Welcome to my blog!

Hello! This is my personal blog, where I discuss the latest things of interest within the world of sports. Sometimes it may be videogames, or even music. I love mass media, and one day I hope to write for a sports team, or who knows, maybe even create content for fans of various videogames! Community interaction is my path forward, and I hope you’ll follow me through it!

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NFL: Why is it’s popularity waning? 

If you look at the Facebook, or Twitter accounts of the NFL, you will notice something striking. Whenever they update the fandom about rule changes, or disciplinary action on players, the fans are seemingly negative towards the league. Why is that? I believe that the culture of football has declined in recent years. Multiple issues, many on the broadcast side are causing conflicts with the fandom. Here are a few:

Commercials

The NFL loves it’s partnerships, especially with Beer companies. Just watch a full game and count how many times there is a media break. Count how many times you see a beer commercial with the tag line, “Official beer of the NFL.” Fans do not want to be ripped from the game after a big play. They want to see what happens next. This is only an attempt to increase the length of football games, to keep their broadcast numbers high. It is a pain for us. 

Player discipline/Drug policy

This is a big one. Roger Goodell, the current NFL commissioner, has been criticized heavily for how discipline is handed out. For example, Martavis Bryant of the Steelers was suspended indefinitely for an entire year. This was for substance abuse, although it stemmed from multiple infractions. The issue here is that his ban was for marijuana, but someone like Adrian Peterson can be accused of domestic violence and can play again in the NFL. Peterson’s suspension was almost a slap on the wrist compared to the time Bryant missed. Not just that, but Roger Goodell’s view on marijuana is dated. The league has no problem shoving beer commercials down our throats. The painkillers that are given to players to reduce pain, are addictive. A lawsuit even came forward, according to The Washington Post. The NFL has many problems in this area. 

Officiating 

This is something that is complained about in probably every sport. In the NFL, it is very prevalent. Holding calls, are my number one pet peeve right now. What is considered holding seems to differ among officiating groups. Even though there is an official handbook, these guys don’t seem to follow it week to week. It depends on the situation, to the eyes of many fans. The league changed the rules a few years ago about what a defenseless player is. Now players can’t just react, they have to think about where to hit the running back, or wide receiver. Hit them too high, and it’s a 15 yard penalty. Some of those calls are very controversial and I’ve noticed at times over the 2016 season, that it affected the outcome of a game. Put the offense into field goal range, and the game is over. Then you see people on twitter pointing out that it was a legal hit. It is a mess. 
There are more issues with today’s NFL, but these issues have to be addressed soon, or we’ll continue to see the value of American football decline. That can only happen with a new perspective at the head of the league. Yes, it may be time for Roger Goodell to step down. 

College sports is a business: Why aren’t athletes being properly compensated? 

Every once in a while, the same argument resurfaces concerning collegiate sports. It is heard mostly concerning basketball and football players, but the same issue is probably present in other sports too. It is whether to pay college athletes for their contributions to colleges. This is not just about bringing a national championship to their university, it is about contributing to its financial success. 

The athletes have argued that the NCAA exploits them by using their likeness for profit. This actually has lots of merit because according to Deadspin,  former athletes sued the NCAA for using their likeness. They were awarded a sum of money but it continues to show us the issues surrounding collegiate sports. The NCAA can get away with profiting off its players but they're not eligible to at least be compensated for it. 

The biggest criticism against this, is that athletes are being rewarded in a scholarship. Now that is true, but there's a lot more athletes have to worry about. How about gas? How are they going to travel across town, or get to campus if they live in an apartment further away? How about food? Some schools encourage students to move off campus when they become upperclassmen, to free up space for the new freshman class. They may lose access to campus resources like meal plans, or etc. How about buying new clothes, lotion, toothbrushes, just everyday living items? The school is not going to always provide those things. 

I mean, the University of Texas just spent $10,000 on new lockers. Yes, they did! You think that is a lot? Guess what? Last year, according to ESPN, the NCAA inked a new deal with CBS that will make them a billion a year! Broadcasting players, using them on posters, and their teams as a brand. 
Maybe this is why the one and done basketball players are leaving for the NBA. If not the reason, it contributes to it. Or why many underclass football players declare for the NFL draft. Why stay and struggle to pay your rent at school, when you can make a lot of money after your signing bonus? 

Until serious discussions are had about this, the NCAA will continue to have a disconnect with its athletes. A living stipend seems to be the least they can do. 

My thoughts on Logic’s album, “Everybody.” 

Logic is one of the hardest working young artists in the hip hop/rap genre right now. The Maryland rapper, has taken his time coming up from popular mixtapes like Young, Broke, and Famous and Welcome to Forever.  

Fast forward to 2017, and he is now on his third album. Coming off Under Pressure and The incredible true story, the bar was set high for a new project. Everybody, which was an album with very personal concepts to Logic. He’s a guy that’s been at the center of racial talk much of his life. Being biracial, but he states that most people wouldn’t know it because of his complexion. This drives a lot of his music, trying to preach understanding between people. 

Everybody, is sometimes a misfire. The issue with the album, is in its repetition. Logic talks a lot about racial issues between white and black people in America, mostly on how he was looked at growing up. Multiple songs tackle the same issue slightly differently. It also is not deep enough for the subjects it tackles. Songs like Everybody have been hit with criticisms of being surface level. He presents these issues, but only at their base. Logic talks about this album being for everybody, but the themes are limited to a few perspectives, understandably the ones in his blood. It sort of does a disservice to his point though. 

Another point against it is that there’s a large inconsistency. Ink Blot features Juicy J, just two songs before 1-800-273-8255, a song shedding light on suicide. Juicy J’s last few bars totally clash against that messsage. Telling someone to kill themselves, even jokingly when Logic wants to treat that message with proper care, does a disservice. He also has said that this album is him rapping from other perspectives, but there’s too much of his own experiences in it. 

Logic also hits on politics a few times through the album, mostly in America.  Hits on Donald Trump, and even the Flint water crisis but these are only that, mentions. It seems to be those bars were there to fill out the song and make it more conscious? He fails to dive deeper and explore the systemic issues of race in America. 

Even with those issues, you can’t knock on Logic for trying to make something deeper than just “fun rap.” He does care about the craft, and he cares to make a difference in the lives of his fans. That’s why his songs on this album are concepts of everyday life, that he relates to. Black SpiderMan is a song with very nice production. By the way, this album is produced beautifully, something that’s been getting better with his albums. Logic talks about being misunderstood, just wanting to live without having to choose an identity. Even if it comes off as being preachy, he has a great heart and wants to be known for more than just stereotypical club rap. 

All in all, Everybody is a flawed album, but a personal one that oozes emotion. It didn’t help that this album came off Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN, but its a solid compliment to it. 

Tennessee Titans draft: a bit too much?

Being from Tennessee, I guess it is natural to be an avid fan of the Titans football team. After a few years of tough seasons that ended with the selection of Marcus Mariota in 2015, the future is bright for the franchise. Today, I want to briefly touch on the Titans’ draft that took place last weekend.  Why I believe that General Manager Jon Robinson swung a little too hard in the direction of the offense. 
First, I have no problem with the Titans’ first round pick, Corey Davis. This guy is a physical wide receiver that can break the big play anytime he touches the ball. The team’s primary target last year was Rishard Matthews who had a good year with the team but kind of struggled against superior cornerbacks. 

The pick that I am curious about, is Adoree’ Jackson. My team needs secondary help badly, but I thought it was a reach for this player. Why? Jackson is only 5ft 10 inches. There was another player selected with the first pick of the second round out of the University of Washington, Kevin King. He’s at 6ft 3 inches. That is where the NFL is headed for defensive backs. With offensive players getting freakishly more athletic every year, already being above 6 ft tall, defensive backs are getting picked on. My other issue is that Adoree’ Jackson split his time on special teams and some offense while at USC. He’s not polished like Kevin King is at the position. 

My last concern, was picking another wide receiver in the 3rd round when the team had a need at linebacker. I understand wanting to upgrade the position since our passing offense was ranked at 25th, according to NFL.com. Taywan Taylor is fast, and can help make plays after the catch, but defense was arguably a bigger need. We didn’t address the position until the 5th round, going with an undersized player at 6ft tall. 

It grinds my gears, because Willis Jordan was still on the board in the third round. He’s been talked about as being possibly the most complete linebacker in the draft, at 6ft 4 inches. He can play multiple positions, and can use his height to compete with Tight Ends. Being tall helps linebackers swat down passes. We needed help there, because this team was ranked 20th(out of 32 teams) in total defense, giving up 4,307 passing yards during 2016, according to NFL.com

You can’t score more than the opponent, if you don’t get a least a few defensive stops. 

Devaluation of NFL Quarterbacks? 

The first round of the NFL draft happened on April 27th, and it was full of the same old strategies employed by teams. This is in evaluating quarterbacks. Teams see the position as a supply vs demand type of thing. Get a quarterback at all costs, and if it doesn’t work out, just draft another one next year. 

The issue with this strategy is that this year’s quarterback class has no definitive leader. No single prospect that is a sure fire top draft pick. All of them have multiple questions and red flags that would make any sane fan skip on picking one. For example, Mitchell Trubisky has only started 13 games in his college career. 13 Games! He was selected by the Chicago Bears at pick number 2. For a quarterback that is alarming because the sample size in building his resume is so small. The reason this is bad is because many teams view one year starters who’ve had a good year, as “one year wonders.” Patrick Mahomes was the second quarterback selected, at pick number 10 by the Kansas City Chiefs. He has questions about being able to run a pro style system. 

It’s always alarming to me when prospects come from offenses that are “air it out.” They rarely make reads at the line of scrimmage, and they only operate out of the shotgun.  Deshaun Watson was chosen at pick number 12, by the Texans and he arguably was the best of this group. His questions are in decision making and maybe running a simplified college offense. Has the value of the biggest position in football been devalued? Where it isn’t about having a polished prospect, moreso a team needs a quarterback to the point that they’re willing to overlook the red flags? Many players have potential to be great, but in a year where there is no definitive top prospect, are general managers willing to risk their jobs over it? 

It seems so. 

Horizon Zero Dawn: More than just a videogame. 

Some of you may have played Sony Interactive Entertainment’s most recent PlayStation 4 exclusive, Horizon Zero Dawn. For those that haven’t, it is an open world action RPG created by games studio, Guerrilla Games. At first look, it may seem like your average post apocalyptic story. That is just on the surface level, but it offers so much more. This is in the lessons it tries to get across during the 20 hours I spent on the story.

It revolves around a young girl named Aloy, of a tribe called the Nora. The world that she lives in is full of ruins of a previous civilization, and the creatures that live in it, are machines.  The journey that this woman takes is centered around the search for her mother, and her origins. She was left as a baby in one of the ruins of what the current society call, “The Metal World.” Why was she left alone? Who is her mother? Those questions drive her, because the tribe that took her in casted her out because they believed her appearance to be a sign. Let’s just say it was not a good one. The Nora are deeply religious, and they believe the ruins of the old ones to be cursed, and their society revolves around a deity called  “All Mother.” Aloy is left to be cared for by another outcast called Rost. Zero Dawn explores how less advanced societies interact with the world. The problems with them being so blind to their own religion that they cannot accept any truth other than what their religion tells them. The people of the Nora treated Aloy like crap growing up, not speaking to her, shunning her. This drove some of her anger towards them, and why she needed to find out her origins very badly.

Aloy’s journey takes her to ruins of the Metal World, where she starts making discoveries about the old civilization. Let’s just say those discoveries are shocking. Anyway, one place she goes is to a city called Meridian which has an interesting backstory of its own. The previous ruler, King Jiran, carried out attacks on other tribes in horizon’s world for many years. The reason for this was shocking. I won’t spoil the story, but it was so that these sacrifices would be made for his people, the Carja’s god. He believed that it would bring them favor, but it only brought pain and anger towards the Carja. This is another example of Horizon exploring religious zealotry. Treating human beings like garbage, and violent acts all in the name of something they do not understand. The game attempts to say that knowledge is key, it is not a curse. It is better to understand the world and how it works. Aloy’s journey is proof that the problems can only go away unless they are truly understood.

It is a very important lesson indeed.