Rookie of the Year

Rookie of the Year: A Matter of Time

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Weekly. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.

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Eventually, all we have left are our photos.

Just like the early part of the past century was black and white, or the 1970s were murky and brown, I used to joke that one day our generation would be remembered through the Instagrammed lens of a million funky smartphone filters.

I might have been wrong about that.

As I write this, it has been two days – just two days – since I downloaded an iOS app called Matter and yet, already, my camera roll is being converted into an assortment of surreally altered images; there are computer-generated geometrical figures inserted where kites used to be, random blobs of metallic goo casting shadows on lawns, and photos of traffic on the Grand Central Parkway reshaped and refracted into a kaleidoscopic mess.

There is even an image of the Wife of the Year, standing on a beach on our honeymoon, with a mass of red cubes hovering over her right shoulder, a splash of color across the twilight sky.

(And because that wasn’t enough, there’s a preferred second version, which I ran through a second app, ShakeItPhoto, to make it look like a Polaroid.)

The Son of the Year, freshly born in July, will one day ask me, “What the fuck is that chrome swirl I’m reaching out to grab from my stroller?” Or, “Why am I floating above the city of Toronto?”

Ahh yes, the mid-Aughts. When simple over-saturation was no longer enough. The good old days, when snapshots were throwaways if they couldn’t make prog rock album covers blush.

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Matt Marrone is a senior MLB editor at ESPN.com. He has been Unwinnable’s reigning Rookie of the Year since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @thebigm.

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