Monthly Archives: March 2015

Mo’ne Davis Teaches People How to Rise Above the Haters

By Ellen Chlumecky

March 30, 2015

As my father once said, “Any idiot can have a Twitter account.” Unfortunately in this day and age, this is all too true. Twitter is at people’s fingertips at any moment during the day. They can tweet any thought, any picture or video, any comment, any idea whenever they feel like it. It’s a great tool, in theory. Unless you put that tool in the hands of someone who feels comfortable bullying, sharing inappropriate comments, or someone who genuinely wants to do some permanent damage. This is the case with Bloomsburg University baseball player, Joey Casselberry.

Joey Casselberry took to Twitter when he found out that Disney was going to be making a movie about Mo’ne Davis’ life. He said, “WHAT A JOKE. That slut got rocked by Nevada.” His tweet without fail went viral. On Saturday, Casselberry tweeted an apology for what he said. He tweeted, “An example that one stupid tweet can ruin someone’s life and I couldn’t be more sorry about my actions last night. I please ask you to forgive me and truly understand that I am in no way shape or form a sexist and I am a huge fan of Mo’ne. She was quite an inspiration.”

While he desperately tried to take back what he said, it seemed to no avail. Casselberry is no longer on the baseball team’s roster. Bloomsburg University has also issued a statement regarding the matter. They stated, “Bloomsburg University is deeply saddened by what was written about Mo’ne Davis by one of our student-athletes. His words do not represent us. We take matter very seriously; addressed the issue with the student-athlete (who has been dismissed from team), coach, and the team.” This seems to be well-deserved justice in most people’s minds. However, Mo’ne Davis did not feel the same way.

Mo’ne Davis wants Joey Casselberry to be reinstated by his school. Davis believes that Casselberry deserves a second chance. She stated, “Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it that type of way. I know people get tired of seeing me on TV, but you just gotta think about what you’re doing before you actually do it. I know right now he’s really hurt and I know how hard he worked just to get to where is right now. I was hurt on my part, but he’s hurt even more.”

The team said Casselberry violated the athletic department’s social media policy and the school’s code of conduct. While Bloomsburg says they respect Davis’ opinion and praise her for being incredibly mature about the situation, the school will not reinstate the baseball player. They are standing firm. Cyber bullying has become a major issues over the past few years and I believe that standing firm makes it clear that no matter who it is, a derogatory statement is unacceptable.

While it is very noble and mature of Mo’ne to issue such a statement, Casselberry should be punished regardless. Twitter is no longer a consequence-free world. People think that just because it’s a faceless forum on social media, they have no rules and they can’t get in trouble. There should be consequences for what people say.

 

Dean Smith: His Final Gesture to his Players

By Kaleb Page

March 30, 2015

In February, basketball lost a legend. A legend, who revolutionized the game in many ways, would never be able to grace the game with his knowledge and class again.

The legend I speak of is Dean Smith. The North Carolina Tar Heels basketball coach died at age 83 and left behind a tremendous legacy and coaching tree.

One of the things that was mentioned extensively following coach Smith’s passing was how his class and caring nature for his players was unmatched. The respect he got from everyone in the game can be shown as everyone he came in contact with refers to him simply as coach Smith.

For all that the players that came through and touched coach Smith along the way, he had one last way to show he thought of all of them.

Today (Thursday, March 26) a picture was posted by one of Smith’s former players showing a letter with a check attached to it. The letter was received by 180 former players and the check was for $200 ($36,000 total).

The letter explained that in Smith’s will once he made his will he made a trust that would give all of his past letter winners $200 to, as he put it, ‘enjoy dinner out.’

Since this story is still fresh it will probably be a bit before a lot is said further on this topic. I think the media did a great job with chronicling what a great person Smith was outside of basketball when he died in February. I think that a lot of times we forget that these prolific coaches are people just like you and I, and can do great things aside from winning games.

Dean Smith proves once again why good coaching is much more than just what you do in your time between the lines. It is about investing time in making those you are leading better people. I think coach Smith accomplished that many times over with the many players and coaches he came around. Whether it was MJ, James Worthy or even UNC coach Roy Williams, Smith made them better people.

Not many people in the coaching profession can say that.

Even though he is gone, I am sure coach smith is looking down on all those he affected and will continue to be affecting them in some way. A good coach never forgets his players.

Today further illustrated that point and further show the type of person Smith was to leave that behind for his players.

So to those 180 players there’s one final order from Coach Smith: ‘enjoy your dinner out.’

Ohio State’s Logan Stieber Earns 4th National Title and Indents Name in Wrestling History

By Matt Stevenson

March 30, 2015

National Championships for wrestling began in 1929 and each year 330 wrestlers compete in March in hopes of winning the title. Ohio State University’s red-shirt senior, Logan Stieber, established himself as one of the greatest wrestlers in NCAA history becoming only the 4th of all time to win 4 National Championships. Not only did Stieber imprint his name in history, Ohio State University also won their first National Championship.

Also becoming the first Ohio State wrestler to win 4 consecutive Big Ten titles, Stieber’s accomplishments on the mat are far from over. He has his mind already set on the U.S. Open and hopes to make the World team so he can compete in the Olympics.

Stieber netted his second undefeated season this year with a final record of 29-0, while his career record sits at 119-3. Individual awards for this season included the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler award as well as the NWCA Most Outstanding Wrestler award.

Stieber overlooks his individual awards as winning the first team title in OSU history was the way he wanted to finish his impeccable career. Stieber would go on to state, “It means so much, it’s just hard to put into words. It’s something we’ve wanted so bad. Our coaches, they’ve been sick. They’re so anxious, so nervous, they want to win so bad. Everyone wants to win so bad. I’m happy to be a part of this team.”

Tom Ryan, Logan Stieber’s coach, added that Stieber steered the team in the right direction in order for the Buckeye’s to win their first National Title. Ryan would go onto add, “To think that this little kid from a small farm town in Monroeville, Ohio, did what he did, is pretty awesome, pretty amazing. I’m so happy for him and his family, and they believed early on in the process of us getting to the point we are. And now he can pass the torch to the other guys.”

Logan Stieber is a wonderful, young man and gave a little insight on a big factor on why he was a 4-time National Champion. He never experienced nervousness and pressure was never a worry to him. “I haven’t been nervous at all” Stieber admitted. “If I have an inch of nervousness, I push it out right away. And this is fun. It’s like wrestling in the practice room. I really, really enjoy it. And it’s a little bit of relief to be done and be able to, I guess, celebrate with my family and friends.”

Logan’s cordial attitude is surely a factor of his incredible career as a wrestler for the Scarlet and Grey, and goes down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time in Division 1. Congratulations to Logan and good luck as he works towards the ultimate goal of becoming an Olympic Champion and adding towards his unimaginable career.

Brock Lesnar and the WWE get publicity off ESPN

By Paul Duncan

March 29, 2015

WWE superstar Brock Lesnar’s contract was going to end this Monday and rumors were swirling around that Lesnar would make his long awaited return to UFC. On Tuesday Lesnar appeared on SportsCenter to make his surprise announcement.

In an interview with noted WWE fan Michelle Beadle, Brock Lesnar declared that “my legacy, this Sunday at WrestleMania, (the Super Bowl of the WWE world) will not be my last.” He then went on to to explain the decision and even cut a brief promo about his title match with Roman Reigns. He then does an interview with ESPN anchor and former WWE commentator Jonathan Coachman and says that he loves wrestling for WWE.

What was even more interesting that they put this live segment over coverage of the Sweet 16 or of baseball starting soon. It is just really strange that they would put a “fake” sport over some of the other doings in sport.

Surprisingly this wasn’t the last interaction between WWE and ESPN during WrestleMania week. On the episode of RAW before WrestleMania, Grantland founder and ESPN personality Bill Simmons joined the commentary team during a match previewing the Andre the Giant Battle Royal and displayed impressive wrestling knowledge.

He even asked where the rabbit was referring to the long gone fan favorite “The Bunny.” (Yes WWE had an on screen character in a bunny costume, in fact he was pretty darn good.) On SportsNation Roman Reigns appeared to do some promoting when Brock Lesnar’s manager Paul Heyman interrupted rather rudely, and continued to hype up his client and his match against Reigns.

In addition Jon Gruden filmed a funny video of him breaking down wrestling footage for the upcoming Andre the Giant Battle Royal. He did mention that wrestler Titus O’Neil once played for the Florida Gators and got a sack on Peyton Manning to get some sports cred. These promotions make me wonder whether ESPN and the WWE have some type of agreement. This makes sense considering the close proximity of there headquarters and similar demographics that watch both products. It also doesn’t hurt that many of the WWE’s talents are former athletes themselves. Perhaps in the future we will see more interaction between the two entertainment giants even after WrestleMania.

Kentucky Wildcats: Making and Vanquishing History

By Brandon Busuttil

March 26, 2015

This years Kentucky men’s basketball team has been nothing short of a spectacle. The last time a team went undefeated (winning the NCAA tournament) wasn’t since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers team. It seemed back then, having an undefeated team was a lot more common with UCLA doing it in the 1963-64 season, 1966-67 season, 1971-72 season and UCLA’s undefeated streak lasted all the way through the 1972-73 season and didn’t end until January 19, 1974, when Notre Dame beat them to break their 88 game winning streak. Since that time only one team in the past 10 years has managed to have just a perfect season (undefeated regular season). We witnessed that last year when Wichita State had a perfect season, and lost to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament.

The big question is, can Kentucky go all the way? Can they be undefeated? A lot of individuals’ brackets would say: YES. But remember, this is the NCAA tournament and we all know that in the NCAA tournament anything can happen. This was already displayed in the 2nd round of play when Georgia State took down a #3 Baylor, and UAB also took down a #3 seed, Iowa State. With Kentucky getting set to play West Virginia in the Sweet Sixteen it made me take a look back in time. In 2010, Kentucky and West Virginia met in the Elite Eight. Kentucky seeded #1 and West Virginia seeded #2. This was the year when Kentucky had John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson, and Demarcus Cousins. West Virginia beat them with players no one can even remember. Proving that anything can happen. Could this years West Virginia team repeat history? Personally, I don’t think so. But again, this is March Madness.

If Kentucky are to get past West Virginia they could face Wichita State. A team that has proven time and time again, they can hang with the big boys. Last year Kentucky beat Wichita State ending WSU’s undefeated season. If these two teams were to meet, I would highly expect Wichita State to try to do the same to Kentucky as Kentucky did to them. After Wichita State put a beating on a Kansas team, that has been avoiding playing them for a few years now, Wichita State is a scary team to play.

For this Kentucky team, it is not only about making history, but they will have to overcome history to have a chance at winning the NCAA championship and becoming the first undefeated team since 1976.

No ‘Hard Knocks’ in Cleveland: Browns make their Best Off-Season Move Yet

By Kaleb Page

March 25, 2015

The NFL off-season has been in full swing with many moves between teams, players and even coaches. When a move is made by the Cleveland Browns, the avid fan base is all over it to let their thoughts be heard.

This Tuesday the organization made arguably its best move of the season and it didn’t even involve a player, coach or even draft picks.

All eyes are on the Browns and more than likely to see what they will mess up this time. This move by the organization tops the moves to add Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline, etc.

The Cleveland Browns have officially declined taking part in the acclaimed NFL series ‘Hard Knocks.’ The series, which chronicles the journey of a team from the beginning of training camp until the start of the season, needs a team for this upcoming NFL year. This series has had many memorable seasons like ones with the Jets and Bengals, and being on the inside of the Browns would have set up some must see television.

Especially how the dynamic is between Johnny Manziel and the coaching staff seems way off. From an outsiders view it seems nowhere near what you would expect for someone who was drafted by the organization in the first round. I think it would have been another opportunity for those watching just to go ‘that’s typical browns’ or further provide proof that it is truly ‘the factory of sadness.’

I do think it is in the best interest of the team to decline this sort of thing. Take into account the quarterback issue the team has, the holes the team has across the board and even executives in the organization with their comments; this distraction of television cameras is definitely not needed right now.

Head coach Mike Pettine has had experience with the show as an assistant with the Jets. He made it a point (in an interview on ESPN) that a big factor in him saying ‘no’ to this was the Manziel factor.

“When we decided not to volunteer for ‘Hard Knocks,’ we discussed everything that was involved with it. [Manziel] is certainly something we needed to consider.” – Mike Pettine, Browns Head Coach

I find it interesting how the organization really puts Manziel out as the problem or even the key factor for mishaps. Yes I know Manziel has had his problems and as a young guy growing up as a fast track star, definitely needs to shape up, but there comes a time when the organization just needs to stop the underlying narrative of ‘blame it on Johnny.’

Bravo Browns, you made your best move of the off-season by staying away from the spectacle that is ‘Hard Knocks.’

Can we just not ruin your good move by throwing someone under the bus though?…Please?

 

Cleveland Browns Tossing Bread in the Pond for Oregon Duck, Mariota

By Matt Stevenson

March 25, 2015

The Cleveland Browns didn’t make much of a splash in the first week of free agency, letting big-name targets walk away while trying to keep the boatloads of money in their pocket from falling out.

The Browns added Quarter Back Josh McCown, Defensive Linemen Randy Starks, Defensive Back Tramon Williams, and of course Wide Receivers Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe.

With two first round picks the Browns were expected to snag a WR and DL due to the availability of talent at those respective positions. However, now with boosting both positions, the Browns aren’t really in need of first-round talent at these positions.

So with two picks in the first round, where exactly do the Browns go from here? Wait for it folks… the Cleveland Browns will once again try to trade up for a Quarter Back for the second consecutive year.

That’s right, I said it! After the horrid Manziel saga ending with him in rehab for the past few months, the Browns have once again fell in love with a QB, Marcus Mariota. Before I begin my reasoning behind this, let’s explore why we would even consider it.

Mike Pettine voiced his plans and concerns at the NFL Owners Meeting today, March 24th. He revealed a lot of information regarding the upcoming season. The Browns expect to have Johnny Manziel at camp on April 20, as his rehab stint has reportedly shown great signs of improvement although no date has been specified for his discharge. Pettine also addressed the QB situation adding the draft, “will be another opportunity to address the position” as well as stating “Two 1st round picks gives you options, QB the 1 position trading up becomes viable”. Pettine also went on to praise Mariota for his intelligence while adding he hasn’t had any private workouts with anyone and they’re very aware and informed due to the relationship between Mariota and O’Connell.

The signing of the 2 WR is odd, especially considering both have eclipsed 1,000 yard seasons numerous times… Hartline and Bowe aren’t number 1 receivers but they’re also no scrubs. Let’s not forget about Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel, in which both impressed the organization and fans their first year with the Browns.

Defensive line still remains in question after losing Jablaal Sheard and Ahtyba Rubin in free agency although with Phil Taylor, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, Armonty and Desmond Bryant, Billy Winn and the newly signed Randy Starks, there isn’t much room for drafting a starting linemen in the first round.

Now to Mariota. Owner Jimmy Haslam said recently that the Cleveland Browns will not succeed in the NFL without a top-10 caliber QB, and that the fix needs to come sooner than later. I’m not quite sure about you, but I know Josh McCown is not a top-10 QB. McCown is a decent starter for the short-term, but both McCown and the Browns know this. However, with trading up to draft the “future” and “face” of the Cleveland Browns last year in Manziel, it’s odd that the owner would act as if we don’t have our QB of the future. Clearly, Manziel is not a reliable option and has obviously disappointed the front office especially after Haslam’s comments.

But why Mariota? Mariota has numerous ties within the organization already, such strong ties that opposing General Managers were complaining to the NFL about it. New QB coach Kevin O’Connell worked Mariota out for 6 weeks prior to his signing with the team, although it was well-known O’Connell was going to be added to the staff. Mariota is comfortable with O’Connell, knows his style, how he likes to run a team starting with the Quarter Back position.

This all was happening in early February. Fast-forward to present time to Marcus Mariota’s Pro-Day a few weeks ago on March 12. Guess who ran the flashy Oregon QB’s Pro-Day? You got it, Kevin O’Connell was. Not only was he calling plays for the young prospect, but he also had Mariota in the huddle with his players. This is an unusual event at a Pro-Day, as it’s usually just throwing and mechanics for Quarter Backs, however O’Connell had Mariota display his leadership as well almost as if it was his own player.

With the top 2 WR likely to be taken by the Browns’ first pick at 12, look for the Cleveland Browns to make a splash elsewhere potentially trading up a few picks to secure their guy. It’s not like we’ve been shy to do so as we’ve traded up to draft Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and of course the legendary Johnny Manziel.

With a big play threat in Dwayne Bowe who has had experience with winning teams, a slot receiver in Brian Hartline who can run routes better than a school bus, and the quickness of Gabriel and Hawkins, it seems like a fast-paced offense that has a certain Oregon Ducks name written all over it.

Leadership, personality, work-ethic and talent. These are the 4 traits that Mariota has possessed over his time at Oregon, 4 traits that Manziel lacks when compared to Mariota at QB.

It shall be an exciting draft once again for the Cleveland Browns, and all signs are pointing towards them tip-toeing their way into the top 5 picks to capture the Oregon Duck that will hopefully take them to the clear watered pond of success.