Category Archives: Sports

Protesting on NFL Sideline Wrong?

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

In response to President Donald Trump’s tweet which said that NFL players who do not stand for the national anthem should be fired, all 32 NFL teams have had their own unique responses in the season’s third week. Some teams kneeled and locked arms before the national anthem while other teams showed these signs of protest while the national anthem was playing. There were even teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers who remained in the locker room for the singing of the national anthem. With each team protesting in its own way, fans were left to either support them or oppose them.

NFL fans had a wide range of responses to the protests. They ranged from cheering in support in the stands to insulting with expletives on social media. A remarkable reaction occurred during the Dallas Cowboys versus Arizona Cardinals game where the crowd loudly booed the Cowboys, as they kneeled and locked arms. Ratings for week three games on NBC, CBS and Fox decreased by four percent.

The latest ESPN polls embodies that American citizens are divided over this issue. Overall, 39 percent of people agreed with the movement with 24 percent strongly approving. Fifty-one percent of the respondents, however, disagreed with the movement with 38 percent showing strong disapproval. ESPN also recorded the race of the people surveyed and found that 54 percent of African Americans strongly agreed and 48 percent of Caucasians strongly disagreed. These protests may be receiving more support from African Americans because, after all, the players are kneeling to voice opposition for police brutality against African Americans.

ESPN also took another poll on viewers’ interest in watching the games after the protests. Fourteen percent of the people say they are more interested because of the protests, 40 percent say they are less interested and 43 percent say it has had no impact on their interest of the game. People who are less interested most likely feel that way because they may be bothered by the kneeling as they believe kneeling does not show respect to the national anthem. Among the avid NFL fans surveyed, 48 percent believe protests have had no impact on their interest and 31 percent believe is has made them less interested. This is significant because that means about a third of the hardcore NFL fans who watch football every Sunday are greatly disturbed by the “take a knee” movement.

Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, held a meeting recently with NFL teams’ owners on instigating a rule requiring all players to stand for the national anthem. This has angered many players because the players feel they are exercising their right to protest and are using their platform to make a statement. Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea has expressed his displeasure to the NFL Network, claiming that it has become a national issue just because President Donald Trump tweeted against it. Bethea explained how the movement started last year with Colin Kaepernick and the NFL and its fans had no issues with it, respecting players’ opinions. The NFL has yet to make a statement on whether or not they plan on requiring players to stand. It will be interesting to see how players and fans respond if the league does decide to permit kneeling.

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NCAA Football > NFL

BrettGreenberg, Staff Reporter

NCAA football is far better than the NFL for plenty of reasons. When people think of college football, rivalries, college playoffs and bragging rights are the first things that come to mind. However, when people think of the NFL, they immediately imagine overpaid players who are only playing for the check, boring offenses and somewhat of a predetermined Super Bowl Champion. Although a case can be made for both sides, I believe college football is superior to the NFL.

Although the NFL has a dedicated fan base, it is not as large as college football and nowhere close to as intense. College football fans are there from the beginning, watching the recruiting process and following along to see if their beloved team will be able to do just enough to sign that highly-touted high school player who seems poised to make an immediate impact for a team the minute he steps on the field. With the NFL, the fans are just there for the ride because of the NFL draft, where the ownership makes executive decisions for the future of the team.

Anyone who follows college football knows that the league has some of the most storied rivalries such as Ohio State versus Michigan, Auburn Alabama and the Florida – Georgia game. These rivalries bring the best out of the fans, players and storylines in college football. Because a majority of a certain school’s fans are alumni from that school, there is an indescribable connection that prompts college fans to feel personally tied and responsible for the school’s team. The rivalries promote healthy, but intense, competition between the two schools that adds drama for the rest of college football’s fans.

With the NFL, the tie or connection to the team is not as close because a majority of NFL fans are simply fans of their hometown team. The rivalries aren’t as great either. The NFL has somewhat of an unwritten rule that each of the thirty-two teams has to run the same boring offense or a variation of the pro-style offense which includes a running back behind the quarterback with two or three wide receivers lined up outside with a tight end. With the limited variation in offense play-calling, the NFL fan becomes bored because even they can predict what play is going to be run and what will happen next.

In college football, players are working towards the next step in their master plans, to be drafted and play in the NFL. That is why the overall effort during games in college seems far more dedicated than that of the NFL’s.  In the NFL, these players have found success and have already received their million dollar contracts, so players lack the drive found in college football. In college, there is simply more passion in each and every play, while in the NFL, walking during a play is commonplace for national television.

The final reason college football is far superior to the NFL is that simply anything can happen once two teams step on the field. They are considered equally talented and,thus, equally likely to win the game. For example, in the 2013 Iron Bowl (Auburn versus Alabama), Alabama was a heavy favorite going into the game, but that did not mean anything. It was the end of the game with the clock reading that only six seconds were left. The game was tied 28-28. With one second left, Alabama attempted a fifty-seven-yard field goal that would presumably either win Alabama the game or send the game into overtime. Then, the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare” or the “Kick-Six” happened. Alabama kicked the football,and it ended up short. However, it ended up short in an Auburn player’s hands at the end zone. Next thing you know, Auburn is in Alabama’s end zone celebrating a world-class win after the Auburn player ran the ball 109 yards.

In the NFL, not as many crazy, unexpected things can happen. There is somewhat of a predetermined Super Bowl winner. It’s the same four or five teams that are in contention including the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since I have started watching the NFL, there has not been anywhere close to the excitement that college football brings and for that reason, college football is far superior to the NFL.

Colleges Illegally Paying Recruits?

MatthewKohn, News and Sports Editor

In 1987, the NCAA handed out the only death penalty in history to the Southern Methodist University football program. The death penalty is the harshest punishment a college can receive because it bans the school from competing in that sport for at least one full year. SMU was shut down for the entire ‘87 year for paying recruits to sign with the team, including future hall-of-fame and all-time great running back Eric Dickerson. Since that one year ban, the Mustangs have not been a relevant football program and are fighting to return to the level of play that they were once known for.

Thirty years later, the NCAA is looking at another situation where the enforcement of the death penalty may be warranted. In the past couple of weeks the news of a massive college basketball scandal has surfaced. The FBI has been investigating certain coaches and overall businesses of eight different colleges. Multiple coaches have been accused of receiving money to pay recruits to sway them to play for their school. Also, Adidas has been under investigation for providing young stars large amounts of money to play for schools that Adidas represents. The programs that have been impacted by the FBI investigation thus far include: Louisville, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Auburn, Southern California, South Carolina, Miami and Alabama.

Of these eight schools, the University of Louisville is under the most scrutiny due to the extremity of the accusations and their past issues with the NCAA. Soon after news of the scandal was released, Louisville fired their hall-of-fame coach, Rick Pitino, along with their athletic director. This is also not Louisville’s first NCAA violation during Pitino’s tenure as head coach. Just last season,Louisville was involved in a scandal that provided escorts and exotic dancers to potential recruits in order to sway them to sign with the Cardinals. That scandal ended with Louisville not being eligible to compete in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. However, the scandal currently being investigated will not go away as easily. Around $100,000 was paid to a single recruit identified as Brian Bowen, who has since been suspended indefinitely for accepting the bribe to commit to Louisville. Also, because the FBI is also involved,it is likely that the punishments are even more severe. If Louisville is able to escape the death penalty, they will still likely be hit with a multi-year suspension from competing in postseason tournaments. Louisville would also lose a large amount of scholarship funds in this scenario.

The other schools will likely receive punishments of less severity, but this type of spotlight will surely tarnish the reputation of those schools. The domino effect has already started though, as many top recruits that have committed to these programs have started decommitting, including five-star Anfernee Simons, who decommitted from Louisville just days after the news broke. This is just the beginning, as recruiting will become a nightmare for the schools involved in this scandal because the schools will have less scholarships to offer and players will not want to go to a school that has a tarnished reputation.

It is likely that the scandal will go on for weeks or even months and that more schools will be found to have been involved. When the FBI finishes it’s investigation and the NCAA hands out the punishments, the results will have an everlasting effect on all of the people and programs involved. This scandal will end careers, ruin the reputations of many and should be a wakeup call to anyone even thinking of doing something corrupt in the NCAA.

 

Falling Falcons?

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

Coming into the season, the Atlanta Falcons had high expectations, as they were bouncing back from arguably the worst Super Bowl loss in NFL history. The team took a motivated approach to the loss by studying that game’s film intensely in order to improve. Except for offensive guard Chris Chester and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the entire offense returned for the 2017 season. The defense looked to be much stronger, as they had cornerback Desmond Trufant returning from an injury and acquired defensive tackle Dontari Poe in free agency. Going into the season, many people thought the Atlanta Falcons had the most talented roster in the league.                                  

During the season opener, the Falcons did not play as well as expected since they barely escaped the Chicago Bears by dropping a game-winning touchdown in the last seconds. Fans believed it was just a fluke, as the team bulldozed through the Green Bay Packers, one of the best teams in the NFL the following week. In week three, the Atlanta Falcons once again lucked out against the Detroit Lions after a last second touchdown that would have won the Lions the game was overturned. The Falcons’ luck finally came to an end as they played terribly against the Buffalo Bills and failed to put together a game-winning drive in the last minutes of the game.

Coming off this terrible loss, the Atlanta Falcons’ rest days are much needed. It gives Coach Dan Quinn a chance to regroup his team and prepare them to come back stronger than ever. Fans should not worry as Atlanta has had multiple slow starts and ended up playing the rest of the season exceptionally. Last year they opened the season with a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24 but still managed to make the Super Bowl. Something notable is that after their bye week, Atlanta lost only one game until the Super Bowl.

Fans are currently left wondering if the Dirty Birds’ 3-2 record is well deserved and if the team will be able to achieve great heights this season. These fans should not forget that the Falcons arguably have the best offense in the league and a young, fast and athletic defense. Julio Jones is unstoppable on the field and Matt Ryan is red hot coming off an MVP season. Vic Beasley is out to protect his sack title and Deon Jones is ready to lead this defense after having the most tackles among rookies last season. Overall, the Atlanta Falcons’ roster is absolutely stacked and more motivated than ever. The team emphasized how diligent they have been working as they have their eyes on the Lombardi Trophy. The Falcons’ should bounce back after the bye week and once again be the best team in the NFL.

 

Bring Hockey Back

MatthewKohn, News and Sports Editor

In the past year, Atlanta has become the focal point of the sports world. A mesmerizing new football stadium was built to replace the old Georgia Dome, a new baseball field was built in Cobb County and Atlanta is now home to a Major League Soccer team. At this point, all that’s missing is a hockey team.

Back in 2011, the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, Canada and became the Jets. Unfortunately for Atlanta at the time, the owners were losing money due to an ongoing lawsuit with a former partner, forcing them to sell the team. It’s possible that if the Thrashers had better ownership, they would still be playing in Philips Arena.

After seeing Atlanta United, the new soccer team, pull record attendance numbers, it’s time to believe that supporting a hockey team is also feasible. Georgia is the most populated state in the country without a team in each of the four major sports, and Atlanta is definitely a city that would be able fill a stadium and support a hockey team. I know of many people at Chattahoochee alone who would love to go see professional hockey games but don’t have the chance to and instead have to settle for the semi-pro Gwinnett Gladiators.

The whole “Atlanta is not a sports town” knock needs to be put to rest. Atlanta has hosted some of the biggest sporting events, including the college basketball final four, the SEC championship game and the Olympics. They will even host the Super Bowl in 2019. Atlanta is also home to a team in three of the four major sports. The final step in completing the quadfecta is having a hockey team come back to Atlanta.

 

Road to State

BrettGreenberg and BrendanHuet, Staff Reporters

Chattahoochee Cougars Varsity Football Team 

With the new year comes new expectations, and the 2017 Varsity Chattahoochee Cougars Football Team is proving all the doubters wrong. With the loss of the star-studded senior class, including Isaac Kinsey, Jonathan Taylor and Chase Owens, the hopes for a playoff berth this year were lost. Anyone who watched the 2016 Cougars realized how well Kinsey (WR) and Taylor (WR) acted as playmakers. They were Chase Owens’  go-to targets and as reliable as ever. The 2017 team has fifteen seniors, all of which have had limited experience coming into the season. The Georgia High School Association did not have high hopes for our Cougars, projecting that the team would not make the playoffs, but that hasn’t fazed this group.

The Cougars are currently 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the region, sitting at 3rd place in the region with games against Pope, Northview and Alpharetta on tap for the rest of the season. This team is known for the way they respond when the game doesn’t go their way or all odds are stacked against them.

Perhaps the biggest X-factor for this team is senior QB Jack Corrigan (SR). Being the starting QB and the punter/kicker, it seems as if Corrigan does it all for the Cougars. Corrigan came into this season fresh off a state championship in soccer and has been riding the wave ever since. He has really come into his own this season by being able to do the little things to propel his team to wins week after week. When asked about the season so far, Corrigan simply stated, “We knew not many people had high expectations for us and that only made my team and me hungrier and want to win that much more.” Corrigan is a true leader for this team; he is able to pass when needed and when a block breaks down, he can run the ball for a positive gain.

The overall atmosphere around Cougar Stadium is different. There is a certain pregame buzz that is carried into and after the game when the students rush the field and celebrate another Cougar win. Oddly enough, this Cougar team – that was supposed to be bad – has twice won the “11Alive Game of the Week” and had those games broadcasted on local TV. The student section has shown strong support this year with strong turnouts both at home and away games.

Junior cheerleader, Bridget Hoffmann (JR) says that, “The students have definitely showed out for the team in support and really want this team to win. The student section has been filled to the top nearly every game and the cheerleaders really enjoy doing their thing in front of a wild student section.”

The students have begun to believe how good this team can be and how successful they can be come playoff time. Fellow senior section leader, Trey Lee (SR), had much praise for the team stating that, “We have a great QB in Corrigan, great offensive weapons from Max Webb (Soph. RB) and two senior WRs in Andrew Thomas (SR) and Isaiah Bivens (SR). The defense is also very good this year, led by Brendan Huet (Sr. Safety) who makes plays all over the field and can be counted on to shut down deep threats.” As you can see, this resilient team is grabbing the attention of the whole school and is giving us a reason to believe that they will be going far in the playoffs.

With the regular season coming to a close in coming weeks, the Cougars hope to take care of business with matches versus Pope, Northview and Alpharetta. If the Cougars can win two of the next three games, they have a top 3 seed in the region waiting for them, which will propel them into the playoffs, the next step for this program. Naturally, BE ELITE!

 

 

Cougars Dominate Dunwoody on Homecoming

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

On Sept. 22 the Chattahoochee Cougars (4-1) bulldozed through the Dunwoody Wildcats (2-2) by the score of 30-14. This win improves the Cougars record to 3-0 in the region, putting them atop the standings. This is one of the fastest starts Chattahoochee has seen over the past few years.

Despite giving up a 35-yard touchdown pass on the Wildcats’ first drive, the Cougars kept their composure. The offense responded with a long drive ending with a 4-yard rushing touchdown from Andrew Thomas (SR) to tie the game at 7-7. Later in the second quarter, the defense forced a fumble, leading to another rushing touchdown, this time from Max Webb (JR). On the very next drive, Joseph Sayles (SR) blocked a punt that was recovered for a touchdown by the Cougars. To keep the score 21-7 going into the half, safety Brendan Huet (SR) had a red zone interception to end a methodical Dunwoody drive.

Coach Strine kept the Cougars aggressive as they opened the second half with a surprise onside kick which was recovered. They scored less than a minute later with a 23-yard scamper from Max Webb, but the PAT was missed. Toward the end of the third quarter, Chattahoochee struck again with a 23-yard field goal from Cecily Mohammed (SR) to extend the lead to 30-7. The strong defense kept Dunwoody out of the endzone for the rest of the quarter. Unfortunately the defense allowed a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but the Cougars held strong and won the game by 16 points.

The Cougars look to extend their 4 game win streak when they travel to play the Centennial Knights (2-3) on Sept. 29. The Knights are currently 3rd place in region and have won 2 games in a row. This is a pivotal game for Chattahoochee as their hopes to remain atop the region relies on it.