Friday, September 18, 2015

New Age Sports Highlights

How Vine, GIF's, Twitter and Facebook revolutionized sports highlights as we know it.

  With social media participation reaching new peaks, so have the amount of times people (like myself) have watched and re-watched delicious goals like the one below.

One might not think twice at the luxury we have to recount moments like these and I reiterate this from a millennial perspective. Not too long ago we had to settle for replays on the television and before the DVR that was agonizingly annoying.

What social media facets have provided is a proactive way for us to engage with sports highlights. Whether it be for comical reasons, downright hate, or exuberant glorification—it offers us something we've never had.

In my early teen years I used to struggle to find Youtube clips of Kobe's sick dunk or some unreal Randy Moss catch, solely because of Youtube infringement laws. Today with apps like Vine and formats like GIFs that can be accessed via Reddit, we are able to see these replays and share them easily onto bigger platforms like FacebookTwitter, InstagramBlogger etc. Not to mention, the quality of videos is much, much better—as opposed to looking like it was shot with a toaster.

Considering how convenient all this is to sports' purists across the globe, one must admit that these gadgets offer quite a sneaky way to evade copyright laws. Even if they do eventually get taken down, (which for the most part they don't) it usually takes ages. I genuinely believe this is one of the bigger up-sides we have today.

The personalization that is offered through these platforms is also another immense aspect of why this is all so remarkable. One can capture a thunderous kick to the face from Anderson Silva and synchronize it to a Diplo beat within a couple strokes of ones' mouse. With these tools; sports reels are no longer only appealing to visual pleasure but also an auditory aspect as well and one can captain that sensory delight.

I know for a fact if all these sports highlights were taken off the web tomorrow, a huge ache would tremble through todays trendy social media. Let's enjoy it while it is here.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


   Controversy in football is inevitable—on the world's biggest stages like the World Cup or even the Champions league, politics will always play a heavy role.

We have to face it referees are humans and even though there is a distinct bunch who think they're perfect—unfortunately no one is. Mistakes happen and they loom in every game from maybe a small yellow card that should have been given to a massive penalty that should have not been awarded. Some of these mistakes have heavy tolls on the beautiful game, some being more drastic than others. It is safe to say that in terms of controversy the CONCACAF never fails to surprise. 

I personally watch the odd MLS game here and there, maybe a Liga MX match when the time is right. I'm always left with the notion that this region of the world lacks the proper officiating and security to make the game as laudable as it is in many other parts of the world. Everyone knows this too, analysts and fans alike constantly bash this federations horrid structure and rightfully so. 

I feel most for the first time watchers—mind you soccer in America is reaching popularity points that we only dreamed of five years ago. For them to witness how bad the CONCACAF holds reign over their games is a huge turn off, sometimes even for a dedicated sports aficionado like myself.

Imagine seeing fans bombard players with bottles and drinks? What does it portray when we have supporters fighting each other in the stands? What message does that send to fathers who plan to take their sons to see the wonderful sport?

We need to do better.

This is why other federations with a richer footballing embodiment look down on this part of the world. Not to say that they're saints either (especially in light of the recent FIFA scandals), but is this really the way this sport should be "cleaned up"?

Something must be done and soon.

I say soon because in light of last nights match between Panama and Mexico, I witnessed arguably the nastiest football scenes in my short-lived soccer fandom (next to the recent Boca/River bonanza that took place this year as well). It's sickening, it absolutely is. To have a 10 man team minutes away from a heroic and historic win, have that accomplishment stripped away by bad officiating (not once but twice) is just a disgrace. As the years go by it becomes clearer that CONCACAF favors it's big market teams. Be it a myth or not, the evidence is becoming more in favor for the latter. For two terrible calls to be made in a game, following a previous game with another gift is laughable. Analysts, fans, coaches and players all agree that the recent officiating has been dreadful:

Above I listed the unanimous tweets from a few of the well-respected football faces of the world—just from last night mind you and one from the previous match. This has become a trend spanning throughout the tournament.

Just for the record this hasn't been the only mishaps in recent fixtures in the Gold Cup, sadly it's become a tendency. It's been a rarity to have a game in this region where the referees are not a talking point and that's never a feat to be proud of.

In my personal views, I dream of the day we have a CONCACAF team rise to glory in global competitions—fair and square. With the recent fiascos amongst this said confederation we are only taking steps backward.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lakers 2014-2015: Diamond in the Rough

   With the 46th pick in the second-round of the NBA draft, the Washington Wizards selected Mizzou point-guard Jordan Clarkson. Later trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers for cash considerations.

Jordan Clarkson (via
The 6-4 red-shirting junior was a highly lauded prospect, that so luckily (for the Lakers) went unnoticed in the draft. Mitch Kupchak and his staff knew they had a steal in their hands, claiming that Clarkson had first-round value.
"His development was slow in summer league and training camp," said the Laker's GM. "But to Jordan's credit from day one he embraced the opportunity and got better, and better as the season progressed"(Lakers.)
As the New Year began it became clear what the Lakers' season was going to look like. With many players sidelined and really no other substitute, Byron Scott finally started playing Clarkson more routinely. JC was playing on and off with the Lakers' D-League partners; the D-Fenders, and was consistently dominating the opposition. Putting up efficient numbers, averaging 23 points and 8 assists while shooting 50% from the field (D-League.) As soon as he bursted onto the scene in the NBA, he showed no fear and quickly became a fan favorite among Angelino's. His scoring abilities were what really shined bright in the Purple and Gold, and as the season progressed he became a better playmaker in the process. In 59 games, Jordan Clarkson averaged 12 points and about 4 assists under limited minutes. After proving his worth, his minutes were bumped up and now his latest career highs are 30 points and 11 assists (NBA.)

It's no secret that Clarkson has a bright future ahead of him. When asked what he plans to do this offseason he does not know where to begin.
"Everything," said Jordan, "One big thing I want to work on is my leadership and also my body, adding more muscle"(Lakers.)
Kobe Bryant and Jordan Clarkson (via OCRegister)
At a fairly young age, the traits of an all star in-the-making are clearly visible. JC has the grit and ambition to surpass many peoples' expectations, again. This summer he is said to spend hours with veterans, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. Not bad company for a 22-year-old.

Jordan Clarkson's contract ends in 2016 and one is inclined to believe that the Lakers will want to hold on to him for dear life. He has the potential to be a franchise corner-stone and with a couple of solid pieces around him, the revival of Los Angeles Laker basketball would be imminent. Last summer, Clarkson knew he'd have a chip on his shoulder when he was drafted in the second round. This summer, the only chip on his mind will be a golden one.

Jordan Clarkson 2014-2015 Highlights (via: NBALakersNation)