LEBANON — Josh Chasteen wanted to do something for his health students as their semester ended before the holidays, and wanted to have some fun on TikTok, so he posted a video saying he'd cancel their upcoming test if a pro sports team commented on it. By the end of the day, he'd be a viral TikTok star.
"I was pretty confident that one would, but had no idea we'd get as many people commenting as we did," he said.
He posted the video in the morning under the screen name @mr_chasteen101 and the Detroit Lions had commented within a few hours.
"'Roll out the TV cart,'" the team posted.
One week later, the video has more than 54 million views and more than 169,000 comments – from pro sports teams, to leagues, to celebrities, and social media-savvy brands.
"My favorite response?" Chasteen said. "Being a big sports fan, I would say probably the Olympics, the NFL, or ESPN."
The students' choice surprised him, though.
"The favorite response for my students was by far 'Jake' from State Farm, was amazing to me," he said. "We got responses from everybody in the world."
Instead of a test on the muscles of the human body that he calls "the hardest of the semester," Chasteen had a discussion about social media and sports in his classes.
And he made another video.
To recognize the Lions' first pro team comment, he rolled a large TV into his classroom.
The original viral video has attracted so much attention, even ESPN called and wanted to talk to Chasteen over the weekend:
Chasteen started his teacher TikTok account in 2019, as a way to better connect to his students and use the trends they were following online to build a sense of community in the school.
Chasteen said he sees it as an opportunity, too.
"I think anything can be used for bad and, in the same way, you can take those things and use them for good as well," he said.