The NFL: Ignorance isn’t Bliss

Behind closed doors and sold-out stadiums lies the reality of the game. The NFL has masked itself behind large fan bases—covering up decades of corruption underneath million dollar sponsorships. More often than not, the league appears more concerned with securing the brand of the sport rather than addressing the cheating, domestic abuse, or mental disability scandals coming from players on the field.

“Our business is to win games,” said Jerry Angelo, a former General Manager for the Chicago Bears, who during his time as GM lead the Bears to win four division titles and reach Super Bowl XLI in 2007. However, Angelo states how disciplinary action towards some players would have placed the team in a competitive disadvantage.

“We’ve got to win games, and the commissioner’s job is to make sure the credibility of the National Football League is held in the highest esteem. But to start with that, you have to know who’s representing the shield.”

And by avoiding the underlining issues, that credibility is lost. In 2015, The New England Patriots faced heavy criticism for tampering with the footballs in the AFC Championship, which secured them a spot in Super Bowl XLIX.

The scandal, better known now as “DeflateGate,” wasn’t the NFL’s first high profiled case. A few years prior, football players from the New Orleans Saints were accused of purposely injuring members of the opposing team for a payment.

When a new scandal comes to light every football season, the NFL’s dignity diminishes. Efforts to stay ahead of the game are losing them field coverage instead of gaining positive attention, and what’s worse, is that the overarching league doesn’t seem to care.

Most often, players are not disciplined for their actions, which allows for a continuous cycle of scandals. When winning is the only thing on the NFL’s mind, so long as they’re not losing, they don’t see the mental and physical and psychological effects four quarters can have.

Human health remains benched on the sidelines.

“I see a concussion movie every Sunday for free,” said Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. “Don’t need to go to the theater.”

Long-term brain injuries have been waging a war between the league and professional doctors who are looking out for the health of the athletes. Like many prior, their research is often discarded and defamed—as pictured in Sony’s recent movie Concussion.

The movie focuses on the death and trauma of NFL athletes and the NFL’s efforts to hide the truth in pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu’s research.

The late Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer Mike Webster was viewed as “crazy,” however, his mental state wasn’t that of a “crazy” man at all, but rather, of a sick man. Yet, his story went through countless editing processes to please the organization who caused him this pain.

According to an email by Dwight Caines, President of Domestic Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment, many “unflattering moments for the N.F.L.” were altered “for legal reasons with the N.F.L… it was not a balance issue.”

The film didn’t portray the full effects of Dr. Omalu’s research. Their corporate denial affected their own company doctors, targeting one of their fellow colleagues in the medical community.

These doctors tried to make Dr. Omalu’s research disappear from scientific journals, threatening him for defiling the nation’s most popular sport. They turned their backs on him for the sake of the organization who tried to diminish their work.

The N.F.L. has chosen to pay their way out of several lawsuits brought against them. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been given to about 5,000 retired football players rather than making the game a safe and healthy environment. Scandals don’t win Super Bowls, sportsmanship does—a lesson the league has yet to learn.

2016: The Year of Fear

2016 is set to be the year of fear and nervousness. In a recent New York Times poll, forty-four percent of Americans believe it is “very” likely for another terrorist attack to happen in the upcoming months. Americans are as fearful of a possible terrorist attack as they were following the September 11 attacks.

Coming off the heels of the massacre in Paris and gun violence in San Bernardino, many individuals hope for a change in protocol as fear for the future continuously lingers in the minds of many Americans this new year.

“…We are, as humans, hard-wired to perceive unspecific and foreign-sounding and unclear information in a threatening manner,” said Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations to the Washington Post.

“Where Americans have gone to war against terrorism, that’s where people die from terrorism….Politicians are going to do what they do, because it’s largely consequence-free to do threat inflation.”

This fear inflation causes Americans to overestimate the likelihood of a terrorist attack occurring in their own neighborhood. They believe that few politicians have put forth enough energy to secure their lives; It is their fear and concern that are pushing for a changes in legislation—not only in regards to terrorism, but also gun violence, which has been on the rise.

President Obama’s recent executive actions on gun reform highlight the widespread fear and anxiety Americans face. Gun violence has heightened concerns among those who perceive Americans as being the land of the brave. Although some believe his recent reforms will strip them away of their Second Amendment rights, his measures are in securing the safety of the people. He is trying to make them feel safer in their own homes without the use of a gun.

According to Gun Violence Archive, in 2015 there was an average of about one mass shooting per day. As of December 3rd alone, over twenty-four thousand individuals have been injured due to gun-related incidents.

With about sixty school shootings last year, many schools are already taking action in securing the safety of their students. In the wake of these attacks, many schools in MDCPS have taken steps to provide protection for their students and staff members, maintaining a safe learning environment for them all.

“In an abundance of caution, additional resources have been deployed to schools,” said Miami-Dade School officials back in December.

Although some believe strongly in their second amendment rights, the topic of gun reform and national security has been a popular one among many presidential candidates; in this time of heightened fear, nervousness and resentment, the future President will be the hope and optimism the nation will depend on.

As one in every six Americans view terrorism as the most important problem facing the nation, many of them are holding their political leaders on a high standard, seeking their support and leadership to guide them out of their suppressing anxiety, and rising gun violence.

From Rentals to Riedel’s: A Guide to Entering the World of Figure Skating

Stephanie Brito

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As the 2014 Olympics unravel, the effects of the most popular–and perhaps most captivating–sport is evident: the lines at public skating locations are at an all-time long. This event inspires many people to go skating with their friends and family and some, to pursue figure skating, either recreationally or competitively.

The transition from the occasional public skater to the weekly skater is one that should not be taken lightly. The difficulties faced by those entering a field that consists of tight-knit friendships that have blossomed for years are not small. But, there are some things that a beginner can do to ensure that they enter the universe of figure skating.

Buying the first pair of skates 

This is perhaps one of those most strenuous parts of beginning to skate seriously. It takes a while to understand the way that figure skates work and to determine which are good and which…

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Defense Stuns Offense at Super Bowl 50

The Harbinger

By Lessenitt Campos

A massive showdown between old-school and new-school shined some light on the meaning of being a team. A game is not won by a quarterback, but by the support system it carries. The Denver Bronco’s defense played reckless, making the Carolina Panthers’ offense uncomfortable. After being the NFL’s leader in takeaways and turnovers this year, the Panthers faced a challenge they never expected—the Broncos defense. Peyton Manning, the defense, and MVP Von Miller were crowned the 2016 Super Bowl Champions.

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