ViPN733BOONE, NC – Today the Appalachian family is silent after one of its intramural treasures fell from grace.

In early 2011, Josh Watson began turning heads when he successfully maneuvered from Rankin Science West to East Hall without taking his eyes off of his phone. Passersby were stunned by his firm footing despite his apparent disregard for his surroundings.

In the spring of the following year, the sophomore biology major gained county fame when he performed an awe-inspiring pilgrimage from Walker Hall all the way to Stick Boy, navigating through snowdrifts and treacherous black ice while texting his mother.

“He didn’t hesitate at all, it was like watching someone walk normally… simply inspiring,” said Becky Taylor, a witness who is also an avid texter, “I hope to be like Josh someday.”

Unfortunately for Becky, it seems most of Josh’s impressive abilities may stem from his genetics. After seeing his story reported on WCNC, a group of elite scientists at the National Institutes of Health were perplexed by the student’s talent and studied him extensively.

According to the principal investigator, Josh’s eyes contain abnormally high levels of cone cells dispersed throughout his retinas that significantly improve his peripheral vision.

The scientists at the NIH strongly discourage others from attempting to replicate Josh’s behavior since his genetic mutation is very rare and people who are not Josh could get seriously injured or die.

Last fall, Josh was awarded Appalachian’s first, and yet highly esteemed, “Unseeing Hero,” honor for his brave efforts. “I don’t know if the rest of my life will be able to compete with this moment!” shouted Josh, over the thunderous applause at the award ceremony.

It was a dark moment today when this award was stripped from Watson after he reportedly, “tripped on a step in front of Anne Belk Hall and fell face-first into an un-named colleague’s [behind].”

The initial snickers quickly turned to tears as the Boone community realized it lost its true claim to fame.

Watson refused to comment on this tragic development in his otherwise flawless story.

~ Piece Contributed by Travis Tabor ~