Monthly Archives: November 2014

Massive Blowout

By Kia Tyus

Many people believe the whole point of playing a team sport is to not only win but win by as much as possible. Many competitive athletes love to completely dominate a team. In the case of Savannah State vs. Louisville this was exactly the case.

The players and the fans were probably amped up about the blowout win. But, not Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. Instead, Pitino early on in the game decided to come up with ways to not beat Savannah State by so much.

The question you should ask yourself is, when competing in a game should you hold back from destroying a team? Personally, I have mixed feelings about what Pitino did in the game. I understand that when your team is blowing out another team, it is important to reserve those players energy. It also lessens the chance of an injury.

But, is it fair to tell the players who rarely see playing time to hold back? No, I agree with the Jeff Eisenberg, the author of an article on the subject. When you put your backup players in the game, I feel as though they should get the same chance to pad their stats. It is their turn to have a feeling of accomplishing something.

Eisenberg also touched on Pitino’s post game press conference that was in fact a risky one. Pitino pitied Savannah State, stating, “I don’t like to see any team struggle like that. I really don’t.” Pitino furthered his comments by saying, “We tried everything” Referring how he was trying to not beat up on Savannah State so much.

Pitino ended his press conference making a statement, “You get nothing out of this, you just feel bad for the other team.” As a former athlete, I feel no matter how bad you get beat, I would never want a team to feel sorry for me. Clearly, Louisville was a better team being ranked in the nation. Savannah State is a struggling Division 1 school playing in a poor conference. No one should have been that surprised by this score.

Eisenberg began to compare Louisville blowout to their in-state rivals Kentucky; who blew out Montana State 86-28. Of course, Pitino refused to comment.

Eisenberg wrote a great article that made you think about what if you were in Pitino’s situation and how you would handle it. I feel as though Eisenberg gave great statics on each team such and the score, record, and even went as far as making a point of how this isn’t even Savannah State’s worst point differential in the shot clock era. In fact, in 2008, Savannah State scored a measly four points in the first half.

Athletes Give Their Two Cents On Ferguson

By Matt Rogers

As we all know by now, there was a tragic event that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9 of this year. The event was the shooting death of an unarmed man named Michael Brown by a Ferguson Police officer, Darren Wilson. Since this happened, there have been countless riots and protests against not only the police officer that shot Brown, but the police force as a whole.

On November 25, it was determined that the officer that shot, and killed, Michael Brown will not be indicted on criminal charges for the incident. This has received tons of media coverage because of the implications of what may come as a result of the decision to not indict the officer. Riots have proceeded in Ferguson. Burning of police cars, arson and vandalism of public building, and police standoffs have raged on.

Not only has this tragic event received extensive media coverage, it has caught the eye of many other public figures, including many athletes. Twitter has been blowing up with tweets from athletes about the decision. LeBron James, maybe the most recognizable athlete on the entire planet, tweeted that “it hit home”, but he also noted that “violence is not the answer”. Matt Barnes, a forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, tweeted that it is “okay to kill people…. as long as the person being killed is of color & the person behind the trigger has a badge”.

These opinions expressed by these two NBA athlete definitely imply that they are not happy with the decision handed down not to indict officer Darren Wilson, a white man, that killed Brown, a black man.

In my opinion, although I do agree with some of what the athletes are tweeting and saying, I do not agree with the way that they expressed their thoughts on the subject. I believe that the subject is worthy of much more than a 160 character tweet. I also believe that athletes too often take to social media to express their impulses, but given the way things are in today’s society, social media seems to have become the most popular way for people to express their inner thoughts and beliefs.

The expansion of social media, mainly Facebook and Twitter, has resulted in too many “foot in mouth” moments because people (athletes) often post off impulse rather than thinking through what they are actually saying or posting. I am also a firm believer that athletes should be more aware of what they say on social media because one of their obligations as role models for children is to exhibit composure in adverse situations. What James said did not come off as offensive, but what Barnes posted could have been something that a large number of people could have taken offense to.

I was nowhere near Ferguson, Missouri the day that this shooting occurred. I do not know what lead up to the shooting or why Wilson felt threatened by Brown. I do know that sensationalism is something that is abundant in media coverage, especially today, so certain parts of stories are made from nothing. I suggest that athletes offer little to no public thoughts on situations like this one on social media. If they want justice, like the rest of us, they should let the public hear the word come out of their mouths. It should not be that hard for LeBron James to find a camera to voice his thoughts to, the press is constantly looking for anything new from King James.

Athletes take to social media over Ferguson Verdict

By Kaleb Page

Voicing our thoughts is something all of us do when it comes to something big happening in our country. No different is this period in time when the Ferguson case coming to a close brought on many reactions from not only people in the United States, but around the world as well. One thing I won’t get into specifics on is the case or the verdict itself, but one thing I will say is that this case and the end result will be around for a long time.

After the verdict was read, not only were everyday people like you and I taking to social media to look at the reactions, discussions and to voice opinions; athletes were doing it too.

Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated have screen shots of some athletes tweets in reaction to the verdict and the subsequent actions in the community of Ferguson. Now I know it is good that sports outlets cover the different aspects of news that involve athletes, and this is something to cover since there are prominent athletes speaking on a big social issue at the time in this country. However, I do find a problem in doing this and highlighting certain types of things said.

When a big name athlete with a lot of influence like Kobe Bryant says, “The system enables young black men to be killed behind the mask of law” or Serena Williams says, “Wow. Just wow. Shameful. What will it take???.” What type of role does that play in feeding on to the madness we have seen on social media and in the Ferguson community?

These athletes know they hold a lot of social influence whether it is fair or not. They definitely can and do spark thoughts for people by what they say. That is why for me personally I wish athletes would just stay away from subjects like these when it is still in the heat of the moment. Don’t get into the specifics, don’t try to incite more hostile reaction, if anything just do a simple neutral message. Tweets like the ones above however, just add to the quick actions by people who don’t give time to really think on it.

I know that is human to want to speak your mind on something out there, but like I said I don’t think that it is an athletes place to jump in on this issue especially on social media. I hope that these tweets and other social media outlet outpourings by athletes similar to Kobe’s and Serena’s don’t get publicized more than they already have. Because if there is one thing sport shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be a dividing factor on top of the many factors dividing us already.

Sport should be something that brings us all together no matter the race. I hope that athletes realize that before they post on this issue.

The video above is from ESPN First Take, and it looks at how athletes speak on social media about major issues. This video is primarily about when Ferguson just began and athlete reaction at that time. I recommend watching it all as it speaks to what I wrote above as far as reaction to the conclusion of this case (or start at 5:12 on the video).

“Yeah” – Marshawn Lynch

By Kate Roth

Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch had one of the most interesting interviews you will ever see this past Sunday following the 19-3 win of the Arizona Cardinals. Really I could sum up the interview for you in just one word, “Yeah.”

After continually being criticized and fined for his lack of communication with media, Lynch finally decided he would take questions after the game. I imagine that the reporters at the time of hearing this news had to have been excited to hear that they would finally get some cooperation from Lynch, but that excitement could not have lasted long.

Lynch starts off the interview by responding with, “Yeah”, to the first question and then asking the reporters to hold on for a moment so that he could grab something from the locker. At this point in the interview it seemed as though Lynch was going to sit down for a while and actually give the reporters something to work with, unfortunately for the reporters this was not the case.

As the reporters began to ask Lynch more questions it soon became clear that he was going to continue on with one word answers, the majority of the time falling back on his favorite word of the day.

Marshawn did however take a quick moment to spread a foundation dinner he will take part in holding on December 14th to help fund the construction of a new youth center for inner-city youth. So while the responses to the questions that were being asked may not have been what the reporters or fans were hoping to hear, we all did get to see another side of the star athlete.

Throughout the rest of the interview Lynch continued on with short responses consisting of, “Yeah” “Maybe” and “I don’t know”. The only other times he strayed away from these responses were to mention that his pump up song for the day was No Juice by Lil’ Boosie, and then to correct a reporters pronunciation of Lil’ Boosie.

As the interview went on it was clear to see that Lynch was not trying to make anyone mad, he was just being himself and even started to smile a bit as he gave his one word responses. You can even hear the reporters in the background start to chuckle as well while they were receiving the responses that were not only short, but also made no sense when considering the questions that were asked.

The fact of the matter is, this is Marshawn Lynch and there is nothing we can do to change that. The NFL can continue to fine him over and over again for not cooperating with the media, but that is not going to make him change. Through this interview Lynch showed that he is a very quiet person that likes to keep to himself and from my point of view there is nothing wrong with that. Would I like to see Marshawn give an interview every once in a while, absolutely, but I think it is clear that the best we are going to get from him quite simply put is, “Yeah”.

So let’s all give a big round of applause to the master of the interview, Mr. Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch.


The Greatest Catch in NFL History?

By Savannah Malnar

Amazing things happen in sport games every day. Records are set and highlights are made. Perhaps one of the most impressive highlights, well, ever, was made this Sunday during an NFL team.

Odell Beckham of the New York Giants made what seemed like an impossible catch. With three fingers. Watch here:

This catch made headlines around every media and social media outlet on the internet. Not only did it litter the front pages, but it also drew many comparisons to other impressive NFL plays. Yahoo! Sports writer Frank Schwab released an article that did just that; it compared Beckham’s catch to every other catch that could have been called the greatest in the NFL.

The catch was compared to historical plays such as “The Catch” by Dwight Clark in the ’81-’82 NFC Championship game, Santonio Holmes’ Super Bowl winning catch, and Calvin Johnson’s catch in triple coverage. Despite this impressive list of highlights, the only play that beat out Beckham’s was the “Helmet Catch” by David Tyree who played for the Giants as well.

There is something about the use of comparisons that make articles interesting to read. This technique can be found in many articles pertaining to impressive plays in every sports. It’s a highly effective form to draw in fans attention and not only expose them to the more recent top-10 worthy highlights, but also plays that will go down in history.

Perhaps the reason comparisons in sport media are so effective is because it allows the fan to decide for themselves. The writer in question may take a side, but sport media writers seem to always mention that their picks are open for interpretation and frequently ask for feedback from their readers.

When it comes to Beckham’s catch, I personally think that it cannot be called the greatest catch in NFL history without it holding any sort of playoff, conference championship or Super Bowl impact. While it was certainly impressive (well, practically impossible), the greatest and most well remembered catches always spawn from those pivotal games we as fans enjoy most.

What do you think?

Record Setting Day in the American Hockey League

By Alex O’Connor

On Saturday, the Syracuse Crunch played the Utica Comets in the Carrier Dome on the campus of Syracuse University. The game was known as the “Frozen Dome Classic” and was the first of its kind in the American Hockey League. The Carrier Dome is not a hockey facility and was an event that could expand the horizons for the AHL. With the recent successes of outdoor games in the NHL, the AHL tried something just slightly different. The Syracuse Crunch currently play at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena in downtown Syracuse, where the game was originally supposed to be held. This new event created positive media buzz for local and national reporters, and was generally raved as a solid and successful debut event.

As the event reached national attention, has taken notice. Reporter Kinsey Janke noted that there have been several games outdoors in non-hockey facilities, but none that would be played indoors at a non-hockey facility. Crunch owner Howard Dolgon noted that “The chance to be the first hockey game in the Dome and strive to break not only the AHL record but the U.S. professional indoor record, that really drove us to move ahead with this.” The Carrier Dome has the capacity to exceed 49,000 occupants and would easily break the previous record of outdoor and non traditional games at a mark of 45,653 set by a game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. The final attendance mark for this game was 30,715. The implications of this number is that the Crunch-Comets game broke the indoor record for most fans at a professional hockey game. This mark broke the record set by the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 1996. However, this did not break the attendance mark for most fans at the Carrier Dome, which occurred last February when Duke played Syracuse in Men’s Basketball.

The main benefit from the event was to enhance the name of the Syracuse Crunch. Due to the increased media reflection with and, Dolgon has accomplished his mission of pioneering a new venue for an indoor hockey event. In addition, the local community benefited tremendously for having the opportunity to partake in an event that has never once been done before. There has always been a desire to implement new strategies to enhance an already desired commodity, and I believe that Howard Dolgon, the Crunch organization and the University of Syracuse made this possible and ran with that idea.

Melvin Gordon’s Record Falls Without Much Notice

By Matt Rogers

Well, that was fast. Melvin Gordon’s FBS single-game rushing yardage record has fallen, after only one week. This time the record was broken by Oklahoma’s true freshman running back, Samaje Perine. Perine’s record-breaking performance is not receiving quite the fanfare and media coverage that Gordon’s did last week, but nonetheless 427 yards in a single game is more than impressive.

As previously mentioned, Samaje Perine is only a true freshman at OU, making his record-breaking performance that much more impressive than Melvin Gordon’s. Gordon already was touted as a top running back in the upcoming NFL draft and a Heisman Trophy frontrunner. Perine’s pedigree is not too shabby in itself. He was regarded as top running back prospect in the 2014 recruiting class by Rivals and recruiting services, receiving a 4-star rating out of a possible 5-stars. Perine has also had a great first college season totaling 1,428 yards on 214 carries, while finding the endzone 19 times as well.

Another interesting aspect about Perine’s performance is that he is listed at 243 pounds. You do not usually see a running back that large running away from defenders the way that Perine did against Kansas. The fact that this is not receiving more coverage is confusing. We all know that Melvin Gordon is a household name among college football fans as a result of his outstanding play throughout his college career at Wisconsin. Shouldn’t the media and fans expect a guy with the reputation that Melvin Gordon has to break records?

What Samaje Perine did was done against a porous Kansas Jayhawk defense. Gordon’s damage was done against a Nebraska defense that was regarded as one of the best in the Big Ten coming into the game against Wisconsin, but that does not change the fact that Perine broke a record that was only broken a week prior.  I believe that alone should be worthy of more media coverage. A record that stood for 13 years that was broken, then broken again the very next week by an 18-year-old freshman. That is incredible.

One other thing that is not receiving anywhere near the attention that it should be from the media is that the Oklahoma Sooners offense only totaled 39 yards passing against the Kansas Jayhawks, 19 of which Perine was responsible for. Perine was responsible for all but 20 yards of the entire Oklahoma offense this past weekend because their starting quarterback, Trevor Knight, was out with injury. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime performance that should have been worthy of more than just a quick mention from the media.

Athletes’ Families Steal Millions

By Savannah Malnar

Not much is worse than the feeling of being betrayed; an even worse feeling is being betrayed by family. Unfortunately two professional athletes in two different sports have been in the news the past few days for this reason.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies had finally settled the legal battle that was being waged between him and his family members. Howard had entrusted various family members, primarily his twin brother, to manage RJH Enterprises. After deciding to look more into his own finances Howard found that these family members had been taking advantage of his earnings; his mother had authorized payments of roughly $2.8 million to various family members without his knowledge. The suit was settled out of court and no details have been presented.

The day after that settlement was reached, news broke that Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets had been forced to declare bankruptcy due to his own parents’ reckless spending of his money. Back in 2011, three years after firing his agent, Johnson signed $30.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings and gave power attorney to his mother. Since then, she borrowed roughly $15 million in very high-interest loans in Johnson’s name in order to apparently purchase a beach house and cars and to pay for their travel expenses. Johnson was not aware of these loans, even for the large house; he was told the money for the mortgage came out of the will of a recently deceased relative.These two stories are incredibly sad. The families certainly felt a sense of entitlement to the athlete’s earnings and went to extreme measures to get what they felt they deserved. The sport media has done an excellent job of remaining focused on the primary aspect of both these stories: the players were betrayed. A source close to Johnson said that he is hurt and confused, as we all would be when faced like something like this.

Some leagues, including the NHL, have information sessions for rookie athletes that warn them of working with uncredited agents or financial advisors. But Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports said it best in his article about Johnson: “But it’s one thing for a League to say “don’t trust predatory lenders.” It’s another thing for a player not to trust his own mother with his finances.”

Blood is Thicker than Water: Until the money comes along

By Kaleb Page

For anyone who plays sports the ultimate dream is to end up playing professionally and being successful doing so. If and when the time comes to go pro, not only will it be a prideful moment for the athlete, but it will also be a great moment in the lives of close family and friends. The saying goes that “blood is thicker than water” and those with whom you are related should have your best interest at heart. This week one NHL player would wish that statement was true.

Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets is a 27-year-old defenseman that from early on in his hockey career had a promising future. In high school in Minnesota, Johnson played alongside future NHL superstar Sidney Crosby. Creating a formidable team in high school hockey that eventually won a 2003 state title. Then in just two seasons at the University of Michigan, Johnson played such great hockey, that he was drafted in 2005 with the third overall pick in the first round by the Carolina Hurricanes. Even though he was drafted by the Hurricanes, he played for the Los Angeles Kings (2007-2011) for the majority of his career until being sent to Columbus in 2012. For all his success, from the high draft choice, top defensive scorer, and even a silver medal in the 2010 Olympics; Johnson could not of imagined this day would come.

Prior to the signing of Johnson’s seven-year, $30.5 million contract on Jan. 8, 2011, he gave someone he trusted full control over his money; his mom Tina Johnson. For a lot of professional athletes trusting someone with your money is a hard thing to do and it probably makes them turn to close friends and family for money advise. This is what makes this case of another athlete losing his money so sad. Johnson gave all his trust to his parents (Jack Sr. & Tina Johnson) to handle his money, yet they did him wrong in the worst of ways.

From the time that deal was signed, Johnson’s parents were soaking it in. They began to borrow against their own son’s earnings. The first loan they signed (March 9, 2011) was a $1.56 million loan to buy a home nearby when Johnson was with the LA Kings. This loan had an interest rate at 12 percent that eventually went into default. The next day after that loan was signed the parents went and borrowed another $2 million. The next borrowing statement to me shows the most malice. On April 14, 2011 the parents borrowed $3 million from a firm that “monetizes” contracts. With these large amounts and high interest rates the parents could not pay up, ultimately leading to the parents being sued.

The parents settled out of court with the two loans suing (the $2 million & $3 million), but it was at the expense still of their son. Johnson saw $41,800 taken away from his bimonthly checks over the past two seasons; nearly a fourth of every check. To top it all off the parents spent another $800,000 on renovations to their home, a car and traveling to watch their son play. With a lot of the money being taken out of his check, Johnson started to ask what is going on?

Johnson would ask questions and yet his parents would say “don’t worry, just worry about hockey.” Flash forward to October 7, 2014 and Johnson is in a federal court in Columbus filing for bankruptcy. All of the $18 million he has earned during his nine years in the NHL is basically gone. The real news on where this situation is going broke this Thursday after it has been set that his bankruptcy hearing will be scheduled for Jan. 23 in Los Angeles.

A lot of coverage on ESPN, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and The Columbus Dispatch really shed a light on this story. I would like to credit the journalistic work of Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch, for getting a lot of great details and facts that allowed me to share this story. His coverage along with the major outlets has been great and showed just how troubling this story is. For all the great people do in the world of sport, there are always those out there that give it a black eye.

For the parents of Jack Johnson, they have shown that side of the sports world. The side that is sneaky, conniving and (intentionally or not) crumble people’s lives. I can’t fathom what Johnson’s emotions and thoughts are at this point but I know he wishes one phrase was truer than ever: “Blood is thicker than water.” Unfortunately for him their eye was on the prize of money, not on the best interest of their own son.

Fenwick Friar to Northwestern Wildcat

By Ellen Chlumecky

One of the many things I love about writing for the Maxwell Media Watch is that I get to write about the many athletes that have been my idols for so many years. I also get to write about new and upcoming players who I personally root for and hope for their success. Today, I am writing about both. My article is about a talented athlete that I had the pleasure of going to high school with: Scott Lindsey.

A 6’5’’ shooting guard with an almost 7 foot wing span is currently a freshman at Northwestern University on the men’s basketball team. In high school, Lindsey joined the Fenwick sophomore team as a freshman. Then joined the varsity team as a sophomore. He also was ranked number 42 shooting guard and a three-star recruit by as a junior. His senior year he made captain and helped his team make it to the regional championships. He also received a student athlete award for being one of the top 15 players in the state.

However prior to attending Northwestern, Lindsey missed a large portion of his senior season due to a broken tibia and fibula. These serious injuries took a great deal of time and conditioning to return to what he had. While this may have set him back a great deal as a freshman on a collegiate team, Lindsey has worked immensely hard to be back at 100%.

This year, Northwestern has a very young team with only two seniors and one graduate student. The team is looking for leadership and with a good majority of the team being freshmen; Lindsey is trying his best to put his best foot forward on and off the court.

While head coach Chris Collins has stated that Lindsey has a chance to be a tremendous player but has him currently labeled as a sleeper because of his injury. However, Collins is very excited to have Lindsey on the team because he is a versatile player. Not only is he a great shooter but he’s a very tall player with great defensive skills as well. Collins is also excited because Lindsey helps accomplish Collins’ goal of forcing more turnovers.

In his first game of the season, Lindsey tallied 10 points and knocked down 3 out of 4 field goal attempts. For his first collegiate game, coming off an injury, I believe that Lindsey is trying to show his team and his coaches what type of potential he has.

While this may seem like an average player to someone looking at his stats, he is an immensely talented player with a large amount of potential. The team has only played three games so far but I look forward to watching his career progress not only because he is a former classmate but because he is a tremendous athlete with a bright future ahead of him.