THE GAME in Video: Phil Mickelson Goes Long and Overshoots His Receiver

Phil Mickelson may have not hit the million dollar shot, but he did win $50,000 for his charity and he also helped make a case for the potential interactions between athletic nodes that, on the surface, seem polar opposites.

Although, one could argue that the success of kickers and punters in football requires nerves, rhythm and poise (like golfers) rather than rage and brawn, its refreshing to see a popular and widely-played “finesse” sport like golf physically find its way onto a football field.

In many ways the role of those who participate in golf nodes is analogous to those of kickers and punters from football nodes. So a possible, but potentially prominent role for those from golf nodes who are in football nodes, could be as ThB “artillery pieces”. In this scenario, golf ThBs would play further back than a typical ThB, lobbing and firing golf balls into adjacent and far away zones where playmaking Ws (from other nodes, but on the same team) would be positioned to catch the shots.

By using analogous nodal elements, one can integrate disparate nodes like football and golf to successfully create a chain of unique competitions that can be blended (hybridized) or linked together.

Tupac’s Resurrection Shows the Endless Possibilities Ahead for G.3

The ghostly resurrection of Tupac Shakur last weekend at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was certainly not the first time hologram technology was used to blend the virtual and physical worlds together.

Even though, digitally creating people, characters and scenarios is not an entirely new frontier, I still couldn’t help but think, as virtual technologies become more immersive, how exciting the possibilities are for G.3 when merging the virtual and real worlds.

Some ideas for G.3 scenarios quickly came to mind:

  • Former friends-turned-rivals Tupac and Biggie Smalls reconcile to perform on stage together; which brings us to the idea of bringing back any performer who has passed and can now perform live with any still living performer or group. At the top of my wish list would be Freddie Mercury.
  • Safely and ethically integrate the domain of warfare (with armies, navies and so on from all eras) into G.3 competitions. Virtual technologies could also pit historically accurate and fictional military units against each other.
  • Pitting the all-time teams (of all sports and eras) against each other to help settle questions of who and which teams are the best of all-time.
  • Integrating past all-time teams and players into current G.3 play.
  • Playing out alternate histories that affect the outcome of G.3 competitions.
  • Enable the extension of video games into the physical world.

THE GAME In Pictures: Atlanta vs. Pittsburgh

G1_Pittsburgh_vs_Atlanta

In G.3, one of the many ways in which teams can be built is by combining professional, semi-professional or amateur teams from one city. How these teams interact with each other (if at all) in a GAME can vary widely.

On one end of the G.3 competition spectrum, one can find an alliance of teams representing a city; working together as a larger team but without direct interactions during the course of a GAME (at least on the field of play; however there will be interactions on a strategic and executive level to better coordinate the teams). Best described as “Games within THE GAME”, a GAME winner is determined by an aggregate score compiled from the constituent teams that form the larger team. These types of GAMEs would be ideally suited for G.3 enthusiasts who are node purists and who like to maintain a separation between nodes instead of direct interactions. For example:

G.3 Matchup: New York vs. Washington

Games  
New York Giants (NFL) 24 Washington Redskins (NFL) 21
New York Rangers (NHL) 3 Washington Capitals (NHL) 4
New York Mets (NL) 5 Washington Nationals (NL) 3
New York Red Bulls (MLS) 2 D.C. United (MLS) 2
New York Knicks (NBA) 105 Washington Wizards (NBA) 102
   
Winner: New York 139 Washington 132

On the other end of the G.3 competition spectrum, there are GAMEs that have many interactions between teams regardless of their node affiliation. Which brings us to the above image.

Inspired by the defense-offense transition formation, the compiled image above shows a G.3 matchup between teams from Pittsburgh and Atlanta. On the left is Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers football kit (designed by Jimmy Nutini; see more of his crossover concepts here) playing the hybrid position of football fullback, rugby fullback and American football safety. Polamalu’s defense mates have stopped the opposing offense (note Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets left wing Evander Kane transitioning to defense in the background) and his defense is now quickly transitioning to a multi-pronged offense (using multiple teams, fronts and balls simultaneously).

Playing deeper than Polamalu on the backline is a hybrid fullback (not pictured)—the last line of defense in this particular formation. A hybrid fullback must have the ability to play stout defense and take away the ball from the opposing teams’ forwards (regardless of nodes). A hybrid fullback must also, at times, be able to simultaneously receive and handle balls from allied teams, teammates and players outside/inside his nodes and zones; quickly distributing the balls in his possession to a vast array of forwards and backs. So it is easy to see why a hybrid fullback is an important catalyst in the defense-offense transition.

In the picture, a hybrid fullback has already passed the football to Polamalu, who is passing it further down the field to one of his forwards. At the same time and also pictured is Steelers punt returner Antonio Brown (84) streaking through Atlanta’s transition defense; pursued by members of the Atlanta Falcons punt coverage team. Also pictured is, in the foreground, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik pushing forward to help with the offensive attack. The multiple balls and points of actions are used to illustrate the multilinear flow of some GAMEs. 

THE GAME In Pictures: Manchester United & Tampa Bay Buccaneers Host Arsenal & Colorado Avalanche at Old Trafford

GAME_ManU_Arsenal_Avs

In a previous post on THE IdeaBOARD, I proposed that there could be the potential for owners of multiple sports teams across many nodes to eventually consolidate their teams for the purpose of participating in GAMEs:

Although having multiple teams in different nodes sharing a single owner or ownership entity does not necessarily lead to cross-node GAME interactions of those teams, there are the right components and the right environment (a relatively slow worldwide economy with leagues and teams in many sports and markets struggling to remain competitive or viable) for a forward-thinking owner or fan base to seize an opportunity and enable initial interactions between nodes; eventually leading to something deeper and substantive esthetically (as new nodes are linked or blended, completely new nodes are generated) and financially (cross-branding takes on a deeper new meaning; disparate nodes are no longer solely linked by common values, demographics or financial opportunities, but are literally linked or blended together).

In the composite shot above, Manchester United midfielder Anderson fires the ball between Colorado Avalanche defenseman Shane O’Brien and a sliding Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech SzczÄ™sny as Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna looks on. Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are owned by Malcolm Glazer and his family. Stan Kroenke owns Arsenal and the Colorado Avalanche.

THE GAME In Pictures: A Basic GAME Formation Featuring Denard Robinson and Pat White

BGF_Denard_Robinson-Pat_Whi

A previous post detailed the first basic GAME formation and suggested the ThB positions for dynamic football quarterbacks, Pat White from West Virginia University and Denard Robinson from the University of Michigan.

In G.3 the ThB can be best described as a mobile multi-nodal hybrid position whose primary role is that of a thrower and whose targets are players spanning multiple nodes. ThB’s can range from tall power throwers to relatively smaller, more explosive mobile throwers like White and Robinson.

The action shot above features an alternate reality in which Rich Rodriguez’s combined Michigan and West Virginia football spread option and GAME option attacks are advancing against a multi-team platoon that includes a squad of Ohio State defenders. Pat White (ThB) has just optioned the ball to Denard Robinson (ThB) after going through his throwing progressions on the wings (transition zones). Note White’s dirty uniform; a detail that reflects White’s transition from another node (played on natural grass) to his current node (played on FieldTurf).

Why Beauty Pageants Matter and Belong in G.3


Photo courtesy of AP/Miss America
When I watched the newly crowned 2012 Miss America, Wisconsin’s opera-singing Laura Kaeppeler, ascend her throne (?) last week, for some reason the first thing that popped into my head was the time and financial commitment, as well as the personal sacrifices the contestants and their families must have made over the years to just reach that moment. Certainly the benefits must outweigh the costs, I thought.

Writer and sociologist Hilary Levey Friedman discovered while researching her senior thesis at Harvard in 2000, there are many reasons why children and their parents enter the world of beauty pageants:

Parents with higher incomes and education beyond high school often cite teaching a child how to deal with competition as a main reason for entering pageants. Many of them want their daughters to be doctors, dentists, or to have professional careers, Levey discovered in interviews.

Moms on lower socioeconomic levels also think competition is healthy. "My daughter looks like Barbie," one said. "I tell her to exploit it. This is your life; you take what you have and run with it."

A high percentage of parents said they enter their children into beauty contests so they can meet others. "Pageants help my daughter make friends," one mother noted.

Other parents put their children into the competitions because they themselves found them to be helpful. "Pageants were a positive experience for me," another mom commented. "I became less shy, learned about public speaking, gained job interview skills, and got rid of a heavy Maine accent." 

A common thread we discover is that the competition serves as a platform where participants (or in some cases, the parents of the participants) learn and cultivate characteristics that contribute to a future track record of success. As it turns out the reasons are no different than those of us who are shuttling our kids from school to music lessons to sports practices and so on, day after day after day. Could it be that the path that Laura Kaeppeler took to the top is not all that different from an elite athlete, musician, scientist or even those of us who want to be considered the best at what we do?

Several years ago, a reader questioned me about including beauty pageants as a node in G.3. I explained that in any sport or profession, only a few reach an elite status. Even when one puts in the time and sacrifices that are necessary, there are no guarantees that one will reach the pinnacle of their profession. At its core, G.3 is simply a stage where its participants and practitioners have an opportunity to measure themselves against the countless variety of types and levels of competitors in a countless number of nodes. What makes G.3 great is that it pits the best from across all its nodes against each other. But, for those of us who may never reach the peak, G.3 can still help make us better at what we currently do, love to do or it can give us new exciting possibilities to pursue. In that sense, the Miss America Pageant is an ideal G.3 node.

There will always be detractors who regard true competitions as only those that severely test the physical or mental will of its participants. But, therein lies the beauty of G.3. Although a more nuanced view of what is an elite competition will certainly enhance the enjoyment of G.3 as a participant or aficionado, it isn’t required to enjoy the many other aspects of G.3 that may better suit those who have a very specific definition of “competition”.

Combining Eras In G.3: “NBA Forever”

This amazing commercial tells more than I could in words about how lucky we would be if, one day, G.3 could transcend time and eras and bring together all who have taken part or could have taken part in G.3 for one big GAME.
It’s a dream that currently resides in the worlds of video editing, video game design, cinema or online sports simulations, but here’s to one day being able to live inside such an extraordinary dream.

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