Or, LEGIONS OF BOOM!
Why Boom? Well, because of hits like this by Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor:
Yesterday Miles and I finally got to watch a couple of NFL playoff games. Miles has become a major Seahawks fan this year, and he finally got to donn his Russell Wilson jersey for the Conference Championship. It’s amazing how much he has learned about the game thanks to Phil Simms tutelage on Madden 25, but that’s a whole ‘nother post. The season was rudely interrupted in mid-December for us because we left for a month-long trip to Italy. Surprisingly the NFL is not really a thing there. They’ll catch up, they’re still figuring out the internet too 😉
The first game of the day, Bronocs/New England, was a sleeper, even though I love a good sad Brady game. Luckily, the Seahawks/49ers game was anything but. It was a classic defensive battle, and it was right down to the wire. What’s more, we both love Marshawn Lynch, so when he broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter we went nuts.
The lynchpin and spokesman for the Legion of Doom, Richard Sherman, had himself quite a game. The self-acclaimed best cornerback in the league backed it up, and shut down whomever he faced. What’s more, he tipped a pass by Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree in the endzone during the final seconds of the game that ensured the Seahawks a trip to the Super Bowl. It was an intense moment, as Crabtree’s reaction to Sherman after the play suggests. But to be fare, Sherman talks a lot of trash, so a pat on the ass must seem little consolation.
Did I mention Sherman talks a lot of trash?
But the best part of the game was Richard Sherman going ballistic in this post-game interview—the man is excited, and this isn’t your typical “I want to thank Jesus” interview as you’ll quickly discover.
What struck me is how the post-game interview was in dialogue with (or maybe even fueled by) the commercial he stars in for Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones that aired during the game. In the ad Sherman is being interviewed by the media which quickly turns on him with increasingly overt racist attacks—ending in “how do you feel about your reputation as a thug?” The link between Dre, the violent rap culture of LA in the 90s (Suge Knight anyone?), and Sherman himself growing up in Compton during that era is pretty powerful—even though they’re selling you headphones in the end. Maybe I am overreading, but the commerical seems to frame some of the larger issues that are gnawing away at the culture of the NFL around questions of violence, race, owoer, money, etc. I’m not going to try and make or take any trite or moral lessons from it because that’s above my blogging pay grade, but I do love football even more when it is forced, even for a second, to recognize it’s problematic place within the empire.
The other thing that was fun about this game is I was following it both on television and through Reddit. In fact, all the media in thsi post was discovered on Reddit. I’m meeting with a group of UMW Computer Science students sometime this week to explore a Reddit-inspired theme and/or plugin(s) for the work happening on UMW Domains. And while I’ve played around the edges of Reddit, I figured it was hightime to commit—and I was pretty blown away. As the game was happening the commentary, images, and GIFs were flowing like wine. It seemed like ds106 for everything 🙂
I started to realize how powerful community forums could be when framed for a critical mass of people, not unlike what Mike Caulfield has been talking about recently in regards to state-wide edtech stuff. I have to eat crow here a bit because I was of the mindset forums were dead, even though folks like Howard Rheingold have been arguing eloquently and intelligently for their role for a very long while. I am looking forward to playing with Reddit a lot more, because if this Fight Club video I found on the Movies sub-reddit featuring a digitally removed Tyler Durden yesterday is any indicator, those forum hills are filled with gold 🙂 Who knew? I guess millions and milliosn of people besides me
The Bava does sports now? 🙂
I didn’t see it live but based on all the drama I expected far worse from the Sherman interview. Pretty tame in the scheme of things. It has to make the NFL happy as people will be focused on trash talking trash talking rather than worrying about brain injuries and suicides.
As for Reddit, I am constantly surprised by what’s on there. Some of the cultural things are a bit off at times but all in all far better than I expected. Gardner wants to use it for the discussion board for the MOOC he’s doing this summer w Becker. That should be interesting.
You should talk to Meghan about sports message boards. She’s well versed and has, predictably, strong opinions.
I’ve been more inclined to sports blog since the GIF was rediscovered, but I have been on again off again on sports the last couple of years. But the Reddit culture around sports GIFs is awesome, makes me want to quit blogging all together and be a Reddit community forum troll 🙂
As for Sherman, I agree it wasn’t too crazy, but I have been pretty conditioned on NFL national broadcasts to see the NFL idea of the athlete gentleman off-the-field reinforced, but to hear his hyper energy cross-over into the Fox broadcast was striking. But more than that, to see how quickly it becomes an idea of propriety, race, what’s right, and all sorts of other moralizing BS is what’s really crazy. The comments on the YouTube video linked off of Reddit were crazy, it was like watching a cultural war break out in front of my eyes, and it reinforced how crazy Reddit is. Like real-time web culture that you can’t pre-select. The best and worst all at once—kind of how I feel about the NFL.
As for Reddit and a MOOC, I love that idea. Reddit is syndication with community centered discussion, I can see a mdel like this working brilliantly for courses like ds106. I want to explore it more, and the idea of building something for UMW separately might make no sense at all (like Twitter it might be best on the source), but I am still too new to the inner workings to say.
As for all things sports culture, you know I love talking about sports with Meghan, she is fired up kinda like Sherman. And I like the spark of that intensity, one of the reasons I hold on to sports at all.
Reddit is the absolute best and worst of the web in so many ways. Much like the web itself it is a multi-headed hydra that refuses to be defined by anything. Interestingly it falls flat a bit when there’s not a critical mass like the DS106 and UMW subreddits which are almost completely vacant. It gets really interesting though when you do have a strong community around a topic there. My recommendation would be to make use of an account and unsubscribe from some of the defaults like AdviceAnimals and subscribe to a bunch of niche subreddits that you enjoy. The beauty of Reddit is making it your own. For many people it has completely replaced the feed reader.
Can we formally say you made me now? I have heeded your advice, and I am loving your Reddits. I am ona few GIF, movie, and literature Reddits and I am truly enjoying it. Just need to get them into my newly minted feedreader.
Didn’t know Miles was such a ‘hawks fan. Aidan is too, except I think he’s probably not as rabid as the Groom’s are. Still gonna be a raucous Super Bowl in the Rush household when we combine efforts.
So, that begs the question. Are you hosting the Super Bowl this year? I think my 42″ is a little sharper than your 50″ Pioneer—that’s a bit of an older plasma, no?
I’m working on integrating Reddit AMA into a few different courses… office hours for hybrid courses, historical impersonation assignments, play a fictional character, etc. I’d blog it but I seem to have misplaced my blog.
Re: Sherman… I’m annoyed at how much of binary conversation this has become. Attack him and you’re moralizing or racist. I see him as a brilliant player, with a tendency towards behaving like an asshole and aggrandizing himself. He waves his Stanford diploma as a credential (the sign of an asshole in any profession). His prevailing need following the game was to diss the guys across the field who had also put their lives on the line for the game. It’s not “moralizing” to value respecting the opponent and thus the game, or to be displeased at watching a winner rub a loss in the opponents face (and I have a STRONG dislike for Jim Harbaugh for similar reasons). But I’m also one who doesn’t need to pretend that his sports stars are paragons of virtue. The drive, ego, and competitiveness that makes these guys geniuses can often also make them rather unpleasant human beings. There’s a relationship between their accomplishments on the field and the facts that Jordan was a degenerate gambler, Mantle a lousy drunk, Maradona an unrepentant cokehead, and Magic screwed more American women in the 1980s than he didn’t.
Sorry for the delay on publishing this omment, I had to make sure there were no digs on the Yanks or Jets, I’m letting the Mantle comment go, but youve been warned.
As for Sherman, I hear you about the binary, and I just kinda find Sherman hysterical. I lvoe the boasting, it lays bare the fact that sportsmanship is really not the point of a system like the NFL. What’s more, it can pretty funny, that post-game interview was almost absurd when the reporter asks –“Who was talking about you?” So good, Miles was basically dumbfounded—he really didn’t know what was happening because so much fo that is an act, a persona, a sense of a culture that is really at odds with itself right now. I also think that is part of the binary as well. As far
What did you think about the Beats commerical? Is that a way to divert the conversation around the violence of the NFL right now (a whole nother topic I have some thoughts about) that Tom suggests? It’s hard to ignore the Boyz in the Hood implications there.
Also, JJ Watt seems as much a psycho trash talker when he’s pumped up, nonethelss the conversation seems so different around him when it comes to the commentary, media, etc. Happenstance?
As an aside that probably doesn’t matter but might amuse given the jersey, I know Russel Wilson’s brother (Harry) pretty well. He played at UR and Meghan’s dad recruited him etc. Really nice guy. Good family etc. Nice to see his brother doing so well.
No way, that’s awesome, 6 degrees of Football Woodward. I would always say when i saw Hightower playing for the Cardinals, I knew a guy who played with him 🙂 Watching this shit is oen thing, playing it is a whole different world. And the older I get, the harder the hits seem.
It won’t get the credit with Miles but I did play with Paris Lenon (Broncos LB). I can’t believe he’s still playing given how beat up I am without 10 years of NFL contact. I do worry about his brain though.
So Lenon is old like you? 🙂
About the head injuries, did you worry about your brain in college? How do we explain the cultural shift to this right now? Luke was saying when we were talking about this in Utah that there may not be an NFL in 20 years given the state of things. I’m just trying to get my head around how it’s gotten to this point—the game has always been dangerous, why is in more dangerous now? Because the athlete’s are faster, stronger, crazier?
Lenon is my age.
I didn’t worry about head injuries in high school or college. I got at least one pretty good concussion in HS but had quite a few helmet on helmet collisions often 15-20 in a row in practice.
I don’t know that the game is more dangerous now. Equipment has improved some but the people are simply much, much larger, stronger, and faster. Remember how gigantic Refrigerator Perry was in the late 80s? He was around 330.
And that’s just college ball.
I think the other, maybe more important part, is that people care a tiny bit. There is some pushback agains the idea of disposable people and some interest in connecting high rates of dementia and suicide to brain trauma. Maybe that’s because more players make enough money to have a voice. I don’t really know. It is a concern for me and may play a role in whether my kids play. Maybe that’s being over cautious as a result of media paranoia.
Sorry. Broncos are winning. They are DS 108. Seahawks 105. You will be teach Manning gifs until the last professor loves tenure.
Luckily my son doesn’t read this blog, otherwise it would be BOOM BOOM GROOM for you 🙂 Maybe you and I can identify each other on the Super Bowl Reddit page—looking forward to a good game. And there is a reason Manning is Athlete of the Year, hard not to feel warm and fuzzy about a comeback like his these last two years. The only problem is he stole all his little brothers mojo, poor Eli.
Invites have already gone out for the Super Bowl. Perhaps yours was lost in the mail. I’ll check. You and the family are invited though – unless you trash talk my plasma – then I have no use for you.