Category Archives: National

Remembering Niño

By Nate Flax

Before the early morning sun even had a chance to kiss the shores of South Beach, a dark cloud had been cast over far more than Miami and the sporting world. Reports of a boating accident involving a 32-foot fishing boat nicknamed Kaught Looking (spelt with a backwards K) just off the coast of Miami came in early Sunday. The vessel belonged to José Fernandez, star pitcher of the Miami Marlins, who, along two of his close friends, Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias, died that night when their boat crashed into a jetty and landed upside down on the rocks. However, in the words of Dr. Seuss and as legendary broadcaster Vin Scully signed off his final game with “do not be sad it’s over, smile because it happened”, which is what we should all do in remembering the lives of Rivero, Macias, and Fernandez.

joses-boat

PHOTO: PATRICK FARRELL/MIAMI HERALD/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fernandez, 24, attempted to escape three times from Cuba, before finally reaching the United States with his mother, and leaving his grandmother behind. He was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB amateur draft (14th overall) before making his début for the Marlins as a 20 year-old in 2013 when he dominated the New York Mets, striking out eight in just five innings. That year he played in an all-star that year as well as Rookie of the Year honors for the National League. Injuries would plague his next two seasons, but Fernandez would return to all-star form in 2016 as he racked up 16 wins to go along with an earned run average under 2.9, putting him in contention for a Cy Young award. However, Fernandez were far more than phenomenal numbers, as it is his person for which he will forever be remembered.

Getty Images

Getty Images

As so many involved with the game of baseball could tell you, Fernandez brought a certain joy to the clubhouse, coming to work day in and day out with the giddiness we all had when we played the game as children. In short, he made the game fun again. One need look no further than moments like a booming Giancarlo Stanton home run, where Fernandez can be found in the dugout jumping up and down, his hands flailing in the air, and a huge grin on his face, to see just how much fun he had just by coming to the ballpark.

Another moment he’ll be long remembered for is when he caught a screaming line drive off the bat of Troy Tulowitzki who looked out at Fernandez stunned asking “Did you catch that?” to which Fernandez replied through his massive smile “Yeah. Yeah, I did”. Or after his final game, which he claimed was the best he had ever pitched, when he came back to the dugout and received a massive bear hug from hitting coach and good friend, Barry Bonds.

It was not until it was too late, however, when we all got to see just how much Fernandez meant to the Marlins organization and the game of baseball. Approaching Marlins Park Monday morning, one would see a sunny day everywhere but over the stadium where one cloud poured rain on the dome in the start of an overwhelming, emotional day. The game would start with tributes and grieving from both teams for Fernandez, whose number 16 covered the stadium and the mound, before the Marlins took the field with eight players, all wearing Fernandez’s number 16, missing their pitcher. After the Mets were retired in the top half of the inning, Dee Gordon led off for Miami, taking the first pitch thrown to him from the right-handed batter’s box while wearing Fernandez’s helmet, before switching to his natural lefty side. Two pitches later, Gordon would hit a powerful home run to right for his first homer of the season. An emotional trip around the bases concluded with tears throughout the stadium and hugs from every teammate in the dugout. After the game Gordon said, “I told the boys, if y’all don’t believe in God, y’all might as well start. I ain’t ever hit a ball that far, even in BP…we had some help.” Even though the Marlins ended up losing the game that day, the entire stadium and baseball community felt the presence of Jose “Niño” Fernandez cheering on his teammates from above that day.

Title IX: Now and Then

By Angeline Seames

Title IX: is a piece of legislation included in the Education Amendments of 1972 that requires schools that receive federal funds to provide girls and women with equal opportunity to compete in sports

Since the beginning, and as time has gone on, Title IX has affected sports in many different ways. When Title IX had just passed in 1972 there were still problems occurring for women across college campuses.

In 1971, the year before Title IX became law, fewer than 300,000 girls participated in high school sports, about one in 27. Today, the number approaches 3 million, or approximately one in 2½ (Garber).

The number of women participating in intercollegiate sports in that same span has gone from about 30,000 to more than 150,000. In the last 20 years alone, the number of women’s college teams has nearly doubled (Garber).

Before Title IX, only tennis and golf had established professional tours. Today, there are also women’s professional leagues for soccer, volleyball, bowling and two for basketball. Women have even made inroads in the traditionally male sports of boxing and mixed martial arts (Garber).

In 1976 the women’s crew from Yale protested to the Director of Physical Education by writing Title IX or IX on their backs or chest while naked in front of the director. The crew team had this protest to show what a cold shower caused to happen to these young women. The men rowing team on the other hand used the boathouse that had warm showers, while the woman’s used a trailer with four shower heads with only cold water. With this occurring some of the woman on the crew team got sick from sitting on a cold bus, soaking wet, in cold clothes. Nineteen women from the crew team showed up with Chris Ernst the captain to the appointment with the Director of Physical Education. The response from alumni and the nation caused more action to occur with Title IX. Alumni sent checks to help build a girls locker room the next year in the boathouse. With this happening, Title IX became a rally cry for other women on campuses. A documentary was created in 1999 called “A Hero For Daisy.”

Throughout time things have definitely changed for woman and Title IX.

Here are some stats:

1 in 27 – # of high school girls competing in sports prior to Title IX
1 in every 2.5 – # of high school girls competing in sports today
3714 – more women’s teams on college campuses than there were in 1972
989 – more men’s teams
32,000 – # of female college athletes in 1972
164,998 – # of female college athletes today
8.7 – The average number of women’s teams offered per NCAA school in 2005.
2 – # of women’s teams offered per NCAA school in 1972
33% of total NCAA athletic budgets spent on ALL women’s sports (title nine)

While women comprise approximately 54 percent of the enrollment in the 832 schools that responded to the NCAA’s 1999-2000 Gender Equity Study, they account for only 41 percent of the athletes. This violates Title IX’s premise that the ratio of female athletes and male athletes should be roughly equivalent to the overall proportion of female and male students (Garber).

According to 2000-2001 figures, men’s college programs still maintain significant advantages over women’s in average scholarships (60.5 percent), operating expenses (64.5 percent), recruiting expenses (68.2 percent) and head coaching salaries (59.5 percent) (Garber).

Only 44 percent of the head coaches of women’s teams are female, an all-time low that represents less than half the pre-Title IX figure (Garber).

Today, despite these advances, there is still gender discrimination that limits sporting opportunities for women at the intercollegiate level. Despite Title IX’s success in opening doors to women and girls, the playing field is far from level for them. For example, although women in division I colleges are 53 percent of the student body, they receive only 41 percent of the opportunities to play sports, 36 percent of overall athletic operating budgets and 32 percent of the dollars spent to recruit new athletes.

The United States General Accounting Office had recently done a report on the participation level of men and women athletics. According to their report, men’s intercollegiate athletic participation rose from approximately 220,000 in 1981–1982 to approximately 232,000 in 1998–1999. Between 1981 and 1982 and 1998 and 1999, football participation increased by 7,199—offsetting wrestling’s loss of 2,648 participants; outdoor track’s loss of 1,706 participants; tennis’s loss of 1,405 participants; and gymnastics’ loss of 1,022 participants. Other sports that gained participants include baseball (+5,452), lacrosse (+2,000) and soccer (+1,932). It is very clear that although more women’s teams than men’s have been added every year, there are still many men’s teams being added to compensate the programs that have been dropped (GAO 2001).

 

Garber, Greg. “Landmark Law Faces New Challenges Even Now.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <http://espn.go.com/gen/womenandsports/020619title9.html&gt;.

General Accounting Office. “GENDER EQUITY Men’s and Women’s Participation in Higher Education.” United States General Accounting Office, 15 Dec. 2001. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <http://www.gao.gov/assets/240/231026.pdf&gt;.

“What Is Title IX?” Title Nine. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <http://www.titlenine.com/category/who are we/title ix- what is it-.do>.

 

Hershey Co. Signs Deal To Sponsor USOC Through 2020 Tokyo Games

by Angeline Seames

Hersey Co. signed a five-year deal with Team USA, which makes the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) back in the candy game. The iconic candy maker is now an official sponsor and confectionery partner through the 2020 Tokyo Games. This is USOC’s first deal in the confectionery category since the 2008 Beijing Games, when Hershey then had a supplier deal.

Olympic marketing experts say a sponsor-level partnership with the USOC sells for between $1-3 million annually. With only 10 months left until the Rio Games, Hershey and USOC will immediately tackle activation details. This in mind, the USOC came out with a statement stating “We hope we have a really great footprint in the candy aisle thanks to Hershey.” Brands of candy bars that will be included in the relationship are: Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Twizzlers, Brookside dark chocolates and Krave premium jerky.

The USOC has even bigger names brought together for its consumer-packaged goods partners like Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble. Team USA displays of these partners are at retailers during the Olympics. The big name brands want to be able to capitalize and get partners motivated around, making an even bigger footprint in their aisle.

The Hershey Director of Partnership Marketing David Palmer, was instrumental in reuniting Hershey Co. and the USOC.  Hershey before hand has been a longtime supporter of USA Track & Field, and signed a deal in 2014 to become its second-largest sponsor behind Nike. Hershey Co. has had experience with USA Track & Field for over 30-plus years. Hershey’s statement stated that, “This is just a part of our longtime commitment to supporting skills for a lifetime of physical activity for people of all ages.” This legacy at Hershey will undoubtedly benefit the sponsorship it shares with USOC.

Hershey is truly one of America’s most iconic and beloved companies. With the announcement of the sponsorship both companies together shared a statement stating; “Both Hershey and Team USA share a unique, irreplaceable place in the hearts, lives and memories of many Americans; we want our country and athletes to know that Hershey is here to help bring moments of goodness and patriotic pride throughout the games and beyond.”

Hershey will support its USOC sponsorship through a variety of media channel activation’s over the course of 2016 leading up to the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Link

by Brandon Busuttil

Toronto Blue Jays Playoff Hype Video

The hottest team in Major League Baseball is no doubt, the one Canadian team there is: the Toronto Blue Jays. This team has shown it all season long that they can hit. Game after game, home run after home run. These guys can get it done in the hit and run column.

It is amazing the transformation that this team has gone through this MLB season and it seems to be a hot topic for all baseball analysts and fans. At one point right around the beginning of the summer the Blue Jays were sitting at 4th place in the AL East, a few games below .500 and it looked like this was going to be a similar season to the one they had the past season. Talk on the street was that this team, with some good hitters, was going to struggle to even try and make the wildcard spot with pitching being a weakness. The team got their act together midway through the summer getting to around a .500 average. Media and fans were wondering if that was going to be enough to get a team with a 22-year playoff drought into the postseason.

At the end of July everything for the Blue Jays changed. Acquiring ace pitcher David Price would be a game changer, but he wasn’t the only one. They also acquired Ben Revere, all-star short stop Troy Tulowitzki and other supporting players that would take large roles in relief pitching. Something for the Blue Jays changed after these moves and made them the team to beat. A 10 game winning streak that took place in August pushed the Blue Jays into battling the Yankees for 1st place in the AL East, which they successfully won.

For the first time in 22 years the Toronto Blue Jays are in the playoffs and not only is Toronto loving it, but all of Canada is loving it. Players and coaches of not only the Blue Jays, but any team that had to play the Blue Jays in the final 21 home games of the season have spoke on how insane it is to play at the Rogers Centre. For the final 21 home games of the season, 20 of them were sold out crowds of around 50,000 people.

It is going to be interesting to see how a team, city and country with a lack of playoff experience will perform in this situation. The Toronto Raptors used to be the talk of the town with their ability to make the playoffs two years in a row, but still could not get over the hump of getting through to the second round. Now, not only has the Toronto Blue Jays made the playoffs, but they are also picked as a favorite to win the World Series. If we take a step back in history, the last time the Blue Jays were favored to win the World Series was in 1993 (22 years ago) when they won their last World Series (part of the back-to-back World Series championships) and the last time they made playoffs.

Canadians are expecting a lot of their team this postseason. Even with the expectations, there is no worry with the Blue Jays’ ability to play in front of a post-season crowd. In reference to the past 21 games of sold out crowds (minus one game) John Gibbons (Blue Jays Manager) had this to say about the crowd in the late part of the season: “From pitch one, everybody’s been on their feet, really into it. I don’t know how it can be much different, to be honest with you, as loud as it’s been, as enthusiastic as they’ve been.” From hearing this it sure sounds like a dare to every Blue Jays fan in the stadium and beyond.

Youth Sports getting out of hand?

by Angeline Seames

In San Diego, a youth football and cheer league got a little out of hand. With 30 seconds left in a youth football game, adults in attendance broke out into a fight in the stands. With this occurring during the game the league commissioner decided to remove both teams from the San Diego Youth Football and Cheer League. The parents and players now are protesting and threatening to sue the league.

What has caused youth sports to escalate to parents fighting against each other? Parents and coaches is the answer. For many reasons parents have this void or withdraw from the competitive spirit of sports. That is the reason why many parents allow their child to play in sports. Parents become emotionally involved and see their young athlete as an investment. While parents believe their child is gifted and could be rewarded with college athletic scholarships. The sad reality of it all is that in men’s football and basketball for every 10,000 high school student athletes, nine will play in the NFL and three will play in the NBA.

The Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, found that 70% of kids drop out of sports by the age of 13 because of adults. The main reason why kids play sports is to have fun, socialize and learn new skills. When parents become too involved  they overemphasize performance and winning, creating pressure for the kids which is no fun for the kids.

Just the same as parents, coaches get lost in the way of winning instead of teaching life lessons, values, new skills and socialization. Coaches most of the time focus on outstanding athletes, instead of allowing undeveloped athletes playing time to grow, to give their team the better outcome of the game.

These adults are role models to the children that are participating in the youth sports team. While parents and coaches are just focusing on winning, they are teaching their children that winning is everything. This statement is true because the U.S. is a very competitive country but, adults should be teaching their children morals and fighting for them no matter what it takes.

With that in mind, youth sports may see changes in crowd control, coaching staff and allowing adults to cheer on their children during sporting events. As parents become more involved in youth athletics, there’s the true question about if youth athletics will stay around.

Bruce Jenner Breaks Down America’s Myths about Gender

By Ellen Chlumecky

April 27, 2015

In this day and age, the world is harsher than ever. Especially with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, there is more of a chance for people to berate and insult each other. When people want to stand up and stick up for themselves, the world can’t help but stop and stare. These people shouldn’t be mocked, teased, or felt degraded or insulted. These people should be celebrated and felt important for their differences. When former Olympian, Bruce Jenner, revealed to the world on April 24th that he is a transgender woman, there is was a surprising amount of support not only from his family but also many people working hard for acceptance for the transgender community.

Bruce Jenner won two Amateur Athletic Union decathlons, the Pan-American Games decathlon, a gold medal in Montreal Olympic decathlon, a Sullivan Award, an Associated Press Athlete of the Year. He was also inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and into the Olympic Hall of Fame. He was a talented athlete and an idol to the United States of America in the 70s and the 80s. Young athletes looked up to him and looked at him as a model of someone who was strong and confident. However, even after several years of no longer being an athlete you can see his confidence and his strength in his interview with Diane Sawyer.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/24/media/bruce-jenner-interview-diane-sawyer/

The reason I felt this was so important to write about is the same reason that I believe people who feel they need to be who they are need to be comfortable to do so. Bruce Jenner is one of several athletes who waited till they were done with sports to feel comfortable becoming transgender. Some of these athletes were out of the public eye which is why they felt it was finally acceptable to change genders. Bruce Jenner has a unique situation because of who his family is, the Kardashians.

His marriage to Kris Kardashian brought his whole situation to a larger media scale than it would’ve if he had stayed out of the spotlight. However, I don’t think that he would’ve wanted to change it at all. Bruce Jenner was quoted saying, “We’re going to make a difference in the world with what we’re doing.” Jenner had contemplated suicide because he felt like he was living a lie. As he is coming out to the world, he is showing people how important it is to be who you are because being happy is most important.

He is not only standing up for himself but for all trans, gender-nonconforming, and intersex people. These people want to be happy by being themselves, and I believe that what he’s doing is amazing. He deserves more than just settling. I fully support anyone going through this situation and I believe the sports world should stand behind these people as well.

ESPN Writer Berates Towing Firm Worker: Britt McHenry

By Ellen Chlumecky

April 20, 2015

It seems like recently more people of distinction are making degrading comments on Twitter, posting inappropriate pictures on Facebook, or literally getting caught on camera saying degrading things. In the case of Britt McHenry, it was the latter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkxBTklqIcw

Britt McHenry is a sports reporter who currently works for ESPN. She has served as a correspondent for various shows such as SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, NFL Live, and Baseball Tonight. As one can see from the video, she was clearly irate with the towing firm worker. While I along with many other people could understand her frustration of her car being towed, I don’t know how many people would talk to a worker that way. She stated that she would sue the place, adding a few curse words here and there.

ESPN suspended her for a week. One week. One week for being demeaning, using derogatory comments, commenting on the workers’ weight, teeth, class, and education, and being generally disrespectful to someone who was trying to do their job. While some people say that celebrities shouldn’t feel as much pressure to behave just because they’re celebrities, I believe that they should treat others as decent human beings. McHenry was furthest from treating that woman as a decent human being. Being frustrated is one thing, it’s actually using hateful words to hurt someone emotionally takes it to a truly horrible level.

She did post a Facebook apology. She said, “In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and some said insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake.” All of this sounds like an apology right out of a public relations management handbook.

There’s also a bunch of cover ups saying that the video was edited and that the media was quick to judge her. Mediaite.com said that it seemed too odd that the woman being yelled at had no comments to make during the entire video. They are convinced that the video must’ve been edited in which the woman’s insults were unheard as well.

Whichever the case may be, it was inappropriate for anyone whether or not they’re on a national news channel. It makes me upset that we can’t live in a world that can’t treat people with respect. No matter what profession you are or what your class is, you need to treat people with respect and decency.