The 2018 season is right around the corner for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the rest of the college football universe. The closer and closer we get, there seems to be an incredible amount of “hype videos” produced and uploaded to the internet.
Generally, I loathe preseason hype / highlight videos, and I have never understood why so many people enjoy them so much. For much of the highlights, there are a handful (or more) of players that are no longer at Notre Dame. How am I supposed to get HYPE from a video about a season without guys like Josh Adams, Quenton Nelson, and Mike McGlinchey gone?
There are always a few exceptions, but usually those exceptions are only about 45 seconds long (just sayin). Once the season starts, I sing a much different tune as the highlights actually include plays and players for this season.
So... why are we here? Well, Jude (@andrewwinn) does what Jude does — he blew our Slack channel up today with highlight videos and demanded their immediate attention. That’s great BECAUSE BRAD IS GOING TO WATCH THEM AND RATE THEM!
Here ya go:
THAT’S RIGHT I’M HERE FOR THE HYPE (it’s Brad typing now, by the way). I may not be the late Roger Ebert or the late Gene Siskel (R.I.P. to both; those
men visionary innovators were employed to write hypercritical internet comments before the internet was even a thing), but I’ve seen three or four “hype” videos in my day. And since I know how to click on the YouTube pretty well, being a digital native and all that, I’ve volunteered to spend some time ingesting the latest batch of Notre Dame-centric “pump-up” and/or “hype” videos to let you know if they are... I guess, good?
Before I get started, let’s establish a ratings scale. I will give each video a rating from a system that is meant to function as a one-star to five-star type of thing. The ratings correspond to hype levels as follows:
One Star: An Email From Your Boss
You’re minding your own business at your desk on a Thursday afternoon, wondering if you should kick off early so you can get some sports blogging done later that evening. You go to check your emails one last time at 4:45 PM, and you see an email from your boss. And they want you to get something important done. You groan audibly. Hype level: NONEXISTENT.
Two Stars: Pretty Good Repeat Offender
There’s this pretty good little Malaysian restaurant next to a taproom at the end of your street, right? You like it just fine, as does your partner. It’s Friday date night, and your partner wants to eat there again. You sigh, as you were hoping for something new and possibly even Ethiopian or Indian. But you also know that you’re about to get a pretty good meal AND you’re definitely going to have three or four beers at the taproom afterward. Plus, you can walk there and back. You’ll be in your fat-boy pants and slippers by 9:30 PM. Hype level: I’M NOT MAD ABOUT THIS.
Three Stars: Mom Made Pizza Rolls
You’re eight years old, and you and your other third-grade friends just spent a hot, grueling, early afternoon in the summer playing football or baseball or chucking walnuts and dirt clods at each other. What? That’s what my friends and I did. Anyway, you head back towards the house and wait, is that mom? Does she have a tray?! DOES IT HAVE PIZZA ROLLS ON IT?!?! Yes. Yes, and she even brought out sour cream and ranch. Time. To. Get. EXCITED. Hype level: PIPIN’ HOT TOTINO’S.
Four Stars: Christmas Eve
You could be eight in this scenario, too. But you could also be 10, or 12, so let your imagination run wild. After all, you wrote your letter to Santa three months ago and have been SO GOOD all throughout the year and ESPECIALLY GOOD throughout Advent. You’ve been imagining a world in which you have all those Power Ranger Megazoid toys and Batman and Robin figurines and Nintendo 64’s that you asked for for some time now. And it’s Christmas Eve. The cookies and milk are out, the stockings are hung, and it’s snowing outside. You’ve got very little work left to do (remember, you must yet fall asleep somehow), but you know Christmas is just one sleep away. Hype level: WE AIN’T SLEEPIN’ TONIGHT.
Five Stars: I Just Watched Rudy
If you’re here and you’re a Notre Dame fan, then you’ve seen Rudy. You may have even shed a tear or 200. I don’t know, maybe I did, too. But you also know that the hype in the movie begins when Rudy’s teammates refuse to play if he’s not on the gameday roster. They even lay down their jerseys. And then, when Rudy himself breaks through the Georgia Tech offensive line, sacks that chump of a quarterback, and is carried off the field by his teammates, oh buddy. Hearts are pumpin’ and hype is through the roof. Hype level: RAN THROUGH A WALL.
The Videos: Video One
So now that we’ve established our system, let’s get into these videos.
The first video dropped into our Slack channel from the ever-vigilant and YouTube-watching Jude is one entitled “Notre Dame Pump Up Video || 2018-19 || Big Bidness”. Right off the bat my expectations are set: If this isn’t the biggest damn bidness I’ve ever seen, I’m going to be unhappy. Also, I assume I’ll know a bidness when I see it. Alright, goin’ in, video one:
First impression: Hm. This video is apparently a “WACKOWSKI PRODUCTION”, as noted by the text in the bottom-left of the video. I had to note early that that is NOT the Wachowski sisters, and this video is... probably... not The Matrix.
The video kicks off with an oft-used and frankly tired trope in the world of Notre Dame hype videos. An ESPN anchor laments the “has been” status of Notre Dame, and how they are “no longer the sport’s end-all.” Then we get a heartbeat, color me surprised, and that old interview with Brian Kelly being asked, “will Notre Dame win a national championship?” You know what he said.
This video does do something well early on. The juxtaposition of in-season highlights, pre-game graphics for different star players, summer training and weight lifting, and stadium entrance shots strikes a pretty nice balance, especially given the slow build of the hip hop music the video creator has chosen as their soundtrack.
The highlights of the 2018 season are kind of all over the place, as we see clips from early season games like the contest against the Michigan State Spartans and N.C. State Wolfpack in between clips of mid-season games like the one against the U.S.C. Trojans, and the bowl game against the L.S.U. Tigers. There is no narrative to this video beyond opening, and that makes watching this video feel like a bit of a mindless music video. The creator does do a good job bringing the volume of the music down and inserting the broadcast audio for the commentary, which is a really nice touch. The game-winning touchdown catch with commentary as the hip hop song wound down was a nice touch at the end, and frankly, I’m not mad at this video.
This video was basically a Pretty Good Repeat Offender, assuming I missed the bidness somewhere. Two Stars.
Our next video comes from Dub Highlights, and it is titled “Notre Dame Football Hype || Video 2018-2019 || Caution: May Give Fans Chills.” Ok, consider me... cautioned? Thank goodness, too. I would hate to think that, after watching this video, I had come down with the flu or an effective AC unit. Phew.
Turns out Notre Dame isn’t relevant anymore according to talking heads, you guys. Who knew? At least this video’s intro features newer sound clips from the type of guys that are guaranteed to fire Notre Dame fans up. None of you like Colin Cowherd or Skip Bayless, and Cowherd even says nice things about Brian Kelly. That, and analysts offering their opinions on conference alignment and the like, fill out this video’s prolonged intro, over clips of Notre Dame players getting dressed, stretching, and warming up. Overused and tired, this formula.
The audio editing job on this one isn’t great, though. The indie/alternative rock soundtrack is pretty much muted in favor of a fiery Brian Kelly pregame speech, and the video clips overlay new and old. Nothing about those old clips gets me fired up, to be honest.
Then the music goes from the uninspired indie rock to what I can only imagine is something like EDM and it’s not great. The video clips the creator chooses at this junction are random and don’t show a whole lot of consequential action. I appreciate the Notre Dame offensive line flattening people as much as the next guy, but those guys are gone and if I wanted to see that, I would’ve watched an NFL scouting video.
The creator decided to throw in some shots from the Citrus Bowl ceremony mixed with shots of Notre Dame winning their last national championship. Definitely not the same. It ends on a higher-than-the-rest note, however, showing intros for next year’s squad.
This video will leave you feeling like you’ve just received An Email From Your Boss. One star.
Our next entry has a simple and much more palatable name than its predecessors thus far. YouTuber Matthew Giller has graced us with “Notre Dame Football Hype Video 2018-19”. Descriptive and simple. I like it.
We were spared the pundits talking smack about the Irish and their reputation at the beginning of this one. Thank goodness. That story needs to be put to bed. Points already, right off the bat.
The soundtrack chosen for this one is much better than the hip-hop and EDM of its predecessors. I much prefer the “pop song remix” feel over the “noise in your ear” or “guy talking” feel. More points. We also are seeing a nice progression in terms of chronology for the clips, and the feel of the plays being highlighted (and the use of slow motion) fits with the arch of the song. Kudos to you, Matthew.
I would be very, very hyped if the guys making plays in the clips weren’t guys who were no longer on the team (Equanimeous St. Brown, Kevin Stepherson), but that’s not the video creator’s fault. This video was, to its credit, shorter than the others, and jam-packed with action. I’m feeling mildly hyped.
DO I SMELL TOTINO’S? This one has me feelin’ like Mom Made Pizza Rolls. Three stars.
Our next entry comes from YouTuber Ramses16 and is titled “Notre dame Football hype up video 2018-2019 ‘Millidelphia’”. Yeah, that’s not title or sentence case, and it maybe has something to do with the millenium and Philadelphia? Let’s see.
WHOO! SHOWTIME! That’s the vocals to the opening of the track that will be our background music for the next three minutes and 35 seconds. It is that weird genre of music that passes for rap these days, but at least the rapper is hype. The creator also makes really good use of slow motion clips in the opening and throughout the first bit of highlights.
The highlights, are also in, from what I can tell, an accurate chronological order. Anyone that lived the season we’re highlighting can relate to that, I dig it.
But, to get back to the music, it’s not edited. Don’t let your kids watch this one. But if you’re an adult and you don’t mind a mumbly but obviously hype vocal track over a daunting hip hop beat, you’ll feel this one.
Angry hip hop, an angry beat, Josh Adams busting long runs? The outro is the song dying down and the Irish accepting the Citrus Bowl trophy. Yep, I’m hyped. It’s basically Christmas Eve over here. Four stars.
Moving on! The last video I’ll review comes to us from YouTuber Sonja Hunt Football Videos. It’s title? “Notre Dame Football 2018-2019 Pump Up”. Love the simplicity, yet again. I know what I’m getting into.
The player interview to open up this video is unique and I really like it, especially given the response. A Notre Dame player states, into the camera following a loss, that he is “scared for other teams, because we are coming to punish each and every opponent we are coming to play.”
HOLY CRAP, TIM TEBOW. DAMN.
The highlights, slow motion and real-time play, as well as different angles, are all utilized with a pretty good balance to immerse you in the action. The music selection is by far the best of any video I’ve seen tonight. I have no idea who sings it or what it is, but I can at least enjoy a singer that can hit the proper notes. It’s not super angry or anything, but that fits the use of slow motion highlights the video creator has chosen to use.
Plus, we got a slow motion shot of the leprechaun. Total win. We get some good highlights of returning players, as well. The truest reason any of us would be hyped up for the upcoming season.
OK, I’m finally ready for football. Dexter Williams is eatin’, Khalid Kareem is sackin’ fools, and Julian Love is interceptin’ quarterbacks. HANG ON I NEED TO TAPE MY ANKLES! IT’S ALMOST FOOTBALL SEASON AND I FEEL LIKE I JUST WATCHED RUDY. Five stars.
Well, that’s it for my judgements upon amateur pump-up videos out there catering to Notre Dame fans. All in all, these YouTubers did a pretty good job and I had a somewhat enjoyable evening.
Granted, none of these videos touched the quality that the university video department puts forth with their Icon videos, but that wasn’t what I expected. Those videos are basically Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello”, which, is the “Battleship Potemkin” of hype videos. Feel free to drop your favorite hype video in the comments or let me know what you thought of these.
Won’t be long now, folks! Football is almost here! ARE YOU HYPED?