'The Josh Fight': Hundreds Show Up To Claim Rights To The Name In Epic Nebraska Showdown
Organizer Josh Swain says he decided that “whoever wins gets to keep the name” and everyone else has to change theirs.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Josh Swain, 22, was bored so he decided to challenge others sharing his name on social media to an epic battle that became known as “The Josh Fight.”
“For a long time, I’ve gone on Twitter and Instagram and I’ve tried to get the handle of just ‘Josh Swain’ and it’s always been taken,” he told KLKN-TV. “One day I was like alright we can fix this.”
He composed a message to other Joshs on Facebook and threw down the gauntlet: “We fight, whoever wins gets to keep the name, everyone else has to change their name, you have a year to prepare, good luck,” he wrote.
The college student from Arizona then selected a central location for the meet-up at random — Air Park in Lincoln, Nebraska.
To his amazement, hundreds of good-natured Joshs showed up at the viral event to hash it out.
“I didn’t expect the whole internet to take it and start contacting every ‘Josh’ they knew,” Swain said. “I did not expect people to be as adamant about this as they are right now.”
The festive skirmish kicked off with a showdown for anyone with the full name Josh Swain. The clash’s organizer, Josh Swain from Arizona, ended up duking it out in what he called a “grueling and righteous battle of game of rock, paper, scissors” with another Josh Swain, this one from Omaha, Nebraska.
According to KLKN-TV, Josh Swain, the organizer, was the victor and claimed the top prize of being the one and only “true” Josh Swain.
The full-name game was followed by a pool-noodle fight for anyone with just the first name Josh. A 4-year-old boy called, what else, Josh, was declared the winner and presented a Burger King crown to lord over the roughly 40,000 other Joshs the U.S. Census Bureau says live across the country.
The 4-year-old, Joshua Vinson, now has a GoFundMe college fund set up on his behalf by his newfound fanbase.
The fundraising page started by Nolan Schroeder reads: "This young man came out as the one and only Supreme Josh. To show our gratitude towards The Supreme Josh, I need YOUR help in getting Little Josh to college!"
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Little Josh suffered from seizures when he was younger, and his father, Josh Sr., said his victory was "meant to be."
His father said to Metro.co.uk: "To have funds for Josh's college will be a life-changer, for him as well as for us. We are just a humble family who is taking this all in and are so happy for our Little Josh. We want to see some good come out of this for him and we want to thank everyone for their support."
The battle's organizer Josh Swain’s odd idea ended up doing some good for the community, too, since he set up a fund to benefit the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, and a partnership with the Lincoln Food Bank.