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Volume XIII, Issue 3 January 2020

Viking magazine Pain Killers

The normalization of opioids as the main treatment for injuries in professional sports has proven to be highly detrimental to the long-term health of athletes. Tyler Skaggs, Calvin Johnson, and Derek Boogaard are all testaments to the willed ignorance of sports organizations towards an epidemic. Without proper regulations in place, an end to the abuse is nowhere in sight. p. 36

p24

Rising from the Ashes

p32

Faithful Then, Faithful Now

p42

Viking Tries:

Recovery Methods @vikingsportsmag

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Zooms

Lineup

4

Tip Off

12

Go Big or Go Home

16

Bands for the Brand

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To the Extreme

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Column: At What Cost?

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Rising From the Ashes

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Viking’s Midseason NFL Honors

30

Faithful Then, Faithful Now

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Pain Killers

36

Viking Tries: Recovery Methods

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Column: Relaxation Negation

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Final Word: Barbell Hell

47 @vikingsportsmag

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Watch

Your

Head The clock is running down. The game is tied 48-48. Monterey has the ball. Five. Four. Three... the shot is up and good. As time runs out, the score reads 51-48 Monterey. Last year Paly basketball suffered a dramatic loss in the Norcal Semi-finals. Although the Vikings have a new coach, the team is led by five returning seniors who are looking to build off of their success last season. In their season opener, the Vikings came out with firing on all cylinders, with Ryan Purpur (‘21, pictured) going for a dunk midway through the first quarter. It was clear that the seniors would lead the squad, with Matthew Marzano (‘20) leading with 21 points and Conner Lusk (‘20) with 14 points in their 52-37 win over Carlmont.

Photo by Jenna Hickey 4

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Comeback

Season After a disappointing inaugural season, the girls field hockey team looked to improve from their 2-15 record. The girls started off strong, winning their first four games before losing to Saint Francis. Throughout the season, the girls made strides and finished their second season as a program with a record of 9-6-3. “Our season was great,” Lexi Gwyn (‘21) said. “We saw an improvement greater than we ever expected [of] both skill level and team cohesiveness. The number of goals we scored increased by over 1000% and so many people were surprised by how well we did. I’m excited to see what next year will hold.”

Photo by Jenna Hickey @vikingsportsmag

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Photo by Jenna Hickey

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Regular football fans and first-time watchers alike crowd the fence. It shakes under the force of thousands of hands, some rattling the metal intentionally, some simply jittering anxiously as they rest on the fence’s top. Either way, the energy–and anxiety–in the stadium is palpable. It’s the first CCS playoff game Paly has hosted since 2011, and even with no words spoken other than the occasional raucous “Sko Vikes” chant, it’s clear that the Paly fans want this win badly. With just minutes left, Jamir Shepard (‘20, pictured) runs for an 83-yard touchdown to bring it to a one possession game. Yet the night ends in heartbreak, and a crushing loss for varsity football.

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Viking Editors-in-Chief Summer Daniel Dexter Gormley Yael Sarig

Web Director Will DeAndre

Senior Staff Writer Ryan Stanley

Adviser Brian Wilson

Copy Editor Tina Lagerblad

Multimedia Managers Griffin Kemp Josh Lai

Beat Editors Ryan Bara Lincoln Bloom

Head Columnists Sam Cleasby Kevin Cullen

Photo Director Conner Lusk

Creative Director Ella Jones

Business Manager Alana Abeyta

Staff Writers Sofia Bliss-Carrascosa Jackson Bundy Justin Byer Jack Elarde Hana Erickson James Fetter Jenna Hickey Vijay Homan Hayden Jung-Goldberg Sophie Kadifa Matt Marzano Liam Nagesh Adar Schwarzbach Annika Shah Victoria Soulodre Tyler Stoen Luke Thieman Elif Turgut

Social Media Manager Sofie Vogel

Managing Editors Sanaz Ebrahimi Joey Passarello

Volume XIII, Issue 3 January 2020

Video Directors Sam Cleasby Kevin Cullen

Viking Magazine Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: vikingeds@gmail.com Advertising and Sponsorship Contact: vikingads@gmail.com 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 vikingeds@gmail.com Printing Services 2,500 copies of The Viking are printed, six times a year by Folger Graphics in Hayward, Calif. Logo Font Courtesy of Måns Grebäck All photos taken from Creative Commons unless noted


From the

EDITORS Hi Vikings, We’re so excited to present our third issue of the school year, and the last one of 2019! As we head towards winter break, fall sports come to a close and winter sports kick off their preseasons. Viking would like to give a huge congratulations to all of the fall sports on their successful seasons. Most notably, girls golf won the state championship, making history as the first Northern California team to

win! Girls cross country had a successful run as well, winning first place in the D1 CCS championships. We’d also like to congratulate the girls volleyball team on an undefeated season. Great work Vikes! Looking ahead, we’re excited to see what the winter sports have to deliver. This issue’s cover story, “Pain Killers,” delves into the dark world of opioid use in sports, covered by Sophie Kadifa (‘21), Vijay Homan (‘21), Will DeAndre (‘20), and Yael Sarig (‘20). Look to page 36. On page 24, “Rising from the Ashes,” by Jenna Hickey (‘21), James Fetter (‘21), Hana Erickson (‘21), and Tyler Stoen (‘21) sheds light on the community of Paradise, California, and how football helped rebuild their morale after the

Camp Fire destroyed their town. On a more lighthearted note, “To the Extreme” explores why extreme sports athletes are drawn to these daunting feats. On page 32, staff member Sofia Bliss-Carrascosa pays homage to her grandfather in a recount of his life as a legendary 49ers fan. The rest of the issue is jam-packed with stories you won’t want to miss. With that, we’d like to wish everyone well on their upcoming finals, and we hope you all have a relaxing and welldeserved break. See you in 2020!

Summer Daniel Dexter Gormley Yael Sarig

Staff View:

WE CAN’T HEAR YOU

T

he Paly varsity football team is playing league rival Wilcox High School in a tightly contested match-up. Everything from a traditional Friday night high school football game is there: the band, the pumped players, the lights, and the action in the game. However, one key component is missing: the rowdy student section. Recently, Paly Athletics have been struggling with a low number of students showing up to games to cheer on their peers. This is not only noticeable in sports with traditionally high attendance, like football, but also in sports such as volleyball and water polo. In order to encourage more students to cheer on their peers, Paly should enact a rewards system for students who show up to Paly sporting events. This could work in one of two ways. Individual game attendance could be tracked, and then going to the most games would award you some sort of prize at the end of the year; alternatively, incentives could be given for going to a game, such as raffling off prizes, or inviting fans to participate in a competition during half-time. “I think that promotions like student half-time shows and half court shots for a gift card would be a good option,” Teddy Butler (‘20) said. These half time events can draw in larger crowds for a relatively low cost, potentially even allowing sports teams

to get more money with the increase in believe that it is too costly to create such attendance. The extra revenue would a system, and that students would not likely offset the cost of any rewards, so go anyway. Although it would be time there would be no burden of cost to Paly consuming and costly to check students or to MAC Boosters. Most importantly, in and to organize the halftime events, it though, teams will be receiving more would still be worth it. Having an increase support in their games, which could be in attendance means that more students the difference between winning or losing will be paying for admission into games, a close game. and more money will be made. Paly’s The school should also implement a athletic reputation could also become rewards system for attendance, so that better with more fan attendance, since students will be going to a variety of playing at Paly would mean dealing with games to cheer on all of the athletes. an ecstatic fan base. At these events, an administrator or Yet according to Chalmers, at Alabama, volunteer could check students into the students still cheat the system. “You have game when they buy their ticket, similar to stay until the fourth quarter to get the to checking into Tutorial with a scanner. benefits,” Chalmers said. “Since the app The students who go to the most games uses location services on your phone, will be rewarded at the end of the season people will give their phones to friends or year, and rewards could include gift in the game to make it seem like they’re cards or free tickets to games. A system in the stadium and gain those benefits.” like this is very common at universities A better solution to this system that can such as Alabama and North Carolina, be applied to Paly would be to have the where the fans are known for their check-in be by a person with IDs rather intense spirit and the athletics are top- than a location-tracking app. This system tier. To prevent students from checking in would be impossible to do on as large of and then leaving immediately, students a scale as a university, but is reasonable could be checked out of the event once to do for a high school. the game is over. Ultimately, fans represent the sixth man “I think that the student prize system for most teams. Paly’s own teams–and is a great way to create incentives for our opponents–can tell when a stadium students to come to games, yet hard to is half-filled. Fans are an essential execute,” Haley Chalmers (‘17), a junior presence to boost team morale, and at the University of Alabama, said. “A few the atmosphere at a game with packed of my friends have gone to more games stands is vastly different from that of one because of it.” with empty stands. It’s time for Paly to Those who are against the proposal take action: save our spirit. @vikingsportsmag | JANUARY 2020 | 11


TIPOFF

Returning varsity athletes Conner Lusk (‘20) and Carly Martin (‘21) in action. Photos courtesy of David Hickey.

by SAM CLEASBY, SANAZ EBRAHIMI, and SOFIE VOGEL

Fast Facts

Dara Heydarpour

Frida Rivera

Martin Segura

Louis Passarello

Celebrity Crush?

Margot Robbie

Timothee Chalamet

Kylie Jenner

Kate Upton

Favorite Holiday Movie?

Elf

A Charlie Brown Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas ‘96

The Grinch

Hidden Talent?

Cooking

Origami

Juggling or Bow and Arrow

Playing the Clarinet

Fave Hype Song?

Down Bad by Dreamville

Uproar by Lil Wayne

Goosebumps by Travis Scott

‘Till I Collapse by Eminem

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MINI DRIP CHECK

Left: Fall sports have ended, and Viking is excited to introduce our best dressed athletes of this season. Leila Khan (‘20) and Peter Graham (‘20) represent soccer and wrestling, respectively. Right: Mikayla Rimsa in action. Photo courtesy of David Hickey. @vikingsportsmag

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2020 STATE GIRLS

2020

The girls varsity golf team became the first NorCal team to win states, joining Paly’s elite athletics teams who have accomplished this admirable goal. Half of the team consisted of the Sung family sisters, displaying their family’s dominance in the sport. After strolling through CCS with ease, the team faced fierce competition within the Norcal tournament, ultimately pulling out the win. The team will be missing star seniors Katherine Sung (‘20) and Priya Bakshi (‘20) in the upcoming season, but will still aim to take the championship home for the Vikes.

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NORCALS


CHAMPIONS GOLF

The Sung Sisters

STATES

S @vikingsportsmag

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by ADAR SCHWARZBACH, RYAN STANLEY and RYAN BARA

Betting can give someone a huge rush of adrenaline, especially with a lot on the line. These individuals pushed their wagers to the extreme for the ultimate win-or-go-home scenario.

Accumulator Record An accumulator is a bet that involves four or more different selections for one wager that only earns a return whwen all parts win. The largest recorded accumulator occured in 2011 when plumbing engineer Steve Whiteley won a whopping £1.45 million on a £2 horse racing bet.

Harry Wilson Goes Pro Professional soccer player Harry Wilson’s grandfather banked big when his grandson made his debut for the Wales football club. His grandfather put down a bet when Wilson was a toddler that he would make it to the professional scene. Wilson’s grandfather turned 50 pounds into 125,000 after his 2,500-to-1 odds paid off.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland. He was world number one in the Official World Golf Ranking for 95 weeks and has also racked up two PGA championships. 10 years before Rory won his first PGA championship, Rory’s father Gerry McIlroy placed a 200 British pound bet at 500-1 odds that his son would go on to win a PGA championship in the next ten years, and he did just that. 16

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15-Leg Parlay After originally thinking she had lost the bet, Taylia Polia turned $5 into $100,005 after winning a 15-leg parlay (15-part accumulator bet) at 20,000-to-1 odds. This was her second sports bet ever. Polia wagered her $5 on 15 different teams on NFL Sunday and accurately predicted the spread of each game to a T.


or Mattress Mack

Bet On His Own Life

James Franklin McIngvale, a business man from Houston commonly known as Mattress Mack, was feeling lucky that his hometown team would take home the World Series. He placed a cool $13 million bet on the Astros over the Nationals. Unfortunately for him, his luck ran out when the Astros lost in seven games.

Matthew Webb, most famously known as the first man to swim across the English channel, created the highest stake bet known to man, life or death. In an attempt for a 12,000-pound prize, Webb wagered his life against the whirlpool rapids, most commonly known as the base of Niagara Falls. When attempting this challenging feat, Webb lost the bet and drowned.

Vegas Dave David Nakama Oancea, also known as Vegas Dave, is known for numerous high roller bets. One of his quickest losses came at UFC 200 when he placed a $1 million bet on the champion, Miesha Tate, to beat Amanda Nunes. Nunes won in just over three minutes to take the belt and in the process lost Dave $1 million.

Birdman vs. 50 Cent In 2012, rap star, Birdman bet a casual $1 million on the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XVLI. Unfortunately for Birdman, the Giants ended up clinching the game 21-17 and Birdman had to cough up the cash to a fellow renowned rapper, 50 Cent. @vikingsportsmag

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Bands for the brand On September 30, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act which was a proposed bill allowing NCAA athletes in the state to collect money from endorsement deals without consequence. Soon after, New York followed suit and Florida joined in as well, giving the NCAA a tremendous amount of pressure to respond.

D

onald De La Haye lines up from did not meet certain requirements of 40 yards out. His opponent’s the NCAA. The rule he broke did not 40-yard line, that is. It’s a long allow student athletes to profit off of field goal, among the longest their athletic ability. De La Haye, also attempted in an NFL game. He’s kicking known as “Deestroying” to his YouTube a 70 yard field goal–the sheer gall to subscribers, posted regular videos about even attempt such a kick is noteworthy. the life of a Division I football player The strength, speed, and aim required on the platform. Through the years, to sail the ball through the posts is even he amassed a large following, but in more remarkable. He takes a deep July of 2017, he was ruled ineligible to breath, extends his arm towards the goal compete in the league after refusing to to envision the path of the ball, and kicks. demonetize his YouTube videos about And the kick is good, right down the his athletic life. After the incident, De middle. La Haye quit playing college football, The crowd goes wild! Well, it would, and continued making football-related except this isn’t an NFL game. videos. Although this is one example, There are no fans, nobody watching many other athletes have found De La Haye kick other than the person themselves in this position and just until filming him. Yet the number of people recently, they sacrificed their eligibility in who watched De La Haye make that kick order to profit off of themselves. far surpasses the capacity of the biggest “Should college athletes be paid?” football stadium in America. It’s the question always at the forefront The video uploaded to his Youtube of debates when talking about college channel documenting his kicking athletics. The NCAA has claimed abilities amassed 3.7 million views at the to be looking into the possibility of time of publishing. That number pales in compensating its athletes for several comparison to the total views his channel years, but the process has seemed to has accumulated since he joined the be stuck in limbo, always too far-fetched platform in 2015: 285 million views, and and too easily ignored to ever progress. counting. New legislation being passed in states De La Haye, an ex-NCAA athlete, was such as California and New York has forced to hang up his cleats after he made ignoring the issue impossible. 18 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com

by JOSH LAI and CONNER LUSK

California was the first state to pass a bill that would allow college athletes to profit off of their names. This bill, signed by Gavin Newson in September of 2019, allows players in California to strike endorsement deals and hire agents while still in college. Although the general public had a positive reaction, the governor received backlash from the NCAA, the Pac-12, and many prestigious universities including California, Stanford and USC. “I am concerned that making money in college athletics could blur an important line between professional leagues and amateur college sports,” Michael Drake, the Chair of the NCAA’s Board of Governors, said. In a press conference after the bill was signed, the NCAA threatened to declare schools ineligible to compete in NCAA events including March Madness and the College Football Playoff, both events that help some universities pull in millions of dollars. The NCAA feared that the bill could create an unfair advantage in the recruiting process for these California teams. With this law being unique to California, recruits may be inclined to choose California’s schools just because their location allows them to profit off their name.


Shortly after California signed the bill transparent, and have guidelines that in mid-September, New York signed their are enforceable and clear, (4) making own bill that would give college players clear the distinction between collegiate an opportunity to earn money while in and professional opportunities, (5) college. Though the bill was modeled making clear that compensation for after the California bill, the proposed bill athletics performance or participation is also had an amendment which would impermissible, (6) student-athletes are require college athletic departments students first and not employees of the to give a share of 15% of their annual university. Although these rules will take a revenue to student-athletes. This money few years to be enacted–the deadline for would not just be split between the the NCAA to put the new rules into effect teams that bring is 2021 at the latest– in the money, but we can see that the would be split “I am concerned that making NCAA is putting money in college athletics a large emphasis among all athletes at that school. Just on keeping these could blur an important after New York, collegiate athletes line between professional students first, and Florida joined in and enacted their leagues and amateur college athletes second. own “fair pay to These changes to sports.” play” bill modeled the NCAA bylaws - Michael Drake after California. will put these With many more athletes first, and will states looking into creating policies to be the first step to helping these athletes give their athletes opportunities to make that risk so much for the entertainment money, the NCAA’s hand was forced. On of our nation. These college athletes, September 29, 2019, the NCAA released are put into a position, because of the a statement that they voted “unanimously NCAA, in which they are forced to play to permit students participating in up to three years of college sports before athletics the opportunity to benefit entering the pros and making money. from the use of their name, image and These three years are years that a player likeness in a manner consistent with the could get a career–ending injury, or lose collegiate model.” their draft stock. These years wasted Although the NCAA’s own release playing college ball hurt their chances had no specific plans or details, they at making money instead of helping did release guidelines that new rules them. With these changes to the bylaws, must follow. According to the NCAA these athletes are finally compensated website, these guidelines include: (1) for risking their bodies for entertainment Student athletes are not treated any purposes. These athletes who we love to differently than non-athlete students watch every week are finally able to profit unless their is a compelling reason to off of themselves and build their name do so, (2) maintaining the priorities of before becoming professionals. education and the collegiate experience As the newly introduced bill will be to provide opportunities for student- enforced by the NCAA in the few years athlete success, (3) ensuring rules are to come, it will take time for many

2019 NCAA 29% - Basketball Fund REVENUE DISTRIBUTION 25% - Grants-in-Aid Fund

athletes, coaches, and everyone else to get used to new policy. Many athletes like De La Haye have been prohibited from playing in the NCAA although their talent is undeniably acceptable to play at a top-tier program. These athletes have been denied access to play in college programs due to the NCAA’s hefty and picky rules. Basketball player LaMelo Ball, who at the time was ranked as a top ten player in his class, was denied eligibility due to the making of his Big Baller Brand shoes, violating the NCAA’s rule on amateurism. The new bill also benefits many NCAA athletes who come from less affluent areas. The money that they can make off of their own name can not only potentially help them, but can also support their families too. Current Ohio State defensive end, Chase Young, was widely talked about as a favorite to win college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy. After taking a loan from a family friend to fly his girlfriend to the Rose Bowl game against Washington–even though he paid the loan back fully–the NCAA suspended Young for two games, diminishing his chances of winning the Heisman and thus damaging his draft status and future NFL salary. If Young were to be paid, then he would not have taken out a loan and many of his issues would have been solved. As athletes like De La Haye, Ball, and Young who have all been affected by the strict rigorous rules of the NCAA, they have paved the way for younger student-athletes to enjoy more freedom. Although future athletes will benefit from their performances financially and build up internet personalities at the same time, De La Haye’s potential NFL career can never be revived.

11% - Student Athlete Opportunity Fund

2% - Conference Grant

13% - Sports Sponsorship Fund 9% - Equal Conference Fund

8% - Academic Enhancement Fund @vikingsportsmag

3% - Special Assistance Fund | JANUARY 2020

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O

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e m e r t x E e h To t

by HAYDEN JUNG-GOLDBERG, ANNIKA SHAH, and LUKE THIEMAN

and constantly redefines what is possible. In extreme sports, or physical activities characterized by a high level October 12, 2014, of physical risk, athletes risk their lives to Felix Baumgartner do what many think is impossible. They jumped from the are able to overcome great levels of fear edge of space. and high risk in order to “send it” under “Sometimes, you some of the most extreme conditions. have to be up really However, the world of extreme high, to understand how sports goes far beyond the physical small you are,” he said risk. Extreme sports require with heavy breath as he mental as well as physical looked over the vast Earth . strength that is often greater He was at the edge of the than the levels needed to Earth’s stratosphere, so high that thrive in traditional sports. he could see the distinct curves Some have theorized the of the blue planet we call home. existence of underlying “I’m coming home now,” he said with biological mechanisms a salute, as he leaned out of the capsule that allow some extreme hovering more than 24 miles above athletes to do what they the Earth’s surface. Then, he jumped. do. The unique nature of His heart rate skyrocketed. 170, 180, extreme sports breeds an 190 bpm. He accelerated to faster than interesting and complex culture the speed of sound, becoming the that many people who see extreme first person to ever break the sound sports fail to see or understand. Extreme barrier. He maxed out at 847 mph. sports also have strong connections Then, he fell into an uncontrollable spin. to the commercial world, and is an He was completely disoriented as he was extremely intriguing industry. in complete free-fall tens of thousands When people think of extreme of feet above the Earth’s surface. sports, they think of the high If he hadn’t gone through intense physical risk and dismiss the preparation sport and its and training, he athletes as may have been crazy and unable to recover. reckless. As he plummeted Th o u g h toward the Earth, he e x t r e m e stabilized his descent, sports are and after over 4 minutes dangerous, of free-fall, he deployed they do not his parachute and floated exist based on to the ground in the “death wishes” middle of a barren desert. or stupidity. They He had done it. He had exist because of an jumped from the edge internal desire to of our atmosphere and not merely survive, broken the sound barrier. but to live a full and Now he was on solid ground. exciting life. They When most of us think of sports, we believe that “living” is more important think of football, basketball, soccer, or than being alive, and for these any other athletic activity we partake in athletes “living” means getting that on a regular basis. However, there is a adrenaline rush. For extreme athletes, whole other world of sports that pushes the rush they get from skiing down the boundaries of physical achievement a rocky cliff or wingsuit-jumping off 20 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com

a mountain top overcomes any fear of harm. Extreme sports are based on desires to live, not death wishes. Extreme sports, as said before, are physical activities characterized by high levels of physical risk, which can range from different types of skiing, to different types of rock climbing, to wingsuiting (squirrel suit flying), to skydiving, to countless other sports. One thing is the same: risk. But if they’re so risky, then why do people do them? Despite the high levels of danger, people are often drawn to the adrenaline rush they get from pushing the boundaries of human achievement. Their desire for that rush often allows them to overcome their fears. Paly student Ryan Bara (‘20) went skydiving for his 18th birthday. He was motivated by a need for the unparalleled stimulus that comes with a wave of adrenaline. “I have always been a person who loves adrenaline...and that drew me to skydiving,” Bara said. Bara was aware of the physical risks, but his desire for thrill allowed him to accept the danger and jump out of an airplane way up in the sky above the Earth. This gives insight to part of the culture in extreme sports. Those who die or are injured doing extreme athletic feats are enshrined as legends who died doing the impossible, and though they are prime examples of the danger posed by extreme sports, these d e a t h s do not generally


of extreme sports ld or w s ou er ng da d an y, A look into the wild, craz discourage extreme athletes from continuing to risk their lives. A prominent example of this occurred at a wingsuit proximity flying event— where people in squirrel suit flyers fly at high speeds in close proximity to rocks and trees—in 2013. One of the world’s best flyers, Mark Sutton, hit a cliff at 150 mph and died early in the event. Instead of cancelling the event and mourning his death, the remaining participants made a simple toast to his memory and went back out the next day. His friends said that Mark lived his life pushing the boundaries of what was possible, and that if he were still alive he would want them to always keep flying. That is exactly what they did. Many people overcome their fears by embracing a life of danger, such as these wingsuit flyers, or through their love of adrenaline, like Ryan Bara. However, in some cases, those who continually participate are driven by underlying biological mechanisms. It is a biological anomaly that enabled one of the greatest athletic feats in history. On June 3, 2017, in one of the greatest feats in the history of extreme sports, Alex Honnold free soloed El Capitan, becoming the first person to ever do so. He scaled the 900-foot vertical cliff in a few hours... with no ropes or safety equipment. Yes, you read that correctly. But what if he fell? Well, he would die, obviously. One false move…. At many moments, his life was hanging by his fingertips on ledges mere centimeters in width. How could anyone ever do this? Turns out his brain is different from most people. His fear complex, the

amygdala, requires more stimulus to activate than that of a normal person. Because of his achievements in free solo climbing, such as scaling the face of Half Dome in Yosemite or the Moonlight Buttress in Utah, he underwent an FMRI Brain Scan. The researchers showed him pictures of stimulating scenes, like mutilated bodies, and asked him questions about whether or not he would like to participate in certain thrilling activities. The scientists then compared his results to those of a normal person. The findings were astounding.

Alex H o n n o l d ’s fear complex had almost no activity and on the control subjects, there were high levels of activity, indicating that he is significantly less risk averse than most. He was determined to be approximately twice as attention seeking as the average person a n d h a d values 2 0 percent higher than the average high attention seeker. Honnold is able to hang by his fingertips hundreds of feet above the ground and keep his composure because he literally is not affected by fear in the same way that the average person is. Another prominent aspect of the world of extreme sports is the commercial side of the industry. RedBull and GoPro sponsor many extreme athletes and extreme sports competitions, and the “send it” attitude, or willingness to do anything in the moment, surrounding these companies perpetuates the industry. Felix Bumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere was an event organized by RedBull, and the company also sponsors mountain biking, freeskiing,

and wingsuiting events. Companies like RedBull and GoPro, the latter of which equips all extreme athletes with firstperson cameras, encourage athletes in their quest to do the impossible. Many athletes are shown to be drinking RedBull at the top of mountains before they attempt any extreme athletic feat. GoPro videos are released online in order to promote events and expand the industry. The extreme sports industry has been coming more and more into the public sphere, which is exemplified by the release of an extreme sports based video game in 2016 entitled Steep. There is a strong sense of community among many groups of extreme athletes as they all share a common risk and are all driven by the same thrill-loving philosophy. Many outsiders cannot relate to the dangerous nature of extreme sports. Those in the community, however, can relate to each other, and just as football or basketball teammates form strong bonds and team relationships, those who risk their lives together often form similar bonds. Relationships can often form between those who risk their lives together. Though they do not conform to the traditional vision of sports, extreme sports are a profoundly interesting aspect of the sports world. Though they are dangerous, they are much more intricate than simple risk. Extreme athletes risk their lives to do what they love, and live their lives to the fullest extent. The spirit of extreme sports can be captured by the distinct difference between living and being alive. It is in this difference where extreme sports exist. It is this difference that drives athletes to defy social norms. And it is because of this difference that extreme sports truly live up to their name: extreme.


COLUMN

At What Cost? Criticism abounded after the Houston Astros’ false denial of their assistant general manager’s outburst, in which he loudly supported the organization’s addition of Roberto Osuna, an accused domestic abuser. But the greater problem is being overlooked: the Astros were never held accountable for acquiring Osuna in the first place. by MATTHEW MARZANO n today’s world, sports organizations the Astros came out with yet another across the globe manage their statement, this time admitting that professional teams in completely they were wrong and that Taubman’s different ways. Some will do comments were “inappropriate.” The whatever it takes to win, even if that Astros went on to fire GM Brandon means acquiring controversial players, Taubman for his comments and sincerely while others will try to stay out of the apologized to everyone involved with media’s light so that they don’t get the incident. slandered by the fans. Whichever From the start, the Astros knew what direction the organizations choose, they they were getting themselves into. The need to be held more accountable for only reason they were able to afford their decisions. Osuna in the first place was because A perfect example of this is Roberto no one else wanted to take the risk of Osuna, a relief pitcher signed by the receiving criticism, or wanted to deal Houston Astros who had been accused with the moral implications of hiring a of assaulting a mother and her three- potential abuser. It’s similar to the Colin year-old son in Toronto. Even with these Kaepernick debate. Kaepernick was accusations, the closer went on to play a quarterback who decided to kneel in one of the biggest games of the year, during the national anthem as a protest Game 6 of the AL Championship. From against police brutality. When this scene the start, Osuna received hate: when he occurred, people were outraged, as fans took his first steps to the mound, he was across the nation thought Kaepernick was welcomed by boos and call-outs from disrespecting the soldiers who fought fans. Osuna went on to pitch poorly, for the United States. This resulted in him giving up a crucial 2-run home-run to tie eventually getting cut and never being the game up in the top of the 9th. Despite signed again because organizations Osuna’s poor performance, the Astros didn’t want to take on all the baggage went on to win the game 6-4, advancing that came along with Kapernick as them to the 2019 World Series. a player. Although Kaepernick was, After the game was finished, the by most, considered to be a top 32 assistant GM of the Astros, Brandon quarterback in the NFL, organizations Taubman, turned to three female made the choice not to sign him due to reporters and went on to repeatedly say, the risk he carried. “Thank god for Osuna...I’m so f***ing Of course, this scenario is inherently glad we got Osuna.” different from Osuna’s. Kaepernick was Now why would the assistant GM say never an accused criminal, but he, too, such a statement about a player after had been painted as a troublesome a sub-par performance, especially to figure. Adding him to a team would female reporters? After the comments spark controversy, controversy that transpired and started to spark owners feared could affect the locker national attention, one of the women room, controversy that would lead to released a report in Sports Illustrated, suffocating media attention for the detailing the uncomfortable events. entire year. The NFL, whether justly or The Houston Astros chose to release not, decided that the risk associated a statement denying the report made with Kaepernick was simply too great. of these comments by saying they The Astros, on the other hand, decided were “misleading.” Yet three days later, to take the risk with Osuna, an accused 22 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com

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criminal, not a protester for social justice, 0taking him on as a player and as an alleged assaulter. I am not saying signing Roberto Osuna was the wrong or right move from the Houston Astros. They are an organization, and thus need to do what is best for them and should do whatever it takes to win games. However, organizations need to be held accountable for the acquisitions they make; they can’t have it both ways. So if you’re the Astros and you want Osuna to pitch for you in the AL (American League) Championship, as an organization, you need to be ready for any backlash that the media throws at you and you need to be able to respond to the media in an appropriate matter. Now, although the Astros did release a formal apology for the actions of their assistant GM and their false statement after the incident, as fans, we can’t just let big clubs off this easy. In this day and age, sports owners and people at the top of organizations are the ones who make all of the decisions, even though their brands are built off the backs of hard-working players. If a player makes one little slip up, their image is destroyed and they are usually slandered in the media. But when an organization does something wrong, we tend to forgive and let go of our misgivings. Why is this? Is it because when an organization slips up, there usually isn’t a face attached to the issues? Is it because we assume that the people in these organizations are smarter than the players on the field? Whatever the reason may be, it’s time for organizations to be accountable, maybe even more so than the players on the field. So although the Astros made the correct decision to fire assistant GM Brandon, they shouldn’t be applauded— they lied to the face of the media from the start.


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Rising From

Photo Courtesy of Eddie Satlzman

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how football enabled a community to come together after the most destructive fire in california history.

The Ashes by HANA ERICKSON, JAMES FETTER, JENNA HICKEY and TYLER STOEN


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he stadium stood like an oasis amidst a desert of ash and fiery remains. Residents of Paradise began coming in and filling the seats to witness their high school football team link arms and walk to midfield. As the pregame show began, waves of emotions and memories of the past year flooded back. On August 23, the Paradise High School football team held their 2019 season home opener. It marked the first time the town had come together since the Camp Fire, which was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The Paradise Bobcats proceeded to dominate their opponents on the way to a 42-0 victory. But the game itself was more of an afterthought on a night where a community tried to regain its identity after losing everything. Roughly 5,000 fans showed up to the game, and for some the game marked their first trip back to

what football has done for the residents of Paradise. “Paradise is a football town, no doubt,” Paradise High School senior Brenden Moon said. “Being able to play again after the Camp Fire really brought joy to this community.” But this storybook ending for the disaster doesn’t really do justice to Photo courtesy of Brenden Moon the current state of affairs in Paradise. Many families lost their Only two weeks before school started, homes to the fire and had to be relocated the team was finally able to practice at away from the city. Some were even their high school again. Many slept in relocated to towns that are more than an the gym overnight in tents and cabins, hour away from Paradise, which made bringing nothing but a training bag for a the trip back to Paradise a pillow and a small blanket. Looking back roughly 9 months prior, long one. In order to reduce commute times, some of the on November 9th, 2018 at 6:33 am, students stayed with friends wildfires lit up North California’s Butte during the school week Country. The blaze ravaged 150,000 so they didn’t have such a acres of land due to a faulty PG&E long commute. As a result, electrical transmission line that sparked the team’s roster shrunk in nearby vegetation just a few miles 2019 from 56 to 35 players, outside of Paradise. In just two weeks, significantly affecting the the inferno destroyed more structures than California’s other seven worst fires roster size of the team. “Rides to practice were combined. In the first 14 hours, the fire always a struggle for me had torn through 20,000 acres and rose living out in Red Bluff. Depth to 100,000 acres in the next two days. was huge for us at first but The clear blue sky turned orange as the we came together and made sun was hidden by the plumes of smoke it happen,” Julian Ontiveros, rising into the air. The Camp Fire killed 88 people and a senior on the Paradise football team, destroyed structures and communities in said. Although the fire didn’t directly damage its fiery path. Although the fire has now any of the athletic facilities at the high been 100% contained for many months, school, the burned remains left by the the people affected by the fire must fire prevented the team from practicing rebuild. Paradise was one of the on campus. At first they were riding to towns that suffered the most, a local middle school soccer field after with the fire destroying school to practice. The fire damaged the 95% of their community portables, and parts of the school, but according to The Francisco stopped before the football field and San Chronicle. other sporting facilities. At the beginning of their summer Along with training, which took place at a donated h o u s e s warehouse near Chico, only 22 students a n d

“Paradise is a football town, no doubt. Being able to play again after the Camp Fire really brought joy to this community.” —Brenden Moon

“Football is all I have to look forward to in life right now—it’s kept me happy.” -Julian Ontiveros Photo courtesy of Brenden Moon

Paradise since the fire. Before the game, first responders were honored by being invited onto the field. Players from the 2018 Paradise team whose season was cut short by the disaster even marched to meet them, waving commemorative US firefighting flags to honor those who died. It may seem odd that 11 individuals driving a ball down field can help bring together a community that has been ravaged by a natural disaster, yet this is exactly

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showed up. When practices started again at the school, more people started to come back.

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Photos courtesy of Eddie Saltzman

businesses, storage rooms containing uniforms and sports equipment burned down. The effects of the fire were felt even 200 miles south in the Bay Area, specifically at Paly. Due to the hazardous smoke levels, many Paly sports had difficulty scheduling practices. Most of the teams had to squeeze into the indoor facilities. Football practiced in the small gym, the cross country team ran around the big gym, and local swim teams were relocated to the YMCA, which has an indoor pool. Water polo was another sports that suffered from the poor air quality Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey because few indoor pools exist in the Bay Area. meaningful because we weren’t allowed “We went into the dance studio one to play.” day and had the trainer give us some Other sports also ran into trouble with exercises and stretches,” Zander Darby the smoke from the fires. Paly’s cross (‘21) said. “Our pool time was very limited country team had to move their CCS for the end of the water polo season.” race to Salinas from Crystal Springs, Teams also faced uncertainty about where the race was originally set to be future playoff and championship held. For the same reason, football was games, of which some were relocated forced to move their CCS Quarter-final or even canceled. After pulling off an against Los Gatos. Even hours before upset against Los Altos and winning the game was set to start, the team was CCS, the Paly boys water polo team lost still unsure of if they would play because the opportunity to go to the CIF State they were receiving updates telling them Championships due to the unhealthy air that the air quality still wasn’t healthy quality. enough. Despite the setbacks faced by “It felt like winning a CCS Bay Area sports teams, these challenges championship was wasted pale in comparison to the destruction because we didn’t have that affected the athletics programs in an opportunity to go to Paradise. States,” Darby said. With this bigger picture in mind, “Winning CCS Menlo-Atherton High School decided wasn’t as to contribute to the reconstruction of Paradise’s athletic programs during the Varsity Football CCS Semi-finals against Paly. Lucas

Giarrusso (‘20), a MenloAtherton football player, was eating dinner with his family when his mom mentioned Paradise High School. Similar to MA, the Paradise football team also had an 8-2 record: this connection sparked something in Giarrusso. “They were about to play their first-round playoff game, so were we. They were 8-2 on the season, so were we,” Giarrusso said. “I felt like I was, and could have been, one of those boys. I think that is why I acted on this.” Giarrusso approached Paul Snow, the MA Athletic director, to pitch his idea to start a fundraiser for the victims, and Snow loved it. From there, they created posters, donation boxes, and asked volunteers to collect money during the games. Before their first playoff game, MA held a moment of silence dedicated to the victims in Paradise. Giarrusso himself even wrote an emotional speech which he gave at the same game. “They are my brothers from California, and I wanted to show the nation that, in the end, football is family,” Giarrusso said during the interview. Giarrusso continued to speak at games for the rest of the season. MA made it to the state championship and Giarrusso prepared for his

“I felt like I was, and could have been, one of those boys. I think that is why I acted on this.” —Lucas Giarrusso

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biggest crowd yet. After speaking in front of 6,000 people, a player from the opposing team came up to Giarrusso and spoke with him. “While one team was bound to lose, we all won that day as we fought hand in hand for a bigger cause,” Giarrusso recounted. With the help of others, Giarrusso was able to surpass his goal of $250 by raising $20,000. While Giarrusso’s story shows the local connection that Mid-Peninsula schools had with the fire, no sum of money would truly reverse the emotional d a m a g e caused by the disaster. This is where football helps alleviate the pain associated with losing an entire community. “ Fo o t b a l l brought my team, my school and my community closer by allowing us to be with our friends and family again in a place we love so much,” Moon said. Football has given this town a boost, starting with the first home football game where many had come back to the town for the first time since the fire to watch the game, even with the buildings on all four sides of the field burned down, the field surrounded by stumps. The team, and more importantly the town, was able to come together to enjoy a game under the lights. After the fire ended the Bobcats’ season in 2018 and forced them to forfeit their playoff games, the team looked forward to their upcoming season

more than ever. This craving for football is evidenced by the Bobcats’ performance this season: on November 5th, the Paradise High School football team finished their 2019 regular season undefeated. Their season symbolized the tenacity of the players on the team, as their final win came only a week before the one-year anniversary of the Camp Fire that destroyed their town. The undefeated (12-0) Bobcats went on to compete on November 31st against Sutter Union High School in the 2019 Northern Section Division Three Football Playoffs. Last year, Paradise was preparing to host a playoff game but had to forfeit due to the fire, ending their season. Paradise lost to Sutter 20-7 this year, but having the opportunity to go

“Football has always been big in paradise. It brought us all close and gave us something to look forward to.” -Julian Ontiveros

Photos by Eddie Saltzman

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out and compete means a lot to a team that had to forfeit their season just a year before. “Football has always been big in paradise,” Ontiveros said. “It brought us all close and gave us something to look forward to.” Football is very important within this community, and it is a common feeling among the players that football was key in restoring the livelihood of this community. “I would say [that] football brought my team, school, and community closer [together] by allowing us to be with our friends and family again in a place that we love so much,” Moon said. Football is more than just a game or a sport to these boys, it’s giving them an opportunity to keep moving forward. “In paradise we have a saying, ‘Brothers to the bone,’ and seeing them everyday made me keep coming back,” Ontiveros said. “Football is all I have to look forward to in life right now—it’s kept me happy.”


BROTHERS TO THE BONE

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renden Moon, the running back for Paradise High School’s football team, has had a vastly different experience from some of his teammates. Throughout it all, the love he has for football has kept him going, and inspired others on his team. He believes that football has brought the school, team, and community closer after the fire. In the fall of 2018, he watched as his hometown burned down. He was in the car with a teammate, unable to move, watching everything go up in flames. Luckily, his teammate was able to drive them to safety, and they lived to see another day. In the period following, he moved from house to house for two months before he was able to return to his foster parents’ partially-destroyed home. Other boys on the team were also forced to live with extended family, or move two to three times over the course of a year, just so they could continue to play on the football team. Throughout the chaos of being

displaced for months on end, Moon participated in spring training and eventually summer training. He didn’t miss a single practice, a sign of his devotion to the game and his teammates. However, during the regular season, he began to miss time, and his coaches were immediately suspicious. Little did they know that Brenden’s private life had just gone from bad to worse. The morning before their third game, the team was told the news: Brenden’s biological mother had passed away. The three days he was gone, Moon had been by her side as her health declined, and ultimately when she passed. He came back to the team the next week, and coaches told him he could take all the time he needed to get back to normalcy. But for Moon, all he wanted to do was play. His coaches and teammates admired his perseverance, and on the next game they made sure he would score a touchdown. When he did, he burst into tears. His mother inspired him to “strive to be

the best player I can be on and off the field,” Moon said. Afterwards, his teammates were all in agreement that football was something that they could continue to look forward to during their hard times. Moon finished out the season, which included an incredible 75 yard interception return for a touchdown in a close game. Moon’s spectacular play helped the Bobcats push towards an undefeated league season. Despite all the hardship Moon has faced this year, he’s been able to look back to football and his teammates whenever he’s felt down. Paradise is a football town, and the Bobcats’ motto, “brothers to the bone,” reminds everyone that they’ve gone from a good team to an inseparable family.

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Photos courtesy of Brenden Moon

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Most Hated: Myles Garrett Myles Garrett might have done one of the most egregious acts in recent NFL history. At the end of the Brown and Steelers game, Myles Garrett ripped off the helmet of Steelers quarterback, Mason Rudolf, and proceeded to slam it down into his head. Not many people have taken Garrett’s side after his actions, and he has since been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. To some, the result of the helmet smash should be a suspension that lasts for longer than next season, for other the suspension should last even longer. No one is sure when Myles Garret will return to the NFL but we can be sure it will not be soon.

Best mascot: Blue (Colts)

VIKING MIDS

The Colts Mascot, Blue, is one of the greatest mascots throughout all of professional sports. The blue and white colt adds much to the team itself. A funny example of Blue’s on field antic is when he fainted under the goalpost as the Titans kicker drilled a game sealing field goal. Blue also has videos of him playfully stiff arming kids and jumping over them to make a tackle. While not every team has a mascot, Blue is the best of the best and adds fun and excitement to every game.

Most drip: Odell Beckham jr Odell Beckham Jr’s. drip is the opposite of his play on the field, Odell walks through the tunnel and onto the field looking like one of the best but then proceeds to play like the rest. Odell is currently on his longest streak of consecutive games without 100 yards receiving, currently at eight. Despite his underwhelming performance on the field Odell is still walking around in goat hair cleats. Odell also arrives to games with the nicest suits and has even worn a $2.2 million watch in game. Odell plays with more money on his body than the amount that he deserves to earning this season. However, we here at Viking believe in Odell’s ability: he was once an elite wide out before he was traded to the Browns. We believe that he will be able to return to his former glory. 30

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HONO

by LINCOLN BLOOM, JACKSON B


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Biggest surprise: lamar jackson This season, Lamar Jackson has taken the NFL by storm. Just a few months ago people questioned his ability to play the quarterback position due to his running back style of play. But even from their first game of the season Lamar Jackson lit up the box score. Jackson has proved people who have doubted him wrong and has transformed the conversation that surrounds him. He went from being a quarterback that people thought could only run the ball to being known as one of the most elite passers in the NFL. Just in one year, Jackson has went from being a backup quarterback to a front runner in the MVP conversation.

DSEASON NFL

NORS

ON BUNDY, and JACK ELARDE

Most overrated: sf 49ers

The 49ers have played two good teams. Faithful fans will always claim that the Niners have played more than that, however it is proved that their only quality opponents served them losses. Even though the game looked close against the Seahawks it was a mere allusion. In over time Jimmy Garoppolo looked terrible, throwing just one completion. He threw more passes to the Seahawks then he did his team. The 49ers second loss came from the Ravens, the team that the 49ers should have been most scared of. The Ravens’ defense was good enough to stop the subpar Jimmy Garoppolo and their quarterback, Lamar Jackson, has been having a MVP caliber season. Their fears were justified after the Ravens kicker, Justin Tucker, hit a field goal with the time running out to win the game.

Most underrated: Bills The Bills are 9-3 right now. Yes, you heard that right. The Bills are Superbowl contenders despite a rough past couple of years. The promising sophomore quarterback, Josh Allen, might be the solution to the Bills Mafia’s recent rage because of their solid play on field. The Bills elite defense is one of the best in the NFL, allowing only 188 points over the entire season. If the Bills can get into the Wildcard round of the playoffs then the rest of the AFC should start to worry. Behind Allen’s arm and their concrete defense they are underrated and a sleeper to go far in the playoffs. If they can get past just one of the AFC‘s superpowers such as the Chiefs, Ravens, or Patriots then don’t be surprised watching them late into January.

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FAITHFUL THEN

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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Founded in 1946, the San Francisco 49ers have seen their share of successes and failures. Millions of fans passed through Kezar, Candlestick, and Levi’s Stadium to watch their favorite team play. One of those fans was Robert Bliss. Born in 1932, the San Francisco native quickly became enthralled with the young 49ers franchise, developing a lifelong passion. I sat down with Bliss, my grandfather, as he recounted how his fandom has stayed with him throughout his life, and how it shaped himself and our family. Text by SOFIA BLISS-CARRASCOSA Design by ALANA ABEYTA, SOFIA BLISS-CARRASCOSA, LIAM NAGESH

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faded gold-colored bomber jacket that has started to fray envelops my grandfather, Robert Bliss. The words “FORTY NINERS” that are stitched into the iconic satin in varsity lettering don’t appear particularly noteworthy in the sea of red and gold, but bought and worn since 1976, these letters have walked in and out of Candlestick and Levi’s Stadium, wrapped around this dedicated fan for over 40 years. “I missed two seasons in the military, and I went to two weddings,” my grandfather tells me. “The rest of the time I went to every game.” Even while he was serving with the US Marine Corps in Korea from 1951

to 1952, he kept up with his favorite team. “My mother would send me articles about the 49ers in Korea,” he recounted. My grandfather got his first season ticket when he returned from war for the 1953 season. He has had tickets ever since, a constant presence in the rows of 49ers fans. When he became a fan in 1946, the times were very different. Born and raised in San Francisco, the football games at Kezar Stadium were very accessible to him. “[Going to games] cost 25 cents with a student body card,” he said. “The

“They could do things you couldn’t do now.”

“They tried to chase us off [the field] but it was like chasing off flies.” next year cost 50 cents with a student body card. Next year it cost 75 cents with a student body card.” Back in the early years of the franchise, the 49ers were members of the All-

American football conference. The league consisted of the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Buffalo Bisons, the Chicago Rockets, the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers, the LA Dons, and the Miami Seahawks. “[It was] the most exciting football I’ve ever seen, because they could do things you couldn’t do now,” my grandfather said. “[It was] lots of fun. The players were smaller and weren’t as fast, but they were exciting as heck.” The modern game, with spread formation, RPO’s, and many more points on the scoreboard, doesn’t stop him from enjoying watching his team perform. “This team is exciting, but it’s not the most exciting,” he says. “It’s on the list of the Top 10 exciting teams.” It seems that nothing can top his

favorite team ever, the Joe Montana led 1981 Super Bowl team, whose legendary “Catch” against the Dallas Cowboys marked one of the greatest plays in NFL history. Growing up and spending so much time with the 49ers has left my grandpa not only with memories of incredible plays, but with unique, peculiar anecdotes. In 1949, the 49ers made an effort to increase their profits, trying to curb the amount of student-discounted tickets sold and increase the number of full-paying adults in attendance. In a playoff game against the New York Yankees, my grandfather recalls them sending all high schools students to a separate entrance gate from the regular attendants. “We had 3,000 kids pushing on the gate and the half inch metal chain popped and the gates swung open and we ran in,” he remembered. “I sat on the New York Yankees bench during the game Surrounding the field, were six, eight feet wide of kids all the way around the field.” At this point in our interview, my dad, also named Robert Bliss, interrupts, asking if security tried to kick the students off the field. “Well they tried to chase us off but it was like chasing off flies,” he said. “We weren’t being bad. We were just watching the game. I sat down on the New York Yankees bench and the cop chased me away. And after he left, I came and sat back down, two of the New York Yankee players said, ‘We got a new team member.’ I remember that. We won the

“Bob St. Clair looks over says ‘I know you don’t I?’ And I said ‘Hi Bob.’”

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game.” In the early fifties, the 49ers used to practice at St Mary’s College in Moraga, California, so my grandfather and his mother would go to the college to watch them play. “I knew Bob St. Clair slightly from high school,” he tells me. “And so Bob St. Clair was playing and I’m sitting there and a horse reaches over.” He goes on about the horses. “I reach up and I’m scratching the horse and the other horse does the same thing,” he tells me. He gets to the part of the story that always made me laugh as a kid. “So here I’m sitting leaning against the fence, scratching these two horses heads and Bob St. Clair looks over says ‘I know you don’t I?’ and I said ‘Hi Bob’,” he said chuckling. Scattered throughout the stories he tells me is Leo Nomellini, an unusual favorite among Niners Empire whose idols have been legends like Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. My grandfather mentions him over and over, painting him as one of his favorite 49ers players of all time. As he remembers watching him play, his eyes light up at the memory. When I mention this in our interview, he begins telling me about him. “He was 6’3” and weighed 273,” he says. “In those days that was big, and he had long arms and a great balance.” Watching Nomellini play reminded him of an old childhood fantasy. “I’d just sit there and watch him because I wanted to be offensive or defensive tackle as a kid,” he said. “I wasn’t

The Bliss boys enjoying a game! Photo courtesy of Kate McKenna

anything near like that though.” Whilst a lack of natural talent unfortunately meant that professional football wasn’t a career option for him, time passed and my grandfather grew up, got a job, and lived his life. The world c h a n g e d around my g r a n d f a t h e r, the only constant was his dedication to the San Francisco team. He started a family, one that was quickly exposed to his love for football, namely the 49ers franchise. As he raised his children, he passed on the tradition of attending 49er home games to his son, my dad. For the entirety of my father’s youth, going to the games was a major commitment. They were living outside of rural Merced in Central California, at the time which meant that the commute to Candlestick Park was often longer than the

“I enjoyed driving up more than I enjoyed the games.”

“It’d be all day: three hour plus drive up, three hour drive back.”

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game itself. “It’d be all day: three hour plus drive up, three hour drive back,” my dad recalls. “So if the game was a one o’clock game we’d leave at like 9.” The immense time commitment brought the two together. “We used to talk history and all kinds of stories like that,” my grandfather jumps in, reminiscing. “I enjoyed driving up more than I enjoyed the games.” “[The 49ers have] been something that I bonded with [my] dad over my whole life,” my dad tells me. That’s what the 49ers are for our family: a chance to come together over a shared love for football and the people who we watch it with. What does it mean to him to have us all there with him? “A great deal,” he says. To us too. 49ers games have been a favorite tradition of ours for as long as I can remember. Every home game, we pile together our buckets of franchise merchandise, t-shirts, blankets, beanies and jackets, decking ourselves out in gear to support our team. “I’ve really appreciated that you guys have shown interest, because for me, it was a really fun part of growing up,” my dad tells me. “A big part of my childhood was being able to root for the niners and go to the games with [my] dad.” When my brother and I were old enough to join the fandom, my grandfather got a third ticket so that we could go to games with him and my dad. But with four avid niners fans in the family and just three tickets, my brother and I are often left divvying up the season so that we each get to go to games. “I would like to have more tickets so I could take you all to the game,” my grandfather says. “I wanted to have some of you kids going to the game so I made sure I bought another ticket.” My grandfather has been a 49ers fan for the entirety of his life. He passed down his love two generations: my father, my brother and I. His iconic bomber jacket will always remind me of more than just the team. I literally grew up in that jacket. I started watching football snuggled under the satin 49ers logo. When I was

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little, my grandfather would wrap me in it when I got cold. I pranced around in a jacket that went down to my knees, my arms never reaching the end of sleeve. The original satin gold bomber that wrapped me as a child has a cultural notoriety among 49ers fans. These rare jackets have gone for hundreds on resale, but there’s no price for loyalty. These jackets have been passed down generations, creating a visible community of original Faithful. The lifelong commitment to a team is the most respected achievement among fans. Often, my grandpa will be hollered at or stopped as fellow fans recognize him in his bomber, never hesitant to show their admiration. Sometimes, like at a Christmas Eve dinner a couple years back, this community will materialize outside of the stadium and football area. Having seen my grandfather’s

49ers bomber jacket, a fellow fan walked over to the table to introduce himself. He stayed for 15 minutes, talking about their

memories of the team. Despite this lifelong commitment to the team and the frequent encounters with other fans because of his jacket, my grandfather humbly denies that he is a “special” fan. In fact, he told me that the only thing differentiating him from the crowd is the fact that he has been there longer than almost everyone else. But this is far from the truth, in my opinion. I have seen the meager crowds during the losing years at Levi’s Stadium. I have watched the crowd swell on good years and shrink significantly on bad years, even within my short lifetime. It takes a strong character to stick with a team, through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, for 70 long years. It is because of him that my father, my brother and I gather around the TV at night during away games and spend time as a family. I think all of that makes Photo by Sofia Bliss-Carrascosa Robert Bliss a special fan.

Walking into Levi’s Stadium

20/20: VISION OF THE FUTURE? While Robert Bliss represents the original wave of superfans, there are others among the next generation ready to emerge. Among these fans are members of the Paly class of 2020. “It is a great bonding experience because my dad and I watch games together on Sunday nights. We have been watching since I was really young and have seen them grow and fall, but we still love them.” - Sanaz Ebrahimi “A favorite moment of mine was during the 2012 NFC Championship game against the Falcons. The Niners were up 28-24 and were able to stop the Falcons on 4th down to win the game. I remember being super excited because it was the first time I had seen them go to the Super Bowl. I felt proud to be a Niners fan and feel like, in general, there is a lot of pride in the fanbase.” - Alan Moss

“Being a 49ers fan automatically makes you part of a community. Every Sunday or Monday I have a little tradition set up for me where, even if I am just sitting at home watching my TV for three hours, I feel just as connected to the fans I see sitting in the stands.” - Yael Sarig “I have been a fan for as long as I can remeber. My favorite memory was the Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in 2013. It was amazing to see [Kaepernick] run through the defense the whole game” - Devan Shah

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pain

KILLERS by WILL DEANDRE, VIJAY HOMAN, SOPHIE KADIFA and YAEL SARIG


Opioid use in athletics has a long history; athletes can be prescribed opioids because of injuries or after surgery. Although painkillers can help athletes cope with pain, they are easily abused. Some sports organizations are not careful when they prescribe opioids to their athletes and many athletes have taken advantage of this disorganized system, making them vulnerable to addiction. Intense regulation is needed to guarantee their safety.

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T

he story was almost too good to be true. Well, not good—it stemmed from the unexpected death of a player—a death that rocked the MLB and its fans. But it certainly had a storybook ending. On the first home game after the death of Tyler Skaggs, the Angels’ pitcher who died at 27, his former team delivered perhaps the most iconic memorial game of all time. And it just so happened that the game fell on the night before Skaggs’ birthday—what would have been his 28th. Each teammate’s jersey bore No. 45 and Skaggs’ name. One of those jerseys was framed and brought onto the field before the game, mounted proudly on a canvas stand. Later, at the game’s end, the mound would be covered in that same jersey, as each of the Angels players removed their jersey and laid it onto the ground in a vibrant red mosaic. The Angels pitched a no-hitter that game, one of the most coveted feats in baseball, and won 13-0. The victory looked effortless. The Angels looked flawless. And after the game, baseball fans everywhere were still wondering what happened. Before the memorial game, the last no-hitter thrown in California had fallen on July 13, 1991. Skaggs was born that same day–that same year. And the Angels scored seven runs in the first inning, finishing with 13 runs and 13 hits: 7-13. It was only the 11th no-hitter in Angels’ history. Skaggs, a Los Angeles native, had worn No. 11 at Santa Monica High. Mike Trout, too, hit a home-run. He swung at the first pitch thrown at him, uncharacteristic for the normally reserved slugger. But the swing paid off to the tune of a two-run bomb that sailed 454 feet over the wall. 454, of course, is a palindrome of Skaggs’ jersey number. It was a surreal night—touching, tragic, simultaneously difficult to watch and impossible not to. It was exactly the kind of night that the Angels wanted in order to honor their late pitcher. When they pitched a no-hitter, it felt like Skaggs had pitched it. When Trout

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homered deep, it felt like Skaggs had swung the bat. That was the kind of sendoff that a player of his caliber deserved. The Angels had done him right. But then details of his death surfaced. Skaggs had died alone in his hotel room. The organization may have felt the need to smooth over the details of his death, but Skaggs did not suffer an unexplainable tragedy, a young death characterized by a mysterious illness. The circumstances of his death were clear. Tyler Skaggs died alone in his hotel room after choking on his own vomit, his body’s last-ditch effort to purge the deadly mix of oxycodone, fentanyl, and alcohol he’d ingested. But this wasn’t an isolated incident; the Angels’ public relations official, Erik Kay, openly admitted to supplying Skaggs with drugs for years. He also ceded that two team officials knew of Skaggs’ drug abuse, long before that fateful night in his hotel room. So why didn’t an organization which expressed such postmortem grief

unresolved. Cocaine usage throughout Major League Baseball in the 80s was widespread, affecting many superstar players. Gooden, the star pitcher of the miracle Mets, was a prime example. A first-round pick in 1982, Gooden quickly rose to stardom, winning Rookie of the Year in 1984 and Cy Young in 1985. But as his talents became apparent, his addiction grew worse. His rockbottom came on the day of that New York celebration, a parade of his team’s accomplishments. While his teammates were celebrating amongst all of their fans, Gooden was in the slums of Manhattan doing cocaine with delinquents. He would test positive for cocaine in 1987, and undergo rehab and multiple times in an attempt to come clean. Although he pitched in the MLB for 13 more years, he would never return to the level of dominance that he displayed in his early years. His personal life post-retirement has been troubled by numerous arrests, with him most recently being arrested for driving under the influence in July 2019. While some players have escaped their previous struggles and vices, the Doc hasn’t been so lucky. Following the MLB cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, a new problem emerged: painkillers in football. The precedent set by baseball organizations, who did little to curb their players’ ability to abuse drugs, encouraged NFL teams to do the same. The soreness and chronic injuries that had previously forced players to miss many games at a time could now be ignored, and teams loved it. Painkillers such as vicodin, fentanyl, and oxycodone were mass-purchased by teams, and they were made easily available to players. Kyle Turley, a former offensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints, used his testimony in front of the House of Representatives to help illustrate the problem plaguing the NFL. He noted that some doctors perpetuate the problem by prescribing opioids in large quantities, and gave an example of a doctor offering to sell him 10,000 Vicodin pills. Time and time again, athletes are forced to endure physical

“You really could go in the training room and get what you wanted. I can get Vicodin, I can get Oxy[contin].  It was too available.” - Calvin Johnson and compassion take precautionary measures before the entirely preventable tragedy even occurred? To understand this, you have to go back, before Skaggs was even born, to a little-remembered New York City celebration in 1986. The scrappy New York Mets were led by young superstars Darryl Strawberry and Dwight “Doc” Gooden, who played right field and starting pitcher, respectively. Thanks to the help of a now-famous error by Bill Buckner in Game 6, the Mets would go on to defeat the Red Sox in seven games and take home their first title since 1969. From the outside, it looked like there was a future dynasty in the making. But on the inside, there were larger problems that were

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and mental pain in order to compete in their desired sport. Opioids are the ideal solution for many of these problems because the pain that some athletes endure is unimaginable. They allow athletes to escape their pain, but with unforeseen costs. Addiction and overdoses are a direct result of opioid use, yet athletes are willing to risk their careers in order to relieve themselves of pain. Athletes like Tyler Skaggs and Dwight Gooden are simply microcosms of the underlying issue of drug abuse in sports. There are many more athletes with stories to be told, more victims of this willed ignorance. Although many players became addicted to painkillers after consistent usage, Calvin Johnson was one of the lucky athletes who did not suffer from addiction even though opioids were casually available through his professional sports team. A second pick overall in the 2007 draft, Johnson carried out his career as a wide receiver for the Lions and eventually retired in 2016 at the young age of 30 because he was frustrated with the sport. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Johnson revealed the opioid abuse occurring during his career with the Lions. “When I got to the league, [there] was opioid abuse,” Johnson said. “You really could go in the training room and get what you wanted. I can get Vicodin, I can get Oxy[contin].  It was too available. I used Percocet and stuff like that. And I did not like the way that made me feel. I had my preferred choice of medicine. Cannabis.” Like many of professional football players, Johnson suffered major injuries during his career including concussions, back issues, and ankle problems. To cope with the pain, Johnson smoked cannabis after every

game. Although it is not clear if the greater Detroit Lions organization knew about the supplying of opioids to their athletes, the fact that opioids were so easily accessible to Johnson through the Lion’s training room speaks to a greater leniency towards the abuse of these drugs in the NFL. Johnson’s story didn’t end with opioid addiction, but it easily could have. Unlike Johnson, many other professional athletes suffered the consequences of addiction because of the availability of the substances. Long before Johnson ever rose to

“The euphoric feeling of mixing alcohol and the prescribed medication led me to down more pills and drink more beer.” - Earl Campbell stardom, a powerful running back for the University of Texas was dominating college defenses. Earl Campbell won the Heisman Trophy in 1977 and became the first overall pick a year later. Due to his power running style, Campbell sustained his fair share of injuries and managed to play through them. However, playing through these injuries would come back to haunt him

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Dr. Lembke at a TedX conference in 2017 || Photo courtesy of Linda A. Cicero Dr. Lembke speaks at a TedX conference in 2017 || Photo by Linda A. Cicerco

later in life. In 2009 he was diagnosed He had a history of aggressive behavior with spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing during hockey games and was known for of the spinal canal. Consequently, he was beating up his opponents. According to prescribed Oxycontin and Vicodin to the New York Times, most NHL teams carry ease his pain. roughly 10 affiliated doctors. Although Campbell soon began to mix his this may seem positive because there prescriptions with alcohol on a regular were so many resources for athletes to basis, which had severe implications for receive medical help, there was a flaw his personal life. in the system that Boogaard figured out. In an article written in The Postgame, There was no system in place to track the Campbell stated: “The euphoric feeling of mixing alcohol and the prescribed medication led me to down more pills and drink more beer.” It wasn’t until his two sons intervened and told him he had a problem that he came back to reality. What became apparent to Campbell, as has happened to many others affected by such substances, is that he could not determine whether his usage was a problem. He has since become sober and has made increasing efforts to demonstrate to others the dangers of addictive painkillers. The opioid epidemic spreads across professional sports like football and prescriptions of each doctor. The doctors baseball, but professional hockey player were oblivious to what their colleagues Derek Boogaard also fell victim to the were prescribing. opioid crisis. This made the perfect environment Boogaard was a professional hockey for drug abuse to flourish. According player for the NHL and during his career to records gathered by Len Boogaard played for the Minnesota Wild and the provided to the New York Times, in New York Rangers. a three-month time period while His story began when he was Boogaard was with the Wild, he received prescribed opioids for chronic traumatic 11 prescriptions for painkillers from encephalopathy, better known as C.T.E, eight doctors. In total, Boogaard had which is thought to be a result of chronic prescriptions for 370 painkiller tablets. head trauma. Common symptoms of It did not end there. In 2010, the Rangers C.T.E. include memory loss, aggression, were notified of Boogaard’s history with and addictive behavior. narcotic pain pills. Yet when Boogaard 40 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com

had an injury, a dentist from the Rangers prescribed him five prescriptions for hydrocodone. Boogaard’s employers repeatedly failed him by not acknowledging the intensity of his illness and instead further advancing it. At the young age of 28, Boogaard died from a drug overdose in combination with alcohol. Time and time again, professional sports teams have sacrificed the long term health of their players in order to help them play through injuries. Dr. Anna Lembke is an addiction specialist at Stanford, who has become well-known for speaking out about the opioid epidemic and doctors’ willingness to prescribe addictive drugs for pain relief. She is the Chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic and Program Director of Stanford Addiction Medicine Fellowship. According to Lembke, opioids and addiction were not always such hot-topic

“People get into a

vicious vortex of chasing that feeling which you can only get if you continue to take more and more.” - Dr. Anna Lembke issues: “I initially didn’t want to treat people with addiction… [Addiction] was considered a moral problem or a willpower problem,” Lembke said. However, with time, the perception of addiction by the public began to change. Addiction began to be perceived as a disease, and doctors needed to adjust accordingly. Lembke has helped lead the charge to inform doctors about addictions and the risk of being lenient in prescribing highly addictive substances. With her help, many young physicians are now becoming interested in the


complexion of addiction. “People coming to medical school now are very, very eager to learn about addiction,” Lembke said. While informing more people about addiction is important, it doesn’t directly solve the problem of opioid usage in sports. To understand this, one must comprehend why athletes use such substances in the first place. While it may seem apparent to many that opioids have negative long term effects, the short term effects can make it worth it to some athletes. The ability to play through injuries and relieve pain temporarily is a temptation that many players can’t resist, regardless of the implications later in life. However, there is a reason that the decision isn’t up to the players. “The problem is that in the long term, they stop working, so they no longer relieve pain,” Lembke said. “People get in that sort of vicious vortex of kind of chasing that feeling which you can only get if you continue to take more and more.” There is a lot of stigma surrounding addiction because many people do not understand the science behind addiction. There are different factors that contribute to addiction that people do not take into account. Even with outside factors, people with certain genes can

be more susceptible to addiction than others. “Approximately 50 to 60 percent of the risk of addiction is thought to be genetic,” Lembke said. “If you play on a sports team, where athletes who are injured are offered a prescription of opioids, they’re more likely to get addicted as well.” Injuries are an introduction for many athletes to the world of opioids. Although the initial effects of opioids can be beneficial, the long term effects can be disastrous. The power of opioids is so significant that what can once be seen as a pain remedy, spirals into years of suffering from addiction. “Their initial exposure is through a doctor...and they start out taking it for pain relief for the injury, and then they get caught up in that cycle where they become dependent on it in order to play,” Lembke said. Some of the appeal of opioid use for athletes comes from the pressure that they are under to be excellent in their desired sport. When athletes have an injury, the expectation is to get back in the game. There is no room for injuries because another player could quickly take your spot in the field. This competitive nature is a perfect storm for athletes to abuse opioids, which can lead to addiction. Opioids provide athletes a

quick solution for their pain. “So you can imagine if you had a sports injury and you had to go out there and play, the opioid might just be the perfect drug,” Lembke said. “It would take your pain away, it would give you energy, and it would make you alert.” Opioids are extremely dangerous because of their addictive nature, so their use should be intensely regulated. Team doctors may be a contributor to this issue, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the sports organization. Regardless of how much team doctors want to limit the prescriptions of players, it can be difficult with the pressure placed on them by their respective organizations. For many teams, if their doctor doesn’t comply, nothing is stopping them from finding a new doctor who will. This organizational power, which is unchecked by the NFL, needs to be regulated to ensure the safety of its athletes. The appeal of opioids to athletes is evident, so it’s essential for sports organizations to regulate how they’re prescribed. Failure to do so will result in more players like Tyler Skaggs who will face possibly mortal health risks. And every time something happens, we’ll be left wondering why regulations aren’t in place.

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VIKING TRIES

Rec very Methods by KEVIN CULLEN, ELLA JONES and TINA LAGERBLAD

Athletes utilize many different methods of recovery to maximize the effects of their workout and minimize their recovery time. Viking decided to put some of the most well-known recovery methods to the test, and determine which of these recovery methods is truly the best.

Cupping

Ice Baths

As one of the oldest recovery methods still commonly used today, dating back to the ancient Egyptians, cupping has withstood the test of time, but will it withstand the test of Viking? Traditionally, a small amount of something flammable, such as rubbing alcohol or paper, is placed inside a glass or plastic cup, set ablaze and then placed directly onto the skin when the fire goes out, causing a vacuum inside the cup. Your skin will noticeably redden as it is sucked into the cup and your blood vessels dilate. Nowadays, it is more common to achieve the same effect through having a rubber pump attached to the cup, and creating a vacuum this way. The cups are typically left on for about five to ten minutes. The benefits of cupping can include relaxing and stretching the muscles, improving blood circulation, reducing inflammation and reportedly improving overall performance. A possible negative aspect to cupping is that you will almost certainly be left with large, bruise-like marks wherever the cups were. Cupping is a pretty fast recovery method that can be done almost anywhere on the body, but will it earn the Viking stamp of approval? After a single session of cupping, I was left covered in a polka dot pattern of bruises making me appear much like a Dr. Seuss character. I have never had to endure torture, but if I could guess, cupping provides a very similar sensation. 15 minutes of pinching and muscle-ripping pain is hard to subject oneself to, but the outcome is well worth it. Running during a practice subsequent to being cupped was much like the scene in Forrest Gump, in which the young Forrest runs for the very first time. My limbs were liberated from muscle tightness, providing me with an unprecedented pep in my step. If you are willing to endure a little pain, cupping might be the path for you. Viking tested, Viking endured, and Viking validated. Tearing pain tears its score down to a 3 out of 5 stars.

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Conceptually, the ice bath recovery method is probably the most simplistic, and also the most accessible to anybody. The only things you need are a bath, or any fluid-retaining container you will fit into, water, and ice. Therefore, given that you are able to obtain everything on this short list, practically anybody is able to do this recovery method on their own. However, there are more professional ice bath setups available as well. Ice baths are believed to greatly speed up the recovery process of athletes following an intense workout by constricting blood vessels, reducing swelling, and flushing the body of any non-productive substances to promote circulation in the body. While it is generally agreed upon that sitting in an ice bath for about 10 to 15 minutes after a workout will aid your recovery, many do also find sitting submerged in ice water up to your shoulders or neck quite uncomfortable and painful, at least before the body begins to numb/at first. Will ice baths prove to be a worthy recovery method, or will they be iced out by Viking? Cold. As one’s body gradually descends into the icy depths, it is increasingly shocked. Easing into the bath, one feels a burning sensation and mild pain in one’s toes. But soon, the pain subsides and a neutral numb settles over the body. Though still tangibly cold, one finds comfort in the icy prism. Though after emerging one feels stiff and exhausted, the benefits of the initial pain become apparent in the days following strenuous physical activity. In comparison with our control experiment where we did not use any method of recovery following a strenuous workout, taking an ice bath led to reduced soreness and an increased ability to again hit a harder workout sooner than if we did not use such a method. Because of their accessibility and advantages they offer in recuperating the body after it is stressed, ice baths easily take the cake as the best recovery method. Viking deems it 5 out of 5 stars.


Smelling Salts

Smelling salts, also known as ammonia inhalants, are typically used in medical scenarios to awaken someone from an unconscious state. Recently, however, athletes have utilized these small packets to provide an energy boost during competition. In small doses, inhaling ammonia fumes stimulates the senses, and packs exactly the type of punch needed to give someone a competitive boost in a match. Smelling salts are banned in competitive boxing, but are widely used in most major sports. Will Viking be “woke” on sniffing salts, or will we hit the snooze on this energy boost? Smelling salts were, in a word, exhilarating. Anticipation gripped the accrued group of Viking staff as they watched the first tab of salts be broken in half, releasing the coveted fumes. After inhaling these epic vapors, one thing was clear: these rocks

rock. Post-sniff, one is instantly energized, amped, and geared with the capacity to tackle any physical task. This boost is most strongly felt when adrenaline is high, and thus, they should be taken during or around the time of a work out. Immediately after our smelling salts sesh, we had to hit the weight room. We definitely maximized our gains–and it’s all thanks to smelling salts. The major caveat was the painful sensation amassed upon sniff— almost all who took it flinched immediately. Additionally, the effects are not super long lasting— you will crash not too shortly after sniffing, but that just means it’s time to break open another pack. These downsides can be no biggie, however. With a strong enough nose and resolve, smelling salts are a viable and powerful addition to any workout. Viking tested and approved. This may not fall under the category of recovery methods, but this preemptive strike for your competitive needs scores a 5 out of 5.

Ice Bath: Smelling Salts: Cryotherapy: Cupping:

Cryotherapy Cryotherapy is widely regarded as one of the most effective recovery methods; however, it is also one of the most inaccessible on this list. Cryotherapy, which literally means “cold therapy,” can refer to any recovery method through the use of low temperatures, like cold packs, ice massages, coolant sprays, ice baths, and more, but in this case we are referencing the full-body treatment. This method entails submerging oneself in an enclosed chamber with a small opening for the head. The individual then stands in the chamber, which drops below negative 200 to 300 °F, for a time between two to four minutes. Many professional athletes endorse this treatment method, subjugating themselves to cryotherapy as much as twice a day, but therein also lies the problem with this method. Among the various debates about the authenticity of this method, the sole consensus is that in order for it to be truly effective it needs to be used on a regular basis. Palo Alto’s local cryotherapy and performance studio, The Performist (located at Town and Country), costs $55 per session. This is fairly expensive for a single session, let alone consistent sessions. Will this method freeze our pain, or much like Antonio Brown, will Viking get cold feet?

Cold, naked, and afraid— no, we’re not starring in the hit Discovery Channel series, we’re doing cryo. Viking literally stripped down to try this bizarre recovery method. With our bodies enclosed in the chamber and only heads escaping the freeze, we turned down the temp and an extreme cold enveloped our bodies. We were instructed to keep our bodies moving to avoid freezing and actually had to continuously wipe down our arms so that beads of our sweat would not transform into ice. Despite being at a lower temperature than during an ice bath, cryotherapy is much easier to bear because there is not the same constant unpleasant feeling as there is when in freezing water. Additionally, there is not the same sensation of stiffness and soreness following cryotherapy as experienced after an ice bath. In fact, after our cryo sesh, we were totally amped and ready to pump a la gym, making cryotherapy that much more attractive than ice baths. However, cryotherapy is uber expensive and terribly unaccessible which is totally no bueno. Thus, cryotherapy gets 4 stars out of 5, and is overall the second best recovery method. Viking examined and Viking sanctioned. @vikingsportsmag

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COLUMN

RELAXATION T

Drugs have become a very controversial topic, especially when it comes to sports. CBD is one drug that fits this category. We believe that CBD should be allowed in sports leagues, and here’s why.

here have been many instances is not a miracle supplement that will turn of athletes being caught doping someone into an invincible machine, and using drugs to enhance their and so far, there are no negative side performance. The most common effects. There has been zero evidence illegal drugs that are used include that proves that CBD is actually harmful steroids and human growth hormones. for an athlete or that it can reduce their If caught abusing these substances, the performance. consequences athletes face are very Not only is CBD used in sports, but severe and can include disqualifications it is surprisingly found in many other or even bans from the sport. Likewise, products. People use CBD in their normal while a certain drug called cannabidiol everyday lives to relieve anxiety and get (CBD) is federally legal, it is not approved many of the same benefits that athletes in the sports world. Athletes are pushing desire. to legalize CBD. We believe that CBD Although CBD is should be allowed in sports leagues. becoming more CBD is a chemical that is found in accessible to the marijuana and hemp plants. THC is every day person, the tetrahydrocannabinol found in many athletes are marijuana products that is used to cause still prohibited a “high.” CBD products that contain less from use as it is not than 0.3% of THC are federally legal in allowed in major America because of the low amount of sports leagues. For THC. In other words, legal CBD is a non- example, in the intoxicating cannabinoide. MLB, the use of CBD Several pro and retired athletes have is not permitted started to vocally advocate for the use of because the league CBD and are trying to get more athletes considers using to consider using this product, especially CBD as drug abuse. for sports that can potentially result in Another example injuries like American football or boxing. is that in the NCAA, CBD use is banned This product can serve as a relief for such because the league states that anything people. chemically related to the eight drug According to Healthline, CBD has a lot classes–stimulants, anabolic agents, of benefits that are helpful for athletes. alcohol and beta blockers, diuretics It is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and other masking agents, illicit drugs, seizure-suppressant, and can relieve peptide hormones and analogues, antipain. Additionally, CBD can help athletic estrogens, and beta-2 agonists–are performance improve and help athletes banned. recover a lot faster from training. If an Until recently, CBD had been a schedule athlete has pre-game jitters, anxiety, or 1 drug, and has therefore been banned a depressed mood that can negatively and still largely is, despite the fact that it impact athletic skill, CBD may provide serves an entirely different purpose than relief. Additionally, using CBD will the drug types listed. Anabolic agents, not trigger a failed drug test, further for example, are classic muscle-building revealing its lack of ability to intoxicate. steroids, and diuretics can mask the use CBD does not actually directly relate to of steroids. CBD use does not inherently the ability of an athlete, unlike steroids. It give an athlete a competitive advantage 44 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com

that puts the league’s integrity at risk, yet it is lumped into the same prohibited domain. But why is the reaction to CBD so harsh, when its properties make it arguably closer to an Epsom salt bath than a black-market drug in terms of sports performance? Because of the stigma around drug culture in America, people generally do not view drugs as a positive. People often correlate drugs with either overdose or addiction. While many drugs can be dangerous and unfortunately do result in these afflictions, this reality does not necessarily hold true with CBD usage. Governments and individuals have taken steps towards making drug use a more acceptable concept, rather than dancing around it as a taboo subject. For example, 11 states have legalized marijuana use, a trend that looks to continue throughout more and more states as time advances. Essentially, the population’s perspective needs to change. We need to be able to consider not only the negatives, but the potential benefits that a drug such as CBD can provide. We believe that the claims that the major sports leagues are using are not efficient and effective. They are not thinking about the well-being of their players, and instead thinking about their brand name and keeping it “drug-free.” If these leagues were thinking of the good of the athletes, they would reconsider the use of CBD due to all of its benefits for the individual athlete.

“CBD falls into the category of a schedule 1 drug, and is therefore banned.”


NEGATION by GRIFFIN KEMP and ELIF TURGUT

Athletes for CBD Riley Cote is a former NHL player who founded the Hemp Heals foundation in his retirement. The Hemp Heals foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes cannabis as a useful and viable option for recovery and well-being and overall improving quality of life. He has since launched a product line called BodyChek Wellness that sells hempbased personal products with the goal to increase everyday performance and provide a new advantage in recovery.

Bubba Watson

Riley Cote

Recently, professional golfer Bubba Watson, signed an endorsement deal with a CBD company called CBDmd. Their website displayed an array of products, showing the different ways that CBD is used. Here are a few of the products.

Matt Barnes Matt Barnes is a retired NBA player turned brand ambassador for Viola, a cannabis company, as well as the first athlete to be endorsed by RAW papers. Rather than promoting cannabis for recreational use however, he aims to develop a line of pre-rolls with the goal of medicinal education.

Ryan Vandenbussche Rob Gronkowski Retired football player Rob Gronkowski partnered with CBDMEDIC as an ambassador for CBD product. Gronkowski believes that had he used these products during his career, they would have made a huge difference in

Retired NHL player, Ryan Vandenbussche, suffered many concussions and injuries during his career, prompting him to trade out his opioids for cannabis in his retirement. He found great success in this exchange and is now the Founder and President of New Leaf Canada, a pro cannabis organization that grows and researches CBD, aiming to educate others about the therapeutic benefits of CBD.

pain management.

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Barbell Hell

The New Regime

Anyone who has been in the weightroom has noticed the absurd crowd this year. The limited space and equipment inhibits the ability of actual lifters to get a quality workout in. Our proposal effectively solves this problem while increasing weight room safety.

by SAM CLEASBY and KEVIN CULLEN

I

Head Columnists and Video Directors

f you have never witnessed Paly’s weightroom during tutorial, then allow us to describe what it is like for you: more than enough kids to surpass fire department safety standards crammed into a space with several tools and machines that could cause injury to oneself or others if misused. Now add underclassman, inexperienced with weight room techniques, and envision the impending chaos. Growing up in the technical boom has allowed these underclassmen to be susceptible to a variety of weightlifting videos such as Crossfit freaks doing back flips with dumbbells and landing unimpaired. These impressionable young minds are left with an unfounded confidence that is not welcome in the weightroom. Lifting is a semi-dangerous practice that requires experience and focus in order to be carried out safely and effectively. Doing six reps of curls while messing around with your friends doesn’t follow this protocol, yet most underclassmen litter the weight room in small groups, conversing and fooling around while occasionally picking up a weight or bouncing on a yoga ball. These unproductive goons need to leave. At the beginning of the year, freshmen were not allowed in the weightroom

during tutorial, only leaving some foolish sophomores hanging around to observe their athletic friend actually get a workout in. However, that rule is no longer enforced. We’re not aiming to discriminate against the underclassmen as a whole, but the majority of students taking up space in the weightroom tend to be underclassmen. If people want to stand around and mess with their friends, a room filled with people trying to be productive is not the place to do it. Especially in an area where equipment is limited, it’s ideal to leave the equipment to those who will actually use it. These students also have the ability to take Athletic Conditioning with coach Fung, which is a class geared toward weightlifting. If an underclassmen wants to start lifting there is no reason why they shouldn’t sign up for this class. They would learn the proper techniques and strategies of exercising, and would leave the weight room open to upperclassmen during Tutorial. While this class is technically an option for upperclassmen as well, most students have finished their physical education credits, providing them with another class slot that can be more efficiently utilized by taking an interesting course or getting a prep. Incentivising underclassmen who are actually interested in weightlifting to take Athletic Conditioning will prevent many of the unsafe practices that underclassmen are displaying during their lifting sessions. We have witnessed various

techniques used by underclassmen that are not only ineffective, but could lead to physical harm. For some reason, these hooligans haven’t figured out what a “spotter” means, and appear to be trying to impress by throwing on insurmountable weight. When they inevitably fail, the bar collapses on them. If it wasn’t for us model upperclassmen, or the heroic weightroom supervisor, who come to their rescue, these kids could sustain serious injury. However, at this point, the upperclassmen have developed a keen eye for potential lifting failures that could end in injury and are able to prevent most of them from happening before any consequential harm. If the underclassmen were taken out of the original equation, and taught proper techniques before trying them out independently, then not only would the underclassmen be getting more out of their lifts, but so would the upperclassmen, as they would be spending less time watching out for incompetence and more time using the available resources. The underclassmen could then become role models for future lifters using the weightroom, as they would be exemplifying proper technique themselves. The underclassmen have been an obstruction in the weight room for long enough. Unless they’re taught better, we say: get them out!

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“I will never ever forget these guys in the long run. It’s been a blessing playing with them and calling these guys my brothers.” Jamir Shepard (‘20)

The football team gathers together moments before stepping onto the field to play their last game of 2019. 48

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Profile for The Viking Magazine

Viking Volume XIII Issue 3  

Viking Volume XIII Issue 3  

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