Foam Finger Maker: Miley "Degraded" an "Icon"

The venerable foam finger may survive Miley's obscene VMA antics. But will she? The man who arguably invented the sports prop weighed in with Fox Sports.

By Sam Schulz
|  Thursday, Aug 29, 2013  |  Updated 4:27 PM PDT
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This was not what Steve Chmelar had in mind when he first created his "No. 1 hand" to cheer on his high school basketball team in 1971.

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The internet has weighed in on Miley Cyrus' R-rated-and-then-some VMA antics with a troupe of giant teddy bears, a striped-suited pop singer and a giant foam "#1" finger.

Now, the man who arguable invented that finger, staple of sports events and irreplaceable prop for superfans, has spoken out, after Fox Sports tracked him down.

"She took an honorable icon that is seen in sporting venues everywhere and degraded it," Steve Chmelar — whom Fox credits with inventing the precursor to the foam finger — told Fox. Chmelar, now 59, created what he calls the "No. 1 hand" in 1971 to cheer his high school basketball team in Iowa.

"Fortunately, the foam finger has been around long enough that it will survive this incident. As for Miley Cyrus, let's hope she can outlive this event and also survive," he said.

If the attention paid her act and her record are any indication, she will.

As for Chmelar, he admits that he may never have been a Miley fan, anyway. Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music" is more his speed, he told Fox.
 

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