Author Archives: ktroth21

Hunter Returns Home

By Kate Roth

Throughout his 16 years in Major League Baseball, Torii Hunter has become a household name not only for his play, but for his character. Hunter has always been a fan favorite no matter where he goes and even makes it hard on the opposing teams’ fans to cheer against him. He’s just a likable guy, period.

One of the things that made Hunter such a popular player with the fans and the media is his loyalty to his first true baseball home, Minnesota. Minnesota is where Hunter and his baseball career took off back in 1999 before leaving the franchise in 2007 to play for Los Angeles Angels and then the Detroit Tigers in 2012. Even when Hunter was playing for these two teams he would still speak very highly of the Twins organization and the great fans as the media would gather around him on every trip back to Minnesota.

The love between Hunter and the Twins organization and fans was not a one way street either. Often while watching Torii play back in Minnesota you would see fans holding up signs saying “Come Home Torii” or “We love Hunter” to show that they still had love and respect for their former player.

Well now Twin fans do not have to wish for Hunter to come any longer because he is back. After a disappointing end to the season with the Tigers last season Hunter turned to free agency and settled on a one year deal with the Twins to return back home.

As we all know, baseball is not one of the most heavily covered sports in the media especially at this time of the year with the NFL, NBA, and college football and basketball seasons in full go so it was great to see this story grab some of the headlines.

Last year during the MLB season we saw the media grab a hold of the Derek Jeter retiring story and take off with it. I think Torii Hunter returning home could end up to be another great story like that. People are tired of seeing all of the negativity in sports media especially over this past year, so a story like this could boost everyone’s spirits and give recognition to a player that I believe truly deserves it.

The road will not be easy for Hunter as he returns home to a team that has struggled greatly throughout the past four seasons, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is up for the challenge.

Hunter will join veteran Joe Mauer as the faces of the franchise and together help to guide the young players that make up the Minnesota Twins roster.

This team will be quite a bit different from the teams that Hunter has been playing on for the past seven years, but truly I believe that this is where he belongs. When I hear the name Torii Hunter I instantly picture him in his Minnesota Twins uniform playing in front of crowd that has grown up loving him and saw him grow into the all-star he has become today.

The first game that he takes the field in Minnesota in the 2015 season is building up to be something quite special not only for the Twins organization, but for the world of baseball as a whole.

No Championship No Job for Bo Pelini

By Kate Roth

Throughout this college football season we have seen many teams fall short of their expectations in turn putting their coaches on the chopping block. We expected to see coaches like Will Muschamp of Florida and Brady Hoke of Michigan get the boot at the end of the season, but this past Sunday’s headlines held the name of coach that many of did not expect to see, that name being Bo Pelini of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Pelini and his team were still in celebration mode after wrapping up the regular season on Friday with a 37-34 overtime win over rival Iowa to give the team 9 wins on the season and a chance to make it to a great bowl game. So I think it is safe to say that the announcement on Sunday that he would no longer be the Head Coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers came as a shock to all of Husker Nation.

Pelini started as head coach of the Huskers in 2007 and has recorded at least 9 wins in every season with the team and an overall record of 66-27. He also took to the team to 3 league championship games, but never came away champion. This seemed to be the main argument the University came out with when being questioned on their decision to fire such a successful coach.

The University of Nebraska Football Team has a great tradition of winning big games, not just regular games throughout the season, but championship games. The Athletic Department at the University seems to feel as though they have given Pelini enough time to deliver a championship with the team he has built and see his 9 or more win seasons as unsuccessful when they come without a championship.

As I stated before this news seemed to come as a shock to Husker Nation, including present and past players who took to twitter to voice their opinions on the matter and support Coach Bo and the rest of the coaching staff.

Will Compton, a former Husker now Washington Redskin in the NFL tweeted, “Can’t thank the coaching staff enough for the personal growth in my life. Their character, values, and leadership made a difference in us all. Can’t wait to continue to support them and watch them have success elsewhere.”

Another tweet came from Husker starting cornerback and team captain Josh Mitchell who said, “Have nothing but love for this man, thank you for everything Coach Bo.” Mitchell then attached photo of himself and Coach Pelini in an embrace and later changed it to his profile picture on the social media site.

These are just a couple of the countless tweets that were sent out from the Husker football community after the announcement. The players wanted to make it clear that they believe in Coach Bo and show that he has become more than just a coach to them over their years at the University.

It has been proven time and time again that the Nebraska crowd is not easy to please. They want success and they want it now. Unfortunately for Coach Pelini, 9 wins of more a season just didn’t satisfy the Athletic Department as long as they came with no Championship Trophy.

Although this is a tough time for Bo and the rest of his coaching staff it is clear to see through the success he has had through the years and the support his players have shown for him that he is not only a great coach, but a great leader. I think it’s safe to say it won’t be long before he is hired by a new Athletic Department and we will be hearing his name in the headlines again.

“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.


UConn Falling Brings Early Attention to Women’s Basketball

By Kate Roth

When I turned on SportsCenter this week and saw one of the headlines talking about women’s college basketball I had to check my calendar to make sure it was still November and not March. The only time Women’s basketball seems to get any media attention is during March Madness and particularly the Final Four. That changed this week when the media had no choice but to cover the story of the mighty UConn Huskies falling to the Stanford Cardinal.

The top ranked Huskies were coming off a perfect season from last year and riding a 48 game winning streak and seemed to be in total control to run the table again this season, that is until they stepped on the court and met the tough Stanford team who played as if they were there to prove a point that this year will be different.

The news of this loss came as very shocking to me as I’m sure it did for many others too. I was fully expecting UConn to go into the tournament undefeated, maybe not win the whole thing again, but definitely be one of the final four teams left. In all honesty I think that is what most sports fans, myself included, have come to expect from women’s college basketball. That is why I think the news of this loss came so shocking to us and deserved the media attention it got.

It is great to see the sport of Women’s Basketball finally get some early attention, but I am afraid of the consequences that may come from this early UConn loss.

As I said before, the only time we see women’s basketball in the media is during March Madness. Last year even more so on the just the UConn team as they went about the quest to finish off a perfect season. Women’s college basketball does not seem to be the number one choice for fans to watch unless they have the opportunity to see history be made like they did last season with Huskies.

The Huskies early loss could play a critical role in the media coverage the sport will receive throughout the rest of the season. I would like to see it spark the interest of more reporters and fans so now they can stop putting all their focus on just one team and see the talented players that many of the other teams in the NCAA have. Who knows, this could also be a great opportunity for another team like Stanford or Notre Dame to run the table and make history of their own.

All in all it is great to see this sport finally getting some early attention it deserves and I hope to see the media build off this early attention and continue coverage through the rest of the season and on into the tournament. This is the perfect time for the other teams in the NCAA to step up and show the fans that there is more to women’s college basketball than just the UConn Huskies.

Phil Kessel Shows No Love to the Media

By Kate Roth

Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been a man of few words when it comes to talking with the media. In fact after a 6-2 loss on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres he became a man of no words.

Kessel refused to talk to the media following the game and even told one of the reporters, “Get away from me.” Kessel has never been one to go out of his way to speak to the media, but usually gives them at least a small response to make them happy.

Being the best player on the team and one of the leading scorers in the league, the media are always after Kessel. This is why his response or lack thereof to the media after the game on Saturday became such big news around the league. Often times it is almost expected for bench players to shrug off the media and ignore them as if they are not there, but for a player like Kessel who is supposed to be the leader of the team his actions came as a shock to many.

Yes we know that getting interviewed after a tough loss is not on the top of the priority list for players, but it is still something they are expected to do. As a professional athlete you are expected to show the media respect and give them a few comments before or after the game, it’s just how the system works.

The comments can be as simple as, “We didn’t get the job done” or “It just wasn’t our day”. No the media will not make headline stories with these comments, but as long as the athlete is there and willing to provide them they are satisfied.

When asked about the situation after the game and why he did not cooperate with the media Kessel responded by saying that his answers are not always great so he is not sure why the media really wants to talk to him in the first. I also did add that he does realize he needs to do a better job of communicating with the media, but does not want to have the media in his face every day.

Kessel may not view his own answers as great, but for those covering the team and getting the players responses the answers may be exactly what they are looking for. The reporters that cover these teams want to get opinions on the game from different guys each night and by getting Kessel’s “not so great” responses they feel they are doing their job.

I am glad that Kessel made it a point to mention that he needs to cooperate with the media more, no maybe not after every game, but more than he has been willing to in the past. We see this issue with players all over in the professional sports leagues so hopefully this is something other athletes can learn from.

Talking with the media after a game is not something that will kill you and the athletes need to realize this. The reporters are not out to hurt anyone, they are just trying to do their job and athletes can make that much easier just by quickly responding to their questions and then be on their way.

Landon Donovan Goes Unnoticed

By Kate Roth

Unless you are a follower of soccer you are probably unaware that the Major League Soccer playoffs here in the United States are in full go. If that is true, I would also be willing to bet that you had no idea a player in the Western Conference semi-final scored a hat trick for the first time in a playoff game since 1999. The name of the player you ask? Well none other than Landon Donovan of course.

When I read the headline on Major League Soccer’s homepage and found out this news TWO DAYS after the actual game, I felt the same way I’m sure most felt upon hearing the news, “How did I not hear about this already?” Landon Donovan has become known as one of the most iconic figures in United States Soccer history and it is quite shocking to me that the media is paying so little attention to him as he makes his last run before retirement.

Soccer may not be the most popular sport in the United States, but it is certainly on the rise and the media needs to take notice of this. By covering Donovan’s final games throughout the rest of the MLS Playoffs the media could help spread the popularity of the sport around the country and help soccer gain the respect it gets in other countries throughout the world.

It seems that the only time we hear or see ESPN or any of the other major sports reports talk about soccer is when the FIFA World Cup is on or there is some sort of controversy to cover.

Just think back to a few months ago right before the World Cup was set to begin and the United States coach decided that Donovan was not fit for his team. The media could not get enough of this story and seemed to be interviewing Donovan everyday with his thoughts on the matter. The media sure seemed to care about Donovan then, but where are they now.

The media makes it seem like without controversy they have nothing to report on, but that is not the case. The man who has helped shape the United States Men’s National Soccer Team into what it is today is on his final tour and so far, going out in style. He scored 3 goals and had an assist in a conference-semi final game which could have easily been the last game he ever played. Landon Donovan is going out in the way we dream of legendary players leaving the field for the last time. Accomplishing things that haven’t been done in over a decade and leading his team to victory.

Landon Donovan has been one of the most exciting players to watch play the sport of soccer for the United States and deserves more respect from the media. Even though the media may not think they need to pay any attention to soccer, this is different. Landon Donovan changed the way we look at soccer in the United States. He plays every game with more passion than you will see more athletes show throughout their entire careers, and for that we need to thank him and support him as he plays in his final games.

Trouble On Tinder

By Kate Roth

In the past few years social media has emerged as one of the top go to methods for retrieving any sort of news around the world, including sports. No matter what sport you are interested in, there is always something happening on social media to keep you updated with your favorite teams and players. Often fans can even stay connected with the players by following their personal social media sites.

This has proven to be both good and bad for athletes. Yes it is great for them to be able to share some their personal life with their fans, but social media can also lead to negative situations for athletes all too often.

Twitter and Facebook seem to be the normal sites that we find athletes getting themselves in trouble with by their comments, but now even the popular social media dating app, Tinder is causing some trouble for two young athletes.

Greg Betzold and Jake Marchment two young players both only 19 years old playing in the Ontario Hockey League, part of the junior Canadian Hockey League, have found themselves suspended for 15 games after sending abusive comments to women through the social media site.

The two players who originally though the conversations they were having would stay private, quickly saw them go public all over the news after the women took screen shots of their conversations and posted them online for all to see.

Once the OHL was informed of these incidents they acted quickly and informed the players, teams and press that even though these were private actions in the two players lives it was still unacceptable behavior and they would have to serve a 15-game suspension as consequence.

Betzold and Marchment took their own private Twitter accounts to apologize for their actions. Both stated that they wanted to make clear that they thought these were private conversations, but none the less it was childish and unacceptable behavior.

With the amount of off-field drama that college, semi-professional and professional sports have had this year, it is clear to see why the OHL acted so quickly.  Not only did the league serve up a pretty heavy suspension for first time offenders, they also made sure to alert the media of the issue right away and assure them that the situation was being handled by the league.

The OHL is a league designed to develop young players as they prepare to enter into the NHL. By acting quickly on this situation and making an example out of these two players, the OHL is showing that they care about their players and are there to help develop them not only as players, but also as young men.

Hopefully other athletes, especially young ones, can learn from the mistakes made by these two players and all other players who have found themselves in some trouble through their actions on social media. While it can be a great way to stay connected to the fans, the athletes need to know their limits and realize that nothing they post on any of these sites is private.

Colt McCoy Pulled From the Spotlight, Literally.

By Kate Roth

Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy proved that he is more than just a third string bench warmer this Monday night as he led his team to victory over the Dallas Cowboys. McCoy, who has been the backup to RGIII and Kirk Cousins, threw for 299 yards and finally got his chance to shine, well at least on the field.

After the game McCoy had been engaging in interviews with many different reporters to discuss his performance along with the performance of the team just as any quarterback would do after a big win. While McCoy was about to answer a question from ESPN Deportes reporter John Sutcliffe he was physically yanked away by Tony Wyllie, the Redskins Senior VP of Communications.

Colt seemed to be enjoying his time in the spotlight and even looked a little confused when Wyllie pulled him away from the interview. Normally we would see communications directors try to encourage their team members to cooperate with the media and conduct these interviews, so it was a bit unexpected to say the least to see Colt being pulled away from the media when he looked very willing to talk.

Wyllie later stated that the reasoning behind his actions were that Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was about to give his post game speech and he wanted Colt to be able to hear it.

I understand that Wyllie was just only doing his job, but was it necessary for him to grab McCoy by the back of jersey and yank him away from the interview unexpectedly while screaming, “NO MEANS NO” at the reports? I think the clear answer to this is no.

Yes it is important for Colt to be with his team and hear his coach’s speech after a big game, especially with the role that he had in the win, but Wyllie could have simply told him it was time to go and the interviews could hold off until after the team meeting.

Players being interviewed right after the game is something that has been going on for a long time, especially when they have a performance like Colt did on Monday Night. Wyllie has to be aware that this is part of the business and find a new way to handle situations like this instead of making a scene over such a small issue. Not only did he seem to catch the reporters off guard, but his own player he is out there to protect as well.

I must say that this ranks up there with the Richard Sherman incident as one of the most interesting post-game interviews I have every watched. I hope that Wyllie has seem the video of himself pulling Colt away and realizes that he needs to find another way to handle this type of situation without causing such a scene. And even next time maybe just let the guy have his moment in the spotlight, after all he deserves it.

Chris Fowler Brings Drama to Gameday

By Kate Roth

During ESPN’s College Gameday this past Saturday, there was a moment where I had to stop watching to check and make sure I hadn’t accidentally turned my TV to The View. The show which has become widely popular for the dramatic way that Lee Corso puts on the mascots headgear of the team he is picking to win the big game of day had some extra drama in this weekend’s show.

As the gang was getting set to start making their predictions for the day the main host of the show Chris Fowler decided to address the acquisitions of ESPN having an SEC bias, a topic that does not sit well with fans or ESPN.

We’re all used to seeing the calm and collected Chris Fowler comment his opinions on the matters at hand with very little emotion, so it was quite a shock to see how worked up he was over this topic.

Fowler wanted to make it known that ESPN does not feel they have an SEC bias nor do they want to see the SEC or any conference for that matter run the table and take up all of the spots in the new playoff system. While ranting about how tired he is of seeing these reports over and over again he even referred to them as “stupid”, not a terrible word for that matter, but a word that we would not expect to hear come out of Fowler’s mouth.

Fowler continued to make his case by saying that it would be much beneficial to ESPN for the teams that will make up the playoff to come from all different conferences covering the different regions of the country. This way fans from all over the country would be watching the games, not just fans from one area which would help ESPN gain more viewers from all over.

Although Fowler made many good points throughout his rant, the reports in which he claimed were “stupid” also make many great points as well.

It’s as though for the past few years that almost every time we turn on our TV’s on Saturday morning College Gameday is in SEC country, and if some reason they are not, they still spend the majority of the segment talking about the games within the South Eastern Conference for that day.

Yes the SEC does typically have very high ranked team’s week in and week out, but it often feels like ESPN has completely forgotten about the other conferences.

Take for instance the Big 10 Conference this past weekend. Ohio State who is one of the highest ranked teams in the nation and Big 10 Conference, played one of the toughest games on their schedule this season against Penn State. Even though Penn State is not an elite team this year, a Happy Valley white-out at night is one of the toughest environments for any team to play in. This game had the perfect set up for the College Gameday theme, but instead where did they end up again? The SEC.

Don’t get me wrong, the LSU/Ole’ Miss game was one of the most important games of the season let alone weekend, but when you are trying to defend yourself against this so called “SEC bias” it would have been a good idea to take the open opportunity to check out some of the B1G action.

It is clear that each side here has a very strong argument and will continue to defend their opinions throughout the rest of the season and possibly onto many more seasons to come. It will be interesting to see if there will be any more rants on College Gameday from Fowler or any of his colleagues, but for the time being let’s all just take a deep breath and leave the roundtable drama to the ladies of The View.

Mid-American Conference to Back Up Quick Lane Bowl

By Kate Roth

The Mid-American Conference has just announced their agreement to be the back for the Quick Lane Bowl being played in Detroit. This agreement says that the MAC will be the backup to the Big Ten Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference if they cannot provide a team. For now this is a 6 year deal ranging from 2014 to 2019.

This may not seem like a huge deal to anyone right now, but in the long run could be very big for the MAC.

The B1G Conference has struggled over the past couple years to supply bowl eligible teams to all of the bowl games they have contracts with. If this continues the MAC will have a chance to send one of the conference’s best teams to the Quick Lane Bowl to represent the conference against an ACC team which happens to be one of the top conference’s in college football.

Not only will this be good for the MAC because they will be able to send one more team to a bowl game, but it will help them start to get some of the national media recognition they deserve.

All of the staff working for the MAC and the teams within the conference are working just as hard as all of those in the SEC or ACC. The players in the MAC are putting in the same amount of time and work as the rest of the players around the nation, but receive almost no media attention compared to the other conferences.

By gaining this partnership with the Quick Lane Bowl the MAC has a chance to step up and show the nation what MACtion is all about.

The MAC also has a partnership with 5 other bowl games for the 2014 season with guaranteed spots and 3 with back up spots. Of the bowls that the MAC has agreements with, the Quick Lane Bowl would be one of, if not the biggest. This being based upon the opponent and location of the bowl game.

Since the 5 bowls that the MAC has guaranteed spots with will be played in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, and the Bahamas, the Quick Lane Bowl (played in Detroit) would be the best option for fans from the MAC to travel to. This will help produce larger crowds for these teams to play in front of giving them the chance to feel a much different atmosphere than they are used to.

This bowl will also attract a lot more media attention because of the opponent the team from the MAC would be facing. The media likes to revolve around teams from the power 5 conference, which the ACC and B1G are a part of. Since the MAC would be playing against a team from one of these conferences compared to a WAC or Mountain West team as usual the game would receive more attention in turn giving more attention to the MAC team.

I think the MAC made a great move by gaining a partnership with this bowl, even though it is not a guaranteed spot, there is still a great chance that they could get the opportunity to send one of their teams to this bowl and make a name for the conference. I think it’s time that the rest of the nation got in on some of the MACtion and a spot in the Quick Lane Bowl could be a great way to do so.