NFL Punishments Getting Out of Hand

Newest  NFL suspension controversy causes backlash from fans.

The latest controversy involves the two cases of Tom Brady and Greg Hardy- both serving a 4 game suspension during the 2015 season after participating in the NFL’s appeal process.

Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, lost his appeal after being accused of having prior knowledge and withholding evidence regarding the deflation of game balls during the 2015 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. In the case of Hardy, defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, Commissioner Rodger Goodell granted an appeal reducing his suspension from 10 games to 4. According to NFL.com, “The NFL’s investigation concluded that Hardy violated the Personal Conduct Policy by using physical force against Nicole Holder in at least four instances.”

Most importantly- these decisions should be reviewed by Goodell because having Hardy and Brady serve the same suspension times reinforces the notion that wins and making a profit are more important than having morals and being an upstanding person in society. This sends a bad message to the fans. Expressing that the NFL values protecting a few ticks of PSI levels in game balls more than the safety and well being of women in our society.

When looking at deciding factors of this case, many fans now are concerned that decisions may not have been made in the best interest of the players, NFL, or the viewing audience. No consideration was made about the impact this decision would have- reinforcing the standards regarding how to conduct ourselves as human beings in society.

In the case of Brady, all evidence used to make the decision is circumstantial. An article published by footballnation.com states, Goodell is neglecting the fact that the ball boy would have had only 90 seconds to complete the deflation to the precise measurements in a stadium bathroom. It further states, “the NFL found that the Colts also played the AFC title game with footballs that measured under the legal limit. The league simply ignored the fact that 3 out of 4 Colts footballs measured under the hallowed 12.5 PSI (upon which the NFL tells us rests the integrity of the game), as if the rules applied to only one team.”  

With Brady’s punishment, it seems as though Goodell felt it would be more beneficial for the Patriots and Tom Brady to suffer a short-term pain, in order to prove a point about the league’s integrity. Not wanting to repunish Hardy, Goodell chose to reduce the sentencing. This, however, equates Hardy’s behavior to be equivalent to Brady’s alleged actions.

As the commissioner, Goodell has an obligation to make decisions based on the best interest of the organization and all teams involved in the league. He also has an obligation to uphold the universal playing standards, which do not differ from sport to sport. As one of the most powerful sports organizations in the world, the NFL and it’s players serve as influential role models. Many fans feel Goodell did not act in their best interest- allowing the NFL and it’s players to not consider their roles as major influencers shaping our youth.        

Acceptance of enduring short-term pain for long-term gain is exactly what we’re seeing here. The willingness to ignore blatant wrongs and bypass clear actions for the possibility of a long-term gain in the future is unacceptable. Goodell once again put the long-term gain and benefit of the NFL above individual rights in our society. I find this unethical because if the suspensions are the same, Goodell and the NFL are blatantly ignoring the wrongs of Hardy. This demonstrates that Hardy’s worth to the organization is greater than the safety of women in our society.  

These two grievances as many fans have expressed cannot be compared morally or ethically. The consequences of the ball deflation debacle is clearly not as ethically damaging to our society or the NFL audience as a domestic violence situation. When looking at these two cases, one can see that while Tom's alleged actions may have been detrimental to the league, Hardy's actions were far worse and had a far greater negative impact on both society and the NFL. Many fans and I feel that Goodell needs to acknowledge his obligations to individuals, the fans, and the NFL organization.

Oregon Ducks Look to Dominate Oregon State Beavers in Civil War Series

Oregon Ducks enter Civil War matchup with question marks in starting rotation.

Eugene, OR — Oregon baseball will host the Oregon State Beavers in a three-game Civil War matchup at PK Park this weekend. Despite the Ducks’ defensive woes in recent weeks — they committed seven fielding errors in a series against California — their bullpen has managed picked up the slack. In five games last week, the bullpen accumulated 47 strikeouts. 

Entering the Civil War, however, Oregon’s starting rotation is riddled with question marks. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Cole Irvin, who underwent Tommy John surgery before the season, will face one of the premier starters in the country in Oregon State right-hander Andrew Moore to open the series. Oregon has yet to determine its starting pitchers for Saturday and Sunday, as both junior Conor Harber and senior Jack Karraker are out with injuries. 

Harber, who was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after throwing six no-hit innings of relief against New Mexico State in mid-February, left the game due to shoulder tightness in the third inning against Michigan State on April 4. Karraker, the latest Duck to suffer a season-ending injury, hurt his elbow last Sunday against California and joined senior Steven Packard (shoulder), sophomore A.J. Balta (ACL), and sophomore Matt Krook (ACL) on the injured reserve.

With Harber and Karraker out, the Ducks will most likely look to 6-foot-6 freshman left-hander David Peterson to pick up the start either Saturday or Sunday. 

Although the Ducks’ roster is running thin, the outlook for the remainder of the season would be optimistic with a series win over the Beavers. Seniors Shaun Chase and Mitchell Tolman must make their presences felt at the plate to help push Oregon toward an NCAA Tournament bid. 

The Civil War series will be televised on both ESPNU and Pac-12 Networks. For a recap of the series, check back on our website at the conclusion of the weekend.

Live Review: Yelawolf's "Slumerican Made Tour"

 Tons of eager fans gathered in the brisk air on the blocks surrounding the corner of 11th and Lincoln Street. 

Eugene, OR- This last Tuesday, Alabama born hip-hop artist, Yelawolf, paid a visit to our very own WOW Hall. The energy in the air buzzed as the crowd anxiously waited to make there way passed security and into WOW, which had been transformed into a retro Mexican frontier. Entering the hall, one saw, an old-fashion Mexican blanket spread across a table along with cans of Monster Energy Drink and PBR, single candlesticks burning and a bull’s skull in the left corner of the stage. Center stage, we find a large black flag with white stars and lightening bolts hanging and DJ Klever’s equipment encased in the front half of a black 1949 Chevy pickup truck with white detailing. 

The night started off incredibly strong with openers- Big Henry, followed by Rittz, elevating the sold out audience’s liveliness to new levels. Rittz performed several favorites off of his newest album “Next to Nothing”- released September 9, 2014- including “Turn Down”, “Bounce”, “White Rapper”, and “Like I Am”. Both, Big Henry and Rittz’s, quick, articulate rhymes and gripping acapella flows, engaged the crowd- making them rowdy and more than prepared to see their headliner. 

Smoke emitted and the crowd erupted as Yelawolf took the stage- opening with “Honey Brown”, a single off his upcoming album “Love Story”.  Featuring a wide variety of material off of several of his albums- a few songs performed by Yelawolf during his set were “Pop The Trunk” and “I Just Wanna Party”. For two of the more serious songs of his set, Yelawolf got up close and personal, gracing the audience with the removal of his sunglasses. The remainder of his set embraced the passion and energy that was being emitted from both on stage and the crowd, getting so rowdy beer was exploded onto the audience from the stage. 

Yelawolf mixes the lyricisms and rhythmic beats of rap, the head-banging dynamics of rock, and the authentic twang of his Southern roots to connect with broad audiences- making him perfect for collaborations and features with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Big Hud, Hopsin, Juicy J, and A$AP Rocky. 

As an ending to another incredible sold out show on the "Slumerican Made Tour", Yelawolf had Rittz rejoin the stage to perform "Box Chevy". He then gave the audience a preview of "Whiskey In A Bottle"- off his upcoming album- and closed with his hits "Daddy's Lambo" and "Till It's Gone".

The tour kicked off in Birmingham, AL, Wednesday- October 22 and is set to wrap up in Nashville, TN, Sunday- December 21, 2014. Coming in on the last stretch of his “Slumerican Made Tour”, Yelawolf has sold out nearly every venue so far. Yelawolf’s highly anticipated, upcoming album, “Love Story”, has had consistent postponement and the release date has not yet been announced. It is said to be a more passionate album compared to that of his debut and hopes are it will be released late 2014, early 2015. 

Live Review: The Lone Bellow's Tour

They enticed us, captured us, and forever stole our hearts with their perfectly pitched 3-part harmonies and heartfelt lyrics. 

Growing up in the same neighborhood of Brooklyn, these three previously solo artists, met at a local diner one morning and performed together for the first time in 2010. The result was nothing short of magical with lead singer and main songwriter, Zach Williams, recalling, “Three songs in I realized I should quit what I was doing and just make music with these people.”  

Twitter The Lone Bellow First Post.jpg

The inspiration for the trio’s name originated from a ghost story told to Williams by his grandmother when he was a young boy living in Georgia and the rest was history. When trying to describe this group’s original and eclectic sound, iTunes describes it as “a polished pastoral blend of acoustic folk, country rock, Southern gospel, and blue-eyed soul”, while Williams of The Lone Bellow says “it’s like a smorgasbord of sound with whatever kind of emotion is needed. We really just play what comes natural.” 

With either description it is very clear The Lone Bellow take their authenticity and sound truly to heart. First time in Eugene, this show was one unlike any other from start to finish. With only roughly thirty-forty people in attendance, opener, Hugh Bob and The Hustle, and headliner, The Lone Bellow, both received standing ovations and cheers of encore requests being shouted from the crowd. When walking into WOW Hall, audience members were transported to the South, with rustic lanterns hanging from the ceiling emitting a low, dimly lit atmosphere. This made for an extremely intimate experience for both the audience as well as the performers. “Watch Over Us” brought the crowd to dead silence and after the show; audience members described the experience as captivating. This atmosphere also perfectly fit into The Lone Bellow’s goal of capturing the raw emotion and original feeling of being in the moment that they attempt to capture during their writing process.

When looking for inspiration, female vocalist and mandolin player, Kanene Pipkin, expressed that a lot is drawn from stories of their fans told to them while on the road. “Then we kind of start writing as a means to communicate to the people we’ve met on the road and to honor them,” explained Pipkin. 

For their encore, The Lone Bellow finished with every performer of the night, bringing out Hugh Bob and the Hustle and together performed two songs. Finishing with "Carry Away", one could really feel the family-like closeness between both groups. The audience's energy was magical and the performers, with smiles on their faces, beamed with the enjoyment of an extremely well done performance. The Lone Bellow's response perfectly summed up the events that took place in WOW Hall that warm October, Saturday night. With the utmost gratitude and humbleness they stated

 "Oh man, it was so great and so encouraging. There were moments where you could here a pin drop and then there were moments of pure celebration. It felt very free and the support from the audience was beautiful." 

The Lone Bellow’s newest single, “Then Came the Morning” was released October 7th and their second album is due to release early January 2015. 

Childish Gambino Does It Again with Release of New Surprise Mixtape

Childish Gambino is an all-around entertainment mogul. He has mostly done work in stand-up, written comedy, and acting under his birth name, Donald Glover. Since 2011, however, we've all known and loved him as this eclectic and artsy party tunes making rapper/singer, Childish Gambino. 

On October 2, after announcing the delay of his highly anticipated EP with Chance the Rapper, Gambino, once again, shocked the world with a surprise release of mixtape, STN MTN, just hours before his release of EP, Kauai, on iTunes. 

When listening to the full 11-track STN MTN/Kauai mixtape/EP, the listeners are given an opportunity to truly experience the multiple sides of Gambino- a lasting impression of which is amazing!

STN MTN gives a more typical and expected Gambino sound- with clever flows and rhyming over catchy beats in addition to structurally solid instrumentation. Using beats from others, as well as some produced by himself, Gambino did a great job blending the different sounds and influences of his collaborators. STN MTN starts off with "Dream/Southern Hospitality/Partna Dem"- a quick-paced and lyrically driven mashup. Here Gambino takes us to the street of his home in Atlanta, Georgia referencing events and motifs common to the Southern city. "No Small Talk" is the third track of the growlingly popular mixtape. Featuring fellow 30 Rock actress, Kari Faux, this track while extremely catchy is also slightly repetitive and similar in sound to the work of Juicy J.

Acquiring majority of his popularity from his upbeat and high-energy material, the expected "party songs" off the mixtape include, tacks- two "F***s Given", five "Move That Dope/Nextel Chirp/ Let Your Hair Blow", and ten "All Yall". Track eight, "U Don't Have to Call" demonstrates Gambino's growing versatility featuring an acappella verse and monologue from Cody Chestnutt. Candler Road", track nine, mixes a more traditional Southern flow and fresher ATL flow while Gambino lyrically expresses his satisfaction of perfectly timing the release of his personal brand and sound into the hip hop world. The eleventh and final track of STN MTN is one that is probably extremely familiar to most hip hop fans. In "Go DJ", Gambino puts a 2014 twist on Lil Wayne's 2004 hit.

In Kauai, Gambino transports us to the beachy island shores of beautiful Kauai- beginning with chill, laidback "Sober". Immediately leading into literal sounds of waves and seagulls on the second track, "Pop Thieves (Make It Feel Good)". In this second track, Gambino uses a bongo solo to lead into a mini monologue and rap feature by Jaden Smith.

Track three and four, "Retro" and "The Palisades", are the two upbeat tracks found on the 7-track EP, Kauai. "Retro" features very sharp piano rhythm and an electronic hum as well as a chorus sung completely by Gambino. "The Palisade" uses an optimistic guitar part for the main instrumental focus, with both Gambino and feature, Christian Rich, singing the entire track. This track also feautres a mini musical break roughly one minute, fifteen into the track. Here Gambino silences all instruments, keeping the pace of the song moving solely with finger snaps and his own voice.

"Poke", track 5, features Steve G Lover and displays both the rap and R&B sides of Gambino- majority of the track being a medium paced R&B chorus with solid rap verses. "V. 3005 (Beach Picnic Version)" ends this incredible journey. This remix of Gambino's previous worldwide his is relaxing and chill, transcending the listeners again to the beachy shores of Kauai- with audio clips of waves and birds placed intermittently throughout. This version is a more musically expressive take on the extremely popular original displaying Gambino's overall growth as a musician.

This entire mixtape/EP is nothing short of amazing and definitely a must hear for all. The SNT MTN mixtape can be found free for download multiple places online. However, the EP, Kauai, can be found at number seven on iTunes Top Albums and must be purchased. All proceeds attained are donated to help preserve the island of Kauai.