Former Arena League quarterback Luke Collis thought he had the worst seat in the audience of last week’s Democratic debate in Los Angeles. But hours later, he was going viral as #DebateDaddy and being called a “thirst trap.”
Collis sat behind the debate moderators and every time the camera focused on lead moderator Judy Woodruff, viewers caught a glimpse of the 6-foot-3, 31-year-old Collis.
The hashtag #DebateDaddy started trending on Twitter as viewers wondered who the hot guy with the beard was. After the debate, Collis welcomed his new-found fame:
Went to the #DemDebates tonight. Couldn’t see a thing because I was behind the moderators. But they showed me on tv and gay twitter made a thing of it! From the bottom of my heart, thank you gay twitter. Absolutely made my night
Went to the #DemDebates tonight. Couldn’t see a thing because I was behind the moderators. But they showed me on tv and gay twitter made a thing of it! From the bottom of my heart, thank you gay twitter. Absolutely made my night pic.twitter.com/YeBVnWpDpj— Luke Collis (@LAcollis) December 20, 2019
Huffington Post reached Collis, a self-described political junkie who played college football at Occidental College before a stint in the Arena League. He said he and his dad arrived late to the debate and the only seats left were behind the moderators, from where they could not see the candidates.
Collis has been a great sport about the whole thing, telling HuffPost that he’s “super grateful for all the positive response.”
“My confidence in my beard has never been higher. There are so many stories about online bullying and the internet being used as a negative space. I just think it’s cool when we can use it to build each other up. Lucky to be on the positive side of things,” he said.
Also a great sport was Collis’ girlfriend, Kasey Meehan, who simply reshared Collis’ post with the caption: “my #DebateDaddy.”
Collis was most appreciative of a mashup by openly gay actor George Takei, saying, “I’m not worthy.”
There will be several more Democratic debates and the producers of the telecast should invite Collis to be the backdrop and give us all some unifying eye candy.