OPINION: Esports are not Real Sports

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 11/10/18

The craze over esports has grown and grown, and to be honest, I don’t have a problem with that. Video games are fun as heck, and competitive competitions are a great way to spread popularity, share skills, and all around have fun. However, you cannot call it a sport.

Sure, studies have shown that playing video games helps your mentality, it increases your alertness and is overall good for your mental health, but the definition of a sport is a competition or activity that requires physical exertion or contact. In esports, the most “moving” you do is moving your fingers and thumbs around pressing different buttons.

So stop comparing virtual athletes to real athletes. Stop comparing Ninja to LeBron James, the Overwatch World Cup to the FIFA World Cup, and overall esports to real sports. While video games are fun and I have nothing wrong with them or video game competitions, in the end, you can’t compare it with real sports.

Sources and Pictures: Flickr, Oxford Dictionary, IGN

EXCLUSIVE: The World Cup so Far

By Nick Baum

WEDNESDAY – 6/20/18

The 2018 World Cup has only been around for six days so far, but we have already seen plenty of action, many of which unexpected, across the tournament. The first game of the tournament was in Thursday, with Russia taking the biggest win of the tournament so far, 5-0 against Saudi Arabia.

Soon after, Saudi Arabia flew to its next game, only for the plane’s engine to take fire, (An accurate representation of them playing Russia), but fortunately, the plane safely landed, and everyone was safe. Meanwhile, 2014 World Cup champions Germany lost 1-0 to the underdogs Mexico, and fans there cheered so loudly that it created a registered earthquake.

Switzerland managed to tie with Brazil, a World Cup favorite, by locking down on defense. Before then, Portugal and Spain tied 3-3, with Portugal’s Ronaldo scoring a hat trick (three goals) that game. Russia recently played its second match against Egypt, winning yet again with a score of 3-1, with Egypt’s Mo Salah scoring a penalty.

What has been seen by many as weird and embarrassing are the amount of own goals in the tournament so far. In 17 matches, 5 own goals have been scored, making Own Goal the leading goal scorer of the tournament so far. Now, it is time for the second match day for the teams. Every country has already played once with an exception of Russia and Egypt whom kicked off the next series in the World Cup.

Sources: Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, ESPN, Wikimedia Commons

EXCLUSIVE: World Cup Starts Today

By Nick Baum

6/14/18 – THURSDAY

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off today when the host country Russia (who automatically makes it) plays Saudi Arabia. This year’s world cup in Russia will feature dozens of stadiums, 32 teams, and like every year, will revolve around the host’s culture.

Some of the favorites of this year’s World Cup include Spain, Brazil, France, and Argentina, which includes Messi. Just yesterday, despite the 2018 World Cup not starting, the 2026 World Cup had been decided, when a FIFA council voted unanimously to bring the games to the US – Canada – Mexico joint bid, rather than Morocco.

In the 2026 World Cup, plans have already been announced that there will be 48 teams in the games, and that Canada will host 10, Mexico will host 10, and the United States will 40. Back to the 2018 World Cup however, it is a close race and a fierce competition, even if the United States, Italy, and Netherlands will be missing it.

Sources: Fox, ESPN, SB Nation

EXCLUSIVE: The Stanley Cup and NBA Finals in Review

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 6/9/18

Both the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals ended back to back, one day after another, and both proving to be very exciting. The Stanley Cup was first, between the new expansion team Las Vegas Golden Knights, and the underdog and championship-less Washington Capitals. The Golden Knights were looking to be become the second expansion team in major sport history to win the championship in their first season, and hoped to do so against the Capitals, whom aimed to get their first championship since they were created in 1976.

The Golden Knights proved that they were the favored team, taking a 1-0 series lead in a high scoring game 1. However, the Capitals came back, and won their next 4 games in a row to win the series 4-1, capping an incredible upset, and their first Stanley Cup ever. The win was not only huge for the Capitals however, but for the Washington DC fanbase, the city with the longest active championship drought of cities with all 4 major sports teams.

Over in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors once again took on the Cleveland Cavaliers, in their forth NBA finals meeting in a row. In the past three NBA finals where they met, the Warriors won two and the Cavaliers one. The NBA Finals this year could’ve been different this year though, with both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals going to game 7. However, the Boston Celtics snapped their streak of winning every home game in the playoffs, giving the Cavaliers the win. Over in the Western Conference Finals, the Houston Rockets couldn’t contain the Warriors who zipped right by.

In the NBA Finals, game 1 was the closest of them all. After making a free throw to tie up the game, Cavs player George Hill missed his second free throw. JR Smith got the rebound, but in an apparent twist, he thought that his team was winning, so he dribbled back not realizing he could’ve scored. The mistake ended them up the Cavs up in overtime, where they eventually lost. It wouldn’t get better for the Cavaliers, as they would lose the rest of their games and get swept 4-0. Many speculated that the easy finals loss might mean that Cavaliers’ star player LeBron James could move to a different team, as he is currently in the talks with 6 other NBA teams. However, it is unclear what his decision is now.

Sources: Bleacher Report, Wikimedia Commons, NBA.com, Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, ESPN

Trump Cancels White House Visit with Eagles

By Nick Baum

TUESDAY – 6/5/18

Yesterday, US President Donald Trump called the White House visit off with the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles, after only 10 members of the team agreed to join. In a statement, Trump declared the reason for the canceling of the visit was “disagreements with our anthem”, after many players didn’t want to visit the White House, and the President they felt they strongly disagreed with in terms of standing or kneeling during the national anthem.

Since the decision, Trump has been criticized by many, as some thought the remaining Eagles members still should have been allowed to go, but decided not to because “the fans deserve better.” Trump has also received criticism by Philadelphia’s mayor Jim Kenney called Trump as “not a real patriot” and “a fragile egomaniac” after the decision to cancel based on anthem disagreements.

Full Statement:¬†The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”

Sources: CNN, Fox News, The New York Times

NFL will Force all Players to Stand for the National Anthem

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 5/24/18

NFL owners voted to officially ban kneeling for the national anthem, a move that will take place next season, after players from almost every team took a knee to protest violence in America. The act of doing so was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee to protest violence against blacks.

In the new ruling, all players on the field have to stand for the anthem, or show “proper respect” to the flag and country. If there is failure to do so, the team gets fined by the league, and a fifteen yard penalty is gained at the start of the game. However, players can choose to stay in locker rooms or other places off the field if they don’t want to stand, bringing back the protest that the Pittsburgh Steelers did, having every player but one wait in the locker room as the national anthem played. The only player out on the field was¬†Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger and served in Afghanistan, but said later tat he “regretted it”.

The decision has already met fierce criticism, as many players have voiced their opposition to the ruling, saying that they are entitled to at under the first amendment. As of now, players can still protest during the national anthem, but by staying in the locker room instead.

Sources: Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, CNN, NFL, NFLPA

NFL Draft in Review

By Nick Baum

SUNDAY – 4/29/18

This year’s NFL Draft proved to be very exciting as a combination of top quarterbacks from college as well as other prospects rushed out into teams needing more depth. All 32 NFL teams took 8 turns, with 256 picks.

The Cleveland Browns had the first overall pick in the draft for the second time in a row, picking Baker Mayfield, a quarterback for Oklahoma. The Browns, through a trade, also got the fourth overall pick, and the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles got the last pick of the round.

Notable picks in the draft include the Buffalo Bill’s pick of Josh Rosen, Wyoming quarterback, as many fans of the team panned the decision. The “slider” of the draft, or player who waited longer to get drafted than expected, was Derrius Guice, LSU running back, in which many teams were concerned about his behavior and attitude. He was drafted in the third round by the Washington Redskins, the same team who drafted “Mr. Irrelevant”, the last pick of the draft, Virginia Tech wide receiver Trey Quinn.

Sources: Fox 8, ESPN, NFL.com