1. Intelligent sportswriting on blogs – From superstar sites like Grantland and MMQB to smaller team blogs, there’s never been a better time to be a sports fan. Outside of the usual pre-game and post-game analysis, writers and analysts can break down specific plays and trends, and deliver them to a wider, starving audience. Social media broke open a million voices, allowing us to have conversations and debates with people we’ve never met, who notice the same minute details we do.
2. Thanksgiving NFL Games – The Detroit Lions have played every Thanksgiving since 1934. The Dallas Cowboys have only missed two Thanksgiving games since 1966. Thanksgiving Day NFL is as much part of the holiday as turkey and stuffing. Team records and wins and losses don’t matter on that day – it’s about memories.
3. Streaming TV – It’s never been easier to watch sports with streaming services like MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, and MLS Live. And the continued improvement of smartphone technology means that we’ll have HD streams delivered right to our phones. When I think of where I was for memorable sports moments, it’s my living room, my friend’s dorm room, or a sports bar. In the future, you can add bus stops, stores, highways – anywhere you get phone reception – to the list.
4. GIFs – If it wasn’t for GIFs, these moments would be lost forever.
5. Youtube Highlight Compilations – You miss last night’s performance from your favorite player? Someone made a compilation of it. Your alma mater rumored to be recruiting the best running back in the state? There’s a YouTube compilation for that, too.
It also wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the tireless work of those compilation makers who turned this into an art.
6. The College Basketball Freshman of 2014 – Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon – the list goes on. The NBA’s future is in good hands.
7. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady – like the golden age of television with “The Wire”, “Sopranos”, and “Breaking Bad”, we’re in a golden age of great quarterbacks. Appreciate them while they’re still playing.
8. The New Era of Quarterbacks – the quarterback position is the most influential in all of sports. No team’s fate relies on one position like the quarterback. But with Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck, amongst others, the position is in good hands.
9. Houston Rockets Relevancy – It started last season with the trade for James Harden, and entered a next level with the signing of Dwight Howard over the summer. The Rockets are on a short list of Nao’s favorite teams. The feeling in Clutch City is back.
10. The Community of Sports – very few things in life bring people of all walks together like sports.