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Slamball, 'One Tree Hill' and the art of the modern mashup

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It took a plug from a teen television drama, but it looks as though the sport of Slamball is making its way into the collective conscious like never before. Thanks to a host of Hollywood exec types and actor James Lafferty, the national spotlight is shining brightly on Slamball as Lafferty's character, Nathan Scott, takes on the sport as a means to re-ignite his once flaming hot basketball career.

Take a gander at the plethora of Slamball videos on Youtube. It's quite possible to find yourself mesmerized by this sport, which combines basketball, football (most will say ice hockey) and trampolines for a rambunctious good time. Best appreciated in slow motion, Slamball's appeal begins with its potential for danger. It's precarious enough to launch yourself several feet in the air with little regard for the return trip to the ground, but to do it while another soul is also launching himself equally high into the air with the intent on brining you down and you've got yourself a clever little game.

Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Lafferty about Slamball and the role the sport is playing on the show. He told the magazine:

"[Slamball] is like the closest thing to flying you can do without jumping out of an airplane or being strapped to a harness and swung around."

It gets better. Founder Mason Gordon recently revealed to the Los Angeles Daily News that he's trying to get Slamball into the Olympics. If he has it his way and we have it our way, Chicago 2016 will see the first Olympic SlamBall tournament. Consider this an endorsement for both!

Regardless of how people are learning about this sport, the fact that they are is clearly a good thing. There are countless songs that I was only luke warm on until Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk decided to smash several songs head-on into each other (see "Play Your Part") for some mashup deliciousness. Slamball strikes the same chord.

We're reaching a point in our society where creativity may be nearing a saturation point. There are only so many chords and combination of those chords that will sound purely original in music. That's why Girl Talk's mashups are so popular. It's the same with sport. Perhaps there just aren't that many ways you can make a quality game from little more than a stick and a ball so we're starting to find ways that we can combine sundry sports to create things like Slamball.

What could possibly be next? I vote politics and MMA. It's been a long couple years of following campaigns and it would be nice to watch candidates literally duke it out rather than doing so figuratively.

I digress ... thanks to the magic of internet video, we can see a behind-the-scenes howtheydothat from "One Tree Hill" on the ins and outs of Hollywood Slamball:

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For the most part, we deal with pretty inconsequential stuff in this blog.In the grand scheme of things it probably doesn't matter too much what kind of facial hair a quarterback is sporting or if slamball makes a comeback. Sports... Read More

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My roomate and I loved, nay, only had eyes for Slamball when we were in college. Whenever it was on we'd leave the following away message up: "Watching Slamball and yelling for an hour."

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on November 2, 2008 7:17 PM.

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