Categories
Sports Strength

LA Galaxy Star Sebastian Lletget Discusses His Future Goals and Recent Trip With USMNT

San Francisco native Sebastian Lletget is a midfielder on the LA Galaxy in the MLS [Major League Soccer].  He is also a member of the United States Men’s National Team and represents the US at the U-17, U-23, and U-23 levels. Lletget is coming off a recent stint overseas with Team USA as they faced off against  Wales and Panama, which they won 6-2. In a game that featured Lletget scoring in the 87th minute, after maneuvering around his defender, he was able to score the third international goal of his career.

In a recent sit down with ONE37pm, the five-year MLS midfielder discussed some of his personal goals that he would like to achieve next season with the Galaxy. Lletget also discusses the charity that he will be working with and being a leader on a young USA Soccer Team during his recent trip overseas. He also recently launched his YouTube Channel.

Courtesy of U.S. Soccer MNT

ONE37pm: You are a first-generation American. Did you feel that there was a lot of pressure to succeed as a child?

Lletget:  I think it hit me more when I was older, and I was already starting my career. I think it was then when I felt a little bit of pressure that you cannot fail, and you cannot let your family down. Things like that, which are very necessary things that you should not tell yourself, especially a young man or young girl trying to start their career and follow their dreams. It was a tough time when I was sixteen when I started to feel that pressure, but it was things that I put on myself that were not anything coming directly from my family. Everybody might experience it at different times; it just depends.

 

ONE37pm: When did you develop a love for soccer?

Lletget:  I cannot remember exactly, but my dad is a huge fanatic of soccer, and he put it on me pretty early. Our goal as this generation of soccer players and coaches in this country is to have exposure to people globally about US soccer, but people in the country domestically. Sports like football, baseball, and basketball run the show, and I think we are getting there. The future is promising.  It is just going to take some time.

ONE37pm: You recently returned home after having a successful stint with Team USA Soccer. Can you talk about having the opportunity to represent Team USA Soccer and some of the goals you scored?

Lletget: It was a great trip and the first time in ten months since COVID hit. The last time was the beginning of January that we were all together, and on top of that, there was a brand new group of young guys. I think I was the only one that was based out of the states playing for the MLS. So, it was a unique experience to meet a lot of the young guys that are playing out in Europe. We were all excited to get the chance to wear that jersey again.

After a long time and so much uncertainty, it was an experience, and we played Wales and Panama. I was fortunate enough to get a goal against Panama. These are friendlies, but for us, it is important because it is preparation for next year. Next year there is an opportunity to qualify for a World Cup. We have the Gold Cup, which is a huge tournament. It was definitely a good way to end the year for me.

ONE37pm: The US National team is one of the youngest teams in the world. How do you feel that you have contributed to the team in a leadership role?

Lletget: It was a different experience because, in the last couple of years, I was the person that was in the middle and did not consider myself a veteran of the group. Then this year comes around, and it is a brand new fresh group of players that are now of age or playing at a high level, and they got called up to the national team. I think I was one of the oldest ones there, and I do have experience. I tried to use it by helping them out.

I also tried to learn from them, as well. I know that is an important thing as well because I do not know it all. It is about learning from each other and getting to know the guys. I think that is what I used this camp for, and to catch my bearings with all of them. It was weird, though, being a little bit older, and in sports, it is crazy how time flies.

ONE37pm: You started off the season with the Galaxy having to learn a new position. Can you talk about that transition during that time?

Lletget: I have had a great experience since I signed with the club, and there have been a lot of ups and downs. This year is more on the downside, but that happens in sports. For me, at the beginning of the year, we had high hopes, and I am one of those guys that can play multiple positions, so it is a good thing because it can keep on the field, but sometimes you would rather be an expert at one position, and master that.

Forever reason during my career, I have had a hard time doing that coaches know I have the qualities to play at different positions. In sports today, you must be able to adapt and mentally and physically ready for that. It is something I learned early on in my career.

ONE37pm: What are some of your goals for next season with the Galaxy?

Lletget: Win a championship that is always the end goal. There are always some undecided things at this time in terms of space on how the roster will be filled. For me, I wanted to build on what I was able to accomplish this year.

It was not the best year as a team, but individually I took out a lot of positives, such as things I want to get better at in my game. I think I showed glimpses of that, and I know that I can improve on them.

ONE37pm: How do you and Becky G manage your relationship when you are both in the spotlight?

Lletget: I think we have done very well; I think we have built a very good foundation for ourselves as a partnership. I think it is important, especially at the beginning of the relationship to set that foundation and we are two individuals trying to support each other, and grow with each other. 

However, we do not lose sight that we are both individuals and both want to make each other better. I learned that from her, and she is way ahead of the game. She is 23, but she has the mind of a 40-year-old woman.  She is very mature for her age and she has just blown my mind in the way she carries herself.

ONE37pm: You and Becky G have been very outspoken on social justice issues such as Black Lives Matter. Why do you feel the need to lend your voice?

Lletget: As we all know it has been a huge issue not just now, but years and years of this country having a broken system, and I think we have all woken up to it. Many of us must, unfortunately, and I never considered myself a racist or considered myself to hang out with people who have that perspective, but it is still a wake-up call. I have experienced discrimination, but maybe it is for different reasons, but I think people such as brown skin Latinos or dark skin Latinos for many years have experienced some dark times, and currently experiencing dark times.

I think it has been a wake-up call for me as well, because it is a privilege to learn about racism as opposed to experiencing it, and right now, I am just trying to keep educating myself by having conversations with anybody who I can. So, I can keep learning and see what more we can all do. I want to change the world, and that is why I want to put myself in situations where I can keep learning. I believe if we all can do that and I know it is going to take a couple of generations to get there, but I do believe that we will get there.

ONE37pm: How has the MLS handled players kneeling for the National Anthem, compared to other professional leagues like the NBA and the NFL?

Lletget: It probably was not broadcasted all over the place, but I was proud of players of color in our league before the first game back. Came together and stood around the field with shirts that had different messages and it was a powerful message. I was also proud of the National team before the game against Wales. We had our jackets on that read “Be the Change,” and in the back everyone had the options to do what they wanted.

I put “Black Lives Matter,” others put “Antiracist,” while other messages brought attention to the social injustices as well, and nothing was off the table. It was powerful and for the National Anthem, we all stood and locked arms. It showed unity and my hope is that even if it is a small marginal step forward and keeps pushing it into people’s faces to create change.

ONE37pm: How has COVID-19 affected your routine as an athlete?

Lletget: It has been challenging especially in the beginning when I was scared for my life like I think everybody else. I did not think I could put my hand on the table without washing my hands with just that paranoia. There were so many unanswered questions like how the virus could transfer from one person to another.

The biggest thing for me as far as the routine was the league shutting down for three months. We all kept in contact as a club on how we continue to maintain fitness, and they gave us a bunch of ideas. Before I could order a treadmill, and even that was backed up with backorder.

You had to run in the street, we will send you some bands, you had to buy weights, or they would send you some. Usually, as athletes, we have everything that we need at our disposal to get better on the field they provide that. So, going from that environment to now at home and having to be creative to maintain fitness is nuts.

ONE37pm: What are some of your pre-game routines before taking the field?

Lletget: I love knowing that I got a lot of rest, and I am one of those guys that likes to do things the right way, like a textbook. For example, when to start hydrating during the day, how many electrolytes. I am a little bit eccentric with that stuff, to be honest.

I just love to know when I am on the field. I have done everything I can possibly do to be ready. That could be with anything in an interview, I am always trying to be prepared for everything, and I am even trying to get better at that.

 

ONE37pm: I heard that you will be launching your YouTube channel. What can fans expect to learn from your platform?

Lletget: I am excited about that, and with the global aspect, I had the opportunity to think about what I wanted to do after my soccer career. What I want to do now with the messages that I want to talk about, and just like everyone else, I want to tell my story. I feel it is unique, like everybody else, and I think it will be fun. It is also out of my comfort zone even though people look at my social media a certain way, but I am kind of different.

I am not exactly what I think, and I am more real now than I ever was, but socially you don’t get a chance to show exactly who you really are, and I think it is an opportunity. I will be talking about things in-depth such as mental health, athletes being put in a box, and I want to break those barrios. I am also still learning on the go, where I want to take it, and having fun with it. The more I do it, the more momentum it will gain, and I hope I will be excited about it.

  

ONE37pm: How important currently as an athlete to market self-outside your sport of choice?

Lletget: It is huge, and I have been it is something that I have been aware of for a long time, but I think I have only gotten better with time. It is crazy the lack of information athletes have been getting for a while now. Especially with all the resources and the platforms that we could be using, and I am still guilty of not using them enough, and there are some things that we can get into. 

Not everyone is into the same things, and there are so many different avenues people can take. Whether that is fashion, photography, mine is mental health. It can also be a charity or different organizations that you work with. You can have so much exposure. It has always blown my mind that athletes have not taken advantage of all the things they have at their disposal.

 ONE37pm: Are there any charities that you are currently involved in?

Lletget: I have had a lot of amazing experiences with the LA Galaxy, maybe one-off events, and different things such as visiting kids at hospitals and getting to see what other people are going through. The one organization that I will be working with is Power Soccer, which I was introduced to through the Galaxy, but I felt a true connection, and I was able to relate to the cause.

I think it was when I was injured during the 2017 season, which I was out for a year. I had an opportunity to meet kids and learn about the organization that focuses on anyone that is born with a disability of not being able to walk. There are different types, but they are in these power chairs, and they play soccer. There are two teams that feature five players on both sides at an indoor facility, and it is incredible. And I had some much fun that I wanted to be more involved with the organization.

ONE37pm: You are a fan of both the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco Giants. What was it like for you watching the “We Believe Warriors” finally winning three championships in four years, and the Giants years with Barry Bonds to capture the world series in 2010, 2012, and 14?

Lletget: I am proud that I was a Warriors fan before they started winning championships, and I lived in Europe for many years. However, any team that represents San Francisco or The Bay Area I have always supported. I am not shy about it because people are always quick to call people bandwagon fans, but we are a title town now and don’t think about The Bay Area without a lot of championships.

ONE37pm: It was recently reported that Klay Thompson will miss the upcoming NBA season due to another injury setback. Over your career, you have also had challenges with injuries; how were you able to overcome these setbacks?

Lletget: When you go through an injury like Klay’s, it humanizes you because as an athlete, you might have gone most of your life with everything going in the right direction. Then suddenly, something happens to you, and it is hard to get back up from that. It is not only tough physically, but emotionally as well with rehab and all the things that it entails.

When I got injured, I kind of lost myself. I had to go through a lot of ups and downs because you kind of lose your sense of purpose a little bit, and you feel what I am doing, and it goes way beyond how much money you are making. You want to play the game you love and cannot because you are recovering from your injury. So, I can only imagine what Klay is going through right now, especially dealing with back to back injuries.

ONE37pm: Do you see yourself coaching or in a management role when you retire from professional soccer?

Lletget: That is a good question, and I am still trying to figure that out. That is going back to the YouTube stuff, and I am still trying to see what suits me best, and I love the game of soccer. There is a global sport, and there are a lot of positions that I can possibly fit into post my playing career, whether that is working in an office, on the field, or being a head coach, assistant coach, and/or a scout. I am not sure yet, but as I get orders, I appreciate coaching more. So, I think that is something that I have gained in the last two years, and I have been blessed to have worked with so many people seeing different styles and many ways to do things. Coaching is something that interests me. 

You can follow what Sebastian Lletget has going on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Sports Strength

18 Sweet Gifts For Wrestling Fans

Season’s beatings are upon us, and wrestling fans are clamoring for hot merchandise! In the age of on-demand content and ultra-niche hobbies, a preponderance of exciting items are available to cater to every specific need, and pro wrestling is no exception. 

The tricky part about gift-giving, especially for wrestling fans, is parsing out what’s actually cool versus what’s tragically nerdy. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick shopping list for your holiday needs, ranging from custom items to outrageous fashions.

1. WWE Championship Commemorative Belt
WWE

As a child who had the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship, I can confirm that there were few things more fun than pretending I was in a title fight, hitting moves and taking bumps with an imaginary opponent on my grandparents’ bed and raising the belt at the end. You can give someone that experience this Christmas with the WWE Championship Commemorative Belt. It’s moulded from an actual handmade belt with the only difference being that it’s made of high quality acrylic plastic as opposed to metal.

Buy now, $190
https://shop.wwe.com/wwe-championship-commemorative-title-belt-%282014%29/W07718.html?dwvar_W07718_color=No%20Color#start=2
2. Roman Reigns ‘Head Of The Table’ T-Shirt
WWE

The Big Dog has had a story with a bunch of peaks and valleys in his time with the WWE. For a while, many found it hard to cheer for him, seeing him as a representation of a larger problem with WWE’s creative team, but that’s in the past now. He’s arguably the face of the company and to celebrate that, you can get the Head Of The Table shirt for a Roman Reigns fan this Christmas.

Buy now, $28
https://shop.wwe.com/roman-reigns-head-of-the-table-authentic-t-shirt/1567324644.html?dwvar_1567324644_color=black#curr=GBP&start=1
3. Sasha Banks ‘Boss Time’ Studded Ring Set
WWE

Sasha Banks is red hot right now and is well on her way to becoming a Hall of Famer. The current SmackDown Women’s Champion, a Women’s Grand Slam champion and a Triple Crown Champion, any kind of Sasha Banks merchandise right now is a lock to put a smile on the face of a wrestling fan this Christmas. We picked out the Boss Time studded ring set but there are also slippers, water bottles, dog leashes and more for sale.

Buy now, $15
https://shop.wwe.com/sasha-banks-boss-time-studded-ring-set/230FD05AEC.html?dwvar_230FD05AEC_color=No%20Color#curr=GBP&start=16
4. The Undertaker ’30 Years’ Poster
WWE

November 19th of this year marked 30 years since The Undertaker debuted in the WWE at Survivor Series. He’s had a long, illustrious career among many eras and has remained relevant in each one, a household name and one of the greatest to ever do it. To celebrate the 30 years and mark Taker’s retirement, WWE released a big line of merchandise that would be perfect for any pro wrestling fan. The Snoop Dogg collaboration t-shirts got some stick on social media, but they might be your thing if you’re into vintage tees. Along with those and the poster we like the most, there’s a pillow, a mug, a commemorative urn, a pin, a keychain, a belt, a costume and much, much more.

Buy now, $16
https://shop.wwe.com/undertaker-30-years-18×24-poster/198414096.html?dwvar_198414096_color=No%20Color#pagesize=126&start=27\
5. NITRO: The Incredible Rise & Inevitable Collapse Of Ted Turner’s WCW
Good Reads

The WCW era in pro wrestling was a short but sweet one and telling its story here is Guy Evans. Whether you were a fan through the late 1990s and early 2000s when it was functioning or not, his account will make you feel like you were right there in the heat of it. Eric Bischoff, former President of WCW, calls it “the most definitive, well written and thoroughly researched book on the rise and fall off WCW” and going further, Conrad Thompson, host of Something To Wrestle and 83 Weeks, says it’s “without question the very best book ever written on professional wrestling.” If that’s not enough to convince you, nothing will be. It’s available as an audiobook too.

Buy now, $20
https://www.amazon.co.uk/NITRO-Incredible-Inevitable-Collapse-Turners/dp/0692139176
6. AEW DVD
Shop AEW

Considering how new AEW is, there’s a good chance that a hardcore pro-wrestling fan has either seen every show that they’ve put on, or hasn’t quite been convinced yet. Very few people will fall down the middle. Regardless of what side they stand on, an AEW DVD could be the right thing to put in their stocking this Christmas. They might want to relive some of their favourite shows, have some of the early shows documented with a physical copy forever, or maybe they want to give it a start in their own time.

Buy now, $25
https://www.shopaew.com/
7. AEW Action Figures
Shop AEW

In just under two years, All Elite Wrestling has made a huge impact on the pro-wrestling world, as many expected them to. When I was a kid, playing with WWE action figures like Edge, Randy Orton and John Cena gave me hours of fun and had me running wild with my imagination. Now, AEW have released their own set of action figures. Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes are all on offer and sure to satisfy both kids who want to play with them and adults who see them as collectible pieces to display, either still in the box or out of it.

Buy now, $35
https://www.ringsidecollectibles.com/toys-figures-wrestling-all-elite-wrestling-aew.html
8. Bray Wyatt ‘The Fiend’ Replica Mask
WWE

I don’t know about you, but I’ll never forget the first time I saw The Fiend on my screen. It was eery and reminded me of when The Undertaker debuted 30 long years ago. It felt like he was about to make an impact and a large part of the reason was the mask. I’m not afraid to admit it made me feel more uneasy than it should have as someone in my early twenties. If you’re looking to give someone the same feeling, then you can get them The Fiend’s mask this Christmas. You can either buy a standard replica for about $40 or buy the deluxe replica, with more details, for $200.

Buy now, $40
https://shop.wwe.com/bray-wyatt-the-fiend-replica-mask/16046752AE.html?dwvar_16046752AE_color=No%20Color
9. WWE Network Gift Card
WWE

The WWE Network is a forward-thinking system that it’s safe to say we’ll see other huge names in sports adopt sooner or later. For just $9.99 a month, fans can watch thousands and thousands of hours of WWE programming on demand, including the month’s PPV with no additional costs. Whether you want to keep up with the weekly shows or reminisce and watch episodes of RAW or SmackDown from when you were a child, the Network is the place to be, which is actually why paying for someone’s subscription with a gift card is a perfect gift this Christmas.

Buy now, $30
https://shop.wwe.com/wwe-network-3-month-subscription-prepaid-card/W10358.html?dwvar_W10358_color=No%20Color
10. WWE 2K Battlegrounds
via 2K

The 2K website describes this new game as having “all-new, over the top, in your face action” and that’s really better than I could ever describe it. This is a left turn from the usual annual releases from 2K after the developers saw the series start to dwindle slightly in recent years. The pandemic didn’t help either. Instead of pressing on with the same game, they bring us this bundle of fun with plans to return to the standard simulator next year. This is to the WWE 2K series what NBA Playgrounds is to the NBA 2K series. A game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and benefits from it.

Buy now, $20
https://wwe.2k.com/battlegrounds/buy/
11. Green Ant Lucha Masks
Via Eric Shorey

CHIKARA’s resilient rookie is known for high-flying antics and acts of selfless bravery, but did you know he’s also a budding designer? This diligent bug sells replica masks and custom designs at fair prices, and you get the bonus satisfaction of knowing each one was 100 percent handmade. 

BUY NOW, $30-$80
https://greenant.bigcartel.com/category/masks
12. Rainmaker Money Launcher
Via Eric Shorey

Recreate Kazuchika Okada’s opulent entrance with this absurd purchase that includes 100 Rainmaker dollars that can’t be spent literally anywhere. It’s not exactly useful, but as far as novelty gags go, it doesn’t get much better.

BUY NOW, $44
https://shop.njpw.co.jp/iwgp/g/g2576061298/?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_medium=&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=
13. WWE Masters of the WWE Universe Grayskull Mania Bundle
via Eric Shorey

It’s always been easy to imagine pro wrestlers as superheroes—and now Mattel has made this relationship quite literal. The rocky toy ring even has an absurd backstory to go with the redesigned high-fantasy grapplers: Can denim-clad John Cena save WWEternia (no, really, that’s what it’s called) from Terror Claws Triple H?! Only you can decide!

BUY NOW, $30
https://shop.mattel.com/shop/en-us/ms/masters-of-the-universe/wwe-masters-of-the-wwe-universe-grayskull-mania-bundle-gmn96
14. Brody King Balaclava
via Eric Shorey

Protect your face from frostbite with this on-trend ski mask from Villain Enterprise’s resident enforcer. We named Brody one of the most stylish goths of 2019, and his exclusive merch with Lapel Yeah is helping you bring him his unique brand of dark style with this winter-appropriate accessory.

BUY NOW, $20
https://lapelyeah.com/password
15. Sami vs Generico Dream Match Tee
via Eric Shorey

Around the time El Generico retired from wrestling to run an orphanage in Tijuana, a lovable red-bearded fighter began appearing on NXT. Fans noting similarities between the two have dreamed of the day these legendary grapplers would one day fight, but no one seems to be able to track down the heroic luchador. Now, Sami’s raising money for victims of the current war in Syria with this collectible tee.

BUY NOW, $29.99
https://unicornshirts.net/product/the-dream-match-generico-vs-sami-shirt/
16. Stone Cold IPA
via Eric Shorey

WWE has distanced itself from the boozy Attitude Era but Stone Cold’s still going strong with his own brand of IPA, featuring “Citra, Cascade, and Chinook hops.” Give Santa a “Hell Yeah” and throw that ol’ boy a brew from America’s favorite badass. 

BUY NOW, $5.99
https://craftshack.com/products/el-segundo-steve-austins-broken-skull-ipa
17. An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling
Via Eric Shorey

LaToya Ferguson’s excellent and detailed profiles of the biggest names in women’s wrestling is a perfect gift for the brainy fan. The book is perfect for display on a coffee table, but also functions as an informative primer for the stories of trailblazing athletes who don’t get nearly enough recognition for shaping the sport we know and love.

BUY NOW, $14.69
https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Womens-Wrestling-Profiles-Strongest/dp/1454931205/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=womens+wrestling+guide&qid=1574782318&sr=8-4
18. Ric Flair Chalk Line Jacket
via Eric Shorey

You may never possess the unique and cocaine-riddled charisma of Ric Flair, but you can at least cop his signature look with Chalk Line’s eccentric interpretations of classic pro-wrestling gear. If the Ric Flair jacket’s too flashy, we recommend the old school NWO variation as a more understated backup. 

BUY NOW, $89.99
https://shop.wwe.com/ric-flair-blue-chalk-line-track-jacket/021-202-005-4.html
Categories
Sports Strength

Against The Spread: Sheasby’s Week 12 NFL Best Bets

Week 11 was a bloodbath. Up was down. Down was up. Left was right. Right was left. Omininous as ever, we were trending well at the end of the first half until the ever-punishing witching hour cursed all bets into losing territory. 

Can we bounce back in Week 12? You know damn well we’re shooting our shot.

New York Giants -5.5 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Getty Images

Any opportunity to bet against a double back-up QB feels like a good one, and that’s exactly what we have here: Joe Burrow exited with vicious knee injury last week, and Ryan Finley’s performance in the 2nd half apparently wasn’t strong enough to warrant a start. Insert Brandon Allen. 

Brandon Allen provides only one advantage over Ryan Finley: he is familiar with Zac Taylor’s offense going back to his days with the Rams. Nonetheless, both have horrid stats; Finley has completed 45.4 percent of his passes for a 55.5 passer rating, while Allen has completed 46.4 percent of his passes for a still abhorrent 68.3 passer rating. Snooze.

Enter the Giants. Out of no-where, the Giants have surged from +1000 (or deeper) odds to being in-the-hunt to win the division (currently trading around +300), and a win this week would only help strengthen their cause. 

The best news of this write up: even before the Burrow injury, the Giants were better both offensively and defensively than the Bengals team.

  • Offense: NYG averages 5.0 yard/play compared to CIN 4.9.
  • Offense: NYG averages .318 y/p compared to CIN .301
  • Defense: NYG allows 5.6 y/p compared to CIN 6.1. 
  • Defense: NYG allows .368 y/p compared to CIN .423

Downgrade those offensive stats & the NYG look even that much more appealing. 

Minnesota Vikings -3 @ Carolina Panthers
Getty Images

Narrative #1: The Panthers are coming off a smackdown of the Lions and are getting their starting QB back and the Vikings just lost to the 3-8 Cowboys – they’ll easily cover (maybe win) against the Vikings.


Narrative #2: The Vikings will bounce back after a terrible loss to the 3-8 Vikings?

Meh – neither are particularly compelling if you ask me, and bettors across the world seem to agree, as 47% of bets are on the Panthers, with 53% on the Vikings. 


So where do we stand?

This week, we stand with the purple and the gold. 

Why? Looking at point differential, we don’t find much of an edge here: The Vikings are -14 and the Panthers are -19. Wash.

Looking at ATS trends, we don’t find much of an edge either: the Vikings are 6-4 in their last 10 games, including 3-2 last 5, while the Panthers are exactly the same, 6-4 L10, 3-2 L5. There is a slight edge to the Panthers looking at home/away splits, as the Panthers are 4-1 on the road ATS compared to the Vikings 2-3.

Let’s dive into yards/play and points/play:

  • Offense: MIN averages 6.5 yard/play compared to CAR 5.8.
  • Offense: MIN averages .447 y/p compared to CAR .376
  • Defense: CAR allows 5.8 y/p compared to CIN 5.7. 
  • Defense: CAR allows .419 y/p compared to CIN .389

Here we see a decisive advantage to MIN offensively with a slight advantage to CAR defensively, but going a touch deeper, we see MIN with an offensive and defensive advantage on two key percentages: 3rd down conversion and red zone scoring.

On offense, the Vikings have a 78.12 RZ scoring % compared to a 59.46 RZ scoring % for Carolina, which is a big delta. 

Defensively, the Vikings have a slight edge on opp. RZ scoring %: 55.26 vs. 58.54.

More glaring to me was looking at defensive 3D conversion %: Carolina allows a conversion 51.82% of the time compared to the Vikings 36.21%.

In short: this should be a good game. I’d imagine a high scoring affair with two above average offenses and two middle-of-the-road defenses. 

X-factor, truly for me? Dalvin Cook. Minnesota ranks 4th in run efficiency (per Football Outsiders), and Carolina defense ranks 22nd in run-defense efficiency. Jackpot.

I’ll ride the Cook train straight to profits this week with the Vikings -3.

As always, I’ll probably add a few more bets here and there, and sprinkle in some College Basketball. Follow on Twitter to never miss a pick. 

All time record: 2329-2121-92, +106.81 units

Categories
Consoles Gaming

15 Games Like ‘Diablo’

The start of November marked a year since Diablo IV was first announced at BlizzCon 2019 and with everything going on in the world, it’s been a long wait since. While you wait for Blizzard Entertainment’s new offering, you might have replayed the Diablo series a few times. If you’re sick of it, here’s some good news for you.

We’ve compiled a list of 15 games like the Diablo series. There are games that borrow from the customization elements, hack and slash games where looting is key, and games whose atmosphere will give you nostalgia. But for whatever reason you love Diablo, there’s something here for you.

1. ‘Bastion’

Bastion is an action-RPG developed by Supergiant Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Where it really shines is the action, storytelling, and gameplay, leaving something to be desired in terms of looting and character classes. In the 2D, hand-painted art style, isometric game, players control The Kid as he maneuvers through fantasy worlds like cities, bogs, and forests, defeating enemies of all kinds. There’s also a narrator who does voiceover, telling us about a character’s backstory, which was added to avoid players having to read the text. It’s a great idea that’s executed pretty well and means you never feel too alone.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/107100/Bastion/
2. ‘Book Of Demons’

An isometric hack and slash game created by Thing Truck, Book Of Demons is like Diablo in that looting and upgrading you and your character’s equipment is key, but the premise is entirely different. This game is actually a cross between a dungeon crawler and a dueling card game, a hybrid that it pulls off really well. Players will need to collect the right cards to strengthen their deck which will help them in battle. There are three types of cards: items, spells, and artifacts, which all have different uses. The character classes here are Warrior, Mage, and Rogue.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/449960/Book_of_Demons/
3. ‘Borderlands’

Although the Borderlands series is unique to Diablo in its aesthetic and tone of gameplay, it does share many elements, namely fighting through hordes of enemies who drop loot that you can use to level up. For those who want something more similar to Diablo in every aspect, this might not be the one for you, but if you want some pieces of Diablo in a different game, we can’t recommend Borderlands highly enough.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/8980/
4. ‘Darksiders’

The Darksiders series is inspired by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and different games in the series see players taking control of a different character. The first game is War, the second is Death, the third is Fury and the fourth introduces Strife. The entire hack and slash action-adventure series is worth a playthrough, but it’s Darksiders II and Darksiders Genesis that look and feel most like the Diablo series. The games are set on post-apocalyptic earth and angels and demons fight for control of the world, with humanity on the brink of extinction. There are weapons, platforming, skills, and more.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/50620/Darksiders/
5. ‘Dungeon Siege’

Set in Ehb, a medieval kingdom, you’ll play here as a farmer (who you have the opportunity to name yourself) where you’ll embark on a quest that involves defeating an invading force. Although there are no character classes here, you’ll have control over tactical decisions and weapons. It’s an isometric RPG that was a little bit ahead of its time when it came out in 2002. The good news is if you’re a fan of this, there are numerous sequels to play.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/39190/Dungeon_Siege/
6. ‘Grim Dawn’

With Grim Dawn, the developers stated that they wanted to take the formula that the Diablo series utilized with character development and exploration and take it to new heights. They do a good job of it, while also pushing boundaries in other areas. For example, unlike most offerings in this genre, the choices that you make during your playthrough heavily impact the events of the game and the ending. There is a dual-class system and the game’s dark and gloomy atmosphere will give you strong flashbacks to the third entry in the Diablo series. If you enjoy this one, it’s made by the same developers as Titan Quest, which appears later on this list.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/219990/Grim_Dawn/
7. ‘Lost Ark’

The good news about this game is everyone that who plays it heralds it as one of the best in the genre. For those that have played it, it’s almost unanimously agreed that what it does in terms of presentation, storytelling in gameplay gives the entire Diablo series a run for its money. The bad news is, at the time of writing, you can only play it properly if you live in Korea, you can play an open beta if you live in Russia, and there is a closed beta in Japan. As of right now, a VPN is the only way to play it for anyone else. However, the silver lining is that the game should be coming to Europe and North America at some time next year.

Buy
https://www.mmorpg.com/lost-ark
8. ‘Path Of Exile’

Perhaps the most popular game in this list, Grinding Gear Games’ Path Of Exile is, in many ways, a spiritual successor to the Diablo series (and specifically the second game). Anyone who jumps right into this game could be a little intimidated, but if you’re reading this list, it’s fair to assume your experience in Diablo would help you here. Path Of Exile boasts arguably the best customization options in the RPG genre. And the best part? It’s free to play.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/238960/Path_of_Exile/
9. ‘Sacred’

The Sacred series shares a lot with Diablo, so much so that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a bit of a clone at first. But a deeper dive and more hours of gameplay will show you that Sacred does actually try to do its own thing despite the similarities. Either way, it’s one worth checking it for Diablo fans, especially the first game in the series. In the world of Ancaria, you’ll use magic, melee, and other abilities to defeat enemies. Some things in the world are 3D, but it’s a 2D game.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/12320/Sacred_Gold/
10. ‘Shadows: Awakening’

If the dungeon crawling and fantasy aspect of Diablo is what you loved most about it, then this game should be right up your alley. Shadows: Awakening is a standard offering in the dungeon crawler genre that does have some nice extra touches. For one, there are challenging puzzles like having to step on the correct floor traps and moving boulders around. These make a nice change from the typical grind of these kinds of games and can break up the monotony of things. There is a variety of characters, lots to loot, and a good narrative.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/585450/
11. ‘The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing’

Hugh Jackman did an exceptional job of portraying vampire slayer Van Helsing in the 2004 film of the same name. If you were a fan of the movie, the game that came out in 2015 is a must-play. Even if you’ve never seen or heard of the film, this game is certainly worth checking out. You play as a young Van Helsing in the Victorian era where you’ll have Lady Katarina by your side while you do what vampire slayers do best. There’s also a co-op mode where you can play with friends or people online.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/215530/The_Incredible_Adventures_of_Van_Helsing/
12. Titan Quest

Titan Quest is obviously similar to Diablo, which is why it’s on this list in the first place, but this game did so well and was so revered that many see it as superior. Some describe this game as a combination between Diablo and God Of War, which sets you up for some hefty expectations that it could still meet. It’s made by the same developers as Grim Dawn, which appears earlier on this list. In all truth, looking at Titan Quest as just a game similar to Diablo doesn’t do it justice. There is an abundance of options when it comes to character customisation and a whopping 28 classes from which to choose your character in the first place. There are also fun co-op modes to play online.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/475150/Titan_Quest_Anniversary_Edition/
13. ‘Torchlight’

Right off the bat, the Torchlight series will remind Diablo fans of their cherished series because of the top-down gameplay. But what’s interesting is that some of the developers of the Torchlight series actually worked on the first two Diablo games. That’s not to say that they’re identical though. What Torchlight borrows from Diablo in terms of swarms of enemies and explorative gameplay, it makes up for with its colorful style which differentiates it. The four character classes here are Engineer, Outlander, Berserker, or Embermage, all of which can be customized based on playstyle. We definitely recommend a playthrough of both games.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/41500/Torchlight/
14. ‘Victor Vran’

What Haemimont Games’ Victor Vran lacks in originality and forward-thinking mechanics and gameplay features, it makes up for in how much fun it can still be to play it. It lives in a Victorian setting and looks gorgeous. Despite the fact that you can only play as the title character, there are a bunch of customization options for him and the combat in this game is well worth experiencing. There are puzzles, secret rooms, and weapon classes that give you different benefits. It’s definitely Diablo offspring, but you won’t feel like you should just play through the Diablo series instead. This game stands on its own two feet.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/345180/Victor_Vran_ARPG/
15. ‘Warhammer: Chaosbane’

If the Diablo series were a little darker, more intense, and more violent, you’d have Warhammer: Chaosbane on your hands. If you’ve ever played another Warhammer game, then you know what to expect with this one. It features a 15-hour campaign, level design, and boss battles which are what stand out the most. One thing that divides players is the itemization. The game only gives you items for your own class which some love and some think are too easy. Either way, it won’t make or break the game for you.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/774241/
Categories
Sneakers Style

The Top 10 Holiday Themed Sneakers That Should Be On Your Radar

As we all know, sneakers are an excellent gift for the holidays. So why not take it a step further by actually getting your loved ones a pair of holiday themed sneakers? As a whole, holiday sneakers can be considered a ‘collector’s item’ as sometimes they are hard to find, so that’s where ONE37pm comes in. Below are a list of the top ten holiday themed sneakers that you can buy for yourself or a loved one to complete your kicks collection.

Holiday Sweater Chuck 70

Winter Holiday Chuck 70

Nike KD 6 Christmas

Reebok Instapump Fury Grinch

Puma Thunder Holiday Sneakers

Brook’s Revel 3 Running Shoes For Women

Nike Lebron 11 Christmas

Adidas 3MC Disney Sport Goofy Shoes

Nike Air Max 95 Christmas Sneakers

Nike Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’

1. Holiday Sweater Chuck 70
Converse
Holiday Sweater Chuck 70

You can never go wrong with a pair of Converse kicks. Released earlier this month,  the ‘Holiday Sweater Chuck 70s’ are a festive pair of sneakers designed to look exactly like a classic Christmas sweater. The sneakers also have enhanced cushioning complete with an Ortholite insole giving you the ultimate comfort as you go about your day. In addition to that, the kicks come with the iconic Chuck Taylor Patch that we all know and love.

Release Date: November 2013

BUY NOW $85
https://www.converse.com/shop/p/holiday-sweater-chuck-70-unisex-high-top-shoe/169352C_080.html?cp=PLA_PRF_CNV_NA_US_EN_20190226_CPCS_CPCS-Shopping-[B]%20Shoes%20-%20Unisex_X_X_X_X_Google_X_X__Desktop/Tablet-[B]%20Shoes%20-%20Unisex_X_X&gclid=CjwKCAiA7939B
2. Winter Holiday Chuck 70
Converse
Winter Holiday Chuck 70

Speaking of some new Chuck’s, you can also consider adding the ‘Winter Holiday Chuck 70s’ to your sneaker collection. Released this month, the ‘Chuck 70s’ follow the holiday tradition with their fuzzy candy cane design. The sneakers also feature green and red pinstripes to complete the candy cane look. The overall color of the sneakers make them diverse, meaning that you can wear them during any time of the year.

Release Date: November 2020

BUY NOW $90
https://www.converse.com/shop/p/winter-holidays-chuck-70-unisex-high-top-shoe/170048C_095.html?cp=PLA_PRF_CNV_NA_US_EN_20190226_CPCS_CPCS-Shopping-[B]%20Shoes%20-%20Unisex_X_X_X_X_Google_X_X__Desktop/Tablet-[B]%20Shoes%20-%20Unisex_X_X&gclid=CjwKCAiA7939B
3. Nike KD 6 Christmas
Stockx
Nike KD 6 Christmas

As you all know, Christmas Day is a huge day in the NBA, complete with legendary battles between some of the best teams in the league. Introduced in 2013, the ‘Nike KD 6 Christmas,’ is the ultimate holiday metallic bling modeled to look like a Christmas Bell. The sneakers are red with a touch of gold and mint, and features Nike Flywire technology making it the perfect gift for not just for sneaker fans, but for Kevin Durant fans as well.

Release Date: December 2013

BUY NOW $250
https://stockx.com/kd-6-christmas
4. Reebok Instapump Fury Grinch
Stockx
Reebok Instapump Fury Grinch

If you are looking to be the Grinch that stole Christmas, then the ‘Reebok Instapump Fury Grinch’ sneakers are right up your alley. Simply put, the ‘Fury Grinchs’ are designed to look exactly like the Grinch himself with scarlet and pine green panels designed at the top complete with lime green ‘fur’. Released in December of 2016, the ‘Fury Grinch’ sneakers continue to regularly sell making them a holiday sneaker staple.


Release Date: December 2016

BUY NOW $174
https://stockx.com/reebok-instapump-fury-grinch
5. Puma Thunder Holiday Sneakers
Puma
Puma Thunder Holiday Sneakers

The Puma Thunder is already an iconic part of the Puma collection, so this year the company decided to take it to the next level by coming out with their official ‘Thunder Holiday Sneakers.’ Released earlier this month, the sneaker features Puma’s signature winter colorways with a splash of Christmas colors. The kicks take inspiration from the 1990s CELL silhouette, and showcases a retro look.

Release Date: November 2020

BUY NOW $64.99
https://us.puma.com/en/us/pd/thunder-holiday-sneakers/193525948428.html?gclid=CjwKCAiA7939BRBMEiwA-hX5J1lTMdoon0Hol5KVqsGu-CRh-ylbSVfPwnw7vlf_gq-uzC6LgjKIlBoCK0AQAvD_BwE
6. Brook’s Revel 3 Running Shoes For Women
Academy Sports
Brook’s Revel 3 Running Shoes For Women

Designed to literally look like a Christmas painting, these holiday kicks will make your morning runs a little more festive. The season print adds to the jolly spirit, and has a cushioning DNA midsole with breathable fabric lining to also provide comfort. The ‘Revel 3 Running Shoes’ also come with a sprinkle of glitter at the top making it even more fun to run in.

Release Date: 2019

BUY NOW $99.99
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/brooks-womens-revel-3-running-shoes-121305530?gmc_feed=t&campid=71700000050120906&adgroupid=58700004915302656&device=c&keyword=92700043554051776&Channel=pla&gclid=CjwKCAiA7939BRBMEiwA-hX5J9xMX_MEoj1HyIas7VA9uYTmkAuuQygLse0
7. Nike Lebron 11 Christmas
Stockx
Nike Lebron 11 Christmas

Worn by Lebron himself during a Heat vs Lakers Christmas day matchup in 2013, the ‘King’ released this legendary Christmas shoe a day later. With a light green color complete with red laces, the shoe remains one of the best Christmas sneakers that James has ever dropped. The ‘Lebron 11 Christmas’ kicks continue to be a hot seller nearly seven years later, with four recent sales on Stockx in the last month alone. 

Release Date: December 26th, 2013

BUY NOW $200
https://stockx.com/lebron-11-christmas
8. Adidas 3MC Disney Sport Goofy Shoes
Stockx
Adidas 3MC Disney Sport Goofy Shoes

While not an official ‘holiday themed’ sneaker, the ‘Disney Sport Goofy Shoes’ still remain a great gift for the kiddos (especially those who love Disney). The shoe itself gives off a holiday vibe with its red upper (which features Goofy dancing), and the white sole. In addition to the cool design, the shoes can also be used for skateboarding which could come in handy for young skateboarding lovers. 

Release Date: July 2020

BUY NOW $55
https://www.adidas.com/us/3mc-x-disney-sport-goofy-shoes/FV9901.html?cm_mmc=AdieSEM_Feeds-_-GoogleProductAds-_-NA-_-FV9901&cm_mmca1=US&cm_mmca2=NA&dfw_tracker=24819-FV9901-0005&ds_rl=1256970&ds_rl=1257009&gclid=CjwKCAiA7939BRBMEiwA-hX5J7_MYhzm81DuzeNQLqyq
9. Nike Air Max 95 Christmas Sneakers
Stockx
Nike Air Max 95 Christmas Sneakers

While we typically consider Christmas sweaters ‘ugly,’ there is nothing ugly about about the ‘Air Max 95 Christmas Sneakers.’ Also for kids, the ‘95 colorways’ are designed to look like wrapping paper, with a colorful blend of red, white, blue, and green. The ‘Air Max 95s’ also feature a holiday pattern, and continues to be a top seller a year later with five sales on Stockx in the last two weeks alone.

Release Date: December 2nd, 2019

BUY NOW $55
https://stockx.com/nike-air-max-95-christmas-sweater-gs
10. Nike Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’
Stockx
Nike Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’

Kobe was always known for his sneaker game and historic collections, so a great way to honor the ‘Mamba’ would be to purchase one of his Christmas sneakers. The ‘Grinch’ sneakers were worn by Kobe in a 2010 Christmas Day battle versus the Miami Heat, and are set to be re-released in early 2021. While it won’t be delivered on time for Christmas Day, the sneakers will make an excellent late holiday gift. If however you have the money to get the ‘Grinch 6’s’ now, the current version is still available via Stockx.

Release Date: December 25th, 2010

BUY NOW $1,075
https://stockx.com/kobe-6-grinch

So there you have it! These are ten of the top holiday themed kicks that should be on your radar this holiday season. As we approach ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ consider adding these holiday themed sneakers to you or your loved ones collection.

Categories
Sports Strength

The 15 Best Low Top Basketball Shoes For Men

There’s no right answer in the debate between high top and low top basketball shoes; it really comes down to personal taste. With that said, there’s an indescribable casual cool that you can only really access in a low top pair of kicks. Whether you want a pair of shoes to take to the court or a classic set of low tops to rock daily, we’ve got you covered. We chatted with the team at GOAT to compile a list of the 15 best low top basketball shoes for men—from the performance-oriented models to the sneakers built to flex. 

1. Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Reverse Bred’

2. Lebron 17 Low ‘Bred’

3. Kobe 11 Low TB ‘White’

4. SpongeBob SquarePants x Kyrie Low 2 ‘Sandy Cheeks’ 

5. Fly.By Low 2 ‘Bred’

6. Undefeated x Kobe 4 Protro ‘Court Purple’

7. Zoom Kobe 5 Protro ‘5x Champ’

8. Zoom Kobe 6 ‘Black Del Sol’

9. Kobe 8 System ‘Sulfur Electric’

10. Kobe 9 Elite Low ‘Beethoven’

11. LeBron 15 Low ‘Ashes’

12. Air Jordan 5 Low ‘Fire Red’ 2016

13. Air Jordan 6 Low ‘Infrared’

14. KD 8 ‘Road Game’

15. Curry 1 Low ‘Warriors’

*Note: All ‘Buy Now’ prices are based on the cost of a new pair from GOAT; used options are priced considerably lower and available in many cases.

1. Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Reverse Bred’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/air-jordan-1-low-reverse-bred-553558-606
GOAT

Alright listen, we know these aren’t the exact model you’re going to take to the court. Regardless, the Jordan 1 lows hold a special place in the heart of a lot of nostalgic sneaker heads. And although the ‘Reverse Bred’ color-way certainly isn’t as iconic as the original Bred, the exponentially smaller price tag makes them a great alternative. Jordan 1 Lows are immensely comfortable; these are a great travel shoe and make a good fit for any sort of extended wear.

Buy Now at GOAT, $100
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/air-jordan-1-low-reverse-bred-553558-606
2. Lebron 17 Low ‘Bred’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/lebron-17-low-bred-cd5007-001
GOAT

The Lebron 17 can absolutely be taken to the court. I think this is a deeply slept on color-way. The rich black punctuated with vibrant reds makes them a great low-key court shoe. The low tops won’t provide as much support as the full sized counterpart, but they’ve still got a full Max Air unit and React foam tech. This iteration of the Lebron 17 Low would be a great choice for a backup pair of basketball shoes, and could even be worked into some casual outfits off the court.

Buy Now at GOAT, $103
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/lebron-17-low-bred-cd5007-001
3. Kobe 11 Low TB ‘White’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kobe-11-low-tb-856485-100
GOAT

Now this is a performance shoe. Don’t be fooled by the minimalist aesthetic; between the Lunarlon and the icy rubber outsole, these sneakers provide lightweight cushioning and great grip on a hardwood court. They’re also just so fresh. The white paired with the icy rubber outsole gives these a minimalist flair like no other.

Buy Now at GOAT, $195
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kobe-11-low-tb-856485-100
4. SpongeBob SquarePants x Kyrie Low 2 ‘Sandy Cheeks’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/spongebob-squarepants-x-kyrie-low-2-sandy-cheeks-cj6953-100
GOAT

These are somehow simultaneously sick and so goofy. The little Sandy Cheeks details—the pink flower and the acorn embossed on the heel—give them a little extra spice. The overall color-way invokes Sandy’s trademark space suit, while the Zoom Air midsole and rubber outsole make this a great pair of performance sneakers as well. These kicks were released in 2019 as part of Nike’s collab with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants—a five-piece collection dedicated to the cartoon full of absolute bangers.

Buy Now at GOAT, $140
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/spongebob-squarepants-x-kyrie-low-2-sandy-cheeks-cj6953-100
5. Fly.By Low 2 ‘Bred’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/fly-by-low-2-bred-aj5902-006
GOAT

Although these may not be as recognizable as some of the other silhouettes on this list, they still make a great addition to a well-rounded collection of low top basketball shoes. These are a great entry-level basketball sneaker, and their relatively low price point makes them a good accessible option if you just need something low-commitment to take to the court.

Buy Now at Goat, $95
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/fly-by-low-2-bred-aj5902-006
6. Undefeated x Kobe 4 Protro ‘Court Purple’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/undefeated-x-kobe-4-protro-kyle-kuzma-cq3869-500
GOAT

These kicks released in 2019 as one of four colorways in the Undefeated / Nike collab. It’s a Lakers-inspired color-way, honoring Kobe’s 20-year tenure on the team as well as Kuzma’s past few years on the now-champion Lakers team. Each heel features one of Kobe’s numbers (8 and 24), and there’s a subtle “Undefeated” printed below on the heel. These kicks are a great option for diehard Lakers fans or anyone who enjoys a good Kobe 4, as it’s still one of the best low-top silhouettes around.

Buy Now at GOAT, $350
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/undefeated-x-kobe-4-protro-kyle-kuzma-cq3869-500
7. Zoom Kobe 5 Protro ‘5x Champ’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/zoom-kobe-5-protro-lakers-cd4991-500
GOAT

These are so fresh. Launched this year as part of a special commemorative collection honoring the memory of Kobe Bryant, these Kobe 5s are such an amazing homage to the late and great Black Mamba. The color-way takes cues from the design of the championship jackets donned by Kobe after his second and third championships, featuring glossy patent leather purple contrasted against pops of gold. All of that paired with the icy outsole makes this an undeniably clean pair of kicks.

Buy Now at GOAT, $150
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/zoom-kobe-5-protro-lakers-cd4991-500
8. Zoom Kobe 6 ‘Black Del Sol’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/zoom-kobe-6-429659-002
GOAT

These are an absolute classic. This was the inaugural color-way of the Kobe 6 back in 2010; the all black upper features a slew of polyurethane ‘islands’, which give the shoe a texture resembling snakeskin. From a performance perspective, the Phylon-injected midsole includes a Zoom Air unit in both the heel and forefoot for added cushioning. It’s hard to come by a new pair of these, but there are definitely used pairs floating around in reasonable price ranges.

Buy Now at GOAT, $900
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/zoom-kobe-6-429659-002
9. Kobe 8 System ‘Sulfur Electric’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kobe-8-system-555035-001
GOAT

As with a lot of the Black Mamba’s signature shoes, this iteration of the 8 features a snake-inspired pattern in a crisp, vibrant yellow. These kicks are super lightweight; from the Engineered Mesh upper to the web rubber outsole, these were designed to reduce weight without decreasing traction and support. These sneakers dropped in 2012, and so finding a brand new pair is a bit of a journey (or just a financial burden), but there are plenty of used pairs around.

Buy Now at GOAT, $500
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kobe-8-system-555035-001
10. Kobe 9 Elite Low ‘Beethoven’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kobe-9-elite-low-beethoven-639045-101
GOAT

The ‘Beethoven’ is honestly one of the most timeless and aesthetically pleasing basketball shoes of all time. The kicks are entirely made up of black and white, utilizing a Flyknit upper. This iteration of the Kobe 9 Low was inspired by Beethoven himself; the color-way was meant to invoke an idea of timelessness. These have been a pretty hot ticket since their release in 2014, but you can find used and new pairs available at GOAT.

Buy Now at GOAT, $599
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kobe-9-elite-low-beethoven-639045-101
11. LeBron 15 Low ‘Ashes’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/lebron-15-low-ashes-ao1755-002
GOAT

Another entry on this list for the lovers of minimalist color-ways, this iteration of the Lebron 15 Low makes great use of Nike’s tech to form a beautiful, performance-oriented low top basketball shoe. These released back in 2018, and feature a BattleKnit upper atop an Oreo midsole, which exposes a clear Air Max unit, and an icy translucent outsole. The BattleKnit tech gives these a structure unlike some of the other low-tops on the list, giving them an additional boost of support.

Buy Now at GOAT, $170
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/lebron-15-low-ashes-ao1755-002
12. Air Jordan 5 Low ‘Fire Red’ 2016
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/air-jordan-5-low-fire-red-2016-819171-101
GOAT

Low top iterations of classic Jordans may ruffle a few feathers among vintage sneaker purists, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great, more affordable low-top option to add to your rotation. These Lows are visually very similar to the classic Jordan 5s in the ‘Fire Red’ color-way, but just more compact. Their smaller size makes them more casual and much easier to take on and off. These aren’t necessarily the most technologically advanced kicks to take to the court, but they’re an amazing option for daily wear, and I’m sure the right player could still flex them on the wax.

Buy Now at GOAT, $175
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/air-jordan-5-low-fire-red-2016-819171-101
13. Air Jordan 6 Low ‘Infrared’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/air-jordan-6-low-infrared-304401-123
GOAT

These are so fresh, and at their relatively low price point, they’re a great option for anyone wanting to dip their toes in the water of basketball sneakers. Similarly to the above 5 Lows, these aren’t exactly a classic sneaker, but they function as a wonderfully comfortable play on one of the most iconic sneakers of all time, the Jordan 6 ‘Infrared.’

Buy Now at GOAT, $138
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/air-jordan-6-low-infrared-304401-123
14. KD 8 ‘Road Game’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kd-8-opening-night-749375-480
GOAT

These were released in 2015, back when the Slim Reaper was still playing for the OKC Thunder. The color-way is modeled after KD’s alternate jersey from the season. The upper is constructed of Flyweave and the sneaker sits atop a full-length Zoom Air unit. The vibrant blue lagoon gives these a striking aesthetic, while KD’s signature logo on the tongue pulls the whole thing together.

Buy Now at GOAT, $155
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/kd-8-opening-night-749375-480
15. Curry 1 Low ‘Warriors’
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/curry-one-low
GOAT

When Under Armour got the Steph Curry contract, it was huge news for the sneaker world. The Curry 1, which released in 2015, features signature Golden State Warriors colors gracing an Anafoam upper. The sneakers feature a lot of UA’s signature tech, including a black Charged midsole and TPU shank around the midfoot, which gives a boost of stability. Although Under Armour isn’t necessarily the same caliber of sportswear juggernaut as Nike or Adidas, in Curry, they’ve got an iconic pair of kicks for an iconic player.

Buy Now at GOAT, $120
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/curry-one-low
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 25 Best Foreign Films On Netflix Right Now

Care to insert a little culture into your next binge-watching sesh? Well, if you’re not afraid of a few subtitles, you can open yourself up to a whole new world of cinema without having to leave your couch – or, for that matter, your Netflix account. Everyone’s favorite streaming service is full of hidden gems of the international variety, hosting an impressive selection of celebrated flicks from around the globe. Whether you’re in the mood for haunting fantasy, dark comedy, or some straight-up action, check out our genre-spanning list of the best foreign films on Netflix right now.

And you thought you’d run out of great movies to watch…

1. ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ (2006)

Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish-language masterpiece is hailed as a dark fairy tale that illustrates the real-life horrors of war and political strife. The film, which won three Academy Awards, centers around 10-year-old Ofelia, who has moved to a remote forest compound along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a brutal military captain who has been assigned to flush out rebels after the Spanish Civil War. After discovering an ancient stone labyrinth, Ofelia encounters mythical beings and is tasked with three quests to determine if she’s the reincarnation of Princess Moana of the underworld. The visual effects alone are worth watching for, as del Toro is famous for creating fantastical creatures.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/70050507?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C66213084967ca17fdf5190588eb373a502965c61%3A98e28831f47faaa53e3b62eb5de267330a20d57f%2C66213084967ca17fdf5190588eb373a502965c61%3A98e28831f47faaa53e3b62eb5de267330a20d57f%2Cunknown%2C
2. ‘Okja’ (2017)

Written and directed by Bong Joon-ho (the cult-favorite director behind 2019’s Parasite), the film is a heartwarming action-adventure tale about a young South Korean girl who fights to protect her best friend, a genetically-modified super pig named Okja, from an evil corporation. It features a star-studded ensemble cast, which includes Hollywood celebs Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, and Lily Collins, with South Korean child actress Ahn Seo-hyun in the starring role.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80091936?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C1ff7361cadc2c281817b20efae535d24b1729b83%3A2b30975f361bec26bbacdd5611690176b66d5fc5%2C1ff7361cadc2c281817b20efae535d24b1729b83%3A2b30975f361bec26bbacdd5611690176b66d5fc5%2Cunknown%2C
3. ‘Snowpiercer’ (2013)

Another must-watch by Bong Joon-ho (and his English-language debut), Snowpiercer is a gnarly exploration of class divide, depicting a post-apocalyptic future where survivors of the new ice age ride around endlessly on a train. While the upper classes are treated to luxury living in the front cars, the poor inhabitants reside in filth and squalor. Then they decide to rebel. The action-packed sci-fi flick stars Hollywood A-listers Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton in some very memorable performances.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/70270364?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C41081d8d89af783daa964236e229593861ae7a8e%3Afa895140adca1051561ba433b1b314d1ed8389dd%2C41081d8d89af783daa964236e229593861ae7a8e%3Afa895140adca1051561ba433b1b314d1ed8389dd%2Cunknown%2C
4. ‘The Platform’ (2019)

A nightmarish social and class commentary whose real horror is found in its exploration of human nature forced to its limits, The Platform is a Spanish film that takes place in a towering futuristic prison where prisoners are fed via a descending platform. The prisoners at the top are provided with a feast too big to finish themselves, but selfishness and desperation ensure that the bounty never reaches the people at the bottom, leading to stomach-churning results. In a few words, its premise could be described as, quite literally, the cannibalism bred by capitalism.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81128579?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C73f43e4d6691b58d2bb8410db82c3185a199f9bc%3A10b67e4c62f3db663fe082be3bce4ef95ed547e1%2C73f43e4d6691b58d2bb8410db82c3185a199f9bc%3A10b67e4c62f3db663fe082be3bce4ef95ed547e1%2Cunknown%2C
5. ‘I Lost My Body’ (2019)

While the concept of a severed hand searching for its body may sound more macabre than moving, this profoundly unique French animated film manages to interweave its strange premise with a dreamlike meditation on love, fate, and the human condition. Of course, there’s also the stunning artistry of the animation to take in. Consider it a highbrow cartoon movie for grownups.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81120982?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C33d2a0c77d4994ced1bb35b9189ba9f9df4acd2b%3Acdcba3480ca6bc23db1957171170f9a2e0877044%2C33d2a0c77d4994ced1bb35b9189ba9f9df4acd2b%3Acdcba3480ca6bc23db1957171170f9a2e0877044%2C%2C
6. ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ (2004)

Now considered a modern classic of the martial arts genre, this 2004 action-comedy hailing from China is jam-packed with epic fight scenes and fun special effects. Set in 1940s Shanghai, it stars Stephen Chow (also the film’s writer and director) as a petty crook who dreams of joining the notorious Axe Gang… until he accidentally pisses them off and finds himself in the midst of an explosive battle between secret Kung Fu masters.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/70020728?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C731c14306a3726d5c674d72267424b62f954a8ef%3Afd57438bbfbc43c40188fc886d6ea3068be714b1%2C731c14306a3726d5c674d72267424b62f954a8ef%3Afd57438bbfbc43c40188fc886d6ea3068be714b1%2C%2C
7. ‘Roma’ (2018)

Praised by critics and viewers alike, and earning Alfonso Cuarón the Oscars for both Best Director and Best Cinematography, Roma is an intimate, semi-autobiographical drama depicting the life of a middle-class family living in Mexico City in the early 1970s. It presents a moving portrait of characters including Cleo, an Indigenous live-in maid, and Sofía, the matriarch of the family Cleo works for, who learns of her husband’s infidelity. Between its artistry and plotlines, it’s a film that stays with you.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80240715?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Caae43ce0bee2f4d4cfe5c71ade5f9d674a790142%3A986b6696c097e21b0060630ae24c9be046979529%2Caae43ce0bee2f4d4cfe5c71ade5f9d674a790142%3A986b6696c097e21b0060630ae24c9be046979529%2Cunknown%2C
8. ‘#Alive’ (2020)

An almost too-relevant take on the “zombie” genre, this South Korean film portrays a young gamer who is forced to barricade himself in his apartment and communicate through social media as a virus spreads among the world outside, turning his fellow citizens into flesh-eating monsters (classic!). Although he struggles with isolation, he is determined to survive, especially after he connects with a female neighbor living across the way. While it may not be the most original story, it’s definitely a fun must-watch for fans of zombie flicks.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81240831?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Ca805d18b007e551cbd0e246215c55c4668a36e0d%3A5e044b34a38a3f55ca435eb86d75f4e5c55e6efc%2Ca805d18b007e551cbd0e246215c55c4668a36e0d%3A5e044b34a38a3f55ca435eb86d75f4e5c55e6efc%2C%2C
9. ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ (2001)

Alfonso Cuarón’s clever coming-of-age film has been a fan-favorite for nearly two decades. It stars actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal as two teenage friends who embark on a saucy road trip with an older woman through the Mexican countryside, melding comedy, drama, and sexual themes. It reimagines the American “road movie,” setting it among the social, political, and natural landscape of Mexico.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/60023237?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Cdb96fb601f91a57673c8bd90319784e8ca142865%3A95d1ac6a09823029a5630d514790ed13ffc75062%2Cdb96fb601f91a57673c8bd90319784e8ca142865%3A95d1ac6a09823029a5630d514790ed13ffc75062%2C%2C
10. ‘Happy As Lazzaro’ (2018)

This Italian-language flick is a dreamy drama with a fairytale-like twist that traverses time while staying grounded in real issues like the class divide. It tells the story of Lazzaro, a good-hearted young peasant in rural Italy who lives and works on a farm run by a cruel landowner. When the landowner’s son, a rebellious nobleman, asks Lazzaro to help him stage his own kidnapping, the innocent worker experiences a freak accident that leads to him waking up in the future. The film was a hit at Cannes where it debuted in 2018 and where it won the prestigious title of Best Screenplay, so you know you’re in for a unique ride.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81004245?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C6f76883337c84bcb43d3f1af098e3fcdd8875d28%3A2714a1f27c12da4431f4e57c2fd5a72e6cd4bffb%2C6f76883337c84bcb43d3f1af098e3fcdd8875d28%3A2714a1f27c12da4431f4e57c2fd5a72e6cd4bffb%2Cunknown%2C
11. ‘The Night Comes For Us’ (2018)

If you like your movies like you like your video games, and you like your video games action-packed and full of gory fight sequences, good news! The Night Comes For Us, an Indonesian gangland thriller, should check all of your boxes. Crime, violence, and masterfully choreographed martial-arts battles ensue after a Triad enforcer spares the life of a young girl and turns his back on the gang. Warning: the use of fake blood is gratuitous, but hey if you’re into that sorta thing…

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80148162?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Ca298062f2617646acfc4e54f7a76957ee7e3e9a5%3A6449b74a4c1c53ff05d8ff565fd84dcfee6f06c3%2Ca298062f2617646acfc4e54f7a76957ee7e3e9a5%3A6449b74a4c1c53ff05d8ff565fd84dcfee6f06c3%2Cunknown%2C
12. ‘Verónica’ (2017)

Horror fanatics, this one’s for you. The Spanish supernatural chiller, Verónica, involves many elements signature to the “teen possession” genre: an ouija board, a creepy nun, an attempted seance that goes horribly wrong. But when Paco Plaza’s terrifying take on the familiar theme hit Netflix back in 2018, it was described by many viewers as “the scariest movie ever.” The fact that it’s based on a true story only adds to the goosebumps. Watch at your own risk.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80109295?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C72aaf4be0d2b513f3c1c00f3672ac61807172bf1%3A3427f33d0ef2dc2a3fd631ebea08c9f1d398d2d2%2C72aaf4be0d2b513f3c1c00f3672ac61807172bf1%3A3427f33d0ef2dc2a3fd631ebea08c9f1d398d2d2%2Cunknown%2C
13. ‘Atlantics’ (2019)

As for a supernatural drama that goes in the decidedly opposite direction, there’s Atlantics. A mesmerizing tale that takes place in the shadow of development and exploitation in a suburb of Dakar, Senegal, it combines serious political commentary with magical realism to culminate in a ghostly story of love and revenge. The director, Mati Diop, made history in 2019 when she became the first Black woman to direct a film in competition at Cannes.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81082007?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C791c53a1740c810e089be102a280a82278e70ace%3A142a42db8f1408f50684f0312a67795871b51297%2C791c53a1740c810e089be102a280a82278e70ace%3A142a42db8f1408f50684f0312a67795871b51297%2C%2C
14. ‘The Lobster’ (2015)

An international co-production of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Greece, France, and the Netherlands, 2015’s The Lobster is the first English-language film by acclaimed Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. An instant art house hit, the “absurdist dystopian black comedy” stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz as characters who must navigate love in a world where single people are given a certain amount of time to find a partner before being forced by the state to turn into an animal. The deep-cutting (and disturbingly hilarious) satire plays on the commentary plenty of single people in the real world are probably used to hearing.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80058480?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Cec0d40f318245c20291bff767f3f05badc91c355%3A5a69a47f74a9ca44e1ef9eb8653c5d9c5860e75d%2Cec0d40f318245c20291bff767f3f05badc91c355%3A5a69a47f74a9ca44e1ef9eb8653c5d9c5860e75d%2Cunknown%2C
15. ‘I’m No Longer Here’ (2019)

After a Mexican teenager named Ulises gets mixed up in local gang violence, he is forced to flee to Queens, New York, where he finds himself living an alienated and lonely life. The film uses flashbacks to tell the story of what happened to Ulises, a member of the Mexican youth subculture dubbed Cholombiano, which is marked by baggy clothes, eccentric hairstyles, and a love for dancing to manipulated cumbia music. While the story and social commentary paint somewhat of a dismal picture, the actual film work is breathtaking.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81025595?trackId=251183836&tctx=1%2C8%2C7a3213e7-c9a6-4aaf-8e2e-32a64e2fd411-47727015%2C55a3e232-3a48-4544-9a11-2f10baa110ac_70461460X19XX1606273250103%2C%2C
16. ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ (2016)

Coming out of New Zealand, Hunt for the Wilderpeople perfectly embodies writer/director Taika Waititi’s brand of quirky, semi-sweet comedy as it follows a troubled teen and his grouchy foster father through mishaps and adventure in the New Zealand wilderness. It’ll leave you with plenty of laughs and probably some inner warm-and-fuzzies.

Watch Now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80096995?source=35
17. ‘Swimming Pool’ (2003)

This erotic French thriller makes psychological suspense rather sexy. A crime novelist experiencing writer’s block escapes to her publisher’s luxurious country house in the South of France for some peace and quiet to work on her next book. But then a mysterious young woman claiming to be his daughter suddenly arrives, and drama is soon to follow. The much-talked-about ending has spurred controversy thanks to its multitude of interpretations – and if that’s not reason enough to watch, we don’t know what is.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/60029156?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C8b810f86ed02ef68f68740d61b7b4088a2bfeebb%3A3c438f82ffcc4a8d3098a671736769463770e7ed%2C8b810f86ed02ef68f68740d61b7b4088a2bfeebb%3A3c438f82ffcc4a8d3098a671736769463770e7ed%2Cunknown%2C
18. ‘Divines’ (2016)

“Get rich or die trying” is the overarching theme of this fresh French drama about a scrappy teenage girl from the rough “banlieues” of Paris stumbling into a life of drug-dealing and street-hustling. It’s a raw illustration of urban youth and the tragic consequences of dabbling with crime to overcome one’s circumstances. As it was her first feature film, director Houda Benyamina won the Caméra d’Or prize for Divines when it debuted at Cannes in 2016.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80115031?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Cf655131e82d9958b7242c6f5327d30f2a92d0ec8%3A3d0e39d9cecd704cc913953a3f308c1bcca7db4e%2Cf655131e82d9958b7242c6f5327d30f2a92d0ec8%3A3d0e39d9cecd704cc913953a3f308c1bcca7db4e%2Cunknown%2C
19. ‘Everybody Knows’ (2018)

Starring Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz, Spanish crime drama Everybody Knows takes place in a small town just outside Madrid, where a woman named Laura (Cruz) returns home for her sister’s wedding. When her daughter is kidnapped for ransom, the secret she’s kept for years begins to unravel and family tensions reach a boiling point. Juxtaposed with the mystery surrounding the kidnapping, the storyline makes for an intricate and interesting watch.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80996787?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C02e87ae30875571d64f6c6be2e833b7d1e7c7df6%3Ad75fd19b11871fd0ed16a57a5fbaad4a3c981f2e%2C02e87ae30875571d64f6c6be2e833b7d1e7c7df6%3Ad75fd19b11871fd0ed16a57a5fbaad4a3c981f2e%2C%2C
20. ‘On My Skin’ (2018)

Based on the true story of a case that rocked Italy in 2009, this gritty Italian drama recalls the last days of Stefano Cucchi, a young Roman man who was arrested on drug possession charges and mysteriously died in police custody a week later. The powerful narrative explores the all-too-relevant (and universal) themes of police brutality and corruption within the criminal justice system.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81001000?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Caa7a344624927d29e39b0710474c0c0d8903ea53%3A1cdbc92dbdc2f8b755bacf3516b8a78ff7663ebb%2Caa7a344624927d29e39b0710474c0c0d8903ea53%3A1cdbc92dbdc2f8b755bacf3516b8a78ff7663ebb%2Cunknown%2C
21. ‘Burning’ (2018)

The title of this South Korean psychological thriller makes sense for plenty of reasons related to the plot, but it is, as a whole, best described as a slow burn drama that intensifies until its shocking conclusion. After a young man, Jong-su, is tasked with taking care of a female friend’s cat while she’s away, he unwittingly gets pulled into a fiery love triangle with his friend and a mysterious, Porsche-driving Korean playboy. When it was released in 2018, the film was a hit on the festival circuit and made just about every Best Movie of The Year list, so both critics and viewers agree that it’s a must-see.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81015498?source=35
22. ‘Brahman Naman’ (2016)

For some lighthearted, good ol’ fashioned sex comedy in the Western tradition of raunchy movies like American Pie and Superbad, there’s Brahman Naman. The commercially-angled Indian feature takes on the familiar, yet always-funny, plot of a group of nerdy college guys on a booze-soaked quest to lose their virginities. While there are some India-specific touchpoints related to classism and sexism, it’s definitely a pick that can be enjoyed by bros across the world. Trust, you won’t soon forget the ceiling fan scene.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80097355?source=35
23. ‘First They Killed My Father’ (2017)

History buffs who can stomach the harsh realities of war and political strife won’t want to miss this harrowing true account of a child soldier in Cambodia, surviving the genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Based on the memoir of the same name by activist Loung Ung, the film was actually directed by Angelina Jolie, who also worked alongside Ung to write the script. It’s shot in the Khmer language of Cambodia and was made with the help of a completely Cambodian cast and crew.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80067522?trackId=14277281&tctx=-97%2C-97%2C%2C%2C%2C
24. ‘A Fortunate Man’ (2018)

This Danish period piece, adapted from the famous novel Lucky Per by Nobel Prize-winning author Henrik Pontoppidan, follows the epic rise and fall of Peter, a poor but ambitious engineering student who has the chance to rise up in Copenhagen society thanks to his modern, grand-scale ideas. All signs point to the good life until the inner demons stemming from his past emerge. It’s a dramatic and complex character study that reinforces the detrimental effects of unresolved trauma.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/81073387?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2Cec4111da57b285c1cc56fc89f151c6fde46f61f7%3A36070d2f0ce318d3e93260ce5201e762b8971ac6%2Cec4111da57b285c1cc56fc89f151c6fde46f61f7%3A36070d2f0ce318d3e93260ce5201e762b8971ac6%2Cunknown%2C
25. ‘Wadjda’ (2012)

The first-ever feature film by a female Saudi director (shout out to Haifaa al-Mansour!) and the first film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, Wadjda is an uplifting story centering on a rebellious, spirited young girl on a mission to buy her own bicycle – despite the fact that riding a bike is a frowned upon activity for girls. It’s been celebrated for its accurate depiction of the challenges faced by women in the region due to culture and religion while leaving enough room for the hopeful potential of progress.

watch now
https://www.netflix.com/watch/70258293?source=35
Categories
Culture Trading Cards

The Current State of Competitive Pokemon

The Pokemon brand has stepped in to the forefront of the trading card market during the covid pandemic. The meteoric rise in the value of the original base set cards has led to incredible amounts of discussion and coverage in the mainstream media. One thing that has not been talked about much in the Pokemon space is the live competitive tournaments, which have been postponed like everything else during this era of social distancing. 

With the days of 1000+ players getting together to battle it out at local, regional, national and world championship competitions on hold, and “Play! Pokemon” adapting and shifting to online play, things have certainly changed for players like Frank Diaz (one of the top competitive Pokemon players in the world). We recently had a chance to sit down with him and get his take on the current state of the competitive Pokemon space. 

Doug Morisoli

ONE37pm: How long have you been in the Pokemon space? What are some of the biggest competitions you have been involved in?

Diaz: I started playing when the game came out in the late ’90s. I was 9 years old in the suburbs of New York and was kind of the target market for what Pokemon was. I learned how to play out of the rule book but wasn’t playing in the biggest competitions yet. When it started, it was “wizards of the coast” who printed the cards and ran tournaments. Then a few years in, Nintendo took over. 2003-2004 is when I started playing competitively. In 2004, I got my parents to take me to DC for a tournament called the “East Coast Stadium Challenge” and I won a trip to Florida for the World Championship that year. We had never traveled like that before. When you are a 14-year-old kid winning a trip to Florida, you can’t say no to that! Then in Florida, I won $1000. That year got us hooked. I got top 16 at Worlds. My brother got the top 32. We have been playing ever since. 

That was the first year Nintendo was running the organized play. They have small events earlier in the year that built up to the bigger events later on. The season ends with the World Championship in August every year. 


ONE37pm: Give me a rundown of some of the biggest tournaments you have played in since, and some of the best finishes you have had. 

Diaz: I’ve won a few regional tournaments. In 2010, I got 3rd place at the World Championship. That’s my biggest accomplishment in the game. I got one of the trophy cards, the #3 Trainer from 2010 and I still have it. I get messages once in a while with people looking to buy it. Especially now, with the market so hot, it has exploded in value, which is great. It’s interesting for me because I’m coming at it from, I played the game. All I was looking to do was win games of Pokemon. I just wanted to beat my friends at Pokemon. If you are playing, it kind of requires that you have a little bit of a collection. You need to have the cards to play in the events. As new sets would come out, we would need to build decks. My brother and I, as new sets would come out, we wouldn’t really sell the old ones. We would just stash them away and do a little bit of trading. We built up a collection, but we really didn’t get rid of a lot of it. A lot of competitive players do get rid of their cards. Either they sell it or their mom throws it away. We have been lucky enough that we have saved our cards. My brother has been trying to build retro decks. These cards have been becoming so expensive, that it’s harder and harder for the players to build the decks. 

The easiest thing for Pokemon to do is give out products when you do well at a tournament. They can give you a box of cards. They can give you one of every card that’s legal if they want to, and they have in the past. A lot of what we would do is, it’s a weekly grind. If you go to a weekly tournament over several years, you end up with boxes and boxes of cards. It’s a nice problem to have no that I have to organize my collection and figure out what they are all worth. It’s a blessing with all of the attention and energy that has come to where I have been working in this space. It’s presented a great opportunity and I am so happy about it.

Doug Morisoli
Diaz shown here with his #3 Trainer card that he won at the 2010 World Championship

ONE37pm: What’s the most valuable card in your collection?

Diaz: The #3 trainer that I won at the 2010 World Championships. That’s the rarest individual item. You can make an argument for my “Championship Arena”. In the 2005 World Championships, they would slide them under the doors of the hotel rooms where we were staying. It wasn’t just the players, it was some of the staff. One per room. They were getting scratched up as they slid them under the doors. That thing has become a really hot commodity. 

We also have a couple of Nintendo DSs. They gave away custom DSs at the 2008 and 2010 World Championships. Those are also highly sought after. A lot of players would sell things as they went throughout the years. My brother and I saved everything. 

ONE37pm: How has covid affected the competitive Pokemon community. Are they back hosting events? Or is everything done on platforms like zoom nowadays?

The Pokemon company, and Play! Pokemon has done a great job in terms of transitioning to online events. We can’t have in-person events and that’s all they were doing previously. Now they are doing online events. First, they did a “Players Cup”, then they did a “Players Cup 2” where they made a ton of improvements. The Pokemon online client updated to include tournament keys. That’s something the Players Cup 1 didn’t have. That meant that in the first Players Cup, players weren’t given the same number of chances. You could play in X number of tournaments based on your count, and there was no control over it. In the second Players Cup, they implemented tournament keys in the program that enabled you to play in 50 different little 8 man events. It was good to see them pivot. They are learning and improving. They are also trying to innovate. The next thing they are doing is a team challenge where teams of 3 play against each other representing different stores. They have never done that before. Sometimes a big organization can be slow to move and react. I have been very impressed by how the Play! The Pokemon team has responded to the pandemic. 


ONE37pm:  When are you going to win your first World Championship? 

The next time they have it! It’s a long time coming. You gotta figure before too long they will start running live events again. Once they run one, I’ve got a good chance!


ONE37pm:  How many people compete in the World Championship and where are most of them from?

There are players from all over the world. There are a lot of Europeans, lots of Japanese players, tons from the United States. It’s invitation only. You have to earn an invite. They do 3 age groups. Juniors is 10 and under. Seniors is 11-14. Masters is 15 years olds and above. Each age group has a few hundred people competing. 


They have international championships. Those get a lot more people because it’s an open event. They can have like a thousand people in each age group. I think all of these events will be bigger than ever once live events come back.

Doug Morisoli

ONE37pm: Is there any friction between people like you who have been in the Pokemon space for a long time and people who are just getting into collecting now, hoping to cash in on the attention? 

Diaz: There’s a lot of cool stuff going on. I think Steve Aoki opened a box recently. It’s very exciting. I like the attention and energy coming into the space that I have been working in. I am very happy about it. You do see a lot of people who are questioning the genuineness of some of what’s going on. If someone is saying “hey, I am opening a box of the base set” because it’s a fad, it doesn’t seem like they are a part of the community or something they know anything about, some in the community will push back. I think anything that’s popular, someone isn’t gonna like it. I have been very happy about it though. It’s a great opportunity. It’s so great that the Pokemon brand is getting all of this attention. It’s been a really good thing and anybody who has any cards should be very happy about this.


ONE37pm: Have they scheduled a World Championship for 2021 yet?

Diaz: They scheduled it in London but it’s not clear yet whether or not it will happen. They are playing it by ear but they are doing a good job communicating. They released on their website that they are still monitoring it and what their plans are in the meantime. In the past, they have been notoriously poor with communicating, so they are doing a good job keeping everybody informed. It’s just wait and see for now. 

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Inside The Screen With Aaron Create

This week on our series, ‘Inside the Screen,’ ONE37pm’s Aaron ‘Don’ Dukes sits down with Aaron Create, the designer for OpTic Gaming and founder of his own brand, Create. The man wears many hats. Aaron is an artist, designer and creative director from Simi Valley. Whether it be his skill in traditional visual art or branding, Aaron is self-taught. He’s the living representation of the phrase: consistency is key. He’s been honing his craft for over a decade, and hard work pays off. 

Episode 004: OpTic Create

Part of what sets Aaron apart is his commitment to elevating his work outside of the confines of a traditional design. “I didn’t wanna just do merch, I wanted to create a brand,” he tells Don, speaking on his company, Create. Designing merch is one thing, but if you can create a brand with an identity, that’s where the magic happens. 

“For me, owning brands is all I need. That’s all the motivation I need.” Aaron wants to make it to the top, and his drive is the X-factor allowing him to build up his work. The two Aarons cover so much ground in this interview; they address the logistics of building a clothing brand, the evolving world of marketing for streetwear and gaming writ large. If you want to hear more, make sure to check out the full interview at the above link. And keep your eyes on Aaron’s Twitter and IG to track his success. 

Categories
Sneakers Style

The 20 Best Sneakerhead Instagram Accounts to Follow Right Now

Being a sneakerhead is a never ending whirlwind of excitement, chock full of high and lows. When you snag a sneaker that has been on your radar it feels amazing, but when you miss a sneaker that you really wanted on the SNKRS app, it feels terrible. If you are a self-proclaimed sneakerhead, then you know that there’s way more that goes into buying a new pair of kicks than just liking the way they look. Regardless of what stage of sneaker fandom you’re in, you may be wondering about the best sneakerhead accounts to follow. Here is a list of the 20 best sneakerhead accounts that you can keep an eye on. 

1. King of Trainers

Run by Franklin Boateng, the first African British Billionaire, King of Trainers gives detailed descriptions of some of the newest releases, including detailed video reviews. Boateng brings many years of sneaker experience to his platform. To date, the account has 124,000 followers on Instagram.

2. Mobile Sneakers

With 84,000 followers on Instagram, Mobile Sneakers continues to be a go-to spot for the latest sneaker information by giving breakdowns on the latest kicks, and reposting other cool sneaker posts. The account is run by sneakerhead and entrepreneur Louie Castro, who has become known for his sneaker game over the years.

3. Cool Kicks LA

Cool Kicks LA originally started as a regular sneaker store in Los Angeles. Since then, their popularity has exploded on social media with some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names popping in to add to their sneaker collection. The visits don’t just include sneaker shopping; the celebrity guests also play games during their time there. In the last several months, the store has seen appearances from the likes of Kevin Durant, Bronny James, and Saweetie, to name a few. The account currently has 545,000 followers on Instagram, and 888,000 subscribers on YouTube.

4. Sneaker News

With 9.6 million followers on Instagram, and 857,000 followers on Twitter, Sneaker News has become one of the leading forces in the sneaker industry for go-to information. The account is run by sneaker gurus Yu-Ming Wu (The brands founder) and John Kim (Sneaker News editor-in-chief), and gives you glimpses into recent and upcoming releases. Be sure to check out our new podcast with Sneaker News, titled Sneaker Salaries.

5. Jon Wexler

Adidas remains one of the biggest sneaker brands in the world, so why not get a little more insight by following Adidas’ global director of marketing? Jon Wexler gives you all the exclusive content a sneakerhead can ask for by giving you sneak peeks and behind the scenes looks at all of your favorite Adidas sneakers and collaborations. Wexler has 254,000 followers on Instagram

6. Nice Kicks

The name is pretty much self explanatory. If you are looking to see some ‘nice kicks,’ then it would definitely be worth your time to check out Nice Kicks on Instagram. The account has over 4 million devoted followers, with frequent videos and pictures of some the latest kicks to hit the market. 

7. Claude Renard

Imagery and presentation matter when it comes to sneakers. It’s the first thing we look at whenever we are considering purchasing a new pair. Sometimes it’s even better when we get pictures of our desired sneakers in motion, which is where photographer Claude Renard steps in. Known as ‘Needlehorse,’ Renard captures beautiful photos of sneakers in various different settings. Renard currently has 33,000 followers on Instagram.

8. Jemuel Wong

Again, if you are Team Adidas, then you should definitely check out Jemuel Wong on Instagram. The 24-year-old is a self-described ‘super Adidas fan,’ and regularly showcases the newest add-ons to his collection while giving honest reviews and interacting with followers. Wong’s passion and knowledge hasn’t gone unnoticed as he was recently featured on Hypebeast for his take on the ‘EQT Guidance 93.’ Wong has 30,000 followers on Instagram.

9. Sean Wotherspoon

Sean Wotherspoon is a sneaker designer, collector, and the owner of Round Two Store. After years of being involved in the sneaker industry in some type of way, it’s safe to say that Wotherspoon knows a thing or two about sneakers. The guru offers glimpses at some of the most unique sneakers on the market, and has collaborated with Nike in the past. With over 1 million followers on Instagram, Wotherspoon consistently provides valuable content that his audience connects to. 

10. Rebecca Hyldahl

Understanding the importance of finding a good supportive sneaker for women, Hydahl devotes her account to showcasing some of the best sneakers for women around the world. Hydahl’s account is the definition of ‘visually appealing,’ and Hydahl regularly showcases sneakers out of her closet, even doing giveaways from time to time as well. Hydahl currently has 145 million followers on Instagram.

11. Sherlina Nym

Speaking of dope women with fire sneaker collections, Sherlina Nym is another cool sneaker account to follow. Sherlina has an entire room and closet devoted to her incredible sneaker collection, and gives ideas on how to pair your sneakers with different items in your closet. Sherlina has 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and 360,000 subscribers on YouTube where she creates videos dedicated to her sneaker journey.

12. Ronnie Fieg

The creator or Kith, Ronnie Fieg is both a clothing and sneaker designer that has collaborated with Adidas, Puma, Converse, and more. His Instagram gives a closer look at his upcoming collaborations while also giving a look at the sneakers he is currently working on. At the moment, Ronnie has 160,000 followers on Instagram. Check out his latest blog in his bio link.

13. Sneaker Con

Unfortunately there was no Sneaker Con this year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped Sneaker Con from still delivering insightful and creative content. Sneaker Con makes it a point to highlight both new releases and vintage throwbacks that have been largely forgotten about. So if you are into collecting classic sneakers, this is the account for you. With 3 million followers on Instagram and counting, Sneaker Con remains a leading destination for all things sneakers.

14. The Shoe Surgeon

Known as ‘The Shoe Surgeon,’ Dominic Ciambrone has a knack for representing the old and the new. While Ciambrone originally became known for his rare sneaker collection, the collector also tackles some of the latest releases on his account. The Shoe Surgeon continues to grow his IG, currently sitting at 950,000 followers.

15. Jumpman 23

While this seems obvious, every sneakerhead should be following Jumpman 23 on Instagram. The account not only keeps you posted on the latest Js, but it also gives you a deeper look into some of the brand’s most iconic sneakers. Simply put, if you like Jordans, following the account is a must. Jumpman 23 continues to dominate on Instagram with 21 million followers.

16. Superllalla

A Paris high school teacher in New York, Superllalla has become one of the most recognizable social media sneaker gurus over the last few years. Describing herself as a ‘Nike Master,’ Superllalla has an enviable collection that she regularly shares on her account. The collection itself dates back decades, and blends together both new and old classics. Superllalla has over 10,000 followers on her IG.

17. Archive DNA

Archive DNA is the perfect place for those that have a thing for iconic vintage sneakers. Archive DNA takes you all the way back to those long lost sneakers that we thought we would never see again. The account also makes it a point to give you the history behind those sneakers offering rare facts that you may not know. Archive DNA has 16,000 followers and counting on Instagram.

18. Sneaker Freaker Mag

Another ‘sneakerhead’ account to follow is Sneaker Freaker Mag. The magazine itself was the first international sneaker magazine, and has since transformed into an online media publication with over one million followers on Instagram. The account offers you first looks, upcoming news regarding sneakers, leaked information, and more. 

19. StockX Sneakers

StockX has become known as a place where you can find sneakers on the secondary market. Calling themselves the ‘stock market of sneakers’,’ StockX users can both buy and resell sneakers through the website. With a fan base consisting of 1.1 million followers on IG, StockX is definitely a good account for sneakerheads to follow.

20. Steals by Sneaker

Selling sneakers can be very profitable if you know what you are doing. In addition to highlighting some of the top kicks in the game, Steals by Sneaker offers a one month mentorship program educating future sneaker sellers about the ins and outs of the business. The account is partnered with Outlet Hunters and 717 Soles to further give subscribers access to those important sneaker gems that sellers must be aware of. Steals by Sneaker currently has 38 million followers on Instagram.

While there are plenty of other great sneakerhead accounts that you can follow, these are the ones that we felt belonged in the top 20. Whether you follow these accounts or others, following any ‘sneakerhead account’ is a good step to help with selecting your sneakers and becoming more informed regarding sneaker culture.