A Deeper Look at Miley Cyrus

If you were to google “Miley Cyrus,” you’d undoubtedly get several scandalous headlines and many ridiculous pictures of a once PG teen-pop star turned X-rated. You’d read about how she’s “embarrassing” and a “disgrace.”

The fact is, however, she’s being herself, and you just don’t see that a lot in today’s celebrities. In a world where public relations hold the key to income, and even the simple drop of a four-letter word can turn the head of a bible-waving perfectionist, Miley is standing tall with her middle finger in the air. Her recent VMA’s performance turned the entertainment world upside down, and since then, the true identity behind childhood hero “Hannah Montana” has been taking a bashing from media and former-fans alike.

There is a silver lining for Miley, however. A recent “Rolling Stone” cover story allowed Cyrus to spill her guts as to her entire image, as well as her true feelings on the situation. She’s sited as explaining that she “thought there was a chance the network might pull the plug on her mid-performance, but she didn’t expect so much shock and vitriol.” Instead, she was allowed to finish, and the social media world exploded.

She explained the unjust in the American opinion, as co-performer Robin Thicke got little heat from the situation, and most of it was piled upon her 108 pound shoulders. Her views on the subject quickly changed, as she turned the heads from the VMA performance, and focused on America as a whole.

In that same “Rolling Stones” article, Cyrus said it best. “America is just so weird in what they think is right and wrong,” she continues. “Like, I was watching ‘Breaking Bad’ the other day, and they were cooking meth. I could literally cook meth because of that show. It’s a how-to. And then they bleeped out the word ‘f***.’ And I’m like, really? They killed a guy, and disintegrated his body in acid, but you’re not allowed to say ‘f***’?

The importance behind this article is that Cyrus may just be on to something. Surely her performance was ridiculous to some, but other artist, namely Kanye West (also featured in the article), it was art. In recent interviews, Cher Lloyd has expressed her appreciation for Miley’s exploration and attempts at breaking out of a shell.

The fact that Cyrus could care less about what people think makes her not only worthy of paying attention to, but it makes all her performances that much more believable. In a time and age when the cultural and social “norm” is what everyone is striving for, maybe this world needs a few more public role models like Miley Cyrus. Don’t get me wrong; she’s crossed several lines, but when someone is willing to risk their reputation just to prove a point and find their own strengths and beliefs, it’s difficult to hate them for it.

Rolling Stone Interview: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/24/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/miley-cyrus-rolling-stone/index.html?hpt=hp_t5

Cher Lloyd’s Support: http://www.teen.com/2013/06/19/music/cher-lloyd-its-all-good-fruttare-interview/

LA Times on Media Reaction to VMA Performance: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/26/entertainment/la-et-st-miley-cyrus-vma-performance-media-reacts-in-shock-20130826

Fantasy Football: America’s NEW Sport (News Article 1)

NFL Fantasy Football has been growing in popularity since its first inception in a New York Milford Plaza Hotel in 1963.

Fantasy football is based upon a scoring system for yardage and touchdowns, and all based upon the statistical performance of professional athletes. It is now available in several different formats, from yahoo.com to NFL.com, all of which have the capabilities to live-score each and every match-up for each team.

An average of four hours are spent each week making roster moves, surfing the waiver wire, and looking for that one player that just might score enough points to put you over the edge.

According to a surprisingly insightful article from the folks at turbotax.com, here are some interesting statistics about America’s new obsession:

  • 39% of male fantasy football players admitted they’d be willing to give up beer to win their fantasy football league
  • 8% of men’s relationships end due to their obsession with fantasy football
  • 75% of male fantasy football players are willing to wager money on their matchups
  • An estimated 22.3 million workers spend more than an hour working on their fantasy team while on the job

CNN recently reported that the industry has now reached an approximate value of nearly 2 billion dollars, and is expected to rise even higher in the coming years. The explosion of social media has certainly helped drive the pastime along, enabling friends and co-owners to communicate and trash-talk each others’ teams without much difficulty.

The phenomenon of the game is that team performances don’t necessarily matter; the results of your match up rely simply on the performance of an individual. For instance, “The Vikings can get beat by 40 as long as Adrian Peterson scores a couple touchdowns.” It’s a selfish reality, coupled with a nonchalant attitude toward that actual outcome of the game.

Not only is the industry valuable, but it’s everywhere, and readily available to all who want to access it. The ever-so-intriguing “Bleacher Report” points out the available sites with fantasy football opportunities include: ESPN.com, NFL.com, yahoo.com, and CBS.com. It’s painful to throw out cliches, but sometimes the shoe fits: “If you build it, they will come.” The NFL has built the industry, and Americans are coming.

There’s little doubt that Fantasy Football is a pastime that will stand the test of time.






Cleveland Rocks: Yet Another Disappointment for Browns’ Fans

The Cleveland Browns shocked the football world on Wednesday afternoon by dealing 2012 first round draft choice Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for their 2014 first round draft pick.

In order to understand the magnitude of this move, let’s travel back in time.

When Cleveland selected Trent Richardson with the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, there was finally reason for optimism in northern Ohio. The franchise, and more importantly, the fan-base finally had found a face to associate with all things Cleveland Browns.

With the addition of Oklahoma State quarterback, Brandon Weeden, Cleveland had seemingly retooled its offense. Fans were excited. They dawned their number 33 jerseys with pride, and finally flocked back to the FirstEnergy Stadium.

With the dealing of Richardson, and the announcement that Brandon Weeden is no longer guaranteed his starting job at quarterback, it seems the fan base will have to once again struggle through mediocrity and wait until next year. Unfortunately, for a franchise that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2002, the fan base has to shoulder the disappointment once again.

From a purely football standpoint, the move makes sense. Richardson doesn’t fit newly hired head coach Rob Chudzinski’s scheme. Weeden is nearly 30 years of age, and still only in his second full professional season. For a fan base however, it’s difficult to fathom finally getting your face of the franchise, and watching him pack his bags for a contender just a few short months later.

There is no question that this team is moving in the right direction. They have a solid, young defense. They have weapons in place on the offensive side of the ball. The question remains whether the fans will follow the direction the team is going. For the Browns’ front offices’ sake, they’d better hope so.

For more information, visit the links below.





Stumbling Upon Controversy: Casual Conversations about News

With merely 15 minutes left in class, our Journalism professor sent us out into the world with a goal in mind. Each of our goals was different, and mine was to find a “conversation about current news events.”

I was incredibly happy to stumble upon the chatter-session that I did. As a Hawkeye fan, born and raised, I love nothing more than hearing controversy surrounding the Nebraska Cornhuskers. As I entered the Admissions Office of Lewis Hall, I overheard a couple folks voicing their opinions on the current Pelini issue.

In recent news, footage has surfaced of Pelini venting his frustration in a foul-mouthed rant toward the “fair weather fans” of the Husker nation.

One fan declined to comment, but Emily Greenlee of Morningside College showed no remorse in speaking her mind. “I think he’s a human being who is capable of making mistakes. Good fans should get over it. It was two years ago, and fans were being jerks. He didn’t know he was being recorded, or obviously he wouldn’t have confided in that person.”

Two year-old news has officially landed Pelini on the hot-seat.

Suh Saga Continues in Detroit

Ndamukong Suh is at it again. It seems his negative headlines flood the press more frequently than attacks on Gotham City called the Dark Knight into action. While his talents are certainly worth the headache in the right organization, one has to wonder just how many more hits his reputation can take before serious action is taken.

Let’s hop in the time machine. Let’s take it back to Thanksgiving day of 2011. Many sat nestled around a television with piles of tender turkey, creamy mashed potatoes accompanied by thick gravy, and Grandma’s carefully constructed stuffing. Suh, on the other hand, was busy trying to feast on quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Clearly frustrated; held to a singular tackle, he made his biggest mistake.

Suh stomped on Packers offensive lineman, Evan Dietrich-Smith nearly halfway through the 3rd quarter. He was flagged, ejected, and publicly ridiculed for the remainder of the season. To view footage of the incident, visit the link below.

Until recently, Suh had behaved according to the rules.

According to NFL Network analyst Ian Rapoport, Suh and his agent, Roosevelt Barnes, may have a point.

“Suh’s recent good behavior isn’t being taken into account by the league,” Rapoport said.

On Sunday, Suh made what some would consider a controversial block on Vikings offensive lineman Johnathan Sullivan. The block came during an interception return, and it looked highly unlikely that Sullivan had any possibility of catching DeAndre Levy as he streaked toward the end zone.

Below are a few articles to give you more insight into the situation, so that you may form your own opinion on the former Nebraska star. According to his agent, Suh is being unfairly persecuted by the league.

The relevance of Suh being in the news again, is that the league has placed such a high priority around player safety. The spotlight is shining bright, and the future players of the NFL are watching. If actions speak louder than words, Suh has a lot of explaining to do.


ESPN article from the Thanksgiving incident: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7276717/ndamukong-suh-detroit-lions-ejected-denies-stomped-green-bay-packers-lineman

Suh issues apology for illegal block: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000242597/article/ndamukong-suh-apologizes-to-detroit-lions-players

Is Suh being persecuted by league?: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000242895/article/agent-ndamukong-suh-persecuted-by-nfl-media


Is Fantasy Football Killing America’s Sport?

Football is a game. Plain and simple, it’s a pastime; something to enjoy. The National Football League is by far the most popular medium, with 32 teams garnering the allegiance of nation-wide fan bases.

The newest epidemic sweeping these fans is fantasy football. In essence, players receive points for yardage and touchdowns. The popularity of the NFL has skyrocketed in recent years, and many point to the simple scoring system that began its development in the New York Milford Plaza Hotel in 1963.

In talking to several students around the Morningside campus, it was apparent that fantasy football was their Sunday focus. Students can be overheard talking about how many points their players score in almost all common areas.

In speaking to Josh Porcher, a Mustang football player said it best. “As a fan of the game, I can’t enjoy watching the actual game itself. I’m too busy wanting one player to do well instead of the whole team. In fantasy football, wins don’t matter. You only care about individuals.”

And that raises an interesting question. Has the inception of fantasy football dimmed the game itself? Have fans surrendered their team colors for a set of players and a complex scoring system.

Reviews are split amongst the fans. Just ask Eric Draper of the Morningside wrestling team.

“I’m definitely more interested now. I’ve never really been interested in the NFL, but now that I’m playing fantasy football, I feel like I’m a part of the action.”

Chris Stevenson, a business accounting major from LeMars, Iowa, also gave his point of view on the topic. “I f*cking love fantasy football. The fact that you can watch football and win money without picking a final score…I love it.”

Stevenson also pointed out a major issue with the system. “Let’s say I like the Vikings, and I’m playing against Adrian Peterson in my weekly matchup. Now I have to root against one of my favorite players. That part sucks.”

Fantasy football has brought a new flare to the game, but in doing so, it has shined a spotlight on the individual performance. If money is what the league is after, they have found another way to gain subscribers and interest. If the NFL is about the sanctity of the game, Fantasy football may very well be a danger to the sport itself.


The End of Tebow Time

The Tebow train may have come to sputtering stop in the NFL. According to a recent ESPN.com article, Tebow’s skill set wasn’t worthy of one of the extremely valuable final 53 roster spots in New England. Siting a rough pre-season the included a only 11 completions out 30 attempts, it appears that “Tebow Time” has come to an end. This story garners its importance because of the nature of the subject. Tim Tebow is as polarizing a figure as the NFL has seen, at least those without a championship ring. Constantly creating a media frenzy, Tebow developed a habit for pulling through in the clutch, but his unconventional style and inability to fit into a typical pro system made him an impossible to harness.

In critiquing this article, I find it hard to believe that no one was available for comment. With a roster full of 53 players, surely one of them could give insight as the the preseason and how it unfolded. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady w0uld definitely bring some flare to this article between the quotation marks, and I just feel that an article like this based on purely factual information doesn’t do this situation justice. Afterall, statistics have never been Tebow’s strong suite. He wins. That’s what he does. Now, he may have to look toward the CFL or Arena League to add a few W’s in the column.

For reference purposes, I have included the link to the ESPN story below:


Deviled In-Class Dining

Our class took an interesting turn this morning. The once humdrum arena of education became a culinary experience as Ross passed around his offering. In a drastic turn of events, our lecture turned taste-test. Our choices were between a Wells Blue-Bunny “big fudge bar” and generic store-brand deviled egg, Yearning for the warmth of home, I turned to the ladder, expecting the comfort of a cool Thanksgiving afternoon. Before gnashing my teeth into the rubbery white morsel, I half expected to hear the bustle of football in the near distance; a must in our family around the holidays.

However, I was not greeted with holiday cheer. The harsh reality is, no one makes deviled eggs quite like Grandma. The cool white of the egg held a rubbery texture, one that took effort to maintain between teeth. The filling consisted and odor-ed heavily of the mustard that comprised it, and the paprika adorning the top just didn’t have the same flare as the carefully sprinkled eggs of the holiday season. They were store-bought. They weren’t a taste of home. Thus, my expectations were unfair for the average local HyVee employee. In essence, I can’t wait for November to roll around so I can get another taste of deviled-eggs-done-right.

Objective vs. Subjective

Objective Description

I spent 20 minutes observing my roommates while they were spending time in the living room. One of them was sitting at the kitchen table doing homework. A pair of them sat in front of the television playing a game of NCAA Football. Another was sprawled out on the couch, reading a book of some sort. This is pretty regular amongst us on nights when classes await the next morning.


Subjective Description

I spent a short time in our living room with my roommates, and the following were my observations. One sat at the kitchen table; his vacant face peering into his dull computer screen. He seemed to be searching for the answer to a question he hadn’t even fully comprehended yet. Another laid leisurely on a couch, scanning the pages of an apparently breath-taking piece of literature. The final two sat straight-backed on chairs, leaning toward the television screen with all their might. They were clearly locked in a matchup of wits via NCAA Football 2014. In our apartment, it’s make or break when you take the virtual gridiron, and losing just isn’t an option.