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"The Best Last Best Plane Ride Ever"

Tim McCarthy

On October 15, 1986, the New York Mets came back from a three-run deficit in the ninth and beat the Houston Astros in 16 innings to win the pennant. What followed, was one of the most infamous postgame celebrations in all of sports. Here is an animated version of the story that was directed, illustrated and animated by James Blagden for Victory Journal

I don’t think this incident would’ve happened if it wasn’t for hard liquor.
— Kevin Mitchell

You may also recognize James' work from Dock Ellis & the LSD No-No


Tim McCarthy

In honor of the U.S. Open, The New Yorker celebrated the local sporting event with a cover design by the talented Christoph Niemann.

In addition to the cover, Niemann brought the tennis match to life with a  360° animation video. The virtual-reality experience (which can be best viewed with Google Cardboard) places viewers on the court of a tennis ball match.

Niemann is the artist behind one of The New Yorker's first cover gifs and in May, he illustrated the magazine’s first augmented-reality cover, which featured an interactive New York cityscape. 

You can also check out some work that Niemann did for the 2014 World Cup.

NJR x Jordan

Tim McCarthy

The incredible thing about Nike is it's ability to leverage great design to transcend all sports. Which is why they're one of the few brands that can combine two sports like basketball and soccer. As part of a unique Nike/Jordan collaboration, Neymar Jr. will become the first soccer athlete to wear the Jumpman logo on his cleats. Additionally, the Jordan Brand will release a Neymar edition of the Jordan V Low with “Neymar” stitched inside the tongue.

The NJR x JORDAN Hypervenom football boot design comes from Nathan VanHook, Nike Football Sr. Design Director. He also happens to be an old friend from college so I couldn't be happier for him on this collaboration. Nate is one of the most creative I know. He is obsessive about the small details and makes sure that every element has a reason or tells a story. This design really reflects him as a designer. 

Oh and have you ever heard of Kayne West? Yeah he designed some kicks for that guy too.

Nathan VanHook's sketch

I also rally enjoy the logo they created for this collaboration. It's a nice, clean lockup but still allows the Jordan brand to be prominent. I've seen some shots of the shoebox that use the logo and paint splatter but wasn't able to find a good enough image to post. 

The Ringer

Tim McCarthy

Today marks the launch of Bill Simmons and crew's second venture, The Ringer, a website dedicated to sports, pop culture, tech and of course, Game of Thrones. Designer and illustrator, Mickey Duzyj, did an amazing job on the branding and the new animated header on the site.

I heard rumors that the site was going to be built on the Medium so I was curious to see how a brand/company would be treated on the platform. How custom would it get? Would Medium feature it on their homepage? What would advertising look like? The result seems like a fairly smart Medium hack to test the waters. And although Medium isn't giving it much love on their homepage, the site does a lot of heavy lifting on it's own with some "Lite" advertising. 

Vintage Cycling Jerseys

Tim McCarthy

Fashion designer, Paul Smith, has released a new book called Cycling Scrapbook that charts the history of his love for the sport of cycling and includes a lovely photo series documenting his collection of old jerseys. 


The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere

Tim McCarthy

Need some motivation? You should probably watch this.

"The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere" is an inspiring short-film about Haru Urara, a racehorse who could never win a race, but eventually became a symbol of hope in Japan. And though she never did win, Haru Urara did accomplish something greater: she saved a racetrack.

The film is a 30 For 30 Short directed by Mickey Duzyj, an artist and filmmaker, who has been featured on the blog in the past. His work includes animation for the ESPN 30 for 30 feature "You Don't Know Bo" and the Emmy-nominated ESPN animated short "The Perfect 18" about an IT manager's perfect game of Putt-Putt golf. 

I'm a big fan of Mickey's work and the way he committed to a small color palette for this video. It helps tell concise story that is cohesive and fun. Here's a few of my favorite stills from the film:

Strength in Numbers

Tim McCarthy

Every year, all 16 teams involved in the NBA Playoffs get some slogan to support their team. Most commonly, these graphic slogans are seen on t-shirts of the home crowd when they are trying to psych out the opposing team with something like a "white out." Sometimes they're classic and simple like "Go Spurs Go" and others are a bit of stretch and come off gimmicky.  

The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors are using a term that might sound cheesy at first but given the record setting numbers the team put up this season and the very supporting fans, it actually works really well. The agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners ran with these numbers in a super smart campaign. 

With some hand-written type, they created a beautiful type lockup while subtly converting the "m" to a tally mark. It's extremely clever but it's also a nice break from the ultra-sporty type that fans are accustomed to seeing.

What really defines the campaign is how this small element translates to stats that can be applied to both the team, players and fans.

There are all these numbers, from the fans to the staff to the players. Everyone is tallying up these stats, so to speak, and this is kind of a way of unifying everybody.
— Danny Gonzalez, Creative Director

The campaign was displayed across several mediums, including print, video and even an interactive element for fans online.

In my opinion, the Golden State Warriors having one of the worst sport logos around. However, GSP was able to subtly mimic the bridge shape with the tally mark and it was a really nice touch.

When The King Held Court

Tim McCarthy

This past year, my wife and I drove cross country from Brooklyn to move out to San Francisco and along our journey, we stopped in Memphis, TN. Now I'm not one for tourist spots but while we were in town, we had to check out the world famous Graceland, Elvis Presley's home.

The whole experience was beyond touristy. We were herded around like cattle with "interactive" iPads and giant disposable headphones that made us look like we walked out of the 90's. Obviously, the voice guided tour was given to us by the one and only, John Stamos.

Have Mercy.

That being said, I learned a lot about The King that I never knew before the trip. For one, he was really into karate. The second, was that he got into racquetball and liked it so much that he built his own court on the Graceland property. Part of the tour brings you through the court which is now turned into a museum that is filled with gold records and outfits he used to wear. 

I recently saw that ESPN released a 30 for 30 short called When The King Held Court about Elvis and his love for racquetball. The piece was produced by the folks at Victory Journal and the illustrations were done by Benjamin Marra