Volume XIV, Issue 2 November 2020
Surf â€™s Up
Humans have been riding the tides for hundreds of years, but dogs? With crazy costumes and wacky routines, these incredible animals have a blast surfing alongside their human companions. p. 26
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Voices of the Game
The Return of Paly Athletics
Surfâ€™s Up Dawgs!
What Makes a G.O.A.T.
Women in the Waves
Air Jordan vs The King
Journey for Justice
The Ewing Theory
Living Up to the Hype
Viking Tries: 12,000 Calorie Diet
The Final Word
| OCTOBER 2020
i d i r t S
Photo by Jenna Hickey 4
The cross country team was back on the track practicing four days a week until the recent shutdown of Paly sports. During warmups, they wear masks and make sure to social distance in small groups during the workout. Season 1 officially starts December 14th, barring any
changes due to the COVID pandemic. Season 1 teams are cheer, cross country, field hockey, football, boys and girls volleyball, and boys and girls waterpolo. @vikingsportsmag
| OCTOBER 2020
Back Into the
Photo by Jenna Hickey 6
Many sports are back in full swing and excited for a potential season. Facilities are finally being used once again after being closed for many months. Unfortunately, just as volleyball was starting up, all volleyball practices got postponed for another two weeks, potentially more, due to Santa Clara County entering the purple tier and suspending indoor sports. Varsity was supposed to have their first practice 11/22. The coaches were using this time as a â€œwarm-upâ€? for all the players. Some girls have never played before and others havenâ€™t been on a court in many months. Hopefully the Vikings will be able to get back on the court soon.
| OCTOBER 2020
One Year Ago... About one year ago, the varsity volleyball team was facing off against Mitty. The Vikings would win 3 sets to 2 with #17, Amelia Vugrincic (â€˜22), playing a major role in the teamâ€™s victory. Vugrincic played all five sets and ended the game with 13 kills and 36 attack attempts.
Photo by Jenna Hickey 8
About one year ago today, the sixth-seeded Viking varsity football team faced off against seventh-seeded Oak Grove in the CCS Division ll playoffs. After scraping a win against third seed Palma the week before, Paly parents, students, and alumni packed the stands for the home game. This was the first CCS game played on Paly turf in a while. Although fighting until the very end, the Vikingâ€™s season ended in a devastating 40-36 loss.
| OCTOBER 2020
Viking Editors-in-Chief James Fetter Sophie Kadifa Luke Thieman
Volume XIV, Issue 2 November 2020 Cover + lineup photos courtesy of Karen Hickey
Social Media Managers Justin Byer Annika Shah Photo Director Jenna Hickey
Managing Editors Vijay Homan Liam Nagesh
Copy Editors Hana Erickson Victoria Soulodre
Creative Director Adar Schwarzbach
Head Columnists Vijay Homan Jack Elarde
Multimedia Managers Hayden Jung-Goldberg Jackson Bundy
Beat Editor + Website Manager Tyler Stoen
Business Manager Elif Turgut
Adviser Brian Wilson
Parker Bates Ian Comey Hailey Beck Aidan Berger Henry Bolte Joshua Butler Hailey Callan Anika Chang Eve DeGeronimo Jake Foster David Gormley Jack Haney Zachary Hayward Phoebe Kim Gregory Laursen Ryan Leong Sofia Leva Emily Neumann Callum Olsen Madhumita Ramkumar Roei Ziv
Viking Magazine Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Viking, a sports magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High School’s Advanced Magazine Journalism class, is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The Viking is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost. The staff welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Advertising in Viking The staff publishes advertisements with signed contracts providing they are not deemed by the staff inappropriate for the magazine’s audience. For more information about advertising with The Viking, please contact the The Viking by email at email@example.com Printing Services 2,500 copies of The Viking are printed, six times a year (barring restrictions due to remote learning) by Folger Graphics in Hayward, Calif. Logo Font Courtesy of Måns Grebäck
We were happy to present our first print issue of the year in October, but it didn’t feel right sending out an issue without the normal level of high school sports coverage that is at the core of what we do here. We still don’t have games and seasons to cover, but the brief return to practice allowed us to return—if only for a moment—back to what we do best: covering Paly athletes. Our main feature story covers how the Vikes were returning to the field prior
to the recent shutdown. Check it out on page 20. In our last issue, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Vikings winning the CIF State Championship for football, one of the greatest athletic achievements in our school’s long history (shout out to Davante Adams, who is currently tearing it up in the NFL). However, Paly football was not the only team to bring home the hardware that year. The Girls Volleyball team won the CIF state championship as well, making the 2010 season one of the greatest seasons in Paly sports history. But that’s not the end of the story. The volleyball team followed it up by defending the title the next year. In this issue, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first of two state championships by
the girls volleyball team. We love writing about Paly sports, but you and I both know that that is not why you picked up this magazine. We would be remiss not to mention our dog surfing cover story in this letter, which may be the most fun we’ve ever had writing and editing a story. Think what you want about dog surfers, but there’s no denying that they look sick. And from a photography standpoint, our cover photo may be one of the best we have ever used. As much as we want to say that our Paly stories are the highlights of the magazine, nothing can really compare to the outrageous world of dog surfing. We had a lot of fun with this one, and hopefully you have some fun reading it. Sko Vikes!
Hope for the Future
lease wait, the host will let you in soon. At the beginning of this year, you might have associated this phrase with something a doorman would say at an upscale dinner party. But ever since school has shifted online due to COVID, students at Paly resentfully read this phrase whenever they join their class Zoom meetings. A phrase that traditionally inspired excitement now leaves students dreading 75 minutes of pain (or even worse on Mondays). We can all agree that 2020 has been tough. It feels like this year has stolen almost everything about high school that we love and cherish. But there’s still might be hope for this seemingly doomed semester. Paly athletes are tentatively planning on getting together to train, assuming Santa Clara Country can reduce the number of COVID cases. Unfortunately, with inevitable holiday gatherings coming up, the near future is not looking too bright. Sigh. It’s especially frustrating, because athletics gives Paly students a chance to finally see their friends and make new ones, recapturing some of what was lost over the last six months. Over Zoom you miss out on the conversations that happen during passing periods, the side banter at your desk before the teacher begins lecturing, seeing peers out on the quad at lunch—these subtle interactions just aren’t the same online. With that being said, when in session, athletics is a golden opportunity. Many
James Fetter Sophie Kadifa Luke Thieman
teens are lonely, tired of sitting in front of experiences and a great chance to meet their computers for hours at a time, and new people. Many freshmen already desperate to go outside and socialize. share this sentiment from the offseason Paly athletics answers all of these needs. workouts they’ve experienced, as can be Despite athletics being the perfect seen in “The Return of Paly Athletics” on antidote to many problems generated page 20. by Zoom school, freshman enrollment This editorial is primarily directed in some sports is down this year (keep in at freshmen, as we feel that returning mind that these figures were taken before students have a better grasp of what high the most recent shutdown). Preliminary school athletics looks like. But for those interest for girls’ volleyball is close to returning students who are questioning half of what it is in a regular year. Similar whether or not they should participate in figures can be found in water polo. The athletics, the same advice goes to you. girls’ cross-country team reportedly has Obviously all of this is contingent on fewer than five freshmen participating. the feasibility of sports even happening To be fair, these low participation during this pandemic. Hopefully a numbers represent preseason statistics, vaccine comes out and we can go back which are sure to grow as the start of the to doing what we love. Assuming most season nears. What’s more, field hockey sports have a season, our staff hopes you has reported 13 freshmen trying out, all take this rallying cry to heart. an increase from five the year before. It’s now the month of November, and So maybe overall freshmen enrollment by the time many of you read this it will this year is not significantly out of the be just weeks away from the new year. ordinary. 2020 will be over soon, but many of the In either case, at Viking we feel the need same problems that plague our lives to spread the word to all Paly Freshmen: (pun intended) will continue into the new Try a sport, any sport! year. We know better than anyone how We hope that life returns to normal soon important sports are for a complete high so that we can fill the stands to cheer on school experience, and many incoming football, raise the roof for basketball, root eight graders have never really been for volleyball, water polo, cross country, given the chance to officially represent and field hockey. But until that point, we their schools. It’s important that people hope all Paly students make the best of new to Paly understand the value of this time and sign up for sports. Because being part of a team. for many of us, Paly athletics is one of the You may think that sports just aren’t few things on the horizon that gives us your thing and that the seniors are too hope for the future. big and scary, but we promise you that athletics will provide you with invaluable @vikingsportsmag | OCTOBER 2020 | 11
Pop Culture Grid Favorite Phone Game? Delaney Ball ‘23 Among Basketball Us
2048 Anna Nemerov ‘22 Field NYT Hockey Crossword Puzzles
Clash of Clans
All-Time Favorite Athlete?
Favorite Paly Season?
Supreme or Bape?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Winter because Basketball
Wrestling and Baseball
No hypebeasts here
Tommy Hall ‘21 Baseball
Laird Olsen ‘24 Star Wars Water Polo
Guess the Viking Staff Member
From left to right: David Gormley, Annika Shah, Emily Neumann 12
10 Questions With
Viking Magazine had the chance to ask Paly girls’ basketball player Ilayda Turgut (‘21) 10 Questions. We then asked her sister, teammate and friend what they thought she said. Here are their responses...
Ilayda Turgut ‘21 Basketball
Elif Turgut ‘21 Sister
Annika Shah ‘21 Teammate
Nora Bajor ‘21 Friend
Questions Annika Shah
Nike or Adidas?
Home vs. Away?
Love Island U.K.
Favorite TV Show?
Avatar: The Last Air Bender
Love Island U.K.
Rather watch Basketball or Football?
Pro or College Sports?
Money by Cardi B
Pre Game Song?
WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion
Money by Cardi B
Some rap song idk
| OCTOBER 2020
WordSearch Word Bank
Athlete Field Hockey
Ray Field Vikings
Water Polo Peery Center
Football El Camino
by PARKER BATES, JAKE FOSTER and ELIF TURGUT
In honor of the 2010 State Championship girls volleyball team, the Viking staff wanted to acknowledge the victory and success of these former Paly stars. The 2010 team finished the season with only one loss and to put the cherry on top, returned home with a big state trophy. The next year, the Vikings even went on to reclaim their 2010 State Championship title.
Photo courtesy of Brandon Dukovic @vikingsportsmag
| OCTOBER 2020
very athlete dreams of winning a game that was so hard worked for. Every practice, every minute, every instance is a moment to work on the game. In 2010, the Paly girls volleyball team made it to the State Championship finals. Going into the final game, Paly knew they were the underdogs by a landslide and if they were to have any chance against the Southern California powerhouse, they would have to bring their A game. Former player on the Paly girls volleyball team, Megan Coleman (‘11), recalls her thought process before the big game. “I remember that we were a confident
the 2010 state championship game like it was yesterday. The year prior, Paly had made the CCS finals beating both Presentation and St. Francis in the playoffs, but the girls met their match against Mitty and were unfortunately done for the 2009 season. The upsetting loss however acted only as a motivator for the season ahead. “I knew we “We knew the champions of had a bright Socal had to be a powerhouse upside, so going into so in all honesty we knew we 2010, I thought had a shot, but also we knew we had a pretty we were the clear underdogs.” good chance to at least get back to the CCS finals again,” Winn said. Photo courtesy of David Winn team throughout the season, but that last The 2010 team game was daunting,” Coleman said. “We started off their knew the champions of SoCal had to be season strong, winning a record breaking teams without home court advantage, a powerhouse so in all honesty we knew 26 games in a row. Game 27 then rolled the girls pulled off both wins and made we had a shot but also we knew we were around and Paly lost their first game that their way to the San Jose State pavilion for the state finals. Both Paly and Long the clear underdogs.” season to Los Gatos in five sets. David Winn, the girls volleyball head “Everyone was so pissed off because Beach Poly had large crowds cheering them on. coach at Paly led both 2010 and 2011 we lost the streak “I just teams to state championship victories. and I said guys “I remember a huge pile r e m e m b er Now coaching at Mountain View High you know they t u r n i n g School and a club team, MVVC , with over don't give out of the players on the court around and 20 years of experience, Winn remembers medals, or take and coaches were spinning looking up pictures because you won 26 in a around. No one knew what to at the crowd because it row, they do that do with themselves.” was San Jose if you win a state State, and we championship. had probably And I didn't really 1,200 people know in my heart there,” Winn of hearts at that said. time if they could The Long Beach Poly team was do it but I told them ‘Yes, anything’s intimidating to say the least; three of possible,’” Winn said. Despite coming off of a tough loss and their players were committed to division facing two challenging private school one programs. Paly however was nothing
-Megan Coleman (‘11)
Photo courtesy of Matt Ersted
the big game. Being neck-and-neck, the last game “Coming all was the determining factor of who came the way up from out the winner. During that final game, Southern California, Paly was down 13-9 in the fifth set, the opposing team which was a race to 15 points. Paly, the had very loud underdogs, were on the brink of defeat. fans, but not very many,” “I just remember turning Whitson said. “Many fans around and looking up at the seemed to crowd because it was San Jose be adults or State, and we had probably siblings of the player. I also 1200 people there. “ recall the fans wearing some sort of large fluorescent, bright yellow t-shirts.” However, spirits remained high and Long When asked Beach Poly made several errors bringing about the Paly Paly’s score to a nail biting 13-11 with crowds, Whitson Long Beach Poly still in the lead. After remembered Paly having a big and loud Paly was one point away from victory, crowd. Fans fueled the game’s intensity Whitson describes her favorite moment and stakes could have never been higher. to be the final ace that won the game. “I think the games went back and “It was a serve that went to the back forth. It came down to each winning two line to the other side,” Whitson said. “The games,” Whitson said. other team was hoping it was out, but when it was not, the crowds exploded. It felt like one of those lifetime moments, just the exhilaration of so much work during the game and that intense finish and victory. I remember a huge pile of the players on the court and coaches were spinning around. No one knew what to do with themselves.” The crowd, astonished by a miraculous comeback, celebrated in a fit of joy and pride, the Paly girls volleyball team had just won their first state title. After a suspenseful game, Whitson recalls the celebration which consisted of a big party with lots of ice cream. The next year, the team went on to win the state championship again, securing their legacy in Paly’s history. Today, the girls volleyball team has carried on the legacy that began ten years ago. For the past three years, the Vikings have won leagues every year and last year they qualified for the open division of CCS. The future is also looking bright for the Vikings with competitive underclassmen Photo courtesy of Brandon Dukovic that will help continue their successes.
Coach David Winn
short of their talent. Debbie Whitson, a Paly Economics teacher and proud parent of player Kimberely Whitson (‘12) spectated the 2010 Paly girls volleyball championship game against Long Beach Poly. As a mother, Whitson was ecstatic to attend such an important game and watch her daughter succeed alongside her teammates. The championship game was held in San Jose. The crowd was packed full of spectators from both teams, ranging from family members to friends, all there to witness
| OCTOBER 2020
Game of the
by VIJAY HOMAN and EMILY NEUMANN The announcers who devote their lives to calling games for our entertainment are an essential part of almost every major sport in the world. Many legendary announcers have worked to solidify the field, and newer members of the community are breaking barriers every year.
LA Dodgers announcer Vin Scully (above) poses for a photo during his final season with the Dodgers. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons. teph Curry dribbles the ball up the court prepared to score against Oklahoma City Thunder as precious seconds run off the overtime clock. With the game tied, he pulled up from beyond thirty feet, sinking a three pointer and putting his team in the lead with 0.6 seconds remaining. This moment lives on as one of the best shots of his career, yet it wouldn’t nearly have been as incredible if not for the legendary call from Mike Breen, a sports announcer. As the ball was released from Curry’s fingers, swishing into the net, Breen belted out his infamous call, “Bang! Bang!” as the crowd went silent. This phrase has become a threshold for important and memorable moments in the NBA resulting in accelerating Breen’s announcing career. The game between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder was a normal regular season game, but Breen’s call had such a lasting impact that some people now consider Curry’s shot his most famous three. Stephen Curry is a
Vin Scully: |
Sept 30, 1953: At 25, Scully becomes the youngest broadcaster of a World Series Game ever.
November 29, 1927: Vin Scully is born in New York
A legendary career 18
world renowned NBA player who has narrate the game with enthusiasm. One shot many buzzer beaters from beyond call can make an announcer a legend in the three point line, but that moment the realm of the sport showing the lasting goes to show that a call can completely impact just a couple words can have. change the shot’s outlook. They may come and go, but announcers The influence that announcers have on are remembered for how they transform games is immeasurable, but many fans the game for the viewers. Recent don’t realize how drastically different technology has allowed games to be games would be without them. Every watched virtually anywhere, racking up game is impacted by announcers views for cable companies and making even though One call can make an it the announcer’s job to keep their importance the audience’s attention. isn’t typically announcer a legend in Games aren’t always extremely recognized by the realm of the sport, entertaining and exciting to fans. Not only do showing the lasting watch, yet sports announcers announcers easily impact that just a couple find innovative ways to amuse recall how a certain fans. This may include small words can have. call immortalized talk or poking fun in hopes to a shot or basket encourage fans to continue forever, but they also explain the watching. Sports channels owe much of game play by play, making it relatively their success to sports announcers given understandable even if you’ve little to no one would settle for an increasingly no experience with the game. If unable silent game. to catch the game, radio channels Some people in recent decades broadcast the sports announcer live, have begun breaking barriers in the making it crucial for the commentator to announcing world, most notably Doris
April 18, 1950: Scully broadcasts his first regularseason Dodgers game |
1958: Scully moves with his wife to LA, following the Dodgers move from Brooklyn
Burke in professional basketball. In 2017, Burke became the first woman to serve as a full time network NBA analyst, and this year she made history as the first female to ever announce in the NBA finals. Formally she worked as an analyst for WNBA games and college basketball ESPN and ABC. Prior to that, she played college basketball for Providence college, and was selected to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame as an honor for her pioneering work. There have been very few women sports announcers, and Burke has paved the way for women in this career field. Delaney Ball, a sophomore at Palo Alto High School and member of the girls varsity basketball team, shared some insight on her opinions about Burke as an announcer. “Doris Burke is an outstanding commentator, one of the best in the field. I always think she does an amazing job Mike Breen (right) does a pregame show before a Knicks game. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons and gives a great insight to the game,” game, and other key games and events. announcers, for the most part, they are Ball said. Bonnstetter hopes to continue a career in highly thought of. A junior at Paly, Ryan Burke’s accomplishments and broadcasting and announcing at games, Lykken is a big sports fan who constantly knowledge of basketball has inspired while continuing to work with the NBA keeps up with sports news and games. many as she continues to represent and Sports Illustrated. One other sports “I always listen to their comments to females working for the NBA. announcer he looks up to is Jim Nace, help me grasp what’s going on. They Sports announcers have to begin a legendary multi-sport commentator change the way I look at different plays,” somewhere, and Paly who Bonnsteeter has Lykken said. junior Max Bonnstetter “Doris Burke is an interviewed in the past. He too is very fond of Doris Burke as has his sights set on outstanding commentator, “Nace is one of my well as Dick Vitale, an announcer that becoming one in the one of the best in the field biggest role models. continued his career despite his age. future. At the age of “It’s so cool that Vitale is 81 years old ... she does an amazing Ever since I was young 11, Bonnstetter won a watching sports, I’ve and still commentating at games. Doris job” competition to become always been hearing his Burke is also really good at analyzing a Sports Illustrated Kids - Delaney Ball (‘23) voice in the background the game, both of them I find are really Reporter. An avid fan of commentating. I hope to interesting to listen to” Lykken said. basketball, Bonnstetter be like him someday,” The announcing world has only grown began his career Bonnstetter said. as more fans have begun watching covering the NCAA Tournament and While there are many skilled games online, and more and more other basketball related events. Through announcers who fans love to hear, there diverse people are becoming fan these opportunities, he was able to are others who fans choose to heckle favorites. They make the game more interview some incredible athletes and and make fun of because of their lack of enjoyable and interesting for everyone coaches. The interview that made him go skill. One in particular, Joe Buck, has seen watching, and they allow the common viral was with South Carolina head coach lots of hate from MLB fans over the past viewer to relate to people close to the Frank Martin, boosting his career and few years. Fans even show up to games game. Sports announcers should be landing him a segment with Kobe Bryant with signs reading “I drove 800 miles so cherished instead of completely looked on the Tonight Show. From there, the I wouldn’t have to listen to Joe Buck call over. Whatever role they serve as part NBA reached out and asked Bonnstetter this game.” These types of actions from of the everyday fan’s life, one thing is to become a Junior NBA reporter where fans can seem harmless, but they can certain: they are an irreplaceable part of he has continued his career covering also drive many people out of the scene. almost every sport. events such as the NBA Draft, NBA All Star Despite some hatred towards specific
1964: The New York Yankees offer a high paying job as their announcer. Scully declines
April 21, 2001: The Dodgers name the press box in Dodger Stadium after Scully
1995: Scully is inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame
2016: Vin Scully retires from announcing after 67 seasons @vikingsportsmag
| OCTOBER 2020
by ANIKA CHANG, HAILEY BECK, DAVID GORMLEY and LIAM NAGESH While online learning has stripped Paly of its spirit, culture, and student life, after-school practices at Paly have brought the light back onto campus. The return has not been easy. The pandemic has challenged athletes with reduced practice time and limiting restrictions, but even if cheerful shouts of encouragement are muffled by a mask and six feet of distance, the sense of joy is undeniable. *EDITORâ€™S NOTE* This story was written and researched prior to Santa Clara county reentering the purple tear on November 17, which prompted school officials to suspend both indoor and outdoor workouts. Hopefully our athletes can get back to training soon.
Photo by James Fetter
Paly Athletics A Taste of Normal
| OCTOBER 2020
s of November 18, Paly sports have been postponed. Throughout the summer and fall, sports have been repeatedly cancelled and reinstated as the COVID situation has shifted. While there will be no practices on campus for the next three weeks, they, and their impact on Paly athletes, will return. Fall sports often serve as a gateway for incoming freshmen into the Paly community, but never have they been more vital in integrating new students into school life than in 2020. Traditionally, the fall semester for new students is a period where they create their first links with the Paly community. These connections are formed through on-campus activities such as trips to Town and Country or spirit week, but for freshmen like Grace Gormley, building these relationships is more difficult because of remote learning. This year,
may not have a season at all.” Boys varsity water polo coach Ethan Look understands the importance of giving new students like Gormley the chance to be a part of the Paly community. “[We] give them a place where they can come together with other freshmen… and get to know the people that they would be in classes with,” Look said. Despite limited practice time, the postponed season has provided some unexpected benefits for Look and his varsity and JV teams. “In a normal season, we might not see most of these freshmen until tryouts started. So I think that’s kind of one of the beauties of this is that we have all four classes out here in a preseason,” Look said. While many view the return of Paly sports as a return to some aspects of normalcy, Look had a different perspective. “It’s everything we know and love, but normal is not the first word I “It’s hard to be in the kind of would choose. [We cannot] mindset… to be thinking that take things for everything’s going to get cancelled… granted because they were taken [A]ll we can do is… keep our eyes on away from us so the prize if the prize is going to be quickly,” Look said. available to us.” Community members in Palo Alto have voiced concerns Gormley’s lone physical connection to about the return of practices, but the school is the three weekly practice Look has worked tirelessly to keep his sessions that are offered for girls water team, and the surrounding community, polo. safe. “The biggest thing for [Paly water polo] “We’re just doing what we can to be safe is the sense of community that I’ve been in the circumstances. We’re following all missing,” Gormley said. the guidelines and regulations,” Look To maintain social distancing, coaches said. “I understand why they wouldn’t are limited in the drills that they can want to be hosting provide their teams, particularly for practices. But I a contact sport like water polo, but think the benefits Gormley is grateful for the pool time that we get despite the alterations. while still being “I [am] really lucky to be able to have very, very safe, some sort of resemblance of the practice outweigh that.” that we had before,” Gormley said. In the midst of While it’s possible that the teams a pandemic, the currently practicing will be unable to future is entirely play when the season is set to begin in unpredictable, but January, Gormley recognizes that these Look recognizes practices serve as more than just game the mental space preparation. that he and his “I think that just being in the pool, players need getting to know my teammates, and entering an getting to know Paly polo... is something uncertain season. exciting,” Gormley said. “Even though we “It’s hard to be in
- Coach Ethan Look
the kind of mindset… to be thinking that everything’s going to get canceled It’s going to wear you down pretty quickly in times like this,” Look said. “So all we can do is… keep our eyes on the prize if the prize is going to be available to us.” One of Look’s captains on the Varsity team this year is Sidd Sahasrabuddhe (‘21). As a leader, he recognizes the importance of team bonding that gives the squad strength in challenging moments. However, these values are more difficult to cultivate in times when players are supposed to stay away from each other and practice time is limited. “Right now… it’s kind of hard to build the chemistry [that] we had in past years because we’re not able to have team dinners every week before actually playing games,” Sahasrabuddhe said. The practices have also served to replace some of the social interaction that students have been deprived of with online learning. “There’s a giant social aspect and I missed seeing everyone, [so] it was great to get back in the pool with my team,” Sahasrabuddhe said. Sahasrabuddhe and his team have faced limited practice time as pool time is stretched thin between swimming and water polo, which has forced them to capitalize on the precious hours that they do have. “There’s definitely a feeling of wanting to get the most out of each time we’re in the pool,” Sahasrabuddhe said. While Sahasrabuddhe is hopeful for a season in January, he also has the bigger picture perspective. “I would hate for my last high school water polo game to be a CCS loss to MA.... but obviously there’s bigger things going on right now than high school sports,” Sahasrabuddhe said. “And we
Photo by David Gormley
Photo by James Fetter are all aware of that reality.” For water polo player Aanya Kumar (‘22), the restrictions have changed a team sport into an individual game. The guidelines have split Kumar’s team’s roster into pods, which has made it difficult to emulate the spirit of a typical season. “The guidelines aren’t too unreasonable, but the team is split up which… makes it harder to bond as a whole team,” Kumar said. This also forced Kumar to approach the team sport of water polo with an individual mindset. “Now because we can’t work as much as a team, I feel like it’s a chance to work on the fundamentals of the sport and improve as a player individually,” Kumar said. Kumar’s coach, Deke Rowell, has put additional emphasis on conditioning due to the limited pool time. “We have a lot more swimming which is not fun…, but it gets us back into shape and faster,” Kumar said. The renewed focus on individual fundamentals has allowed Kumar to build her confidence as a player. “We work on the basics a lot because our coach…believes that if you have a solid foundation you’ll be a great player,” Kumar said. For Paly junior Harrison Williams, an elite swimmer and centerpiece of the boys swim team, access to facilities has never been an issue, but with the arrival of the lockdown, he was forced to be creative with his training schedule. “There weren’t many options,” Williams said. “In terms of offseason training I did what I could just going on runs doing bike rides.” This fall, Williams has not taken the
shot this year to win our first ever CCS title,” Williams said. For Isa Morabia (‘22), the restrictions have made cross country practices less accessible. Without the easy access of Paly facilities after school, the commute has become more challenging. “I have to go from my house to practice, so it takes a while to get to Paly, and sometimes I don’t have a ride,” Morabia said. Distance learning has also made it more difficult to attend practices. “Once school ends I need some time to… sit back and rest because I am super tired from the day,” Morabia said. “When I go to practice right after school I tend to be in the wrong mindset.” Due to the difficulty of attending Paly practices, Morabia has spent more time training individually, but she has found it tough to balance it with the school workload. “Training at home can be challenging because, without a solid routine, it’s hard to find motivation to go out, but during the week I try to save time after school to go on runs around my neighborhood,” Morabia said. Unlike Morabia, freshman runner Grant Morgenfeld has managed to maintain a consistent training schedule, despite the
return of Paly athletics and their facilities for granted. “Time spent at Paly is really valuable… I try to take full advantage of it by competing with others and… spending that hour and a half efficiently,” Williams said. Although it is not a fall sport, swimming is currently holding practices between the Paly and JLS pools. Williams believes that this extended offseason provides benefit to those who did not have access to proper training facilities over the break. “For people that maybe didn’t “…Obviously there’s bigger things [train] as much in quarantine, now going on right now than high school is the perfect sports and we are all aware of that chance for them to get caught up,” reality.” Williams said. B e t w e e n shutdowns from C O V I D and poor air quality additional jump from middle school. from the fires, Williams found it difficult “I had a lot of fun running in middle to establish mental consistency. He school. And then I kept running during combated this issue by leaning on the the pandemic; my routine wasn’t super support of his teammates. different,” Morgenfeld said. “[Every] once in a while, our team would The lack of practices during the summer get on the call together or do something led Morgenfeld to pursue hobbies in person, socially-distanced, [which] outside of the track, such as learning to definitely helped me mentally,” Williams play the guitar. said. Even though the pandemic did not While it appears that in the near future alter his routine significantly, the hours practices will continue at Paly, the primary spent without his teammates ultimately event that Williams is concerned about spurred a deeper appreciation for the happening is the CCS championship unity that team practices bring. meet in May. “I took it for granted before… I like “For me, and for the Paly men’s swim running by myself, but it helps a lot team, I think we would all be really to have someone challenging you,” disappointed if the event were canceled Morgenfeld said. because we definitely have a really good @vikingsportsmag | OCTOBER 2020 | 23
- Sidd Sahasrabuddhe (‘21)
Although in California it is Photo courtesy of Glenn Oba more common to see athletes training in an outdoor pool or field, Justin Zhang (‘22) is an exception as an ice hockey player. In mid-March, as the majority of schools and facilities began closing for quarantine, club and high school ice hockey also came to a halt. As the pandemic has worsened, Zhang has become less hopeful about the prospect of a season. “We don’t really know,” Zhang said. “We’ve just been having camps so far, and tryouts have just been continuously pushed back. Before they said October and then they pushed it back to the end of November.” Even without the pandemic, there are many other challenges when it comes to playing ice hockey in California. Since there are not many teams, it can require those teams to travel farther than other sports to compete. Although Zhang still hopes for even a postponed season, he is also concerned about what a pandemic season might look like. “We’ve been having practice for like “There’s only a couple of teams in four months now and it feels about California, which means we’d have to normal in comparison to a usual season,” Zhang said. “…In this time I think you really The new safety precautions have appreciate the opportunities you also changed have just to go out and play soccer how Zhang trains. Previously, dryland with friends a couple times a week.” workouts required the use of a gym and equipment, however due to high risk of crosstravel further to play other teams,” Zhang contamination in gyms and usage of shared equipment, the team was forced said. While some students have been moving to find other ways to train. “We don’t have access to the gym or to other states to have school in-person, some of Zhang’s teammates have moved weights anymore, because we couldn’t to other states to play hockey with less fit the whole roster into the gym safely,” Zhang said. “So we just do isometrics, restrictions. Although Zhang has not pursued out body weight stuff, and running for of state options, his club has found ways dryland.” The circumstances have forced Zhang’s to practice safely with new precautions coach to adapt in order to engage the and by skipping tournaments. However, Paly’s high school ice hockey practices team. “I feel like the coach is just making are still not being held. Although this up drills at this point. He does random situation isn’t ideal, Zhang is content with agility and reaction drills I’ve never seen the ice time from club practices.
- Vienna Liu (‘22)
before,” Zhang said. Dylan Oba (‘22), Zhang’s teammate on the Palo Alto High School hockey team, has also had a unique experience adapting to the new regulations. Over the summer, informal summer camps for his club hockey team were held in Vacaville due to the more lenient restrictions in that county compared to other counties. Even though they were able to practice, spots were limited. Oba’s coach would send out an email to around 30 players, and the first 20-25 players to respond were allowed to practice. “The coach has favorites and he only invites favorites,” Oba said. With limited ice time, the stakes were extremely high and players that did not respond or said that they could not make a practice were not invited again. To ensure athletes’ safety during practices, each athlete was required to fill out a questionnaire about their current health before practice and during practice, be socially distant with masks. “For hockey, we have to change outside and then go into the rink fully dressed. We put on everything except for our skates outside,” Oba said. “Previously we had locker rooms.” Vienna Liu (‘22), a soccer and field hockey player, has battled with injury throughout the pandemic period, which has made it simultaneously easier to cope with missed time and frustrating to not be able to take advantage of limited field time. Liu’s injury occurred during one of the first Paly soccer practices last December. Just ten minutes into practice, Liu tore her achilles: a rare occurrence for someone her age. This forced Liu to take a break from sports for the rest of the winter season and into the spring season as she underwent surgery and recovered. Liu approached the break from sports during COVID no different from her initial routines in recovery. “I think one way to look at it was it gave me a chance to really focus on going back and getting back into sports because I was able to focus on my rehab and everything,” Liu said. “So I think in some ways, the break was beneficial for me but definitely not for anyone that was
actually participating in sports.” Towards the end of April, with many sports resuming virtual practices online, Liu was cleared to participate in fitnessoriented activities as long as they were not too rigorous. Over the summer, she focused heavily on running progressions and endurance. When Palo Alto Soccer Club, the club soccer team Liu plays for, began resuming in-person practices towards the end of July, Liu’s doctor had just cleared her for sprinting and running exercises. As Liu has slowly emerged from a debilitating injury, she has begun to feel the limitations that the pandemic has brought. In September, Liu’s doctor cleared her for contact and physical play, however it hasn’t allowed her to do any more than what she has been doing at practices since contact drills are not allowed. Nevertheless, Liu is grateful that she was able to make a healthy recovery and that the timeline of her recovery somewhat matched that of returning to sports practice during the pandemic. She now plays both club soccer outside of school and field hockey at Paly, which has given her an opportunity to escape from online classes. “Well, right now, just because we’re on our screen for eight hours a day…sports practices are the highlight of my day just because [of the] socialization factor. I love just being able to sweat,” Liu said. “You really take sports for granted…in this time I think you really appreciate the opportunities you have just to go out and play soccer with friends a couple times a
Photos by James Fetter
week.” Ontiveros said. Looking around at the Paly football field, When Ontiveros first stepped onto Paly it’s hard to tell that there is a pandemic. campus four years ago, he never thought The football team stretches and laughs his last year at Paly would primarily be together, but they speak a little louder spent in the confines of his home. With than usual to bridge the six foot gap that the school year uncertain, Ontiveros separates them. recognizes that his team may be one of Despite the regulations in place and the last physical connections with the the uncertain status of sports this year, Paly community as a senior. Adriel Ontiveros (‘21) believes that head “I’m surprised because time flies like coach Nelson Gifford has the team on everyone says. I can remember my track for a successful season. freshman year clearly, and now it’s my “[The coaches] are hopeful for the “I’m surprised because time flies like season but they know how serious everyone says. I can remember my the situation is and they make freshman year clearly, and now it’s my sure that everyone last few months of Paly, but I’m ready is handling the situation correctly,” to give it one more go.” Ontiveros said. “Right now we’ve been going over the playbooks on offense and defense a lot, we’re going last few months of Paly, but I’m ready to over everything we need to know and we give it one more go,” Ontiveros said. feel prepared.” The vibrant climate that many of Paly’s Playbook study and conditioning has most quintessential traditions bring to made up the bulk of football practices so the school has been extinguished by far, but that is set to change on December online learning. With practices back in 14th, the day the team will be cleared action, students have received a long to wear pads during practice. The 14th awaited reconnection with this beloved also marks a year and 22 days since the student life. It has not been easy; limited Vikings heartbreaking 40-36 loss to Oak practice times, restrictions, and an Grove in the playoffs last year, which uncertain future have put a damper on continues to motivate the players this the Viking spirit that typically thrives. season. Nevertheless, for a few hours as each “We lived and learned from the loss, day wanes, Paly sports have created a but it for sure fuels us to make the push semblance of the classic buzz of autumn further [through the playoffs] this year,” life back on the campus.
- Adriel Ontiveros (‘21)
| OCTOBER 2020
DAWGS by HANA ERICKSON and JENNA HICKEY All photos courtesy of Karen Hickey
obbing up and down on the ocean waves, the light glints off his golden curls. The sun beats down upon him as he patiently waits for the perfect wave. Waiting... waiting...waiting. The spectators excitedly watch from the shore. Out in the distance, a wave catches his eye, he turns on his board, and with a small push he’s off. He gracefully jumps to his feet and rides the wave all the way to the shore. He sees his best friend and runs towards him. He jumps onto him... with his tail wagging? This is no standard surf competition: the dogs are in the house. Derby is a surf dog who competes in dog surfing competitions. Derby was adopted by his owner, Kentucky Gallahue, seven years ago when Gallahue w a s looking for a
In past issues of Viking you may have seen numerous articles about normal sports, but why limit ourselves to just human sports? Welcome to the world of animal sports where dogs can surf just as well as humans. Dog surfing has its own community filled with energetic owners and eager dogs. Dogs compete in different surfing events and take part in many competitions.
goldendoodle. Four years ago, they moved from Atlanta to San Diego. At the time, Gallhue was sporting a mohawk and decided that Derby should get one too so that they could be twins. This look is a signature hairstyle for the duo and they’ve also had some fun experimenting with different colored hair. The hair stood out on another level when the two began to surf. Surfing was on Gallahue’s bucket list and so when they moved out to San Diego it seemed like the perfect opportunity to start. He brought Derby thinking he would stay on the beach and play with the other dogs, but as Gallahue waded into the ocean to start practicing, Derby followed him in. Gallahue put Derby on a board and Derby stood up and rode the wave all the way to the shore. “I was happy but mad at the same time because it was so crazy,” Gallahue said. “But then again, he learned to surf before I did.” Coming from the East Coast, Gallahue had only seen surf videos, but once he moved to Southern California, he understood it wasn’t just a sport, but a
lifestyle. While riding the waves one day, someone approached Gallahue and told him about a surfing competition for dogs. Gallahue signed up despite him never attending a surf competition At the competition in Imperial Beach, they got fifth place out of 30 dogs. Even though they were new and this was their first competition, many people still came up to them and asked where they came from and how long they had been surfing. They began making friends with other dog owners which allowed Gallahue to learn tips from his peers. It took a while for Gallahue to learn to surf individually but he then had to relearn with an additional 60 pound weight on the front of the board. “A lot of my surfing friends do really well with their dogs, but they’re surfing with 20 pound dogs, and they’ll stay at the tip of the board,” Gallahue said. “When you’re surfing with another basically human and you’re doing all the work, it can get tiring.” The pair competes in dog surfing events and at four competitions: Imperial
“But then again, he learned to surf before I did.” -Kentucky Gallahue
Beach, Del Mar dog beach, Huntington Beach, and Pacifica, the world dog surfing championship. During these events, Gallahue has loved meeting other surf dogs and their owners. “Learning tips from them was the best thing because I didn’t really understand how the waves work,” Gallahue said. Gallahue additionally works at an animal center during the summer to teach other owners how to teach their dogs to surf. “People we taught three years ago are actually surfing with us today in the competition,” Gallahue said. “It’s just so crazy that now I can pass on this knowledge to people who want to have fun with their dogs out in the ocean.” The dynamic duo has garnered international fame, featured not only on Good Morning America, but also BBC and in Chinese and Japanese media Showing up to their interviews in matching hoodies and blue mohawks, it is clear this is something they enjoy doing together. The two even ride a motorcycle with a sidecar and scooter together. Gallahue says their biggest accomplishment is the fact that they can both get on the surfboard at the same time. Surfing in general was on Gallahue’s bucket list of something to do eventually,
but he never thought he would be doing it with Derby. They got to travel the world together and have crazy adventures. “We do this for the smiles,” Gallahue said. “We love to put smiles on people’s faces, I love hanging out with my best friend here and doing any kind of crazy adventure.” Derby and Gallahue are going to be on an Amazon Prime show called,The Pack, which is coming out on November 20. Filmed earlier this year, Derby and Gallahue got to participate in an Amazing Race style competition with other dogs. They traveled around the world and ran through cities such as Mexico City, Costa Rica, Switzerland, London, and many other places. “We’ve met so many great other contestants who are now our greatest friends,” Gallahue said. They are opening their own store where you can get matching hoodies to match your dog along with working on a children’s book, and they are even hoping for a cartoon. Due to COVID,-19, they have found other ways to keep busy. Derby learned how to open the refrigerator, balance treats, and played his favorite game, fetch. They are both active so it was difficult to stay cooped up in the house, but now that some restrictions have been lifted, they are excited to get back to the beach.
“It’s all about having fun with your best friend out there in the water.” -Kentucky Gallahue
“Now that we can kind of go back out to the beach, as long as we stay safe, we go out,” Gallahue said. While Derby and Gallahue do compete in competitions, they don’t do it for the glory. “It’s all about having fun with your best friend out there in the water,” Gallahue said. However, Derby and Gallahue aren’t the only duo in the game. In 2013, Michael Yu and his dog, Abbie, became surf legends when Abbie earned the Guinness world record for the longest wave surfed by a dog. She surfed a 107.2 meters wave at a competition in Ocean Beach in San Diego, California on October 18, 2011. To this day she is still the only dog to hold a Guinness World Record for solo surfing. “Getting the record was a lot of fun because no one knew how to measure the length of a ride properly - we ended up taping a GPS running watch to her life jacket in a plastic bag, and then using custom software to calculate the distance from the data,” Yu said. Abbie is the longest competing and most awarded surf dog—13 years of competitive surfing, and dozens and dozens of medals. The largest competition that the pair has been to was the Loews Surf competition, where there were over 30 dogs and owners and about 5,000 spectators on the shore watching. The second largest competition would be the Duke’s Oceanfest in Hawaii, which drew a crowd of 3,000 people on the beach. “The Hawaii dog surfing competitions draw more spectators than the human events do!” Yu said. “They’ve become our second family there, both in and out of surfing.”
| OCTOBER 2020
Scan to watch Abbie perform her legendary move! Both Yu and Abbie have been to many fun competitions each with their own special thing about them. The Dog Surfing World Championships in Northern California is special because that is where Abbie is from. The Surf Dog event in Imperial Beach is a nice beach known for fantastic waves which is a great way to start off the season. The Dog event in Huntington Beach has large and very technical waves similar to a big wave pro event. There is a competition in San Diego by a private shelter that is at Yu’s home break. This was the competition they won when Abbie performed the first board swap. She jumped from her board onto the board of another dog. Since then, other dogs have done it, but Abbie was the first, and it shocked everyone. During competition season, they travel quite a lot—from Northern California to Southern California, and to and from Hawaii. They currently live in Japan, taking the express train from Tokyo to Shonan to go surfing. “Carrying our board through downtown Tokyo and onto a train was definitely one of the most unique surf trips we’ve had!” Yu said. This incredible bond was created when Yu met Abbie at the Humane Society Silicon Valley. Yu was dealing with many life struggles at the time, while simultaneously Abbie had been abandoned on a highway. Abbie was taken to a shelter while Yu would often go on a drive in his car to unwind. One day on a drive, he decided to peak his head into the animal shelter. Abbie was the only dog not barking when people came into the dog area.
“She looked sad and confused as to why she was there. She walked right up to me and licked my hand. I felt like she was saying, ‘I don’t belong here, get me out of here,’” Yu said. The shelter owner gave him the advice to just let Abbie see the world through his eyes. The two became inseparable and shared every moment with each other from then on. One day they went to the beach together for a swim and Yu asked a neighboring surfer if Abbie could rest on his board. Rather than lying down, Abbie stood up and with a light push from Yu she rode the wave all the way to shore. Abbie was able to surf immediately. She wasn’t trained or forced. Yu thinks it’s because she’s an Australian Kelpie. These dogs have a unique talent when herding sheep or jumping up and running across the backs of the sheep. Kelpies have a natural balance and desire to ride things. “Once I saw this, I tried to support her by taking her out 2-3 times a day to surf— much more fun than the dog park,” Yu said. “It was actually ME who had to learn how to paddle and pick waves for her. I learned to surf after she did!” Yu is an athlete himself, loves sports, and has always been a waterman. He has experience rowing, swimming, and diving, but never got around to surfing. “In order to support Abbie’s joy of being in the ocean, I’ve had to learn about surfing myself, and finally learned several years AFTER her,” Yu said. “And I’m still not as good as my dog. However, in helping her find her full potential, I’ve learned a lot more about the ocean and myself. That’s the greatest gift Abbie has ever given me.” Abbie is always training. The pair makes training a part of their lifestyle. Abbie has a lot of rituals like sitting before crossing
“I’ve learned a lot more about the ocean and myself. That’s the greatest gift Abbie has ever given me.” -Michael Yu
the street, waiting before eating, and she says bye to Yu when he leaves without her. “It’s important to give a dog structure so they understand the world around them. Training provides a routine that keeps their mind working, and reduces stress about what’s going on; it’s not just for tricks and obedience,” Yu said. W i t h COVID-19, it has been difficult for the pair to maintain their regular routines, but they are making the most of it. Without walking to work, they aren’t able to do their daily commute walk, however, Yu takes her out for a short walk every three hours during the day. “Having Abbie sleeping next to me while I work, and just being in the house makes it feel less lonely. She has been a great companion during COVID,” Yu said. The hardest part for them has been telling people not to pet her when they go on walks, so that social distancing is maintained. “We have not always been successful, and there have been a few “alcohol baths” when we get home,” Yu said. Yu believes that the hardest challenge about the sport is making sure people understand that dog surfing is an owener-dog bonding activity and an extreme sport. “Many people have started hiring surfers to pitch their dogs in competition, like people hire walkers for dog shows. These people are in it just for trophies and awards.” However, surfing is an opportunity to bond with your dog through sports, and is one of the few dog sports that requires full participation from both owner and dog. “We constantly try to persuade people to get out and surf with their dog, even when there isn’t a competition and cameras around.” Gallhue and Yu can both agree that there’s nothing they’d rather do than spend the whole day with their best friend in the water, making life-long memories.
TWITTER By AIDAN BERGER and TYLER STOEN
Image courtesy of Creative Commons
ince the release of Facebook in 2004, the popularity of social media has increased significantly. As a result, this surge in popularity has transformed the way that athletes communicate with fans and organizations alike. Professional sports stars’ use of social media gives fans and critics a door into their everyday lives, emotions, and beliefs. For example, NBA superstar Lebron James often posts his family enjoying “Taco Tuesday” through an entertaining video of each of the James family members and friends. Social media has also allowed athletes to bring more serious matters into the spotlight. US National Soccer team star,
Tweets via @mPinoe on Twitter
Megan Rapinoe, uses social media and Steelers organization and his long time her big platform to spread her beliefs quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, calling and speak out on social justice issues. him a “loser”. He also attacked the NFL In July, when the BLM movement was as a whole. These strings of tweets made seen across the world in its full form, by Brown may be what is causing many Rapinoe reached out to her community, NFL teams to turn him down, as he encouraging them to support the cause creates controversy and brings drama to along with her. In this way, social media whatever team he’s on. allows athletes to connect and have an Social media has definitely changed the influence on their communities, giving way that athletes communicate with each them the ability to make an impact and other and fans. As the technology and stand up for causes that they believe in. accessibility of social media improves in Conversely, some athletes use the future, it is likely that it will become social media to attack people and an even more important platform for organizations. Last winter, former star athletes. wide receiver Antonio Brown took to twitter to heavily criticize the Pittsburgh @vikingsportsmag | OCTOBER 2020 | 29
OAT— Greatest of All Time. It is a term that we constantly hear in all aspects of society. No place is this term more widely used than in the world of sports, where fans spend days, months, or even years discussing who is the “greatest of all time.” The ongoing conversations regarding the GOATs of sports beg the question: What makes a player the GOAT? People argue that
and their effect outside of their sport. Rarely will an athlete meet all six of these categories, but the few who do can certainly be considered as one of the greatest of all time.
The first GOAT criteria is team accomplishments, which can range from championships to team Tom Brady records to unprecedented success over a single, or multiple, seasons. Perhaps no player has had the same dominance with one team as quarterback Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. After being drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft, Brady led a 20“[Brady] made fans feel like the Patriots were capable of doing anything.”- Dante Black (‘22) year career as the team’s offensive leader, proving to be a true NFL great and a beloved member of the Patriots organization. “He was the heart of the team,” Dante Black (‘22) said. “He made
fans feel like the Patriots were capable of doing anything.” Throughout his career with the Patriots, Brady led the team to nine Super Bowl appearances and a 16-0 undefeated record in 2007. In the nine Super Bowls he played in, Brady won six, the NFL record for most Super Bowl wins by a single player. “He held himself to pretty high standards and enforced [those standards] well,” Black said. “That combined with his skill kept the team alive.” Brady’s skill and leadership both on and off the field were key reasons for the Patriots’ nearly two decade long era of dominance. When analyzing the impact of a player on a team’s successes, one must understand how and why that player affected the team in the way that they did. Physical performance is only part of the equation, as character, hard work, preparation, and being a good teammate all contribute to the effect a player has on their team. All of this is to say that the greatest athletes of all time possess the necessary qualities and
desire to win that in turn help their team reach success. In team sports, the success of the individual nearly by ZACH HA always comes second to JACKSON B the success of the team. PHOEBE KIM Look at Brady, a football titan with piles of awards and winnings. Even at 43 years old in his first season with a new team, he continues to elevate t h e players around him, solidifying himself as one of the greatest of all time.
Establishing a certain player’s ability to perform extremely well compared to their peers is an important part of being considered the GOAT in a certain sport. This can be measured by the personal accomplishment Serena Williams started playing professional tennis at the age of fourteen, and only three years later she won her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open. Ever since this first win, she has dominated the entirety of Women’s tennis, from Grand Slams, Olympics, and even winning a Grand Slam while pregnant Williams career is rivaled by no one. She is second in Grand Slam singles and is tied for the record for the most consecutive weeks ranked number one. Williams
Serena Williams 30
their favorite athletes are the greatest in the history of their sport, but on what grounds do they, and should they, make their claims? In response to these questions, we have compiled a list of criteria that we feel should be greatly considered when debating the GOAT: team accomplishments, individual accomplishments, impact on their sport, personal statistics, longevity of success,
has also won 14 Grand Slam doubles. To go along with her Grand Slam wins she also has four Olympic gold medals. Rachael Owens (‘21) is a varsity tennis player and one of the many that believe Williams is the GOAT of women’s tennis. “She has basically changed the way that people view female athletes, she in a ushered in a new era of powerful and insanely athletic female players,” Owens said. Throughout her career, Williams redefined what it means to be a female athlete. She has broken the barrier of having male and female sports be considered two separate entities. Through her dominant career, Williams has made a strong argument for being the greatest tennis player ever.
Impact On Their Sport
In the history of sports, many players have possessed the proper abilities to propel themselves and their teams to be considered as among the greatest. However, few players have had the extremely rare ability to change the way their game is played, followed, or viewed in society. One of these few players is Golden State Warriors guard S t e p h e n Curry. He is not yet widely considered an NBA GOAT, but his playstyle and approach to the game have had a profound and revolutionary impact on basketball nonetheless. C u r r y c h a n g e d H HAYWARD, the game largely by way of the N BUNDY and 3-pointer, a longer KIM distance shot worth more points. Before Curry and
4 Kayla Treanor has taken over the women’s lacrosse scene ever since the eighth grade, when she gained national attention for receiving an offer to play D1 lacrosse at Syracuse University. Leading The Orange as well as Team USA to win ACC titles, Final Four appearances, and gold medals in the World Cup, Treanor is arguably one of the best players in the game. ”Kayla Treanor is definitely my favorite player. Her exceptional stats reflect how dynamic she is and how she can not only take her defenders 1v1 but also have her head up to feed the open player,” Rachel Ellisen (‘22) said. These statistics include setting the NCAA D1 record for singleseason draw controls with 217 in 2016, becoming Syracuse’s all-time leading goal scorer and second in career points, being one of the most consistent leading All images courtesy of Creative Commons
his barrage of 3’s, the NBA was ruled by big men who dominated by scoring inside, and by mid-range killers who could knock down shots from anywhere inside the perimeter. When Curry came into the league, that all changed. “[Curry] is very important,” said Lucus Sung (‘22) a Paly basketball player and fan. “His shooting has set the tone for NBA teams to start building around the motive of shooting more 3’s.” The 3-point revolution that Curry brought about has changed the way that basketball is played, as teams organize around shooting more 3’s to score points more efficiently, causing defenses to drastically alter their gameplans. Curry’s influence transcends just the NBA, though, as he has influenced millions of players, young and old, around the world. “He played a big role in who I wanted to be as a basketball player,” Sung said. “I started shooting and practicing more 3’s because of him.” Through the explosion of the 3-pointer that he helped bring about by way of his revolutionary playstyle, Curry changed basketball forever.
“He played a big role in who I wanted to be as a basketball player.” - Lucus Sung (‘22)
Personal Statistics scorers for Team USA and leading her team as well as the nation during her senior year with 90 points and a whopping 40 assists. ”I play attack for both Paly and club and Kayla Treanor’s creativity and extraordinary vision have inspired me as well,” Ellisen added. “I’m a huge fan of the women’s USA lacrosse team and I always look forward to watching Kayla Treanor break her defenders’ ankles and fake out the goalie.” Treanor’s ability to dominate on the draw circle and precisely place the ball in her teammate’s sticks as well as in the back of the goal cage make Treanor a world-class athlete and one of the GOATs of lacrosse.
Kayla Treanor @vikingsportsmag
| OCTOBER 2020
Longevity of Success
It’s no secret that Michael Phelps has dominated not only swimming but the Olympics as a whole for a while. Throughout his sixteen-year career, Phelps dominated the field, taking home twenty-three gold medals over the course of four Olympics. Through these four Olympic games, Phelps only failed to qualify for a medal once throughout the twenty-nine races that he participated in. In the 2008 Olympics, Phelps participated in eight different events. He managed to place first in all eight races, and broke the world record for each individual event except for one. This dominance lasted throughout his entire career, as he owns 28 Olympic medals,10 more than any other Olympian. “Michael Phelps is definitely someone who won the genetic lottery, but his technique and dedication have played a huge role in getting him to where he is”, swimmer Audrey Teo (‘21) said. “As a kid, I would rewatch his Olympic swims over and over again because
he made swimming look so graceful” Phelps dominated the Summer Olympics for longer than any student here at Paly. His first Olympics, while not his most dominant, was the 2000 Sydney Olympics. His last Olympic games was the 2016 Rio Games. Competing among the best for 16 years is no easy feat, and Phelps not only competed in but dominated the Olympics. While there are some athletes who have played for longer than Phelps, in order to be considered a GOAT you must be able to dominate your sport for an extended period of time rather than just being along for the ride. Phelp’s extended period of dominance makes him the GOAT of swimming and quite possibly the greatest Olympian ever.
Impact Beyond the Sport
Muhammad Ali was instrumental in revolutionizing the sport of boxing. Ali helped inspire millions of people as well, not only for his astounding performances in the ring, but also as a prominent activist in the Civil Rights Movement. “Not only was he a great fighter but he was a very highly looked upon activist in the Civil Rights movement. This is why I respect him the most,” Lykken said. He gave all those kids with different skin colors a role model to look up to and showed them that they can be great no matter the color of their skin.” Ali was and still is an incredible
for being the first fighter to win the World Heavyweight Championship on three separate occasions, but also for joining the Nation of Islam, where he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. After citing his religious beliefs, Ali refused to be inducted into the U.S. army during the Vietnam War and was banned from boxing for three years at the height of his career. Ali’s heavyweight championship was also stripped from him. Despite this, Ali continued to relentlessly train and fight through the hate that was given to him. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, Ali helped raise millions of dollars for his treatment “[Ali] gave all those kids with and research. Despite his severely impaired motor different skin skills and speech, Ali was colors a role model to look up to.” recognized as a United Nations Messenger of Peace - Ryan Lykken (‘22) and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role model for athletes of all racial humanitarian work in developing backgrounds. Ali is not only known countries before his diagnosis. All images courtesy of Creative Commons
women in the
BY HAILEY CALLAN and SOFIA LEVA
VA E L
Eliza Gaither, Kat Thomsen, and Isabella Jones share their experiences of what itâ€™s like being female surfers in a male-dominated community.
| OCTOBER 2020
he warmth from the sun hits your face as you are lying on your board in the cool water. You see a promising wave coming in the distance and the water flows between your fingers as you start to paddle. The sound of a cresting wave fills your ears as it comes rushing in behind you and you hop on your feet. The adrenaline in your blood starts pumping during the thrilling ride and once it’s over you can’t wait to paddle out and do it all again. Participating in a sport where you get to be on the beach all day while also working out seems like every athlete’s dream. This is one reason why the sport of surfing appeals to many and is gaining popularity. Eliza Gaither, a freshman at Paly, has been surfing since she was eight years
old. She usually surfs locally in Santa the ocean,” Gaither said. “Surfing is just a Cruz, but throughout the years she has cool activity to keep working at while still surfed at various beaches in Hawaii, being able to enjoy the ocean. It’s one of Mexico, and Santa Barbara. Like many my favorite places to be.” others, she was very nervous her first In addition to the peacefulness of this time going out. sport, Gaither “I was with my finds it a great dad and I was way to meet “While you’re surfing, new people and really scared to do it, but it was a you don’t have worries build strong lot less scary than re l a t i o n s h i p s . in your head.” I thought it would Many think that be,” Gaither said. surfing can be Eliza Gaither ‘24 “While you’re a very lonely surfing, you don’t sport since you have worries in are on a board your head.” all by yourself. One thing she However, unlike loves about the sport is being able to other individual sports, the surfing enjoy the soothing ocean water, which environment is very social. she, and other “I definitely talk to at least one new surfers, find very person every time I go out,” Gaither said. therapeutic. “That’s pretty nice.” “I love being in There is an extraordinary sense of community created, but an issue seen within that community is that it is known to be mostly made up of men. The lack of female representation has negatively affected many young female surfers, especially those who are beginners. Kat Thomsen, a junior at Paly, has been surfing for about four years. She has always skateboarded and decided to try out surfing since the two activities have many similarities. “Sometimes it can be a little intimidating, especially when you’re learning,” Thomsen said. “There aren’t a lot of other girls out there and you don’t know any girls who Photos courtesy of Kat Thomsen surf. That’s scary.” Recently, there have been noticeable changes and more women have been
Photos courtesy of Kat Thomsen and Eliza Gaither getting involved in the sport. Although there is more participation, it is not prevalent in all parts of surfing. A lot of the representation tends to be mostly in longboarding. The larger board allows for more stability in the water, making it ideal for beginner surfers. Shortboarding,
on the other hand, focuses more on thought just guys could do.” tricks and other maneuvers, which makes Isabella Jones, a junior at Paly, has been it more suitable for advanced surfers. surfing for five years. One of her idols “In a longboard is Bethany break, it can be Hamilton, a close to 50/50 [male well-known “You see girls on the and female surfers], professional tour doing crazy things f e m a l e w h i c h is sick,” that people thought just surfer. Thomsen “I look guys could do.” said. “But up to her as soon as because Kat Thomsen ‘22 you go to a she lost her shortboard arm to a b r e a k , shark attack, where the and ever surfing is after that, a little more intense and the she kept going,” Jones said. “She kept waves are usually bigger, it’s pursuing her dream.” mostly male.” Hamilton is not the only inspiration for The World Surf League, which young female surfers today. Stephanie was established in 1976, has Gilmore has done the above and beyond celebrated the world’s best for women in surfing. She has surpassed surfers ever since. It hosts many milestones in the sport and has several competitions annually won seven World Championships. Her for the surfing community. passion and dedication help push young This year, Maya Gabeira is the girls to always strive for more. athlete who rode the biggest From the community to the waves, wave out of everyone, not surfing has made an impact on many just the female surfers. This athlete’s lives. This sport is constantly accomplishment has been a changing for the better as more people huge step for women in the are participating and getting involved, surf community. especially women and young girls. “The sport is definitely Surfing is more than just a sport, it is a changing,” Thomsen said. way to meet new people, find inspiration “Now you see girls on the tour from others, and it serves as an escape Photo courtesy of Isabella Jones doing crazy things that people from the chaos of everyday life.
73.5 ft is the height of the wave that Maya Gabeira surfed
is the number of World Championships that Stephanie Gilmore has won
was the year Bethany Hamilton lost her arm
| OCTOBER 2020
by HENRY BOLTE
The Last Dance documentary put Jordan back in the spotlight and showed a new generation the superhuman abilities he put on display thoughout his career. Though we often succumb to recency bias, MJ’s dominance cannot be denied. He is the G.O.A.T, no questions asked.
ith the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft, the Chicago Bulls selected a 21-year-old shooting guard from the University of North Carolina named Michael Jordan. After a 15 season career, Jordan would be regarded by many as the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. Many current and former players, some of whom are in the hall of fame, also say that Jordan has the most competitive nature of any players they have played against. There are many compelling arguments for why Jordan is the greatest of all time (GOAT). It could be his never-ending list of accomplishments in the NBA, his statistics over his career, or just flat out ability to win a game at all costs. Jordan checks all these boxes.. We need to remember that this is not a question about a player’s legacy and we must keep our focus on on-court achievements because if it were about legacy, Jordan is untouchable. He found himself in international stardom as he shot the NBA onto the map along with Nike. Air Jordan has forever changed the sports world, and popular culture. In the sports world, Jordan is on a shortlist of icons with only two other names Babe Ruth, and Muhammed Ali in terms of greatness and publicity. In 2003 a new King rose to try and take the mantle, “The Chosen One,” and in the last 17 years, some people (mostly our generation) seem to have forgotten about Jordan and begun to think LeBron James is the greatest to step foot on the court. How wrong they all are. If we look at the traditional stats first,
between Jordan and LeBron over the course of their careers and not all time as that speaks more to longevity, then you will see a clear divide between the two. Keep in mind that they each played different positions, Jordan played shooting guard while LeBron plays small forward. Jordan beats LeBron in five of the eight most common statistics per game. Jordan performed at a higher level on a per game basis in points, in steals, in blocks, in free throw
percentage, and in fewer turnovers. Some may say that they played different positions so this is not a valid argument. But if you compare Jordan to other shooting guards, in comparison to LeBron he is much better than his peers at his respective position. Just a little something to think about. Now, looking at the accomplishments throughout his professional career, Jordan won five MVPs, six Finals MVPs, rookie of the year, defensive player of the year, ten scoring titles, nine NBA all-
No one can deny the greatness of Kobe Bryant. five rings, one MVP, two Finals MVPs, and 15 All NBA awards. He will go down in history as one of the most beloved and influential players of all time. Photos courtesy of Creative Commons 36 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com
BEST of the REST
defensive teams— the list goes on. Now, this is no small feat; he is second for MVP awards won while LeBron is third with four, first all-time in finals MVPs, first in alltime scoring titles— again the list goes on. Last, but not least, let’s take a look at Jordan’s undeniable ability to win. Over the course of his career, Jordan made it to the finals six times. With six trips to the finals, Jordan is a perfect six for six with six finals MVPs to go along with it. LeBron James on the other hand has made ten finals appearances but lost six of them. Going to the finals ten times is certainly an accomplishment, but does it still count if you are in second place? No. There is no award for being the last to lose in sports. Jordan’s homicidally competitive nature was known throughout the league. Players knew not to talk trash because Jordan would find a way to make it personal and make you pay for it sooner or later. And even when his opponents weren’t trash talking he would make up stories to ignite his inner fire. Jordan played every night with two thoughts in mind, one was his burning desire to win, and the other was the thought that there may be a kid out there who may never get to see him play again so while he was playing he was going to put on a s h o w. And put on a show he did. So let me ask you this. If you had to win just one basketball game to save the world, who would you pick? The answer should be clear: “His Airness,” Michael Jordan. There is no other option; he is simply the greatest human to ever play the game of basketball.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar The Hall of Fame big has six rings, six MVPs, two Finals MVPs, and is the all time leading scorer. While the title still belongs to either LeBron of Jordan, don’t be so quick to forget Kareem and his greatness.
by CALLUM OLSEN
LeBron is coming off his fourth ring and has shown know sign of slowing down. His prolonged dominance and 4th title with the Lakers inevtiably raised the questions has he taken the title of the Greatest Of All Time away from MJ?
xpectations of a player coming into the NBA were at an all-time high in 2003. At just 17 years old, LeBron James was already on the covers of Sports Illustrated magazines and was being touted as the best prospect to come out of high school—ever. Mind you, this is coming off of the Kobe Shaq three-peat, so to say something like this about Lebron was almost unthinkable at the time. But was it wrong? No. LeBron has exceeded every expectation of him and more, he is The Chosen One, the King, and in many people’s eyes, The Goat. But what about LeBron makes him the greatest to walk the earth? Is it his longevity and career stats? Is it his dominance? Is it having the best athleticism the league has ever seen? It could be any number of things, but in my eyes, it is that there has never been a challenge that he couldn’t overcome. When people told him he wouldn’t bring a title to Cleveland after losing that first y e a r , what did he do? He came back from being down 3-1 in one of the greatest and most historic Finals
performances and victories of all time. When he was told he couldn’t win in the West, what did he do? He took his talents to the City of Angels to bring the historic Lakers back to their former glory. When LeBron was told he wouldn’t live up to the expectations of him, what did he do? He crushed those expectations. Having the spotlight on you since a teenager can’t be an easy thing, but LeBron has embraced the spotlight and time and again dropped jaws and left breathless NBA fans across the globe. The only true stain on LeBron’s career is one of the most infamous, hated upon, sports moves in history—“The Decision.” Seven words that brought on the onslaught of haters is all it took, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach”. Broadcasted live to millions across the globe on ESPN, the beloved hero of the Cleveland Cavaliers became a hated villain in the blink of an eye. Up until then, LeBron was the golden child of the NBA, but teaming up with already Hall of Fame-worthy player Dwayne Wade, and perennial All-Star Chris B o s h turned
By far the most dominant player compared to anyone in their respective era. Bill Russell’s 11 rings in 12 years is enough on it’s own to put him in the honorable mentions category for this debate.
LeBron from hero to villain. “The Decision” is one of the most infamous events in NBA history and is the main thing that has turned fans of the game against LeBron. While LeBron’s move to Miami was despised by many, it still has nothing to do with the talent he has and what he brings to the court every night. The craziest part about LeBron is that he is still going. He is heading into year 18 and is coming off of an MVP caliber season, FMVP, and NBA Champion. And what’s scary is that there is no end in sight. LeBron is 35 and seems to be in his 4th stage and prime of his career. One can argue that MJ has had a better career when looking at all the accolades, but to those people, I say this. Name me a season when LeBron wasn’t deserving of the MVP award. Name me a time where LeBron had someone like Scottie Pippen on his team. It’s simple—you can’t. LeBron is the greatest to ever step foot on a basketball court, and when it is all said and done, it will not even be an argument.
The LeBron before Lebron, Magic Johnson was a problem in the 80s. His playmaking ability was other-worldly and he was a winner. The five-time Champ, and three-time MVP, is very deserving of an honorable mention.
| OCTOBER 2020
JOURNEY for JUSTICE Photos courtesy of Creative Commons
When the social justice system failed Jonathan Irons, WNBA star and childhood friend, Maya Moore, stepped in to contribute all her efforts to set him free. Putting her basketball career on halt, Maya Moore's passion for him to recieve justice finally paid off. Their story represents a beautiful journey from false conviction to freedom.
by EVE DEGERONIMO and ANNIKA SHAH
hen one finds their place communicated with him by sending basketball history. Moore then went in the world, it can be life- him books and letters, as well as visiting on to being the first overall pick for the changing. Yet, when loved when home from college. They became Minnesota Lynx, in the 2011 WNBA ones are in desperate like family. Moore spoke out about her draft. The list goes on for the number need of assistance, a dream may be put involvement with the case, during an of championships, awards, and records on hold. An inspiring example of this interview with Dave Zirin. she has set so far, but, throughout all scenario is represented by the story of “We really felt a connection and these years, Irons grew more and more Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons. compassion to help Jonathan, who important to her with their consistent Arguably, Moore is one of the greatest didn’t have a lot of resources, to stand communication. professional women's basketball players up and give him a voice to speak out Irons was initially convicted of burglary today. And she still put her dreams aside, against his wrongful and assault opting out of the 2019 and 2020 WNBA conviction,” Moore 1998 “We really felt a connection in seasons to seek justice for Jonathan told Zirin in a 2017 at age 16. and compassion to help Despite his Irons. Irons was wrongfully convicted interview for an and sentenced to 50 years in prison at a 'Edge of Sports' Jonathan, who didn’t have a young age, young age. But, as time went on, Moore article. lot of resources, to stand up he was refused to stand by any longer for him While she was as an and give him a voice to speak tried to gain what he deserved all along: concerned about adult and out against his wrongful given a 50 freedom. Irons, Moore The Moores and the Irons were first pursued her career year prison conviction.” introduced to each other through prison for some time, as sentence ministry, where inmates can attend Irons was working by an allreligious and spiritual practices, in with other lawyers white jury. the summer of 2007. The introduction that were provided There was was before the official start of Moore’s through the prison. no direct prominent collegiate career under Over her four year evidence, the never-ending dynasty of coach career at UConn, Moore led her team such as fingerprints, a witness, or DNA Geno Auriemma at the University of to a 150-4 record with two National samples that could have connected Irons Connecticut. Moore was 18 and Irons Championships, and she became the to the crime. was 27. While he was in prison, she fourth leading scorer in NCAA women's In the initial trial, Stanley Stotler, the 38 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com
victim of the case, was unable to pick out his attacker when given many pictures. As a result of this, he was instructed by a police officer to give his 'best guess'. Stotler proceeded to point at Irons, one of the only two black men. Throughout his time in prison, Irons said he would never agree to parole because he did not want to admit guilt when he had done nothing wrong. He was smart in doing so—little did he know Moore would fight for his freedom down the road. Irons went through years of attempting to get retrials, but all of them were denied. It was 2019, and Moore knew it was time to step in. She devoted all of her energy to helping her innocent friend gain freedom. She took time off her basketball career, even though most people believed she was in her prime state of play. There have been many life-destroying wrongful convictions in the United States, and Moore was not going to stand by any longer. She was dedicated to getting racism in the United States. regardless of the amount of money they justice for the wrongfully convicted man Since Irons was released, the friendship have. and acted with compassion and kindness between him and Moore that was Moore and Irons can now conquer as regardless of her career in the WNBA. established early on grew into a romantic one and establish new memories to make Throughout the journey to help Irons relationship. The couple appeared up for the time they missed together. gain freedom, Moore used her fame on “Good by funding M o r n i n g one of the "We wanted to announce today America '' in best defense ptember that we are super excited to Sofethis attorneys year to in Missouri, continue the work that we've reveal some Kent Gipson. been doing together, but exciting news She got a lot doing it as a married couple. about their of publicity for taking We're excited to share this new relationship. "We wanted time off from chapter of life together." to announce the WNBA today that and gained we are super s u p p o r t excited to from her continue the community of work that fans. w e ' v e With the help of Kent Gipson, Moore been doing together, but doing it was able to accomplish her goal, setting as a married couple," Moore said. Irons free. There was no connecting "We're excited to share this new evidence, and the judge overturned chapter of life together." Irons's initial conviction, making him a In all, Moore used her free man at 40 years old. fame to bring recognition to Moore has been involved in many Irons's case and ultimately movements on the social justice issues set him free. It is important we see today. Just recently, Moore to honor people like helped lead the Lynx in one of the first Maya Moore for their athlete protests seen for the Black Lives strength and dedication Matter movement and racial justice, in life-changing, emotional following the police shootings of many cases like this one. Today, unarmed African American men and America should fight for the women. Not only is she an all-star wrongfully convicted and a better athlete, but she strives to fight against justice system that can help all @vikingsportsmag | OCTOBER 2020 | 39
By: Ryan Leong
and Ian Comey The Ewing Theory represents some of the most unlikely and entertaining moments in sports. It has occurred in baseball, basketball, and football with no clear correlation - is it at all possible to explain why or how it happens?
hen the star player of a team goes down with a serious injury, fans are often quick to write off the team’s chances of being successful for the rest of the season. In most cases, their skepticism is validated and the team performs much worse in the absence of their superstar. However, there have been rare instances where a team inexplicably plays better without their franchise player. Puzzling fans around the world, this phenomenon was given a fitting name by Dave Cirili following his observation of the New York Knicks, who elevated their play following the injury of their superstar player Patrick Ewing. “The Ewing Theory,” as he called it, has impacted numerous teams from different sports since its inception in the mid 1990s. An example of a team that had a run in with the Ewing Theory were the 2019 Washington Nationals, who miraculously beat the Houston Astros in the World Series, the season after losing their franchise player, Bryce Harper to free agency. Not only was Harper never able to bring a World Series trophy back to Washington during his tenure, he wasn’t even able to win a playoff series, losing four times in the NLDS (National League Division Series). Nobody really knows as to why the Nationals were able to pull off the improbable win, but unknown players at the time, like 22-year old Juan Soto stepped up to the plate and literally knocked it out of the park, helping the Nationals get their first World Series title. Interestingly enough, the New York Knicks experienced another stint of the Ewing Theory with Paly alum, Jeremy Lin. Lin was signed to the New York Knicks in 2011 but he didn’t see much playing time 40
until key players Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire went down with groin and knee injuries, respectively. Out of nowhere, Lin and the Knicks began tearing up NBA defenses and went on a seven game winning streak. Averaging 22.3 points and nine assists a game during this run, Lin touched the hearts of NBA fans across the country and his historic 13 game run Photo courtesy of earned the Creative Commons nickname “Linsanity.” However, Linsanity ended as soon as it began when “star player” Carmelo Anothony returned to the lineup; the Knicks saw a significant drop off in the quality of their play, going 2-6 following his return. In March, Lin would tear his meniscus and was forced out of New York, with many assuming Anothony had some part in it. So, why did the Knicks play so much better with an undrafted point guard from Palo Alto rather than their established star player? Paly senior Aaron Kim (‘21) has some ideas. “I think Jeremy gave the Knicks a spark with the energy he brought out onto the court. His teammates rallied around him and that’s why they were able to go on
that winning streak, even if it was short lived,” Kim said. While things like teamwork, chemistry, and maybe some luck are part of it, we will never be able to definitively understand why this team played so much better, and is why the Ewing Theory attracts so many fans, even till this day. Taking a look at an example that hits even closer to Palo Alto than Linsanity, the 2019 girls varsity basketball team saw success not just in the regular season, but even into the playoffs, all with California Polytechnic State University commit Annika Shah (‘21) missing the whole season with a torn ACL. Shah spent her entire junior season watching her team from the bench. “There was more room for other players to step up,” Shah said. Some of the players that she noted that stepped up their game were Carly Martin (‘21) and Jessica Fiske (‘22). Shah especially pointed out Martin’s improvement on and off the court. ”Carly and I have been an unstoppable duo since coming into basketball freshman year together, so it was hard knowing I would lose a year playing with her, but she stepped up on and off the court and led our team last season,” Shah said. Tying back to the Washington Nationals, players like Martin and Soto, can be seen as reasons as to why their teams continue their high level of play, even without their star player. Without the main player on offense, there are more opportunities for different players to step up, and Martin and Soto especially exemplified that. Another possible explanation as to why the team continued to stay resilient during the loss of their star player, comes from pressure from other teams and critics in their leagues. After hearing
of Shah’s injury, Paly Illayda Turgut (‘21) remembered what her coach would tell the team about other schools. “He was getting calls from other coaches from other schools saying that they pity us and that they wished us a good season, hinting that we didn’t have a chance for a good season without Annika,” Turgut said. Obviously, teams that feel like they are being unfairly scrutinized against will have more of a motivation to win, which could be a possible explanation as to why the Ewing Theory occurs. Players who might need that extra motivation to play better receive it, when critics or other teams count them out for the season, causing them to play at a level greater than they played before. While players stepping up for their teammates that have gone down are possible reasons as to why the Ewing Theory exists, other factors like coaching adjustments also can’t be ignored. Paly coach Scott Peters had to make some adjustments with the game plan, and how their offense was going to be run. “Our coach knew that we didn’t have a strong scorer anymore, so he encouraged us to step up and to be more aggressive on the floor,” Turgut said. Shah also shared similar comments of Peter’s adjustments. “Offensively, there are some plays that revolve around parts of my game, so either having other players step up in those positions, or totally changing the play was taken into account,” Shah said. P e t e r ’ s excellent preparation for the season paid off, as the Vikings held a 19-9 overall record and made it to the CCS
championship game, which they unfortunately lost in. However, for a team that was counted out before a single game had been played, many would see last season as nothing short of impressive. As shown, the Ewing Theory can
happen at any level of sports, whether it’s high school basketball, Major League Baseball, or the NBA. Although there will never be a definitive answer as to why this phenomenon occurs, the Ewing Theory will continue to captivate fans and sports theorists alike, for years to come.
Next man up 0 wins
in a row
Without McCaffrey (6 games)
in a row
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
points per game
14.6 Photo by Jenna Hickey
points per game
assists per game
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
| OCTOBER 2020
by ADAR SCHWARZBACH and MADHU RAMKUMAR
Living Hype up to the
Photo by Jenna Hickey
We all know about the winning culture at Paly. The SCVAL champions, the undefeated seasons and the D1 commits. Clearly, being an athlete at Paly comes with pressure. More specifically, athlete’s on Paly’s many championship teams deal with the burden of living up to the expectations that were set by the teams of the past. Some may take this on as a source of motivation, and a personal challenge, while others might struggle with the weight of the team’s success on their shoulders and flop. To see how athletes deal with the pressure to perform, let’s take a look at some athletes on two of Paly’s many successful teams.
“We lost guys like (Aiden) Gans (‘19) as well as other pretty dynamic players and that definitely hurt us.”
—Maguire Ferrel (‘20)
Photo by Jenna Hickey | vikingsportsmag.com
eet scurry across the turf as the boys lacrosse team takes the field. Sticks in hand, the team gets ready to crush their opponent, the hunger for a win gleaming in their eyes. Paly boys lacrosse has long had a reputation of being an exemplar sport at Paly. During the 2016-2019 season, the team took home three league titles. It seemed as though Lacrosse would never come down from the high. However, their luck did not last. Although the 2020 season was abbreviated due to Covid-19, the team had yet to win a game at the time the season was canceled. Clearly, the lacrosse team caught a case of the championship hangover.
Photo by Jenna Hickey
“When I was a sophomore, we had just graduated out a very fast group of seniors, so there was a sense of being not as strong as we used to be. At the SCVAL meet, someone was calculating points to see if we could win or not...” —Ashley Guo (‘20)
he sound of water splashing echoes through the empty school. At the crack of dawn before school, girls jump into the chilly water and begin their rigorous practice. Girls swimming has long been a thriving sport at Paly. The team holds 26 league wins, the most in Paly history, as well as 4 CCS titles. The swimming program is also a mass producer of star athletes. From Pac-12 and NCAA champs to swimmers who have even made the Olympic team, it is clear that the championship mentality is deeply entrenched in the swim team culture. Let’s see how Paly swim alumni dealt with this pressure.
“There was some pressure to keep our undefeated title, but it was never to the point that it wasn’t constructive motivation. I feel really lucky to have been a part of such a successful and kickass team.” —Ashley Guo (‘20) Photo by Jenna Hickey
| OCTOBER 2020
Michael’ Phelp’’s Calorie
by JOSH BUTLER, JUSTIN BYER and JACK ELARDE
Michael Phelps is notorious for two things. Holding the world record for most gold medals ever won at the Olympics, and going through intense training to do so. In his 2008 run where he took gold for the 8th time, he bragged to teammates he was eating close to 12,000 calories everyday. In this issue of Viking, three brave staff writers find out how they stack up against the Olympian all star in trying to complete his eating challenge.
wimming is a sport that requires tremendous athletic ability. It uses muscles you never even knew existed and pushes them to the max. With massive outputs of athletic performance, one needs massive amounts of fuel. A car cannot run without gas right? That is why Michael Phelps, the 23 time Olympic gold medalist,
recalls spending half of his day eating. During his 2008 run, he stated that he was eating around 12,000 calories a day! Which is close to five times the amount of a normal adult male at 2,500 calories. Phelps needs this to fuel his training and competition, as swimming is such a grueling sport. Countless people on social media have tried to
complete the Phelps Calorie challenge and most have failed. To see how hard this act really is, three brave Viking staff members, Josh Butler (‘22), Justin Byer (‘21), and Jack Elarde (‘21), take on this challenge to see how they stack up against the legendary Olympic athlete.
When the summer started, I felt as if I before the challenge so that I would hadn’t been gaining any weight, feeling be extremely hungry when I woke up. unmotivated to get out of bed and get I started my day with 10 eggs (with something to eat, along with getting out ketchup —obviously), toast with peanut of bed in general. My family put in a home butter and honey, a protein bar and gym that I had started using, which made loaded protein shake. This held me over me start to feel better about my physical until lunch, where I consumed a triple and mental health. My friend and I had cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake talked about having weight goals for the at In-N-Out. By the end of lunch, I was beginning and end of summer. My goal already on track for 5,000 calories was to gain 20 lbs over the summer and consumed. One aspect of the challenge with enough dedication, and motivation that was tough for me was that I am from my peers, I was able to complete typically the type of person that tends to the mission I had set out for. Being able eat more snacks than meals throughout to try and successfully complete this the day, but for this challenge I had to 12,000 calorie challenge was a big task, mix up my strategy. When a lot of people as if I had to eat a full course meal almost typically try these types of challenges, every hour along with multiple snacks in they would stuff their face every meal, between. making it hard to keep consuming, force My plan was to stop eating the night feeding themselves. Burning off calories 44 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com
throughout the challenge made it easier on my stomach, whether that was by weightlifting or playing basketball. By the afternoon, I had eaten as much as I would on a normal day. I had told my girlfriend about this challenge and she insisted on helping me succeed, constantly putting food in front of me, making food for me and rooting for me to go eat more. I ended up eating 3 more meals that were approximately 1,500 calories each, with many more snacks to come. Towards the end of the night, I was stuck in a food coma, with regrets flowing through my head, and stomach aches coming and going. I ended the challenge consuming 8,500 calories—which for me is a huge number of calories, considering that I only weigh 170 lbs.
Every day for the past eight months I have been trying to eat as much food as I can in order to gain weight for football. My totals run at about 8,000 calories a day, which is no joke. I struggle to eat that many calories a day and when I say struggle, it is a struggle. Before I talk about my experience, I would just like to give a huge deal of respect to Mr. Phelps. Coming from another athlete who tries to eat a lot of food, try eating 4,000 calories and see what happens. Then imagine eating three times that amount. My experience started early in the morning, because if you actually are going to eat that
many calories in a day, you have to eat frequently, which is more difficult to do if you sleep in. I woke up at seven and headed down stairs for breakfast. My breakfast totals were around 3,000 calories. Let’s just say my love for eggs
Over the summer my sleep schedule and diet was messed up because I would go to bed super late at night and wake up in the middle of the afternoon. This caused me to sometimes miss a meal and only eat two meals a day. Because of this I lost a little weight. When I realized that I lost weight because I was only eating two meals a day I made sure to start eating more food. I have tried to eat 3,000 calories a day. Although I have been maintaining a 3,000 calorie diet, eating 12,000 calories seems nearly impossible. I started the day off with scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage, an orange juice, and a protein shake. This put my calorie count at 2,160. Between breakfast and lunch I had some tortilla chips which put my total to 2,860. At this point I was feeling pretty full but then I went out and played some basketball and that helped me gain some of my appetite. For lunch I had a salami sandwich with cheese, two slices of pepperoni pizza, pasta, and some lemonade. That meal put me at 5,094 calories. At this point it was still the
Photo by Josh Butler
afternoon and I was on a good pace to complete the challenge but I was stuffed. On top of being stuffed I wasn’t able to exercise and burn some calories between lunch and dinner so I was pretty full going
Photo by Jack Elarde
has diminished after eating ten of them at a time, along other proteins and carbs. I tried to have three or four meals that were 2,500 calories or above, and I also ate as many snacks as I could in between meals. I felt full the entire day. Not a second went by where I wasn’t uncomfortable. By dinner time, I had consumed roughly 10,000 calories, and I knew that if I wanted to get to 12,000, it was gonna be a grind. Despite a final push to complete the challenge, I finished the day at 11,250 calories, and unable to move. The experience really makes you realize that these glamored lives of these legendary athletes typically are not as nice as they seem. Everyday you have to be super determined and focused. Also, I could not imagine doing this and going to a practice where I actually have to move. Most people suggest doing exercise while trying this challenge helps a lot, but I was bed-ridden the entire day.
into dinner. Despite this I managed to gobble down two hamburgers, pasta, sweet potato fries, and some lemonade. After dinner I was at 7,379 calories. After dinner I was in a food coma and could not eat any more. To finish off the day I had a yogurt and some ice cream which put me at a grand total of 7,820 calories for the day. Reflecting on the day this was by far the most food I had ever eaten. Although this wasn’t the most pleasant challenge, I now understand the crazy things world class athletes like Michael Phelps do to stay on top of their game.
| OCTOBER 2020
by GREG LAURSEN and ROEI ZIV As the world normalizes itself with the effects of COVID-19, many sports leagues have now finished their first season in a COVID-safe format. A debate began on whether championships won in these altered-formats should be asterisked and treated differently than championships in regular seasons.
here’s no doubt one of the greatest feats in sports is winning a championship;watching your team battle injuries, go through slumps and come out on top is amazing. However, during the 20192020 season for many sports, rules and formats changed, leaving some teams at a disadvantage. So the questions going around about altered-format seasons is: should they count the same as previous championships that were not won in altered-format leagues? In every league we witnessed format changes, some smaller than others, but they all affected the game. Whether it was a completely reorganized season, or just games being played without fans; almost every professional sports league in the world underwent some change. In the NHL we saw a break in the action mid-season, only to find out that the highest ranked 12 teams for each division at that point would be going to the playoffs. We watched the WNBA relocate to compete in a bubble. The Premier League in England hit pause on their season, unsure if they would continue. Players had to go through a roller coaster of events due to changes in their seasons, which greatly impacted who won championships. In the National Women’s Soccer League, the Orlando Pride had numerous players and staff test positive for Covid-19, and they eventually withdrew from the tournament. The team had a promising future and were looking to build from last season. With the addition of Olympic gold medalist, Sydney Leroux, who was ready to prove herself after having her second child, the Pride were ready to compete for the cup. Could they have fought for a championship and eliminated the future champion Houston Dash? It was absolutely a possibility, but unfortunately, now there is no way of knowing. This uncertainty and new variables that affect the outcome of winning titles is precisely why there should be an asterisk by the name of every team that won a
championship in a league in which the format was altered. The NHL 2020 bubble season was one for the history books. Not only did the NHL do a fantastic job broadcasting and working with the new format, but the playoffs were intense and incredibly entertaining. The NHL decided to stop play in March with 189 games left and resumed in August for a playoff run with the top 12 teams in each division. While it was exciting to have hockey back, there were a lot of teams that could have come back from a slump with their remaining games to make a run for the Stanley Cup. COVID-19 also put the NHL into a difficult situation when it came to protecting their players’ privacy. The NHL basically silenced players from announcing if they were injured, which led to teams not knowing that their player was missing a game. They did this because if someone did end up contracting COVID-19, no one would know. Only later on in the 2020 season was it discovered that injured players either decided themselves to sit on the bench injured, or were left hidden from the outside world to not cause panic about COVID-19. Players having to hide that they were injured played a major role in who won the Stanley Cup. The Dallas Stars had over ten players fighting through injury during their run for the cup, including assistant captain Tyler Seguin. They ended up two wins short of beating the Tampa Bay Lightning and earning their first championship since 1999. While injuries are a common occurrence in hockey, during a normal season managers would be able to bring in other active roster players, meaning injured players could go to doctors of their choice. However, having 10+ injuries during a playoff run in a new format has never happened and it put the Stars at a disadvantage in the Stanley Cup finals. While the Stars-Lightning battle for the Stanley Cup was full of ups and
downs and really all you can want from a championship entertainment-wise, the 2020 NHL bubble put Dallas in a position to lose which is why the Lightning’s championship should always have an asterisk next to it. It can be very easy to be blinded by your emotions, especially when it comes to something as exciting as sports. At the same time, the facts aren’t based on emotions, which is why winning a championship in an altered-format league in times of COVID, simply isn’t as legitimate as winning it in its regular format. Something as simple as not letting fans into stadiums could destroy the chances of a certain team’s chances of winning a championship, and boost other team’s odds of reaching coveted championships. You would never compare the taste of a food when you’re hungry to the taste of food when you’re full because the circumstances are different, so why would you ever treat a championship in a “bubble” and a championship in a normal format the same? Only fans of teams that struggle to win a championship in a regular season, like the Los Angeles Dodgers try to say that a championship in the 2020 season is equal to one won by the Washington Nationals. Saying a championship carries the same weight no matter when it takes place is a sorry excuse for sports teams that aren’t able to consistently compete at a high level for the entirety of a regular-sized season. The Los Angeles Dodgers can’t win playing in a regularly-formatted season like the Lakers can’t win without stacking their lineup with at least two top-ten players if not top-five in the league. The 2020 championships for all teams who won in altered-format leagues should always have an asterisk by their title-winning year. As fans of European soccer club, Maccabi Tel Aviv FC, who won a domestic championship in an altered season, we accept that there will always be an asterisk next to their title. The rest of the world needs to accept that too.
The Final Word Why the
Treat Athletes Better
The athletes that we know and love are people who we see as worth following. They are people who can do things we can’t, and who we think don’t value our opinion. However, we often forget one thing: they are people too.
by VIJAY HOMAN and JACK ELARDE
t is widely recognized that as fans, our main goal is to follow the game. We see ourselves as ordinary people and glorify those with specific physical talents because what they do is so rare that a person must be “special” to have them. Due to this dynamic we (sometimes) value their opinions more than the average Joe, but we also feel it appropriate to talk about these athletes as though their entire life is black and white. Fans talk about busts, dropped passes and bad teams as though the opinion they have settled on based off of one news article is suddenly irrefutable. Many fans treat players like characters in a video game. They talk about who is better and worse and who they want to have on their fantasy team but they don’t treat them like regular people, with feelings and problems like the rest of us. Because they’re not. Because they’re “special”. Aren’t they? As fans of the game and certainly as members of the media, we here at Viking have at least some (albeit small) influence over fans’ perceptions of players. But even publications like ourselves fail to see that what is on the surface isn’t always the whole story. What prompted me to write about this subject was a video article posted on The Players Tribune by Vince Young, a legendary college football quarterback for the University of Texas. Young would go on to play for the Tennessee Titans, my favorite NFL team, and from what I heard from the internet and my father he had been a major bust. So this person who I had never met and never had any problem with suddenly had a conclusion made about them from a random fan: myself. I concluded that he was a “bad” football player by NFL standards, and a small part of me believed that he was a worse person
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons because of it. After all, he had wasted the out on drugs throughout most of his time and resources of my favorite team, childhood. The only father figure that and if he had only worked harder he he really had was Steve McNair, an could have likely not been a bust. accomplished NFL quarterback for This conclusion was one that I have the Titans and Ravens who he met at a held for the last couple of years, and camp during his sophomore year of while it’s not profound in any way, shape, high school. However during his time in or form, it is still an opinion that would the NFL, Young had to deal with McNair have otherwise been held unless I had being shot dead by his girlfriend just seen Young’s article entitled “The Real a year after his retirement. On top of Vince Young”. that, his family and financial advisors See, Vince Young wasn’t just any other mooched off of his earnings and led athlete. He was the best. In college, him into financially murky waters. As if he dominated defenses and led his things couldn’t get any worse, he also Texas Longhorns to one of the most had to deal with the fact that every day, memorable national championships in newspapers were posting articles about college football history. With 94,000 fans how bad a quarterback he was. watching on a 4th and 5, Young sprinted Vince Young was an amazingly talented into the end zone to all but secure the quarterback with a difficult road to the win. NFL. However his experiences with the His selection 3rd overall by the media and his family led to something Titans came with high expectations, different than he ever imagined. but throughout his NFL career he “When I was playing in the NFL, they failed to produce as much as fans and took the fun out of the game. That’s why management expected. Much of this I retired, that’s why I left the game. It was was seemingly attributed to work ethic more politics” said Young in an interview and natural talent, however that wasn’t with The Players Tribune. the whole story. Our goal as fans is to follow the game. Young’s father abandoned his family So let’s follow it correctly, and not from an early age, leaving him to raised contribute to more stars leaving the solely by his mother, who was strung sports that we love. @vikingsportsmag | OCTOBER 2020 | 47
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