Las Vegas Raiders by Andrew English

Although the N.F.L. is still wary of gambling and its potential influence on games, the league has dismissed those concerns in order for the Oakland Raiders to move forward to move to Sin City in the very near future.

On Thursday January 19, the Oakland Raiders applied to relocate to Las Vegas. This would be a bid that will test the league, which has stridently opposed sports gambling for decades. Relocation of the Raiders would require approval from at least 24 of the 32 teams, and the earliest the owners are expected to vote is late March, when they are to meet in Phoenix. The Raiders have said they want to move to Nevada because they have failed for years to find a replacement for their home at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which is one of the oldest and most decrepit stadiums in the league. Local government officials have said they cannot pay a large share of the bill for a new sports facility, something the Raiders have demanded. “We’ll give them the home that Oakland couldn’t”, says Zach Ginter a former NDNU student and Las Vegas resident, “The city has been needing a sports team for the longest time. I know that the stadium cost along with gambling and betting may be a concern for the league, but I think in the long run it will benefit greatly to the city and the N.F.L.”

“The Bay Area won’t be the same without the Raiders”, said Brandon Davis, a local Bay Area resident, after the finding about Raiders abrupt move to Las Vegas. “I’ve been a Raiders fan for all of my life. My dad used to take me to Raider games when I was younger, it makes me upset that I may not possibly be able to do that and continue the legacy when I get kids.” However while most people in the Bay are upset about the Raiders sudden move, Jessica Beltran, a SoCal resident who plans to move to the Bay Area after graduation, thinks that the Raiders moving maybe a better plan in the long run. “I believe that Raiders moving will be good for the 49ers. With one team gone the Bay can focus more on having one main football team. Gold and Maroon looks better than black and white anyway.”

The Raiders tried to leave Oakland last year but failed to persuade the owners of other teams to let them build a new stadium in SoCal with the Chargers, who last week announced their move from San Diego to Los Angeles. The Raiders owner, Mark Davis, who also had talked with officials in San Antonio, began meeting with lawmakers in Nevada, who ultimately agreed to contribute $750 million in hotel taxes to help pay for a 1.9 billion dollar domed stadium that Davis wants to build in Las Vegas. However, the city plans to earn all that money back in five years time.

When it’s all said and done, Vegas needs a sports team more than the Bay. Why? The Bay already has a numerous amount of professional teams, it will help generate more money to the league itself, and to the hotels in Las Vegas. In addition Vegas is way more adept to handling the demands that a major football team needs. Oakland didn’t have enough income to support the Raiders and a move was definitely in the future, nonetheless, Raiders fans didn’t think it would come this quick. Las Vegas has more resources and a bigger area to expand than the Oakland Raiders in the Even though the Raiders 1.9 billion dollar football stadium will set them back a couple hundred million dollars, the long term results for the team moving will definitely out way the negatives.

The Burden on a Referee’s Back by Charlie Esquivel

A team winning or losing is often in the hands of referees, not just the players. There is an enormous amount of pressure dealt with by referees from making correct decisions, consistently being analysed and criticized, to being threatened with their lives.

Referees must make calls that change the course of sports history. In the 1976 NFL playoffs with the Patriots up by three points, in final two minutes, referee Ben Dreith called roughing the passer on New England’s Sugar Bear Hamilton after he hits Oakland QB Ken Stabler. Raiders went on to score a touchdown in the final minute to win 21-17, and ultimately win the Super Bowl. If Ben Dreith did not make the correct, roughing the passer call, the Patriots would have won the game. Raiders one missed call can change the course of history.

Apart from making correct calls, referees must withhold their biases and give both teams equal rights and protection. Referees are expected to be consistent with their judgement. If the referee makes one sided calls it will change the outcome of the game. The coaches and players have a high expectations of integrity from the referees. Wilcox High School, located in Santa Clara, varsity soccer coach, Ryan Jenkins says The outcome of every games lies in the faith of the referee’s ability to make good decisions.Frequently referees are faced with a situation where it is difficult to determined what happen during the play, therefore their decision is more so based on their judgment. Referees must quickly analyze the situation, scramble through their understanding of the rule book and make a legal decision based on the rules that will ultimately decide the outcome of the game. If the call is made one way it is expected that the same call will be made if the situation was for the opposing team. Often we find that is not the case and experience player or team biases from referees which eradicates opportunities for teams success. They can be crooks. If the referee has something against you, they will make calls against you. I often walk into my games and think, oh no not this guy, because I already know how the game is going to go. This has cost me drastically in a championship game, I felt so cheated, said Adolfo Ramirez, a soccer player that participates at Off the Wall indoor soccer facility in Santa Clara.

Referees are analyzed and often criticized for their choice of calls. There is ongoing pressure from their respective leagues to make correct calls to maintain their employment. The media is often the biggest critic of these referees. Sportscasters often headline referee missed calls or unfairness in game judgment. Referees often receive threats from players, owners and fans, some can even be life threatening. When asked, what is the worse threat you have ever received from anyone? Juan Romero, referee from Off the Wall replied I had to put a game to a stop entirely one day because I ejected a player. He openly disagreed with my call, going on to telling me that he will  have me taken care of. Now I dont what he meant by taken care of but from his demeanor I felt as though he was threatening my life. 

Tom Brady; San Mateo’s hometown hero by John Schrup

On February 3rd, 2017, Tom Brady became the only quarterback in NFL history to win 5 Super Bowl rings. This feat has Brady in the discussion for being the best quarterback of all time and possible in NFL history.

“I would have thought he was an all American in high school and the first round pick in the NFL draft,” said Senior Matt Richardson. That storyline sounds so plausible for arguably the best quarterback of all time, but in reality, he’s journey couldn’t have been more different.

Brady’s journey to being arguably the best Quarterback of all time started right here, in San Mateo County. Tom Brady grew up in San Mateo just a few miles from campus. He attended St. Gregory’s kindergarten through 8th grade and went to Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. The Brady family have donated tons of money to both schools and even have a part of the school named after them at St. Greg’s, called the “Brady Science Lab”.

At Serra he begin his freshman year on the football team as a backup quarterback and even played other positions on the team. Growing up he was a normal kid, “I’ve had better natural athletes than Tom Brady,” said his former coach at Serra Tom Mackenzie. 

Brady has come a long way from his years at Serra throwing touchdowns to Hall of famers and NFL greats. But before the super bowl winning touchdown passes his first touchdown was in a scrimmage to his high school teammate John Kirby.

“It was in a scrimmage up in St. Ignatius, I have the VCR tape somewhere and it was time for the backups to go in and it was his first play, the first play my DB fell down, he threw one up to me and next thing you know it was a 60 yard touchdowns.”

Brady graduated from Serra in 1995 with multiple division I offers to play baseball but decided to walk on at the University of Michigan to pursue his football career. When Brady go to Michigan he was the 7th quarterback on the depth chart and didn’t see a snap for his first two years on the team.

Brady started his Junior and Senior year at Michigan, doing a fine enough job to be a lightly regarded prospect for the NFL. With the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of 2000 NFL draft, The New England Patriots drafted Brady. In his first year Brady once again was riding the pine, but after an injury to the starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in his second season, Brady finally got the nod to start for an NFL team. After that, Brady never looked back leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory that same year.

16 years later, 7 super bowl appearances, five Super Bowl wins, four Super Bowl MVPs and two League MVPs later San Mateo’s hometown hero, is now in consideration for the best Quarterback of all time. Brady’s story is a perfect example of never giving up on a dream regardless of how many people doubt you

Are the Warriors Better with Kevin Durant? by John Schrup

Since the signing of superstar Kevin Durant last summer the question’s been stirring around the basketball world, are the Warriors going to be better than they were last year? Last season the Dubs posted the best regular season record in NBA history at 73-9 and were 1 game away from being back to back NBA champions. After their devastating loss in the finals up 3-1 to the Cavs, the Warriors franchise signed arguably the best player in the NBA to assure they would be Champions in the upcoming season.

Without a doubt any NBA team would love to have Kevin Durant but the accusation didn’t come cheap. The Warriors had to release starters Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut as well as key role players, Marreese Speights, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli and Brandon Rush in order to pay Durant the 27 million a season he demanded. The loss of almost half the team that got the Warriors to back to back championship appearances can prove to be problematic when raising the question, are the warriors going to be better with Kevin Durant? The last two seasons the Warriors have made history both individually as players and as a team, “Anyone who’s watched the warriors play over the last two seasons would argue that they were the best team of all time with chemistry both on and off the court . . . you can tell they were a family,” said Junior Mitch Fulfer.

Kevin Durant’s list of achievements are amongst the best who’ve ever played the game. He’s a two time scoring champion, one time league MVP, 4 time all NBA first team, Rookie of the year and the list of accolades go on and on. At almost 7 feet tall Durant’s unique ability to move and shoot like a guard but also play down low in the post makes him a matchup nightmare. With Durant the warriors add another scoring dimension to their already lethal combination with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The trio have a chance to become the best “Big 3” the NBA’s ever seen, a feat that’s nearly impossible to achieve but can only be achieved if they win multiple championships together.

45 games into the 2016-2017 seasons they’ve posted a record of 38-7 the best record in the NBA. Last season 45 games in, the Warriors were 43-2 and had won 24 straight games, the most in NBA history. Senior Trey-Shawn King Dunbar believes the difference between the two teams is, “consistency.”. “The highs this year are higher than last season but the lows are also lower”, said Mike Karimu. The warriors may be winning in bigger fashion than last season but they are also losing more often and by a wider margin. No one can argue that adding Kevin Durant an NBA superstar would make a team worse, but changing a lineup that many believed to be in the argument of one of the best all times can prove to be problematic. Only in time will we be able to know if the signing of Durant was a blessing or disaster. 

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The NFL’s Curious Drug Policy: How Painkillers Became An Acceptable Drug By Ryan Malley

If you have a back spasm, pop a pill, if you cannot make your cuts on your sprained ankle, pop a pill, if you are trying to get back to playing after shoulder surgery, maybe pop a few pills. But if you played Sunday night on the West Coast and then are playing Thursday night on the East Coast, and you are struggling to focus, that pill better not be Adderall.

All you have to do is turn on your television on Sundays in the Fall and you get to see the greatest athletes that the world has ever seen don armor that gladiators would be jealous of. Then these athletes run as hard as they can into each other for 60 minutes. There is no doubt football is an extremely physical sport. There is a reason that teams only play once a week. And to keep their bodies free from pain, the use of painkillers is a common occurrence in NFL locker rooms. Recently retired Detroit Lions Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson said, “the team doctors and trainers, they were giving them (pain killers) out like candy.”

If these NFL players continue to abuse to painkillers it can be extremely detrimental to their health. “Abuse can lead to kidney and liver failure, as well as increased risk of heart attack,” said Mindy Dioxy, an Assistant Athletic Trainer for NDNU.

What can be even more damaging is the continued abuse of painkillers by retires NFL players. A scientific study conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that retired NFL players misuse opioid pain medications at a rate more than four times that of the general population.

So why does the NFL have such a laissez-faire attitude towards painkillers, but will suspend a player who tests positive for Adderall?

The reason is that the NFL has labeled Adderall, the popular “study drug” for college students, as a performance enhancing drug (PED) as well as a drug of abuse. However, as stated the NFL does allow painkillers to help aid with a player’s ability to play through injury.

As of 2017, the NFL has determined that Adderall is a performance-enhancing drug. This means that by taking Adderall, your performance during games would be higher than if you did not take Adderall at all.  Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the NCAA have also enforced the same ruling.

As students, we may have an understanding of the NFL’s judgment on Adderall. The use of non-prescribed Adderall on college campuses can be a very common thing. According to the National Center for Health Research, a study of more than 10,000 college students from across the country found that more than half of students with an Adderall or other ADHD drug prescription were asked to sell the medication to peers and friends.

But if the NFL considers the use of Adderall to be cheating, what effects does Adderall have that would lead them to think this way? Dr Jessica DiVento who works in NDNU’s Health Services said, “For diagnosed patients with Attention Deficit Dissorder, Adderall can help them with their focus when they could otherwise not be able to do so.”

In the end, you can understand the NFL’s problem with the use of Adderall and other similar ADHD medication. Adderall has been seen as the NFL as a PED for its ability to aid in focus, which could give an unfair advantage to a player on the field. However, it brings up the question as to their ultimate motives when possibly harmful drugs like painkillers are encouraged and Adderall is not.

NCAA schools united around one goal by Charlie Esquivel

Academics and community service as the pathway to opportunity.

The NCAA provides college athletes with a pathway to opportunity. Although only 2% of college student athletes that play in NCAA sports make it into a professional sports league it serves as beneficial for the students and community.

The NCAA has eligibility requirements that students must meet in order to be eligible to play. The strict academic guidelines collegiate athletes must follow to participate provides these athletes with a high level of education. There are three divisions in the NCAA, all which vary with different eligibility requirements. Our own, NDNU participates in Division II. NCAA Division II college students must attend their classes, pass an average of 12 units per semester and maintain a 2.2 GPA. Incoming freshman must have a 2.2 GPA, pass 16 Core courses, score an accumulated total of 1,000 on the SAT, score of 19 on ACT composite score. There is an NCAA compliance coordinator for each school that is in charge of monitoring the student’s progress and making sure the student athletes are in compliance with the NCAA eligibility requirements. NDNUs, NCAA compliance coordinator is Tessa Nichols.

Most student athletes receive some type of financial aid, according to Jon Black, the head coach of the NDNU men’s lacrosse. Around 90% of his student athletes receive some sort of financial assistance. 

Being an NCAA college athlete is not only beneficial for the student but also the community. Jon Black mentioned that being an NCAA student athlete serves as beneficial for several different reasons, It forces them to increase time management skills which serves well for their future. After graduation when students are job seeking they are highly rated as candidates for the position because they were not only able to achieve a degree but also balance their well-being, and show commitment to a team. Another reason being a student athlete serves as beneficial is because it increases communication skills, student athletes have to work together to compete at a high level of athletics which leads to the high work ethic needed to for the team to achieve successes. NCAA student athletes also participate in wides varieties of community services and engagements. Jon Black mentions various community organizations the team raises money for that include St. Jude Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, Stanford Hospital, Vs. Cancer Foundation and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Jon Black said, “The NDNU Lacrosse team’s mission is to use our talents and gifts to inspire others, give back to the community and impact lives in a positive way. Over the last three academic years since arriving at NDNU, I’m pleased to share that the lacrosse team has volunteered just under 3,000 hours and raised over $15,000 for various non-profit organizations in the community and across the nation.  We look forward to continuing this mission and tradition of service for years to come.”

Men’s Soccer Recap by Tristan Alvarado

As the Argonaut men’s soccer team has finished their season it is time for a quick recap on how their season went for them.  The men’s soccer team finished the season with an overall record of 9-9 and in their conference ended with 7-6.  The season was full of its ups and downs. The Argonauts started their season with four straight away games.  They won one of those games against Stanislaus State with the final score being (1-0).  Their first game of the season was a loss to CSU Monterey Bay with the final score being (2-3).

In their first home game, here in beautiful Belmont, the Argos won a highly competitive match against Concordia Portland.  The match went into double overtime with final score being (3-2).  The game winner came from redshirt junior number 16, Robert Hines in the 102 minute of the game.  “I was just super happy that I scored for the team, especially after my early game mistake.  The only thing that went through my mind was to position myself to score a goal and help get the win.  I honestly can’t remember everything that went through my head because I was in the zone.” Said Hines. After the win over Concordia in double overtime the Argos would start playing games against teams who were in their Pac-West conference.  They would go onto adding two more wins in a row to their season.  With wins over BYU Hawaii and Hawaii Hilo at home.

It was an away season for the Argos.  They played a total of eleven away games this season out of their total eighteen games.  “Overall it was a learning season as we had a lot of freshmen come in and get a decent amount of time.  While we may not have placed as high in the table as we would have hope, many of the players gained valuable experience that will help us to succeed in the years to come.  Our team at times really excelled at possessing the ball and being patient, looking for the right time to attack, and we only ever lost games by beating ourselves, making small mistakes at critical points in the game.” Said junior goalie Carter Bishop.

It was the first time in many years that the men’s soccer team didn’t have a winning season and a fire has been started in the Argos to comeback next season on top.  “I think this is going to be a very big senior season since we have a very strong senior class, so it will be good to see where that takes us. ” Said junior forward and middle Chandler Alo.  “I think it’s all going to come down to chemistry.  I think we can not only win the PacWest conference but do well in the National Championship if we can focus on and build are on and off field chemistry.”  Said Alo.