Starting Lineups: Chopping It Up With Ben Hooper Of Bumpy Pitch

Figuring out who you want to be and what you want to do will invariably cause people to laugh at you.

I can distinctly remember one of my best homies do it when I thought about starting Ed The Sports Fan. It's not meant to be disrespectful, but usually when you come up with some fly-by-night scheme in a fleeting moment, your closest friends realize how much of a disaster you are and are amazed that you'd think to start up a blog called Ed The Sports Dude.

It's "Fan," sir. Thank you.

Ben Hooper of Bumpy Pitch and The Original Winger has Shocked The World with me on a few Nike trips in the past, and one things clear. Dude is a rider. Not only did he follow my band of hooligans into the abyss in D.C., you know ... that place that Drake sings about in that one video ... yeah. But also, the dude is a rider for what he believes in. Hooper is a co-founder of a clothing line in Bumpy Pitch and The Original Winger, a soccer-specific lifestyle website, and when I chopped it up with him over at FOX Deportes he mentioned that in the beginning folks looked at them like they "were crazy" with their conceptual idea.

FOX Deportes: What has the evolution of Bumpy Pitch looked like? How has the integration of The Original Winger helped things grow the brand?

BP: The evolution has been interesting. When we first started we would tell people that Bumpy Pitch is inspired by the lifestyle and culture of soccer. People looked at us like we were crazy. They had no idea what that even meant. So part of the evolution has been introducing people to what the lifestyle is about and educating them on it. We had to let people know that you could  be a soccer fan but also be into music, sneakers, films, art, etc. Professional players all around the world are into these things, but fans often times forget that that you can be a soccer fan and live a lifestyle that incorporates these other elements.

The Original Winger has helped tremendously as it was a visual and editorial outlet to support and showcase this lifestyle. If we show Drake and Mario Balotelli hanging out talking soccer, music, video games, fashion, etc., then that shows the lifestyle better than we can ever try and write about. It’s natural and authentic and supports our whole idea behind things. So The Original Winger has been a platform to showcase this lifestyle, but it’s also created an opportunity to have a dialogue with people and get to know soccer fans from around the world. We didn’t start it with the intention of it becoming it’s own stand alone entity, but it has become that and it’s been exciting to see it grow.

Be sure to catch the full interview at FOX Deportes, and be sure to bone up on your pertinent reading material on this glorious Tuesday. (Ed's note: I'm tweaking the format a bit, let me know if you like.)

PG - The Original Winger: Ronaldinho’s 50 Yard Run & Finish Against Cruzeiro

With the game seeing three men sent off and tied at 1 – 1, Ronaldinho rolls back the clocks with what was once a typical goal for the Brazilian…. Ankle breaking the same defender twice and putting a slow roller into the far post side net.

SG - Complex: Pusha T Is "Really, Really Depressed" Over the Current State of the NBA

Pusha T: This new style of basketball: the teams and the trading and players getting together to be on one team, trying to create the superteam. I'm just not into that. The musical chairs, it's like, you can't actually love a team because either the players or the owner are always thinking so far ahead in trying to be better for the next year or the years to come.

SF - The Classical: The People's Champs?

The Green Bay Packers and Barcelona FC are among the two most successful franchises in any sport, by any measure. They are also owned by the communities that support them. So who's to say that couldn't work in MLS?

PF - The Smoking Section: Chris Rock: “There May Be A New CB4″

One Chris (Tucker) tore our hearts out last week all but stating hell would freeze over before “Smokey” would join Craig for one more run in the Friday series. Yet, another Chris – the one everyone apparently hates – (Rock) says the cult classic CB4 may be returning to the silver screen for a revamped sequel.

C - The Washington Post: Q&A with Kevin Durant: ‘This is what I signed up for’

Kevin Durant stayed busy during the NBA lockout, playing pickup games and dropping buckets across the country until he got bored with hoops and played flag football. Never taking his foot off the gas, Durant then played all 66 regular season games and 20 more in the postseason, as the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to Miami in the Finals.

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