Sound Session #500 (1/11/15)

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on January 12th, 2015 by Hyphen

SNSS

This was a Sound Session to remember.  In 2015, the show will achieve two significant milestones and this week marked the first of those: our 500th show.  We started SNSS in May of 2005, not knowing how long we’d do it, what it would become, or the impact we would have on the Seattle hip-hop scene (and perhaps the national scene, here and there).  Turns out, J. Moore and I put on a pretty decent radio show that music heads generally enjoy…and 500 Sundays later, here we are, on the verge of our 2nd milestone: the 10 year SNSS anniversary in May.

For episode #500, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and play a variety of songs from artists we championed heavily on the show.  Some were already well established (Hov, Dilla, Common, Kanye), but the majority were artists that we were able to support early on in their careers.  As a result, we’ve been honored to be the place where lots of our listeners were exposed to developing artists that later grew into some of the best in the game (if I had a nickel for every, “maaaan, the first time I heard ____ was on SNSS!”…).  Lots of artists got their first ever radio spins or interviews with our show and it’s truly a pleasure to help give these cats the shine they deserve.  So enjoy this blast from the past, with classics from the aforementioned heavyweights, plus good friends of the show J. Cole, Black Milk, Royce Da 5’9″, Jake One, Shad, U-N-I, The Physics, Little Brother, Macklemore, Kendrick Lamar, Mayer Hawthorne, Little Dragon, and more.  These were all important records/artists during the last 500 shows and we enjoyed spinning some of their best material all night.

For the last track, we went back…way back…back into time…and pulled out a classic DJ Honda/Mos Def track that I’m sure you all know.  This was the last record I played on my college radio show (KSPC what up!  Kev Sakoda what up!!!) when I graduated (Pomona-Pitzer what up!!!) and it has special significance to me.  As mentioned on the show and hinted about previously on my socials, I’ve decided to pursue a work opportunity at my day job, ESPN, which will require me to take an extended business trip to our London office for about a year.  When a company like ESPN says they want to fly you to London to get international and managerial experience, it’s pretty much a no brainer…

That said, I’m really sad that I won’t be joining J on air during my time abroad.  However, much like the rest of the iceberg you don’t see under the water (SNSS as glacial metaphor: +2 points), there’s a lot of back end work that we put in every week for the show and I’ll still be involved with all of that.  So don’t worry, it’s still SNSS all day, but you’ll just have to do without hearing my silly voice and even sillier jokes on air (connect with me on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram if you need those).  I’ll continue to check in with y’all via these archives and like Mos said, “gotta lotta things I got to do // but God willing, I’m comin’ back to you…”

500 shows down, here’s to 500 more!

Show #500 (1-11-15)
**500th Show Celebration**

1.    Jay-Z – “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)”
2.    J. Cole – “Lights Please”
3.    Black Milk ft. Royce Da 5’9” – “Losing Out”
4.    Jake One ft. Vitamin D, C Note, Maine, & Ish (of Shabazz Palaces) – “Home” (Local Music)
5.    Blu & Exile – “Dancing In The Rain”
6.    Shad – “I Don’t Like To”
7.    U-N-I – “Beautiful Day”
8.    Dom Kennedy – “1997”
9.    The Physics – “I Just Wanna Beat” (Local Music)
10.    Little Brother ft. Dion – “Step It Up”
11.    Jay Electronica – “Exhibit C”
12.    Kanye West ft. Dwele – “Flashing Lights”
13.    Drake – “Say What’s Real”
14.    Kid Cudi – “Day N Nite”
15.    Theophilus London – “Flying Overseas”
16.    Macklemore – “White Privilege” (Local Music)
17.    Kendrick Lamar – “The Heart, Pt. 1”
18.    Common ft. Kanye West & John Legend – “They Say”
19.    J Dilla – “Won’t Do”
20.    Amy Winehouse ft. Ghostface Killah – “You Know I’m No Good”
21.    Mayer Hawthorne – “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out”
22.    Little Dragon – “Constant Surprises”
23.    Frank Ocean – “Novacane”
24.    BJ The Chicago Kid – “Good Luv’n”
25.    The Weeknd – “What You Need”
26.    DJ Honda ft. Mos Def – “Travellin’ Man” (Throwback of the Week)

Stream/Download via Soundcloud below:

(back up – https://www.sendspace.com/file/lvya1b)

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email, DJHyphen@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sound Session #499 (1-4-15)

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on January 5th, 2015 by Hyphen

SNSS

As is tradition with the first Sound Session of the year, we started this episode looking back on 2014 (shout to Skillz for rekindling his rap up series) before turning our focus to the days ahead.  J and I both feel like there’s lots of good energy around right now, so we’re excited to see what 2015 brings, personally, professionally, cultural, etc..  Hopefully you guys are equally excited for the new year, but as we mentioned on the show, we’re not really a fan of resolutions.  Continued evolution through love and learning and new experiences should be the goal, and that should happen daily, not just at the top of the year.  Make it happen…

On this week’s show, we ran new music from ASAP Rocky, J. Cole, Mark Ronson, Mystikal, Funkghost, CRL CRRLL, Lion Babe, Little Simz, Tope, Kenn Starr, Joey Badass, Drake, D’Angelo, and more.  Lots of good music out there right now, hope you enjoy!

And before I go, a quick word on one of my favorite media figures, and a coworker at ESPN, Stuart Scott.  If you grew up in the 90’s and liked sports & music, Stu defined the intersection of the two.  In that regard, he was similarly as impactful as folks like Allen Iverson, the Fab 5, or Shaq.  He literally changed the media landscape by himself and by being himself.  He never compromisedHe was 100% genuine and the man you saw on TV was the same man in real life.

Growing up, I spent countless hours watching him cover sports and those were really formative years for me.  While everyone I watched on ESPN helped forge my desire to join the company later in life, he was probably the on-air personality I connected with the most.  He was like a good friend you saw all the time.  He was one of the homies.  That was our guy.  Today, he’s still reflected in the way all of us 80’s babies bring hip-hop into the workplace.

Most importantly, he was a dude that just lived life the way it’s meant to be done: to the fullest…being you…full of love and light.  Rest in peace to an icon and an inspiration.  We love you Stu, forever.

See you guys next week for SNSS #500!

Show #499 (1-4-15)

1.    Skillz – “2014”
2.    Bop Alloy (Substantial & Marcus D) – “Resolutions Per Minute” (Local Music)
3.    Joey Bada$$ ft. Dyemond Lewis & Maverick Sabre – “On & On”
4.    OB Obrien ft. Drake & P Reign – “Schemin’ Up”
5.    Nipsey Hussle ft. Buddy – “Status Symbol”
6.    J. Cole – “Fire Squad”
7.    PRhyme (Royce Da 5’9” & DJ Premier) ft. Jay Electronica – “To Me, To You”
8.    ASAP Rocky – “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2”
9.    Kenn Starr ft. Melanie Rutherford – “The Definition”
10.    Tope ft. Dizz – “Rocky” (Local Music)
11.    Mark Ronson ft. Mystikal – “Feel Right”
12.    Funkghost – “Inside and Out”
13.    Big K.R.I.T. ft. Bun B, Big Sant, & Devin The Dude – “Mo Better Cool”
14.    Kanye West ft. Paul McCartney – “Only One”
15.    D’Angelo & The Vanguard – “Prayer”
16.    CRL CRRLL – “Cheers”
17.    Lion Babe – “Don’t Break My Heart”
18.    Little Simz – “Frozen”
19.    Emay – “Landscaping”
20.    Da Bush Babees ft. Mos Def – “The Love Song” (Throwback of the Week)
21.    Ryan Caraveo – “Paradise”
22.    Rittz ft. B.o.B & Mike Posner – “In My Zone”

Stream/Download via Soundcloud below:

(back up – http://www.solidfiles.com/d/183e0ec305/DJ_Hyphen_and_J._Moore_-_Sunday_Night_Sound_Session%2C_Show_499%2C_1-4-15.mp3)

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email, DJHyphen@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sound Session #494 (11-30-14)

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on December 4th, 2014 by Hyphen

SNSS

On this week’s SNSS, J. Moore held down hosting duties solo and ran new records from Saigon, Shad, Ghostface, Von Pea, Heltah Skeltah, Chance The Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, Your Old Droog, Tom Misch, E-40, Eric Roberson, Raleigh Ritchie, Choklate, and more.  Y’all know I hate to miss episodes and only do so when there are extenuating circumstances, and this week qualifies.  I enjoyed my time at Amazon Digital Music for my day job but I decided to make the jump back to my previous company, ESPN, and I’ve been finalizing everything out here at ESPN HQ in Connecticut.  I’ll be doing lots of travel for the new gig, but as Puff Dave said, SNSS can’t stop, won’t stop…eh eh.

The show goes on, as always, and this week was no exception.  Enjoy the cuts…

Show #494 (11-30-14)

1.    Big K.R.I.T. – “My Sub, Pt. 3”
2.    Saigon ft. Peter Jericho – “Street Gospel”
3.    PRhyme (Royce Da 5’9” & DJ Premier) – “Courtesy”
4.    Shad & DJ T.Lo – “Knock”
5.    Ghostface Killah ft. AZ – “Blood In The Streets”
6.    Von Pea & The Other Guys – “Chasing Amy (aka In Your Heart)”
7.    Pusha T – “Lunch Money”
8.    Statik Selektah ft. Sean Price & Rock – “Heltah Skeltah”
9.    DistantStarr – “Smooth”
10.    Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – “Sunday Candy”
11.    Romaro Franceswa – “Bout That Life” (Local Music)
12.    Choosey – “Oh Lawd”
13.    Wu-Tang Clan ft. Streetlife – “Mistaken Identity”
14.    Your Old Droog – “Free Turkey”
15.    Devante Cash & Mundy – “The Meet” (Local Music)
16.    E-40 – “Choices (Yup)”
17.    Eric Roberson ft. Pharoahe Monch – “The Cycle”
18.    Tom Misch & Carmody – “So Close”
19.    SZA – “Sobriety”
20.    Raleigh Ritchie – “You Make It Worse”
21.    Goapele ft. Eric Benet – “My Love”
22.    THURZ ft. BJ The Chicago Kid, Clyde Carson, OverDoz, & Preston Harris – “The Big Bang / Running From Your Love”
23.    Luke Christopher – “Ms. Holy Water”
24.    Black Star – “Astronomy (8th Light)” (Throwback of the Week)
25.    Nas – “The Season”
26.    Black Milk – “Story and Her”
27.    Anderson Paak – “Put You On”
28.    Choklate – “The Tea (Opolopo Remix)” (Local Music)

Link to download/stream the mp3 of the show – http://www.solidfiles.com/d/a76f4e7c73/DJ_Hyphen_and_J._Moore_-_Sunday_Night_Sound_Session%2C_Show_494%2C_11-30-14.mp3
(back up – http://linkmixes.com/h318gzsnxwqp)
(2nd back up – https://www.sendspace.com/file/rlanli)

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email, DJHyphen@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sound Session #459 (3-30-14)

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on April 7th, 2014 by Hyphen

SNSS

Apologies for the delay on this week’s episode, but I was busy wrapping up my day job with ESPN so things were a bit hectic.  Special shout and many thanks to all my ESPN folks that I’ve worked with the last few years and especially those that peep this show each week.  It’s been fun!  Thank you guys for everything.  Guess I’ll make the announcement of where I’m headed in the next update…

Anyway, this week’s SNSS episode featured new music from Wu-Tang Clan, TwizzMatic, Sean C & LV, Busta Rhymes, Raz Simone, Sam Smith, Buddy, SZA, Mila J, Big Boi, CunninLynguists, Tunji, and more.  Plus, we were joined in studio by a new (and very dope) local group named Hightek Lowlives, and up and coming singer TeeFLii swung by to talk about his new release with DJ Mustard and 2 Chainz.

Enjoy the show!

Show #459 (3-30-14)

  1. Wu-Tang Clan ft. Nathaniel – “Keep Watch”
  2. TwizzMatic – “Defect”
  3. Sean C & LV ft. Busta Rhymes – “Bus Stop”
  4. Chuck Inglish ft. BJ The Chicago Kid – “Attitude”
  5. **INTERVIEW WITH HIGHTEK LOWLIVES, PT. 1**
  6. 50 Cent – “Pilot”
  7. YG ft. TeeFLii – “Do It To Ya”
  8. TeeFLii ft. 2 Chainz – “24 Hours”
  9. Rick Ross ft. Scarface & Z-Ro – “Blessing In Disguise”
  10. Raz Simone – “Hometown” (Local Music)
  11. Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”
  12. Asher Roth ft. Vic Mensa – “Fast Life”
  13. CunninLynguists ft. Tunji – “South California”
  14. **INTERVIEW WITH HIGHTEK LOWLIVES, PT. 2**
  15. Hightek Lowlives – “Error Code 504” (Local Music)
  16. 100s ft. Cherub – “Different Type Of Love”
  17. **INTERVIEW WITH HIGHTEK LOWLIVES, PT. 3**
  18. The Bar (Prometheus Brown & Bambu) – “Coming (To America)” (Local Music)
  19. Buddy ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Staircases”
  20. Schoolboy Q ft. SZA – “His & Her Fiend”
  21. SZA ft. Chance The Rapper – “Child’s Play”
  22. Mila J – “Smoke, Drink, Break Up”
  23. Tory Lanez – “R.I.D.E.”
  24. Erik Hassle – “Ready For You”
  25. Big Boi ft. ASAP Rocky & Phantogram – “Lanes (A-Ha Mash Up)”
  26. Jaylib – “Starz” (Throwback of the Week)
  27. Jay-Z & Jay Electronica – “We Made It Freestyle”
  28. Isaiah Rashad – “Soliloquy”
  29. Vince Staples – “Locked & Loaded”
  30. Dom Kennedy ft. Nipsey Hussle – “Pleeze”
  31. **INTERVIEW WITH TEEFLII**

Link to download/stream the mp3 of the show – http://www.solidfiles.com/d/d0e7b93cc3/DJ_Hyphen_and_J._Moore_-_Sunday_Night_Sound_Session%2C_Show_459%2C_3-30-14.mp3
(back up – http://www74.zippyshare.com/v/23001620/file.html)
(2nd back up – http://linkmixes.com/vlone8xvp6z9)

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email, DJHyphen@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sound Session #443 (12-8-13)

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on December 15th, 2013 by Hyphen

SNSS

Apologies for another late archive of SNSS, but I was running around crazy last week in NYC for the day job and didn’t get a chance to toss this up.  Shout to everyone I ran into in the Big Apple, especially Lee (Warner), JJ (Foundation), and Jess (CoSign), who have been supporting me from waaaaay back in the college radio days and continue to be some of my favorite folks in the whole biz.  Appreciate y’all!

LA folks, headed your way this week so holler at me if you want to catch up!

For this week’s episode, we played new cuts from artists like Action Bronson, Sean Price, A$AP Mob, Kanin, YG Hootie, Nipsey Hussle, Alina Baraz, 21, Wiley, Joey Bada$$, Tinashe, 7 Days Of Funk, and more.  Lots of good music here.  We were also joined in studio by yet another talented up and coming MC from Seattle (we’re producing those for fun these days), Donte Peace.  Watch out for this kid and enjoy the show!

Show #443 (12-8-13)

  1. Action Bronson & Party Supplies – “Rolling Thunder”
  2. Sean Price & M-Phazes – “Dump In The Gut”
  3. A$AP Mob ft. A$AP Nast & Method Man – “Trillmatic”
  4. Drake – “Wu-Tang Forever”
  5. Wu-Tang Clan – “It’s Yourz” (Throwback of the Week)
  6. Kanin ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Winner Circle”
  7. YG Hootie ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Two Presidents”
  8. Nipsey Hussle ft. J. Stone – “All Get Right”
  9. Leezy Soprano ft. Kokane – “Just That Type” (Local Music)
  10. 7 Days of Funk (Dam-Funk & Snoop Dogg) – “I’ll Be There 4U”
  11. **INTERVIEW WITH DONTE PEACE, PT. 1**
  12. Donte Peace – “Remember ‘97” (Local Music)
  13. **INTERVIEW WITH DONTE PEACE, PT. 2**
  14. Jhene Aiko ft. Childish Gambino – “Bed Peace”
  15. Childish Gambino ft. Jhene Aiko – “Pink Toes”
  16. Tinashe ft. Travis Scott – “Vulnerable”
  17. Alina Baraz & Galimatias – “Make You Feel”
  18. Made In Heights – “Death” (Local Music)
  19. 21 – “Smoker’s Redemption”
  20. MeLo-X – “Break From Flatbush”
  21. Wiley ft. Andreena Mill – “Born In The Cold”
  22. Justin Timberlake ft. J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, & Pusha T – “TKO (Black Friday Remix)”
  23. Joey Bada$$ – “Two Lips”

Link to download/stream the mp3 of the show – http://www.solidfiles.com/d/b27f4f1e84/
(back up – http://www6.zippyshare.com/v/14516984/file.html)
(2nd back up – http://linkmixes.com/o5vhq370ao7o)

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email, DJHyphen@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jason Sudeikis as Coach Lasso (NBC Sports Premier League Film)

Posted in Comedy, Sports, Videos on August 3rd, 2013 by Hyphen

Being a huge English Premier League fan, I have mixed feelings about NBC Sports acquiring the US TV rights starting this upcoming season. On one hand, at least it’s not at Fox, whose production value for FSC has always been abysmal, and being part of the NBC family should help increase the exposure to the US.  However, obviously I’d prefer the rights to be owned by my company, ESPN, plus I’m a little concerned this piece above will be representative of how they cover a foreign sports league.

Concerns aside, I LOL’d.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sound Session #381 (9-30-12)

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on October 5th, 2012 by Hyphen

Apologies again for the delay in posting this week’s episode of SNSS, but I spent the first half of the week doing day job work at ESPN’s HQ in Bristol, CT.  People based there are used to seeing all the random on-air hosts and celebrities come through, but it was a trip literally bumping into folks like Stephen A. Smith, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg, Tedy Bruschi, and even the legendary Jerry Rice (!!!) in the hallways.  Sitting in the control room during SportsCenter and First Take was an incredible experience too.  Almost as good as appearing on SportsCenter a few weeks ago.  Oh you ain’t know?  Take a peek.

Anyway, back to the music.  This past week’s show featured new music from folks like David Dallas, Curren$y, Miguel, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Sir Michael Rocks, Rockie Fresh, Pharoahe Monch, Quelle Chris, Toussaint Morrison, Wax Tailor, Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne, Rapsody, and more.  Good lineup.  Trust me.

Show #381 (9-30-12)

  1. Brother Ali – “Need A Knot”
  2. David Dallas – “Ever Get The Feeling”
  3. DJ Drama ft. Rick Ross, Pusha T, Curren$y, & Miguel – “Clouds”
  4. Wiz Khalifa ft. The Weeknd – “Remember You”
  5. Steven A. Clark – “F.*.C.K., Pt. 2”
  6. Kid Cudi ft. King Chip – “Just What I Am”
  7. Rebel ft. Brothers From Another – “Outta Yo Mind” (Local Music)
  8. Sir Michael Rocks ft. Rockie Fresh – “Can’t Hide It”
  9. Pharoahe Monch – “Damage”
  10. ILLFIGHTYOU – “92” (Local Music)
  11. Quelle Chris – “Milky”
  12. Binary Star – “Reality Check” (Throwback of the Week)
  13. Kilo Kush – “Navy”
  14. Lupe Fiasco ft. Bilal – “How Dare You”
  15. Kanye West ft. Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, CyHi The Prynce, Kid Cudi, & D’Banj – “The Morning”
  16. Frank Ocean – “Bad Religion”
  17. Talib Kweli ft. Ryan Leslie – “Outstanding”
  18. Toussaint Morrison – “Can’t Relive The Party”
  19. Wax Tailor ft. Aloe Blacc – “Time To Go”
  20. Mayer Hawthorne – “No Strings (RAC Remix)”
  21. Sonny Bonoho ft. Xperience & Bizarre – “Oh, God!” (Local Music)
  22. Miguel – “Do You…”
  23. Rapsody ft. Heather Victoria – “The Drums”
  24. Styles of Beyond ft. Michael Buble – “Damn”

Link to download the mp3 of the show – http://www.mediafire.com/?xuk8u2hqyr5c4im
(back up / streaming link – http://www40.zippyshare.com/v/99939525/file.html)
(2nd back up – http://linkmixes.com/mlgtplh5kgpz)

If there are any problems with the links or if you’d like to be added to our weekly email list to receive the playlist and download links after every show, just shoot me an email, DJHyphen@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

All Tim Tebow Does Is Win…not today though (video)

Posted in Comedy, Music Videos, Sports on December 18th, 2011 by Hyphen

ESPN’s Skip Bayless is easily the biggest Tim Tebow supporter (politest word I could use there) and while we’re all enjoying Tebow-mania, the bandwagon took a step back in to reality with today’s defeat to the New England Patriots. This video is still classic though.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Wale on Sound Session

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Sound Session, Videos on December 4th, 2011 by Hyphen

While in town for the “Ambition” tour on 11/25/11, Wale stopped by KUBE and the SNSS studio to chat with me for a few moments.  We talked about his Ambition album, years of grinding for success, what it’s like seeing fans quote his lyrics on Facebook & Twitter, and more.  Since he’s always known as one of hip-hop’s most fervent sports fans, we had to talk some football so I asked about his recent debates with Skip Bayless at ESPN, who is the best running back in the NFL, his take on Tebow-mania, and what we should do with the BCS.

If you’d prefer to just listen to the audio, download/streaming links are below:

Wale on Sound Sessionhttp://www.mediafire.com/?hdqw9fmweo1trjc
(back up / streaming link – http://hulkshare.com/rosy83wfkyfi)

Ambition is in stores now, cop that.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Francis Coquelin’s brilliance and why you don’t like soccer

Posted in Sports, Videos on October 5th, 2011 by Hyphen

(don’t watch this yet!  read first, then watch…)

If you know me in real life, you know that as much as I live and breathe music, sports has always been far more important to me.  With my dad’s British upbringing, soccer logically became my first sport and growing up, I must say, I was pretty talented (and equally modest…or not).  As I got older and more immersed in our country’s sports culture, I was drawn to the major US sports and eventually basketball edged out soccer as my top choice. I put the cleats away, laced up the high tops, and ended up playing small college basketball down in Los Angeles.  Nothing glamorous, but it kept me busy and shoot, there aren’t THAT many people who can say they’ve made the NCAA tournament!  *cough* Division III though *cough*

After graduating, I returned to Seattle and while I’ve enjoyed playing in the Puget Sound Basketball League, I’ve had a lot more fun playing for a few soccer clubs up here.  Perhaps it’s a little sad, but the two games I play each week are often highlights that I look forward to when I’m bored with the monotony of my day job and music work.  It’s even at the point now where my basketball games are cool…but I’d rather be on the pitch.

Alongside my own playing, I’ve started following professional leagues around the globe, really buying in completely around the 2006 World Cup.  Not only does it provide the obvious entertainment, but I find something really important in maintaining a regular connection, albeit fairly superficial, to the rest of the world.  It’s sickeningly easy for Americans to forget that societies exist outside our borders (and are comfortably passing us by), so by following leagues in Europe, South America, and Asia, plus the international clubs from the rest of the world, I’m actually exposed to a good bit of culture and news I’d otherwise miss out on.  Plus, it provides a nice escape when the sports media (hi friendly employer!) and all my friends talk about the same stories.  Trust me, I’m up on all the happenings in basketball, football, and baseball, but watching/playing soccer allows me to follow stories that most people I interact with simply haven’t heard.

Naturally, this leads to the awkward existence of the US soccer fan.  There are more of us than ever before.  The MLS and US Men’s & Women’s teams are more popular than at any point in history.  We are a legitimate player in the soccer world, but admittedly, we are nowhere near the top.  Thanks to our size and economy (assuming we still have one in a few years), we have potential to join the top tier, but we have a long fight ahead.  Americans are generally either apathetic to the sport or they foster a strangely antagonistic, and not so subtle jingoistic, disdain for it.  There’s nothing that angers a non-soccer fan more than hearing how it’s the most popular sport in the world.

What does all this rambling have to do with the video posted above?  Well, Francis Coquelin’s excellent performance as a defensive midfielder for Arsenal in their recent loss to Tottenham epitomizes why the average US sports fan doesn’t really like soccer.

Watch the video above.  I’ll wait.

Done?

Ok, so what did you see?

6 minutes of “nothing special,” right?  No thumping headers, athletic bicycle kicks, or Bend It Like Beckham-esque free kicks.  Hell, you didn’t even get a goal!  Instead, just a great deal of industry, grit, ingenuity, vision, agility, strength, speed, finesse, and calmness that displayed almost everything you want from a player in that position on the pitch.  Granted, the youngster made a few poor touches and distributed some loose passes, but overall, it was the lone bright spot in what has become a shockingly poor season for Arsenal.  In all fairness, it was far from what a top defensive midfielder is capable of, but it still underscores my point.

If you can’t appreciate a performance like that, you’ll never truly love the sport.  If your eye can’t spot the subtle adjustments necessary for a positive first touch or the instinctive movement to create the right passing angle, you’re going to be awfully bored while you wait for the goals to come.  If you’ve been brainwashed by our highlight driven society, you’re missing out on the building blocks for those incredible moments in the Top 10 countdown.

I’ll even go one step further, and likely anger some of my soccer loving friends at the same time.  If you haven’t played the sport and tried to do what these guys make look effortless, you don’t fully understand the beauty of soccer.  Yeah, I know…that’s pretty self-righteous, but I feel it’s true.  Fans are quick to jeer when a free kick is ballooned in to the stands, but how many hours have you spent trying to hit the upper 90?  If that number is high, you have a better understanding of what the player has attempted.  Fact.  Trying to curl in kicks from FIFA doesn’t cut it.

I don’t expect this rant to convince any non-soccer fans to give the sport another try and in fact, it may have the opposite result.  That’s fine though.  I view soccer similarly to how I view hip-hop.  Either you’re in it and you live/love/breathe it, or you’re not.

You don’t have to be, but for those of us who are, seeing a young kid like Coquelin deliver such an impressive performance in his 2nd EPL start reminds us of an amateur MC stringing together a few bars brilliantly in the middle of a solid verse.  Not enough to blow you away but just enough where everyone in the room felt it at that moment…like “yeah…that part right there?…that was it.”

It can be whatever you want it to be.  Just don’t try to tell me what it is to me.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,