My blog for this week: After a stunningly awesome trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3 this weekend, check out my breakdown of all the awesome things from this new trailer!
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
My blog for this week: After a stunningly awesome trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3 this weekend, check out my breakdown of all the awesome things from this new trailer!
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
My year with the Boston Red Sox has been very special
THEY DID IT!
After defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 on Sunday, the Boston Red Sox reclaimed their throne on top of the entire world with a 4-1 World Series victory!
For me, this year was heavily involved with the Boston Red Sox. This year marked the rebirth of my love for baseball.
Let me tell you my story about how the 2018 Boston Red Sox season truly affected my life.
It begins in October of Last Year.
I knew the Sox needed to make moves after the disappointing Divisional Series exit last October to the eventual 2017 champions, the Houston Astros.
They began their off-season almost immediately. They fired John Farrell and signed the 2007 World Series champ with the Red Sox, Alex Cora.
Cora was just a bench coach for Houston and clearly had World Series experience both as a coach there and as a player with the Red Sox. I liked the move at first solely because it meant John Farrell was gone.
Then, the Yankees signed Giancarlo Stanton, the 2017 NL MVP and Home Runs leader, in December of 2017. I thought, well, there’s no way they have a chance now.
But, in February, just as the Sox are getting ready to start Spring Training, they signed JD Martinez. At that point, Martinez was the only other MLB player other than the Angels’ Mike Trout who had batted .300 with 125 homers and .550 slugging.
This was an incredible move. One that I thought the Red Sox truly needed to make in order to possibly move past the Divisional Series this year. If not, at least the Red Sox-Yankees series’ might actually mean something this year.
The Red Sox started their winning season with the best Spring Training record in the majors: 22-9. For all those that say Spring Training doesn’t matter, Alex Cora disagrees. He invited the players over to his house before the year started and there, a World Series championship was discussed.
After their Spring Training “championship,” the Sox began their regular season on March 29 and jolted out of the gate with a 17-2 starting record.
In their 20th game, the Sox were playing the Oakland A’s. As it was still really early in the season, I hadn’t watched too many of the games. Location restrictions also prevented me from doing so too but let’s not get into that because streaming exists.
Anyway, that night on April 21, I watched an entire Red Sox game for the first time this season. They got friggin’ no-no’d by Sean Manaea. The Sox dropped to 17-3 and I was appalled.
I felt personally responsible for the loss and the no-hitter against the Sox, but I had fun watching it. I thought “Hey, I hadn’t watched a full regular season game that actually mattered in a long time.” I noticed that my baseball watching habits were only present when it got to be August-October.
Watching the Red Sox getting 0 hits that night made me want to actually start watching more and get back into my love for baseball.
It was around this time I started listening to the Section 10 podcast, a Barstool Sports podcast all about the Red Sox.
This podcast helped me stay on track with every single Red Sox game this season and I’m so happy I started listening to it. By hearing Jared Carrabis at least twice every week, I stayed up to date with the team and I got so excited about all things Red Sox.
I was getting scoring updates to my phone and my Twitter had started to become invaded with Red Sox content. All the way through until now, the Red Sox have dominated my Twitter timeline.
My love for the game was growing again.
It was also around this time where I was getting interviews for internships. Actually, I wasn’t getting any interviews at all.
That was until I got in touch with Dan Rea, the GM of the Pawtucket Red Sox. This team being, of course, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
Thanks to my Uncle Bill Stewart III, I got an interview with Mr. Rea mainly because my Uncle Billy was his hockey coach in high school and had helped Mr. Rea a lot in school.
I didn’t just get the job because of that family connection. I got it because I worked hard and I looked good on paper. I still had to impress in the interview and I guess I did because I got the internship.
I spent my summer in Boston and Pawtucket working for the Red Sox organization and I’ve never had a greater experience in my whole life.
I got to be close with the organization as they continued to win and win and win and win again.
I was still listening to Section 10 and working every day. I was having so much fun with nothing but baseball on my mind.
Here are some of my pictures:
Me at Fenway
Me and Red Sox Hall of Famer, Fred Lynn.
Me and PawSox co-workers Aaron Weisberg along with Alyssa Hajos, Karen Zenteno and Sabriya Chaudhry dressed as Princesses.
Me and PawSox co-worker Andrew Ciechanowski dressed as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars” night
Me and co-worker Luke Chiasson arm-and-arm with 2004 Boston Red Sox pitcher and World Series Champion, Bronson Arroyo.
Me with PawSox mascots, Paws and Sox.
Me back in CoMo wearing Pawtucket Hot Wieners gear to help promote the team’s name change on August 16.
I have so many more memories from this summer than I do photos.
To my co-workers that I don’t have pictures with: Addie Afonseca, Alex Hale, David Brake, Jacob Madsen, Jean-Manuel Martinez, Joe “K-Joe” McNamara, Kelly McGarry and Tommy Sullivan, I simply couldn’t have asked for better people to work with. You guys were amazing and made this season special all on top of the World Series! Thank you!
From Mr. Rea and management to all my friends who were the mascots, to the people who I just head-nodded at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, thank you. It was an absolutely incredible summer and I’ll never forget it, ever. Most of the reason why I fell in love with baseball again was because of the PawSox and all of the people I worked with. I can’t stress that enough.
I learned so much about the team and the operations in baseball. I also learned that I want to spend the rest of my life working in baseball and I’m going to do my best to make sure I will.
I know I paused the Red Sox story to get into my sentimental PawSox bits, but let’s pick up where I know it’s good.
It does help that I was living at my Uncle Billy’s, a mere 30ish minute drive to Fenway. The stadium that kept seeing magic over and over again this season. This, too, helped me fall in love with the game and the team again.
They just kept on winning. You’d better believe that since I was in Boston and not Missouri, I watched or attended every single game the Red Sox played.
Then, by the time summer was over and I did have to leave the Northeast, I continued to stream and watch every Sox game.
So let’s run through a few of my favorite moments!
6/30 Sox blank Yankees 11-0 to take back a lead in the AL East
7/12 Mookie’s Time to Party Grand Slam
8/2-8/5 Red Sox sweep Yankees and take commanding 9.5 game lead of the AL East
That series was the biggest regular season moment for me. It felt like playoff baseball and the Sox killed them. There was no way the division would be let up after that.
So, the Red Sox finished the regular season with a 108-54 record. The best record in franchise history and a record great enough to clinch Fenway throughout the playoffs. They’d be starting the playoffs as a heavy favorite but their road was seemingly tough.
They played the Yankees in the Divisional Round. And after they split Games 1 and 2 at Fenway, Aaron Judge was seen and heard leaving Fenway with a boombox over his shoulder playing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”
The Red Sox outscored the Yankees 20-4 over the next two games and won the Divisional Series in 4. Red Sox 2B Brock Holt hit the first cycle in MLB Postseason history during Game 3 and that certainly helped break the backs of the Yankees and their fans.
With all of the bulletin board material that Judge and NY’s GM Brian Cashman had provided, the Red Sox-Yankees series finally felt like a rivalry again. One I could enjoy as an adult.
Of course I remember 2004. But I was 7. The context of the rivalry didn’t really hit me then. It has now. Destroying them in August and in October made this season worthwhile as a fan already.
Not to mention Giancarlo Stanton struck out 6 times and only had 4 hits with 0 HRs in the DS. And this was the man and the team I feared in December. Psh….
After destroying the Yankees and taking Cashman’s “Do Damage” slogan as their official playoff slogan, the Sox moved on to a tougher test in the ALCS. The defending champion Houston Astros.
The team that ended Boston’s season last year but the team that also began my reignited fandom in the Red Sox.
Jackie Bradley Jr. was a god in this series. He was JBJesus and the ALCS MVP. Let’s not forget his Grand Slam:
But, this ALCS series can be summed up with one other play:
Andrew Benintendi broke the backs of the Houston Astros on that catch. The Sox took a 3-1 ALCS lead on that catch and they never looked back.
Due to the fact that Astros 3B Alex Bregman hit that ball, it made it even more special. The Astros didn’t learn from the Yankees’ trolling mistakes.
Bregman posted an Instagram video trolling Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi prior to Game 3 of the series. The video showed he and his Astros teammates blasting Eovaldi for 3 HRs while he was a member of the Rays earlier this season.
Eovaldi dominated the Astros and so did David Price.
Price, a LHP who’s struggled in the postseason throughout his entire career, started two games against the Astros. After leading the only loss the Red Sox took against the Yankees, Price had people worried.
I wasn’t in the slightest.
I’ve worn this shirt for every start Price has made all season:
Hell, I’m wearing it now. Want to know why? Because David Price is good. He got his first postseason victory in Game 2 of the Astros series. He clinched the ALCS in a dominating Game 5 performance.
Not to mention his World Series Game 5 effort. David Price is SO GOOD. And now He’s a World Series Champion! I’ve supported him to Hell and back throughout the entire season and now, he’s silenced his critics.
Just please, watch this and try not to get emotional:
Look, I can’t go too in-depth with the World Series. The Red Sox utterly dominated the series. If it wasn’t for that stupid 18-Inning Game 3, the Sox would’ve swept.
Though, this was how I felt after Game 3:
They came back from it. They won the next two games in dominating fashion. I mean, scroll through my Twitter after the above tweet.
The best part about the World Series was probably the final out. Red Sox LHP and Ace Chris Sale came in to close the game. Alex Cora defined himself as a players’ manager all season and he continued that in the playoffs when he kept putting starters in the bullpen.
Sale got through two guys. Then, he struck out that douchebag Manny Machado.
It speaks for itself. There are so many great moments I’m definitely missing, but they all lead to this:
Now, after 1800 words, we can celebrate.
It’s been such a long season. But it’s a season I’ve followed and have been a part of every step of the way.
It’s been so much fun to fall in love with baseball again and it was epitomized with this team; the team I’ve loved since I was literally a baby (Yes, this is me):
Pure delight came to me last night when Manny Machado struck out. This incredible season came to an end in the right way: A Championship Way.
My love for baseball is back and it came back alongside this blooming beauty of a Red Sox season.
I was supposed to be writing about Trauma Reporting this week, so let me report some Trauma:
Yankees, dusted. Dead.
Astros, dusted. Dead.
Dodgers, dusted. Dead.
Red Sox, CHAMPIONS.
Though some situations were incredibly stressful, the Red Sox only lost 3 postseason games. They won this World Series with ease because they’ve been the best team in baseball all year.
I’m so glad that it was this year.
My year with the Red Sox. It’s just been unbelievable.
My night last night was topped, not when the Sox won the World Series, but when I got featured on the MLB’s Snapchat story with this video:
The MLB censored me. But, I got on a National snap-story that was only featuring snaps from LA, where the Sox won, and Boston.
This was an honor for the ages. It’s got over 100,000 views now. My season with the Red Sox capped off on a national scale for everybody to see, including the Red Sox themselves!
Now, to complete my celebration, I’m flying out to Boston to attend the parade on Wednesday!
I just needed the time to get away from work and school in order to celebrate with my team. It just feels right.
I leave you off with the theme that powered this team to a 119-57 record this year and that powered me into falling in love with baseball all over again.
“It’s Time to Party!” LET’S GO RED SOX!
I’ve got a new challenge.
So, at the very beginning of this semester, oh, 10 whole weeks ago. TEN. Isn’t that nuts?
Well, anyway, in my first blog returning from a writing hiatus, I admitted that this whole year was going to be very hard.
This year’s craziness is forcing me to stop podcasting and it’s putting a huge stake in my YouTube video production. That part still holds true, unfortunately.
However, I thought that the main cause to this year’s craziness was going to directly link to written reporting for my classes. This isn’t the case. It still very well could be, but I’ve got a new challenge that doesn’t relate to written reporting at all.
This week, I register for my classes for next semester. Spring 2019: My Final Semester as a college student. Not one of the classes I have in my enrollment shopping cart is a writing intensive course.
I’ve definitely fallen out of love for written reporting and I haven’t exactly hidden that. So, I’ve been trying to focalize my final semester as a journalism student around multimedia journalism and emerging technologies in journalism.
In doing so, I’ve found myself doing more strategic communications work than print journalism and I’m thrilled.
But, when I tried to sign up for one class, multimedia sports journalism, I was held up from receiving a permission number for the course. The professor of the course interviewed me about my video editing capabilities.
If you read this blog and follow my YouTube page, you’ll know full well that I do pretty well at editing video. But, where I lack experience in editing video is in a news format. My hinderance lies in being a print journalism student for the last two years.
I won’t be very far behind but I’m taking this class without too wide of a base beneath me in news video editing. The course certainly isn’t for beginners.
The professor stressed this and asked me to convince him why I should get a permission number for the course.
I didn’t back down and I promised success.
My passions lie way more in multimedia work than they do in print journalism nowadays. I promised I wouldn’t fall behind. My work ethic and my passion wouldn’t allow it. My base in multimedia journalism isn’t wide but my passion for it is. I told him I’d do everything and anything I possibly can to make sure he wasn’t making a mistake.
He’s allowing me to take the class. I’ve got a brand new challenge because someone’s taking a chance on me.
I’m very excited about this specific opportunity and for my overall schedule next semester. I get to prove myself and it’s in my final semester of college.
During my reporting class last week, a visitor came to give a “master class” for journalism students. During this period, the guest gave advice to young journalists.
The one that stuck out to me most was: Don’t lose yourself, your voice or your passions. Life is going to try to make you lose all 3. Journalism acts as a way to not let it.
I’m definitely taking this opportunity to prove myself because I get to show myself for what I truly am. I don’t have to drag ass along and pretend to be enjoying myself. I’m determined to remain myself and to work hard to ace this class along with all my others next semester.
In doing so, I’ll have a degree in my hands and a personal achievement.
I can do it. I’ve even got some homework for this class already. So, I’m going to get started on that!
And now, this song is stuck in my head because it relates to my situation today….kinda. Wish me luck and enjoy the song!
This blog needs no reply
I feel very light-headed and tired at the moment. The only thing keeping me going is the PB&J sandwich I just ate.
The way I make PB&Js should be the only way to make this godlike sandwich. I learned from my dad. He makes triple decker PB&Js so that’s the way I make them.
First, you put peanut butter on one slice of bread. Then, on another slice of bread, you spread jelly, preferably grape. Then, you slam those two together.
On top of those two, spread peanut butter on one of the open faces. Then, take your final slice of bread and spread more jelly on that. Slam those together and voila, the greatest sandwich of all-time.
I think Communists eat PB&Js with the crust on. I refuse to eat PB&J with the crust still on. My dad cut the crust off for me and now I cut the crust off of my sandwiches.
If I’m having any meat and cheese sandwiches, the crust remains on my bread. It’s only the PB&J where I refuse to eat the crust.
It’s just not good. A PB&J is a quick and easy sandwich that’s also very sweet while being somewhat nutritional for you. Because it’s sweet, I don’t need the poopy crust on there. I think the crust throws off the equilibrium of the peanut butter and jelly.
That’s why Uncrustables are awesome. The crust stinks and I’m glad Smuckers recognizes that. (Their lone fault is that they’re not homemade.)
Alongside my PB&J, I had a serving of Doritos. For whatever reason, Doritos taste better when eaten alongside a PB&J. There are just some foods that work together and the PB&J with a side of Doritos is at the top of the list for me next to steak and mashed potatoes and burgers and fries.
Look, it’s really hard for me to come up with content for a blog when the class I’m supposed to be writing the blog for hasn’t really started yet.
This blog is supposed to be about my experiences in reporting again but, I don’t start reporting until December. So, for now, I just have to write a blog once a week.
It probably should be about the class itself, but we’ve watched a movie in class the last two periods. We also talked about science journalism.
I don’t give a shit about science journalism.
Do I think it’s necessary? Yes. I’ve never been more afraid of climate change than I am at this moment because of some great science and environmental reporting.
But, learning about it at 9:30 in the morning really just kills me. It sucks. As a sports journalist, my journalism reporting classes have never really specified a week to talk about sports reporting.
It may be selfish of me to want a week of class dedicated to sports journalism. But, if we can have a week dedicated to science journalism and trauma reporting, I think we could squeeze in room about sports reporting.
Here’s the part where I turn a nonsensical blog into a worthwhile one:
As a sports journalist, I feel I must bring light to some sports talk in each blog that I do. I’ve done that so far, so I’m going to continue.
The last time I wrote, I was complaining about David Price shitting the bed in Game 2 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees.
Since then, the Sox have advanced to the ALCS and are playing a very daunting opponent in the Houston Astros.
Last night in Game 2 of the ALCS, Price didn’t do that shitty. He let up 4 runs. 2 of which were on a bomb by Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez.
The other 2 came after a ball that would’ve been a routine out, squeezed past the solid Red Sox shortstop, Xander Bogaerts.
Xander is awesome. But, two of Price’s runs fall on him. I’m sorry.
The great thing about last night though: the Red Sox tied the ALCS at one game apiece.
Now, Nathan Eovaldi, who I begged to have a great game in my last blog, had an outstanding outing in Game 3 of the ALDS. In which, Eovaldi pitched through 7 innings and kept the Yankees at bay while the Red Sox offense proceeded to crush the Yankees, 16-1.
I need the same thing out of Eovaldi tomorrow night in Game 3 of the CS. Then, it’s Ricky “Porch-lights” Porcello in Game 4. Then probably Chris Sale again in Game 5.
Sale literally, just now, got released from Mass General Hospital with a stomach illness. So:
BREAKING NEWS RIGHT WHEN I WAS WRITING THIS!
Chris Sale got roped a bit during Saturday’s Game 1. I hope that was on part of the stomach illness that was ailing him. I’m just glad it’s not his shoulder.
He’ll be back with the team and the Red Sox have new life in this series.
I’m also very happy from a football standpoint that Tom Brady is still the GOAT and handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss yesterday.
So, that’s it. That’s my blog about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Well, I’ll tell you why
Over the weekend, this huge burst of light was seen over Los Angeles and only a small amount of people were talking about it.
Images like these were taken and posted on Sunday night to Twitter. I feel like nobody’s talking about it at all.
The real reason nobody’s talking about it was probably because it was debunked by the LA Times to be Elon Musk and that god damned SpaceX program once again. This picture was in fact, a SpaceX flight and isn’t aliens.
But humble me for just a second. If this was aliens, they totally came to watch sports this weekend and tonight. Here’s why:
The Cleveland Browns won again on Sunday. This is just absolutely bananas. What could’ve happened was that these god damned aliens had money on the Ravens and then skedaddled because they couldn’t pay their bookie.
The Browns winning is throwing off order on Earth and in space.
The Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov fight was on Saturday night. The aliens may have come down to watch an awesome UFC 229 card and then scooted the eff-outta-here when Khabib jumped into the crowd after the fight.
I was rooting for McGregor, but you’ve got to give Khabib credit for submitting McGregor. The guy was 26-0 going into Saturday and he walked out 27-0, but with consequences. It somewhat tarnished a great fight night and could’ve scared people away from the UFC.
It’s a great sport and 229 was a huge fight for bringing in a massive audience to further the popularity of the sport. However, the post-fight garbage could affect the outreach of the sport to not only humans but to aliens. Maybe that’s why the aliens left on Sunday. Damnit Khabib.
These aliens might have also come down to watch a solid baseball playoff game and received an absolutely pitiful display of pitching on Saturday night by David Price. The Boston Red Sox lost 6-2 to the Yankees on Saturday night. Mostly because Price got absolutely shelled by Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez which led to Price getting yanked after 1.2 innings.
It sucks because the ALDS is even at 1 game apiece with the series headed to the frickin’ Bronx. It also sucks because instead of starting Rick Porcello in Game 3, the Sox are going with Nathan Eovaldi.
It may not suck because of this. Eovaldi has 0 earned runs against the Yankees this season and only 1 unearned run. But, it’s still the playoffs and it’s still scary.
I hope the aliens come back to watch Eovaldi. If not, Price may have pissed them off so much, they may come back to destroy us all. If that’s the case, I’ve got two things to worry about tonight: the Sox going down 2-1 and the vaporization of the human race.
On a real note, I’m just so nervous. Playoff baseball just fucking sucks sometimes. There are times, even on a World Series run, where you just feel like you’re going to vomit and die.
There’ve only been two games in this ALDS. TWO. I’ve lost some hair, sleep and years to my total life already. I’ve seen three Red Sox World Series wins in my time on earth though.
It’s kinda crazy that so much stress goes into this for me. As a Red Sox fan, I didn’t grow up with an 86-year-old curse. I’ve only known winning.
It’s not my fault for only being 21. I’ve just gotten lucky. But I shouldn’t be accosted for caring so much and wanting to watch this team continue to win.
Wish Eovaldi and the Sox luck tonight and wish me luck so that I don’t have a heart attack watching it.
If the aliens come back, I hope they can enjoy a Sox win tonight. And if not, start Earth’s destruction with the god damned Bronx.
Also, if you read this thoroughly, I was kidding about the god damned aliens. That’s the point. I don’t actually think aliens came down to earth this weekend.
I just needed a supernatural excuse for the crazy things that happened in sports over the weekend. Thanks.
The only difference between how a sports story is written now as compared to 1951, is the medium on which a piece is written
When considering the evolution of sports journalism within the last 70 years, one can’t help to also consider the culture that has changed around sports journalism itself. The way people consume news and information on a daily basis has certainly changed. With the advent of social media and 24-hour news networks, the average human is bombarded with more news and information that they barely even know what to with. Yes, technology and the countless amounts of mediums to receive news has affected the modern news consumption patterns of many.
However, what has remained consistent in sportswriting is the understanding of the beauty in words and sentences to tell a story. At the thicket of all the technological innovations that has morphed and adapted the way that mass audiences receive sports journalism, the one thing that remains the same is the ability to tell a story. Within the last 70 or so years, athletic competitions and the stories that make them memorable are two of life’s guarantees accompanying oxygen. Every single year (barring strikes and lockouts), athletes, fans and sportswriters fill arenas around the world to participate in unscripted drama. It’s the job of athletes to compete at a high level in athletic events. It’s the job of the fans to exaggerate the line between life and death as they filter their passion for their team and players during an athletic event. And it’s the job of the sportswriter to author a story involving the event, create a memorable account of a certain place in time and make that account available to mass audiences for a long time to come.
In order to peer closer at how sportswriting may have or haven’t changed within the last 70 or so years, two stories nearly 70 years apart can be analyzed for their similarities and differences. At the core, the writing in Red Smith’s 1951 story on Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” home run and the writing in Zach Berman’s 2018 story on the improbable Super Bowl LII victory by the Philadelphia Eagles both capture the emotion and impact of an athletic event. Despite the gap in time, the effectiveness of storytelling by both authors shows how the beauty of storytelling can transcend both time and the adaptation of technology.
Before taking a look at Smith’s memorable account of the dramatic finish between the Giants and Dodgers in 1951, insight into why Smith’s account is so memorable can be given some context. In a 2014 lecture on sports journalism, sportswriter Frank Deford emphasizes the difference between reporting and storytelling within sports journalism. He basically considers Red Smith to be the pacesetter for storytelling in sportswriting being more significant than simply reporting and covering an athletic event.
When considering Deford’s praise of Smith and his mastery of both capturing a memorable moment in sports history and authoring a memorable story recounting that moment, there’s more of a significant lore around Smith’s piece.
To begin his account of Game 3 of the 1951 National League Pennant playoff series, Smith leads with one of the most memorable ledes in the history of sportswriting.
“Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again.”
When reading this, it’s hard to tell that it’s even a lede about a playoff baseball game. However, Smith acts as a composer with his written work being a symphony of historic delight over a specific moment in time. Because it’s not a typical lede for a baseball story, Smith catches the eye by drawing people in with blatant curiosity. This lede provides an air of mystery that forces readers to read on.
What follows Smith’s lede is an anecdote about a drunkard storming the field during this cross-river playoff matchup. By continuing to write not too much about RBI, hits and other baseball stats, Smith entertains the reader with detail that one couldn’t possibly have known unless they attended the now-late Polo Grounds in New York City. Despite this game being the first nationally televised baseball game, Smith gives a detail that adds substance to his account. There’s beauty in substance. Smith’s commitment to the beauty of words guides the reader to the impactful moment of Bobby Thomson’s home run.
By the time Smith mentions the moment readers came for, a broader context and a prelude to the moment can be understood by mass audiences. By writing in the largest moment later on, Smith knows that readers want to get there. So he incites readers to continue reading so that by the time they get to the home run, they’ve gotten to follow along a journey of why that moment is so important.
From an anecdote about the pre-mature storming of the field, to a minor tale about players interacting during the game and all the way to the impact of “The Shot Heard Round the World,” Red Smith gives readers an impactful and memorable account of this Giants victory for generations to come.
Similarly to Smith, Zach Berman draws in the wandering eye of modern readers with a hard-hitting lede in his account of Super Bowl LII.
“This night will be remembered for decades in Philadelphia, when old friends reminisce about where they were on Feb. 4, 2018, and parents tell their children about the moment the Eagles won their first Super Bowl. They’ll remember when Doug Pederson called the trick play at the goal line, when Zach Ertz dove into the end zone in the fourth quarter, when Brandon Graham stripped Tom Brady of the ball, and when the greatest dynasty in NFL history fell to an improbable champion from Philadelphia.”
With this lede, Berman creates an impactful allure of impossibility. Berman addresses that the impossible became possible on Feb. 4, 2018 and by grazing the surface of the key moments that made the impossible happen, Berman forces readers to continue reading his account.
As a note on the changes in sportswriting, Berman does give more of the “who, what, where, when, why and how” more early on. Knowing that audiences may not read as long as they used to, Berman put the thicket of the moment earlier on in his article in contrast to Smith saving Thomson’s home run to the end of his article. Berman writes in an era where anybody with a blog or Twitter account can write a story about this game. So, he has to draw readers in a slightly different way than Smith.
However, what would follow in Berman’s article doesn’t differ too much from Smith’s story. Berman authors in the impact that the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory has amongst the city of Philadelphia and the fans of the franchise. He gives readers context into how the improbability of the moment created a spectacle that night in Minnesota.
Even if you aren’t an Eagles fan, you understand the impact of the moment. I’m a Patriots fan. Reading this brought back painful memories from that night. Berman’s writing still instilled memories within me and made me understand the impact from Philly’s side of things. After explaining how the improbable and nearly impossible was accomplished by the Eagles, Berman guides readers through the game and brings up key moments in the game and even from the halftime performance. Berman, exactly like Smith, is married to authoring a memorable story that makes the memorable moment an impactful account that can span generations. Most importantly though, Berman’s storytelling in this article helps him fall into Deford’s class of sportswriters. He makes himself a master storyteller and not just a reporter.
Overall, these two sportswriters tell impactful stories that emphasize the beauty of specific moments through the use of beautiful words. Although Zach Berman’s story was written in a time where a plethora of people have access to writing and reading about the same exact moment in his story, he draws readers in by committing to the ideals of great sportswriting. Red Smith helped create those ideals by committing to the beauty of words to define a specific moment by writing stories within his story. Despite writing nearly 70 years apart, both Smith and Berman effectively write stories that emphasize the beauty of both sports and sportswriting.
After a tiring day full of Kingdom Hearts 3 news, I’ve finished my breakdown of the brand new, “Big Hero 6” trailer from Tokyo Game Show 2018!
There’s so much information to talk about. Including: the trailer, Norted theories and the beautiful Box Art for KH3! I hope you guys enjoy!
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
I told you I’ll be back to do this! I’ll have a breakdown of the trailer later, but please enjoy my reaction from very early this morning to this brand new Kingdom Hearts III trailer!
I’M IN TEARS. THANK YOU SQUARE FOR THIS AMAZING TRAILER! There’s so much to work with here and my breakdown will be out soon!
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
There’s a decent anecdote about sourcing hidden in this
The Bears are on Monday Night Football right now. If you’re reading this blog and you’re wondering where my mind is at right now, it’s basically at Soldier Field in Chicago.
After the devastation of a loss last week, the Bears could use this win. Chicago could use this win. I could use this win.
I’ve already got a win from earlier today when the Patriots traded a fifth round pick to the Browns for a very talented receiver in Josh Gordon.
I’m also winning because there’s going to be a new Kingdom Hearts III between now and like, 10 AM tomorrow.
Why the uncertain times? Because Square Enix and Disney just like to mess with everyone.
They just said “tomorrow.” “Tomorrow” is today in Japan. Japan is where the big gaming conference, the Tokyo Game Show, is happening. So, I think they’re going off of Japan time. If they are, I will get very little sleep.
I’ll be damned if I miss the premiere of a new trailer, even it’s at 4AM CST (8PM Japan time).
Regardless, this is how everyone who follows the Kingdom Hearts series feels:
It’s also the 16th Anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts series today! On this day in 2002, my life and the lives of many other nerds were changed.
So, that’s pretty cool.
If you’re still reading, I still really haven’t found a subject to focus this blog on.
Sure, let’s go with that.
Because I want to make this blog as journalistically significant as I can, I’ll talk to you briefly about sourcing now.
Sourcing is very important for a quality, journalistic piece. Considering what’s going on at the New York Times right now and all that’s going on with Bob Woodward and Washington right now, you’re probably thinking, “How can these works be quality if they use anonymous sourcing?”
They can be with trust. Bob Woodward is a very trustworthy writer due to his past works involving Watergate. The op-ed piece is different because it supposedly came from the White House.
I’m not a politics guy. I do know that the anonymity of that piece is important because there’s more information to come.
If a source fears that their jobs, positions or their life may be harmed in the result of their information being released, anonymous sourcing is completely ok. This anonymous piece gives the author room to continue their work and reveal more about what’s going on in there.
Sources are the cornerstone of journalism regardless. The journalist exists to be the medium between the masses and the source. Journalists are the story tellers and the sources are the stories waiting to happen.
Get what I’m saying? Like, the Kingdom Hearts Twitter account didn’t tweet that tweet up there just so I could write a half-assed blog about it. I operate around the tweet as a story-teller and include it in my content so that the tweet itself reaches my audiences.
Sources can be easy or hard to find. Just make sure to be nice to people so that you always are on a good enough ground to call someone when you know that they can be a help to you.
It’s all about who you know; in all aspects of life.
Keep your sources close.
I’ll see you at 4AM or whenever the new Kingdom Hearts trailer drops.
A brief write-up on the significances and the insignificances of social media
As I said in my last blog, I have been doing little besides swinging through virtual New York City in Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4.
Legit, it’s the greatest game I’ve played this year. Above Fortnite. Granted, Fortnite is a massive game and is still the most popular game in the world. Therefore, it takes one helluva game to overtake its popularity.
Marvel’s Spider-Man has done that folks. It’s Amazing. Some would even say that it’s Spectacular. Others might even say that it’s Ultimate. (These are all different comic book iterations of Spider-Man and now I feel like it’s a wasted reference because I had to explain it.)
Anyway, this blog isn’t about gaming. Ok, there’s going to be some gaming mentioned. It’s hard to not to. Because today, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking to you about social media.
Social media has made the world a smaller place due to the simplicity of connecting people from all over the world onto one social hub. Within the last week, my social media accounts were peer reviewed for their professionalism and content.
I was graded well because I limit my social media posts. As a journalist, I need to stay in the middle on most things. Except, I can’t be in the middle about my video game habits nor about baseball and football. Knowing this, though, gives me an advantage.
If you followed me on Twitter, you’re going to see daily motivational posts, retweets and actual tweets related to gaming (mostly Kingdom Hearts) and then of course, ALL BOSTON RED SOX. Pretty soon, it’ll be all New England Patriots but baseball season is still in full swing.
Now, as an objective journalist, is it bad that I tweet and retweet so much about the Red Sox? Unless I had to work for the New York Yankees or interview a Yankees fan, no. I’m not currently tied to any organization that prevents me from doing so. As a matter of fact, I worked for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A affiliate of the Red Sox, this past summer. Some would say I’m just supporting my co-workers!
But really. Being in Columbia, Mo., there’s really not a big deal in tweeting so much about the Red Sox.
This is part of the reason why social media is so cool though.
I find myself being a fan of the Boston Red Sox but along with many others. You don’t have to be at the ballpark or near Boston to follow the team or the league. Other people can do that for you.
The best example is Barstool Sports reporter Jared Carrabis who consistently posts Red Sox game updates and also the best way to post Yankees losses.
Every single time the Yankees have lost this season, the Saugus Rocket has posted this video of Red Sox legend David Ortiz exclaiming “DAAAAA JANKEES LOSEEE!”
People are now even getting really creative with it:
Twitter is just so great. Reporting and connecting has never been easier for sports reporters.
You’ve got threads like these where hundreds of sportswriters who’ve made their mark in the BIZ giving out advice to up-and-comers like myself.
Sportswriting has thrived in the age of social media. Athletes use it as a medium to get the word out and whether you’re a team’s beat reporter or just a fan, you know exactly what the athlete says and what the athlete is doing.
You have highs of athletes and you have the lows:
For Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky, his lows came as like an eighth grader. But that’s why Twitter is so cool. You can just get anything from an athlete if they’re willing to share.
(I’m never going to talk about the Bears/Packers game from last night because it just hurt so much.)
Twitter’s made sportswriting a lot more accessible. Hell, it’s made all writing and reporting more accessible. That’s how most young people really find their news nowadays.
Anything from sports updates to journalists literally reporting the active shooting in their own newsroom. Journalists, just like everyone else, have means to connect and report to everyone on Twitter.
It’s just so good to have. It’s good to be aware. It’s good to know that big news can come at literally any time:
Like Kingdom Hearts III randomly having a random teaser trailer drop and a VR extension announcement at 4 AM. The connection and the reporting will never cease on Twitter and that’s why it’s great.
There’s also going to be a full-length, new Kingdom Hearts III trailer a week from today according to this tweet:
So, I’ll have to do a video breakdown for my YouTube channel for that trailer then. I can’t do today’s. There’s just so little time and it’s a teaser trailer. There will be more and I’ll cover it when there’s more to go off of, rather than just speculate.
YouTube is a good place for video game and movie trailers, music videos, TV shows, etc. to all show news. An underrated social media site for reporting if I’m being honest. But that can improve!
Facebook has turned into a pit for political speech and pictures of peoples’ babies. It’s not quite Twitter at all. It’s not as entertaining. The only reason I have it is to stay connected with my extended family and friends that I haven’t seen in a hot minute.
Plus, Facebook is dominated by mostly people around my parents’ age, reconnecting after years. For that reason, it’s very good. I like to keep my reporting off of there. It’s really just there to be like a “bubblegum Baseball card” for me. That’s it.
Facebook is a great place to share your works though. Considering a lot of your family members and friends are on there, you can get some traction on a web story.
Instagram is kinda the same way for me. It’s on private. I only post photos when I see something awesome or my friends and siblings have birthdays. That’s it. No need for my reporting there. However, it’s a great place for photojournalists to thrive.
That’s really about it for me.
Social media is really cool. It’s just such a great thing for journalism. As long as you’ve got a clean profile, it’s your medium to do as you please. Post Away!
I leave you with a post from Star Wars Prequel Memes, the funniest account on Social Media:
How supportive and manipulative nostalgia can be in all walks of life
In my previous blog, I mentioned how excited I am for the releases for several video games and movies. One of those titles is getting released at the end of this week.
That title being Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4.
This game is heavily anticipated by gamers and comic book readers of all ages. Me being part of that category, I have to take a step back and realize why I’m so excited.
I am a huge Marvel and Spider-Man fan. I’m also a huge gamer. But deep down, there’s another reason why I’m excited for this game.
On the original PlayStation 2, there were a few Spider-Man video games that had a punishing grip of my attention. Those games being the adaptations of Sam Raimi’s films Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. There was also Spider-Man on the PS1 that I played using my PS2 console. (Oh, backwards compatibility, you are sorely missed.)
Basically, I never finished those three Spider-Man games. I was between the ages of 5 or 6 at the time and I was still quite new to gaming. But also because these games were really hard anyway.
I remember specifically in the PS2 Spider-Man, there was this warehouse segment very early in the game. You, playing as a Peter Parker that just received his powers and not yet a cool superhero suit, have to navigate through hordes of armed thugs to escape the warehouse.
Watching this very slow, mechanized gameplay makes me feel nostalgic. I remember every single inch of that warehouse area. I remember the narrator’s voice and Tobey Maguire’s actual voicing of Spider-Man in the game.
What I don’t remember, however, is how easy this area was. Like I said, this part of the game was very early into it. By now, I’ve grown very experienced in video game playing.
I’d probably beat this entire game in a couple of hours if I played it today. Why does that make Spider-Man PS4 more appealing?
Because it’s finally a Spider-Man game I can fluidly play and have fun with. The way this new game is being hyped up, it’s supposed to rival the Batman: Arkham games as the greatest superhero video game ever.
With the incredibly high expectations set and my excitement through the roof, it’s time to analyze the deceiving role nostalgia can play in life.
Nostalgia can be your friend but it can also be your enemy. Nostalgia makes us feel young again and it can instill memories in us that we’d either forgotten or haven’t remembered in a long time.
Nostalgia is sometimes a sad feeling though. It’s a want for the present to be exactly like the past.
In life, the past tends to repeat itself a lot. However, in the repetition of the past, you become more and more numb to the root feeling of the memory. Thus creating an irreplicable standard for fun or happy memories.
Whether that be in video game playing, movie watching, article writing or picture taking, nostalgia can harm our greatest memories.
But it is nostalgia that sells. Nostalgia is an exploitable feeling.
If one can make people feel like they’ve been there before or generate a nostalgic feeling in people, they will go to lengths to feel that.
People will pay ridiculous amounts of money or do ridiculous things just to get that feeling they’ve had before.
It’s nearly toxic because, sometimes, that same-old feeling simply can’t be recreated. People just don’t realize that before it’s too late.
How do I make this journalism related? Well, here we go:
As a sportswriter, I’ve found quite a few issues I have with sportswriting itself that has kind of hindered my love for sportswriting itself.
Despite loving to write and sports separately, the world of sportswriting falls to one’s nostalgia frequently.
Opinion bleeds into fact and all of a sudden, we’re constantly bombarded with vicious “LeBron vs Michael” debates or “Brady vs Manning” arguments every day. Everybody in sports is eager to crown the next GOAT or so bitter in granting the GOAT title to anyone else because they’re holding onto the past.
But, people still tune into these shows every day. People still read these conflict-driven articles each day. As long as nostalgia or lack-thereof is involved, people will still buy into the conflict.
This is where nostalgia can be harsh. Some people are so conflict oriented that they forget the past completely and try to argue for the next great but some people are so tied to the past, they refuse to hear or see anything new.
The past sets the groundwork for lessons. It teaches us what’s right and what’s wrong. When we learn about nostalgia, we can learn what’s lasting and what’s lacking.
If there’s something that consistently makes you feel like a kid again, you should continue to do it. However, if somebody disagrees with your nostalgia or doesn’t understand, don’t rip them for their misunderstanding.
Nostalgia varies from person-to-person. If a person wants to forget the past or if they’re disappointed by the lack of enjoyment from nostalgia, that’s fine. Everybody grows away from something eventually.
I just hope for my own sake that Marvel’s Spider-Man instills good and happy memories alongside the destruction of nostalgia. I want to have fun swinging around New York and not have to remember virtual Tobey Maguire getting gunned down over and over in a warehouse.
What I can’t be too certain about other titles coming.
Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy isn’t even a brand new adventure at all. It’s a remastered version of the original three Spyro the Dragon video games that were originally released on PS1.
Will my experience suffer from nostalgia? Who knows. I’ll find out on November 16 when that gets released. Does Toys for Bob, the company who created the remaster, care if my experience is the same or different? Probably not. They’ve already got my money because I was sold on pure nostalgia.
I want to enjoy every minute of Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy. One thing it can’t do is make me 5-years-old again. I’ll just have to roll with the punches and go in with an open mind.
I didn’t want to write another video game-centric blog, but it just made sense to me. Video games do make me feel nostalgic. It’s easier to talk about in that sense.
It can be music, food, smells, etc.
Just keep an open mind about everything until you experience it. My views on Spider-Man, Spyro, journalism and photography aren’t ruined by nostalgia. There’s just an avenue for negativity with everything.
I just want my nostalgic feelings to be present when they can be but absent when I have a new experience to try. It’s easier that way.
You can find me locked away in my room come Friday. I’ll be swinging through virtual New York.
Writing for the sake of writing just to get back into a blogging habit
Hey there. I haven’t blogged in a while, which clearly means I haven’t vlogged on YouTube in a while because I post here every single time I make a video.
Which sort of stinks because I like doing YouTube videos, however, this semester and this year overall is about to be my hardest year of college yet. Being that it’s my last, it adds a sort of pressure to give up a lot of my free time to succeed.
I’m not a shut-in kind of guy. But I am the type of guy who’s not concerned with getting shitfaced every night of the week just because I’m 21 now. I’ve noticed this since I’ve been back to school.
My friends and I are all seniors and we’re all 21 now. Which means, everybody all of a sudden wants to do stuff and most of the time “stuff” involves alcohol. I like doing stuff, but I feel like I’ve never been this jammed in social traffic.
It’s nice to not be jammed in social traffic. It’s nice to steal away minutes and hours to just sit at my computer and either read or write. Regardless of wanting to go out or wanting to stay inside at my computer working, it seems I’ll need to spend more of my time at my computer reading or writing for school anyway.
I know the task at hand for me at the moment is to graduate on time. To graduate on time, I need to do anything and everything that’s required of me to succeed in all of my classes. Therefore, the keyboard is my friend more than my camera.
Unfortunately now, I have to be much more active on this blog writing and not vlogging or even podcasting. I just need to have my personal priorities straight.
It really is a bummer for me though because, this year is also one of the biggest years in gaming and film. There’re so many titles coming out that I’m beyond excited for.
For films, there’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Captain Marvel and Avengers 4.
This point stinks because podcasting for The Creatively Challenged Podcast has hit a standstill as it is. But the work that this year requires of me disallows a weekly film review podcast.
For gaming, it’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption II, Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy, Fortnite Seasons 6 & 7 all on PS4, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate along with Mario Party Switch all on Nintendo Switch.
No, I didn’t forget to mention Kingdom Hearts III.
Kingdom Hearts III is my most anticipated video game ever. I’ve been waiting for this game to come out for such a long time. It’s been 5 years in development time since Square Enix and Disney first announced the game. But it’s also been 12 years since the last numbered Kingdom Hearts title, the glorious Kingdom Hearts II.
I’ve literally never anticipated or waited for something for so long. Almost 2/3 of my life so far has come waiting for this game and it comes out on 1/29/19.
How will I keep my focus when that comes out? I have no idea. That’s a then problem. My now problem is that I’ll be swamped with work and the whole reason I started my YouTube page was to talk about gaming.
When my most anticipated game ever alongside other great titles are releasing and I’m not sure if I’ll have time to vlog about them, that bums me out.
I don’t want to make it seem like this blog post is all about me being bummed out, because it’s not.
I’m really excited to get this challenge started. I want to push myself to the limit because I know that the workload for the classroom this year will require that of me.
I apologize for the lack of content on my other channels and mediums. I hope everyone understands the reason behind my sporadic availability on those channels and mediums.
Now, I’ll end this blog with a small anecdote within this anecdote. I’ll call it Anecdoteception.
Anyway, there was this guy walking by me on the street the other night wearing Chunk’s shirt from The Goonies. It was literally Chunk’s shirt, same design and everything. I would not be unsure about something like this.
Naturally, I yell at this guy “DO THE TRUFFLE SHUFFLE!” I did not find this inappropriate at all. You can’t just go out in that shirt and not expect anyone to say that.
The guy just looked at me funny and kept walking. I forgot to mention also that I was standing in the line to get into a bar, at night. Columbia, Mo.’s finest typically posts-up outside the bars on Saturday nights like these.
An officer glared at me, after I yelled this and I felt a little scared. That officer and her partner began kind of walking around the entrance of the bar I was going into.
This completely threw off my night. Any want to go have fun and drink with my friends at the bar was gone because of the cops looking at me funny for referencing an ’80s film.
Could you imagine if life was like this though? I’m pissed that it threw off my night because there was literally nothing they could’ve done. You can’t get arrested or ticketed for quoting ’80s films.
“We’ve got this guy on quoting St. Elmo’s Fire, that’s 6-8 years in prison.”
Well, I think that’s a good place to wrap up. If you take anything away from this blog it’s this: if you go out wearing Chunk’s shirt from The Goonies, it’s socially acceptable to have a certain phrase yelled at you.
Welcome back to Average Yet Amazing Adventures, the blog.
The newest addition to my lightsaber collection is: The Saberforge MPP Mk. II: Darth Vader from “Empire Strikes Back!” Check out my unboxing and first impressions of the Sith Lord’s lightsaber!
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
Check out my podcast channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrVN…
After watching them a thousand times since early this morning, I’ve broken down both of the brand new Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailers!
Thanks to KH Insider for the News: https://www.khinsider.com/
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
Check out my podcast channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrVN…
We’ve seen a lot of gaming updates in the last week! Check out my thoughts on the new Nintendo Switch Labo as well as the brand new Harry Potter mobile game, Hogwarts Mystery.
Then, I dive into a leaker’s viewpoints on The World Ends With You on Switch and how they affect Kingdom Hearts III.
Additional Footage from TheGamersJoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOKcF…
Follow Me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
Check out my podcast channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrVN…
The End of Semester Check-Up
I’ve made it. Here we are, the second week of December. It’s Finals Week, stress is flying up and down, and many people are clinging to their sanity.
Let me say this folks: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi comes out tomorrow night. I’ve quit all social media (except this blog) to avoid spoilers. I’m that serious about this film.
You think I’ve let the whole semester build up to get worried about Finals? Hell. No. I’m way more worried about Rey and Luke Skywalker than I am about my English Final tomorrow.
Here’s the reality of the situation: I found out on Day 1 of this semester (the same day the Solar Eclipse beautifully saw totality over my campus) that The Last Jedi was on the same day as my final. I decided then that my grade better be as high as it can be so I can walk into that test knowing my lack of focus would be “ok.”
Many people will probably look at my attitude and think, “Wow, you’re a fool. How can you put aside a college course for a movie?”
And to them I say: I’m not. I’ve put my best efforts into this semester and the work I’ve done!
( I also say:)
Considering I have one exam, I can look back at the work I’ve done this semester.
In my other English class, I was able to work with a team of editors and put together a Class Book. The book entails the necessity for adaptations of classic literature to survive in the modern era. It was a lot of fun to edit and work with Adobe’s InDesign to put together a piece of art that has essays from classmates.
I also got to learn a lot about British Classic literature and their adaptations which is definitely knowledge I’ll take forward. The active learning environment mixed with great content allowed for me to keep my sanity.
Another class I took was a Film and Culture class. In the class, I learned about how food can represent so much more than hunger satisfaction in film.
The class reiterated a lesson from Remus Lupin that I’ll take to my grave:
Not only will eating make you feel better, but it can reignite memories from the past. Eating is a social construct that brings people together. The best silence in the world is when hungry people can sit with each other and just eat.
This class allowed for me to create my own film. It’s a 40 minute film. The amount of time it would take to upload it to WordPress would be crazy.
I’m sorry I can’t share it with you. But, I documented Sunday Family Dinners that my roommates and I would create and then serve to friends. It’s an unusual event for college students, but I think it’s a necessity for togetherness over a great meal.
Documenting these dinners and learning why they’re important not only allowed for fun but it too allowed me to keep my sanity this semester.
I’d be crazy to not mention my journalism accolades.
This semester saw the beginning of my real-world journalism career. I got to work for the Columbia Missourian and become a beat writer for the University of Missouri volleyball team.
Attached to the newspaper work, I was in a lecture that normalized the world of journalism to us newbies. Participating in discussions about journalistic ethics, sharing my experiences, and hearing the stories of others have all added to my journalism knowledge.
Being able to manage my time in the newsroom as well as talk about journalism, all added in to my ability to (barely) keep my sanity this semester.
The only class I’ve left is the English class I have to take an exam for on Star Wars Day. I learned plenty about American Literature from the Civil War until the Cold War.
Participating in this class allowed for me to extend my knowledge on American literature and the history of our country. It also assisted in my time management improvement this semester.
Now, all I have to do is briefly recall some Walt Whitman poems from the American Civil War and not confuse them with stolen battle station plans from the Galactic Civil War.
I trust myself to do between “alright” and “great” on the exam I have. If not, I won’t suffer.
Want to know why? Because all semester, I’ve worked really hard to keep my sanity in all of my classes. I’ve done well in them and have produced great works.
Each class contained knowledge that I know I’ll bring forward into the rest of my life.
But for now, I listen to Master Yoda:
Briefly, I will unlearn what I’ve learned behind the desk this semester and focus on Star Wars. The knowledge I’ve gained will come back to me but now, it’s time to focus on what really allowed me to keep my sanity all semester.
Because sometimes, the fate of the Far, Far Away Galaxy is more important
Well folks, as journalism is something that is very important to me, I must admit that the story of the Star Wars saga is almost as important.
When this new trailer aired during the Bears-Vikings game last night, I found myself more concerned with the wellbeing of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and the Resistance much more than the wellbeing of Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears offense. Which, being from Chicago, is a dangerous thing to say considering the Bears future lies on the shoulders of Trubisky.
Regardless, this trailer has a lot to unpack and I’m sure it concerns many other journalists in this galaxy or in a galaxy far, far away.
So, let us begin:
Firstly, this brand new poster was released yesterday afternoon and it began discussion of what could happen in the trailer. A lot is going on here and the thing that stuck out the most to me was Luke Skywalker’s face being half blue and half red.
Clearly, there are some implications there about where Luke stands on the Dark side and the Light side of the Force. It also adds context to Luke’s line from the last trailer where he says, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” Luke stands in the middle of whether he should or shouldn’t train Rey in the ways of the Jedi and the latest trailer shows us that. I’ll bring this back up later.
There’s also a heavy focus on Leia; something I’ll also bring back up later. Then, we also see a lot of Red and White in a vehicular battle on the new planet, Crait. Crait, according to director Rian Johnson, is “very remote. It’s uncharted. It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it. [There are some] beautiful design elements and I hope some really unique ones that we’re able to bring into it.”
And of course, we have an unmasked Kylo and other supporting characters (Poe, Finn, Captain Phasma) which again, I’ll bring up later.
Now, let me really begin:
Here, we see Kylo Ren observing the construction of First Order AT-STs and AT-ATs. For the uninitiated, AT-ATs are the robot camels from Empire Strikes Back and AT-STs are the two-legged ones (apparently non-Ewok resistant) from Return of the Jedi.
To many, this is unimportant, but in the next shot:
BOOM. Big-time front line of the First Order’s AT-ATs ready to fuck shit up on Crait. While this is going on, we receive narration from Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) about presumably, Kylo Ren. He says, “When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power; and beyond that, something truly special.”
We see quick flashes of Kylo and his troopers invading something that looks like a mine, so I’m going to assume it’s Crait. Then, we see a helmeted Kylo, which I’ll also assume is early on in the film, because later in the trailer, we see Kylo smash this helmet:
But, Snoke sounded like he was giving Kylo the lecture of a lifetime. He’s got to be chewing Kylo out for getting slashed in the face by an inexperienced Lightsaber dualist like Rey. Which, speaking of Rey:
PALE-BLUE GRAFLEX LIGHTSABER IGNITION FROM REY. Something I noticed during The Force Awakens was that Luke/Anakin/Rey’s Lightsaber looked a little too dark. So, to see it look like this again was a very lame nerd thing that I got excited about.
Then, we see the sweet reunion of Luke’s hand and the Graflex Lightsaber:
This is nice, because the last time, it didn’t end too well:
Next, these flashes of scenes are being narrated by Rey:
Rey hiking to see some Jedi relics, which I assume is what she is reading or having visions from in the first trailer [link above].
Jedi training looks fuckin’ sweet by the way. But, Rey says, “Something inside me has always been there. But now it’s awake and I need help,” clearly indicating her use of the Force in Episode VII.
But then, shit gets real:
Rey’s powers are literally groundbreaking. We see Luke Skywalker nervous for the first time in a Star Wars movie since he was training with Yoda on Dagobah and saw this:
But, we see Luke’s flashbacks of a Jedi temple burning after an attack on it, by presumably Kylo and the Knights of Ren, whom we still know nothing about. Luke then says, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me then, but it does now.” Summed up in one picture:
Boom. Luke is nervous. He’s seen this strength once before: if it was a pupil of his, he’s clearly talking about his nephew, Kylo Ren. But, if we wanted to get deep into Star Wars
lore, maybe he saw this strength in his father or the Emperor back in the day. But, it’s probably and most definitely about Kylo.
But the craziness doesn’t stop there folks. The next thing we see is a mask-less Kylo, flying around in a TIE Fighter and narrating. He says, “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”
He says this as we see this:
Will he go the ultimate evil route and kill his only remaining parent, Leia? Maybe. But, I think this is our first instance of misdirection by this beautifully edited trailer. I think Leia might be in a different location at this point in time, but, what do I know? Kylo might be very ready to take out his mom in this very cool-looking space battle.
Let me say this though: I really don’t think Leia Organa, one of the strongest and most iconic Star Wars characters ever, is going to die in a space explosion. I truly believe that she won’t. It’d be really lame if that happened and it certainly wouldn’t be an honorable death for her character. But, if Kylo has to “become what [he is] meant to be” then he really could be killing Leia here or anywhere throughout the movie. We really don’t know folks, this is one where we’ll have to wait until December 15 to see.
Next up, CHEWIE FLYING THE MILLENIUM FALCON LIKE A BADASS WITH THIS ADORABLE PORG:
Porgs are about to be the hottest toys of Christmas 2017 and maybe for the rest of time. They are absolutely adorable. This little guy only proves that. Regardless, this seems to be in a mine on Crait.
Could these crystals in here though, bear with me for a second, could they be Kyber crystals (the crystals that power lightsabers and the Death Star)? Probably not, but there aren’t many crystals in the Star Wars saga. But, a bit later in this trailer, we also see crystal foxes of some sort with Leia:
So maybe that’s just how everything on Crait is.
But, in these next few shots, we hear Poe Dameron saying, “We are the spark that’ll light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down.” While he, in his badass X-Wing, is trashing First Order ships like it’s his fucking job:
As a Resistance Pilot though, it is his fucking job.
Then, we see some more flashes of Finn fighting Captain Phasma:
This is what I’m really excited about. Phasma was the lamest character in Episode VII. She did nothing. She is now getting a huge chance at redeeming herself in this film by fighting one of the best characters from Episode VII, Finn.
Finn is also holding that electrocuted, bullshit thing that TR-8R (TRAITOR!) guy fought him with in Episode VII:
So, if you didn’t think this trailer was dope yet, then here. we. go.
Some battle-scene flashes lead to this:
MY BOY LUKE HAS FALLEN IN THE RAIN. He narrates, “This is not going to go how you think.” This is without a doubt the entire theme of the trailer.
Judging by this line, The Last Jedi is about to be one of the craziest movies we’ve ever seen. My sister wants to believe that it could be better than Empire Strikes Back. If this movie is even close to Episode V, then I will be amazed. I’m just ready for a crazy-awesome Star Wars film. If it’s better than V, good. If it’s not, just don’t be as bad as The Phantom Menace.
Back to the conclusion of this trailer:
BOOM. We see Snoke(not as a hologram for the first-time) with the Force-chokehold of a lifetime. We thought Vader’s chokehold was impressive; Snoke literally has Rey screaming for mercy in mid-air.
Then, as Rey narrates the end of the trailer with the line “I need someone to show me my place in all this.”
She’s speaking to someone off-screen but then, these two scenes are spliced together:
IS REY REALLY ABOUT TO JOIN KYLO ON THE DARK-SIDE? In my opinion, fuck no. She’s the hero of this story. The giant prediction of her being a Skywalker is still left unanswered. Another Skywalker going evil is something the franchise can’t afford. Whether she’s part of the family or not, I really don’t think she’s going evil.
If you want more proof, look closely at the lighting and backgrounds of the two gifs above. Watch it again in the trailer if you want. They’re in two different places I think. Kylo is somewhere in a hellish environment with fire and hell falling behind him. Meanwhile, Rey just has a softer glow on her face with a plain background.
Also, remember this:
Luke’s Jedi School burns to the ground and he consoles with Artoo. Kylo’s face also isn’t bandaged in this scene:
like we saw earlier in the trailer:
Therefore, it is my belief that the Kylo-Rey conversation is one of a figmented, Force-vision. Or, Kylo reaching out is during a time where he is destroying and overthrowing Luke’s Jedi school. I think it’s another case of clever editing and scene-splicing. The editors of this trailer are excited about trying to fool us. This movie is about to be insane. Whether these two shots are connected or not, this movie is going to be insane.
We still have so much to see. Don’t forget: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Domhnall Gleeson, and Kelly Marie Tran are all in this movie and they haven’t appeared in any of the trailers yet.
Rian Johnson and other Episode VIII execs apparently branded this trailer with *Spoilers*. I think it’s all part of the misdirection ploy. I don’t think the Rey-Kylo scene or the Leia-Kylo scene are connected. I think they were cleverly spliced together to get our nerd juices flowing.
Am I right? Maybe. Maybe not. What I do know is this: Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes to theaters on December 15 and that day can’t come soon enough. We will all find out then. Thank you for sticking with me for this crazy-long blog.
May The Force Be With You.
A look at how Yahoo Sports columnist Pat Forde compares to ESPN feature writer Wright Thompson
When looking at the works of both Pat Forde and Wright Thompson, it’s safe to say that sportswriting is in good hands. Both are graduates of the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. Forde is a columnist for Yahoo Sports. Thompson is a feature writer for ESPN. The differences in their writing styles and forms are apparent however, their unique approaches both work successfully as great sportswriting.
When reading Wright Thompson’s piece on Michael Jordan, one can only notice the extreme detail that Thompson takes to build a setting and characters. The third graf reads:
“Back in the office after his vacation on a 154-foot rented yacht named Mister Terrible, he feels that relaxation slipping away. He feels pulled inward, toward his own most valuable and destructive traits. Slights roll through his mind, eating at him: worst record ever, can’t build a team, absentee landlord. Jordan reads the things written about him, the fuel arriving in a packet of clips his staff prepares. He knows what people say. He needs to know, a needle for a hungry vein. There’s a palpable simmering whenever you’re around Jordan, as if Air Jordan is still in there, churning, trying to escape. It must be strange to be locked in combat with the ghost of your former self.”
Let’s just say you didn’t know who Michael Jordan was. Thompson addressed in our class that it’s a very hard thing to picture, but it’s possible to write that way. The important point being is that the way Thompson writes about Jordan puts the reader right on the yacht with His Airness. He describes the inner emotions and thoughts of Jordan and makes readers well aware of what’s been eating at the Greatest of All-Time. It’s a very novelesque way of writing in the way that Michael Jordan could be a fictional character and the passionately competitive drive that helped him do seemingly fictional things on the court could be part of that. Another great part in that is building around the legendary Michael Jordan that wore No. 23 for the Bulls and putting that figure against the 50-year-old Michael Jordan that’s at the helm of the struggling Charlotte Hornets. Thompson does that by keeping the audience captivated with displaying how the same competitive drive exists in this man who just can’t take it out by dunking on someone any more.
Another piece of Thompson’s that I enjoy is his piece on the legacy and family of Ted Williams. Just like in the Jordan piece, Thompson is able to generate awe by making Ted Williams an ever-present figure in a story about his living family. In this story specifically though, he is able to weave between the past and present perspectives of Ted Williams’ daughter, Claudia, and piece together more information on how life in the Williams home really was. A little bit into the story Thompson writes:
“THIS STORY BEGAN two years ago, when I reached out to Claudia about meeting at her home in Hernando. The timing never worked for her because she struggles to look past her obsessions: nursing school and a book she wrote about her father, which started as a stocking stuffer about lessons she learned and turned into a cathartic exploration of the person she’s still trying to be. Finally she said yes. The first visit lasted a week in the fall of 2014, and we made paella and she told funny stories about her dad — he’d call the public phone in European hostels and boom at unsuspecting travelers, “Is CLAUDIA WILLIAMS there? This is her FATHER! OL’ TED WILLIAMS!” — and she got melancholy later and said, “We need to laugh more.”
I like this section because Thompson gives us a lot and a little all at the same time. We learn about funny instances between Claudia Williams and her father but also that these funny instances led to sadness. It’s unique because while there is Thompson’s trademark detail, there’s bait for readers to continue reading. It works excellently as a sports journalism piece.
The reason why Thompson’s feature writing works for sports journalism is because of how vastly detail oriented his pieces are. Like I said above, his writing his novelesque. The attention to detail alongside the rich storytelling makes his features on these sports legends seem like they’re only that; just legends. But since it is novelesque, there’s an opening to interpretation. There’s a lasting impact in Thompson’s style. So I’d say, Thompson’s ability to capture real-life people and real-life situations creates an astonishing sense of awe. Awe always works. Not only in sportswriting but in all writing.
Pat Forde, on the other hand, works mainly as a reaction columnist. In terms of sportswriting, this is a perfectly fine way to approach stories as well. Forde does an excellent job at inserting emotion into his pieces. One of the pieces in which this is evident is his column on Urban Meyer and Ohio State Football.
After identifying the ridiculousness in Meyer’s statements following the Zach Smith domestic violence investigation, Forde writes:
“Sorry to be cynical regarding Meyer and his motives, but what’s the point in trusting him? His statement Friday vaguely admitted to lying repeatedly at Big Ten media day when asked about Zach Smith’s 2015 incident. Meyer said in Chicago last month that he knew nothing about it, then Friday admitted he knew about it, trying to chalk up the multiple falsehoods to not being “adequately prepared” for that line of questioning.
The interesting thing about Forde’s writing is his conversational tone. He’s taking a very serious issue and he’s inflating the doubt around Urban Meyer’s denial and showing his distaste for it. By stating that he may be cynical allows the reader to interpret his writing but then after he mentions Meyer falsifying the situation, the “please” that is thrown in by Forde closes down the apology he had just made. This isn’t a contradiction. This is Forde using his columnist skills to their finest. Domestic violence isn’t ok. Knowing about domestic violence and then lying about it isn’t ok either. Forde is able to throw in a conversational tone to emphasize the ridiculousness in Meyer’s lies. There’s no room for interpretation because domestic violence can’t be interpreted in more than one way.
Forde’s writing style limits interpretation, however, his brash frankness presents the column in a unique light. Though Forde is a columnist, he does have experience writing features as well. A feature of his that I like is his on Olympian Cody Miller and his rise to stardom.
About midway through the feature, Forde writes:
“The reasons why Cody should never have been the happiest bronze medalist in Brazil are numerous, and not all of them have to do with a fractured family upbringing. You can go back to birth.
He was born with a condition called pectus excavatum, which basically is a sunken chest caused by deformities of the ribs and sternum.
‘It looks like I have a big hole in my chest,’ Cody said.
He was teased about it repeatedly as a kid, but the challenge of the defect goes beyond appearance. It also inhibits lung capacity, which is about as vital as any physical characteristic for a swimmer. But Cody and, in turn, his sister took to the sport at a young age and he overcame the sunken chest with relative ease.”
Forde’s frank tone and writing style is evident in this piece. However, Forde does his best Wright Thompson impression by writing a solid feature that pays close attention to detail and emotion. Clearly, even Forde as a columnist can pull off feature writing with great success. The reason why is that he has a unique enough voice and writes with brash frankness that gets the point across with a conversational tone. This works in both his columns and his features.
Overall, Wright Thompson and Pat Forde have unique sportswriting styles that both operate well under the umbrella of sports journalism. Thompson’s novelesque feature writing effectively draws readers in with awe and the opportunity for interpretation. Forde’s curt, conversational tone allows him to get his point across and persuades the reader to feel exactly how he feels. Though their styles are different, they each give an effective and unique voice in the collaboration of many voices that is sports journalism.