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Opinion

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

The Key Word is Professional

When kids begin to play Pop Warner football, their parents try to teach them to be good sports. They tell them to always congratulate the other team, be gracious in defeat and that there is no "I" in team. Most of the kids who hear these speeches are around the age of nine. So one would think professional athletes would have good sportmanship. Well, someone forgot to tell Richard Sherman.

In the NFC Championship game a few weeks ago, Sherman tipped the potential game winning pass from Colin Kaepernick to receiver Michael Crabtree. This forced an interception that guaranteed Sherman's Seattle Seahawks a 23-17 victory over Kaepernick's San Francisco 49ers.

After the game was over, Sherman was interviewed by Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews and he was not shy about sharing his opinions about himself and Crabtree.

"Well, I'm the best corner in the game," Sherman shouted into Andrews' microphone. "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you're going to get! Don't you ever talk about me!" When Andrews asked who had been talking about him, Sherman simply responded "Crabtree," telling the receiver not to talk about him and not to "open [his] mouth about the best or I'm going to shut it for you real quick!"

This interview has been the root of a lot of controversy over the last few weeks, morphing from a simple case of bad sportsmanship to the basis for accusations of racism because some fans took to calling Sherman a "thug" because of his actions. Some even went as far as to use the N-word in reference to the 25-year-old cornerback.

Sherman tweeted back to his detractors this past Monday, saying "Last night shows that racism is still alive and well... And that's so sad... At least some people respect MLKs dream." Sherman has since apologized for his actions, saying he was sorry "for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates "That was not my intent," he said in a text to ESPN reporter Ed Werder.

This incident has simply been blown way out of proportion. Sherman was interviewed right after he was involved in a key play that led his team to their second Super Bowl berth in franchise history. He should not be made out as a villain and called a "thug" because he flew off the handle while being interviewed only minutes after a big win by his team.

However, his actions should not be condoned either. The overall reason why Sherman has caused such a firestorm of controversy is because American s hate a sore winner.

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Struggle and Sacrifice in the Land of Opportunity

A Call to Arms to Prevent Veteran Homelessness in the U.S.


vet2As fall transitions into winter, the mornings start to grow colder. The once verdant green leaves dwindle away and the light of day quickly descends into darkness. For thousands of people living on the east coast, nature's most beautiful moments are captured during this season.

For former Private Lenny Johnson, however, winter means combing the streets for a warmer jacket, a heavier sleeping bag or blanket to sleep with and a safer, quieter place to rest his head,

While we find the first frost to be quite the inconvenience when we go to start our cars on early December mornings, Johnson sees frost as a vivid reminder of winters spent shivering under the Route 80 overpass in Paterson, NJ, a place he has called home for over 12 years.

Instead of waking up in a warm, comfortable bed each morning, Johnson wakes up at dawn to the sound of cars and trucks whirring above his head while he struggles to regain warmth and solace in the confines of his torn and tattered blanket.

At any moment, the sound of screeching tires, the backfire of an engine, could send the 101st Airborne "Screaming Eagle" veteran into a flashback.

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Why do People Take Such Pride in a Team?

We cry, we cheer, we invest so much interest and receive nothing in return but a mixture of pride or disappointment. Why do we, as fans, put so much effort into a team that may never even notice us?

This can be explained for many reasons, but in summary, it is because we need to be a part of a greater element which in most opinions, is intangible by all means.

This thought first came to me while watching "Fever Pitch," a movie based off a novel written about a die hard baseball fan. In the movie, Jimmy Fallon's character says, "I like being part of something that's bigger than me. It's good for your soul to invest in something you can't control." To which his leading lady, Drew Barrymoore, replies, "You're a romantic."

Barrymoore does not realize that Fallon's character is not a romantic; he is, plainly put, just a fan. To those who are fans, their team is untouchable; nothing, and I mean nothing, can ruin your love for that team. This is reflected in Fallon's character as he explains that no matter what, they are there for you every day.

I believe strongly that this is one of the main reasons fans take such pride in their teams. I consider myself a die hard Phillies fan and big time baseball fan. Knowing that they will be there for me every night, I feel the need to watch them play from April through September.

As corny as it sounds, friends come and go, but baseball is always there. Then there is also the element of youth that sports bring to the table.

If you are a fan and look back on your life, you can say that you still have the same interest you had when you were 10 years old, maybe even five years old. In some sense, loving a team is a way to keep you young.

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Contemporary News Programs: A Critique

The increasing competition amongst various television networks has led to the emergence of programs that discuss more soft news, which is defined as lifestyle and appealing gossip stories instead of legitimate societal problems.

The increased prevalence of soft news shows is an alarming feature of the modern news telecasts, which tend to be slightly informative and biased.

Topics such as the latest fashion trends and celebrities' personal lives are discussed on popular news networks such as ABC and NBC. to further reel the viewers in.

I have noticed that typically morning news shows, such as "Good Morning America" and "The Today Show" have become more focused on entertaining the audience rather than informing them of important issues across the globe.

This entertainment is derived from discussion about Congress members' controversial personal lives, dressing styles, and even how their facial expressions may reveal their political inclinations.

Also, many news programs now have exclusive Twitter or Facebook pages where viewers can post comments and ask questions.

The tweets of a few extremely fortunate individuals will then be broadcasted during the program to be commented on.

This is clearly an effective participation technique meant to attract viewers. To me, this is analogous to a lottery system where one buys a ticket in the form of a tweet, and then follows the program for the sake of a reward—the recitation of that tweet.

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What's In a Name? NFL Washington Redskins Name Controversy

redskins-logo"Hail to the Redskins! Hail victory! Braves on the warpath!" Fans of the Washington Redskins will recognize these words as the lyrics to their team's fight song, which is played at FedEx Field whenever their team wins a game.

But to people who are not fans of the team, or the NFL for that matter, this song may appear to perpetuate a negative stereotype about Native Americans.

With a record of 3-8, the Redskins have not had a good season on the field by any stretch. Off the field, this season has also seen the team embroiled in a furious debate as to whether or not the franchise needs to change its name to something more politically correct.

The latest chapter in this controversy was written when Latino and African American groups rallied outside of FedEx Field Monday night before the team's 21-point loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The issue has even drawn comments from President Obama, who said that Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, should change the name of his storied franchise.

However, Snyder wrote an open letter to fans of his organization back in October which gives the origins of the team's name and how it is not as offensive as it appears on its face.

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Are Students Prepared Enough for Finals?

Dont-Let-Stress-and-Anxiety-Get-the-Best-of-You-200x300We are back from Thanksgiving break and left with less than two weeks of classes before exams. Panic comes over us as we quickly realize all of the work we have left to complete.

Let's face it, it's crunch time. Are we really prepared for finals?

Let's start off by saying the last two weeks of classes should not have professors trying to cram in tests, papers and projects on top of your final exam that is quickly approaching.

Sometimes professors do not realize that students are taking four other classes besides theirs. Then again, some students don't take their classes seriously, so you get what you put in.

I love when professors hand me a bulleted list that structures the final exam right before my eyes and go as far as to give me extra hints about what is going to be really important.

Unfortunately though, not everything is handed to us on a silver platter. Some professors barely give reviews and fail to mention the final exam as the days continue to diminish.

I do not consider a professor telling you to review all 500 slides from the semester to help with preparation; if you are in this situation I wish you luck.

Having a professor who does not put in as much time and effort as the students do, can be incredibly frustrating, especially for those of us who do put in a conscious effort to do well.

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The Media’s Ongoing Influence Over Body Image

Beyonce, top-chart multi-millionaire singer and actress, and wife to well-known rapper, Jay-Z, once stated, "I wrote 'Bootylicious' because, at the time, I'd gained some weight and the pressure that people put you under- the pressure to be thin, is unbelievable. I was just 18 and you shouldn't be thinking about that."

At 18 years of age, teenage Beyonce was already feeling the pressure and obsession with body image that Hollywood tends to mount on all celebrities.

"Bootylicious" is a song from Beyonce's Destiny's Child days, and although the song wasn't one of their greatest hits, it did not fail to send a message.

The singer is clearly not worried about her personal body image. She realizes that her body does not hold the perfect hour-glass shape that society expects every woman to have.

Yes, there is "jelly" that moves from side to side when she shakes, but she could care less. Through their lyrics, Destiny's Child enforces female empowerment and embracing your body. Being "Bootylicious" is just as perfect.

The influence paparazzi, magazines and media have on celebrities and regular people based on their appearances, is unbelievable.

Twenty-one year old singer, actress, and "X-Factor" judge, Demi Lovato, is another example of Hollywood's crucial influence on body image. Demi Lovato has always suffered with low self-esteem due to appearance insecurities.

In fact, not too long ago she took a break from her career to herself check herself into a rehabilitation center. When she was done with her time off, she came back stronger and more powerful than ever.

In one of her most recent interviews, she told Vogue magazine, "My main thing about being in the spotlight with my fans is, I want to be real to them. I have my problem areas, but I'm happy in my skin right now. I'm not going to sacrifice my mental health to have the perfect body."

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Goodbye Black Friday, Hello Cyber Monday

laptoplMy fellow online shopping addicts, it's that time of year again. No, I am not talking about eating Thanksgiving dinner or waiting on ridiculously long lines at 3 am waiting for the best Black Friday deals.

I am talking about Cyber Monday. Just the name of it makes me warm inside. This day is when online shoppers set mental countdowns for and mark their calendars. If you're a little new to the online shopping realm, I'll explain the pure magic called Cyber Monday.

The term "Cyber Monday" was coined in 2005 after retailers were noticing their online sales were particularly high the Monday after Thanksgiving, according to cybermonday2013.io.

About 77 percent of online retailers saw their sales increase. Obviously, they wanted to take advantage of this so they decided to make it an actual event. In 2006, it was held on Nov. 27 and it made $608 million in online sales.

In 2010, Cyber Monday made just over $1 billion, according to cybermonday2013.io. As each year passes, more and more money is being made. So why would online retailers stop?

Cyber Monday is not only featured on online based stores like amazon.com and overstock.com. Stores all over take advantage of Cyber Monday.

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The Forgotten Thanksgiving

If you've turned on the television over the last couple of weeks, you have definitely noticed that every other commercial seems to have a Christmas theme to it.

Whether it's an ad for Hershey Kisses in red and green wrappers set to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" or one for the latest editions of the Hess toy truck, the commercialization of Christmas has definitely diluted the true meaning of the season that Linus spoke about in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

But there is also another side effect of all of this merchandising that many people do not often think about: What happened to Thanksgiving?

That line about Christmas coming sooner every year has become something of a running joke. But in recent years, whether people have noticed it or not, Thanksgiving has become less of a holiday and is now probably best known as just the day before Black Friday.

Over the last few years, more and more stores have been taking away turkey day as a day off for their employees in the name of turning a profit and 2013 will be no different.

Walmart recently announced that, in addition to giving employees who work on Thanksgiving extra holiday pay, the retail giant will also be providing workers with a 25 percent discount off a future purchase and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

NBC News online also reported that stores like Best Buy, Kmart, Toys-R-Us and Target will also be offering employees additional holiday pay.

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The Satisfying Feeling of Conquering Fears

"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure," Paulo Coelho, "The Alchemist."

What exactly is fear, the inability to move forward because of the unknown, or is it actually the extra strength needed to keep on?

The fears people face on a daily basis vary all over the spectrum. Fears vary from the common fear of spiders and heights, to the fear of failure, unhappiness, and even love.

I don't think anyone truly knows where fears come from or what triggers them, but what people have come to learn, is how to live with them.

We have our ways of conquering each of our fears. I, for instance, have overcome quite a couple in my short twenty-year-old life.

When I was much younger, I was terribly afraid of heights. My fear was grand, I never even learned how to climb monkey bars and have failed to do so to this day. My fear of heights also triggered a fear of rollercoasters.

However, one day I simply got tired of sitting on the sidelines while the rest of my sisters had a blast flying through the air that I finally decided to ride the Six Flags rollercoaster, Nitro, for the first time ever.

Riding that rollercoaster was one of the best experiences of my life and definitely one I will never forget.

As I grew older, my fears became a bit more serious than a ride at an amusement park. When I was sixteen, I met the one who would become my first love.

Now I was no longer afraid of heights-this time I was afraid of falling in love. I was nervous of becoming attached to someone who could walk away any minute. I was avoiding having to trust someone who could hurt me as easily as they could make me happy.

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“I’m Friends With More Animals than People”

pets-plug-in-photo1My phone buzzed and the little Facebook icon popped up in the corner of my screen that means "you have a new friend request!" I assumed it was someone I knew from class, or a distant relative who I met at a family barbeque. I opened the Facebook app on my smartphone to see who it was.

The name attached to the friend request was familiar, but I had to wonder how my high school acquaintance's long haired Chihuahua managed to set up a Facebook page with such tiny paws. Her profile picture was so darn cute that I had to accept Cupcake's friend request.

Soon enough, I was friends with two dogs, three cats and a ferret on Facebook. I accepted a friend request from Stan the corn snake shortly after he wished me a very "sssspecial" day on my timeline when my birthday came around.

It was then that I realized, I think I'm friends with more pets than humans on Facebook. My newsfeed was flooded by cuddly creatures and comments about how precious they looked dressed up as a pumpkin for Halloween.

Instagram is no different. I posted one picture of my golden retriever on my personal account and suddenly I have a whole cult of kittens and puppies "following" me.

I'll admit, most pet selfies will make my heart melt in an instant, but it feels like the internet has become "Planet of the Apes;" if the apes were fluffy domestic mammals with big eyes and wet noses, that is.

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Monmouth University
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