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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Why Study? Watch sports

It is the beginning of exam week, which leads the student body with one essential question – “How do I put off studying for my exams?”

Fear not, because the world of sports is always there for you. Instead of trying to dissect the geopolitical climate of Western Europe during the late 1800s why not indulge in a little basketball?

Instead of trying to load as much information into your graphing calculator as humanly possible watch a lumberjack competition.

And then of course there is appointment viewing that should not be missed – two words: Scrabble. Championships.

Here is a handy guide to the procrastinating populace that might not have something better to do, but want to avoid thinking for a few hours.

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Monday

6:30 p.m.: Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith (ESPN)

The resident rabble-rouser of ESPN is a love him or hate him figure. Either way he usually manages to entertain for his allotted hour – that is if he isn’t kissing the rear of one of the sports world’s superstars. He is usually at his best when something makes him angry, and that seems to happen quite a bit.

8 p.m.: Code Breakers

ESPN lives up to the “E” in their name by running an original film about cheating at West Point academy, including the son of the football coach. The coach is played by Scott Glenn who used to be in good movies like Nashville, Apocalypse Now, Urban Cowboy and The Right Stuff. Now he is sharing top billing with Zachary Ty Bryan. Apparently ESPN is the place where respectable actors are put out to pasture – Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy. Not a good sign for Barry Pepper.

9 p.m.: Monday Night Football – Saints at Falcons (13 ABC)

Once you realize that “Codebreakers” is no good flip on Monday Night Football for what could be a very entertaining games between two cousins (Aaron Brooks and Michael Vick respectively). However, you may want to watch the game with your volume turned down because they are going to be talking about two things ad nauseum: 1. Michael Vick’s amazing athletic abilities (curiously they will avoid talking about how he’s not a very good quarterback yet) 2. The Saints’ difficult season dealing with Hurricane Katrina. If it seems like you’ve heard about these topics before it is because you have, you just have to roll with it.

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Tuesday

1 a.m.: Exceptional Driver Championship (ESPN)

A group of top amateurs try to win a competition that includes both long drives and incredible accuracy. It’s a shame that because it is an amateur competition people will be robbed of the chance to see an oft-kilter John Daly crush the ball 450 yards. But, it is still a chance to watch a little golf without all the boring parts (i.e.: walking, chipping, putting etc.)

1 p.m.: NBA’s Greatest Games: 1983 – Pistons at Nuggets

This one should not be missed. Not only are the Nuggets sporting what could be the most hideous uniforms in the entire history of professional athletics, but it is also one of the most memorable games in the league’s history. The final score was 186-183 in triple overtime – the highest score in NBA history.

Five other NBA records were broken that game including field goals (142), most points for one team (Pistons’ 186) and field goals (Pistons’ 74), most players scoring 40 or more points (four) and most assists in a game (93).

8 p.m. Costas Now (HBO)

Any time you have the opportunity to watch Bob Costas take it. In this episode of his monthly magazine style talker Costas chats up New England’s Tom Brady, who was recently named Sports Illustrated’s Man of the Year.

Costas is truly an enigma in the sports world. He has the silky voice of Joe Buck, only with talent. He has the insight of Ernie Harwell, but his anecdotes are only half as long. And, he has the humor of Bob Uecker, but with better seats.

9 p.m.: Top 5 Reasons you Can’t Blame Earnest Bryer (ESPN Classic)

Browns fans know about “the fumble.” Now, poor Earnest Bryer has an entire show dedicated to why he should not be crucified for his fumble on the 3-yard-line in the AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos with 65 seconds remaining.

Of course Byner went on to do what a lot of Browns players manage – achieve success after they leave. Even though he made the Pro Bowl twice with Washington and won a Super Bowl ring he will always be remembered for that single play that crushed the spirits of an entire city.

11 p.m.: Madden Nation (ESPN 2)

This show chronicles the massive success of the Madden franchise of football games. Not only does the show feature the best players in the country playing in tournaments, but they also have celebrities square off against each other for a little pride. Hopefully we’ll also get the kind of insightful commentary that only a crank like John Madden can deliver.

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Wednesday

3 p.m.: Darts: Dester Classic (Fox Sports Ohio)

I am a little leery of this program only because it takes place in Las Vegas. The problem with that is it might not feature the rowdy one-time soccer hooligans that populate the Darts shows broadcast from Europe. If you haven’t heard a room full of 200 beer-drinking middle-aged men hoot and holler after someone gets three triple 20s then you have not lived your life to the fullest.

8 p.m.: NBA – Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks (ESPN)

This game will be a battle for second-best in the West, which frankly, isn’t anything to feel bad about. No one is going to topple the Spurs until maybe playoff time. The fact is people expected a big-time drop-off from both Dallas (hey, its hard not to be down on a team with $60 million stiff Erik Dampier at center) and the Amare-less Suns. They have proved their doubters wrong as Dirk Nowitzski has played himself back into MVP-caliber shape and Dallas’ swing men continue to improve and the Suns are still the fun run and gun team they were last year.

Honestly, how does Mike D’Antoni not win coach of the year when he had the inexplicably brilliant idea of putting shooting-guard Boris Diaw at center. Speaking of Diaw, how do you think the Hawks like that Joe Johnson trade now? Diaw is not only outplaying Johnson but he is making $11 million less this season and came with two first round draft picks. Picks that will certainly be high seeing as how Atlanta still sucks. Oh yeah, and the Hawks selected Marvin Williams over Chris Paul. Ouch.

8:30 p.m.: Dare to Dream: The Story of the US Women’s Soccer Team

Not only do you get a chance to watch a dramatization of a women’s sports team to serve as an inspiration for young girls everywhere, a chance to see terrifically directed sports action scenes and a chance to see a story of will and triumph but you get to see a reenactment of Brandi Chastain’s victory celebration.

Thursday

2 a.m.: Import Racers (ESPN 2)

It’s like Fast and the Furious but not directed by a lobotomized monkey. This show hosted by the X-Game’s Sal Masakala highlights the increasingly popular import car scene. Mostly young men spend a lot of time taking Honda Accord’s and retrofitting them into some of the fastest and tightest turning cars in the world.

Not only do they highlight traditional races, but also drag racing and drifting whose popularity has crossed over from Japan into the United States. Drifting deals with maneuvering through a course by accelerating through straight-aways and then using the emergency hand brake to go sideways around turns. If you are a car enthusiast (there are many) and can stomach Sal Masakala (there are few) you should give this show a try.

10:30 p.m.: NBA – Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors

Here is your chance to see one of the most overrated point guards in the league (Baron Davis) before his inevitable ankle injury that sidelines him for much of the rest of the season. It is also probably one of your final chances to see Jeff Van Gundy before he gets axed in favor of someone with more hair and can actually win with a team featuring one of the best players in the league, Tracy McGrady, and a 7 foot 6 inch player with incredible shooting touch, Yao Ming.

2 p.m.: Lumberjack Competition: Stihl Timbersports Series (ESPN 2)

Maybe it is because I’m a city boy who has only chopped wood once in his life but I am always fascinated by the lumberjack events on ESPN. The events are unique, short and interesting so it is an excellent way to put off studying for 30 minutes.

7 p.m.: Real Sports – 35 Years of Monday Night Football

You’ve spent your whole life watching it so you shouldn’t miss this retrospective on one of HBO’s typically great sports programs. Not only will you get to see their humble beginnings, but you’ll have a chance to learn just how crazy of a guy Howard Cosell is and get to see a few clips of the standard MNF crew try and not express their hatred for Dennis Miller live on the air and instead laugh off all the jokes they didn’t understand in an incredibly awkward way. If your lucky you may even get some insight into how Frank Gifford manages to handle Kathy Lee after all these years.

8 p.m.: Inside the NFL

This show is everything you wish that NFL shows on Fox, CBS and ESPN were, and then some. The best part is there isn’t a John Madden, Terry Bradshaw or Chris Berman in sight.

8 p.m.: NBA – Denver Nuggets at Cleveland Cavaliers

Two of the top three picks (sorry Darko) face off on national television as LeBron’s Cavs face Carmelo’s Nuggets. Both teams have been struggling of late and both superstars have been hogging the ball too much. However, any time you get a chance to see top picks from what may, when it is all said and done, go down as the best draft in NBA history you should take it.

Don’t believe that it will happen that way? Well not only did that draft feature James and Anthony but also Toronto’s Chris Bosh, Miami’s Dwayne Wade, Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich, Milwaukee’s TJ Ford, New Orleans’ David West, Phoenix’s Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa, Dallas’ Josh Howard. There were also some players that may still break out big-time including Darko Milicic, Chris Kaman, Mickael Pietrus, Mike Sweetney, Nick Collison, Zoran Planinic, Carlos Delfino, Kendrick Perkins and Kyle Korver.

Women’s Volleyball Semifinal

I’m not sure who is playing this semi-final match-up but there are a few things to be certain about – it’s a chance to watch volleyball, which is a sport that doesn’t get that much national exposure, and it is a semifinal match so regardless of the competitors it is going to be top notch competition.

You know, in my formative years I used to prefer beach volleyball to indoor volleyball. I guess it was probably for the obvious reasons – there were girls in bikinis playing sports. However, as I have gotten older I have realized that isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I guess I am just over seeing women that have been out in the sun so long that their skin looks like beef jerky.

Friday

3 a.m.: Scrabble Champion-ships

After you’ve studied for your final exam or maybe you’re just topping off a bender since your final exam on Tuesday you have to take the opportunity to watch the Scrabble Championships. I mean c’mon, it is Scrabble. Not only that, but it is the best players in the entire world… at Scrabble. It doesn’t get any better than that.

After that get some sleep, take that final exam and then party until you pass out and wake up just in time for the Browns game on Sunday.

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