There was a time when football's "silly season," A.K.A. that period between the Champions League Final and the Premier League's opening day when no matches of consequence are played (at least if you ask your friendly neighborhood Eurosnob) and news publications are given free license to write just about anything regarding transfers, so long as they attribute it to a source placed close to the club or players in question, even if that source is a takeout curry place near the training ground, seemed like a measurable length of time.
What used to neatly wrap itself up in weeks or months now feels like a U.S. presidential election, with big names tossed around years in advance and a never-ending media onslaught sweeping up just about everyone who's paying attention before ending in inevitable disappointment for millions of supporters and Arsene Wenger getting a new contra---
Sorry, where was I again? Oh yes, transfer season hype.
Not that many of us are old enough to remember, but there was probably a time when fans patiently waited for a newspaper, or a club newsletter, or a breaking radio broadcast, or other archaic things our grandfathers told us about to let them know who'd gone where and how much they cost.
Now we are inundated with transfer gossip, and nobody's quite sure when "This Summer's Top 10 Free Agents"-type articles were pushed from May to March and January before morphing into "Next Summer's Top 10 Free Agents" around September.
Just as the press have capitalised on the window, so have clubs themselves, quickly becoming new media savvy in an era where Twitter followers and Facebook fans are prized by some sponsors even more than trophy cabinets.
Under the right circumstances, a transfer announcement - or even its nostalgically attractive cousin, the contract extension - can become a powerful tool used to garner headlines, drive season ticket sales, and sell shirts.
But with the faucet of information now a perpetual series of geysers (half of which are spurting out raw sewage), social media teams across the world have been forced to develop increasingly audacious content in order to bring in those ever-crucial retweets, shares, and upvotes.
When clubs get it right, it's a moment of levity that help these endless summer days pass that much faster. But if they always got it right, you wouldn't be scrolling down, would you?
BURNLEY - JACK CORK
The Premier League side, who are currently training in Dublin, decided to announce the return of midfielder Jack Cork by sending a hired car Cork, Ireland. Because that's surely where the Englishman, who vice-captained Swansea City last season, was waiting for them.
This is the epitome of a marketing manager asking "hey, can anyone bang this out today?" rather than "Jack Cork's back, can someone load up the usual transfer video template?"
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 late Ubers
ASTON VILLA - JOHN TERRY
This awkward clip, likely produced by someone hired through Fiverr competitor Twoferr, makes Terry's bizarre curtain call at Stamford Bridge look tasteful by comparison.
Perhaps new Aston Villa owner Tony Xia came up with the idea himself after he realized that with the club already expected to go millions of pounds in the red, there wasn't any room in the budget for anything better.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Steve Buscemis
AS ROMA - CENGIZ UNDER
Normally the announcement of a 20-year-old Turkish attacker might not turn many heads, even when it comes from one of the Serie A's top clubs. But Roma's creative team caught everyone's attention on Sunday with their satirical masterpiece:
The music, filters, on-screen text, inconsistent watermarks, stock Windows Movie Maker transitions, and accompanying tweet all immediately evoke a Time and a Place - if that time is Now and that place is YouTube, the home of a million Lionel Messi Best Goal Compilations and counting.
Much like a good Weird Al Yankovic song (they're all good, of course!), this video hits that sweet spot at the intersection of pitch-perfect parody and wry meta-commentary on the nature of 21st century football fandom.
Honourable mention goes to Roma's eSports team, who celebrated Under's arrival by having his virtual avatar give the corner flag a Glaswegian kiss:
Rating: 5 out of 5 channel subscriptions
SOUTHAMPTON - STUART TAYLOR
The 36-year-old journeyman has served as a backup netminder for some of the Premier League's most well-known clubs, a position that requires a lot of preparation, patience, patience, more patience... and of course a sense of humor, as seen here:
The only way this could have been improved any further would have been a Don LaFontaine cameo. In any era where too many social media teams can easily be accused of trying too hard, it's nice to see both club and player poke a bit of fun at themselves before winking at the camera.
Rating: 720° no-scope
DISHONOURABLE MENTION - ARSENAL PADDLE TO CHINA
Is this a transfer announcement? No. But it is possibly one of the most inept plugs for an Asian tour ever created.
One gets the idea that the players weren't really given any direction and didn't even want to be there in the first place. And then, after the season ended, they were asked to do the most Chinese thing the ad agency intern could think of short of pulling their eyelids back for a group photo. Which, on aggregate, may have been slightly less awkward than the rest of their China tour promo.