Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion
Jose Bautista’s legendary dinger, as seen via Vine.

As the internet mutates, so does the way we consume highlights of sick slams, huge homers, and stuff that happens in football. If YouTube killed SportsCenter and GIFs closed the casket, then Vine danced on its grave.

Vine will be dead itself soon, as you probably know. There were thousands of great videos, and I suggest you watch them all.


Vine was primarily a comedy platform, and it made some people rich in fame and money, but many others in ephemerality. In that latter group are thousands of sports fans, dumbstruck or enraged or elated by their teams, and moved to gesture in ways particularly formatted for six second video clips. There were also dudes crossing up animals, and dudes crossing up nobody.


But what I liked best about Vine was its utility as the most efficient possible delivery system for whatever play had just blown Twitter up like a grenade tossed down your timeline—Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron’s ear, LeBron packing Andre Iguodala into another century, etc. Missed the dunk contest? Well:


Vine was the perfect platform for highlights. It packed all the visual and auditory power that comes with a great sports moment into an easily consumed six-second package. GIFs are cool, but they could never transport you from your Twitter feed to the field like this:


Vine also had the advantage of accessibility. YouTube compilation videos and GIFs required a certain level of knowledge or skill to create, but Vine democratized the process of gathering the sports watching world around one highlight. Professionally uploaded clips were nice, but a phone pointed at a TV worked just as well, too.

Vine’s death means that consuming the best sports have to offer as efficiently as possible is harder now—much to the delight of the leagues, I’m sure, which have spent money and manpower trying to suppress the sharing of clips across social media. But we can take solace in knowing with absolute certainty that some sort of replacement will sprout up soon enough. Steph Curry ain’t gonna clown himself.

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