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Wrestlemania Predictions

Caption: Wrestlemania 39 Promotional Banner

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

April 1, 2023

It is officially my favorite time of the year, Wrestlemania season. It is the time of the year when World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has their culminative PPV event that wraps up the biggest storylines of the past 12 months and showcases their plans for the next year.

Over the last few years, WWE has split their Wrestlemania card up into two nights to help prevent fans from tiring out by the end of the card. This year is no different with 13 matches (as of now) being spread across the two-night event.

As I did with AEW Revolution, I will be explaining the matches and storylines leading into the event as well as giving my prediction as to who I believe will walk out of “The Showcase of The Immortals” victorious.

Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky) vs. Becky Lynch, Lita and Trish Stratus

This should be a really fun contest pitting some of the biggest stars in women’s wrestling today against two of the stars of yester-year. Damage CTRL consists of Bayley and two women who were previously released from their WWE contracts amidst one of their many “budget cuts.”

I was really excited for their team when they re-debuted in August of last year but they are yet to do anything of major note on TV. That is my reasoning for predicting the team of Becky Lynch, Lita, and Trish Stratus.

I think this will be a good match that sees the babyface team emerging victorious while getting the crowd tuned in and ready for the night ahead.

United States Championship: John Cena vs. Austin Theory (C)

John Cena hasn’t been a full time wrestler for the last few years, but every time he shows up to wrestle it is always an important occasion.

This story has many layers as many people were quick to compare Austin Theory to Cena as his gimmick was that he was handpicked by Vince McMahon himself to be the next big thing in WWE.

Cena himself was a nondescript good guy when he arrived and was rejected by fans and had to adapt and grow. Theory is undergoing that transformation for himself right now. He already is a great wrestler between the ropes, but I think that a clean victory over Cena here could be what he needs to cement himself as a star.

I believe that Austin Theory will win and retain his United States Championship over Cena in a good sports-entertainment match.

Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins

Yes, you read that right. YouTube star Logan Paul has a match at Wrestlemania against Seth Rollins. These two have a rivalry that has spanned a few months with Paul interfering in Rollins’ matches over the course of the last few months.

Although Paul has only wrestled a handful of matches, he has consistently been a highlight on every card he has been featured. Paired up with Seth Rollins at ‘Mania, this has a very good chance to be the best match of the night.

I think this is the perfect place to show just how good Paul is in the ring. I expect Logan Paul to win and, much like Austin Theory, cement his place in WWE for many years to come.

‘Fatal 4-Way’ tag team: Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Shotzi and Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey vs. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville 

Sadly, not all Wrestlemania matches can be held to the highest standard. This is the first of two seemingly thrown together tag team matches on the Wrestlemania card.

I expect this to be a “cooldown” match to give the crowd a rest between big matches. There is very little story going into the match and basically all of the teams are completely thrown together.

I would expect this to be mainly a showcase for Shayna Bazler and Ronda Rousey as they are both former MMA fighters and have been portrayed as such in the recent weeks.

I predict that Rousey and Bazler will win this match pretty easily and possibly go on to win tag team gold.

‘Fatal 4-Way’ tag team: Braun Stroman and Ricochet vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) with Valhalla

Here is the second of the two “cooldown” matches that I noticed when I looked at the card. In my opinion, the biggest saving grace here is that three of the four teams are actual teams with actual team names.

The odd men out are Braun Stroman and Ricochet who have actually been teaming together on WWE TV as of late. All of the competitors are super talented and there is a chance this could be a really fun match to watch.

But the lack of anything being on the line for this match keeps me from being fully invested. Again, like the previous match this might be a way to catapult a team into the tag championship scene (more on that later).

I predict that the Street Profits will win this match and possibly even tease a breakup with the emergence of Montez Ford as a fan favorite.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dominik Mysterio

What a long way we have come since Summerslam 2005 where Rey Mysterio fought Eddie Guerrero in a ladder match for the custody of Dominik.

Dominik is now all grown up and, against his father’s best wishes, has aligned with the dark side while teaming with The Judgement Day. Rey has spent most of the past few weeks doing everything in his power to not resort to violence against his son.

Dominik has terrorized his father in the past months, breaking into his house, attacking him in front of his family and going to jail in the process. Finally, we get to see a match almost two decades in the making.

With Rey Mysterio being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, he looks to be winding down his career. I think it makes perfect sense for Dominik to get his first Wrestlemania win against his dad.

This should be a great match as the two have amazing chemistry together.

Brock Lesnar vs. Omos with MVP

If you would have told me four months ago that Brock Lesnar would be facing off against Omos at Wrestlemania, I would have laughed and probably ignored you. Oh, how the tables have turned.

This match could go many different ways. In their weigh-in segment on WWE Monday Night Raw, Omos got the better of Lesnar after battering him with the scale.

But, Lesnar still managed to look like a beast as he hurled himself around the ring in a way that we haven’t seen out of Lesnar in a while. I think if “The Beast Incarnate” (Brock Lesnar) shows up to Wrestlemania wanting to work, this will be a blast.

It is hard for me to imagine Lesnar losing a match at Wrestlemania, but if there was ever someone who could beat him, I think Omos could be the one to do it.

Omos is one of the biggest stars (in stature) in WWE history and if they want to make him a scary giant who can terrorize the roster for years to come, this is their chance.

I believe that Omos will beat Lesnar in a statement victory as WWE gains their new giant.

Bobby Lashley vs. Bray Wyatt

This is a weird one to predict as many wrestling fans don’t know where this match stands. It has been mentioned that Wyatt is either sick or injured and more than likely won’t be able to compete at this years event.

However, I can’t imagine that WWE will leave Bobby Lashley off the card. If Wyatt is unable to make the event, I expect Lashley to pick up an easy win against a surprise return or possibly a debut.

Hell in a Cell: Edge vs. “The Demon” Finn Bálor

“The Demon” is the alter-ego of Finn Bálor that we haven’t seen in a long while. It was overused by WWE for a time and lost a lot of its alure. But now, after a long hibernation, it is back and (hopefully) better than ever.

This match has been a long time coming, too, as Edge was the original leader of the group known as “The Judgement Day” but he was kicked out by the group soon after Finn Bálor joined and became their de-facto leader.

Edge cut a promo this week on Raw that looked a lot like a revision of his original vampire gimmick in the group known as “The Brood” in the late 90’s. This could be a really cool showing of supernatural wrestlers using their spooky magic on a huge stage.

This match will be held inside of Hell in a Cell to prevent the interference of The Judgement Day and also to keep the two warring wrestlers inside. I expect this to be a brutal match that sees “The Demon” picking up a huge win and vanquishing Edge from The Judgement Day for good.

Intercontinental Championship triple-threat: Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Gunther (C)

I am so excited for this match, it is hard to put it in words. These three have been going at it with each other for most of the past year, but we are yet to see them all in the ring at the same time.

These are three huge men that love to beat up other large men. Put them in the ring together and let the magic happen.

WWE has already made it increasingly clear that Gunther is the superstar of the future with his record breaking showing in the Royal Rumble this year where he lasted over an hour in the match.

The largest storyline in this match, in my opinion, is the fact that Sheamus has won every title in the WWE EXCEPT for the Intercontinental Championship. I think that this has a serious chance to be the match of the event and I predict that Sheamus will walk out with the IC title.

I also expect Gunther to enter the World Heavyweight Title scene following this match.

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (C)

In a rematch from Wrestlemania 36, Rhea Ripley faces off against the champion Charlotte Flair. The main difference being the championship being fought over. Three years ago, the pair fought at Wrestlemania over the NXT Women’s Championship.

Many people (myself included) were baffled at the choice to have Flair beat the up and comer Ripley. But, WWE has given themselves a chance to right their wrongs with Ripley being an entirely different animal from who she was all those years ago.

I think this is the time for Flair to pass the torch to Rhea with a clean victory that stamps Ripley as a dominant, monster heel that can rule over the SmackDown Women’s division.

Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Bianca Belair (C)

Bianca Belair has been Raw Woman’s Champ for quite a while. This year at the Royal Rumble, we got to see the return of Asuka looking a lot like her gimmick from Japan as Kana.

She is one of the most believable fighters on the WWE roster and has been one of my favorites to watch for many years. This should be an absolutely crazy match showing off the athleticism and brutality of both competitors.

I think Asuka should win this match so that she can finally lead the Raw Woman’s division with a proper title win. Also, like I said, Belair has been the champ for almost a year. If she loses the title here, she can take a few months off to rest and then come back better than ever.

Unified Tag Team Championship: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (C) with Solo Sikoa

This match should be the culmination of the best story WWE has told in years. The never-ending saga of best friends/enemies Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn has gone on for two decades.

They seem to be on the same page again and look to dethrone The Usos who have held tag-team gold for the last 600+ days. The Usos have accepted Zayn into their family and, more recently, kicked him out in violent fashion.

After Zayn lost to the World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, he has been scrambling to avenge his loss and to become the mega star the fans want him to be.

I think this will be the feel-good moment of the night as I predict that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens beat the Usos to become the Unified Tag Team Champions.

Undisputed Universal Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns (C)

It is finally time for the main event, The Undisputed Universal Championship match between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns. Reigns has been champion for over 900 days and Rhodes is looking to do what his father Dusty Rhodes could never do – win the WWE Title.

I didn’t think this match had much substance at first, but after the work that Paul Heyman (Roman’s manager) and Rhodes have been putting in week after week, I’m invested.

This should be a great match with huge implications for the company. I predict that Rhodes will finally dethrone the Tribal Chief and send him packing for quite some time.

World Baseball Classic: Final Thoughts 

Caption: Shohei Ohtani celebrates striking out Mike Trout and winning the WBC

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 26, 2023

The World Baseball Classic (WBC) has come to a close with Japan taking the crown after a 3-2 win over Team U.S.A. on March 21. If the final game were to be a movie, people would have a hard time believing it.  

With Japan up 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Shohei Ohtani emerged from the bullpen to put the final nail in the coffin for Team U.S.A. After getting the first two batters out, his Angels teammate, Mike Trout, stepped to the plate in one of the coolest baseball moments of all time.  

Mike Trout, who is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time since his 2011 debut in MLB. Shohei Ohtani, who could arguably become THE best baseball player of all time faced off with the WBC championship on the line. It was the most poetic end to a baseball game (or other athletic competition) I have ever seen. 

Ohtani fanned Trout on just four pitches. Now that is impressive enough as is, but when you look into it further, it’s even crazier. 

Through Trout’s 6,174 plate appearances, he has only struck out on three swinging strikes 24 times. Yes, I said 24 times.  

And if that wasn’t enough for Ohtani, he also recorded the hardest hit ball (118.7 MPH), the farthest hit homer (448 ft.), and threw the hardest pitch in the entire tournament (102 MPH). 

We got to see Shohei pumped up, playing his hardest, and at the top of his game in one of the most important games of his career. And it was a thing of beauty.  

Pedro Martinez talked to Ohtani and gave him the praise that every baseball fan has thought, saying, “Shohei, I want to say…on behalf of baseball…we want to thank you for the effort, for the discipline, for everything that you have done for baseball and what you represent for baseball. I just want to personally thank him for all you do. All you do. We are really proud and thankful and grateful for what you do. You are a special human being. So we want to thank you and recognize it.” 

I am so happy that someone like Martinez was able to thank Ohtani for being as fun to watch as he is. Baseball is truly in a ‘golden age’ with fans getting to see stars like Trout and Aaron Judge, but Ohtani is the face of baseball and I think it will stay that way for a while.  

The game is now the most watched WBC game of all time in America with 5.2 million viewers. That was up 69% from the 2017 WBC final which was an all-timer itself.  

Ohtani has gained 3 million Instagram followers since the beginning of March, Lars Nootbarr gained almost a million himself after his performance and bromance with Ohtani. These games were huge for the sport of baseball.  

Mike Trout has already declared that he will play in the games again when they return in 2026 and I expect many others to follow suit. Ohtani will only be 31 at the time of the next WBC and could be performing even better than he did this year.  

I cannot wait until the next WBC as it is consistently the most fun professional baseball tournament in the world. It manages to bring the fun of the Little League World Series to the pros, and we get to see the athletes play the game like kids again.  

We will have to see if the popularity of the WBC translates to MLB regular season games as they begin on the 30th. I really am hopeful that MLB will be able to capitalize on some of the excitement and bring some more eyes to the league and start to turn around the game. 

Bauer Back in Baseball?

Caption: Trevor Bauer

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 14, 2023

Trevor Bauer made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being quietly traded to the Cleveland Guardians (then Indians) in December 2012. He became a full time starter in the big leagues in the 2014 season when he started 26 games.

Bauer worked his way toward his first (and only to date) all-star appearance in 2018 when he went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA in 175.1 innings. He was also sixth in Cy Young voting and 22nd in AL MVP voting.

At the trade deadline in 2019, Bauer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, which proved to be a smart trade as he won the Cy Young in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He started 11 games, going 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA while leading the league in shutouts and complete games with two each.

That offseason, Bauer inked a three-year, $102 million deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Through 17 starts in the 2021 season, Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and looked to have another great season.

However, all of that would change on the 29th of June, when sexual assault allegations were brought against Bauer. It was also reported that the accuser had filed for a restraining order against Bauer on the 28th, one day prior.

The story starts around April 18, 2021, when Bauer first had physical contact with the alleged victim. Court documents state that Bauer reached out to the victim over Instagram direct message after she had tagged him in a post about watching his game.

The victim accused Bauer of “assaulting her on two occasions during what began as consensual sex.” Along with her accusations, there are also text messages between the two as well as pictures the accuser took of herself to document the abuse.

Shortly after these accusations were made public, the Dodgers announced that Bauer would be placed on paid administrative leave while the charges were being examined. Then, in April of 2022, MLB announced that they would be suspending Bauer for what was essentially two years.

Bauer would later appeal and have his suspension reduced from two years to one plus what he had already served after it was decided that he would face no criminal charges.

The Dodgers would go on to release Bauer after the opt-out in his contract came up making him available to be signed by any professional team. There were many MLB teams that could have used Bauer’s pitching every fifth day to help them make playoff runs but no team offered a deal.

Most, if not all, MLB front offices declined to even consider signing him due to the PR nightmare that they would have to brave, and rightfully so. Bauer sat idle for a while posting videos to his YouTube channel, sometimes alongside the “King of JUCO” where he would take part in baseball challenges.

I expected Bauer to continue doing YouTube challenges and never to return to the world of professional baseball. But on Monday, March 13, 2023, it was announced that Bauer had signed a deal worth up to $4 million with the Yokohama BayStars.

Bauer is now eligible to pitch on opening day for the BayStars on March 31.

Bauer isn’t the first disgraced baseball player to find a home in Japan. The most recent example being Addison Russell of Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics fame who quietly left MLB after having allegations of domestic assault brought against him. I didn’t anticipate any team picking up Bauer, however, due to the nature of his allegations. Bauer has been out of professional baseball for over a year so we will have to see if he holds up to his former self in Japan or if he even has a place in professional baseball anymore.

All Elite Wrestling Revolution Predictions

Caption: Promotional poster for AEW Revolution showing MJF (L) & Danielson (R)

By Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

March 2, 2023

Coming up this Sunday, March 5, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) “Revolution” will air on PPV and will culminate with some of the best feuds in recent AEW memory. There are currently seven matches on the card. In this article, I will break down each match as well as give my predictions on each winner.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Starks (Everyone Banned from Ringside)

This match is the culmination of a feud that has gone on for a while (almost too long, depending on who you ask). Jericho wanted the up and coming star to join his faction, the Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS) for weeks. After Starks finally declared that he wanted nothing to do with Jericho, the JAS terrorized Starks, costing him championship matches and other huge opportunities.

The two have had one singles’ match previously which Starks won and I expect the same outcome for this match. Especially with the added stipulation that the JAS are banned from ringside ensuring no interference. Starks should win so that he can put the JAS behind him and begin looking toward the world title picture.

Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow – (TNT Championship)

This feud was kickstarted with the return of Wardlow a few weeks ago on AEW TV. At the last AEW PPV, Samoa Joe beat both Wardlow and Powerhouse Hobbs to regain the TNT title in a great match that kept Wardlow off TV. Joe is a great wrestler albeit not as quick on his feet as he used to be, but this should be an absolute ‘hoss fight‘ and a super fun match to watch.

I think this would be a great way for Wardlow to get a huge win and a title to carry. Joe already is the Ring of Honor (ROH) Television Champion so with him holding two belts, he can stand to drop one without hurting his status.

Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho vs. Saraya – (AEW Women’s World Championship)

I really want to be excited for this match as all of the competitors are super talented. Hayter is one of the hottest acts in AEW right now and is loved by all of the fans, but it’s the other two competitors in the match that scare me.

Soho’s return has been marred with injuries and poorly received matches, and many of us have been really let down with Saraya’s in-ring-return. To me, a lot of her segments have fallen flat and haven’t shown me that she is on the level of others such as Athena or Emi Sakura in the women’s division.

I hope that this match can live up to the expectations of an AEW PPV match, but either way, I expect Hayter to retain her title and possibly start the inklings of a feud with someone else.

The Gunns (Champions) vs. The Acclaimed vs. Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett vs. TBD – (AEW Tag Team Championship

AEW has one of the best tag team divisions in all of professional wrestling and it will be put on full display this Sunday in this four-way for the tag titles. There are a few storylines going on in this match. The Gunns took the titles from The Acclaimed a few weeks ago on TV. The Acclaimed are managed by Billy Gunn who is the father of The Gunns so there is plenty of tension between those two teams.

Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett are a team that will stop at nothing to get their way as they won a Battle Royal to get into this match with the help of the 7’3” giant Satnam Singh. Jarrett began wrestling in 1986 and Lethal started his career in 2001, so they both have experience and plenty of title reigns to their names.

The TBD is one of the most interesting parts of the match. On March 1, there will be another match on AEW TV to determine the final team in this match. I predict that the Best Friends will win this match and make their attempt at the gold as the fan favorites that they are.

However, I predict that the Gunns will retain their titles as I expect them to hold them until they can drop them the FTR whenever they return to AEW programming.

Jon Moxley vs. “Hangman” Adam Page – (Texas Deathmatch)

I am so stoked for this match! These two have put on amazing matches every time they step in the ring with each other. Except that maybe their match on Dynamite where Page was severely concussed. But that aside, this match should be bloody, violent, and beautiful.

This feud has taken place over many months with Moxley targeting Page and trying to break him both physically and mentally. Page has been aligned with a group called The Dark Order for over a year now and they have helped him get out of many jams but Page has requested they stay away and not get involved.

The last time this happened, Moxley left Page a bloody mess in the ring. However, I anticipate Hangman getting the win here and finally sending Moxley on that vacation he was supposed to take last Fall.

The Elite (Champions) vs. House of Black (AEW World Trios Championships)

In my opinion, this will be the match of the night as far as work rate goes. These two teams leave it all in the ring without fail every chance they get. The Elite are continuing to defend their Trios Titles in amazing matches week after week and it looks like House of Black is finally committed to making their presence felt weekly on AEW programming.

This should be a fast-paced barnburner that finally cements House of Black as the most intimidating and fierce team in all of All Elite Wrestling. If there ever was a “must win” for House of Black, this is it, for sure. I predict House of Black takes the titles from The Elite and holds them for most of 2023.

MJF (Champion) vs. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson – (60 Minute Ironman Match for AEW World Heavyweight Championship)

Whereas the previous match should be the most intense as far as pace and action, this will be the match of the night as far as storytelling goes. MJF and Danielson are masters of using pacing and visuals to tell stories in the ring. Danielson continues to wrestle after years of being on the sideline with severe head and neck injuries and MJF is the cocky champion that will stoop as low as he needs to stoop, to continue his reign.

This feud has gotten very personal in the past weeks with MJF telling Danielson’s children and wife that he is going to send him home for good and end his wrestling career. Danielson, coming off winning the Wrestling Observer Award for best technical wrestler last year, is looking to carry the title as a respectable champion who will take on all comers.

It should be super fun to watch how MJF handles the longest match of his career by far against a man who can wrestle for an hour at the drop of a hat. I predict that MJF will find a slimy cheap way to retain his titles and continue his reign of terror over the AEW locker room and programming.

My Trip to Super Bowl LVII

By Brady Shick

Brady Shick is a third-year Sport Management Major at BGSU from the Akron area. His main goals for the future are to work in baseball on the front office side of operations

February 25, 2023

Earlier this month, I was able to travel to Glendale, Arizona, with 19 other students, to work both the Super Bowl and other related events prior to the game. Throughout the week we were able to spend time together as a group and develop new friendships all while participating in a once in a lifetime experience.  

Early Week Activities 

We arrived in Arizona the Monday before the game but did not have an actual shift until Thursday, so we had a few days to experience the area and learn about the other people in our group. Monday, we spent a lot of time at our hotel hanging out in a big group – either hanging around the pool or when we sat down to eat our meals. Tuesday, we started to get more into a groove. First thing in the morning we drove to Phoenix from our hotel, which was about 20 minutes away, to pick up our credentials. After obtaining our credentials, our large group split into two groups with my group going to the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf event and the other going back to the hotel.

At the tournament, the golfers were playing a practice round so we were able to get in free. We saw golfers such as Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tyrell Hatton, and Viktor Hovland all while walking nearly eight miles that day. Wednesday was our last day off and we split into groups again with one group touring Chase Field, the Diamondbacks’ Stadium, and the other going hiking. I went on the Chase Field tour where we were able to see the clubhouse, dugout, bullpen, and even one of the suites.  

Working Experiences 

On Thursday, we finally had our first shift at the Phoenix Convention Center where the Super Bowl Experience was happening. The Super Bowl Experience was a fan event put on by the NFL the week before the Super Bowl. Most of our group was on the top level of the convention center helping to run the various games for the children. One group was at a kind of obstacle course while another was at a pickle ball station where a bunch of current and former NFL players came by. I was tasked with a job at the lower level of the convention center where I watched the line for the Super Bowl ring displays. Also downstairs were multiple autograph stages and the showcase of the Lombardi trophy.  

On Friday, most of the group volunteered at Hance Park after our training at State Farm Stadium but another member of our group and I just hung around the Glendale area and tried to soak it in a bit more. Saturday came with another shift at the convention center. Again, a large group of us was tasked with running the various games for the little kids. Meanwhile, I was outside making sure everyone got into the convention center in an orderly and safe manner. It wasn’t the most interesting of jobs, but I saw a few different NFL players and got to talk to some of their families which was really rewarding. After we were done working at the convention center, we got to meet up with Dick Maxwell and his wife at their hotel where Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell let us talk about our career aspirations and they gave us some advice on our future endeavors.  


On Gameday we were tasked with employee egress. We were responsible for making sure that all the employees and fans went out of their own respective gates and thus made it to the proper destination. Again, it may not have been the most glorious of jobs but at the end of the day it is something that needs to be done to ensure a great experience for both the fans and the workers. By doing this we were able to actually be on the campus of the Super Bowl which is a once in a lifetime experience and I thank both Bowling Green State University and SMA for allowing me to do so.  

My Super Bowl LVII Experience

By Carsen Hageman

Carsen Hageman is a first-year undergraduate student at BGSU, where he majors in Sport Management. As an active member of the Sport Management Alliance, he was part of a group of 20 students who attended and worked at Super Bowl LVII.

February 25, 2023

Growing up a huge NFL fan, I never thought about going to the Super Bowl. As I grew older though, I knew I wanted to work in sports so it was always a goal to make it there. So, once I learned that it was a possibility to attend the Super Bowl in my first year at BGSU, I was ecstatic! I was also fortunate enough to plan part of the trip to the Super Bowl through the Sport Management Alliance (SMA). As the Assistant Travel Coordinator, I helped plan the trip with the Travel Coordinator. Everything from flights to the rental cars needed to be planned months in advance.

One of the first things we did once we got to Arizona was to attend Super Bowl Opening Night. This was an event where all the players in the Super Bowl were available to be interviewed by the media. Fans got to sit and watch all of the players from each team being interviewed.

My favorite non-football event that we did in Arizona had to be touring Chase Field, the home of the Diamondbacks. On one of our days off, we found out that Chase Field did tours. It was perfect timing because pitchers and catchers reported in one week so people were in the building getting ready for spring ball. This was such a fascinating tour as we got to learn what it is like to run a facility like that. Lastly, our tour guide was from Springfield, OH, so we got to bond over being from Ohio. Since we fostered such a great relationship during the tour, our tour guide allowed us to take one of the bullpen balls home from the Diamondbacks’ personal batting cages within their locker room.

During the week leading up to the game, we all worked at the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. The NFL experience is an event where fans interact with players and have fun at games like the one pictured above. The capacities we all worked in varied from working to make sure games ran smoothly to facilitating autograph lines. Throughout The Experience, there were a variety of autograph booths that included current and former NFL players signing autographs for fans. This was such a rewarding position as we got to interact with fans and make their experience one to remember.

During Super Bowl game day, we worked with Gameday Stadium Services assisting with the egress of teammates and other staff as the Super Bowl campus was very hectic. This was a little bit disappointing as we wanted to be inside the stadium. It did not turn out as badly as anticipated because we were able to go into the game during our break or even just to use the restroom.

The disappointment quickly went away after the game as we were able to get onto the field. Since it was an hour or two after the game, security allowed us onto the field. This was the highlight of my trip as everyone dreams of being on the field for a Super Bowl. Once we were on the field, we were able to walk around and take pictures for almost an hour. This included pictures on the sidelines and the Lombardi presentation stage.

Overall, this was an experience of a lifetime. To be able to spend a week in Arizona and gain real-world experience in sports is something I will never forget. I want to thank the entire Sport Management Faculty and Sport Management Alliance for a truly life-changing trip. Without the support from the staff and great planning from SMA, we would have never been able to have such a successful trip.

MLB Breakout Predictions: NL East

Caption: NL East Teams

by Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

February 25, 2023

Welcome to part three of six of my series predicting the breakout stars for each and every Major League Baseball (MLB) team for 2023. In this series, I have already discussed the Central Divisions for both leagues which brings us to today’s topic, the National League East.

Finishing in last place in 2022 were the Washington Nationals. This team won the World Series just three seasons ago, well not this exact team as the roster has almost entirely turned over. However, this team has a pretty high ceiling with all of the young talent they obtained through trading their top stars.

My pick for their breakout star is MacKenzie Gore. Gore was the third player picked in the 2017 MLB Draft and was one of the major pieces in the trade sending Juan Soto to the Padres. Although his career is six years old to this point, Gore is only 23 at the time of writing as he was drafted right out of high school.

Gore has only thrown 70 innings at the Major League level and while he struggled with an ERA of 4.50, he punched out 72 batters. Through 250.1 innings in the minors, Gore notched 320 strikeouts while maintaining a stellar 2.91 ERA.

I predict that this season Gore will start to reach his potential and look for him to throw 150 innings with 200 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA. MacKenzie should be a viable option for the ace of this Nationals’ staff.

The fourth-place finishers in the NL East last year were the Miami Marlins. This is another young team with a lot of potential over the next few years. There are a few different potential candidates for their breakout star.

Take, for instance, the cover of next year’s MLB The Show videogame Jazz Chisholm Jr., or even the returning Sixto Sanchez, but I think the player who will steal the spotlight is going to be Edward Cabrera.

MLB The Show fans already know what I am talking about with Cabrera as he has terrorized players for the past two years with his pitch variety and velocity.

In real life, Cabrera has a sinker that sits around 96-98 with lots of arm side movement as well as his 12-6 curveball that keeps hitters guessing. If everything goes right with players getting healthy, the Marlins could have Sandy Alcantara, Edward Cabrera, and Sixto Sanchez as the top three of their starting rotation.

I look for Cabrera to go 14-6 with an ERA under 3.00 and throwing at least 150 innings.

The next in the standings in the NL East last season were the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies really don’t have a lot of super intriguing young players on their team this season after their World Series visit. I’m looking for a relative newcomer to be their breakout star.

I think that Brandon Marsh will have a great season where he can finally shine. Marsh has spent his last two seasons sharing the outfield with stars like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Now he gets the chance to shine in an outfield with Nicholas Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber.

I think if he is able to get his feet under him and play a lot of games again this year, he can become a very well-rounded outfielder. He is great defensively with his .990 fielding percentage, and will only improve with age.

I look for Marsh to bat .270 with 130+ hits as well as being one of the top defensive outfielders in the National League. His defensive play will really stand out being in an outfield with Castellanos and Schwarber who are both below average fielders.

Finishing second in the NL East last year were the New York Mets. The Mets spent a lot of money this offseason trying to make their way back to a World Series berth spending $500 million on free agents.

One of the Mets’ big acquisitions was star Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga, who I think will be a breakout star for the Mets. Over his 11 seasons in professional baseball, Senga has a staggering 2.42 ERA and a record of 104-51 with 1340.2 innings pitched. He has averaged almost 122 innings pitched during his time with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

Japanese pitchers often struggle when they come to the MLB due to the change in the size and feel of the ball being different than it is in Japan, but I expect Senga to make an impact from the start.

I anticipate that Senga will throw 100 innings with an ERA around 2.75 and 125+ punch-outs in his first season in the MLB. I look for him to put up even better numbers than Masahiro Tanaka even though Senga is about five years older than Tanaka was when he entered the league.

Finally, this brings us to the 2022 NL East champions, the Atlanta Braves. I wouldn’t really say that this player will breakout this year as he won the ‘2022 Rookie of The Year award.’ But I still look for Michael Harris to continue his exciting play and keep improving on his already impressive numbers.

Last year, Harris slashed .297/.339/.514 with 19 homers and 123 total hits. Harris only played in 114 games so averaging more than a hit a game as a rookie in the very competitive NL East, is a feat in and of itself.

I look for more of the same from Harris in 2023. If he can get his strikeouts down and walks up, I’m predicting a .300/.400/.500 slash line from him. That, along with 25 homers and easily 20+ stolen bases, and with a little bit of good fortune, I think he can put up 30/30 years for many seasons to come.

Next time, I’ll be talking about the ever chippy AL East so be sure to check back in a few days for that!

MLB Breakout Predictions: NL West

Caption: NL West Teams

by Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

February 23, 2023

Welcome back to my series predicting breakout stars for every Major League Baseball (MLB) team for the 2023 season. This time, we are rounding out the National League (NL) with the Western Division.

The West is always a tough division with 2-3 teams in playoff contention yearly. The Colorado Rockies finished in last place last year, so they get to kick off this list.

The Rockies are a very young team this year with their longest tenured player at eight years of experience (Randal Grichuk) and their oldest player being only 37 (Daniel Bard).

I think their breakout performer will be someone who has had a few years in the league, but hasn’t yet lived up to his first round hype. Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers was drafted 3rd overall in 2015 and although he has played 100+ games the last two seasons, he has yet to live up to amazing numbers at the plate.

This is not to discredit his work at the plate either. Rodgers has slashed .274/.326/.434 over the last two seasons which is more than acceptable for a shortstop of his caliber, especially if he is able to keep winning Gold Gloves.

Rodgers has also put-up decent power numbers averaging 14 homers and 26 doubles. Last year, he proved that he is capable of being more patient at the plate and can take walks if he doesn’t get his pitch. He more than doubled his walk count from 2021 in just 30 more games.

I think Rodgers will slash .290/.350/.460 with 20 homers as well as bringing his second consecutive Gold Glove to Colorado. I also anticipate him to be on the long list of people receiving MVP votes.

Finishing ahead of the Rockies were the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is another relatively young team with only a handful of players with more than 5 years of experience.

Arizona is looking to shock people this season and possibly even make a run for a Wild Card spot.

My pick for their breakout star is going to be Gabriel Moreno. Although he will be splitting time with Carson Kelly behind the plate, I think he can take the starting position by the All-Star break.

Through 25 games last season, Moreno hit .319, which is what he has done his entire career as he has a .310 average through five Minor League seasons. Especially in today’s game, finding a catcher who can hit for average is increasingly rare and, in turn, valuable.

I look for Moreno to catch 100 games for Arizona this year and slash .290/.360/.400 as well as possibly capturing a Gold Glove.

Finishing the middle of the Western Division last season were the San Francisco Giants. This brings us to the first of three (spoiler alert) pitchers I have chosen for this list. The Giants have a lot of talent but most of it is holed up in their pitching staff.

I think this player is only going to improve after his coming out party last year where he finished 11th in Cy Young voting.

This player is Logan Webb. The now 26-year-old, entering his 5th MLB season, put up career best numbers last season with his 192.1 innings pitched and 2.90 ERA.

Webb looks to be the best option to become the new ace in San Fran. He reminds me a lot of prime Matt Cain, another all time Giant great from those 2010-2014 dynasty years.

If the Giants’ lineup is able to provide good or even decent run support for Webb, look for him to possibly start the All-Star game.

I predict Webb will throw 200+ innings this season and keep his sub 3.00 ERA yet again. Webb is primarily a contact pitcher so I don’t expect his strikeout numbers to be very high, but he will still probably have at least 140 Ks.

Finishing in second place in the West in 2022, were the San Diego Padres, another team looking to make it back to the playoffs and to finally make that elusive World Series run.

The Padres are shaping up to contend again, and I expect a large contributor will be Brent Honeywell Jr. Honeywell hasn’t seen big league action since he started two games and pitched in three for the Rays in 2021.

Honeywell has struggled with the injury bug since being drafted in 2014 and spent 2018-2020 out of professional baseball rehabbing and working to get back into shape.

This being said, he is one of my favorite pitchers to watch as he is possibly the last Major League Baseball player/pitcher who still throws a screwball (outside of Brewers’ pitcher Devin Williams “changeup”).

I think that if Honeywell can stay healthy and throw 120 innings, he can keep his ERA around 3.30 and punch out 150+ batters. I really look forward to watching Honeywell in the coming years as he promises to become a dominant starter.

Finally, we’ve reached the last National League team in this series, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are always expecting a playoff berth and this year is no different.

I think this player has finally worked his way into an everyday role as well as helping to end the revolving door of relievers/closers the Dodgers have been working with ever since Kenley Janson left.

Brusdar Graterol is my choice for their breakout star in the 2023 season. Last year he appeared in 46 games, accruing 49.1 innings and allowing only 39 hits and 20 runs for an ERA of 3.26.

Along with his desirable numbers, Graterol is a treat to watch pitch as he touches triple digits with his fastball as effortlessly as you or I might toss a wad of paper into the trash can.

And while his ERA was a little higher than you would like out of your everyday closer, his fielding independent pitching or FIP, was 2.95. FIP takes into account errors and situations to determine a pitcher’s ERA using only things the pitchers themselves can control.

I predict that Graterol will play in 60 games this season and notch 40+ saves along with a 2.50 ERA over the course of 75 innings. Along with Webb, Graterol could easily become a starter in this year’s Mid-Summer Classic.

MLB Breakout Predictions: AL East

Caption: AL East Teams

by Ryan Harless

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

February 21, 2023

Welcome back to part four of six of my predictions for the breakout star of every Major League Baseball (MLB) team for the 2023 season. Today we tackle the stacked AL East.

Kicking off with the team that finished in last place in 2022, the Boston Red Sox. Boston won 78 games last year which would be a huge upgrade for most of the last place teams in 2022.

The Bosox don’t really have a plethora of young talent to pick from, but the one that I have the most confidence in is Triston Casas. He will more than likely be sitting behind Bobby Dalbec at first base, but with Dalbec’s average dropping substantially every season since 2020, I could see Casas getting some serious playing time.

Casas is just 23 years old and has only played 27 games, so still has fewer than 100 at bats in his MLB career. Even though he struggled (.197/.358/.408) when he played last year, he still barely played. I could see Casas being a strong middle of the order batter for Boston this year.

I anticipate Casas playing 100+ games this season and slashing .270/.380/.450 if he is able to use his 6’5” frame to generate some power and use the 302’ right field wall to hit some homers. I could also see Casas hitting 18-20 homers with 80+ RBI.

Finishing five games above Boston in 2022 were the Baltimore Orioles. I would imagine, most people would expect me to say Adley Rutschman for their 2023 breakout star. However, I expect someone who is yet to have any MLB experience to have a much better statistical year.

The 2023 breakout star for the Baltimore Orioles will be pitcher Grayson Rodriguez. Another 23-year-old for the list, Grayson was drafted in the first round in 2018 and has put up four great seasons across the minor leagues.

In four seasons of minor league baseball, Rodriguez is 25-9 with a 2.47 ERA to go along with his 419 strikeouts in only 292 innings. Of course, the glaring issue is that he has zero MLB experience and has also averaged just over 4 innings per start. But I think that once he debuts this season, he will make an instant impact.

Rodriguez has a three pitch mix that he uses to keep batters off balance, including his fastball that effortlessly touches triple digits.

I expect Rodriguez to go 10-6 this year with a 2.80 ERA and to be a heavy candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.

Coming now to the first of three AL East teams that made the playoffs in 2022, are the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have a good mix of relatively young players and talented veterans. I would have Wander Franco as my pick, but I feel that he already had his breakout year when he was a rookie and continued to play well last year.

I also considered Shane Baz, but he’s currently injured and doesn’t look to be available for Opening Day.

So my choice for the Rays’ breakout star is Peter Fairbanks. Fairbanks is a 29-year-old relief pitcher who has been very underappreciated in my opinion. He has four years of MLB experience but has only thrown 114.1 innings up to this point. However, in his defense, Fairbanks is doing well with what he has been given putting up a 3.46 ERA and punching out 161 batters in his time.

I expect Fairbanks to be the full-time closer for Tampa Bay this season, and if they can make another playoff run he should play a massive part in closing those games.

My prediction is that Fairbanks will have 60+ innings pitched this year, an ERA around 2.50, and 30+ saves for Tampa this year. He is also a great early pick for the AL All-Star team.

Finishing second in the AL East in 2022 were the Toronto Blue Jays, another super good team with tons of talent looking to return to the playoffs in 2023.

Again, I was shocked to remember that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is only 23 years old and nearly has a triple crown to his name. However, my pick for their breakout star is someone who is yet to play an MLB game for Toronto.

Daulton Varsho is a rarity in today’s game as he is both a catcher and an outfielder. Varsho reminds me a lot of J.T. Realmuto since he is a brick wall behind the plate and he also has incredibly deceptive speed. Varsho stole 16 bases last season and I would be shocked if he doesn’t have more in 2023.

I think Varsho will finally get his feet under him at the plate and will start to bring his batting average around. I anticipate that Daulton Varsho will hit .265 this season with 30 home runs and 25+ stolen bases. The Blue Jays really have something special on their hands with a catcher that could easily become a 30/30 hitter.

Although I would love to see Varsho continue to catch, if Toronto wants to save his hitting and keep his legs fresh longer, I could see him transferring to mostly outfield duties.

Finally, we get to talk about everyone’s favorite, the New York Yankees. The Yankees didn’t make many moves this offseason as they mostly focused on bringing back Aaron Judge.

As excited as I am to get to see Jasson Dominguez, I don’t expect him to be on the team until September call-ups. So, my choice for the Yankees breakout star is Oswald Peraza.

Peraza only appeared in 19 games for New York last season, getting 15 hits in 49 at bats alongside his 1.000 fielding percentage. He seems to be the Yankee shortstop of the future, finally filling the gap that Derek Jeter left when he retired. And lucky for Yankee fans, he seems to have a sure-handed glove.

I think that if Peraza can stay healthy and get 80+ starts this season, he will be able to perform at the level Yankee fans expect.

I look for him to slash .275/.350/.400 with 50 RBI and no fewer than 25 stolen bases; if he does, he will be a heavy contributor to the 2023 Yankees.

Super Bowl LVII NFL Experience

By: Cassidy Sutton

Cassidy Sutton is a third -year undergraduate student at BGSU. from Plainfield, IL. She is majoring in Sport Management with a marketing Minor. Football, Hockey and Baseball are her primary sport interests, but she is also interested in stadium/arena management.

On February 6, 2023 myself and 19 other members of the Sport Management Alliance (SMA) at Bowling Green State University headed out to Arizona for Super Bowl LVII. Being a part of such a large sporting event was not only the chance of a life time, but an experience I will never forget. SMA was fortunate enough to work at both the NFL Experience and the actual Super Bowl game.

The NFL Experience was held at the Phoenix Convention Center starting on Monday the 6th and operating until Saturday the 11th. It was a ticketed event with the ticket prices being $20 on the weekdays and $40 on the weekend for the general public to purchase.

This event included three levels of interactive games and NFL memorabilia for fans to connect with the NFL on a different level. Some interactive games included, but were not limited to the 40 yard dash, field goal kicking, tackling drills, throwing drills, tackling drills, Fuel Up to Play 60, etc. These games were catered toward children mostly, but adults also took part in these activities.

Thursday February 9th, was the first day we worked the NFL Experience. I was assigned on the lowest level of the convention center which was filled with tons of different components relating to the NFL. To start off the shift I was tasked with monitoring the line for the Super Bowl rings. Although it doesn’t sound like the most exciting job, it was extremely amazing to see the past 56 Super Bowl rings all on display in the same room. The rings were also surrounded by every single NFL’s team’s helmet covered in Swarovski crystals. I was fortunate enough to not only be working with those, but also helping assist lines for autograph signings by well known athletes such as David Montgomery from the Chicago Bears.

Packers Super Bowl Ring

On Saturday February 11th, I worked on the middle level of the convention center where I handed out stickers to little kids, interacted with fans and took pictures. The stickers were used for people to take either an Eagles’ one or a Chiefs’ one and place on a giant football statue for extra good luck for the team. While I was up there, I got to walk around and see the different events happening throughout the day. I got to watch AJ Dillon from the Green Bay Packers play pickle ball with professional pickle ball players and assist with the field goal kicking event. The field goal kicking event consisted of two footballs set up on a stand and three field goals for guests to choose from, wind up and take their kicks.

After working the experience on Saturday we were given the opportunity to go back inside the convention center and check everything out for ourselves. We walked around the giant Super Bowl shop they had set up inside which had everything from specific Super Bowl teams’ gear to other NFL teams’ gear and they even had a section for Rihanna, the half time show performer’s makeup line known as Fenty Beauty. Myself and three other SMA members got the chance to check out a live broadcast that was being produced by the NFL Network. Reporters Steve Smith, Sr. And M.J Acosta were hosting the show live from the convention center. We got the chance to talk to them for a few minutes and even took a picture with them. While doing their live show they brought out defensive end from the New Orleans Saints Cam Jordan who also stopped to talk to us for a second and take a picture.

The NFL Experience is something so unique to the NFL and I never knew how big it was until I was there myself. It connects fans to the game of football in a whole new way and I really enjoyed it the most. Seeing all the great accomplishments and people that have come through the NFL was a once in a life time opportunity.