Tag Archives: opinion

Fixing the flawed NFL overtime system

By J.D. McKay

On Feb. 5, 2017, Tom Brady led one of the best comebacks in a game and forced the first overtime game in the Super Bowl. He won the coin toss and because the Atlanta Falcons defense could not begin to stop Brady, who had thrown for 416 yards before OT, he marched down the field and won, not allowing the Falcon’s gunslinger and league MVP Matt Ryan even a chance to win in OT. Once again, a coin toss has determined when the Patriots’ season ended.

The first overtime football game was played in 1958 and is still remember as the “Greatest Game Ever Played.” The Baltimore Colts’ Alan Ameche ran for a one-yard touchdown to beat the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game. Then, in 1974 the NFL added the overtime rule to all games, not just playoff games. The rules were sudden death overtime — any score, touchdown, field, or safety meant game over. After seeing a bit of a flaw in this system, the NFL changed the rules in 2012, saying that if the first team to get the ball scores a touchdown, the game is over, but if they kick a field goal, the other team has the chance to match or win with a touchdown. That seemed to solve the problem until the aforementioned Super Bowl LI.

Last Sunday, the coin toss at the beginning of OT that the Patriots won took the ball out of the hands of this season’s expected MVP Patrick Mahomes. Once again, they marched down the field and scored a touchdown, not letting the most talented young QB to even touch the ball. So, I will propose several NFL changes to make the overtimes more even in a game that has changed so the offense will always be successful.

Idea #1: Go to college football overtime rules

College football overtime rules are very entertaining and much, much better than NFL overtime rules. In college, one team starts at the 25-yard line, going into the endzone and tries to score. Then, touchdown, field goal, or without points, the other team’s offense gets the ball at the 25 and tries to score. These rules give both offenses the ball and makes both defenses play. These rules are also used in high school football, but the ball is started at the 10-yard line. As I said, college is at the 25, so I think that the NFL should start at the 50-yard line. It would make it less of a guarantee that a kicker could make his field goal like starting at the 25-yard line would but still is not as challenging as going 75 or 80 yards.

Idea #2: Play a shorter “fifth quarter”

A regular quarter in an NFL game is 15 minutes and obviously ends after 15 minutes of game time. In OT in the playoffs, the OT could last 15 minutes but because of the sudden death touchdown rule, often ends after whoever won the toss scores at TD. They could play a 10-minute OT period and and play it all the way through. If it is still tied after one period, then play a second period. This would give both teams a chance to have the ball and both defenses a chance to get beat.

Idea #3: Skills competitions*

NFL players are freak athletes and freakishly talented. We should let them show their talent to show the best players and who should win the game. Each team has different positions do drills, and have a best of seven series to decide the winner. Have the QBs try to hit various targets moving further and further away until one misses, then the winning QB earns his team one point. Then, have receivers do one-on-one with defensive backs, best of three series to see if the offense or defense gets a point. My last skills competition suggestion is for kickers. Have them try to kick the ball into one of the field goal post uprights. Moving further back as needed. However, the Bears may have an unfair advantage in this competition because their kicker is Mr. Upright, Cody Parkey.

These NFL rules seriously need to change. Imagine and MLB game going to extra innings and the visitors score a run in the top of the inning, ending the sudden death MLB game. Or, starting and NBA OT with the jump ball, but the team that wins the jump ball gets to keep the ball the whole overtime, not letting Lebron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo touch the ball. That seems ludicrous, but that is basically what the NFL is doing with their current rules.


*This suggestion is obviously a joke but is still better than the current NFL OT rules.


#SPEAKOUT: Check yes or no

By Danielle Sheally

Let’s take a hypothetical situation with Tom and Suzie.  Tom likes Suzie, so Tom asks her out.  The thing about Suzie is that she doesn’t have a wheelchair stuck to her butt.

I think that it’s hard for a guy to be comfortable with physically moving me or transferring me from place to place if they needed to. The guys are scared to move me from the car to a wheelchair if we go out on a date to the movies or even from my chair to the couch to watch t.v.  I think they are scared of hurting me, but I don’t think they realize just how strong my body is physically and that they won’t break me.

Dating is difficult for me.  The guys that I get close to, get attached to me personally and emotionally, but the part that’s also difficult is the physical part of the equation.  Honestly, they are scared of physically hurting me when I come out of my chair so I think that’s where they become standoffish.  For example, say we get very close, and we go on several dates, after spending so much time together, I proceed to take it one step further.  But, as always, there’s the common rejection statement, “you are a nice girl, but I just see us as just friends”.

I always tend to be the first one to fall for guys but they don’t want to let themselves fall with me.  I believe just because I don’t wear tons of makeup and wear vintage clothes they don’t see me as being attractive.  In country songs they always talk about the girl with no makeup on or in a simple outfit being the one they fall for.

When you truly love someone, it doesn’t matter what she looks like, what she sounds like or if  she has expensive clothes or not, you should fall for the person that she is.  We know when we fall for someone because, we see that one person and it’s like they have a special glow around them.

So, maybe I just need someone that sees that special glow around me?


Dangers of tanning beds ignored

By Claire DeFrancisci

Being tan makes people look good. It will make the colors in their clothes pop, brings out their hair and eye color, and it is even said that to make people look thinner. But is it worth it?

Going to a tanning bed, even once in a while, increases one’s chances of developing melanoma by 75 percent. Melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers and can have a low survival rate. I am sure most tanning bed-goers have heard this many times, yet many continue to go and can develop a habit of it. What they usually fail to do is actually research what they are doing to their bodies.

It is hard to ignore when I see people on Facebook or Twitter that post things like “Addicted to tanning :),” in the middle of winter. If it is January, it is not natural to come to school looking like you just got back from a month long trip to the Bahamas. Most people are significantly paler in the winter; it is not necessary to bake yourself in a tube in order to look tanner than everybody else.

While tanning beds give you a “healthy” glow, they also mutate the DNA and lower the power of the immune system, making someone extremely prone to cancer. Unfortunately, tanning beds are usually associated with melanoma, the deadliest of all skin cancers.

People do not worry about getting melanoma because they think that they are not in danger of it until they get older are wrong.  However, melanoma usually strikes between the ages of 15-29.  If the cancer is not diagnosed immediately, people have less than 10 percent chance of survival.

Tanning is not something to overlook, and most definitely not something you want to form into a habit. If being tan is seriously important to someone, artificial tanning is a healthier option. Spray tanning is often looked down upon because people usually come out of it looking more orange than tan, but choosing it over tanning beds can be a more important decision than you think.

Personalities persuaded by peer pressure

By Danielle Rehor
Acoustic Thoughts
I am sitting in class, surrounded by robots. Teens who look the same, act the same, talk the same, and treat others the same way. No, this is not the opening scene from the next science fiction movie. This, boys and girls, is real life.

When we are little, we are bombarded with ‘just be yourself’ and ‘I love you just the way you are.’ So we proudly march out to the bus on the first day of kindergarten with our Winnie the Pooh backpack and clothes that probably do not match. As we step into the elementary school, we see billions of kids milling around with their friends, and we think. ‘This is not what I signed up for. Where are my friends?’

Quickly, we learn to ‘adapt.’ We change to please people and make friends. I call this survival of the fittest. What our world categorizes as ‘succeeding’ is a multitude of ‘friends,’ a look similar to pop stars, and money. Maybe that is also what you categorize as success, but I believe there is more to it.

I have had many friends from middle and high school who have been taken and twisted by the grasps of society to become the ‘social norm.’ They believe they must conform to an idea of skin and bones, raccoon eyes, bleach-blond hair, and booty shorts to truly be ‘someone.’

But in reality, the someones are just that: someone. Not just anyone. People that I consider ‘not just anyone,’ or someones are those that go out and do something for themselves, be a first, do something different, and are not willing to conform to fit in. Those are the someones. They do not obsess over who is their friend and who is not. They do not concern themselves with seeming cool. They have the confidence to make their own decisions and be their own person.

My question to you is: how much of your personality is lost in trying to fit in?

We are born with certain quirks, some adorable, some not as much, but do we try to embrace these quirks or instead shrug them off? Personalities are to be embraced. They make us who we are. Our morals and personality are all we have of value. They are what we will be recognized and remembered for, not what brand of clothing we wore, or if we were up to date with trends. We have to remember what is going to stay with us for the rest of our days: what we do and what we say.

Someone who clearly has himself figured out is Apple figurehead Steve Jobs. This quote really embodies what we should strive to do. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

We are all different, but what we do with our peculiarities is up to each and every one of us. Are you going to stand out with courage or instead blend into the background, being just another ‘everyone else’? If you think rationally, we all fall short of being someone’s imitation.

We are best being ourselves. Not a carbon copy of anyone else.

Graphic By Summer Haynes