The Loop

The man who spent 2017 begging Outback to let him be the Bloomin’ Onion mascot just got his wish

December 06, 2017
NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Outback Bowl - Auburn v Wisconsin

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On January 6th, 2017, Ryan Nanni—AKA @celebrityhottub—tweeted at Outback Steakhouse for the first time:

Over the course of the next 12 months, Nanni pinged the chain beef giants on several more occasions, reiterating his yearning, burning desire to be the man behind Bloomin’ Onion mask for this year’s Outback Bowl. In return he received a whole lot of nothing, nada, zilch. Not a favorite, not a retweet, not a fat stack of Outback gift cards with a handwritten note reading “Dear Ryan, please the shut the f—k up.” That is, until yesterday, when Ryan, still clinging to his deep-fried pipe dream, tossed up one on final hail mary:

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The something miraculous happened. The clouds parted. A light reached down. Outback spoke.

There was still work to be done, of course, but a man known as celebrityhottub whose life goal is to dress up like a congealed vat of onion scraps scraped off the flattop and dunked in hot grease doesn’t just give up when the going gets tough. No sir. Enlisting the help of the Twitter—always eager to jump behind a random cause— Nanni put his nose to grindstone and started piling up the retweets.

Then at 6:43pm on Tuesday December, 5th, 2017 AD—nearly 11 months to the day after he first began tormenting Outback’s poor 23-year-old social media editor—the impossible happened:

So let’s all take a moment to congratulate Nanni, a man who showed us if you work hard enough and grovel long enough, there is no limit to what you can accomplish, even if what you want to accomplish makes no real human sense to anyone but your Outback-loving ass. Want to see Nanni strut his stuff on the sidelines this bowl season? The Outback Bowl—pitting the Michigan Wolverines against the South Carolina Gamecocks—airs New Year’s Day at noon on ESPN2.