A Q&A With The Chicago Bulls Resident Vine Expert


Chicago Bulls fans have probably seen his six-second videos all over the web in the last few seasons. Pippen Ain’t Easy conducted a Q&A session with Chicago sports superfan and avid movie-watcher Gustavo Vega.

When I was officially brought on to become a Co-Editor here at Pippen Ain’t Easy back in May, I remember the first person who congratulated me on my new position with the site.

I knew Gustavo, but I didn’t know him.

During my time at Da Windy City — FanSided’s site for all things Chicago sports — I used some of Gustavo’s videos from Vine for some of my Bulls pieces when I was covering the Bulls. I had no earthly idea that this was a common trend for him.

Then out of nowhere (as you can see above), the first person to congratulate me on my new position at FanSided was the Vine guru for all things Chicago sports. Gustavo even gave me props before my own mother did. (That’s real, Gustavo. Thank you for that.)

The concept of this piece actually came from a conversation I was having with one of my staff writers here at PAE. For the first few days of the 2015-16 NBA season, NBA League Pass is available for a free trial, so out-of-market games are available to fans all over. I was unable to watch the Bulls take on the Brooklyn Nets, so I signed up for the free trial to watch Wednesday’s game.

One of the beautiful benefits that comes with not watching a game live is that you have all the time in the world to rewind possessions, study movements, take notes, and for posting purposes, taking a screenshot or a Vine of play or sequence of plays. The staffer I was speaking with had one of his Vine videos loop over 25,000 times. He asked me if I had seen this anywhere and I said, “I can’t say that I have. I’ve seen Gus’ version, but not yours anywhere.”

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As the conversation goes on, the staffer goes, “I don’t know how Gus gets so many [videos] out so quickly.”

I told him that I assumed he “DVR’d” the games, but then it hit me. I said to myself, “I’ve got to talk to him. It is kind of unreal how much he’s on top of things.”

At the time of this post, Gustavo’s Vine account has 561 followers and his 2,181 Vine posts have 49,222,714 total loops.

So, I reached out to Gustavo to ask him about his stellar highlight-featured Bulls videos.

Michael Whitlow: Who is Gustavo Vega?

Gustavo Vega: I’m just a Chicago sports fan.

(I can respect that. Short, sweet and to the point. I like it.)

MW: So, how did you get into making Vines of just about every single good play the Bulls make from game-to-game?

GV: At first, I would only vine a Bulls play here & there. But, I noticed that some good Bulls plays I could never find, so I decided to start “vining” Plays I liked, or funny moments in the game. 

(I can totally relate there. Do you know how annoying it is to try and search highlight videos for a player/team to find just one play? Infuriating.)

MW: How do you make the Vines each game? DVR and then record with your phone? NBA League Pass?

GV: I use Vine with my iPhone, I DVR games, and since I live on Chicago and have Comcast SportNet, I’m able to watch all the Bulls games. The Only games I’m not able to Vine live are West Coast games because of work.

(His timing is impeccable. I challenge you to post something about the Bulls on Vine quicker than he does.)

MW: I’ve seen your Vines featured on SB Nation, theScore, Blog a Bull, and we’ve used a few of yours as well. You’re kind of like, an Internet celebrity when it comes to Chicago sports, huh?

GV: I don’t think I’m an Internet celebrity. I’m just a Chicago Bulls fan. From looking at my Twitter followers, I’m just Happy that Chicago Bulls fans From Brazil, England, Philippines, Australia, Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Lebanon, France and of course, all those across the U.S.A can enjoy my Chicago Bulls Vines.

(I can totally respect the modesty.)

MW: Your 2,181 Vines have been looped over 49 million times. If you had to pick just one Bulls Vine out of your awesome library, which one would be your favorite?

GV: I have three that are my favorites:

1. Jimmy Butler strips Miami Lebron to make sure the game goes into OT & the Bulls win.

2. I Vined most of all Bulls Hardwood Classics from this summer & one was of 1993 NBA Finals and Pippen try’s to take a charge on Dan Majerle, but is called for a blocking Foul. Charles Barkley stands over Pippen and says something & the very next play, Pippen dunks on Charles.

3.Bulls vs. Knicks in the late 90’s. MJ scores & there’s slow motion of MJ talking smack to the fans at Madison Square Garden. Pure Jordan Swag.

(Gustavo is clutch like Jordan in a fourth quarter, so of course, he sent all of them to me instead of searching for them.)

LeBron’s face after Butler’s strips him is priceless. Not many can slow the best player in the world down, but Jimmy Butler has proven he’s one of the few that can.

You shouldn’t have said anything, Chuck. You were the NBA MVP this season, but Scottie Pippen‘s a six-time NBA Champion for a reason.

What showcased Michael Jordan‘s swagger more than his legend — wait for it — dary trash talk throughout his career? Nobody loved playing at Madison Square Garden more than Michael Jordan did, and nobody torched the New York Knicks more than Michael Jordan.

MW: Outside of the Bulls, what other things do you like to put on Vine?

GV: I like to Vine movies. The Shining, Waterboy, Wedding Crashers, Halloween, Home Alone. I listen to ESPN 1000 [ESPN’s affiliate in Chicago], so when I see Tom Waddle, Sarah Spain, Marc Sliverman and Nick Friedell (Love messing with Nick, he’s a good guy.) on TV, I vine them. I use to Vine the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears but MLB and the NFL started to take the Vines down, so I stopped. Oh, and the Simpsons too. 

(First off, I’m a fellow Simpsons “Viner”(?) myself, so I can relate here. Second, if you haven’t seen Gustavo’s famous Nick Friedell Vine, you need to get on that one.)

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Throughout this current season and beyond, you’ll probably see a plethora of Gustavo’s videos here at PAE. It’s because he probably has 15 plays in his library that I forgot to capture when I ran things back.

My only regret is that I didn’t ask him if Gustavo Fring was his favorite character in Breaking Bad.