Sports Highlight Manifesto

Na-na-na, Na-na-na, This is Sportcenter.

Joe Montana, Tiger Woods,

Ronaldinho, we’ve got the goods.

 

Bicycle kicks, inverted tricks, athletic chicks, taped hockey sticks,

throw it all in the mix, gotta satisfy that fix.

 

Find a catchy background song to set the mood just right,

It can be intense, loud, fast, or even a little light.

 

Make sure the visuals are engaging,

attention spans are short,

even quicker than your mom’s aging.

 

I’m talkin’ bout touchdowns, goals, and slam dunks galore,

you think your highlight is better than mine?

This means war.

 

Big hits, high speed collisions,

hopefully this clip can fulfill my vision.

 

Home runs, game-winners, buzzer beaters too,

it’s what the people came to see,

so please give them what they’re due

 

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,

capturing emotion can taste so very sweet.

Sports can produce the purest drama,

although usually resulting from another’s trauma.

 

bench-clearing brawls, dropped gloves on the ice,

not good for young eyes,

but in my video that’s gonna look REAL nice.

 

From professionals to amateurs,

YouTube has helped stretch the parameters,

allowing Average Joe to make some sick reels,

that is, if he so feels.

 

 

The History of Sports Highlight Videos

Although sports highlights videos are everywhere today in sports media, the origin of the video genre is a little fuzzy. For starters, the first televised sporting event in the United States took place in May 1939, featuring a college baseball game between Columbia and Princeton. In the following decades, sports gradually became included in news programs, often in the form of a reporter giving a brief summary of the relevant games. As technology increased, so did the use of short clips of sporting events on television news programs; creating a type of sports highlight if you will.

However, the year that truly revolutionized sports in the United States was 1979, the year that ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) launched. Many skeptics thought the idea foolish; a news network dedicated to sports ‘round the clock? But this cable and satellite television juggernaut has been laughing at any early concerns for some time now. As of August 2013, roughly 98 million American households (85.58% of cable and satellite customers) receive ESPN. The channel features live sports broadcasts and a variety of sports talk shows, but the staple of ESPN, debuting with the network in 1979, is “Sportscenter”, the daily sports news program airing its 50,000th episode in 2012.

First Sportscenter Episode (unfortunately no actual highlights included)

ESPN in 1980 announcing that it will now be covering sports 24/7 (sweet old school highlight video included)

A more recent episode including the “Top 10 plays”

Sportscenter built its success on the sports highlight. The show can be described as an entertaining, neat, efficient, 30 minutes of delivering the biggest stories in sports, as well as the best plays in sports in the form of short highlight videos. There’s a reason it’s customary for so many people in this sports-obsessed nation to plop down for breakfast in the morning in front of Sportscenter, dutifully letting us know what we missed the previous day.

The history of amateur sports highlight making has a different story. The invention of Youtube, Vimeo, and other websites allowing anyone with a computer to post their video gave amateurs not only a platform, but an incentive to attempt to make their own sports montage. Most people post a video to the internet in the hopes that it will receive positive attention — and lots of it. It’s human nature to want to be praised, and that’s exactly the incentive Youtube and it’s sibling sites have created. ESPN has undoubtedly given some amateurs inspiration to make their own sports highlight, consisting of catchy music and jaw-dropping plays, just like how the big boys from Bristol do it (the headquarters of ESPN). As colleges have increased their recruiting tactics over the past decade or so, many coaches and players have taken advantage of highlight videos via Youtube as a means for scouting. The player can either make the highlight reel himself if he or she deems themselves savvy enough (like this soccer player here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj3er86f6dw), or hire one of the many professional services available on the internet (such as recruitreels.com, specializing in making recruiting videos).

 

Sports Highlight Videos

Whether on ESPN, your local news, or even youtube, chances are you have seen a sports highlight video. Ranging from the Super Bowl to a high school football player’s homemade recruiting video, sports highlights have documented the best plays in sports for some time now. Let’s outline what exactly constitutes a sports highlight video. For starters, the goal of a highlight video is to condense the best, most exciting, or most unusual plays of a game, season, or even of all time into a single video. For example, Highlights from an NFL game would typically feature the touchdowns scored, the biggest hits, and any game changing plays like an interception, sack, or big yardage gain. The clips used to recap a single game are usually disproportional in that more plays at the end of the game are shown, especially if the game was close.

A sports highlight video can come in a variety of formats. It can be a compilation of plays set to a song, a chronological recap of a game commented on by a sportscaster (a technique popularly used by ESPN and other major broadcasting networks), or an unedited compilation of the best plays from a previously televised game or match (so, exactly how you would see it on t.v, except only consisting of the exciting parts).

In our busy daily lives, we often don’t have time to plop down on a couch for two or more hours and watch an entire sporting event. That’s where highlights videos come into play. They allow sports fans to stay up to date on the sporting world, similarly to how a news source often gives only the most important and compelling pieces of information about a news story. Also, as fun and thrilling sports can be, there can be mundane moments. The beauty of a highlight video is that it’s able to package all of the stuff viewers want to see into a short, captivating video. Highlights can be used not only to see the best parts of a particular game, but also to compile the best plays of a sport. For example, a video on Youtube titled “Best Goals in History of Football” (soccer) is a montage of exactly what it says it is; the best goals of all time. It has racked up over 51 million views because it’s six minutes of the best soccer ever played, and that is what people want to see.

Sports are special because there is no script. Each game is brand new and capable of producing a never before seen play or scenario. Sports highlight videos work to capture these moments, and when executed correctly, can show the pure essence of why we love sports.