How We’re Different

Most websites in the general interest area of mine fall into either category that I cover — sports or music. I not only cover both, which some of the other sites do, but I often intertwine the two in ways others do not.

That’s big, as it separates me from the usual sites. Even if they cover both, the content of the genres are kept completely separate.

Look at Grantland, for example. Before it was taken off the face of the internet (rest in peace, the greatest website of all-time), the ESPN affiliate had in-depth long read stories about the NBA from Zach Lowe, from college basketball from Mark Titus, popular culture from Shea Serrano, among a lot of other talented writers.

But rarely, if ever, did those world intersect. Each person stuck to their lanes and did not cross-contaminate, so to speak.

This continued with Grantland’s spiritual successor, The Ringer, another brainchild of Bill Simmons. Though the quality dipped significantly, the idea was the same — each category had its writers writing a lot of words about a specific subject within the sports and popular culture sphere.

Not at the BallRoom. That’s the difference, or at least our goal.

Please Steal My Content

The content I’ve created on this blog is original, but I am no means attached to it.

In other words, I’m not copyrighting anything I’ve done here — I want it to be open-source, for people to take it and use it.

Aside from the usual sharing my content through social media, which would be pretty awesome if people did to be quite frank, the most meaningful way of spreading my work would for people to make their own work inspired by mine.

Take my blog post on best rap lyrics about basketball players. If one were to make a video version of it like the ones that populated YouTube at its infancy and credited my blog post as inspiration in the description, it would mean so much more than a simple tweet.

It could lead to the Long Tail of YouTube helping my blog grow — if the video gets even 100 viewers, I anticipate at least a quarter of them to click the link to my blog and at least a fifth of those to like it enough to follow my blog. That’s five followers right there!

Any form of sharing my stuff would exceed my wildest expectations, but if I could inspire others to create themselves, I imagine it would be a feeling like not other.

Peanut Me

wallpaper-1502559792My options for this project were to choose between Peanutizing or Powderpuffing myself. I chose the former because while I did enjoy Powderpuff Girls more as a kid, I identify more as a Peanut guy.

I elected to make a version of myself rather than someone else because I’m the person I know best and no one knows me as well as I know myself (I think).

Choosing my skin color and hair were relatively easy — they didn’t have the exact style of haircut I get but it was close enough and I’m not picky about it. The mouth was the easiest part as I picked the frown because I get sad a lot.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The clothes were by far the most difficult thing to choose, simply because of the lack of options. It also doesn’t help that the character doesn’t seem to have a tailor as his clothes fit him like a sack of potatoes.

Nevertheless, I chose the apparel I felt was closest to the style I would wear if I were a peanut.

For the scene, I chose one that would make me match the expression on my Peanut’s face had I been in that scenario in real life. The scene is a cold day out on the ice rink. I hate the cold and I don’t know how to ice skate (I’ve fallen more times than I can count in the couple of times I tried to), so it was perfect.

Ad Read for BallRoom

I found this assignment to be far easier than the photo-editing assignment. I’ve worked with audio in the past, both in class and in hosting my own podcast, so editing it is something I’m quite comfortable with. As far as selecting the songs to use, it wasn’t too difficult to find a pair that pushed the narrative of my blog given that most of the content is centered around rap.

Once I had those chosen, I imported the audio and cut up a 45-second section of each song for an intro, outro and as background noise. Before recording my voice, I made sure to jot down a script. I find that having what I’m going to say prepared keeps me less likely to stutter or mix up my words together, making the process much quicker and seamless. It only took about two or three run throughs to get a proper recording I was content with.

To record, I used a Blue Yeti microphone I’ve used for projects in the past. The recording is crisp and sounds much better than if I had used the voice memos app on my phone or the recording option on my MacBook.

The one obstacle I encountered was exporting the audio as an MP3 out of Audacity. It’s something I’ve encountered in the past but remains frustrating as I’m forced to download the file as a .wav and convert it to an MP3 file, which is incredibly tedious.

But once I got it done, the remainder of the assignment was pretty self-explanatory. This was definitely my favorite assignment we had to complete for class thus far.

Laying a Foundation

The how and why this blog was created.

Drake
Drake, a world-famous rapper, is often seen with many of the best athletes in the NBA. Drake regularly references athletes in his music and the love is reciprocated.

This wasn’t my first time setting up a WordPress blog, but that didn’t make things any easier.

A couple of months ago, I (finally) decided to create the blog I’ve been meaning to make for quite some time. The interface on WordPress is very clean and simple, so getting the blog up and running is no sweat. The problem comes in formatting it in your liking.

There were few restrictions put upon us by Professor Bridges, but the ones that were there did make it more difficult for me in choosing my theme. With one in mind heading into the project, my plan came crashing down when I saw we were required to choose a theme with at least two columns. After much deliberation, I finally chose one I liked.

The other major wall I hit in creating the blog was choosing a topic for it. Stuck between my two biggest personal interests of sports and music, I decided to fuse the two given the many overlaps between them.

pippins1

The above photo was taken by Gordon King of the Yakima Herald-Republic in Washington State. It takes the reader inside the locker room of the Yakima Valley Pippins prior to a game against the Wenatchee Applesox in June of 2014.

In all honesty, I had never heard of those two teams prior to finding this photo. However, it was a perfect demonstration of one of the many ways athletes use music in their every day lives — in this example, starting pitcher Reed Garrett is using it to get his mind right before getting on the mound.

It’s one of many examples I’ll take you through during the course of our semester together.