’s weird to know that you’re peaking while you’re peaking,” Swain said.

Swain admits it started as a joke. It wasn’t until this year he realized the meetup needed to happen.

“Probably about three months ago when somebody sent me - someone who reposted the post - and I was like, ‘oh my God the internet remembered and if I don’t do something, they’re going to be upset,” Swain said.

The internet joke became reality. But the last laugh belongs to the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation. The Joshes helped raise thousands for the Omaha hospital.

“It’s kind of like catching lightning in a bottle, right? So, you know, I wanted to take advantage of that and make sure that something good came of it instead of just a bunch of people hitting each other,” Swain said.

The hitting people part, that was charity, too, after a year of the pandemic. That’s Josh Swain of Omaha’s takeaway.

“That people are crazy… but it’s not always bad," Swain said. "They turned this into a really good, a really wholesome event and I think a lot of people really needed this after everything.”