We’re At War With Ourselves

We are divided, and it’s not Donald Trump’s fault.

With so many conflicting political (and non-political) views and opinions surrounding this year’s election, the question must be asked; should it matter?

I don’t love Trump. I don’t love Hillary. But I love America, and I love people. The election has brought out the worst of the citizens of our nation, and the only one to fault is ourselves.

When we face another human being we should not be concerned with who they voted for. With so many varying political opinions on each and every issue, it is nearly impossible to find someone who agrees with 100% of the views you do. This sparks hate in relationships.

Kanye West wrote his hit single “Jesus Walks” in 2004, but it feels as if he crafted it in preparation for this year’s election.

“We’re at war. We’re at war with terrorism, racism. But most of all, we’re at war with ourselves.”

In a country so overtaken by social issues and outbreaks, our country is experiencing a divide larger than I have seen in my seventeen years as a citizen of the States. But we must come to grips with the idea that only we are responsible for this. Therefore only we can fix this.

We may not love Trump. But rather than accusing him of tearing our nation apart, we must look at each other, and grasp that the only people responsible for this divide is ourselves.

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Settling the Debate – Best Catch of All Time

Some people say that David Tyree holds the plaque for the best catch in football history. Odell Beckham Jr. would likely disagree.

With all of the great catches being seen around the NFL lately, there is much debate over what is truly the best catch in NFL history. From Odell Beckham’s gravity-defying snag last year to Antonio Freeman’s miraculous grab back in the first year of this century, this award tests a wide variety of candidates.

So without further ado, here’s my take on the best catch of all time.

Candidate #1 – David Tyree

We’ll put the classic “best play ever” candidate as our first candidate here in this debate. With just over a minute left on the clock in Superbowl XLII, the Giants needed something big to happen in order to stun the undefeated New England Patriots. On a 3rd & 5, quarterback Eli Manning somehow managed to evade the overwhelming pass rush and throw up a jump ball downfield to receiver David Tyree. With Patriot defenders all around him, Tyree managed to catch the ball and “stick” it against his helmet, giving the Giants an opportunity to stay alive in the championship. This sparked a miracle game winning drive for the G-Men, and led to one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.

Candidate #2 – Odell Beckham Jr.

How? How is that possible? While this snag may not have came on a game-winning drive, or late in the fourth quarter, I have absolutely no idea how OBJ was able to stick that ball. Falling backwards, sticking one hand out, using only three fingers to catch the ball, all while being interfered by the defender? I think the catch speaks for itself.

Candidate #3 – Santonio Holmes

Most clutch play in NFL history? I think yes. Best catch? Maybe not so much.

While it still defies me how Holmes was able to keep both feet in bounds on that perfectly placed throw by Ben Roethlisberger, it is not the catch itself which defines this moment. The miracle hookup between Santonio Holmes and Ben Roethlisberger comes at better timing than probably any of these catches (maybe even David Tyree’s), yet is probably the least wowing catch here without knowing the circumstances. Unbelievable play, but probably not the winner here.

Candidate #4 – Antonio Freeman

This one hurts to watch. My beloved Vikings getting embarrassed by the rival packers. This catch would definitely qualify for the craziest play on this list. After everyone on this side of the planet thought that the Vikings were spared another life in overtime against the Green Bay Packers, Antonio Freeman stole the game out of the hands of the Vikes, snagging the ball just inches before dropping to the ground. Freeman’s awareness on this play is remarkable. This play, although gut-wrenching to Viking Country, can not overlooked when talking about the greatest plays in NFL history.

Winner – Odell Beckham Jr.
After much debate, I solemnly stand by my opinion that the greatest catch in the history of the National Football League was made my Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr, just last year against the Dallas Cowboys. While each of these plays is better than the other in their own way, Beckham’s one-hander amazes me every time I see it.

Mason Soccer Teams Have Similar Success

Opposites attract.
With Mason High School’s girl’s soccer team being led by a group of young superstars, and the boy’s squad relying on a group of seasoned veterans, the varsity soccer teams this year could be classified as polar opposites. However, there is one action that the two teams do have in common — winning games.
With both the boy’s and girl’s soccer teams being ranked among the top 10 in the state by TopDrawerSoccer.com, the two groups have high hopes for the season.
Coming off of a tie against St. Ignatius High School, a team ranked fourth in the country as of September 13th according to Top Drawer, the boy’s varsity team is climbing higher in the rankings as well. Led by a large group of seniors, veteran leadership and experience is vital for the success of the Comets this season.
Junior goalkeeper Danny Mackzum said that having a large amount of seniors on the team helps contribute to strong leadership and respect for one another.
“With the varsity team having so many seniors and veteran players, it really helps,” Mackzum said. “So far we have been successful in our season and I think it’s obvious to say that all of the senior players have been a big part of our success. Our leadership has been great so far because the seniors have made everyone feel welcome which makes us closer as a team.”
A completely different story can be told about the girl’s team as they take pride in their young talent and enthusiasm for the sport. Riding on an undefeated record so far this season, sophomore Annie Metzger said her team sees their age as an advantage, rather than a lack of experience.
“Having a young team, everybody is so new, so they’re all really excited for every game,” Metzger said. “It’s our first year (on varsity for a lot of us), so it brings more energy to the game when we play. Last year, everybody was so excited for tournament time, but this year everyone was just as excited for our scrimmages.”
Despite their opposing styles of play, one thing that the Mason soccer teams pride themselves on is the overwhelming amount of support they express for each other. According to girl’s head coach Andrew Schur, the boy’s and girl’s teams are each very involved with each other and are always wishing the best for their counterpart.
“I think there is a good dynamic of support,” Schur said. “I think that the kids on each team respect the accomplishments of the opposite gender. It’s hard for them to support each other by physically being at games some nights because conference games are played on the same night… but come tournament time, when the games are on different nights, they’re there cheering as hard as anyone else for the other group. I think it makes a huge difference.”

Why #KanyeForPresident Will Lead Us to a Stronger America

When a hashtag is trending on twitter, it can usually mean two things:

1. Something very serious is going on in our country, and people all around America are attempting to let the world know what they think about it.

2. Something hilarious just happened, and everyone wants to be a part of it.

This one probably falls closer to the second.

So while everyone was probably joking about making a famous rapper the leader of our country; there is one trend that the public can’t help but notice within today’s political society — unordinary candidates are starting to run for government positions.

Whether it be a famous rapper, a reality TV phenomenon, or Deez Nuts (seriously, look it up), the presidential race is not looking quite as traditional as it used to. In a world becoming more and more heavily influenced by pop culture, even serious topics — such as the race for presidency, are slowly evolving into a big joke.

So while a mature adult may think that this is a sign of a new generation of ignorant, immature citizens set to send our country to a political hell, I am taking a different perspective on the situation. According to census.gov, voters from the ages of 18-29 have never cracked higher than 20% of the total votes for presidency. Maybe some flash and comedy is what our country needs to finally get these young adults interested in the polls. With a majority of Kanye’s audience falling under the age of thirty, these people could be swayed to finally put their name on a ballot and visit the booths to vote their choice for President.

More voters to the polls means a presidential candidate will be chosen who better represents our nation’s entire population, rather than just the middle-aged voters who are most-commonly found electing our next leader. And while many new voters may be voting for the “Kanye” of any given year, the odds of any celebrity following in the footsteps of him will actually be elected as president are slim to none. There will still be a higher amount of votes put towards other candidates, provided by curious citizens who came into the voting world for some late-night entertainment, but came out as strong supporters of a presidential candidate.

So while Kanye West may or may not have been joking when announcing his run for presidency at the VMAs, I am being serious when saying that #KanyeForPresident may not be such a bad thing after all.

The Madness

What does it take to achieve perfection?

Millions of people all across the U.S. full out a March Madness bracket every year, yet this world has still yet to see the perfect one.

What causes this discrepancy? Bad match ups? Incorrect seeding by the so-called experts at ranking the teams against each other? If you were to ask a follower of the tournament, they would tell you that it’s the “magic”.

2014 was a prime example of the so-called Magic that is so-often coupled with the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. While first-seeded squads Wichita State and Florida were favored to win the whole tournament, seventh-seed UCONN took the prize, winning the championship over the even lower seeded #8 Kentucky.

While title runs as spectacular as these may not happen every year, it still puzzles the mind to wonder how such incredible feats are accomplished by such, for the lack of a better term, un-incredible teams.

As time goes on, these games become even more and more exciting. Historically, a 16 seed (the lowest possible ranking a team is able to receive in the tournament) has traditionally been blown out by their opponent 1 seeds, often by scores of over 20 points. In fact, a sixteen seed has never once beaten a one seed in the tournament, but that is likely to change in the near future. According to oddsshark.com, in 2014, the sixteenth seed beat the spread against the first seed in 3 of the 4 games played between them. This trend is evident in all games, not just the 1-16 games. In 2013, Florida Gulf Coast University became the first 15 seed to ever reach the sweet sixteen, after upsetting both #2 Georgetown and #7 San Diego State during its cinderella run to the third round of the tournament.

With all of these upsets that are seen so frequently in the annual NCAA Men’s tournament, the question begs to be asked… How do these teams pull it off?

I guess it must just be the magic.

What’s In a Number?

To an athlete, a jersey number can mean everything. What seems like something so meaningless; so small, can mean so much to a person. It can represent a hardship in the past, or portray who they want to be seen as in the future. A jersey number can mean anything and everything.

Personally, I have worn the number 1 on my back ever since I knew what a sport even was. The choice was passed down from my uncle, who played Minor League baseball within the Texas Rangers organization. Despite his incredible amount of hard work and effort, John Michael was never able to reach the Major Leagues a goal he had set ever since he was a kid.

I use this number to drive myself… To remind myself to never stop working at achieving what I want to achieve. To never let myself quit right before I can achieve my goals. Now I’m not saying that I plan on playing professionally in any sports, but the number 1 symbolizes so much for me, as small as it may seem.

Often when choosing a jersey number, it is about the personal hardships one has conquered throughout their career. Former NBA point guard Gilbert Arenas chose number 0 to recognize those hardships, and to represent himself overcoming them. According to Complex.com, “Agent Zero” chose number 0 to remind him of all the doubters who claimed that he would get 0 minutes of playing time when he got to the University of Arizona, where he ended up thriving, eventually earning himself an early second round draft pick and an extremely successful 13 year NBA career.

While some may believe that most players will choose a number simply because it looks cool, they are mistaken. Each and every athlete has their own story behind the number on their back, what’s yours?

We Want Varsity

Rec basketball is a beautiful thing. Whether you’re taking it seriously; perhaps working to make the school team next year, or simply looking to play some pickup basketball games messing around with your friends, the recreational sport is a fun experience for everybody.

While some teams seem like they didn’t know what the sport of basketball was until they stepped on the court for their first game, others play the complete opposite role. The Tune Squad is a rec basketball team built up of sophomores at Mason High School, and when they show up to a game, they come ready to ball. From draining threes to breaking ankles, this team is no joke.

Clocking in with a record of 8-1, the Tune Squad took home a division title last week with a win against Team Miller; 40-33. When asked about their only loss of the season, star shooting guard Caleb Davis claimed that they “won by about negative 20… we never lose”.

After spending a game watching the Tune Squad just inches away from their bench, there is no secret to why this team see so much success season after season. While most other teams are relaxing and taking water breaks during timeouts, the Tune Squad is drawing up plays, and discussing the strengths of weaknesses of their opponent. Rec basketball isn’t just a lighthearted game to this team, it’s the real deal.

While these players may not be drawing in offers from D-1 colleges or being placed on ESPN’s Top 100 list, basketball is something that these athletes take pride in. From the first whistle to the sound of the final buzzer, the Tune Squad plays their heart out, and leaves it all on the court.