A Century of Sports: Book Review

 

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I’ve always been a firm believer in the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Pictures give life to words. They have the power to brighten or darken any individual. They also have the power to tell stories. More often than not, the most captivating pieces of sports journalism are photo journalism pieces. Pictures in sports bring the events to life and allow the reader to place themselves within the situation and feel the atmosphere, depending on how powerful the picture. Imagine if you could go back in time to the 1900’s and re-live all of the major sports events in American history. What if you could pick your favorite sporting event from the twentieth century and be there within seconds? What if you could reminisce on the glory days of American sports from any year? With Time-Life’s A Century of Sports, you can.

This is a book with over 100 pages of pure sports gold. A Century of Sports is comprised of large scale photographs from 1900-2000 and contains pictures from various sports and sporting events around the world. The book contains many memorable events in sports history. Some events include the 1932 Olympics in Berlin Germany, where Jesse Owens completed a legendary defeat and became the first Black American to win gold, to the 1999 NBA finals and the beginning of the legacy of Tim Duncan, now arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all time. A Century of Sports does not have a plot per se, but one would argue that the story line of the book is just as captivating. The book features hundreds of athletes throughout the twentieth century, revealing the importance of sports not only in American culture, but world culture as well. The book takes the reader on a journey through time with tons of beautiful pictures to help keep the reader in the moment, and feeling like they were at the event at the time it happened. One of the most incredible pieces of information about the book is that none of the pictures are edited. Granted, they are sized to fit the pages of the book, but the validity and integrity of the pictures and the events they have captured remains intact. In class, we learned about the importance of integrity within journalistic works. In pictures especially, keeping things genuine is vital. The book contains pictures the size of the pages, which are larger than normal pieces of printer paper. This larger size allows for more detail to be shown and further engages the reader within the book.

Towards the end is, in my opinion, the most intense and incredible picture/story in the entire book. In 1996, Pete Sampras, one of the greatest American tennis players in history, was facing off against Àlex Corretja in the quarterfinals of the US Open. In a typical US Open match, the winner must win 5 out of the 7 sets to win the match. Sampras and Corretja were going back and forth the entire match, and both players were losing strength and energy as they approached their sixth hour of playing in the sun. Faced with a tie breaker, Sampras vomited on the court from dehydration. A Century of Sports included a full size image of Sampras throwing up his pre-match meal all over the cement. The story attached to the picture explains that Sampras overcame the tie breaker and defeated Corretja 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 5-7 6-4 7-6 (9-7). While Time-Life could have chosen another picture from this match or even edited the initial picture, they chose to stick with the original picture, maintaining the intensity captured from the image. It is pictures like this that define who we are as humans: tough, determined creatures who will do whatever it takes to win. Sports brings out the best in us humans; we are driven by success and representation of certain groups such as our family and our country. This picture wonderfully illustrates the passion and drive of athletes in America, and around the world. Moreover, the integrity of the picture was kept, and as a result, the picture is that much more powerful and emotional.

I first picked up A Century of Sports when I was in elementary school. It had just come out and my teacher had placed it deep in her book shelves in the corner of the room. Fortunately, it was the first book I reached for because of its sheer size and weight. It was the biggest book in the room, and at the time, the biggest book I had ever seen. I quickly flipped through the pages, marveling at the giant pictures and visceral emotions on the faces of the athletes. I wanted to feel the emotions these athletes had felt. That book singlehandedly drove me to become a successful athlete, and someday I hope to achieve that goal. Reading the book 12 years later, I am still in awe of the words and pictures displayed in this massive book. If you’re ever in the mood to feel the roar of thousands cheering your name or feel the pain of losing a championship, then I recommend reading this book.

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Full Court Press: A Reflection

On Tuesday April 5 I attended the Conference of World Affairs session “Full Court Press: 2016 Supreme Court Docket.” While the session billed itself, and was introduced by the moderator, as a discussion of the pending docket of Supreme Court cases, it did not live up to this billing.  It quickly deteriorated into a discussion about the political gridlock impeding the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court, with the conservative scholars working hard to justify the senate Republicans’ refusal to vote on his nomination.

The two conservative panelists, Michael Franc of the Heritage Foundation and James Viator, a professor at Loyola University College of Law, were joined by Judge William A. Thorne Jr who served as a state Judge in Utah and board member for the National Court Appointed Special Advocates. The panel was moderated by Scott Moss a professor at CU Law School. The panel opened with Mr. Viator’s lengthy comments about the judicial nomination process and an historical justification for having only 8 justices sitting until the next president is elected, and his belief that we are ruled by a “judicial aristocracy” in that the judicial branch makes all relevant decisions in our society keeping power “from the people.” He went on to talk very briefly about 2 pending cases (the Texas v US abortion case and the Dream Act immigration cases) giving them his interpretation: judges shouldn’t be meddling in abortion cases and Obama was dead wrong to provide his executive order on immigration. Mr. Viator and Mr. Franc had pessimistic views on the political process and our nation’s socioeconomic history, while Judge Thorne focused on the positive outlooks of the process, revealing that assiduous attitudes in the process could change history for the better.

Mr. Viator however provided no legal analysis nor any presentation of the various positions that might be taken in these cases. Later, Judge Thorne provided one of the most touching comments of the afternoon when, as the two conservatives were pontificating about interpreting the constitution like Justice Scalia would have in the theory of “originalism.”  Judge Thorne, Utah’s first Native American judge, commented wryly that “This talk of ’Originalism’ has a different taste in my mouth as a Native American whose country was taken without our consent.”

Judge Thorne set himself apart from the other two stating that he has been in the business of “solving problems and getting things done.”  He was an admirable antidote to the blustering and self-aggrandizing “scholars.”

Finally, we were asked to submit questions via text.  I submitted one asking Mr. Viator if he considered it an “undue burden” for a woman to drive 500 miles to find an abortion clinic, the issue in the Texas abortion case. The moderator chose my question. Mr. Viator bluffed around for a while, struggling with an answer to the question. He concluded with, “That question cannot be answered since there is no precedent for ‘undue burden.’”

In all I found the panel mean-spirited, agenda laden and uninformative. Judge Thorne was a wonderful speaker with an admirable record of service to needy people, and the only redeeming part of the 90 minutes.

 

Full Court Press: A Conservative-Ridden Disaster

On Tuesday April 5 I attended the Conference of World Affairs session “Full Court Press: 2016 Supreme Court Docket.” While the session billed itself, and was introduced by the moderator, as a discussion of the pending docket of Supreme Court cases, it did not live up to this billing.  It quickly deteriorated into a platform for the two exceedingly conservative constitutional “scholars” about the judicial nomination process, why the Republicans are right to oppose the nomination of Merrick Garland and how all of the mean spirited and contentious nomination process can be attributed to the “original sin” of the Democrats opposition to Judge Robert Bork in 1987.

The two conservative panelists, Michael Franc of the Heritage Foundation and James Viator a professor at Loyola University College of Law, were joined by Judge William A. Thorne Jr who served as a state Judge in Utah and board member for the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) which provides volunteer representation for abused and neglected children.  The panel was moderated by Scott Moss a professor at CU Law School.  The panel opened with Mr. Viator’s lengthy comments about the judicial nomination process and an historical justification for having only 8 justices sitting until the next president is elected, and his belief that we are ruled by a “judicial aristocracy” in that the judicial branch makes all relevant decisions in our society keeping power “from the people.”  His comments were a thinly veiled attempt to endorse the current Republican tactics to block any productive work in Congress, and a conservative diatribe about judicial activism.  He went on to talk very briefly about 2 pending cases (the Texas v US abortion case and the Dream Act immigration cases) giving them the standard conservative interpretation: judges shouldn’t be meddling in abortion cases and Obama was dead wrong to provide his executive order on immigration.  He provided no legal analysis nor any presentation of the various positions that might be taken in these cases, prompting Judge Thorne who was up next to suspend his opening remarks and say, first that he views the world very differently than Mr. Viator, and second, that a panel with two conservative constitutional scholars and a state court Judge was an improperly designed panel.

Later, Judge Thorne provided one of the most touching comments of the afternoon when, as the two conservatives were pontificating about interpreting the constitution like Justice Scalia would have in the theory of “originalism.”   Judge Thorne, Utah’s first Native American judge,  commented wryly that “This talk of ’Originalism’ has a different taste in my mouth as a Native American whose country was taken without our consent.”

Judge Thorne set himself apart from the other two stating that he has been in the business of “solving problems and getting things done.”  He was an admirable antidote to the blustering and self-aggrandizing “scholars.”

Finally, we were asked to submit questions via text.  I submitted one asking Mr. Viator if he considered it an “undue burden” for a woman to drive 500 miles to find an abortion clinic, the issue in the Texas abortion case.  The moderator chose my question.  Mr. Viator bluffed around for a while, causing someone in the audience to shout out, “Answer the question!”  His reply: this question cannot be answered.  This is the quality of scholarship he provided.  I asked a follow up question about how he would feel driving 500 miles for prostate surgery, but the question was not posed.

In all I found the panel mean-spirited, agenda laden and uninformative.  Judge Thorne was a wonderful speaker with an admirable record of service to needy people, and the only redeeming part of the 90 minutes.

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Media’s Crippling Effect on Modern Society

Let’s face it; in today’s world, you can’t go more than a few minutes without seeing a smart phone, or somebody on their smart phone. Technology and social media is everywhere and anywhere. My parents used to tell me stories about love letters they would write to their respective soulmates when they were in high school and college (they themselves didn’t get together until after law school, so it was totally acceptable to discuss the prior matter). The newspaper was their primary form of obtaining the information on the world everyday. Nowadays, kids and adults around the world get their information from a small screen that sits in their pockets. Also, everyone has them at their disposal at times, so whenever something happens in life, there’s bound to be at least one person with their video app open to catch it live.

In addition, the application of social media in today’s technological world is changing the way people view certain societal topics. For example, the news is now heavily influenced by twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts by news broadcasters, anchors, and reporters. Journalists also post on these platforms and convey their thoughts and views through their small screens in their pockets. The problem with this application of the applications is that anyone with a phone can write about how they feel about a certain situation or issue. For example, a pompous jackass who was given a “small loan of 1 million dollars” can decide to run for president with zero political experience and a rap sheet of failed businesses and burned out reality television shows. Then, the same man can post online and say that women who are attempting to receive an abortion should be punished nationwide. That same man can also say this about one of the funniest women alive:

“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”
Now you would think, “Okay, this has got to be one of the most ignorant, disrespectful men on the entire planet. There’s no way he could be the next president.” That’s what I am hoping too. However, he is currently the frontrunner for the GOP party and has won multiple states, including landslides on ‘Super Tuesday.’ Furthermore, the news outlets on TV and online give him almost nonstop, 24 hour coverage. This only helps his constituency grow. Think about it; if someone were to randomly decide to begin partaking in the political process, having never voted before or never been involved in any democratic decision making, how do you think he would choose a candidate? Well, he would probably turn on the television, hoping to gain some knowledge from news outlets covering the presidential candidates. Then, he would see there is almost around-the-clock for Donald Trump, and decide, “I’m going to vote for him because everybody’s been talking about him. Therefore, he must be important and must have a large fanbase. I am all for Trump 2016.”
That is an example of how media can detriment our society. A positive example of how media can influence public opinion is this:
Khaled Mohamed Khaled, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, better known as DJ Khaled, has blown up into the social media spotlight in the last year. Growing up, this was the music producer who created songs with pop culture artists whose hits would constantly play on the radio to the point where I wanted to bash my car radio in with a sledge hammer. Since becoming famous in the mid 2000’s off of hits like those, he has taken to Snapchat, a social media platform where one can post pictures or videos on their ‘stories’ which is seen by all of one’s snapchat followers. Khaled’s stories have been the talk of the table for the last few months, continuously posting positive and inspirational videos about his musical career, his philanthropical success, and his rise from the bottom to the top. Khaled has inspired millions to pursue their goals and dreams through his words. He has touched the lives of many kid across the country. On one of his stories, he live-broadcasted a visit to a middle school in Miami Dade county, where he was principal for a day. His vernacular includes many catch phrases such as “cloth talk,” “new deal alert,” “I will never stop,” and most famously, “we the best.” We the Best also happens to be the name of his music label, where he works as a producer and founder of the label.
Khaled’s stories have influenced a young generation to make themselves better people, while Trump’s words have influenced millions to leave the country, fearing a four years with his intelligence at the helm. These are just two polar examples of how media can act as a driving force to one’s success.

The Media’s Foul Ball: An Ethics Discussion

Baseball is our country’s national pastime. It is one of the most classic and most popular sports in the entire world. In the United States, some major league baseball teams are known for being more prestigious and successful than others. In addition, some of the best moments in sports arise from baseball memories. I remember a year ago, I was enrolled in a communications course where I had to read and analyze a speech given in the early 1900’s by any sports figure of my choosing. I chose Lou Gehrig’s famous retirement. For those of you who are unfamiliar with historical baseball, Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest hitters of all time, but had to cut his career short due to a diagnosis of ALS. Other memories that come to mind (some being not so positive) include the Buckner ground ball, where Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner let a routine ground ball go through his legs and under his glove in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets. More importantly, one of the most infamous plays in all of major league baseball was known as, “The Batman Ball.” Remember when I said that some MLB teams are known more notoriously for their World Series titles and their money? Well, the Chicago Cubs are NOT one of those teams. They haven’t won a World Series Pennant since 1908. In 2003, the Cubs came as close as they have ever come in the last few decades. They were matched up against the Florida Marlins in the National League Championship Series. It was game six, and they were five outs from taking a trip to the World Series. According to Wikipedia, In the bottom of the 8th inning with the Cubs holding a 3 run lead and 1 game lead in the series, a Marlins player hit a deep shot to left field, but it was sailing foul out of play into the stands. However, Moises Alou, one of the elite players on the Cubs at the time, had a chance to make a play on the ball. The ball was just on the line between the stands and the outfield. When Alou tried to catch the ball, a fan in the stands grabbed the ball himself, denying Alou the chance to catch the ball and end that inning, and potentially, that game completely. Instead, the fan caught the ball, and Alou did not. The Marlins then rallied from 3 down to win the game 8-3, and eventually, win game 7, giving them a World Series Berth.

The straight forward dilemma was this: if the man did not try and catch the foul ball, Moises Alou would have caught it and the Chicago Cubs would have won that game, getting them one step closer to the World Series. Since he caught the ball himself, the Cubs do not get that chance.

At the time of the incident, the Chicago Sun Times was unclear whether or not release the identity of the man who caught the ball. After some debate, they decided to reveal the man was named Steve Bartman, a 26 year old who changed the face of the Cubs forever. The Society of Professional Journalists explains, “Sun-Times reporter Frank Main, who covered the story, explained why the Sun-Times editor at the time decided to reveal Bartman’s identity. “He was the center of a national news story and there was no legal or moral problem in naming him. We did not think there was a serious possibility of his being assassinated by fans. We decided to go with the story and tell readers what we knew.” Chicago Tribune editors said they printed Bartman’s name after he released a statement saying, “I am truly sorry from the bottom of this Cubs fan’s broken heart.” The Media’s Foul Ball

The SPJ continues, “James Burke, a member of the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists team, said identifying Bartman was ‘an act of irresponsible journalism’ and a violation of the SPJ ethics code which urges journalists to minimize harm. Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley chastised the media for identifying Bartman, and was quoted by theSun-Times saying ‘do you put your CEO’s name and address out?… You wouldn’t do that. You’d be fired tomorrow…And that is not fair to that young man…'” The Media’s Foul Ball

In terms of ethical reasoning, there is no middle ground here. The “golden mean” would not apply, as this is a white or black situation. The Chicago Sun Times could have either released his name or not done so, and I believe they chose to release his name based on Mill’s utilitarianism ideal (greatest good for the greatest number.) As a fan of sports and an unbiased party in this situation, I believe that the Sun Times editors released his name because the greater number of citizens around the country reading their articles written about the incident would like to know who tried to catch the foul ball. The city of Chicago could have taken many precautionary measures to ensure Bartman’s safety after the incident. The people of the free world deserved to know who tried to catch the ball.

Furthermore, if the Sun Times had not released his name, it could have been even worse for Bartman. Let’s say the Sun Times doesn’t run his name; then everyone assumes Bartman is free and safe. Wrong. Anyone in Chicago could have easily identified Bartman and harmed him, in this case, without any safety or protection from the city of Chicago. While James Burke thinks it was the wrong thing to do, I think otherwise. Our jobs as journalists is to provide the truth and report on it to the people. The people deserved to know who Steve Bartman was and why the Cubs lost that game in 2003. What people don’t realize is that Steve Bartman is not the sole reason why they lost that series. They still had game 7 to play, and the Cubs lost that game completely on their own accord. Foul ball? Maybe. Fair reporting? Absolutely.

 

Happy Friday!

 

My Bio

My name is Conor Bonfiglio. I am a student at the University of Colorado Boulder, currently studying journalism and sociology. I am an aspiring athlete and broadcast journalist who hopes to make significant impacts on the University community in multiple realms. My dream is to have a long lasting influence on the Colorado Basketball program, as well as the opportunity to cover and broadcast for the team. Every accessible goal should be chased with a fervent passion, and every dream should be achieved. Anything is possible with hard work and an undying motivation to succeed.

White Supremacy For President

People always say, “come to America, the land of opportunity,” where any individual can come to America and make a name for him/herself with a little can-do attitude and some elbow grease. Imagine living in an America where every citizen inside the borders (which are unnecessarily ‘secured’ with trillions of dollars worth of defense through militaristic police and gargantuan walls surrounding the country) is wealthy, white, and male. Imagine a despotic regime through the president, where he makes every executive decision by controlling all three branches of government. Imagine an America where there is no diversity, no change, no independence. Imagine an America where there is no opportunity. This is an America with Donald Trump at the reigns of the executive.

Let’s begin with a little background. Via his website, “Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in real estate, sports, and entertainment. He is the archetypal businessman –– a deal maker without peer.”

If that disgusting narcissism  doesn’t already set you over the top, consider this. Professor Yulsmann explained this about Trump and the media in an email: “Here is something I would like you all to think about: Donald Trump has been getting more attention on television news than Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders combined. I’m getting this from something called the Tyndall Report, which monitors TV news. Here’s the link: http://tyndallreport.com/  And here’s the relevant section: Donald Trump is by far the most newsworthy storyline of Campaign 2016, alone accounting for almost a third of all coverage (327 mins or 32%), more than the entire Democratic contest combined. The other GOP candidates, in order of prominence, were Jeb Bush (57 mins), Ben Carson (57), Marco Rubio (22).”

The media has played into his greed as well, making the entire worldwide political agenda about one candidate. Media can influence public opinion one way or the other based on coverage time, sound bites, infotainment, etc. When all of their money and time is focused on one tyrannical human being, who just so happens to be running for president, then that human being is going to be the candidate that the people will vote for. An American citizen who is completely unaware of the political process and the current primary runnings could turn on the television onto any news channel to get some quick insight into the process. Without question, the screen would either show people discussing Trump, or Trump himself. Since he had no prior knowledge about the process, or the other candidates for that matter, he will be inclined to vote for Trump. This disproportionality in the media is going to lead to a Trump victory in the primaries. He has already won the vote in the Carolinas, Michigan, and Nevada. The front runner in the Republican party is Trump by a landslide. Ted Cruz, second place in the runnings right now, doesn’t even come close to Trump’s numbers.

This is the scariest thought of all. The guy who wants to spend trillions of dollars on exporting US citizens because they aren’t of the same background as him has a serious chance of becoming the President of the United States. This is a man who just said in a debate that he, “…is going to open up the libel laws so when they write purposefully negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”

Not only does he want to build a massive wall to keep out any non-white men from entering the country, he also wants to eradicate the 1st amendment and its qualities, which have been in effect since the genesis of this country. Fantastic.

Moral of this piece is; if he is elected president, you can catch me in Toronto, Canada for the duration of his presidency.

 

Happy Friday.

Pulitzer Prize Assignment

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While that phrase may be hackneyed at this point in my life, it still remains truthful and brutally powerful. Journalists around the world have the ability to uncover meanings, ideals, symbols, etc. through photographs. So much can be revealed in such a small image. Pictures have always meant more to me than words. Growing up, I constantly struggled with attention issues, especially while reading books for lower level education classes like elementary and middle school. The only way I could finish a book at that time was by focusing on the pictures. My imagination would start running like crazy when I saw an engaging picture. Nowadays, I can finish a book, but sadly, the books I read don’t have many pictures at all.

Feature photographs sometimes have potential to not only tell a story, but change a life. According to Wikipedia, “The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography is one of the American Pulitzer Prizes annually awarded for journalism. It recognizes a distinguished example of feature photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album.” This award, along with the other categories for Pulitzer Prizes, is important to society because it awards some of the best journalism the world has ever seen. It places an emphasis on the arts and culture side of a society that has been drowning in business and technology realms for the last few decades.

In this blog, I’d like to discuss Craig F. Walker, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize feature photography winner, “For his compassionate chronicle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from Iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress, images that enable viewers to better grasp a national issue.” (http://www.pulitzer.org/winners/7168) Walker was with the Denver Post while he won the piece in 2012 for feature photography.

Wikipedia writes, “After growing up in York, Pennsylvania, Walker attended the Rhode Island School of Photography, graduating in 1986. He worked for Marlboro Enterprise and the Berkshire Eagle prior to taking a position with The Denver Post in 1998. He has covered national and international stories.” According to his Twitter account, he is currently a writer for the Boston Globe and has recently been covering the presidential race in New Hampshire. Walker is well known in the Pulitzer community, being a two time winner. His first win was for his gripping story called, “Ian Fischer: American Solider,” which flashes many resemblances to his award winning work with his second win, displaying an affinity for photography pieces on war veterans and their struggles with PTSD and life without war.

Craig F. Walker’s 2012 winning piece was a collection of photographs from the life of Scott Ostrom, a marine veteran who was struggling with severe PTSD. Scott is living in Colorado, and was while Walker created the collection. I chose Walker and this particular piece of his for this blog because I believe this is an issue the country must address more prolifically for future veterans, and because Ostrom has had life experiences in Boulder, Colorado, where I live. Walker’s collection of pieces reveals the tormented life of a veteran coping with PTSD from scarring memories in the Iraq War in the mid 2000’s. Ostrom’s life is filled with horrid surprises, like random anxiety attacks, rejections on housing applications, broken walls, and broken hearts. The only consistent happiness he gets is from his dog, Jibby. According to Walker’s interactions with Ostrom, Scott explains, “‘For me Jibby is very therapeutic. … Sometimes I feel like a burden when I unload my emotions on friends, but Jibby’s always there, regardless of what mood I’m in.'” (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post – December 29, 2011)

Here are some of the things people had to say about the piece on Scott Ostrom:

The award was for Walker’s “compassionate chronicle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from Iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress, images that enable viewers to better grasp a national issue,” the Pulitzer Board said.

“Scott Ostrom is the one who deserves the credit on this one,” Walker said. “He shared an amazing story with us, and I was honored to be part of it.”

The piece was published online-only on Dec. 30, 2011. Pulitzer judges noted that “digital content played a role” in winning entries, including public service, breaking news reporting, investigative reporting, national reporting, editorial cartooning and breaking news photography.

“Remarkable … This is a great day for The Post,” Denver Post Editor Gregory L. Moore said in an email to the newsroom announcing the award.

This collection of photographs is some of the most impressive and heart breaking pictures I have ever seen. The treatment of war veterans in this country is laughable. Everything that can be done is NOT being done, and that needs to change. Ostrom was given an assault charge earlier in his life, and because of it, his chances of renting a new apartment or buying a house go from probable to slim/none. Even though he was honorably discharged and has a medal for good conduct, he is denied the rights of housing and shelter, something that most Americans can get with ease. The idea that Ostrom struggles to find housing while other Americans can find it easily is depressing. Ostrom put his life on the line to protect those Americans who are now taking housing opportunities from him. The irony is palpable.

Moreover, the work done by Walker is inspiring, and discloses the reality of treatment of war veterans. His work is not only incredible, but also demands a new treatment for veterans in Ostrom’s position. There are thousands across the country dealing with the same problems as Ostrom. It’s time we start treating them with the respect, honor, kindness, and hospitality that they deserve.

Here are some references that I used/cited in this blog:

http://www.pulitzer.org/winners/7168

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_F._Walker

https://twitter.com/craigfwalker

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_20408466/craig-f-walker-denver-post-wins-pulitzer-prize

A Fateful Hike: The Story Behind Craig Walker’s Pulitzer Prize

Happy Friday, everyone.

 

How Sundays Have Changed

Sunday mornings were always the best times growing up. In high school, Sunday mornings meant pancakes and bacon breakfasts, radical rants from my sister and mother, and the daily news update from my father. Every morning began the same; I would wake up around 10am to the smell of bacon seeping through the crack between the floor and my bedroom door. As the smell filled my nose, I would pop up out of bed and change into my basketball clothes. I had practice everyday from 11-1 on Sundays. The Sunday morning routine in the Bonfiglio household became a tradition, anchored by some wonderful food and a conglomerate of news stories from the Wall Street Journal, and NPR on radio (88.5 KQED Northern California represent!) My favorite aspect of the morning routine (other than the food) was listening to Car Talk; a talk radio show hosted by two Italian brothers who help diagnose people’s car problems on the air through phone call analysis and information. My sister’s favorite part of the morning, which just so happened to be my least favorite part, was her political agendas and ideals that she just had to express in lieu of not discussing them for days before. For some reason on Sundays, they always built up in her mind and heart, and were unleashed at the breakfast table before basketball practice. Sometimes she had some intelligent and engaging ideas; things with which I could agree. Most of the time however, she was spewing her rude, sexist, feminist sewage throughout the house. Don’t get me wrong; I am all for women’s rights and gender/sex equality. I am a huge proponent in hiring more women in powerful business positions and diminishing the gender pay gap completely. What bothered me was constant weekly attacks on men and the male gender as a whole, in addition to rash and incorrect opinions and attacks made against myself and my gender.

My father’s favorite part of the morning was the Wall Street Journal. He would read it alone at his desk in his office, or by the game table next to the window sill, where he could watch his hummingbird feeder as bird’s swarmed the red sugary water dispenser throughout the day. My father and mother both loved to read the newspaper when it was delivered on Sundays, but my favorite and most convenient way of getting the news was from my laptop computer. My home page was MSNBC.com for over five years. MSNBC was a left-leaning website that shared news stories everyday, ranging from politics to business to sports to arts & culture, etc. I used this as my news source for my entire high school career. If one was to tell me that I would be using my cellphone for news stories and updates in college, I would have told that person they were crazy. Amazingly, that is now the case.

I live in an apartment in Boulder just off the southeast side of campus. I barely have enough money to do my laundry every month. I cannot afford a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, which charges absurd amounts of money per subscription. Luckily, I can obtain all of the news stories I please with my online browser on my phone, and the snapchat application. Now if I ever want an update on the news, I check my snapchat app and load the news stories in the “Discover” section. The discover section features news stories from platforms and outlets such as Vox, ESPN, MTV, Cosmopolitan, CNN, National Geographic, even Wall Street Journal. These discover sections have about 2 minutes worth of video content along with full length stories attached to the bottom of the videos. The discover section in snapchat has allowed me to keep up to date on all of my news inquiries without having to pay any money (which is how I think news should be broadcasted in the first place.)

Nowadays, I spend my Sunday morning working open to close at GNC Live Well. I don’t have much time for basketball practice, pancakes, NPR, or feminist sassy sisters. But when I was a kid, if one was to tell me I would be getting my news from around the world in many facets on a little smart phone at work, I would have been mortified. My how times have changed.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Charged Up: ESPN’s First Take

When I look into my own future, I hope to have reached a point in my journalism/communications career where I’ll have court side access to an NBA game, record and analyze those games, then discuss those games with a colleague or possible journalism partner on a broadcasting show, be that radio, television, etc. However, never in my future do I picture myself (nor do I want to picture myself) at a booth for two hours a day bantering back and forth with a “partner” who not only plays devil’s advocate in every facet of my discussions, but also incessantly disagrees with what I says, no matter how factual or concrete my opinions are. Fortunately, I do not have the career of Stephen A. Smith. Some days, I wonder why he is still in the position he is today. Stephen A. Smith hosts a sports talk show called “First Take.” According to the show’s website, “First Take is always a heated discussion as Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith and guests debate about the day’s top stories.”

I can feel the pain from that sentence alone. Let me break down the show for you through some analysis and examples. To begin, Stephen A. Smith discusses the most current and exciting sports news with his fellow anchor, Skip Bayless. However, their method of discussion is unorthodox in the fact that Bayless, no matter how correct or incorrect, will disagree with Smith’s contentions on the show. Their show often covers NFL players and their performances throughout the season. In 2013, the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl 48, demolishing the Denver Broncos 43-8. After the Superbowl, Smith and Bayless discussed the overall season performance of Richard Sherman, star cornerback for the Seahawks and Stanford alum (go Card!) On the show, Bayless and Smith discussed Sherman’s actions in the NFC championship game against San Francisco, where Sherman essentially punked Michael Crabtree, the 49ers best receiver, out of any impact on the game. After the game and the Superbowl, Bayless had the gal to announce that Sherman wasn’t one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL at the time. Unfortunately for Bayless, Sherman came on the show to defend his case. Not only did he do that; he also let Bayless have it for is audacious remarks.

I’ll just leave this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6x-O3kb1sI

Finally, I want to re-open the entirety of the Tim Tebow phase on ESPN’s First Take. Bayless, while reporting on a wide variety of topics in his many-year career, has never covered on athlete more than Tim Tebow. Tebow, a prized Heisman quarterback from the University of Florida who was expected to do incredible things in the NFL. However, Tebow was an overall bust in the league. He had one shining moment of success when he took over the reigns for the Denver Broncos in the playoffs in 2012. In an overtime thriller against Pittsburgh in the AFC Wild Card game, Tebow threw a strike to Demaryius Thomas for the win in Denver to defeat the Steelers and advance to the Divisonal playoff game. Since that moment, he had fizzled out in the NFL. However, when the New England Patriots brought Tebow to training camp last year, just after they won the Super Bowl, Bayless once again ran his mouth far enough to say that Tim Tebow was a better quarterback than Tom Brady. Before I say anything else, I am going to leave a list of accomplishments from Tom Brady. They are as follows per Wikipedia:

Finally, I leave you with the link of Bayless spitting blasphemy on live television: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSJdYZzWHo0

Happy Friday, everyone.