Is Baseball Dying?

by Mitchell Karcher

Once America’s pastime, baseball was a powerhouse other sports could barely compete with.  However, since its prime during the 1970’s-1980’s, baseball has been steadily losing steam. Once wheeling in about 80,000 viewers per game the viewer ship has since decreased to about 30,000 per game, raising the question is baseball dying, and why?

Attendance can be attributed to to various factors such as interest. As varsity baseball player Keaton Hamilton was quick to point out, “I don’t know if baseball is actually dying. If there is less attendance, like you said, it could be attributed to loss in interest for current players.”

If baseball is not dying, there is no debating the fact that baseball is not as popular today as other sports. With the last seven World Series being the least watched (with exception to the 2016 series), other sports have surpassed far in popularity among younger generations.

A poll given in 2000 stated that roughly 8.8 million American kids were involved in baseball, however in 2013 that number plunged down to roughly 5.3 million kids.

So why has baseball lost its cool?

Baseball being a slower sport compared to football and basketball has a huge impact, and in a generation with such a fast paced society such as ours today, it’s no wonder that the majority of baseball fans nowadays are 40 years and older.

Wanting to know what more of the current generation, multiple students around GHS were asked about what they thought about the sport. When asked what she thought about the statement “baseball is dying,” Paige Gkekas said “I don’t doubt that claim. Baseball, I have always thought was very slow, and I never had a great interest for it.”

Though the counter argument can be made that baseball is still thriving. It is financially at its peak, with the league making 7 billion dollars. This can be largely attributed to inflation rates and effective commercial advertising. With constant change in a fast paced world, the question that now stands is “will baseball ever return to its peak, or will baseball eventually die out?”

 

 

Is Fantasy Football a problem?

by Mitchell Karcher

Every Sunday, around 33 million are frantically looking at their fantasy lineup in hopes that their fantasy team will produce a win for them. Whether they are involved in a league concerning money, or just simply love the competition, it is fair to assume that fantasy football is one of the most addicting games out there.

For those who don’t know what fantasy football is, essentially around ten people in a league draft players from the NFL to play for their fantasy team. In turn, every yard, completion, and a touchdown that player gains, gives their team a certain amount of points, which adds together with the rest of the players on the team.

Though many criticize the game for taking the team aspect and interest out of the game, the $70 billion dollars made yearly off fantasy leagues would argue otherwise. Obviously, a lot of people are playing this game, which generates $11 billion towards the NFL. It’s a great business, however, the real question is whether or not this game is good for NFL players?

GHS Miles Balley, JV football player, had an interesting take on if the game is actually good for the player.

“This year I had the first round pick in my fantasy football league. Having knowledge of the players, I went after and got David Johnson. Unfortunately, the first game of the season he broke his wrist, ending his season along with my hopes of winning my fantasy football league,” Balley said. “My immediate reaction was anger towards him until I came to my senses and realized he’s just a normal guy who got hurt in a football game. So in relation to is it good for players, I would have to say it can’t be great if people are getting mad at NFL players for losing their fantasy season for them. It just doesn’t seem like a healthy fan relationship.”

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Interesting enough it seems as though many NFL players have this same opinion. Being the ones that are risking their physical health, many of the players feel that it is unfair to judge a player based on what he can do for their fantasy team. In response to being asked what he thinks about fantasy football, Richard Sherman, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks gave his honest opinion.

According to The Seattle Times, he said, “You are thinking oh man, he’s messing up my fantasy team, but they don’t care how it affects your fantasy team, because they are real players, and this is real life.”

However, not everyone had the same opinion that Miles and Richard had on the subject.  Aiden Herrema, JV cornerback, made a counter to the previous comments.

“When I used to watch football when I didn’t play fantasy, I knew pretty much the players on the Lions and the superstars of the league, but after I started playing I would honestly say I more than doubled my knowledge of players playing in the league, people I never knew existed all of a sudden popped up on my roster, and I started to acknowledge more players.”

There really seems to be two trains of thought on this matter as other students  essentially said the same exact thing. People have very little knowledge of the players before they start playing fantasy.

In a fast-paced constantly changing world, people feel the need to be in control. Fantasy football allows average people to feel that they have some sort of control in the football world, but whether this helps the NFL player’s reputation or damages it is still up for consideration.

 

 

Beyond Rap’s Bad Rep

by Mitchell Karcher

Many people hold strong opinions on rap/hip-hop music, whether they love it or despise it, it is one of the biggest music genres to date. However, due to its vulgarity, several people refuse to listen it and group it all in the same category as what they consider “garbage rap.”

This unfair description is a gross generalization that cuts down what this form of art truly is.

“There’s Alot Going On” by Vic Mensa is a gem that represents rap as a true form of poetic of speech. Flowing with the background music Vic backs his speech with genuine emotion as he raps about his starting phase of addiction and partying while writing his music. He then dives into his troubled relationship with his girlfriend at the time, Natalie. He abused her and proceeds to explain he was in the wrong as he was taking all of his aggression out on her after his band broke up, which let him down from high expectations.  He continues with explaining his serious drug addiction and recovery stating he moved back home to his mom’s basement before he made it big in the rap industry.

With research focus in urban arts, Dr. Emery Petchauer, an associate professor and coordinator of the English education program at MSU, speaks more in depth about hip-hop as a genre and culture.

When asked why hip-hop has surpassed other music genres, he said, hip-hop music appeals “to diverse experiences among people,” and “music with heavy drums (like hip-hop) has a really broad appeal to people because drums are universal. Hip hop may “speak” to some people because of the beat alone, or the beat at first. That’s why we dance to hip-hop music sometimes and are not even thinking about the words!”

Speaking on this level, it is perfectly understandable why music like Vic Mensa’s has become so mainstream.