Category Archives: Life

Why Sports Are More Than Just a Game

I take sports very seriously. It might be my competitive edge, my love of competition, did I mention competition? It’s just fun. I gotta win, you know?

My friends and family ask me to calm down, tell me getting upset over it isn’t worth it. I know they mean well, that they’re only looking out for my well-being, but sometimes, that’s simply not the case, because sports are more than just a game.

Sports can break barriers before society fully embraces them, like the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson did with the color barrier long before the Civil Rights Movement, the same way sports are accepting gay athletes before gay rights are cemented as more than a concept.

They establish and develop community, helping cities with diverse populations come together on common ground.

When tragedies occur, people look for guidance, for hope, and for change. Sometimes it occurs in political action, relief efforts and public service. Other times, sports rise to the occasion.

On a day that will never be forgotten, September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center Towers were destroyed and over 3,000 Americans lost their lives. The following January, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl. Is it a play on words? Yes, yes it is, but the effect was their, because we all could believe.

After the New England area was tortured by the Sandy Hook Massacre and Boston Marathon bombings, the Boston Red Sox went on to win the World Series after many expected them to be the cellar dwellers in the AL East.

Surely we can’t forget about the Japanese women’s soccer team that won the 2011 World Cup over the U.S. after a magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami tore through Japan, taking the lives of more than 18,000 and displacing hundreds of thousands from their homes.

Finally, and in my opinion, without question, the most momentous sporting event to ever occur in the history of sports, the Miracle on Ice lifted a nation. The economy in shambles and the U.S.S.R dominating the world in every facet, all hope in the future seemed lost and irrational for many American families.  That fateful 1980 Olympics showed the world and the U.S. that there is always hope. If you haven’t watched the film Miracle, you really should. I’ve posted a link to my review here. The final monologue of the film, given by Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks, reads: “…Young men willing to sacrifice so much of themselves, all for an unknown. A few years later, the U.S. began using professional athletes at the Games- ‘Dream Teams’. I always found that term ironic because now that we have Dream Teams, we seldom ever get to dream. But on one weekend, as America and the world watched, a group of remarkable young men gave the nation what it needed most- a chance, for one night, not only to dream, but a chance, once again, to believe.”

It’s a moment I wish I could go back and see, but I suppose a recording of the game will have to do.

Keep this in mind the next time you watch a sporting event. Some athletes only play for the paychecks, but many play for something greater, something bigger than they could ever be. And that, my friends, is worth watching.

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The Future

We all worry about what the future has in store for us. A Bible verse that I’ve memorized that helps me some days is Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

While that instills confidence in me

It’s not the answer I’d like it to be.

The future doesn’t complete the question that determines my behavior.

It doesn’t say if I’ll be a success or a failure.

It doesn’t tell me the paths to take

Friends to make

Decisions to choose

Or lives to lose.

It gives me doubts.

Gets me into bouts

Of depression and I feel unready.

I feel blind and unsteady.

The tunnel I’m in is narrow and long.

It’s seems unfair, wrong.

It’s so long I can’t see the light at the end.

There’s no way to tell how far I’ve gotten. There are no bends.

My internal compass is misguided

and I’m not at all delighted.

I’m panicked and scared,

Feel insecure and unprepared.

However, I take solace in the fact

That there are breaks in the tunnel that’s so compact.

Those breaks are filled with times with friends

And family, times I wish I could suspend

And hold on to a little while longer,

But I can’t and it makes me somber.

I’d like to be in control

And not feel like such a fool,

But I know the trials and tribulations

Are worth living the “life simulation.”

In a way, it’s nice not knowing how it’s going to turn out

Because that means your future isn’t sold out.

It’s not predetermined

And I’ve still got time for learning.

Learning how to live life the right way

And how to do it all day.

I’ve still got time to see the wonders of the world,

The seven seen and the ones yet unfurled

The ones close to home

And others closer to Rome.

You only live once

And I know I’m not going to look like a dunce

Doing it.

I’m going to look like a master at it.

I’m going to be the man I wanna be,

And I’m going to be that man with those special to me

And all the strangers that walk by

On the off-chance that I make a difference in them aside from a sigh.

I might not have the control I want over my life

Over the toils and strife

But I’ve still got some control of it

And you can bet your last paycheck I’m going to take advantage of every bit.

The ability to choose and to live is so underrated.

People don’t realize what a gift that is and how unappreciated

It is by some

And how dumb

that is. Live in the now.

Don’t ask how.

Moments are driving.

Get doing, get living, get loving and high-fiving.

Live with no regrets

Because if you can do that

Then it doesn’t matter what your future holds

Because you already know you lived your life to the fullest

And you wouldn’t have done it any other way.

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The Rules of Life

Spring break is now officially over and if you recall I promised I would start writing a life post weekly and I have declared Sunday to be the day. However, due to a lack of time yesterday, my life post comes today. My sincerest apologizes.

I had a conversation with a friend recently. It began when I heard the story of the Duke porn star on the Philip DeFranco show on YouTube. If you have never watched the Philip DeFranco show, he’s a guy who talks about the news that mattered to him on each day and I find him to be entertaining in his presentation of the news and how he highlights the stories that truly matter. I’d strongly suggest checking him out.

At the end of the video, DeFranco posed a question to his audience: What is your opinion of the Duke porn star and should she be allowed to do porn to pay for school?

I commented that if she was my daughter I would be very upset but at the same time I don’t know what her situation is or what her life is like. However, I did feel there was an easy solution to her problem: don’t attend a $60,000 a year school if you can’t afford it.

I turned to my friend and asked his opinion on the story. His response: I don’t care.

Among the many combinations of words that we are gifted with, the phrase “I don’t care” is probably the one that I hate the most. The phrase “I don’t care” says it doesn’t affect me directly so why should I be concerned with it. It’s not about me, it doesn’t focus on me and therefore it must not be worth my time. It’s a phrase that paints a picture of pure selfishness and arrogance, someone who doesn’t care about anything except himself, and those are the type of people that I can’t stand.

Was my friend trying to paint such a picture? Of course not, it just came out, but to say you don’t care irritates me. There are some things that aren’t worth caring about. I understand that. However, most of the time the phrase is used in regards to something that matters not just to me, but plenty of other people.

So, I pressured my friend, saying that he must have some sort of opinion on the story. He answered, “Well, it’s legal so I guess I’m okay with it.”

I didn’t like his answer, not because his answer was what it was, but the reasoning he gave for it.

“Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. Does that mean you’re okay with the Westboro Baptist Church, too?” I said.

“Freedom of speech, so yeah.”

“What about racism? There’s no law against that. I guess you’re okay with that, too.”

“I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

The conversation ended there and afterwards I admit I was quite frustrated. It wasn’t because my friend and I couldn’t see eye to eye. It was because of the reasoning he partook in. His backing for every answer that he gave was what the law says is right and wrong. From his perspective, if the law says it’s wrong, then it must be wrong and if the law doesn’t say anything about it then it must be acceptable.

Is that the way laws are supposed to work? Yes. However, when our congressman and representatives draw up legislation, it is not because they are the highest authority and are far wiser than us. It’s because they got voted in.

Laws are meant to be a visual framework of morality. Morality is subjective and isn’t the same for every person and recognizing this, governments attempt to make a universal morality that a majority can agree is right and good, but as I said, morality is subjective.

There are plenty of examples of history where legal proceedings fought against the moral right. The Civil Rights Movement is a prime example. Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed for protesting racial injustice. Does that mean he was in the wrong? I would hope most would say King was in the right.

On the other side of the fence, we have the Westboro Baptist Church, a group of people who hide behind a religious book that preaches peace and love and twist its meaning so that it benefits their demeaning purpose of breeding hate in people and showing hate to all who are unlike them. Picketing a soldier’s funeral: What is right about that?! What on God’s green Earth says, “this is acceptable” aside from a stupid piece of parchment?! When the freedom of speech was written into the Constitution, this is not what the founding fathers meant by this. Any sensible person can see that.

Some rules are necessary and most are acceptable, but if you’re living your life according to another person’s limitations, then what’s the point of living, or better yet, being a good person, aside from the fact that the men upstairs won’t have to discipline you for your actions? Your conscience, beliefs and experiences are what should be making your decisions and your opinions, not lawmakers. If you’re letting lawmakers make your decisions and opinions, then you’re just a cog in the machine, a pawn in a game of chess, expendable and of little value. And with all due respect, if you’re living life this way, you’re not living it right.

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An 8-year-old hero

On January 24, I was doing my prep work before going on-air for my radio shift. Looking through the top news sites such as NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, even Google, I found nothing that stood out to me as something worth talking about. I was tired of talking about the ongoing war in Syria that has not made any progress. I was tired of talking about celebrities doing stupid things again and again such as Bieber’s recent arrest.

I was ready to give up altogether until I found this story. A story of an 8-year-old who, on Martin Luther King Day, decided to stay at his grandfather’s trailer in a suburb of Rochester.

According to an article by NBC, “the trailer caught fire about 4:45 a.m., most likely because of an electrical problem. Tyler Doohan went through the trailer and was able to wake six people-including two other kids, ages 4 and 6-who all made it out alive. But then Tyler went back in to try to help his uncle Steven Smith, who used a wheelchair because he’d lost part of his leg.”

Sadly, Tyler never made it out.

“His mother said she’d always made it a point to teach her son to be brave.

‘If anybody ever picked on him, he would come home and cry about it and I would tell him ‘It’s all right-they’re just jealous of you.’ He just wanted friends. He would never fight back.’

By Wednesday evening, almost 1,000 people had contributed to a fund to pay for Tyler’s funeral, many of whom left heartfelt messages.

‘Tyler-you are a hero in every sense,’ one wrote. ‘May your selfless act of true love be inspirational for all, and may it and the wonderful way you lived your way too short life provide some solace to your family at this profound time of sadness.”

It’s a sad story, one that few want to read, just because it’s so tragic. However, at the same time, Tyler’s story gives us life. His sacrifice is one to be admired, honored, and remembered. When I was eight, I know I wasn’t saving people from burning homes. I was playing with action figures or playing Mario Kart.

The truth is that Tyler, an 8-year-old boy, had already discovered what it meant to be a man.  He exhibited more character and more bravery than many will exhibit their entire lives.

While painful, Tyler’s story is one I will remember because it shows there is hope left in humanity, that there is still good left in the world and like Sam says in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, “it’s worth fighting for.”

Something tells me that Tyler was smarter than his years. While we’ll never know for certain, something tells me he believed in something similar to Sam. I wish I could have met Tyler. I wish I could have asked him why he did what he did, what was going through his mind. Most of all, I wish I could have known him, because had I, I would have known a side of Jesus Christ, for what can one do that is more selfless than risking one’s life for another?

Tyler did what no adult there was willing to do and for that he deserves to be remembered. It’s a shame I had to search through the internet for a half hour to find this story, because to me and to all like me, this was the only story that truly mattered. God Bless Tyler Doohan and those like him.

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Looking Back

I turned 20 in October and a couple of weeks ago something hit me: I may have lived a fourth of my life already. It’s scary because it means that life is going to change. I’m going to have to get a job and I won’t have a lot of spare time on my hands. Life is about to take me on a new journey, one that requires me to leave something that I have treasured all my life: childhood.

I’m going to miss the times when I could go to school and come home and throw football, shoot hoops, and play video games.

I’m going to miss the times when my brother and I “made” our own video company, Neral Productions, and we made the funniest videos, whether it be making funny faces and noises, or commentating while we were gaming. We made commercials, movie trailers, and war reenactments.

I’m going to miss the times when we made our own TV show, The Huntman. I remember we went to the nearby thrift store and bought army jackets for the show. We never wrote anything down. We had no scripts. We just said, “Camera! Action!” and went with it. One of us would put on our army jacket and carry around our cap-gun rifle and pistol. We looked up cryptozoology, the study of mythological creatures, on the internet, looking for what we were going to “hunt” next and also remembering key facts to share with our “audience” on the show.

I’ll remember the time when we found an old ATV trail and followed it for hours, looking for new locations to film. Eventually we came to a street we had never seen before and discovered we had just gone in a huge circle.

I’ll remember the times when we went to the church parking lot near our house to play hockey, one of us flailing in front of the net trying to make save after save, the other wristing shot after shot and the ball refusing to go in, us both dying of laughter all the while just because of the pure stupidity and hilarity of it.

I’ll remember the times when we threw football together, I myself making some sick throws and my brother making these ridiculous catches, us joking that we should set up a camera to capture our practice sessions and send them in to the high school coach.

I’ll remember the times when my dad would take my brother and I to hit baseballs and the two of us would have our own home run derby where a home run was if the ball landed past the infield dirt.

I’ll remember the time when we got a GameCube and I put in MLB Slugfest 2003. My dad had not gotten the chance to play it yet although I had. I told him all the basic controls and we started playing. When my dad got his first single and got to first base, I started punching his player in the face because in this game you could do that. Somehow I had forgotten to mention that part and my dad started howling, the hardest I’ve ever seen him laugh in my entire life, turning the reddest shade of red a human can turn without being a ginger.

I’ll remember all the things that my mom did for me, taking me to speech therapy and specialists to help with my early development issues. I’ll remember all the help she gave me with my homework through elementary school, all that she taught me about life and the advice she gave and continues to give, all the lunches she packed for me and most of all, the genuine care, kindness, and love she showed me every day of my life even when I didn’t deserve it.

If I have one regret, it’s that I couldn’t live it all again. My brother and I found some of the Huntman episodes and watched a few and got bored with them pretty quick. “Wow, these aren’t nearly as good as I remember them being,” I said. Then a thought struck me. It wasn’t about how good they were. It was about the fun we had making them.

While I’ll have to say goodbye to my younger self and I do so unwillingly, I take comfort in the fact that I will see him again and that the people that were a part of it are still with me today. I know I will see him again, because it only takes one second to come up with an illogical, uneducated, and stupid-in-all-senses-of-the-word idea, to relive it.

That and a video camera.

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One of Life’s Obstacles

Life can be kind and life can be cruel. It can reward us and punish us, raise us up and beat us down. As a natural pessimist, I tend to have trouble looking at the positives but have gotten better at doing so over the past few years. Obstacles will constantly get in our way. Some are avoidable and others are not and the one I’d like to talk about today is one that’s not.

In seventh grade, I was in a print design class and we had to make a print, one that we would copy onto a notepad. I didn’t have a lot of time to think of what to put on it, so I decided to put a hockey goalie in front of a net and in front of him put the words “Sports are Life.” As you can probably guess, I love sports and even though the statement is most certainly not true, sports meant and still mean a lot to me. I’m a competitive person who loves to play sports. I played soccer for three and a half years and I played deck hockey for three. While baseball’s not my cup of tea, I’ll still play it if given the opportunity. Football is a lot of fun and basketball is a good workout. I’ll play most sports, except for frisbee, because I’m just horrible at it.

Despite my love of sports, I was always the last pick in recess or in pick-up games during gym. At 5’3″ and 110 pounds, I understood why. However, I had something that a lot of kids that played didn’t have: heart and a will to win. Despite that, all anyone could see was a short scrawny kid with glasses. Everyone assumes that if you wear glasses then you can’t play sports and can’t have any athletic qualities. Eric Dickerson, who has the record for most rushing yards in a single season, wore glasses, as did NBA points leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at one point in his career.

Football was played at recess during elementary school and every time I was the last pick. I was lucky if I got the ball thrown to me one time the entire game and even if I made a good play on defense, that didn’t change anything. I ran a route, the ball went to the other side of the field. That’s just how it went.

A feeling of disappointment usually followed me after every recess, knowing I was never good enough to get thrown to. This reminds me of the movie Rudy. Now I only saw it once and I wasn’t that wild about it. Maybe if I watched it again I would feel differently about it. However, the message of the movie could not have been anymore clear-cut. That message was everyone deserves a chance, and not just a chance, but a fair chance.

I never got one of those today when I played football with a couple of guys on my dorm floor. I was open across the middle on at least five different occasions and the quarterback even made eye contact with me a couple of times. He saw I was open, but decided not to throw it to me, because I’m me. (I’m 6’1″ and 150 pounds now, but I’m still considered the same cornstalk) The ball went to the same three people for most of the game on our team which is why we got crushed 10-5. The other team knew how to spread the ball around, even to those that weren’t as athletic as others. By the end of the game, everyone had gotten the ball except for one person: me. I may be used to the feeling, of what it feels like to be left out, ignored and excluded, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it nor will I. The sting of non-acceptance will always be there, no matter how old you are. Plenty of people will look down on you as the nerdy, scrawny kid with the cornstalk figure, not as the person you really are, not as the person with the heart of a lion, or as the kid who refuses to give up, because that would require looking past the outside and looking into who you really are and if you don’t have cool looks then you can’t be cool right? You must be a lame person if you don’t have the face of a celebrity or the looks of Ryan Reynolds or whoever ladies find attractive, right?

It’s a shame people couldn’t learn from the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” when they were little. I know I had that lesson shoved down my throat by the tv show Thomas the Tank Engine when I was a kid and it wasn’t a lesson that was hard to learn. It just seemed polite and politically correct. Treat others as you would like to be treated, etc. You would think that people would be able to learn from simple lessons like these, but apparently nobody when they were kids listened to anything their parents said to them. I mean I didn’t believe everything my parents told me or followed all the rules that they created, but you can bet that I listened to them. If my parents were talking to me I was listening, one because it’s polite and respectful, two things that the children of this generation don’t seem to have, and two, because I cared what they said to me, as every child should.

Whether it’s because of poor parental guidance or just crappy people, being judged by outward appearance as well as being judged unjustly is not fun nor right. It would be nice if people could just get to know other people as people, get to know them by who they are rather than feel like they already know them based on what they look like.

As for overcoming this obstacle, I don’t think everyone can. I’m 20 years old. I’ve probably lived a fourth of my life already and I’m still getting categorized. All you can do is keep striving, keep battling, and keep fighting because on the off-chance that fair chance that everyone deserves does come by, you’re going to want to be ready for it so you can excel in front of the eyes of all the doubters, to show you’re just as special as everyone else.

 

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Three Everyday Heroes

In one of my past posts, Two Important WordsofWistim, I said that something people need to do is think about people other than themselves and pay it forward.

In the news in the past couple days, there have been three instances where three people did something extraordinary.

First, near my hometown of Pittsburgh, there was a bank  robbery. A civilian named Vincent Kelley saw what happened, chased down the getaway car and jumped in the back seat of the car to try to stop the culprit. He was shot and later died in a hospital. A link to the full story here.

Earlier today, I saw a story on fox news in which a Chicago pizza owner named Giovanni Donancricchia confronted an armed assailant so that his wife could get away safely. Sadly,this man also lost his life. A link to that story here.

Finally, a man named Michael Patterson was at a creek spending time with his nine-year-old son when a strong current overtook a four-year-old nearby. Patterson heard the cries for help and dove into the creek to save the child. In the process, he gravely injured himself and is currently in intensive care. Patterson also saved a man from a car wreck two weeks ago. In addition, Patterson is receiving global support in the form of letters of encouragement and donations to pay for his medical bills because he doesn’t have health insurance. Links to this story here and here.

These three people: Vincent Kelley, Giovanni Donancricchia, and Michael Patterson, are all heroes in my eyes. They did something that required true bravery and selflessness and for that I applaud them and pray for their families. These three people are a reminder that there are still good people in this world who are willing to put their lives on the line for the good of others. It took a lot of courage to do what they did, and I only hope that if I’m given the opportunity, that I can be as brave and courageous as they were. God Bless Vincent Kelley, Giovanni Donancricchia, and Michael Patterson.

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Two Important WordsofWisTIM

I work at a grocery store during the summer so I can pay my college expenses. Being a cashier in itself is not a particularly fun job, but some of the people that you meet and some of the things you see do make you smile.

Today there was an old lady, probably in her eighties, who seemed awfully frail and had trouble putting her groceries on the conveyor belt. A lady who had planned to come through my line paused a minute, the information that an old lady who couldn’t get her groceries on a belt would take too long slowly reaching her brain. Now, most people see that and walk to the next available register because they’re in a hurry to do something. They’re usually very important things, like “get home and watch TV”, “get my car washed” or “get home to sit down”.

Sadly, this shows how much our society has become one that stays in fourth gear, whether it be actual driving or grocery shopping. With the latest technologies making everything faster and more accessible, people have become used to getting what they want when they want it without waiting. Only a few hours ago, I was complaining to my brother about how my internet connection was slow today because my espn homepage didn’t come up ten seconds after I clicked it. This coming from the person whose home computer at 13 was a Windows ’97. That thing was slow as snails and waiting five minutes for anything to happen, and I’m not exaggerating, actually five minutes, taught me the true virtue of patience. I still have that virtue (Thank God…no, seriously, I thank Him every day), but I do think that I have lost a little bit of it because of the technological fast-speed world we live in today. Looking back, I used to get a kick out of those Comcast Slowskys’ commercials, because they were always talking about how they didn’t want things to go faster, and sometimes, I think maybe that would be for the better.

Anyway, back to the story. So, naturally I expected this younger lady to start walking to the next register, ignoring this older lady’s obvious predicament, because no one these days seems to ever care about anyone other than themselves. To my surprise, this lady asked the elder if she needed help, put down her own stuff, and started moving the old lady’s stuff onto the conveyor belt, something that made me smile. People don’t do this enough, which brings me to my first WordsofWisTIM:

1) Do something nice for someone else.

Look to better someone other than yourself. Pay it Forward. If you don’t know what “pay if forward” means, I strongly suggest you look it up, or click on the link I provide here. Pay it Forward is also a great movie by the way if you haven’t seen it. You can see a trailer for it if you’re interested here.

Now the second part of this story occurred late this afternoon, when, like I normally do, I asked a customer if they were having a good day. The man, bald, chubby, and in his forties, replied “fine” in a nasally voice. Some of my friends have jokingly said that I have a nasally voice, and so I have received the nickname “Squidward”. I didn’t know if he was making fun of my voice or not, so I decided to let it go. After I finished bagging his groceries and handing him his receipt with my customary, “Have a nice day”, he replied “Thanks, fruit”, and walked away.

Now, regardless of what side you are on in regards to the gay marriage debate, calling someone a fruit has no benefits at all. That made me very angry and the only reason I didn’t a) jump over the counter and start pounding on him or b) start an expletive-filled tirade, was because I was so shocked by what I had just heard. It was uncalled for. I had done nothing that offended him or anything, nothing wrong in the slightest, but I was made a mockery in my own workplace. This brings me to my second WordsofWisTIM:

2) Don’t be “that guy”.

If your goal in life is to do things like this, please feel free to move to Canada, Mexico, or if possible, another planet. No one wants you, “that guy”, around where they live, work, or hang out. They don’t want to be associated with you nor have to deal with you on a regular basis. If there were less of “you people” in the world, it would be a better place.

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Congress Urges Redskins to Change Name

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington.

On many occasions, people have asked me why I hate Congress. Why people would ask this in general, I don’t know. There are so many reasons why people hate Congress that I suppose they just want to see which one I choose. I can just picture a game show announcer saying,

“Will it be

a) because Congress struggles to perform one of their most important responsibilities each year, that being to pass a budget

b) because they fail to represent the people they serve

c) because they vote against legislation that the majority of the public is in favor of

d) because they accomplish nothing

or e) all of the above ?”

Among all these, I would like to add that Congress doing stupid stuff in general should probably be an option, but when I say that to people, they ask me, “What do you mean?” and “Can you give me an example?” Most of the time, I’m not able to come up with one off the top of my head, but thanks to Congress, I’ll have one to talk about for a long time.

As reported by espn.com, ten members of Congress are urging the Redskins to change their name because it is offensive to Native Americans. Congress can’t pass a budget, pass basic gun control laws, fix the economy, or get out of overseas wars, but you can bet they are capable of writing a letter to Redskins owner Dan Snyder demanding he change the name. Honestly one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of. There are more important things then playing the race card on a football team, Congress. Perhaps you should take another look at out financial debt, unemployment rate, import/export ratio, health care, education, and I don’t know, maybe things that actually affect the American public. Native Americans are practically if not entirely extinct as a race, so forgive me if I sound insensitive, but unless you want the whole country starving again like you guys did on the Trail of Tears, I’d suggest you write a letter to your congress members telling them to shut the hell up.

Something else that really bothered me about this was that one of the leaders that wrote this letter, Tom Cole, is a representative from the state of Oklahoma, which is where that horrible tornado ruled through. Well, Moore, Oklahoma happens to be in his district! So instead of putting all of his time and effort into relief efforts for all of the people that have lost their homes, if not friends and family members, he’s writing a letter to Dan Snyder saying that “Redskins is offensive”.

There are so many things that I would like to say here, but as someone who hopes to be a journalist someday, I have to keep my expletives to a minimum. What I will say is this:

1) Tom Cole, you should be ashamed of yourself, not just as a representative but as a human being

2) I’m about this close < from praying every day that you get voted out of office and maybe on the way out you can slap all the tornado survivors in the face since you’ve basically done that through your actions

3) Dan Snyder, do one good thing in your life and keep the name the same

Anyone who thinks Congress is doing a great job needs a serious reality check people. Seriously people. I think our high school graduates could do as good a job.

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My Last Night of Freshman Year at Waynesburg University

So on Thursday night, my friends Austin, Matt, his roommate John, and I were all supposed to get together and play Call of Duty Black Ops 2 zombies for a few hours. I have gotten really good at the game throughout the year. An average score is probably about 50,000 points, 500 kills and to get to round 18. My high score is 172,940 points, 1,444 kills, and round 31. Needless to say, I’m pretty good and was looking forward to it.

Well, I got out of my last final at about 7:30, and found Austin and Matt with the Xbox set up in the main floor lounge watching YouTube videos. I asked what the plan was and Austin said that we were probably going to play around 9. Then John’s car broke down and Austin had to go pick him up. Austin told me to watch the Xbox, as in make sure no one took it. I said okay and asked if the Call of Duty disc was in it, and Austin said no, his roommate Cody had taken it home, only then realizing that Cody had taken the Call of Duty disc, and that therefore we had no disc to play the game. Austin went to get John while I watched Castle on tv, because it was the only thing on. Matt came back and said his roommate, John, had Call of Duty for the ps3, so they were going to try and find two more ps3 controllers so that all four of us could play. He then said he and Austin were going to the woods to burn some stuff and asked if I wanted to come along. Matt had been involved in a long distance relationship for a while that didn’t end up working out, so he wanted to burn the love letters he had received from her, and Austin wanted to burn his calculus notes. John wasn’t going to be able to go because he was worrying about getting his car fixed. I thought about it for a couple of seconds and then decided not to go. Matt left to get Austin and leave. I thought about it for a couple more minutes, thought about all the times Mom and Dad had pressured me to spend time with friends. I also thought about the stereotypical image of a bunch of guys circled around a campfire. Thinking of these two things, I turned off the tv and headed outside to tag along. Man, I wish I hadn’t done so.

So Matt had gone to this one wood clearing before with his roommate and one of his other friends and decided that that would be a good place to build this small campfire. So Austin drove us to the area and we began to climb to this clearing. What my friend Matt failed to mention was that this clearing could be reached only after ascending a hill with a 40 degree slope. Eventually we reached the clearing and burned everything and by the time we were done, it was probably around 8:45, so it was getting dark. Looking down the hill, I said that getting down would not be fun, but Matt said it shouldn’t be too bad. Needless to say, Matt was wrong. Austin and I had worn shorts and our best pair of shoes, and Austin’s were one of those $150 stylish pairs that had zero tread on them. Austin and I did a lot of falling. About half way down, I checked my pockets to make sure that my wallet and phone were still in there, because stuff is coming out of my pockets all the time, so I’ve gotten in the habit of checking them quite often. I was going to tell Matt and Austin to do the same, but for some reason, elected not to. In 15 minutes, I was going to regret that decision as well, for when we were nearly to the bottom, Matt mentioned to Austin to remember that he had Austin’s room key in his zippered back pocket. Austin’s reaction was to check his own pockets for his valuables, only to find his car keys weren’t there, the car keys to his brand new 2013 Subaru Forester.

Luckily, Austin had a spare key, a key which he had wisely chosen to bring with him to school and keep in his room. However, Austin had kept a sentimental object on that keychain from a camp that he had attended, one he was not interested in losing. The keychain was also green, which even if it was daylight, wouldn’t have helped a whole lot since the entire hillside was green. By now, it was 9:15, and I couldn’t see much of anything. Slowly, we made our way back up the hill, the same hill that we had just spent the good part of a half hour falling down. We had our phones out trying to shed some light so we could see something, but as expected, the search produced no results.

We went back to the dorm lobby and Austin said he was going to put on some pants and hiking shoes and go out a second time, and one of our mutual friends, Parker, said he was going with him. Matt and I looked at each other like, “Are you kidding me?” It was at least 10, and we had just barely made our way down the hill. I had been chewed to bits by all the bugs and my white shoes were filthy. Matt and I had said we were willing to pack up tonight and wake up early the next morning and go look for them then before we were required to be out of our dorm rooms at noon. However, Austin was insistent he was going as was Parker.

I can’t recall what metaphor I used to describe the insane unlikeliness of finding those keys, but I basically told him that it wasn’t happening. Parker decided to make a bet, saying that if he found the keys, then I would have to give up Xbox for the fall semester. Now, I’m the type of person who doesn’t take risks or bet on anything, unless I know I’m right or the odds seem entirely in my favor. This seemed to be the example of the latter, so even though I loved playing zombies on Xbox, I elected to take the bet. Parker was a lucky person that had had some ridiculous things in the past semester go his way, but this seemed like the impossible. So while I was taking a shower and cleaning my shoes, Austin, Matt, Parker, and a couple others went searching for the keys. The deal was Parker had to be the one to find the keys, or it didn’t count. So with the unlikelihood that they did find the keys at 10:30 in the dark, the chances of Parker being the one that found them were still one in six. I was watching YouTube videos when at 11:15, in comes the gang and Parker, with the keychain around his neck. Everyone admitted that he was the one that found them. I’m still trying to figure out how he did it. I could only imagine God waving his finger at me saying, “The possibilities are endless; don’t doubt the impossible”.

So no Xbox for me next semester. And no, we never did get to play zombies that night.

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