Primetime Horror

“American Horror Story: Coven,” and “The Walking Dead: Season 4″ are both set to premiere in early October.
 
The anticipation has been building. Two of the most-highly watched horror series on national television are going to be back on the air within a mere few days of each other. The new lineup of fan-favorite shows seems to have taken a turn toward the crypt. If Miley Cyrus has shown us anything, it’s that America loves the unexpected and different.
 
Since hitting TV, “The Walking Dead” has drawn rave-reviews from horror fanatics nationwide. The zombie-apocalypse tale features thick plot-lines and well-developed characters. The state of the world around them causes a constant state of insecurity in the viewer. You just don’t know what to expect. Season 3 simply stressed the point that writers had been proving all along: no one is safe. Seasons 1-3 are available on Netflix.
 
Serving as “The Walking Dead’s” metaphorical Robin, “American Horror Story” is also making its return. Each episode has a story of its own. Each character is intricately developed. The script is incredibly well-written, and the cast is stellar. Add each individual factor up, and you’ve got great potential for a hit show. The difference between AHS and other weekly programs, however, is that AHS constantly pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable, and what is expected.
 
Slate.com points out that topics featured in the AHS past have included: insanity, nuns, aliens, posession, medical experimentation, religious hypocrisy, homsexual aversion therapy, serial killers, the devil, abortion, the Holocaust, and as of this season, slavery and witchcraft.
 
The fact that a pair of mainstream horror shows have caught the eye of Americans speaks volumes to the changing world we live in. Viewers expect more from television. They expect a raw sense of danger. They expect a jaw-dropping plot carried out by a gifted cast. If history tells us anything, “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story” will deliver.
 
For The Walking Dead Season 4 Info: http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/10/08/walking-dead-scott-gimple-season-4/
 
For American Horror Story: Coven Info: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1715314/american-horror-story-coven-premiere.jhtml
 
Also: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2013/10/american_horror_story_coven_season_3_reviewed.html
 
For Information on Past Seasons of AHS: http://www.avclub.com/articles/american-horror-story,103902/
 
 
 

Morningside Wrestling Nears Start (Final)

The familiar shuffling of ice-packs and aroma of hard-work are back. The Morningside Mustangs wrestling team has high hopes for the upcoming  2013-2014 season.

The lone returning All-American is 184 pounder Joe Sievert, brother of 2013 National Champion John Sievert. Both decorated high school athletes, the Sievert brothers joined forces on the mat at Morningside under former Mustang head coach Tim Jager, and John was able to bring home the gold last year.

Joe described his excitement for the upcoming season in typical Sievert fashion; “I saw what my brother did last year. I want that. I want a national title.” The mustangs’ roster boasts an impressive total of 10 returning National Qualifiers, Sievert included. Of those qualifiers, five are in their final year in the program. Aside from Sievert, the other four seniors: Jordan Langley, Kevin Olson, Harrison Johnson, and Tyler Kacmarynski, are all looking to find their place on the podium.

Kacmarynski, a native of Spencer, Iowa, is looking forward to his final year after back-to-back disappointing season riddled with injury. His goals are no secret. He’s incredibly open about his final season. “All-American. National Championship. I’ve been through this before, and I’ve worked harder than anyone else. One goal; one dream.” Kacmarynski currently sits at 12th on the all-time wins list in Morningside history, with a total of 73.

Still a little over a month away from the first live action, the excitement is growing amongst the team, as their off-season lifting program increases its intensity. Since the hiring of new strength and conditioning coach, Chad Traver, many Mustangs feel they have really seen positive results. “I just really feel like I get better every time I go in,” junior 141 pounder Nate Taylor noted. “Its been an adjustment, but I can definitely tell that he knows what he’s doing, and I know it’s going to make a difference once the season starts.” The Mustangs have been lifting 3 times a week, with additional cardio workouts twice a week.

Junior heavyweight Eric Draper described the new lifting program as “intense.” He noted a difference in the amount of effort it takes to get through each day. “If you don’t show up to work hard, you’re going to get sent home. You can either sit in your room, or you can just suck it up, bust a sweat, and get better.”

Junior 141 pounder Garret Lambrecht wasted no time in describing the team’s chemistry. “It’s just a different atmosphere now. We’re a family, and I love spending time around these guys. They’re my best friends, and we sweat and bleed next to each other every day. I can’t wait for practice to start.”

With practice still a couple weeks away, the team is continuing preparation, beginning to cut their weight, and trying to maintain focus on academics with the upcoming season looming.

Looking at the season ahead, there are several possible candidates to join Sievert on the podium. Joining Sievert (84) and Kacmarynski (73) on the top 50 career wins list are returning senior Jordan Langley (49), junior Garret Lambrecht (40), and senior Harrison Johnson (38). Head Coach, Jake Stevenson, still sits a top the career wins list with a total of 130. As the most decorated wrestler in Morningside history in his four years from 2004 to 2008, he also owns the records for 3-point near falls (28), technical falls (7), and victories in a season (45).

The Mustangs take to the mat in a mere couple weeks to begin practice, and with Stevenson leading the charge, the future looks bright for this group of grapplers.

 

For Morningside Wrestling Information: http://www.morningside.edu/mustangs/wrestlng/index.cfm

For  2013-14 Schedule: http://www.morningside.edu/mustangs/wrestlng/schedule.cfm

For Records/Wins List:http://www.morningside.edu/mustangs/wrestlng/records.cfm

Government Shutdown Nearly Effects Rivalry

The United States government has shut down due to the inability of the House and Senate to reach an agreement on a funding plan for the future. The implications of this are far-reaching, but I’m here to shed a little light on the general consensus around the Morningside campus.

The typical college student won’t spend time at a museum in the next week. They won’t visit a national park. They will, however, crack a cold one and spend a Saturday afternoon watching a slate of college football games. One such game, rich in history and bathed in tradition, was in serious jeopardy until early Wednesday afternoon.

The Air Force-Navy rivalry dates back to 1960, with the teams meeting every season since 1972. Due to the government shutdown, there will be absolutely no government funding for any contests until an agreement is reached.

When examining Navy’s budget and income throughout the year, a typical income brings in about $4 million in tickets, fees, and other game concessions. According to an ESPN source, “not one dime of government money will be spent.”

Until an agreement is reached, even Saturday afternoon football can’t be taken for granted.

 

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9761603/army-black-knights-air-force-falcons-navy-midshipmen-play-weekend-source

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/01/20763839-winners-and-losers-of-the-government-shutdown?lite

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/30/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-know-about-how-the-government-shutdown-will-work/

 

 

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.

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/240987-fantasy-football-americans-new-pastime

http://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/2012/09/18/americas-obsession-with-fantasy-football-infographic/

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/01/06/fantasy.football.moneyball.sabermetrics/index.html

 

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.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000246821/article/trent-richardson-traded-to-colts-from-browns-for-pick

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000246887/article/why-the-browns-trent-richardson-trade-makes-sense

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000246908/article/trent-richardson-trade-is-for-browns-future-ceo-says

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9690728/cleveland-browns-trade-trent-richardson-indianapolis-colts

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:

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/71599/tebows-skills-not-enough-for-patriots

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