Tag Archives: youtube

Unsolicited Endorsements: XI

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Movie: Bottle Rocket 

I must confess: This is a cheap way to bring your attention to the trailer for the new Wes Anderson movie, “Moonrise Kingdom.”  In short, I have no idea what Moonrise Kingdom is about. Well, that’s not totally accurate. But just watch. You’re telling me you don’t want to see that movie.
But today, I want to go back in time and pay some attention to what still might be the best Wes Anderson piece of all time, “Bottle Rocket.” It came out before Tenenbaums, before Steve Zissou, and before Rushmore. It stars Luke and Owen Wilson (with short hair), and it features all the idiosyncratic humor of Wes Anderson — with none of the elaborate sets or grand storytelling. Haven’t seen it? Watch it this weekend. — Rustin Dodd

Book: “Beyond the Phog: Untold Stories From Kansas Basketball’s Most Dominant Decade” Continue reading

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YouTube Sesh: Scheyer Edition

Well, it’s time for another YouTube Sesh at the Brewhouse.

If you need a primer on the history of the YouTube Sesh, you can check here…

But here’s the short of it. Sometimes YouTube videos just need to be shared.

But before we get to the goods, we must start with a story about Jon Scheyer.

Scheyer is, of course, a senior guard at Duke. This weekend, he’ll start in the Final Four for the Blue Devils. You probably know a little bit about Scheyer. For instance, you probably know he’s a great shooter. And you might know that he started running the point for the Devils this season — at least, more than he ever had before. And you probably know that he’s been pretty good at playing the role of Duke’s fair-skinned villain.*

*Of course, it does seem like Duke has entire team of fair-skinned villains these days. And it also seems like none of them — not Scheyer, not forward Kyle Singler, not the Plumlees — has been especially good at being hateable (not a word, I know, but still). I suspect that part of that is due to the fact that Duke hasn’t won much the last four or five years, and it can be hard to hate people that lose all the time. Of course, that could all change this weekend.

Anyway, I was thinking about Scheyer this weekend, because I think he kind of represents an interesting case in how the internet has changed the sports world nowadays.

I’ll explain shortly… but first, my Scheyer story.

I can’t remember when I first heard about Scheyer. I believe it was sometime in late 2005, during the middle of the college basketball season. It could have been earlier. I suspect I ran across his name while checking the basketball recruiting scene that year. Scheyer attended Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, a well-to-do suburb located a short drive north of downtown Chicago*.

*So I was just trying to figure out the exact distance from Northbrook to Chicago — and I ended up having a little fun with the google machine.

Anyway, somehow, I ended up checking out Coach Krzyzewski’s wikipedia page. And somehow, I totally forgot that Coach K went to seven Final Fours in nine years. Seven! Wow. Obviously, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has been getting a lot of love because he has somehow coaxed the Spartans to six Final Fours in the last 12 years. And that’s unbelievable. But seven in nine years?

Coach K went in 1986, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92 and 94. I could be wrong, but given the state of college basketball — one-and-dones, roster turnover, parity, — I don’t think we’ll ever see seven in nine years again. Duke, of course, had the core of Laettner and Hurley for four of those Final Fours — and Grant Hill caught the tail end of that era before leading the Devils to the Final Four again in 1994.

So I heard about this young kid named John Scheyer. He was a scoring machine in the state of Illinois, he’d led Glenbrook North to the state championship as a junior — and he’d committed to Duke.*

*Not to get off topic again. But if you want to pinpoint the day in which Illinois coach Bruce Weber lost his “elite college coach” reputation, look no further than the day that Scheyer committed to Duke. Not only was Scheyer going to high school in the state of Illinois, but his high school coach was Bruce Weber’s brother.

Really. His brother. Not a good sign when you can’t lock up your state best player… who also just happens to play for your brother.

So I knew a little bit about Jon Scheyer. But then, it happened. Scheyer went viral. The funny thing was, at the time, I’m pretty sure people didn’t even refer to anything as going viral — unless you were talking about E. Coli or the mumps or the measles.

This was 2005. The internet was huge, no doubt. But YouTube barely existed. Facebook was just a few years old — and Twitter was just a idea in the mind of some advanced-thinking techie. In short, there just weren’t many channels for something to go viral on.

Still, Scheyer managed the trick. During a high school game at the Proviso West Holiday tournament in December of 2005, Scheyer pulled off one of the most amazing feats in the history of high school basketball. With his future college coach Krzyzewski in the stands, and his team trailing 71-58 with 1:24 left, Scheyer scored 21 points in the final 74 seconds. His team would lose, but Scheyer would finish with 52 points. In the final 1:24, he hit five three-pointers and six free throws. Think about that: 21 points in 75 seconds. That’s one point ever 3.57 seconds.

So, of course, the buzz on Scheyer went national. Everybody wanted to know about this scoring machine from suburban Chicago. It helped that J.J. Redick was finishing up his prolific career at Duke the same season. The comparisons were inevitable. Both shooters, both about 6 foot 4, both, well, fair-skinned. It may have also helped that Coach K was in the stands. After all, Coach K is a Chicago native — though it’s safe to say that the neighborhood Krzyzewski grew up in looked nothing like Northbrook.

Here’s how my Scheyer story ends. I went to Chicago for spring break that year — and I just happened to be in downtown Chicago on a Thursday night. I walked into a random sandwich shop with a friend, and Duke was playing LSU in the Sweet 16. Duke was a one-seed that year. And Redick, along with Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison, were the darlings of college basketball.

You probably know that Duke lost that game. And Redick’s career ended in the Sweet 16. I remember being in the sandwich shop and watching the game on television.

CBS showed a shot of a dejected Redick walking off the court after the game. And in the background, a guy yelled out: “It’s OK, Duke. Y’all be alright. You guys got our Jon Scheyer coming in.”

For some reason, that story stayed with me — at least, enough to be able to remember it four years later.

Anyway. I’ve followed Scheyer’s career for the last four years. And I use the term “follow” loosely. His first two years at Duke weren’t great. He was a little thin — and he didn’t quite have the career that Redick did.

But here’s the larger point about the sports world: There just aren’t any surprises anymore. There aren’t any prodigies that show up out of nowhere. Jon Scheyer, a player who’ll likely play minimally in the NBA — if at all — was on the national radar at age 18.

I understand this isn’t an earth-shattering realization. After all, it is 2010. And we’re inundated with tweets and videos and links all day long. If something crazy happens in the sports world, everybody talks about it for a couple hours, then we move on to the next crazy thing.

I also understand that basketball recruits have been provoking good feelings in college basketball fans for decades. Show me a top college recruit, and I’ll show you a little hope.

Still, it does feel different these days.

In order to find “the next big thing”, we put 16-year-old baseball players on the cover of Sports Illustrated. And we rank the nation’s top 100 high school freshman basketball players. And we hear about a 13-year-old soccer prodigy who turns out to be mediocre.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. But we’ve never seen it on this scale.

If somebody like Scheyer can go viral four years ago — before “going viral” even really existed, imagine the buzz his epic high school performance would stir today.

I’m not sure if that all makes much sense. But whatever.

Still… Scheyer’s performance is still pretty unbelievable. Enjoy.

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Thursday YouTube Sesh

I’ve told this story before, but I’m going to tell it one more time.

I can still remember the first time I heard about YouTube. It was 2006 — it must have been late January — and I was a freshman in college.

I was sitting in Professor Chuck Marsh’s “Media and Society” class in Budig Hall at The University of Kansas.

There were about 800 people in the class, mostly college freshman, and Old-man Marsh* used to start every class period with a segment called “The Hot Topic.”

*That’s not really Prof. Marsh’s nickname, but hey, it makes the story sound better.

Basically, Marsh would pick a controversial issue in the media, or a new trend, or whatever — and we’d have a class discussion about it. Of course, this is more interesting than it sounds, considering the fact that there were 800 people in the class, and it takes a certain type of personality (read crazy) to speak out in a class of 800.

Well, one day in late January, Marsh comes into class talking about a new website called “YouTube” and a hip, new word — “mash-up.”*

*Back in those days, it did seem that there were very few videos on YouTube, and most of them were movie preview mash-ups. Like this one and this one…

But the original one, the one that started it all, was the mash-up “Brokeback to the Future”. And on that day in late January, Marsh introduced me to a world I’d never imagined…

“Brokeback to The Future*”

In the last four years, that video has been watched more than 5.5 million times.

And like Windows and Google and iTunes and Facebook and Twitter, YouTube has become part of the fabric of our daily lives.

There are YouTube sensations and there are videos that go viral, getting passed around from friend to friend. And personally, I’ve spent way too many hours watching soccer and basketball highlights on the old laptop.

But for me, it all started four years ago.

OK, now fast-forward three years.

I’m working as the sports editor at The University Daily Kansan, and in an homage to the great former Kansas City Star columnist Jeffrey Flanagan, I created a daily Page 2 column entitled “The Morning Brew.”

Long story short, I started a weekly tradition called the “Thursday YouTube Sesh”. Why? Because sometimes, there are just videos that must be shared.

I saw one of those videos today.

If you’re a Kansas basketball fan, you probably know that KU beat Baylor 81-75 on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

If you’re a big fan, you probably know that Baylor coach Scott Drew created a mini-controversy before the game.

You see, about four years ago, when Kansas renovated Allen Fieldhoue and added a modern scoreboard that hangs above center court, they started playing a pregame video montage. The montage highlights KU’s incomparable basketball tradition — from Naismith to Allen to Manning to Mario — and works the crowd into a frenzy.

Here’s one version of the video here…

Well, Baylor’s Drew wasn’t having any of it. And he had his team walk out into the Fieldhouse’s concourse during the video. It’s not that surprising. More than one opposing team has looked visibly intimidated while watching the video.

Of course, it’s also true that KU’s Bill Self and Drew have what could be described as a rocky relationship.

Self and Drew battled over Darrell Arthur — and Arthur, in one of the more mysterious recruiting stories in recent memory, picked KU at the last minute after having “a dream” about playing at Kansas.

Let’s just say that Drew was not happy. And according to many reports, he told former KU recruit Dwight Lewis — who eventually went to USC — that he shouldn’t go to KU because KU does a poor job of graduating players (or something to that effect).

So yea, Self was not happy.

“We’d never do that,” he said about Baylor’s walkout.

Drew, for his part, said he wasn’t trying to be disrespectful.

“It was simply because we knew we only had a minute and we wanted to go over what we wanted to do to start the game,” Drew said after the game. “There are no rules against it or anything. We met in the hallway and discussed how we were going to handle the beginning of the game.”

One thing is for certain. And it brings us to our Thursday YouTube Sesh.

There’s no way Baylor would have walked out on this pregame video.

OK, where do we start? First a little background. Apparently, this is the pregame pump-up video for the University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey program. The Nanooks, as they are called, are a legit Division 1 hockey program. They play in a 4,500-seat arena and compete in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Other teams in the hockey-only CCHA include: Michigan State, Ohio State, Miami (Ohio), Michigan and Notre Dame,.

There are 12 members in all, but this explains why the polar bear drops bombs on the Ohio State, Miami and Michigan State campuses.

Of course, this doesn’t explain why the giant killer bear must use a hockey stick to chop a trapped oiler tanker in half. And it doesn’t explain why the fighter pilot polar bear must drop a bomb into a volcano and blow up the planet.

No matter how you slice it, this video just doesn’t make much sense. I just wish I was in the room when the creators of the video were brainstorming ideas*.

Person 1: Ok. We start with a polar bear rising up from the arctic and attacking a huge ship.
Person 2: Yes. Yes. I like that. And then we could cut to a polar bear in a jet fighter.
Person 1: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Person 2: Danger zone?
Person 1: Oh my god, Yes!
Person 2: OK, he could drop bombs on our rivals. And then, what about if we had him drop a bomb into a volcano and blow up the entire planet?
Person 1: Wait, the entire planet?
Person 2: Dude, this would be sweet.
Person 1: You’re right, screw it. I’m in.

Part of me thinks the creators were being a little ironic. I mean, polar bears destroying the planet, that has to be a subtle hint about the state of the environment, right?

In the end, all I know is that any video that includes “Highway to the Danger Zone” and polar bears blowing up stuff must be cherished. So enjoy.

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