Volume XIII, Issue 1 September 2019
Fractured ribs lacerated kidney
Out of L ck Calf Strain
Andrew Luck shockingly retired after years of enduring a grueling cycle of injury and rehabilitation. His decision gives insight on the impact high-level athletics can have on the health of players and the common attitudes surrounding these injuries, showing the true cost of sports. p. 22
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Melodrama 16 Gameday Rituals
Dream Team to Meme Team
Out Of Luck
Plight of the Fight
Viking Tries: Slip-n-slide Kickball 30 Broken Superstar
Paly to the Pros
“I love playing water polo because of its combination of physicality, competitiveness, and the rush I get when I score.” -Ryan Stanley (‘20)
Photo by Conner Lusk
“My favorite part of volleyball is the team aspect. I love my teammates and having the chance to be part of something that is bigger than myself.” -Mia Gibbs (‘20)
SEPTEMBER 2019 Photo by Conner Lusk
“I love playing Field hockey mainly because of the people: we have a great group of outgoing people!” -Emma Siskens (‘20) Photo by Conner Lusk
Photo by Jenna Hickey
Viking Editors-in-Chief Summer Daniel Dexter Gormley Yael Sarig
Volume XIII, Issue 1 September 2019
Web Director Will DeAndre
Head Columnists Sam Cleasby Kevin Cullen
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
Senior Staff Writer Ryan Stanley
Adviser Brian Wilson
Social Media Manager Sofie Vogel
Managing Editors Sanaz Ebrahimi Joey Passarello
Photo Director Conner Lusk
Creative Director Ella Jones
Copy Editors Tina Lagerblad
Multimedia Managers Griffin Kemp Josh Lai
Video Directors Sam Cleasby Kevin Cullen
Business Manager Alana Abeyta Beat Editors Ryan Bara Lincoln Bloom
Viking Magazine Palo Alto High School 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-329-3837 Email contact: email@example.com Advertising and Sponsorship Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Viking, a sports magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High School’s Advanced Magazine Journalism class, is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The Viking is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost. The staff welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Advertising in Viking The staff publishes advertisements with signed contracts providing they are not deemed by the staff inappropriate for the magazine’s audience. For more information about advertising with The Viking, please contact the The Viking by email at email@example.com Printing Services 2,500 copies of The Viking are printed, six times a year by Folger Graphics in Hayward, Calif. Logo Font Courtesy of Måns Grebäck
All photos taken from Creative Commons unless noted
Editors: Welcome back Vikings! We hope you’ve all had a smooth transition into the school year and can’t wait for the year of Viking ahead of us.
We’re also excited to introduce 18 new members of the Viking staff this issue! Our cover story, Out of Luck, discusses the sacrifices athletes make in order to compete, as told by four of our new staff writers, Jenna Hickey (‘21), Liam Nagesh (‘21), Luke Thieman (‘21), and Sofia BlissCarrascosa (‘20). Our cover, an homage to Operation, was designed by Tina Lagerblad (‘20) and Conner Lusk (‘20). As an athletic powerhouse, Paly has produced a multitude of successful collegiate and professional athletes.
James Fetter (‘21), Elif Turgut (‘21), Justin Byer (‘21), and Tyler Stoen (‘21) highlight the high school career of these athletes, and provide a look into where they are now on page 36. We are so excited to introduce our new staff this issue and can’t wait for the exciting year of Paly and National sports coverage ahead of us. Sko Vikes!!
Summer Daniel Dexter Gormley Yael Sarig
The cost of coaching Coach Gifford watches tensely from the sidelines. From his rigid stance and the hawk-gaze he’s keeping on the field, you would never know that the Paly football team is up 40-7. It’s the middle of an essentially meaningless third quarter, a win that’s the Vikings to lose, but when Paly breaks up an Overfelt Hail Mary pass, Gifford jumps up and down with sheer childlike joy, grinning and celebrating with his players. He looks more like a player himself, if anything, jostling the players on the sideline with him and pointing to his o-line like a proud father pointing out his son in a little league game. Coaches are, in a word, leaders. They are the ones who bring the team together, transforming an eclectic mix of skilled players into a unit that works as one. Unsurprisingly, they are some of the highest paid government employees in each state, compensated well for the essential role they play in our sports culture and in the lives of our youth. Yet at Paly, the salaries of coaches are found at the bottom of the payroll. These coaches put in hundreds of hours into their program, whether it’s watching film on their next opponent, running offseason workouts, or driving kids to and from games. Our coaches sacrifice their own time, yet only get paid on average $18 an hour while their team is in season. That’s marginally better than Palo Alto’s own minimum wage of $15 an hour. Is an extra $3 an hour really sufficient compensation for the immense necessary knowledge of games, players, and the compassion shown in playing a
role arguably just as identity-shaping as “Approval [for payroll tiers] has to pass that of a teacher? through the school board and athletic When looking at the coaching salary, director for approval, but it was set a few it’s evident that the amount a coach years ago and might need readjusting,” gets paid is directly related to the sport Bolger said. When looking at the they are coaching. For instance, a varsity differences between the 2018-19 and basketball coach gets paid more than a 2019-20 payroll schedules, on average varsity soccer coach, who gets paid more each salary section only increased by than the dance coach, who gets paid $10. Considering the length of an entire more than the varsity golf coach, and so season – generally 3 months at minimum on. Besides already being significantly – a raise of only 10 dollars for 90 days underpaid, Viking wonders: who decides amounts to around 11 cents a day. which sport receives a higher salary? Considering that the average practice is And in a high school culture where 2.5 hours, this amounts to a meager 4.4 certain sports, such as football, are cent per hour raise. It’s hardly plausible already awarded an exponentially larger that another profession in the Paly share of school funds and fan attention, community would be rewarded for their would this payment disparity not simply hard work with a raise that barely pays for exacerbate the advancement of those two cups of coffee for an entire season. certain “popular” sports over others? A So why is this not only accepted, but job position that offers a higher salary expected, for Paly coaches? is likely to attract more skilled coaches, Furthermore, these salaries don’t take thereby improving the team, and into account the time spent commuting, continuing a cycle in which the best watching film, and most importantly teams improve and continue to receive off season training. Most teams at Paly higher funding. When talking to Cassidy train regularly in their offseason, on Bolger, payroll and benefit technician at their coach’s own time, and this is time the district office, Bolger said that many that’s never compensated. Expecting factors are taken into account when coaches to donate their own time out deciding the payroll tiers, including the of the goodness of their own heart is amount of revenue a sport brings in unreasonable, yet without the offseason and the length of the season. This helps time committed by the coaches, our explain why football and basketball are athletes are able to focus closer on their tier A sports since they are “big ticket personal growth. sports,” Bolger said, as is cheer, since it “The off season is really helpful because has a longer season than most. it gives me time to focus on small aspects Although the salaries of the coaches of my game and really try to improve in may have been adequate a few years specific areas,” Rebekah Limb (‘20) said. ago, these salaries have not changed enough over that same amount of time. @vikingsportsmag | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 11
Continued on Page 35
pop Culture Grid Grace Thayer (‘20)
All I Want For
Are you ready?
I can sleep 24 hours straight
Probably just to sleep in
I’m always ready
Timber by Ke$ha
I’m really good at Minecraft
For the PA vikes cuz we are ready for you
Is to not go on vacation and stay home
I am not ready
Umm... Paul Thie lol
Money in the Grave by Drake
Lust by Lil Skies
Don’t have a secret talent I can think of
Kayla Stitt (‘20)
We Are the Champions by Queen
Ian Matheson (‘20)
I can pop my collar bone on command
Infinite free food
“I’m ready. I’m ready.”Spongebob
lli ng T
Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
Vi kin g
Te n Q u e s t i o n s W i t h . . .
Creighton Morgenfield as told to Ella Jones, Sanaz Ebrahimi, and Ryan Bara
Creighton Morgenfeld ('20)
After interviewing Paly football star Creighton Morgenfield. we tested his friend, teammate, and coach to see who knows Creighton best.
quintin Dwight ('20)
Jurgen Dittrich ('20)
Louâ€™s Double cheeseburger
Pre Game Meal?
Porsche (Flex Car)
M1A2 SEP Tank
Worst thing about Army Training?
Not Bench Press
Not enough time to do chest workouts
When people say they know something but donâ€™t
Not knowing the answer
9:15 bed time
What do you mean
Best body Part?
Inside the Mind of
Four-year varsity cross country runner Miranda Jimenez has got a lot going on up top. This track star lets Viking pick her brain to see how she manages the chaos that is the life of a student athlete.
Future plans? I want to run in college and have been reaching out to coaches. But beyond college I want to run marathons and ultra-marathons for fun when I get older.
What’s the best part about cross country?
The running! When you go on an eight mile run and zone out, it’s the best feeling in the world. The people are pretty great, too.
Panicking. No, I’m kidding. I usually just listen to pump up music and try to imagine my self running the course.
Best part about Paly? The turkey trot! You get to feast for like three dollars!
What do you eat before a meet? It’s kind of a lose-lose situation. You either eat a lot and then feel terrible while you’re running, or you don’t eat anything and you end up being super hungry. I usually eat mustard before my races because it’s supposed to stop cramps. I haven’t done it in a while because I ran out of mustard packets, but it’s pretty nasty. I’ll usually drink some coffee to wake me up, so basically the only thing I have in my stomach before a race is mustard and coffee.
Yeah, we’ve seen them on the court. We’ve seen the stats. So, they can play. But, just one question: do they have the drip? Viking called in some of the most drippy candidates to test just how drippy our Paly athletes really are.
Dante Garetto Role: WOPO Cap
Role: The Best Specialty: The drip
Specialty: How she gets after it
Drip Degree : Flood Warning
Drip Degree: Tsunami speed
Drip (noun): When you display a copious amount of swagger Bekah Limb
Role: Volleyball Star
Emma Siskens Role: Field Hockey Cap Specialty: Hype Squad
Drip Degree: Icy
Drip Degree : Broke the Scale
Melo Take a look at how Lamelo ball and Carmelo anthony, two controversial basketball players. compare and decide for yourself who deserves a roster spot in the nba.
column ot long ago, LaMelo Ball was LaMelo attended Spire Academy, a considered one of the top school meant to push basketball players recruits in his high school to top-level colleges and eventually the class, which included players NBA. Just like before, LaMelo started off like James Wiseman and Cole Anthony. the season with immense hype, as he However, this all went down the drain was playing with 7’7” Robert Bobroczky. when his father, the infamous LaVar Ball, But just like before, after the quick hype pulled him from Chino Hills High School LaMelo lost his public interest. and put him in a professional league in LaMelo is currently playing professional Lithuania instead of following his oldest basketball in Australia. Despite the brother Lonzo Ball to UCLA. numerous past incidents in which his LaMelo joined LiAngelo, the middle early exposure was fool’s gold, he’s once of the Ball sons, in the league, amidst again receiving attention, with highlight significant confusion regarding their reel tapes portraying a more mature father’s strategy. Lonzo had taken a player with a respectable jumper and traditional route through college and sharp decision-making. We will need found success in the NBA draft – Lavar to wait and see if the Australian League shipping his two sons off to a foreign will pan out for him, or result in the same European country was bold, to say the burn-out witnessed before. least. Initially, though, it seemed Lavar Then comes Carmelo Anthony: the had struck gold – the two brothers man who was once the top recruit in his showed initial promise. Perhaps this was class for basketball. He attended Oak just the environment they needed to Hill Academy, where he received much flourish. interest and played college basketball But perhaps not. The hype was short for one year at Syracuse where he won lived, and their teammates quickly the NCAA Championship. became agitated with how both brothers After Carmelo Anthony left Syracuse took a lot of shots and turned the ball for the NBA he was drafted over. LaVar made the decision to third overall to the Denver send the boys back to the United Nuggets. In his first year States. as a pro, he was already Soon LaMelo joined the JBA scoring 21 points a game, (Junior Basketball Association) displaying dominance a league that had garnered even without veteran significant interest in its beginnings. experience. Yet, perhaps predictably at this Carmelo had a solid start point, the move revealed to his career with the Denver itself to be yet another Nuggets where he averaged scheme. It was not 24.8 points hard to realize throughout the that the league eight seasons was designed to he played promote the Ball t h e r e . brothers. Both After were leading the the league in almost every statistic. After the JBA 16 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsport
Nuggets, Anthony joined the New York Knicks. Anthony started strong with the Knicks but had a poor ending. After a disappointing 2016-2017 season, he was traded to the Thunder, where his play-style of taking many shots and needing the ball did not fit in with ballhungry stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George. To this point, this is the end of Anthony’s career; he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks where he never once saw the court. The next season he played ten games for the Houston Rockets, and was ultimately cut. This now brings up the essential question: which Melo, Carmelo Anthony or LaMelo Ball, should be in the NBA? Both have upsides, but at the same time, they both have large downsides. Before we can choose between the two Melos, we need to evaluate the pros and cons of each. First, let’s start off with LaMelo. The infamous Ball brother stands in at a staggering 6’8” and plays point guard for the Illawarra Hawks. LaMelo also has a CIA State Championship to his name from a historic 35-0 season at Chino Hills Highschool. During that season, LaMelo averaged 16.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. His stats only went up from there, as in his sophomore season he averaged 27.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 9.6 assists, including a 92 point game. While playing in the JBA, LaMelo averaged a staggering triple-double of 40 points, 11 assists, and 13.8 rebounds. During LaMelo’s senior year at Spire Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, he was ranked 21st in the nation and was a 5-star recruit. As of now, LaMelo Ball is projected to be picked at the No. 7 spot in the 2020 NBA draft. However, LaMelo isn’t
drama by JACKSON BUNDY, Will DeAndre, and Matt Marzano
the perfect basketball prospect many see him as. He is an absolute turnover machine. Although LaMelo averaged a triple-double in the JBA, he also averaged 6.5 turnovers per game, the most in the entire league. By the end of the season, Ball finished with 71 turnovers, 12 more than the next player on the list. LaMelo is also considered to be a little flaky. Over the past three years, LaMelo has played in five different leagues for five different teams. It begs the question – will he be able to settle down for one team in the NBA? Now let’s talk about Carmelo Anthony, the other Melo. Carmelo also stands at 6’8” and plays small forward and power forward in the NBA. Currently, Carmelo is jobless and is looking for an NBA team to sign him. Coming out of high school, Carmelo was seen by many as the best player in his class. At Syracuse University, he was able to win a national championship in 2003. Over Carmelo’s career, he’s collected a multitude of accolades. Perhaps his greatest accomplishments are his three gold medals from the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics. Also, in the 20122013 NBA season, Carmelo was the scoring champion, averaging a w h o p p i n g 28.7 points per game. The year after, Carmelo recorded his career high
in points, scoring 62 vs the Charlotte Hornets. In his time in the NBA, Camelo was a ten-time All Star. Yet after these All Star appearances Anthony fell off the cliff. He got traded from the Knicks, where he was the only solid player, to the Thunder, who already had two superstars, and who made the NBA vet look, in a word, washed. He was on a team where he was not needed to score, but he couldn’t rid himself of his score-first mentality, taking just as many shots even though he was surrounded by two stars. This trait carried on through his time with Houston where once again he was surrounded by better players, but he was still putting up just as many shots, with progressively worse shooting. This is the main factor for him not being in the NBA currently: he is a ball dominant player who takes a lot of shots, but is not making the same amount as he used to. Now the NBA teams are forced to decide on which Melo they want. They could either take the young, tall, and athletic point guard who is a ball dominant player, but who may need time to grow, or take the older and polished small forward whose game doesn’t support the roles he is needed to play.
Shot Mid: 98 Passing IQ: 35 Post Fade: 97 Coachability: 12 Jab Step: 99 Hustle: 27
Shot 3: 95 Shot IQ: 0 Vision: 97 Defense: 37 Cherry-pick: 99 Consistency: 14
At the collegiate and professional level, each athlete has their own pre-game ritual. At Paly, a number of players share this experience with Palo Alto High School athletics. Photo courtesy of Hyunah Roh
by ANNIKA SHAH, VICTORIA SOULODRE, and SOFIE VOGEL
alking onto the quad you can spot a group of brightly colored volleyball girls wearing a range of preppy outfits. The quad is filled with laughs and smiles as you can see the excitement in each of their faces as they get ready for the big game. At Paly, each team and player has their specific game day rituals. Rituals vary from team to team, and whether it’s dress up days or team
dinners, each team has their own way of preparing for game day. The varsity football team preps for game days by wearing their jerseys to school, grilling as a team, and hyping themselves up in the locker room. “We normally blast music and try to get as hyped for the game as we can,” Josh Butler (‘22) said. Like football, the girls varsity volleyball team prepares by coordinating fun outfits
based off their opponents and coming together for a team lunch to bond before the game. The team’s favorite pre-game ritual is their locker room “turn-ups.” “It’s a good time for the whole team to bond and we play with more energy after listening to music,” Hyunah Roh (‘21) said. So far this season, bonding rituals have allowed for many Viking teams to build greater chemistry and allow for stronger communication on the court.
“It’s a good time for the whole team to bond and we play with more energy after listening to music.” - Hyunah Roh (‘21)
“Team rituals dramatically affect overall play, the chemistry that it builds is what makes these players a team.” - Josh Butler (‘22)
Photo courtesy of Trisha Razdan
Which Paly athlete are you based on your gameday routine? Start
Breakfast? Peanut Butter & Jelly
Yogurt & Granola
Style Hair? Yes
Team Dress Up? Themed, always!
Fruit Burgers Classic jerseys
Photos by Jenna Hickey
M A E
Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
M A TE TO
E M E
M A TE
BY ALANA ABEYTA, JACK ELARDE, HANA ERICKSON
Since the first US Olympic basketball team was formed in 1992, there has been an observable pattern between success and disappointment, plaguing their fans and reputation with anticipation for what is to come.
n August 8, 1992, the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team was in Barcelona, Spain fighting for gold against Croatia in the last game of the 1992 Olympics. The U.S. took the win by a score of 117-85, and left the arena with a shiny gold medal. This legendary team, labeled the “Dream Team,” is well known for their impeccable 8-0 Olympic record, winning by an average margin of 43.8 points over their opponents. However, it was not their winning streak that set them apart from other teams, but rather the players themselves. The Dream Team was composed of 11 Hall of Fame players, the most notable being Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, and has been deemed the greatest team ever assembled. Despite being superstars, these talented players did not let their egos get in the way, which is what made them so special and contributed to their success. Every one of the players on the team was extremely talented and could probably perform very well without the help of their teammates, but nobody on the team acted selfishly, and that was reflected in the players’ scoring averages. Most of the players averaged from eight to 18 points per game, which shows that they trusted each other with the ball and used each individual’s strengths to their advantage in order to be the best and bring home the gold.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Players don’t feel as much pressure to perform as well as they do in a league game because they are not being paid and I don’t feel like a lot of people watch the national team - Gracia Hmelar (‘20)
eBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and Dwyane Wade were among the young core that made up the 2004 Olympic team and, given their individual talent, they were expected to bring home the gold. However, the team suffered immensely throughout the season even with a Hall of Fame coach, Larry Brown, leading the team. One contributing factor was the team chemistry. Despite being filled with talent, the players had only been playing together for two weeks before the Olympics began. More often than not, national teams from other countries play together for years at a time. This, however, could not be the only contributing factor, seeing as more successful teams, such as the Redeem Team of 2008, were in the same situation. Maybe it was the lack of preparation or maybe their heart was not in it, but the 2004 Olympic team lost three games, giving them the record for the most losses ever from a USA Olympic basketball team. Prior to the Olympics, the team lost to Italy by a score of 78-95. Then at the Olympics they lost to Lithuania and Argentina. The most disappointing loss of all was to Puerto Rico. They lost the game with the biggest point difference in the team’s history, and they were sent home with a bronze medal, rather than the expected gold. 20 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
It is because none of the NBA players play and the team ends up not being as good - Ziggy Tummalapalli (‘21)
he 2008 US Men’s team earned their nickname, The Redeem Team, because of their comeback from a disappointing bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. They are said to have restored Team U.S.A’s international dominance, since they were the first team to bring home the gold since 2000. It is this major comeback that makes them so notable in the history of U.S. Olympic basketball. The Redeem Team featured eleven NBA All Stars including Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and captain Kobe Bryant, who was the 2008 NBA MVP. Their successes came in part from their strong leadership with Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzeweski as their
n August 22, 2019, the US men’s Olympic team faced Australia in an exhibition game. The match sold out a whole year in advance, and the team had high expectations given the impressive coaching staff. However the match resulted in a 98-94 loss for team USA, leaving fans disappointed since it ended their impressive 78-game win streak. Team USA has continued their losing streak, losing back to back games to France and Serbia. A major factor for
the team’s failure was the fact that the team only has one former Olympian, Harrison Barnes, and two All-Stars, Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton. The reason the team was lacking talent was because many of the stars who were recruited to play, such as Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry declined the invitation. Many speculate that these players declined the invitation because of the long, physically and mentally draining NBA season.
greatest talents have showed a decreased interest in representing their country. Another factor could be the lack of pay. Players feel more inclined to dedicate their efforts to the NBA season because they receive a very generous salary, whereas when they play on the national team, they do not receive any pay. No one knows what is to come for Team USA, but with the disappointment of the 2019 team and based on history, we can hope for improvements in the future.
eam USA’s Olympic success moves in cycles. A win in 1992, followed by a loss in 2004, then another win in 2008. This year, the team had high expectations, yet based on their 3-3 record, their future does not look promising. What causes this fluctuation is unknown, however there is some speculation. Every year the NBA season becomes more grueling, which means the health of the players is on the line. Because of this, coaches might encourage their players to focus on their off-season progress and sit out on the Olympic team, or players might make this decision on their own based off of how they are feeling post-season. Regardless, the NBA’s
coach. However, it was also the team’s timing that played a big part in their dominance. Many of the players that were on this team had turned down offers in previous years. Whether it was embarrassment due to failure or a desire to get back on the court, something urged stars such as Dwyane Wade to be back on the roster and take matters into their own hands. Whatever spark they had inside was enough to drive them to defeat all their opponents and finally face off against Spain during the championship game. They were able to come together to win that game by a score of 118-107, making them champions once again and making their country proud.
The up and down status of the USA National Team has had everyone alternating between excitement and emotional turmoil.
Sprained Shoulder JANUARY 2017
Surgery for Torn Labrum
Fractured Ribs NOVEMBER 2015
Lacerated Kidney Partially Torn Abdominal Muscle
Calf Strain Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics 22
OUT OF L CK
Andrew Luck’s recent retirement rocked professional sports to its core. It is practically unheard of for a player to willingly walk off the field in their prime, sacrificing success, fame, and fortune. This choice prompted a discussion in the athletic community over the cost of sports on the health of athletes and the culture around athletic injuries
by SOFIA BLISS-CARRASCOSA, JENNA HICKEY, LIAM NAGESH, and LUKE THIEMAN
tired Andrew Luck walked off the field of Lucas Oil Stadium to loud jeers from his own fans, following the Indianapolis Colts preseason contest versus the Chicago Bears. Luck had not cost his team a bad loss with poor decision-making, no, he had cost his team much more: hope of a championship ring. The shocking news was leaked by ESPN’s Adam Schefter during the fourth quarter, Luck would retire at age 29. Not only were Colts fans stunned, but the recent trend of injuries affecting the sports world was now under a brighter spotlight. Drafted 1st overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Colts fans and then General Manager were hopeful that they had selected a franchise quarterback to the team, someone who could carry the team to a Super Bowl win. As Luck trotted off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for perhaps the last time, the fans saw their Super Bowl hopes squashed. Luck’s projected MVP-caliber season would never occur. The Colts plummeted from potential AFC champions to mediocrity. And the Colts faithful, who had been loyal to Luck throughout his seven brilliant seasons and several injuries, released the bitterness they felt within themselves as their star spurned them and their dreams. To some spectators, Luck’s decision was an act of selfishness, one which disregarded the organization, his teammates, and his coach for his own gain. Though his decision was made with his future health in mind, most sports fans are ignorant of the physical and mental impacts that professional sports and the toll of injuries have on the athletes that are put on pedestals. Athletes aren’t seen as people in our society. They are seen as role models and heroes, or as awful. Fans see so much of these athletes, in games and
in commercials, yet never stop to think insisted on staying in the game long about the sacrifices they make in their enough to shoot two successful free pursuit of excellence. throws before going to the locker room These attitudes surrounding athletes to get checked out by the team doctor are one of the reasons Luck was booed where they determined the severity of his for retiring, even after suffering extensive injury. It was only then that he realized the injuries and rehabilitation time. The extent of the harm that had been caused fans saw the figure that they built up to to his body. If Thompson acknowledged mythical status come crashing down, and the severity of his injury, he would have were devastated. They may have heard been ruled out of the game and would about the injuries, but they had no idea have not returned. of the pain he went through. “Once I went back [into the locker We often view injuries in sports room] and didn’t feel the energy of the as unfortunate setbacks to a team’s crowd, or see my teammates, or feel that development, a perspective which fails ball in my hands, the adrenaline wears to consider the impact these injuries have off and just realized that I did something on the individuals personal health, both pretty significant,” Thompson said in a physically and mentally, of athletes. We post-game interview. fail to recognize the pain athletes endure Warriors fans were devastated after beneath the surface of competition and the injury, scrambling as their hopes athletic achievement: the true cost of for a three-peat NBA Champions title sports. slipped away in front of their eyes, but While injuries in sports take a toll on the their concern was not specifically with bodies of athletes, their cost goes beyond Thompson’s health, only with the fading the physical pain. Due to the high level hope of their favorite team winning it all. of competition of sports, athletes often Thompson’s decision to stay in the feel pressure to play through injuries and game was personally motivated, for his to never quit on own competitive their teammates. “Once I went back [into the lock- n a t u r e This pressure to compelled him get back on the er room] and didn’t feel the en- to return to the field can worsen However, ergy of the crowd, or see my game. existing injury for some problems and teammates, or feel that ball in my athletes, they contributes to the feel pressure to hands, the adrenaline wears off play not from dehumanization of athletes. and just realized that I did some- themselves, but As a result of from coaches, thing pretty significant,” pressure from fans, and players. fans, as well as In sports, there - Klay Thompson a desire to not is an attitude let down their team, many professional that coaches use to keep players on athletes downplay the severity of their the field when their physical condition injuries to compete. Warriors starter Klay may be compromised. Whenever injury Thompson displayed this when he was concerns arise, they pose the question: injured during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA “Are you hurt or injured?” Finals. Though to a spectator these seem the After tearing his ACL, Thompson same, they have vastly different @vikingsportsmag | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 23
meanings for people involved in sports. player’s mental and physical health, 34th overall pick, signing a contract “Hurt” means general physical pain, that but they cause chaos financially. Teams worth $6.49 million. This unfortunate may arise after a player gets hit in football rely on a successful lineup with strong injury cost Jaylon Smith at least $17.47 or after a tough slide tackle in soccer. players to bring in profit and fan support, million, more than many make in their “Injured” means a diagnosed medical and athletes rely on their ability to play to entire lives. condition that cannot simply be “shaken make a living. Injuries put this all in peril. Other players have taken note of off”, like a pulled or torn muscle. The world of sports has become a Smith’s meteoric fall in the draft and his Often times players who are in profit-driven industry, mainly due to the subsequent loss of money due to injury. significant physical pain feel pressure massive contracts and ad revenue that Projected first round picks in the NFL to play because come with TV draft have started to take preemptive they do not deals, action to prevent injuries that could “We want to make sure that network have a specific which has not hurt their draft stock. In 2017, the year injury. Everyone they’re safely playing. That they’re only affected after Smith’s injury, projected first round tells them to just able to play in their sport without the way owners running backs Leonard Fournette and walk it off or that and coaches Christian McCaffrey, from LSU and themselves further, behave, but also Stanford University respectively, decided they’ll be fine, injuring with no regard and to play to their potential.” the mentality of to sit out their bowl games to protect for the health of players. their futures. - Mrs E. players or what During contract Many members of the national media they’re really years, players ripped into them for supposedly quitting going through. often feel immense pressure to perform on their teams, but the results speak Another main issue in the world of to the best of their ability, even if they for themselves: Leonard Fournette was athletic injuries is the role of the health are injured. Many collegiate football taken with the 4th overall pick, earning professionals that care for injured players will sit out bowl games in order $27 million, while Christian McCaffrey players. Balancing two vital aspects of to mitigate the risk of suffering an injury was taken at the 7th overall pick, earning their job, team doctors are often faced that could cost them money come draft $17.2 million. In the years following, with a conflict of interest. day. more and more players have started On one hand, they are tied to the During the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, a Notre sitting out bowl games and declaring success of the team, and more often Dame player went down after being early for the NFL draft, trying to secure than not, allowing top players to stay in pushed by an Ohio State offensive their financial future. action is the most beneficial thing for lineman, appearing to hyperextend his Players across all sports have realized the team. On the other hand, they have knee. As the realization set in that the the risks that they are taking, and have a responsibility to players to address player who went down was Jaylon Smith, begun to ask for more guaranteed their individual injuries and needs, only junior linebacker and projected top five money, meaning that they would still clearing them when they are ready to pick in the NFL get paid even if play with minimal risk of re-injury. draft, a gasp was “In all the settings I’ve worked they succumb to This begs the question; does the heard from the injury. Notably, franchise medical staff represent the thousands of fans there’s always been pressure Antonio Brown team or the players? When the two are in the stadium as and Le’veon [the teams] need Bell left the at odds, whose benefits outweigh the they realized that because other’s? the injury would Pittsburgh numbers, it’s a star player.” Paly’s own trainer Justine Iongi, known cost this young S t e e l e r s by the school community as Mrs. E, says man millions. because they - Mrs E. that people have gone so far as to offer According wanted more to waive liability in a signed contract if to a 2016 guaranteed the player re-injures themsel because of International Business Times, the fifth money in their contracts. being cleared early. overall pick, the worst projection for And although there are a lot of injuries “I just hold fast to our philosophy,” Mrs. Jaylon Smith before his injury, would in football, other sports are not immune E says. “We want to make sure that they’re have received a contract worth $23.96 from the costs of injuries. Micheal Porter safely playing. That they’re able to play in million. After Jaylon Smith tore both his Jr. was the projected number 1 overall their sport without injuring themselves ACL and MCL, suffering nerve damage pick in the NBA draft, but tore his ACL further, and to play to their potential.” as well, he was selected in the second while at Missouri. He then went on to be Injuries of any kind not only affect the round of the 2016 NFL draft, with the selected with the 14th overall pick, a 24
Will Moragne (â€˜20) (top left, bottom right) and Alex Wang (â€˜20) (top right, bottom left) are both playing on the Varsity Football team this season despite injuries that have them both wearing casts on their Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey forearms.
Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey Photo by Jenna Hickey
Photo by Jenna Hickey
sequence of events potentially costing even less helpful and told him it wasn’t as Soccer player Georgia Luehrs (‘20), who him more than $11.5 million. bad as he thought. tore her ACL in October of 2018, said Injuries don’t only affect the monetary Trying to heal his shoulder to the point that the support of her team is what compensation of contracts. Some where he could continue to play, Hickey’s motivated her to start training again. injured players do not even receive days consisted of stretching, ice, heat, “If I didn’t have my team, I probably contracts. Also, coaches and teams and visits to the Paly trainers. Although wouldn’t have gone back to playing lose money when their star players get not fully healed, Hickey continued to play soccer,” Luehrs said. injured. Coaches may be fired if they for the rest of the season, risking more Finishing up her final month of her lose too many games, and an injury to a damage in his shoulder. forecasted recovery schedule, Luehrs is star player can certainly trigger a losing Alongside the disappointment and back to playing, but she worries that with streak for a team. frustration of the year off of soccer she might never Also, teams lose working so hard, regain her original skills, both physical “If you’re injured you take every Hickey felt much and mental. out on countless millions when pain or tweak as a mean of being more limited Physically, she believes she can slowly a star player’s in his playing build her skills up again but is confident serious.” injury leads because of that it will take a significant amount to a decline mental obstacles of time before she feels comfortable - David Hickey (‘19) in jersey and he had to face. tackling and being physically aggressive merchandise, not even counting the “It would slow you down because again. Luehrs also describes that a year losses in bonuses teams get when they if you’re perfectly healthy you’re not without playing soccer was difficult win playoff games. worried about injuries and going 100%, for her mental health because she felt As injuries become more prevalent but if you’re injured you take every pain excluded due to her inability to play across the money-driven industry of or tweak as a mean of being serious,” soccer, the sport she shares with her sports, the push for guaranteed money Hickey said. “You would slow down and closest friends. is one of the primary factors determining wouldn’t play as well. Instead of focusing Although she was anxious to get back where, or even if, athletes are playing. on the game, you’re focusing on your on the field, Luehrs recognizes the time Central in such a profitable industry, injury.” to heal and take a break from physical trainers often face pressure to clear In order to stay game-eligible, Hickey activity is important. players before they are fully recovered opted out of surgery to repair the tendon, Her advice for athletes in a similar from the coaches, fans, and even the meaning that his shoulder will always be position is to “Not to rush it,” Luehrs said. players themselves. torn without any hope of full recovery. “If you ever have a serious injury, try to “In all the settings I’ve worked there’s Hickey’s rehabilitation consisted mainly take a step back and find other things always been pressure because [the of stretching exercises for his shoulder. that you enjoy that don’t include running teams] need numbers, it’s a star player, During and after the season, he spent his going around and crashing into people.” or whatever, but it just comes down to preps in the training room, working his Hickey agrees with Luehrs. high school,” Mrs. E said. “I try to err on shoulder. Once the season ended and “People are going to pressure you to the side of conservative.” the pressure from keep playing and it’s hard because you’ll Similar to pro athletes, high school his coaches and want to keep playing,” athletes face significant pressure to play t e a m m a t e s Hickey said. “But you’ll through pain from teammates, coaches, disappeared, have to realize that if and even themselves. Paly alum David Hickey said you get a minor Hickey (‘19) understands the physical he had injury and don’t and emotional toll a potential season t r o u b l e get treatment ending injury has. finding the it could turn In the 2018 Paly football season, Hickey motivation into a major suffered a partially torn labrum, a tendon to keep injury that in the shoulder, during a practice and stretching. could end later re-injured it in a game against This is a your season Aragon High School. sensation that or career.” Having a history of injuries, his many athletes teammates thought he was over- can relate to after exaggerating his shoulder injury to skip having suffered conditioning. Some of his coaches were a major injury. Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey
After suffering one of the most gruesome injuries in the history of professional hockey during a 1989 NHL game, Clint Malarchuk was applauded for his resilience. He became known for his toughness, strength, and determination. Just ten days after an opponent’s hockey skate slit his carotid artery, Malarchuk returned to the ice to play with his team. What fans didn’t see was the anxiety, depression, and paranoia that plagued his mental health for years following the injury behind the scenes. In a reflection he wrote for The Players’ Tribune, Malarchuk said that even if it had been an option, he would have refused counseling out of fear of showing weakness to the thousands that celebrated his bravery. As his mental health deteriorated, he turned to alcohol and painkillers. He overdosed, leading to his diagnosis of OCD, depression, and anxiety. Malarchuk recalls the diagnoses as having lifted a weight off his chest. Years after his own injury, Malarchuk was forced to relive his trauma watching another player live his worst nightmare by sustaining a similar injury. The pain drove him to the extreme. He put a gun to his head and tried to commit suicide. This final, desperate attempt for help led to him being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, giving him a path to learn to manage his pain. With his newfound strength, he now tours the country speaking on mental health issues.
Brandon Marshall’s legacy does not lie in his NFL career but in his record as a mental health activist. His life up until 2011 was plagued by poor decisions that landed him in trouble, legally and professionally. In 2008, he got a three-game suspension after being arrested on several charges. He recalls spending the 2009 season locked in his home, too depressed to go out, blaming his mental state on poor relations with his coach and job instability. This was not the root of his problem. In 2011, he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, characterized by difficulty coping with and controlling emotions. He decided to use his platform to bring awareness to the stigma surrounding mental health, creating a foundation called Project 375.
When you think of Kevin Love, you probably think of athletic success. You probably think of a 5-time NBA All-Star who was instrumental in LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ historic comeback victory in the 2016 NBA Finals. In 2018, Love announced that he experienced a severe panic attack. His vast history of success made his recent announcement that he struggled with mental health problems all the more staggering. This unprecedented announcement wasn’t overlooked by other players or the media. In competitive sports, talking about mental health can be seen as weak, as this is a heavily stigmatized topic. Not only did Love speak out, but he sought help. Asking for help is a universal sign of vulnerability, and may detract from the positive images we commonly associated with him. In spite of this, Love put his mental health in front of his image and addressed his problem head on. Love’s 2018 The Players’ Tribune article “Everyone is Going Through Something” sheds light on the mental issues he struggled with, despite being a successful professional athlete, and gives insight into the personal issues athletes feel off the field and away from the cameras and fans.
Major players getting sidelined for ACL tears, broken limbs, and concussions get headlines. However, players go through more than just physical pain behind the scenes. Athletes are suffering on the sidelines from invisible pain that they have been taught to hide to avoid appearing weak. Recently, superstars are bringing the conversation of mental health to light in professional sports by breaking down the stigma surrounding it by reaching out for help.
Hidden Injuries @vikingsportsmag
Plight of the Fight
Khabib vs everyone
EMcc vs Delta
Sports are an American pastime because of the passion that comes along with playing them. Sometimes, tensions can reach a breaking point, leaving us with a display of an explosion of emotion. Five of the most exciting and memorable fights in professional and Paly sports are recounted below. by LINCOLN BLOOM, GRIFFIN KEMP, and JOSH LAI
Following a fourth round submission victory for the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov against the notorious Conor McGregor, Khabib sprawls over the cage of the octagon to attack fellow UFC fighter Dillon Danis, who was watching the fight on the outside. A swarm appeared in the first few rows of the arena to break up the commotion, simultaneously, members of Nurmagomedovâ€™s team scaled the cage into the octagon and cheap shotted Conor McGregor. Both players and coaches were reprimanded with suspensions from fighting and heavy fines.
This JUCO football fight was between East Mississippi Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College. The game between the two junior colleges was broadcast on the first season of the fan-favorite Netflix series Last Chance U. EMCC led 48-0 at the end of the second quarter, and with 59 seconds left in the game the brawl began. Benches on both sides of the field cleared quickly, and the whole situation snowballed. As punches flew left and right, players fought coaches and trash cans were used as projectile weapons. The game spiraled into utter chaos. The game was called with law enforcement stepping in. Both teams faced harsh consequences, including team suspensions and forfeiting the postseason for their league. 28
Paly vs Gunn
In the last game before the Earl Hansen era began at Paly, the Vikings faced a Gunn football team that was notorious for getting fights that 1990 season. Tensions came to a breaking point when Paly’s quarterback was pushed out of bounds into a Gunn player who fell down and then shoved him back. The two teams ensued to get into a shoving match that escalated into a full scale brawl with several players from each team throwing punches. The brawl continued for a couple minutes before both teams were separated, and the game was called. (1990)
ODOR VS BAUTISTA
Rangers 2nd Baseman Rougned Odor initiated a fight with the Blue Jays Jose Bautista when Bautista dangerously slid into him at second base on a ground ball. Odor took offense to Bautista’s slide and quickly confronted him after the play took place. A fight broke out between the two, and Odor landed a shot to Bautista’s jaw before the two were separated. Both players were suspended after the incident.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Malice at the Palace
The Malice at the Palace is considered to be one of the most famous fights in sports history and showed how dangerous fan-player interactions are. The brawl occurred in an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. For the majority of the game, there was heavy tension between both sides, with many fouls being called. With less than one minute left, Pacers forward Ron Artest committed a hard foul against Pistons center Ben Wallace, causing Wallace to push him back. The scuffle led into a fight between both teams, eventually causing fans to react negatively, with one in particular throwing a cup of beer at Artest. Eventually, the fight turned into a large-scale brawl between fans and players.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Viking duels it out in a head to head feat of skill and strength in the unique game where waterslide meets kickball. by TINA LAGERBLAD and JOEY PASSARELLO ickball is a game that has been enjoyed by elementary school students around the nation for generations. Similarly, slip-n-slides embody the feeling of summer as a kid, sliding down one on a hot summer day with your friends. In Viking tries, we combined these two pastimes into one game: Slip-NSlide Kickball. Although seemingly dangerous by name, Viking staff members left the field with no major injuries. Because this epic sport requires lots of space for optimal “slideage”, w e decided to play at a park that had plenty of water and a large field. Initially, we had issues getting momentum to slide down to the next base. To fix this, we made the slip-n-slide be just the base path between third base and home plate, which also was on a declining slope. For increased lubrication, we made sure to have extra dish soap and water on hand. “It was really fun, we changed it up a bit from what we were initially going to do, but it was still fun yet painful,” Justin Byer (‘21) said. While there are unfortunately no “official”
rules or regulations for this awesome game, we took it upon ourselves to pave the path to waterslide greatness on our own. If you want to play this game on your own the correct way, here are the general guidelines we followed: Set up your four bases going in a counterclockwise direction, with your third base going home being the waterslide. For increased speed, try putting the slide down a hill. Next, you need to ensure that your slip-nslide is adequately lubricated, we used dish soap, but any slippery substance should do the job. After setting up the field, we chose even teams and began the game. The two teams were the Soapy Sliders and the Commandos. We played best of four innings, however, you can play as many or few as you and your friends want. At the end of the fourth inning the Commandos came out with a definitive win against the Soapy Sliders. “This was a great sport because it brought the class together and showcased true athleticism,” Will DeAndre (‘20) said. Many members from both teams were kicking outstandingly far, but defense from the Commandos shined during the game,
including an impressive trackdown by Jackson Bundy (‘21). The Commandos held the Soapy Sliders to only one run. The final score ended up being 8-2, with the Commandos claiming a definitive victory against the Soapy Sliders. Since this is such a unique sport requiring versatility, members were able to utilize skills from other sports to dominate competition. Whether it was baseball players, soccer players, or football players, they were all able to come together, succeed and stay in the game. “I did not perform as well as I thought because there were some differences [between slip-n-slide kickball and soccer],” Summer Daniel (‘20) said. “I thought I was able to stay on top though.” What also made the game interesting were the home plate plays, where players would slide down the slip-nslide and fielders would try to peg the players with the ball. A piece of advice for those who want to take this sport to the next level: adequate footwear (water shoes) is definitely necessary for those who want to kick the ball as far as possible as well as have the best agility. “It was entertaining experience,” Daniel said. “I would definitely do it again, especially if you have the resources and people, it can be something to do when you are bored in the summer.”
“I’m an athlete ... they misjudged me which cost them the game.” -Jackson Bundy (‘21)
MATERIALS LIST -
1 Large Tarp 1 Rubber Ball 2 Buckets For Water 2 Gallons Dishsoap 3 Base Markers Water Source Large Open Grass Space 15 Friends
“It brought the class together and showcased true athleticism.” -Will DeAndre (‘20)
Photos by Jenna Hickey
by VIJAY HOMAN, YAEL SARIG, and TYLER STOEN
Amidst a several-month-long saga of antics and odd behavior, it’s time to evaluate whether Antonio Brown really wants to play football at all – and if he’s finally crossed the line from playful bad guy to villain.
hen Antonio Brown went on live TV to show off the damage from his cryotherapy-session-fromhell – his feet were blistered, peeling and frostbitten, an utterly unappealing sight for unsuspecting HBO viewers — it would have been fair to assume that that would have been his lowlight of his month. Nobody could have predicted what followed. Threatening retirement over a helmet intended to protect his own brain, airing grievances about his fines to Instagram, threatening to hit his GM, leaking unauthorized recordings of a phone call with Jon Gruden. And now, finally, Brown’s whirlwind summer will conclude
with sexual assault allegations from two separate women. Of all the NFL players who have demonstrated an inability to coexist with basic management, Antonio Brown is by far the most controversial. His inability to work with his teammates, combined with his off-the-field issues, have transformed him from a franchise player into a volatile wide receiver with an attitude problem. The downfall of his once-promising career began during a seemingly normal Week 4 match-up with the Ravens, when he broke wide open for what should’ve been a huge play. Instead, his thenquarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball out of bounds, leading to a 4th
Oct 9, 2018: Accused of throwing furniture off his 14-story apartment, almost killing toddler
April 24, 2010: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 6th Round 32
down punt. Brown proceeded to throw a temper tantrum on the sideline, throwing a water cooler and showing clear signs of frustration. What could have been a passing incident for any other QB-WR pairing — and oftentimes is, in the NFL, with missed connections often as common as successful ones — became a year-long melodrama for the Steelers. The year came and went, with Roethlisberger publicly calling out Brown on his radio talk show throughout the season. With the season ending in a disappointing loss to the Jaguars in the AFC Divisional round, the new focus of the team shifted to the resigning of star running back Le’veon Bell, with Brown’s March 10, 2019: Traded to Raiders for a 3rd and a 5th round pick.
Dec 31st, 2018: Doesn’t practice all week, doesn’t play in elimination game vs Bengals, Steelers eliminated |
drama forgotten for the time being. Bell eventually chose to sit out the season rather than play under a franchise tag, putting even more pressure on the Steelers to win, and win quickly. More pressure led to more problems on and off the field for Brown, who in Week 2 tweeted: “Trade me let’s find out” in response to a tweet saying that his success was entirely due to Roethlisberger being his quarterback. The rest of 2018 led to legal issues for Brown, who was taken to court twice in as many months for throwing furniture off his 14 story apartment and almost injuring a 22 month old toddler, as well as a reckless driving case in which he didn’t show up to his court date and was fined over $400. As things went from bad to worse for Brown, the Steelers followed suit. They lost four of five games from Weeks 11 to 16, setting the stage for a Week 17 must-win game against the Cincinnati Bengals. On the Wednesday before their biggest game of the season, Roethlisberger called out Brown in practice, resulting in him storming off the field and not practicing for the rest of the week. Incredibly, Brown showed up to the stadium expecting to play, and when he was told he couldn’t, he left the game before halftime. The Steelers lost that game, didn’t make the playoffs, and Brown made it clear that his time in black and
yellow had come to an end. His off the field issues hadn’t changed, however, as in January he was accused of domestic violence against the mother of his child. The NFL claimed to have looked into this incident, but didn’t reprimand him for it. This began a trend of the league disregarding his actions,which would continue later in his career. It became publicly known that Brown wanted out of Pittsburgh, and on March 13, Brown was traded to the Raiders for 3rd and 5th round picks. He would be in silver and black: a lauded member of Raider nation. His offseason seemingly went off without a hitch, and he reported to camp on July 25. However, when he joined team camp, his feet appeared to be in terrible condition. His skin was peeling and he could not run without feeling pain. The trainers came to realize that Brown had suffered from severe frostbite, due to his lack of appropriate footwear while performing cryotherapy, where athletes enter chambers approaching
-100 degrees Celsius in order to rapidly heal small injuries. At around the same time, he was sued by his personal chef for allegedly failing to pay her $38,000 in wages. In late July he left practice
July 25, 2019: Frostbite on feet discovered by Raiders staff
Feb 12, 2019: Doesn’t appear to court case, found guilty of reckless driving
early, stating that he was searching for a treatment for his feet and protesting the NFL’s ruling that prohibited Brown from using the helmet he had been using since he entered the league in 2010. The helmet issue was particularly convoluted — in a modern NFL, where CTE is at the forefront of both fans’ and players’ minds, more protective helmets shouldn’t have been a controversial implementation. It’s a change supporters of the league have been requesting for years, and which was quickly adopted by the likes of even those players most used to outdated helmet models like Patriots long-time quarterback Tom Brady. Yet Brown threatened legal action against the NFL if he was forced to wear the protective headgear, claiming it interfered with his vision and mobility and damaging his performance. Was that claim fair? Sure, and football players, just like any of us, are creatures of habit. Change is uncomfortable. But Brown’s helmet fiasco was indicative of an altogether more troubling notion that the Raiders refused to come to terms with: Antonio Brown does not need football. I t ’ s something he’s told us — and the Steelers — a number of times. Back in March, during his tumultuous tenure with the Steelers, he said it plainly: “I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want. I don’t even need the game. If they wanna play, they going to play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play.” It’s Brown’s way or the highway. Maybe it always has been. Maybe the Raiders were willing to take that gamble, trust that his statements were nothing more than Sep 7, 2019: Brown released, signs 1 yr / $15 mil deal with the Patriots
Sep 6, 2019: Raiders fine Brown $215,000, voiding his guaranteed contract @vikingsportsmag
an anger-fueled rant against a team who he’d been begging to be traded from. The Patriots will take that gamble anew, trusting that Bill Belichick and Brady will be enough of a force to tame Brown. But the saga he headed this time, a full seven months removed from his previous comments, has again culminated at a single conclusion: maybe Brown just doesn’t need this. His threats of retirement flew with little provocation. He’s openly clashed with upper management and with his own teammates. Is he melodramatic? Entitled? Or does he just not care as much for the game as we’ve expected him to? We see world class talent and find it inconceivable that he could simply not have a passion for the game. But from what Brown has given us, it’s a reasonable assumption. Passion for the game can manifest as the same emotional responses he’s shown on the field; passion for the game, however, rarely extends to off-field antics that put team success in jeopardy. And now, that off-field persona has manifested in a bombshell report that rippled through the NFL
j u s t t h r e e days after he signed with the Patriots: Brown was accused of raping a woman who worked as his former trainer. He’d reportedly been in settlement talks with her since April, and, with his refusal to settle,
Photo courtesy of Antonio Brown/YouTube
the case will advance to court. Since then, a second wo-man has come forward, an artist alleging that Brown came onto her when she was working on a mural of him in his own home. Brown, she says, approached her naked, with only a small hand towel covering his genitals. She continued painting. Nothing happened. But one allegation is concerning. Two could be the beginning of a pattern. It’s not the first time a professional athlete has been accused of violence against women. It won’t be the last. But it’s been glossed over in the sea of insanity that Brown has brought forth into the NFL – brushed off as just another strike against a man who’s shown himself to be a loose cannon. They remain allegations at this point, but should the women’s accounts be confirmed, these instances cannot be excused as another in a long timeline of foolish, eccentric, even outrageous behavior. Has his behavior in the past two years defined insanity? Certainly. But can that be allowed to overshadow that these two accusations are in an entirely new realm of unacceptable actions? Amidst these allegations, AB will continue to maintain his innocence, and will continue to play in the NFL, breaking in his brand-new Patriots jersey in the
Sep 11, 2019: First practice with Patriots, uncertainty over availability for game
Sep 10, 2019: Accused of rape by former trainer Britney Taylor
weeks to come. His debut was utterly ordinary, a New England special: the utter massacre of the Dolphins, ending 43-0, felt almost normal. For a moment, watching Brown receiving passes from Brady, our disbelief could be suspended. This was a talented wide receiver flourishing under the watchful eye of an experienced veteran and talented quarterback. For a moment, Antonio Brown existed as the player, not as the name attached; not as the Oakland traitor, not as the Steelers nightmare. Not as the alleged rapist. But only for a moment. Brown has thrived on his new, villainous reputation; his “Ain’t no more games” video was, in a way, an emulation of Lebron in that black mask on the Miami Heat – of danger, rebellion, anger. Brown has a reputation now. He’s not shying from it. But that reputation cannot be confined to the gridiron now. He’s made it personal. Perhaps, before, we could ignore some of his ludicrous behavior, do as the Patriots are doing, focus on the talent of the player and not the man himself who bears the team’s name on his chest. These allegations have made that impossible. Insane antics are one thing. Villainy is another entirely. And Antonio Brown is toeing a fine line. Sep 16, 2019: Accused of rape by second woman
Sep 15, 2019: Plays in Patriots game vs Dolphins, scored a touchdown
The Cost of Coaching Continued from pg. 11
A prime example of this is the basketball team. They started their preseason the week that school started and will continue developing skills until the season starts. After the season ends, these workouts will start again and continue into early July for the process to start again in August. Many teams follow these same practices, including but not limited to wrestling, football, and volleyball. Though these coaches must be present during these workouts to ensure the safety of their athletes, they are not compensated for these additional hours they put into the team. Though these workouts are not mandatory to hold, they’re an important activity to maintain Paly as an athletic powerhouse. It seems impossible to overstate the importance of Paly coaches. As employees of the school, they’re responsible for far more than leading
our teams to wins. Being a coach entails being a mentor, a leader; coaches are expected to blend friendship with authority, to be a trusted figure for their players, the families of players, and the fans. Perhaps it’s easiest to see the impact of coaches when we observe them working on a national scale – when we see Steve Kerr breaking clipboards in impassioned speeches to the Warriors, or Bill Belichick being doused in neon-blue Gatorade by ecstatic Patriots. Their passion is obvious; their importance to the game just as apparent. We see these coaches as the heartbeat of their team. When the Warriors lose, is Kerr not blamed for his offensive schemes? Is he not lauded for transforming that same Warriors 201314 roster that was a first round exist into a championship team within a year? If we can see that importance in the coaches of professional teams, why do we not extend the same courtesy to our Paly coaches, who are tasked
with developing those same tight-knit relationships and winning records? Why do we grant that a professional coach deserves a top-rate salary, is an essential part of the team to be critiqued for failing and rewarded for succeeding? Who should be, above all, respected? Why is that same attitude not extended to our own coaches? They aren’t asking for millions. In fact, our coaches haven’t protested these salaries much at all. They work tirelessly without so much as a remark about their low wages. They may not feel the need to vocally protest this treatment, but Viking does. A low salary is, at the end of the day, a sign of disrespect. A disproportionate salary compared to workload is a sign of devaluation. By underpaying our coaches, we are openly telling them that they don’t matter to us. Our coaches are our lifeblood. Our coaches are not a luxury. They are a necessity. It’s time to treat them as such.
October Calendar Sports Sunday
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
- Girls & Boys Water Polo Vs. Los Altos - Girls Volleyball Vs. Monta Vista
- Girls & Boys Water Polo Vs. Gunn - Girls Field Hockey Vs. Homestead - Girls Volleyball Vs. Los Gatos - Girls & Boys Water Polo Vs. Los Gatos - Girls Field Hockey Vs. Lynbrook - Girls Tennis Vs. Cupertino
- Girls Golf Vs. Gunn
- Girls Field Hockey Vs. Monta Vista - Girls Tennis Vs. Monte Vista - Girls Golf Vs. Mountain View - Girls Tennis Vs. Menlo - Girls Golf Vs. Los Gatos - Girls Field Hockey Vs. Presentation - Girls Field Hockey Vs. Saratoga - Girls Volleyball Vs. Gunn
- Boys Water Polo Vs. Christopher
- Football Vs. Fremont - Girls Tennis Vs. Los Gatos
- Boys Water Polo Vs. Las Lomas
- Boys Water Polo Vs. Santa Teresa
- Football Vs. Mountain View
PRODIGIES by HAYDEN JUNG-GOLDBERG, SOPHIE KADIFA and ADAR SCHWARTSBACH
About 45 million school aged kids play sports in America. But by the age of 15, nearly 80 percent of them quit. Some passionate young athletes are exceptionally talented in their sport, but still choose to end their careers early. So what causes the best of the best to hang up their cleats in high school?
Photo courtesy of Emma Jacobi
lympians are usually thought of as experienced older athletes, but there is a storm of young athletes that are breaking boundaries and winning world titles. These young athletes are giving up the joys of growing up to focus on training for their ultimate goal of success. Recent examples of these remarkable individuals include Yulia Lipnitskaya and Katie Ledecky. Although she was the youngest on her team at 15 years old, Yulia Lipnitskaya’s nearly flawless figure skating program helped clinch the gold medal for Russia at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in the figure skating team event. Katie Ledecky was 15 years old when she astonished the world with her first gold medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics in swimming. These young champions inspire athletes all over the world, including those at Palo Alto High School. When Emma Jacobi (‘21) turned three years old, her mother signed her up for a gymnastics class. Jacobi developed a love for the sport and began competing at eight years old.
Over time, with hard work and dedication, she focused on improving her skills to reach higher levels of gymnastics. Her talent became evident when she was nine years old. “I realized that I was starting to get better and better and I thought I might have a chance of winning states and regionals,” Jacobi said. Jacobi was able to handle the pressures placed on her to succeed for herself and for her team. It was important for her to stay focused on her goals to ensure a successful future in gymnastics. “My greatest accomplishment was winning all the events at a states competition because I worked really hard for that season and I won every single event and all around,” Jacobi said. Despite her incredible success, Jacobi decided to quit gymnastics a couple days before her sophomore year in high school because she wanted to have new experiences with different sports. “I also ski and I wanted to try and pursue that for a little bit because I pursued gymnastics from the age of 3 to 15 and then I decided that it was time to try
“I realized that I was starting to get better and better and I thought I might have a chance of winning states and regionals.”
Photo courtesy of David Hickey
-Emma Jacobi (‘21)
Photo courtesy of Faith Chow
Three year old Emma Jacobi starts gymnastics
Emma starts competing
something new,” Jacobi said. Unlike Jacobi, Charles Mitz (‘21) started playing his sport competitively in eighth grade. Mitz was a club swimmer throughout his pre-teens, but started water polo at the end of eighth grade as a way to add some fun to the monotony of swimming. Although he started later than some, his swimming background helped with his success in water polo. Mitz made the varsity water polo team his freshman year and continued his career on the varsity squad during his sophomore year. His early success was a result of countless hours a week in the pool;
Nine year old Faith Chow starts gymnastics 2012
Twelve year old Charles Mitz starts club swimming
despite only having practiced water polo for a couple months before making the Paly team. “Swim team and water polo for paly were pretty rigorous and it was probably 16-18 hours a week,” Mitz said. Mitz helped his team in his sophomore year win Division I CCS after multiple upset games. “I quit the day after we won CCS,” Mitz said. Even with all of his success, Mitz decided to quit The high school star that never shined playing water polo and join the rowing Mark Appel was the first overall draft pick in the 2013 Major team instead. League baseball draft. After high school he was drafted by “I was tired of it,” the Detroit Tigers. He opted to attend Stanford University Mitz said. “I just and had a successful pitching career. In 2013 he was drafted wanted to try first overall ahead of former MVP, Kris Bryant. However, he decided to walk away from baseball to become the third number one pick to never see major league playing time.
Charles starts water polo
something new.” Mitz left his glory days behind in the pool and used his endurance skills and aerobic base from water polo to start his rowing career. “I just wanted to try it out for a season and see if I liked it or not and then I was going to decide whether I would play water polo the year after,” Mitz said. Burnouts are far from rare in young student athletes whether it be the countless hours of practice on top of school work or overall stress. This dilemma was the turning point for Faith Chow (‘21), who was an elite gymnast in her
“I was tired of it, I just wanted to try something new.” -Charles Mitz (‘21)
Photo courtesy of Emma Jacobi
Competed until level seven for gymnastics
Varsity swimmer and water polo player for Paly
Junior Olympic team in fourth grade
pre-teens. Chow started practicing gymnastics in third grade, but took her gymnastics skills to the next step and began competing at the Junior Olympic level when she was in fourth grade. The amount of dedication required was rigorous, but her teammates and her passion for gymnastics helped motivate Chow to continue training. “We would have practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for four hours after school,” Chow said. Many of Chow’s teammates were homeschooled because of the intense training schedule, but her family decided that
homeschooling was not ideal for their situation. This ultimately lead to Chow’s choice to quit gymnastics. “I quit when I was in 8th grade because I started doing a lot of other extracurricular activities and because I was going into high school,” Chow said. Although Chow ended her gymnastics career, she kept gymnastics in her life being an assistant coach at her old gym. It’s difficult for athletes who start a competitive sport at a young age to fully understand what they want to do with their lives. It is important for athletes to experience a wide range of sports at a young age so that they can gain experience and knowledge about a variety of sports. In some cases, pre-teen athletes can feel overwhelmed from the pressure when focusing on a single sport. Later in life, these athletes also might want to try different extra curricular activities because all they have known is their specific sport.
“I quit the day after we won CCS.” -Charles Mitz (‘21)
Photo courtesy of David Hickey
Photo courtesy of Emma Jacobi
Swim Instructors and Lifeguards
Text by JUSTIN BYER, JAMES FETTER, VIJAY HOMAN, TYLER STOEN, and ELIF TURGUT Design by SOFIA BLISS-CARRACOSA and JAMES FETTER
TO THE PROS
s the clock ticked down and the morale of the their opponents faded, the Paly basketball players knew: they had won the first state championship in school history. The 2006 Paly basketball team was one that will be immortalized in Paly history for taking down a modern-day Goliath in the Mater Dei basketball team, who had been to two of the last three state championship games and would win in 2007 and 2008. But this state championship is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Paly’s athletic prowess. Throughout the years, Paly sports teams have dominated other schools, while consistently producing high-caliber athletes. Many of these athletes have gone on to make successful careers for themselves in a variety of different sports; the one thing they share is the title on their high school diploma.
Notwithstanding, Lin elected to attend Harvard University and excelled as a point guard; he finished his college career with 1,483 points and became the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record 1,450 points. He was also named as one of the 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award (awarded to the nation’s top point guard), but was never seen as a top recruit out of college.
“I think that he’ll [Lin] get a chance to just play and not have to worry about any [pressure],” - Coach Peter Diepenbrock
This narrative continued at the Throughout the years, Paly sports teams professional level, where he went have dominated other schools, while undrafted but was given a chance in consistently producing high-caliber 2010 by the Golden State Warriors. As a athletes. Many of these athletes have rookie, he rarely saw the court and was gone on to carve out respectable careers sent to the NBA Developmental League. for themselves in different professional He bounced between the D League and the NBA for 2 years on several different sports organizations.. . Most recently, basketball star Jeremy teams before landing a spot on the Lin (‘06) made history by becoming the New York Knicks in 2012, six years after first Asian-American player to win an graduating from Paly. In his first year as a New York Knick, NBA championship, winning in 2019 Lin found his groove and “Linsanity” with the Toronto Raptors. was born. In a nine game stretch, the Although Lin enjoyed Knicks reached the peak of their season, success at every level going 8-1 during this time. However, of play, he was always once dynasty player Carmelo Anthony seen as an underdog in returned to the court, the Knicks began terms of talent. Although to fall off. Over the next ten games, he led his team to they went 2-8 and all seemed lost win the state for Lin. The teamed turned the championship season around after Head during his Coach Mark senior year of D ’A n t o n i high school, resigned. he wasn’t T h e offered any Knicks significant scholarship rebounded to play at during this a Division time which 1 university. arguably scored Lin a Most schools future in the NBA. Lin thought that he eventually led the 30-36 wouldn’t be able to Knicks to a 54-28 hold his own among record during the best athletes in his 2012 college basketball, season, even though his statistics were averaging stellar. 42 | VIKING MAGAZINE | vikingsportsmag.com
13.4 points per game. His success gave him more opportunities with other teams, and he eventually signed a four year, $30 million contract with the Houston Rockets. The rockets hoped that the addition of Lin could turn their season around, but following a knee surgery, Lin had trouble playing at full speed. Many thought that the Rockets had made a grave mistake. However, Lin proved them wrong at the end of the year, reviving “Linsanity”: at least it seemed. Lin was traded to the Lakers in July of 2014 and he was unable to reach the same level of greatness. The next couple seasons didn’t exactly pan out the way many expected. Battling a multitude of injuries, Lin bounced around between seven different teams in nine seasons, until he finally landed on the roster of the Toronto Raptors in February of 2019. This eventually led to Lin winning an NBA Championship that year, finally reaching the long-coveted goal of all players in the league. During the offseason, he signed a contract with the Chinese Basketball Association team Beijing Ducks after not being offered a roster spot in the NBA. Despite his struggles, Lin has become an international sensation, and will be welcomed in China with thousands of fans to greet him. Lin’s former high school coach, Peter Diepenbrock, has followed his career and thinks that moving to China is the right decision. “I think that it’s a real positive for his career because I think that he’ll get a chance to just play and not have to worry about any [pressure],” Diepenbrock said. “It will allow him to be a more solidified respected player and play his game”.
Joc Pederson was born into an athletic family, with his dad playing professional baseball for the Dodgers and his mother working as an athletic trainer. His father Stu Pederson also had a pivotal role in Paly athletics, helping to bring Paly sports to new heights of success. Joc attended Paly from 2006-2010 and was a dual-sport star on both the football team and the baseball team. Despite his achievements on the football field, he was better known for his baseball brilliance. His senior year, Pederson led the team in average, batting .466 and gathered the attention of many scouts, both college and pro alike. His work ethic
and excellence on the field led him to be drafted by the Dodgers out of high school in the 11th round of the MLB draft. In 2012, Pederson was rated the Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year, and their top prospect in the system. Two years later, he became the first player in 79 years in the Pacific Coast League to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. He also led the league in runs, home runs, walks, OBP, and OPS. He was called up to the Dodgers Major League team on September 1, 2019. Over his seasons in the MLB he has scored trips to the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby, some of the most exclusive events that the league has to offer. He also finished in the top of the league for home runs nearly every year of his career. The highlight of his career to date has been his appearance in the 2017 World Series, where he hit 3 home runs and two doubles in 18 at-bats. While the Dodgers ended up losing in seven games, it is widely regarded as one of the best World Series matchups of all time. Pederson has been a topic of discussion recently after going 6/6 in two games with five home runs, a stat line that is extremely rare in today’s games. Throughout his time with Dodgers he has been an extremely consistent power hitter, and it seems the future will only bring more home runs.
Although Paly has produced many world-renowned talents in major sports, they also have lots of representation in the Olympics. Paly alumni and brothers Mark and Dave Schultz were among the Vikings wearing red, white and blue at the Olympics and are considered to be some of the most decorated wrestlers of all time. Their journey as famous wrestlers started at Paly, where they were a part of the varsity wrestling team all four years. Their winning tradition continued through their careers for both brothers due to their incredible talent and hard work. Together, the brothers racked up three world championships and an Olympic gold medal. Years later, after his brother boycotted the 1984 Olympics, Dave Schultz was murdered by John Eleuthère du Pont. This became the basis for the award winning sports drama Foxcatcher, which released in 2014. Even following this tragedy that struck his family, Mark Schultz is an active member of the wrestling community.
On the other end of the spectrum, table tennis player and youth Olympic medalist Lily Zhang (‘14) has represented the US on the national stage many times throughout her career. According to the official USA Olympic website, Zhang was introduced to table tennis by her parents and friends. Her success during her high school years translated to the professional level, where she became the first ever US athlete to win a bronze medal during the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, and more recently, claimed the title of 2016 US Women’s Singles Champion. Life at the professional level has not always been easy for Zhang, who has
Paly alumni and brothers Mark and Dave Schultz were among the Vikings wearing red, white and blue at the Olympics and are considered to be some of the most decorated wrestlers of all time. expressed struggling recently with her decision to dedicate her career to table tennis. But her hard work has paid off this year, as she helped the women’s team win gold at the Pan American Championship and won the women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles. Zhang reflected on the past year in a September 10 Instagram post. “It’s disheartening to feel stagnant, especially in something that you’ve put so much time and energy into, but I’ve learned that results do not come immediately,” Zhang said. “Hard work, time, and patience pays off in the end.’’
Palo Alto High School, and graduated in 1982 after becoming the football team captain and star quarterback. After his time at Paly, Harbaugh played quarterback for the University of Michigan, where he enjoyed success and was seen as one of the top prospects going into the 1987 draft. After a full four years at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh was drafted into the NFL by the Chicago Bears. Harbaugh ended his NFL career 14 years later, without a Super Bowl ring to show for it. While still playing in the league, Harbaugh took the strange role of assistant coach under his father at Western Kentucky University. Over the last eight years of his playing career, Harbaugh recruited many players to the school, 17 of which would go on to win the 2002 Division I-AA national championship. He would move on to become the quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders in 2002, only to be named the University of San Diego football head coach in 2004. The big break of Harbaugh’s coaching career came in 2007, when he became the head coach at Stanford University. He went on to revitalize the team, and in his first year the unranked Cardinal went on to defeat the No. 1 ranked USC Trojans, in a popular rivalry game. With USC being favored by 41 points, the game is considered one of the greatest college football upsets of all time. The team would go on to defeat USC in 2009 and reach a bowl game for the first time in eight years. Harbaugh’s team, led by star running back Toby Gerhart, finished #21 in the AP Poll, a significant improvement from the last decade of Stanford Football. The 2010 season brought more success for the Cardinal, going 11-1 in the regular season and reaching the Orange Bowl ranked as the No. 4 team in the nation. Harbaugh was given the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year Award, and his quarterback Andrew Luck was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy award, given to the best player in college football. Four days after his team won the Orange Bowl, Harbaugh signed a four year, $25 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. In 2012, Harbaugh coached his team into the Super Bowl, only to lose to his younger brother John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens. This brother vs brother narrative helped propel both coaches and the family name into stardom.
In the coaching world, Paly alum Jim Harbaugh (‘82) has cemented himself as one of the top football coaches in history, both in the NFL and NCAA football. Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines are currently tied for first place in the Big 10 East conference, starting off the season with a 2-0 record defeating both Army and Middle Tennessee. His father Jack was a football coach for Stanford, and then Harbaugh moved to Palo Alto, where he began his high school football career. Jim Harbaugh attended @vikingsportsmag
D A V A N T E ADAMS
In arguably the biggest sports league in America, the NFL, Paly alumni Davante Adams (‘10) is one of the best. A wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, Adams is ranked as the 17th best wide receiver in the NFL, per Rob Demovsky, an NFL reporter for ESPN. In terms of recent notoriety, Adams has made a name for himself in Fantasy Football, the virtual league that has millions of participants every year where players are compensated for the numbers of receptions they have. “Adams should finish near the top of the league in [passing] targets,” Demovsky said. Adams’ career all started in Palo Alto, where he was considered a twostar recruit for both basketball and football. He ended up choosing football over basketball, and ended his high school football career with a total of 64 receptions for 1,094 yards. During his senior season, Adams committed to play college football at Fresno State. During his first year he was withdrawn from all sporting events, including games, in order to develop skills and start the next year strong. At this point his career really took off. In his 2012 season, he had 14 touchdowns and 102 receptions for 1,312 yards, which led to him winning MVP at the Hawaiian Bowl, gaining the title of Freshman of the Year, and named a freshman AllAmerican. The following year, Adams set new school records for Fresno State. Despite playing only two complete seasons with the Bulldogs, Adams set records of 233 receptions and 38 touchdowns. The Associated Press named him second-team All-American, 44
and after his 2013 season, he declared for the NFL draft at age 21. The Green Bay Packers selected Adams in the 2014 NFL Draft and signed a contract with him on June 12, 2014. He was selected in the second round and was the ninth wide receiver to be selected in his draft class. As each year passed by, Adams usually found an increase in his skill and became a household name for many Packers fans as he rose to the top of the Green Bay wide receiving core. In his second year in the NFL, 2015, Adams had a total of 483 yards and 96 targets, which is 28 more targets than his previous year. In 2016, Adams had a dramatic increase in production for his team. Adams received over twice as many yards as he did the year before, ending the year with 997 receiving yards and 121 targets. In his 4th season in 2017, he remained the top target for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and continued to produce for the Packers.
However, Adams’ best year of his career was 2018. He racked up 1386 receiving yards on 169 targets that year and increased his value to become Green Bay’s star player. This year, the Packers are not what they used to be, but he is still making a mark and reinventing the wide receiver position.
The effect that these professional athletes have had can be seen at Paly today, where football receiver Jamir Shepard (‘20) is following closely in the footsteps of Adams after committing to play collegiately at Fresno State. Although these professionals may not feel impacted everyday by their high school, athletes at Paly are inspired by knowing that their own journey to the professionals has already been proven possible.
The NCAA transfer portal is designed to allow players an easy way to transfer to a new school, with the consequence of sitting out one season. However, players have now begun using ambiguous excuses to bypass the one-year moratorium.
by VIJAY HOMAN
fter spending his 2018 season at Coastal Carolina, Brock Hoffman transferred to Virginia Tech in order to be closer to his ailing mother, who was recovering from a brain tumor. Once the waiver was submitted, he thought it would only be a matter of time before he was cleared and given immediate eligibility for the next season. However, the NCAA denied his appeal for immediate eligibility, citing that there wasn’t enough evidence of his mother’s medical condition requiring his presence. Hoffman retaliated with more documentation of his mother’s condition and symptoms, which included facial paralysis, hearing loss, and impaired eyesight. The NCAA responded with yet another rejection, leaving Hoffman without any more appeals and leaving him no choice but to sit out the 2020 football season. Herein lies the failure of a technology that should serve the NCAA’s own players, and has instead become a tool
to be taken advantage of. The emergence of stars in NCAA football thrusts new players into the spotlight every season, but often overlooked are the players shoved out of it. These defeated, demoralized players are typically left with few options to continue their sports careers, and a popular choice is to enter the transfer portal. According to NCAA rules, if a player wishes to transfer b e f o r e g rad uatin g , they must sit out a season before being eligible to play in games for their new school. This
rule is in place to discourage players from transferring every time they aren’t receiving enough playing time, or having a small grievance with their coach. However, a player may obtain a waiver which grants them immediate eligibility with their new school, allowing them to bypass the yearlong wait on the sideline. The waiver is only granted if the NCAA deems that the player has transferred due to a hardship, such as a family member in bad health. “The new school must provide contemporaneous m e d i c a l documentation from the treating physician showing how the family member is debilitated; an explanation
“The process is horrible. It’s just wrong.” - Brian Hoffman @vikingsportsmag
of the student-athlete’s role in providing care; confirmation from both the athletics director and faculty athletics representative that the student-athlete will be allowed to depart the team to provide care,” reads the NCAA website. In theory, the rule seems quite simple and easy to enforce. However, the rulings on certain players have left fans wondering if the waiver is just a popularity contest. The most prevalent case recently has been that of Hoffman. The main reason that the NCAA gave for not accepting Hoffman’s appeal was that had his mother’s condition been truly serious, she would have retired from her job as a teacher. Hoffman stated in response that his family couldn’t afford to lose steady income with their skyrocketing medical bills, but it was to no avail. “The process is horrible,” said Brian Hoffman, Brock’s father, in an interview with the Roanoke Times. “It’s just wrong.” If one were to only look at this case, it would seem as if the likelihood of getting an early eligibility waiver approved would be pretty low. However, other, more popular players have been granted immediate eligibility despite stating ambiguous reasons for transferring. For instance, quarterback Justin Fields, who began attending Georgia University in January of 2018, chose to transfer after failing to win the starting job over star quarterback Jake Fromm. Fields, the #1 ranked quarterback in the country for his class, chose to transfer to Ohio State
University, a school with no solidified starter in the quarterback position. Fields cited that he had been called racial slurs by a Georgia baseball player, and the NCAA deemed that such a grievance permitted immediate eligibility at his new school. The claim that he made required no evidence, and he eventually went on to win the starting job at Ohio State. Fields’ case ended up causing Tate Martell, another well-known quarterback, to transfer. As a four-star recruit out of high school, Martell committed to Ohio State but coincidentally lost the starting job to Fields after he transferred from Georgia. After Fields came, Martell entered the transfer portal and ended up choosing to continue his playing career at the University of Miami. While Martell did not publicly say what his reason for transferring was, he was granted immediate eligibility at his new school. The glaring difference between the cases of players like Fields and Martel and that of Hoffman is the skill and market potential of the two players. When in high school, most football players good enough to play football in college are given a ranking by various recruiting sites. The ranking is generally on a star system, with zero stars being the worst and five stars being the best. According to Bleacher Report, a five-star recruit has a 52.2% chance of getting drafted into the NFL. Coincidentally, this means that Fields, a five-star recruit, is more likely to get drafted into the NFL
How many more relatives will have to die without seeing their grandchildren play before the rule gets changed?
than not. The NCAA has shown time and time again that it treats such players with more leniency than others, while leaving players such as Hoffman (who was a twostar out of high school) in the dust. The inclination for the NCAA to be so inconsistent with their rulings is the economic gain that they get from having star players such as Fields or Martell on the field. People pay to watch great players play in games, not sit on the bench. At the end of the day, the NCAA is a business, and they are expected to make decisions that will allow them to maximize profits. Whatever their rationale is, the fact remains that the transfer portal protects the superstar minority, and neglects the lesser-known majority, all without any consistency or useful precedent. If there is one situation that demonstrates the dysfunction of the transfer portal perfectly, it is that of Luke Ford. A highly touted tight end prospect out of Illinois, Ford committed to Georgia in late 2017. However, due to his grandfather’s health, Ford transferred to Illinois after his freshman year. The NCAA denied his appeal for eligibility, and now he will have to wait until next season to play. Of all the reasons to transfer, wanting your grandfather to see you play in a college game before he passes is about as good as it gets. But the NCAA doesn’t care about reasons or rules, it cares about the stars who will undoubtedly play in the NFL someday. How many more relatives will have to die without seeing their grandchildren play before the rule gets changed? How many more stars will get free passes to come and go to schools as they choose? As for now, only time will tell.
The Final Word
ears indiscernible from the downpour stream down faces that are covered with smeared eye-black. The Viking football team gets set for what could be the final play of their 2010 season. Fourth down and goal from the 20 yard line, the crowd was frozen in their seats, not because of the ice-cold barrage thundering down on them from above, rather due to the anticipation for the play to come. Christoph Bono (‘10), drops back with every eye in the stadium fixated on his every movement. He cocks back and launches a high arcing ball towards the outstretched hands of current NFL star and Paly legend, Davante Adams (‘10). The crowd erupts from its previous frozen state as the Vikings celebrate the next step on the road to their 2010 State Championship. This was the peak of attendance at Paly sporting events; A time when even a storm couldn’t keep the Paly student body from showing up to every single game. Nowadays, Paly students don’t even need an excuse to be absent from sporting events. The stands belong to a few parents and superfan Dan. The New Regime is here to turn that around. In the past, our community has consistently come together to create an electric atmosphere that has recently seemed to perish. What Paly students no longer understand is that the energy brought to the field or court, provides our teams with an inherent advantage by boosting their momentum right from the start. “Running out to the field with the stands packed and the crowd yelling at the top of their lungs is an unreal feeling,” Will Moragne (‘20) said. “It just gets you so hyped up and zoned in to compete.” Our issue is not solely with student attendance in the previous years, but with our predicted lack of attendance in this upcoming season. Based on our
The New Regime by SAM CLEASBY and KEVIN CULLEN Photo by Karen Hickey
Where are all the fans?! observations, the Paly class of 2019 was a dominant presence at all major sporting events, but unfortunately they are no longer with us. The class of 2020 is notorious for their lack of school spirit (don’t worry we are roasting on our own class so it’s okay) based on our grade’s performance during last years spirit week and is clearly evident in the results. Increased attendance at these events will not only benefit our players, but it will also benefit our campus community as a whole. As we all know, our grades do not always get along together. Due to spirit week antics, the tension between grades flares causing infamous rivalries to form. “Ha, those other grades man, they’re just not cool,” Faisal Ojjeh said (‘20). If our whole school is able to come together and root for our teams, our grades will see unprecedented camaraderie... and maybe fewer water balloons. A sports team breaks the barriers of Paly’s social dynamic whom is divided into the various classes. A sports team can contain sophomores
and seniors alike, all of which are working towards a common goal. Our fans aren’t isolating their cheers towards only the members of their grade, but towards our school as a whole. A great high school experience is often reliant on how close you are with your school, and your community. Attending these sporting events and exerting as much positive energy as possible will lead to an abundance of amazing high school memories. “Going to all of the football and basketball games was probably the most memorable part of my high school e x p e r i e n c e ,” Tucker Biorn (‘19) said. “I definitely had the most fun being at the games and cheering for our school. Our Paly pride was through the roof and I’ll never forget it.” Whether you like or not, attending Paly sporting events is an integral part of being a student at this school. You might not feel like going to the next football game, but you also won’t feel like getting hit by a water balloon… As the great Faisal Ojjeh once said, “If you don’t want to go to Paly sporting events go to Gunn.”
“If you don’t want to go to Paly sporting events go to Gunn.” - Faisal Ojjeh
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Pheobe Kim (‘22) celebrates Kellyn Scheel’s (‘23) goal against Wesmont, leading the Vikings to a 10-0 victory.
Photo by Jenna Hickey 48
“When we have more fun on the field not only do we score more goals and have more wins but we also create stronger friendships,” Pheobe Kim said. |