October 3, 2014
Drones Will Transform Sports Photography—Once the FAA Gets Out of the Way

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From Wired

Davis hands me the controls, and I’m airborne, zipping the drone through the Texas sky, stopping to hover over the football stadium in the distance before bringing it in for a landing. It’s thrilling—and suddenly clear why this is the future of sports photography.

Photo by Bo Bridges

September 11, 2014

Recording the Frenzy of Soccer Goalkeeping, 1,000 Times a Second

Over at Wired, I take a look at a very specific piece of equipment: an activity tracker designed especially for soccer goalkeepers. The company behind the device, Catapult, is one of the world leaders in this technology.

August 20, 2014
Baseball Bat With an Axe Handle Brings More Power, Fewer Injuries

The shape of a baseball bat hasn’t changed much in the past 150 years, and the axe is many times older than that. By combining those age-old tools, however, the makers of the Axe Bat believe they can bring something new to the Grand Old Game.

The Axe Bat is more than a Frankenstein-style meshing of an axe handle and a baseball bat barrel. The key lies in the bat’s final few inches near the handle. That’s where the design gracefully curves from the standard round shape to a asymmetrical oval before tapering to an angled knob at the end.

The results, as reported in a recent study by UCLA engineering professor Dr. Vijay Gupta, show that the Axe Bat is more comfortable, delivers more power and speed, and reduces injuries when compared with traditional bats.

(Wired)

April 2, 2014
You Shall Know His Velocity

New at Texas Monthly, my profile of high school baseball star Tyler Kolek. whose quote describes both him and his idol, Nolan Ryan:

“He’s a Texan. He throws hard. And he’s in the cattle business.”

Photo by Mike Janes / Four Seam Images

October 23, 2013
Texas’s Losingest High School Football Team Determined to Win

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Now up at TexasMonthly.com:

It’s been more than 1,500 days since Houston’s Scarborough High School won a football game. That’s 44 losses in a row, stretching back to September 2009. The seniors on the team have never won a high school football game; they were in eighth grade the last time the Spartans notched a win.

But for a team that hasn’t won a game since before the iPad was invented, the Spartans remain calm and, you could even say, oddly confident. They’re convinced that a win is coming and the streak will be broken.

October 9, 2013

I talked with Mike Vasquez and Henry Hanson for the latest episode of their Sports Technology Podcast. I got to chat about some of my favorite sports and tech stories, like basketball’s hidden positions and inspiring Paralympians.

(Source: soundcloud.com)

October 1, 2013
SXsports: The Inaugural Class

I was thrilled to hear that I’m part of the first panels announced for SXsports, a new component of South by Southwest. This year’s festival will include three days of talks, panels, and films focusing on sports.

My portion is a talk about how 3D printing is affecting sports, and I’ll be talking to experts like Mike Vazquez of Tribal Science and Ryan Larson, a prototyping expert for Nike. We’re joining some big names: film executive and team owner Peter Guber, Bill Simmons of Grantland and ESPN, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, and Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury.

More panels will be announced later this month. March will be here before you know it and it’s going to be a great ride.

September 23, 2013
Milestone: Making the New York Times

I had a big moment on Sunday when I got a byline in the New York Times for the first time. The Times and Texas Monthly work together to publish a weekly look at culture stories for the Times’ Sunday Texas edition.

Maybe by this time I’m supposed to be jaded, but I still get a palpable jolt seeing my byline in great publications like these:

The story is online in two places:

New York Times

Texas Monthly

September 2, 2013
Getting Back to Normal

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West is a baseball town—the team made it to the state finals last year and were in the playoffs again this spring—but Texas is a football state, so the season opener became one of the biggest community gatherings since this spring’s numerous memorials.

"Getting Back to Normal" - A trip to West, Texas for the first high school football game since the deadly fertilizer plant explosion. (Texas Monthly)

May 15, 2013

A new one up at ESPN Playbook:

Music has been part of the sports experience for more than 100 years, with marching bands and ballpark organists and blaring rock filling the air during breaks in the action. But the latest incarnation blends the human element and the latest in tech in a new way as DJs take their skills from the clubs to the stadiums.

Here’s a great example: Check out J. Period’s remix of the Brooklyn Nets official theme song.

 

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