Anger, Domestic Violence and Football- Are they Connected?


Football is awesome, right? We can’t get enough of it in this country. It’s a year-round obsession, even though the regular season is only 16 games spanning three or four months.

Each game is hyped and treated as if they are a can’t miss event featuring some of the best athletes in the world. Those athletes can (and do) put on quite a show on the field on Sundays. Everybody is entertained, the curtain falls and we get back to reality. So do the athletes. And that’s where things have gotten convoluted.

I’m sure that you have heard of the rash of domestic violence incidences plaguing the National Football League over the past year or so. A seemingly endless parade of football players that cannot seem to avoid involvement in one domestic violence issue or another.

Ray Rice, Ray McDonald, Greg Hardy, Bruce Miller and others, the list goes on and on. Too many athletes have made headlines for assaulting women, allegedly or otherwise. The recent outcry against this trend (that apparently has been ongoing in the NFL for years) has reached a tipping point loud enough to prompt stricter punishments and policies from the league regarding its players.

But that outcry was sorely misdirected.

Why do we look to these sports leagues for accountability in matters like these? At what point did we have elevate these athletes to such lofty positions that we should look to them to be moral beacons of our society? It’s a contradiction of wants and desires; on the field, we want you to be as competitive and rough and tumble as the rules allow.

Be aggressive. Do whatever you can (within the rules) to win.

But the instant those qualities manifest themselves negatively in their social lives, we collectively wag our morally righteous fingers at them. How could you do such things, we say to them. They should know better. They have a responsibility to the kids that look up to them, that want to be like them.

Since when? Do you know who is actually responsible for being a responsible example for the kids? Their parents. Their teachers. The people that occupy actual positions of authority in their lives. Those athletes don’t have a “responsibility” outside of being a productive member of society, and if they run afoul of the law that governs us all, they should be punished accordingly.

Speaking of which, what confused me most was the lack of outcry against our justice system. Where was it? Why is there no chorus of change being directed at the lawmakers and those charged with upholding laws against domestic violence? It felt like pointing the finger at the NFL was a case of low hanging fruit, whereas addressing the laws against domestic violence is a fight for a day that rarely comes.

That’s what the law is for, to handle people that step out of line. That’s where we need to be directing our desire for change, not these athletes. They don’t owe us anything other than a good performance.


You Have the Right to Speak…and So Do I.


Political correctness is formally known by Oxford Dictionaries as “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” From politicians (or attempted politicians) such as Donald Trump to reality TV stars like Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,”  many claim to have been “victimized” by the “political correctness police.”

Countless people interpret society’s focus on political correctness as an attack on freedom of speech, a cornerstone of our society. Many would argue that no matter how harmful one’s opinions are – whether it be a politician or silly reality TV star – they have the right to say what they feel and shouldn’t have to edit their opinions out of concern for the possible implications of their statements, especially if those views are shared by a significant portion of the general population.

A quote by Voltaire comes to mind in the midst of this debate: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” And I, like Voltaire, will do the same. We, as Americans, and as a free society, should defend our right to speak how we feel without being persecuted by authorities. In America, one absolutely should have the right to express oneself.

We, as human beings capable of rational thought, are more than welcome to hold any viewpoint, no matter how bigoted, racist, sexist, classist or any other “-ist” you can conjure up. We are more than welcome to express those views.

However, as human beings capable of rational thought, when we express those views we must expect a strict review of those thoughts by our peers. You may have the right to say something, but I have the right to challenge it. And this is where the concept of political correctness kicks in.

Look through any newspaper, book or other source of media from 100 years ago.You are practically guaranteed to find rampant examples of any type of “-ism” you can think of. Look through any of sources of media today and you’ll mostly find criticisms of those characteristics. Is it because of the overreaching tyranny of the PC police?

Is it because we as a society have realized that our language has power, and if we rampantly use language that harms marginalized members of our society, we set up a social system that allows verbal abuse, thereby leading to the institutionalized marginalization of racial minorities, women, the LGBT community and the disabled?

Or perhaps it’s because Americans have developed a greater sense of empathy for our fellow peers, and through history, social interaction and media, have realized the pain we inflict on them with the use of harmful language. I personally believe it’s a combination of the latter two influences. I believe we have realized the power of language and developed a larger sense of compassion for our fellow man. Political correctness is the realization that our words are a collective representation of our progress as a society.

While we all have the right to say what we feel, we must be wary of the social repercussions of our words – whether it’s the harm they cause to others or the negative consequences we inflict on ourselves. We must realize that freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence or backlash from our peers. Freedom of speech may guarantee your right to say what you feel, but human nature guarantees that harmful ideologies will be challenged by those who disagree. And while I may fight for your right to speak harmful words, I will fight just as vigorously for my right to speak up as well.

24-hrs of College Basketball


Get it on your calendar.

The schedule for the 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon:

Mon., Nov. 16

5:30 p.m.: No. 1 UConn at No. 13 Ohio State (women) ESPN2
7:30 p.m.: No. 4 Virginia at George Washington ESPN2
9:00 p.m.: Kennesaw State at LSU ESPNU
9:30 p.m.: San Diego State at No. 13 Utah ESPN2
11:30 p.m.: No. 17 Baylor at Oregon ESPN2

Tue., Nov. 17

1:45 a.m.: BYU at Long Beach State ESPN2
4:00 a.m.: Nevada at Hawaii ESPN2
6:00 a.m.: Green Bay at East Tennessee State ESPN2
8:00 a.m.: Stephen F. Austin at Northern Iowa ESPN2
10:00 a.m.: Valparaiso at Rhode Island ESPN2
1:00 p.m.: Alabama at Dayton ESPN
3:00 p.m.: Colorado at Auburn ESPN
5:00 p.m.: No. 8 Oklahoma at Memphis ESPN
7:30 p.m.: No. 3 Kentucky vs. No. 6 Duke (Chicago) ESPN
9:00 p.m.: Georgetown at No. 1 Maryland ESPN2
10:00 p.m.: No. 5 Kansas vs. No. 19 Michigan State (Chicago) ESPN


College Basketball- Top 50 Players Preview- #49

Time to move on to the 49th projected best player in college basketball for 2015-16.



#49 Markus Kennedy- SMU

Parents are Roysall Kennedy and Barbara Kennedy … Has a brother Mikeal and sister Morgan … Coached by Jason Smith at Brewster Academy … Played AAU basketball for the New England Playaz.

from SMU website:

2014-15 (Junior): Played in 24 games… Averaged 11.9 pts & 6.3 rebs… 27 asts… 33 stls… 10+ pts in 14 games… NCAA TOURNAMENT: 16 pts (6-13 FG, 4-6 FT), 9 rebs & 2 stls vs. UCLA (March 19)…

AAC TOURNAMENT: 15 pts (4-9 FG, 7-14 FT), 6 rebs, 3 stls, 2 asts & 1 blk vs. East Carolina (Quarterfinal – March 13)… 17pts (4-7 FG, 9-12 FT), 9 rebs & 1 ast vs. Temple (Semifinal – March 14)… 15pts (5-10 FG, 5-6 FT), 6 rebs, 1 blk & 1 stl vs. UConn (Final – March 15)…

REGULAR SEASON: 16 pts (6-8 FG, 4-6 FT), 7 rebs, 3 blks, 2 stls & 1 ast vs. Tulsa (March 8)… 18 pts (7-12 FG, 4-7 FT), 9 rebs, 1 stl at UConn (March 1)… Career-high 6 stls at Memphis (Feb. 26)… 13 pts (5-10 FG, 3-5 FT), 8 rebs, 3 asts, 2 blks & 1 stl vs. UConn (Feb. 14)… 13 pts (5-9 FG, 3-3 FT), 11 rebs, 2 blks, 1 ast & 1 stl vs. UCF (Jan. 31)… Career-high 22 pts (10-12 FG, 2-3 FT), 7 rebs, 2 asts & 1 stl at USF (Jan. 28)… 21 pts (9-11 FG, 3-3 FG), 7 rebs & 1 ast at Temple (Jan. 14)… 21 pts (10-13 FG, 1-2 FT), 3 rebs, 2 stls & 1 ast vs. Memphis (Jan. 8)…

AWARDS: NABC All-District Second Team… AAC Tournament MOP… AAC Sixth Man of the Year… All-AAC Second Team… AAC Player of the Week (Feb. 2)… AAC Weekly Honor Roll (March 9, Jan. 19, Feb. 16)… Preseason All-AAC First Team (Oct. 29).


2013-14 (Sophomore) – Played in all 37 games, starting 22, averaging 12.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.6 assists in 25.0 minutes. In conference play, averaged 13.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks…

CONFERENCE RANKINGS:5th in FG% (53.4), 13th in blocked shots (1.2), 6th in rebounding (7.1) 5th in defensive rebounds (5.1) …

NATIONAL RANKINGS: 93rd in total rebounds (261) and 79th in total steals (57) .

AWARDS: NIT All-Tournament Team NABC District 25 Second Team. American Athletic Conference Second Team – American Athletic Conference Honor Roll four times (12/23, 1/20, 1/27, 3/3).

STREAKS: Led (or tied the lead) SMU in scoring and rebounding in the same game 12 times this season. Scored in double figures in 14-straight games (Dec. 4-Feb. 1) and recorded 5 double-doubles in that stretch.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Scored a career-high 21 points to go along with 9 rebounds in SMU’s NIT Semifinal win over Clemson. Tallied his sixth double-double of the season in SMU’s NIT Quarterfinal win over California, netting 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Scored a career-high 21 points to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds in SMU’s home win over No 22/22 Memphis . Went 10-10 from the field in the win over Memphis, the first to do so since Papa Dia against Southern Miss in Jan., 2011. Recorded his first career double-double, scoring a career-high 18 points to go along with a career-high 10 rebounds, a career-high four steals and three assists in 28 minutes against USF. Led the Mustangs in points, rebounds, blocks and steals at Cincinnati, scoring 12, hauling in 9 rebounds, while adding 3 blocks and 2 steals. Went 8-8 from the free-throw line against Sam Houston State. Tallied four points, four rebounds, one block and a steal in his SMU debut against TCU.

CAREER RANKINGS: 7th in blocked shots average (1.1) and 8th in steals average (1.5) .

SEASON RANKINGS:16th in blocked shots (44), 11th in steals (57) and 19th in rebounds (261).

2012-13 (Transfer): Sat out due to NCAA transfer rules.

2011-12 (Freshman at Villanova): Averaged 3.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest in 31 games



2011-12 Villanova 31 458 46 101 45.5 1 2 50 1 16 6.3 94 3
2013-14 SMU 37 924 182 341 53.4 1 5 20 93 158 58.9 458 12.4
2014-15 SMU 24 551 108 197 54.8 0 3 0 70 109 64.2 286 11.9


Previous Previews:

#50 Rico Gathers- Baylor

2015 College Football Top 25 Preview- #24

#24 Boise State Broncos
Head Coach: Bryan Harsin
2014 record: 12-2 overall, 7-1 Mountain West Mountain
2014 Postseason results: Beat Arizona 38-30 in the Fiesta Bowl
2015 returning starters: 9 offense, 8 defense

Think on this. Boise State has not lost more than two games in a season for the past seven years. This may be the best year yet for them.

The quarterback was likely to be sophomore Ryan Finley but that may be in question as he was arrested for illegal consumption , resisting arrest and that could lead to disciplinary action from the university. Tommy Stuart, redshirt freshman Alex Ogle, and true freshman Brett Rypien are also in the mix for the starting job. None have college game experience though. Rypien is the nephew of former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien.

Jay Ajayi is gone to the NFL along with 347 carries, 28 touchdowns and 1,823 yards. Sophomore Jeremy McNichols is the expected to replace Ajayi. He played both receiver and running back last season. He rushed for 159 yards with a touchdown, and also had 15 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. Kelsey Young,a graduate transfer from Stanford is eligible to play for Boise State this season. He was the second leading rusher for the Cardinal in 2014 with 331 yards. He has a younger brother Cory that will also get some playing time.



Previous Posts- #25 Mississippi State




 I see this team continuing their winning ways and may go undefeated for the entire season. It will be hard to do so I am going with an 11-1 final record. BOISE STATE 2015 SCHEDULESep. 5 – Washington
Sep. 12 – at Brigham Young
Sep. 19 – Idaho State
Sep. 26 – at Virginia
TBA – Air Force
TBA – Hawai’i
TBA – New Mexico
TBA – Wyoming
TBA – at Colorado State
TBA – at San Jose State
TBA – at Utah State
College Football Top 25 Preview- Countdown #25




We are about 25 days away from college football’s first weekend so it is time to get some preview work in.

Mississippi State #25

They started so well last season with a 9-0 start and was the #1 team in the nation for awhile. Coach Dan Mullen then saw his team finish at 1-2 and a loss in the Orange Bowl to Georgia Tech 49-34.

So now they are attempting to repeat that start and use senior quarterback Dak Prescott to build on his 41 touchdowns and 4.435 yards from last season. One thing that will hurt them is losing three members of their offensive line but will count on a trio of receivers to score points. Fred Ross, De’Runnya Wilson and freshman Dontavian Lee will be the target of many passes from Prescott.

On the defensive side of the ball Taveze Calhoun and Will Redmond return to the corner spots. Gerri Green, freshman middle linebacker will make the loss of Benardrick McKinney to the NFL much easier to take. He is 243 pounds and can run the 40-yard dash in 4.57.

The schedule is tough. Maybe it is even brutal. There may be as many as six teams on their schedule that are better than they are. Week 2 finds them hosting LSU and then later in the season they are playing Auburn and Texas A&M back-to-back. In November they will take the field against Missouri and Alabama at home on face Arkansas and Ole Miss on the road.


Sept 5  @ Southern Miss

Sept. 12 LSU

Sept. 19 Northwestern State

Sept. 26  @ Auburn

Oct. 3    @ Texas A&M

Oct. 10   Troy

Oct. 17   Louisiana Tech

Oct. 24   Kentucky

Nov. 5  @ Missouri

Nov. 14   Alabama

Nov. 21   @Arkansas

Nov. 28  Ole Miss


Prediction: 7-5


first one out: Tennessee

Seriously, Why do Schools have Mascots?


How does a guy in a mountain lion suit inspire a shrine, a book, and 107,000 screaming fans? There’s something about mascots that stir up powerful emotions. Penn State’s Nittany Lion is a larger-than-life symbol of the pride that fans feel, says Jackie Esposito, University Archivist and co-author of The Nittany Lion: An Illustrated Tale. “Mascots embody that desire to support your school and are a visual representation of what we believe to be the best parts of our school or organization,” she says.

Penn State’s Nittany Lion mascot does one-handed pushups for fans after a touchdown vs. Notre Dame.

One of the most famous mascots was Old Abe the bald eagle, who was said to have called out a fierce battle cry as she circled the sky above her regiment, the 8th Wisconsin infantry. After the war, young men carried on the inter-state competition through sports. “Historically, post-Civil War was when intercollegiate athletic games and rivalries emerged,” Esposito says. Some mascots even trace their names to the war. For example, Illinois College’s teams are known as “The Blueboys,” or “The Lady Blues,” nicknames that began when many of the college’s students volunteered for the blue-uniformed Union army.


Schools or teams become embodied in their mascots. While many schools choose lions or panthers or bears for their fierceness or physical strength, other mascots convey decidedly different qualities. One such belongs to the University of California-Santa Cruz-Sammy the Banana Slug. “It sounds funny,” says Esposito, “but this mascot denotes something about the school.” With an emphasis on science and conservation, UCSC describes itself as “nestled in the redwood forests,” which is the slug’s home. Another example of an “anti-mascot” is found at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, which doesn’t have an athletic program, but does boast…The Fighting Pickle.

College Basketball- Top 50 Players in 2015- #50

The idea of ranking players becomes very subjective and always open for debate. But to do this, you have to start somewhere. Here we go…








#50- Rico Gathers 6’8″ 280 lbs.

Rico Gathers, F, Baylor – Ricardo Darnell Gathers

 Born Jan. 7, 1994, in New Orleans, La.

Son of Richard Sr. and Janice Gathers

Father is cousin of late Loyola Marymount All-American basketball player Hank Gathers

Finance major.


Gathers is a big bruising forward that has played in all 75 games of his college career but played behind Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin so he only started 3 games. Included in his stats are seven double-doubles and ranked fourth in the nation with one offensive rebound per minute. Two-time Gatorade Louisiana High School Player of the Year.

Season gp gs min min avg pts pts avg fgm fga fg% 3-pt fg 3-pt fga 3-pt fg%
2012-13 37 2 617 16.7 210 5.7 83 158 .525 0 0 .000
2013-14 38 1 678 17.8 245 6.4 80 169 .473 0 0 .000
2014-15 13 13 357 27.5 125 11.6 44 103 .427 0 0 .000



SEC College Football Preview






Ok, just a note for clarification before I start. This blog will be primarily about football for quite awhile. I will rejoin politics as it gets closer to some kind of meaningful election.

Today, I will examine the SEC. For awhile they had dominance over the college sport of football but the past few years they have come up short. It is the premier conference in the United States and has the most teams that are very, very good. In 2015, the preseason finds them having seven teams listed in the Top 25 polls.

In the East, we have a dogfight between two top teams and I am going with Georgia. They will miss Todd Gurley for about 2 seconds until Nick Chubb breaks loose and runs all over the conference. Tennessee is everyones’ darling team with Butch Jones as head coach and has many believing in them. Florida comes third this year and will need to be tough down the stretch.

My EAST picks:

Georgia 10-3

Tennessee 9-4

Florida 9-4

Missouri 7-5

South Carolina 7-5

Kentucky 6-6

Vanderbilt 3-9


The West is tough. I don’t like picking against Alabama but I really like the Auburn team. The difference maker to me will be Freshman POY Jovon Robinson and his running back play along with the breakout player Jeremy Johnson. I believe the comeback players will be Carl Lawson.

My WEST picks:

Auburn 11-1

Alabama 11-2

Arkansas 9-3

Ole Miss 9-3

LSU 8-4

Texas A&m 7-5

Mississippi State 6-6



Offensive Player of the Year- Nick Chubb

runner-up= Dak Prescott

Defensive POY- Derek Bennett

Coach- Butch Jones

Top Freshman- Jovon Robinson

Breakout- Jeremy Johnson

Comeback POY- Carl Lawson



I will get more in-depth with player analysis as we get closer to the start of the college season.


Next- Big Ten