Category Archives: Sports

Awesomesauce | Skydiving In Slow Motion

In a carefully choreographed stunt, a group of skydivers artfully fall towards earth in this beautiful advertisement for Sony’s Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R cameras.

Watch the advertisement below. It’s quite stunning.

Have you gone skydiving yet?

I haven’t, but this video makes me want to give it a shot…of course tandem style. I don’t think I’d ever have the guts, the training, or the finesse to go it solo pro-style.

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Felix Baumgartner’s Jump From Space is The Definition of Epic!

Yesterday, while everyone was somewhere on the planet doing their usual happenings or seeking some type of “adventure,” Felix Baumgartner was on his way to space for his death-defying jump from the edge of space.

If you’ve never heard of Felix Baumgartner, then you have been missing out on following the happenings one of the coolest men on earth. Seriously, he’s even cooler than the Dos Equis guy. First off, his name is Felix and that happens to be one of my favorite names; such a cool name, every Felix I’ve meet has been radical! Secondly, Felix Baumgartner has jumped off almost all the tallest buildings and successfully sky-dived back to the safety of the ground.

Felix, a world renown Austrian skydiver, has done a lot of stunts and yesterday he made history. Millions around the world gathered together on YouTube to watch the live feed (courtesy of Red Bull Stratos) of Felix’s journey to space and his insane freefall from space back to earth. It was perhaps one of the coolest videos I’ve ever watched in my life! I mean how often can someone say, “Yeah, I skydived from space.” That is pretty radical, borderline super-heroic.

If you thought you knew the definition of epic, then you’d better think again. Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space is officially the new definition of the word “epic.” For now on that word should only be reserved for things that are truly comparable to skydiving from space (or at least a few notches below that, but still cool).

For some chance if you didn’t watch the live feed and experience the fear that everyone felt watching Felix jump from the tiny vessel that carried him to space, then you need to watch the mission highlights now. The video is still insanely cool, but I will admit I’m glad I crowded around the computer screen with my folks and held my breathe from the moment he jumped until the time he landed on the ground. It was such an heroic moment in history. Oh, and if you thought the jump was a new world record, well it was. But Felix also is the first skydiver to ever break the sound barrier. Like I said before, that is totally heroic! Felix Baumgartner is my new favorite superhero! :)

Super Cool Video of the Jump, Re-created with LEGOS!

My Kung Fu!

I’ve always had this dream. A day dream mostly of me confidently walking into a well established, well respected, well feared dojo. I would walk in with the coolest kung fu outfit you have ever seen and happen upon a massive room filled with grown students training in the arts of kill. They would chop viciously and kiya with the fury of a thousand Hyenas. Their resolve would be unflinching and their determination would be intimidating. They would be the best of the best. The creme dela creme. The cat’s meow if you wish! I would nonchalantly walk among these men with an unimpressed disposition and stand in the middle of them all. They would stare rudely and I would simply smirk. With a point I would tell them that their style was no good and mine was the best, which would of course offend them. The first man would attack not knowing how brilliant my tiger claw was and he would find himself with a face full of hand skills. He’d cry like a girl and fall to the ground. Then the men would all take offense and attack me at once. They would be baffled at how effortless I’d avoid every last one of them delivering kicks and punches at my convenience. Before they knew it they would all be on the floor significantly injured. Their sensei would lay beside them just as baffled. I’d point and laugh, kick their sign, pee on it, and leave, and I would do it all for no reason at all.

That’s how the dream works anyway. Not the most compelling plot I admit, but that’s one of those instant gratification kind of dreams. I’ve always wanted to be the Ip Man type. If you haven’t watched Ip Man please do! You won’t regret it. Believe me! Even though he did fight for reasons that were admirable, and my reasons seem to be that I’m just a jerk that feels like humiliating people with my unmatched talents. That’s the mystique of Kung Fu. It’s always been showcased as damn near magical. Those movies forget to tell you that you need a little bit of that dedication and hard work. I mean you can wear the outfit, and you might fool some people into thinking you know what you’re doing, but eventually someones going to hit you in the face really hard and you’re going to get blood on your nifty outfit. You don’t want to get blood on your nifty outfit.

The idea of of a Kung Fu hero has always been compelling to me. Since the days of Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon. I didn’t realize you could be that cool without a shirt. That movie had a lot of male toplessness and a ridiculous amount of neck stomping! Bruce Lee really hated necks. Not that I’m a huge fan of necks, especially when they kind of crank wrong and now it always hurts when you turn left. I hate that! I don’t, however, hate it so much that I want to stomp on them all the time. So admittedly I don’t know the degree that Bruce Lee hated necks. I’m just saying I have an idea. That has nothing to do with my original point, but yes he was awesome in that movie and I wanted to do that. I just need guys in suits to come and goad me into fighting on a island for no good discernible reason. It doesn’t have to be a good reason. I just need to have nunchuks and legions of dudes to fight.

So in conclusion, Kung Fu can be your friend. Learn some. Perhaps perfect the lunging technique, or the Cosmic palm style, or maybe even the Buddha sits on a stool contemplating style! They’re all good styles and they’re good for you.

Half-Hour of Awesomeness | ICON’s ‘Portland to Dakar’ Adventure Film

Life should be experienced to the extreme. It’s a motto of mine that I’ve had ever since I was young, which explains while growing up in Colorado I did my fair share of ATV riding, hiking excursions high up in the mountains, and other adventures. Oh, and I’m not done yet, I’ve still got a lot of things planned for this next year. I want to train and get in excellent shape to handle a variety of activities. I want to go rock climbing again, learn how to kayak, go parasailing, zip-lining, bungie jumping, snowboarding, skiing, and for the first time in my life…actually get on a motorcycle.

Motorcycles are pretty cool. I’ve only ever rode on an ATV before, but I would like to at least catch a ride in a motorcycle with a hottie leading the way. Haha, I can have my fantasy…right? I mean, actually driving one sounds like a challenge, so I’d rather be a passenger and have a serious grip on the driver; I’d be terrified of falling off!

Anyways, my point is I think that extreme sports are pretty radical and I love watching videos on the web. So when I ran across the latest short film from ICON, I knew I had to share it with y’all. Basically ICON Motorsport decided to test the limits of riders Nick Brocha & Ernie Vigel, and put the two riders on an extreme adventure trying out Triumph’s Tiger 800XCs.

The short film is called Portland to Dakar and it’s about 31 minutes in run-time, but it’s totally worth watching. The short film features a lot of cool stunts and the terrain is insane! I mean can you imagine accomplishing stunts on asphalt, water, snow, dirt, mud, and jagged rocks? It’s the type off-roading that is truly suitable only for the professionals, and Nick & Ernie are clearly the best to get the job done.

Watch the film below. If it doesn’t make you want to try some type of extreme sport afterwards, then I must be the only one that thinks like that. Hey, what can I say? I’ve got a Colorado heart, the outdoors & extreme sports are waiting for me to wake up, smell the coffee, and start an adventure.

 

 

Awesomesauce | Unleash Your Inner Skier with ‘Unicorn Sashimi’

I’ve been living in Maryland for well over a year now, and as Fall slowly begins to creep it’s way onto the horizon, I find myself daydreaming about winter sports. Topics of skiing, snowboarding, and frolicking dangerously in the snow are conversations I used to have on the regular while living in Denver, Colorado, but here I find those conversation far and few.

Nine years of my life were spent in Colorado: 5 years in Colorado Springs and 4 years in Denver. The misconception people tend to have about Colorado is that it always snows, but in Denver it’s not that often. It’s actually quite sunny and breezy most of the time, with random weather changes that you can predict. One day it might snow, the next day it melts. But if you’re looking for snow and want to unleash your inner skier, then you need to head to the mountains.

Sadly, I have yet to ski or snowboard, but if I ever go back to Denver I will make it my mission to truly take advantage of the mountains. And watching the short film Unicorn Sashimi really gives me the motivation I need to get lost in a winterland of awesomeness.

Unicorn Sashimi is a short film by Felt Soul Media & Yuki Miyazaki of Sweetgrass Productions.  According to the video description, the initial goal was to “hunt the mythical Hokkaido Unicorn. The creature proved difficult to capture on film, so we just decided to do a little skiing.”

Well, they may not have found the Unicorn, but they sure did capture some amazing footage that gives me snow envy. Geeze, I just really want to look badass in some outerwear and take a shot at skiing (more likely snowboarding.) Hmmm, sounds like I need to take some snowboarding lessons this winter. But for now, I’ll just keep watching awesome videos on Infinity List. 

Unicorn Sashimi was shot in Japan in January 2012 using a RED Epic Camera & Canon EF Lense, so I highly recommend you leave the HD switch on; watching this video in anything less than HD would be a crime. :P

A Brief Chronicle of NFL Fandom from across the Atlantic

It’s been over six months since I was last here, hunched over the harsh nocturnal-blue glow from my laptop screen.  It’s 2:30 in the morning and though my eyelids droop down lazily and my warm bed covers, mere feet away, beckon me with their loving siren’s call, I have no intentions of going to bed, as this is a night I have been waiting an eternity for.  This is the first week of September; this is the return of football.

While all across America friends and family gather in front of the television – dinners a recent memory, still rumbling in their stomachs – I sit alone in a darkened room obsessively checking that my headphones aren’t so loud as to wake those around me, while a bag of pretzels sit by my side mockingly as I ponder exactly why I put myself through this torture.

It occurs to me tonight; halfway through the fifth time I watch the adverts for a Matthew Perry sitcom I’m never going to see and the new Toyota Camry that doesn’t even exist in England that my experience of watching pro-football is surely a far-flung vision from the vast majority of people.  What should be wonderful about sport is how it transcends culture or background – you can put two people in a room with nothing in common but a love of football and they can talk for hours.  There is nothing personal about sports; yes, people can judge you completely irrationally for being a Jets fan just as they can for being rich, or poor, or homosexual, but it never really feels the same because, when all is said and done, sport doesn’t really matter.  We just like to think it does.

Sports are something that is meant to be watched and enjoyed in groups, before being dissected by back-seat quarterbacks on a Monday morning.  Sport and culture go hand in hand – which is why, as I sit here, alone, in the dark, I realise what a strange sensation this is.  I am only left to gleam at the Utopia a thousand miles away in which friends gather in strangely immaculate houses, exchange tame trash-talk and drink either Bud Light, Miller Light or Coors Light.  Either way it’s Light beer.

“Oh, what a world!” I think to myself as I sip from a glass of water, as any form of alcohol will likely tip me over the edge into golden slumbers.

It is this disconnect – this dedication of mine – that can at times be so frustrating as an outsider looking into American sports.  I doubt that most people realise the extraordinary lengths people in Europe go to follow what is still considered here, despite its growth, a fringe sport.  In America football is culture, it is something that requires absolutely no effort to connect with because 24 hour news stations are swamped with time-filling featurettes and  radio call-in shows and newspapers filled with articles on teams – and most importantly of all – a gluttony of friends with which to talk and share these experiences with.

Europe has football (soccer) for that, so we get it.  Just as in America we have radio shows dedicated to frivolous discussions of nothing-ness, and gossip-columns and overanalyses of every minute detail; but American football has nothing here – it is silenced into the night.  Tebow-mania wasn’t even a thing.

Yet, ever since the inaugural NFL International Series in 2007 at Wembley fans have posted message board comments with their droll, quasi-xenophobic sentiments of “it’s the National Football League, not the International Football League,” like that’s supposed to prove anything other than the fact that you’re a cunt.

While such responses may be considered a natural pact reaction to something most Americans will think of as “their” sport this is, despite their protestations, simply not the case any more.  The world is getting smaller and American football will grow and grow, as has every other sport on the planet – something most rational thinking people can surely only accept as a good thing.  It’s the fact that fans are so reluctant to share their sport – to give up just one game to another time zone – that shows how much Americans take for granted their niche, idiosyncratic sport; there is not a single other sport outside of America that has this luxury.

But while I am by now more than familiar with my ritual of late nights/late morning, my body attuned to bizarrely erratic sleeping times this is not something that comes easy to me, particularly after six months away.

It’s a sad admission to make, but like a professional footballer preparing for the new season I often stay up watching pre-season games of teams I don’t even support just to get used to watching football at 3am.

Worse still, for the last three years of my life I had to make the choice of watching Sunday Night Football, starting at 1:30am in the UK (finishing at close to 5am) or to make my lecture at 9am the following morning.  It says a lot about the sport that last year I just about scraped through that class, coming up 3 points short of failing the semester.

That, my friends, is dedication.

All I ask of you is that when you settle down on Sunday night to renew your glamorous world of super-cold, freshly-brewed Bud Light, your friends surrounding you, finishing in time for the Nightly News, spare a thought for your brothers across the Atlantic for whom a whole other ritual has been reborn.  We are the fans who spend Sunday nights alone and Monday morning with bleary eyes, tired minds and relying on our false idol of Red Bull to get us through the day.