Women In Sports

In January, the Women’s National Basketball Association agreed to new bargaining agreements for the upcoming 2020 basketball season this summer. This has been such an important and necessary announcement for a while. Women in sports have been underrepresented in various ways, rather being in the WNBA, reporting, hosting, and the list continues. In this sports industry, it has been a fight for women to receive the publicity that they needed and earned due to the world that has been put in.

In this agreement, it includes a 53% increase in pay rate, maternity benefits, and improved traveling conditions. Due to the new agreement players are now promised with “Premium Economy Class”, including individual accommodations for hotels when traveling. In addition to veteran players being covered up to $60,000 going towards adoption,surrogacy, fertility treatments all included in the new CBA. 

Last year the average WNBA player made about $113,000, now due to the increase and agreement they should be looking at about $130,000 including the bonuses that come along with this association. High ranked players can now earn more than $500,000 which is three times more than the compensation agreement. Comparing this data the National Basketball Associate known as the NBA average players makes about $7.7 Million for the season according to CNBC. 

This is a great way to get the WNBA Association on the move for better and great results soon. They have a countless number of athletes entering the draft. These ladies have performed on and off the court why this act should have been in place. From serving their communities, helping the youth, performing as a team together, hard work in the gym, the list continues. 

Due to this agreement it’s to believe the WNBA will not only be a growing association but one to represent why women deserve a spot in the sports industry, not only while playing the game but when it comes to broadcasting, reporting, hosting and more. While working together and giving the youth the guidance they will. This association will continue to be work in progress for the better such as an increasing fan base, increased salary/benefits and etc.

Author: Ja’Mya Kyle

Spring is here! Sort of.

It’s still cold and slightly rainy. It might still snow. The temperatures vary day to day, sometimes hour to hour. Spring is a good time for starting fresh. So what are the fun things Spring bring? 

  1. Sunshine! Will the sun does show in all four seasons, there’s just something special about the sun in spring.
  2. Flowers. There’s nothing better than a flowerbed or pot full of fresh flowers. Oh! And the way they smell! It’s just brings so much joy. Bonus: growing fruits and vegetables. It’s hard work, but totally worth it! 
  3. The warmer temperatures. This typically doesn’t come for a few weeks, but when it does, it is pure bliss. Moderate temperatures are truly amazing. No need to sweat or be cold! 60° allows you to wear a sweatshirt or a T-shirt and be comfortable. 
  4. More time with family and friends. With the temperatures warming up, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to sit outside with friends and family and take in the fresh air. 
  5. The colors! Pastels are so easy on the eyes. 
  6. The candy! If you go into any store around this time you will find a huge candy section. The candies are either pastel colors or they are in fun shapes. 
  7. Starting fresh. Yes, in theory the January 1st is the time to start fresh, but what motivation is there when there’s five feet of snow and lots of Netflix to watch? The warmer weather makes for a great setting for a walk.

This Season on the Bachelor…………

The 24th season of the Bachelor came to a close this past Monday, and if you watched any of Peter Weber’s journey to find love, then you know it was not an easy one. As Chris Harrison would put it, it was the most dramatic season of the bachelor yet.

Starting off like any other season, Pilot Pete was presented with 30 contestants. After meeting and speaking to each one, it was clear that there were a few front runners. The first night it was revealed that Kelley and Peter had previously met after running into each other in a hotel lobby. Some call it fate, but I call it incredible production. While these two were clearly hitting it off from the start, it was Hannah Ann who received the first impression rose.

Another leading lady of Peter’s season was Madison, who received the first one-on-one date, following Peter to his parents vowel renewal. She attended the ceremony sitting in the front row next to Peter and even caught the bouquet during the after-party. The date appeared as though it had gone flawlessly and Madison was given a rose.

Throughout the entirety of Peter’s season, it seemed as though the drama could always find its way into any situation. First there was Champaign-gate, which was then followed by Victoria F’s ex-boyfriend performing at her one-on-one. The drama then moved on to Alayah and her rose debacle, then found its way back to Victoria F. However, the peak of this journey occurred after filming concluded.

Peter’s season came down to Hannah Ann and Madison. Both women met Peter’s family and it was VERY clear they had a favorite. Barbara, Peter’s mother, grew extremely fond of Hannah Ann. The same could not be said for Madison. After giving Peter an ultimatum, Madison decided to leave, resulting in Hannah Ann being the lone survivor. Despite his extremely strong feelings for Madi, Peter decided to propose to Hannah Ann. It did not last long. Peter realized he had made a mistake and broke off the engagement. Chris Harrison then secretly went to Madison, telling her that Peter was single and encouraging her to meet back up with him. The two talked it over and decided to take things slowly, aka, get back together.

During the live showing, Chris Harrison brought out Madison and Peter to discuss the events that led up to the rekindling of their relationship. While discussing their history, they kept a camera on his mother, recording all of her reactions. She was not happy, to say the least. The camera caught every eye roll, every glare, and every comment. When asked how she felt, she held nothing back, expressing her concerns in a rather blunt fashion for live national television. The mother even went as far as to tell Chris that Peter’s “going to have to fail to succeed,” even following it up with, “everyone who knows him, knows it is not going to work.”  Fairly harsh words when the girl they are targeted toward is in the same room.

In summary, Pilot Pete’s season was a roller-coaster. There were surprises at every turn, things got turned upside down, and it flew by and was over before we knew it. But even after everything, we are left with one question: Does mother know best? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Michael Markoch’s Official 2020 NFL Mock Draft

As of this point when I constructed this mock draft, free agency had come and gone, and that involved some picks being traded.  Besides those already agreed upon trades, no trades will be made in this mock draft, just picks in the regular spots. So without further ado, let’s get started.

#1- Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, Quarterback, LSU- This is the worst kept secret in all of football, that is if it is supposed to even be a secret at all.  The Bengals who finished a league worst 2-14 last season are in dire need of a quarterback, and who else better than the reigning Heisman Trophy winner who is also from Southeastern Ohio himself?  It seems like a perfect fit and a great way to begin a rebuild.

#2- Washington Redskins: Chase Young, Defensive End, Ohio State- This pick is fishing in a barrel, it’s an obvious selection for a team that needs help everywhere.  The Redskins are looking for that presence that other teams fear, and no one in college football did that better than Chase Young last year.  With 16.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles, Young will do wonders for an aging Washington defense.

#3- Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State- With Matthew Stafford coming back and enough offensive weapons to get by, it’s time to address the 26th ranked scoring defense in the league last year, and because the Lions are making it known that they are shopping All-Pro cornerback, Darius Slay, it’s time to find his running mate, if not his replacement.  Okudah is clearly the best corner in the draft, with 3 interceptions and 9 pass breakups last year.  He also never didn’t a touchdown or had any penalties called on him last season, Okudah will give the Lions a stud in the secondary.

#4- New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, Linebacker, Clemson- Simply put, the Giants need help everywhere, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  The Giants were awful on defense last season, finishing 30th in scoring and 26th in yards allowed last season.  In comes Isaiah Simmons, an absolute nightmare for any team that faced him, who can be the face of the Giants defense.  He had over 100 tackles on a stacked Clemson defense last season where it’s a bit harder to stand out.  He can also play safety if needed, making him even more lethal.  Simmons’ stock has only been rising, and he finds a home in the Big Apple.

#5- Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama- This pick could’ve been telegraphed since last offseason when the Dolphins began their “Tank for Tua” campaign.  And while people thought the Dolphins might miss out thanks to some late season wins, it seems like they might get the guy they wanted all along.  Tagovailoa has had an injury-riddled career at Alabama, but his stats and talent speaks for itself, coming off of a 33-touchdown season despite playing only nine games while also being one of the most accurate passers in college football history.  Plus, anything is better than another season of Ryan Fitzpatrick, so Tua is the man of the future in Miami.

#6- Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Love, Quarterback, Utah State- Last season was disappointing, to say the least, for the Chargers as they finished 5-11.  It didn’t help that Philip Rivers is now no longer with the organization, meaning the Chargers need a quarterback for the first time in a while.  Some would say Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is more pro-ready, I can’t disagree, but the NFL is a copy-cat league and the upside of Jordan Love along with his comparison to Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes will be too much to pass up.  Even sitting him behind a veteran quarterback year one might be the move, but this is the pick.

#7- Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown Jr., Defensive Tackle, Auburn- To say the Panthers were bad against the run last year would be too nice.  They gave up an average of 143.5 yards per game, you’re not going to win many games that way.  Derrick Brown Jr. is an absolute monster in the middle of the defense.  At Auburn, against good SEC competition, he had 33 solo tackles and 4 sacks.  For a rebuilding team with holes in a lot of places, this pick shores up their biggest one.

#8- Arizona Cardinals: Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville- The Cardinals have found their starting quarterback of the future in Kyler Murray, and the recent trade for DeAndre Hopkins makes them an intriguing team heading into next season.  However, if last year says anything about this one, Murray won’t have the time to even get him the ball.  Good news for Arizona, Mekhi Becton is a ginormous human being standing 6’7, 364 lbs who will be able to protect the 5’10 Kyler Murray.  He will be a big help to a team that ranked in the lower half of the league in run and pass blocking a year ago.

#9- Jacksonville Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina- The Jaguars traded Calais Campbell and are eventually going to have to trade the disgruntled Yannick Ngakoue, so they need help on the D-Line.  Missing out on Brown hurts, but fortunately, there are two good tackles in this draft.  Kinlaw had 6 sacks rushing from the inside last year and will be able to help a unit that was bad in stopping the run last season. 

#10- Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa- The Browns struggled to keep Baker Mayfield on his feet last season, to the fault of many including himself.  But whatever the case was, the tackle situation must be addressed.  Wirfs lit up the combine, setting records among offensive lineman in vertical jump and broad jump, while running a 4.85 forty-yard dash at 322 pounds.  And after signing Jack Conklin, the Browns will have two new tackles to give Baker what he needs most, protection.  It’s time for the Browns not to be flashy or try and make a splash, this pick will do just fine.

#11- New York Jets: Jedrick Wills, Offensive Tackle, Alabama- The run on tackles continues with the Alabama product to the Jets.  The Jets need a lot of a lot.  Sure they need offensive weapons, but they have aging tackles on both sides and it’s time for them to get younger in order to best protect Sam Darnold.  Wills played right tackle at Alabama, but unlike most right tackles, he was protecting the quarterback’s blind side because there was a lefty quarterback at Alabama.  He was rarely called for any penalties and was great against SEC pass rushers, it’s not what Jets fans will want, but what the team really needs.

#12- Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama- Jerry Jeudy is really good, like incredibly good.  He is one of the greatest receivers to ever come out of Alabama and that’s saying something when receivers like Julio Jones and Amari Cooper went there as well.  Known for his precise route-running, Jeudy caught 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons at Alabama and still got a ton of targets with a stacked wide receiver room.  The Raiders can make up for the mistake of trading Amari Cooper and get the next receiving star in the league.

#13- San Francisco 49ers (Via IND): CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma- The 49ers lacked receiving threats last season, and it hurt them when it mattered most.  Rookie Deebo Samuel came on strong late and the addition of Emmanuel Sanders didn’t hurt, but you can never have too many weapons on offense.  Bring in CeeDee Lamb, who just had a career high 1,327 receiving yards last year along with 14 touchdowns at Oklahoma, and Jimmy Garoppolo gets the deep threat he so desperately needs.

#14- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon- Tom Brady has officially committed to playing for the Buccaneers, so what?  Now is the perfect time to draft the quarterback of the future in Tampa, and with Herbert still on the board, it’s the perfect fit.  The senior product from Oregon threw for over 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns last season and probably needs a little time before he is ready.  So why not sit him behind the greatest quarterback in NFL history?  This makes too much sense.

#15- Denver Broncos- Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia- With the run on tackles earlier, the Broncos, who desperately need one, might not get the one they want.  However, getting Thomas wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.  A very powerful lineman who works well against the run and the pass, was a part of a unit that struggled to protect Jake Fromm late in the season.  But that shouldn’t be a big deal that much when considering Thomas, who is one of the top tackles in the draft and a no-brainer for the Broncos here.

#16- Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, Defensive End, Iowa- The Falcons let Vic Beasley Jr. walk in the offseason to the dismay of many.  If the draft falls the right way for them, they might be able to find his replacement for a lot cheaper than he would’ve been.  Epenesa was still talked about in a conference with Chase Young in it, showing his skill level as an edge rusher with 11.5 sacks last season.  He will help improve one of the worst pass rushing teams in the league last season and save them some money in the process.

#17- Dallas Cowboys: CJ Henderson, Cornerback, Florida- Losing Byron Jones hurt the Cowboys, who finished tied for last in the league with 7 interceptions last season.  With a strong front seven, the Cowboys need to replace the now highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, and Henderson fits the mold.  With 11 pass breakups and a handful of solo tackles a year ago, Henderson gives the Cowboys a force in the back end of the defense who can lock up top receivers.

#18- Miami Dolphins (Via PIT): Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama- With their quarterback of the future secured in Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins have many options with their second first round pick.  How about replacing Minka Fitzpatrick, who was traded away last season for this exact pick.  McKinney was third-team All-American and first team all SEC last year, leading the Tide’s defense with 95 tackles from the safety position.  He has been said to be great in pass coverage and could use a little help tackling in the open field, but for the Dolphins, he gives them an enforcer they need with a steadily improving secondary.

#19- Las Vegas Raiders (Via CHI): Kenneth Murray, Linebacker, Oklahoma- With their second first round pick, I see the Raiders filling another hole, this time on defense.  Murray was the Sooners’ leading tackler last season and is known for his ability to fly across the field from   sideline to sideline.  The Raiders have been lacking a presence in the middle of their defense since they traded Khalil Mack, and Murray can fill that void and give the Raiders a successful first round.

#20- Jacksonville Jaguars (Via LAR): Kristian Fulton, Cornerback, LSU- Trading away Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye probably wasn’t the smartest move by the Jags, but fortunately they have two first round picks.  So why not take the best cornerback on the board at this point in Fulton, who had 14 pass breakups a year ago, to shore up a secondary that only had 10 interceptions as a team last season but was still top half of the league in passing defense.

#21- Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver, LSU- Late last season, Carson Wentz was throwing to college quarterbacks because he had to.  Simply put, the wide receiver room in Philly is unreliable, and Jefferson is as reliable as receivers can be.  He spent most of his time lined up in the slot at LSU, but that he was surrounded by other great receivers in college as well and he can line up as an outside threat.  Most will remember him for his 227 yard, 4-touchdown performance in the College Football Playoff Semifinal, and his big play ability is what the Eagles are lacking.  Carson Wentz says thank you.

#22- Minnesota Vikings (Via BUF): Trevon Diggs, Cornerback, Alabama- The Vikings recently released All-Pro corner Xavier Rhodes, so this pick makes sense, continuing the run on cornerbacks.  This pick would be ironic considering the Vikings only have this pick due to trading his older brother Stefon Diggs.  Known as reliable in press-coverage gathering 3 interceptions and 8 pass breakups last year while also possessing the ball skills and aggressiveness of a free safety, the Vikings can fill the hole they just recently opened and prepare for another playoff run.

#23- New England Patriots: K’Lavon Chaisson, Outside Linebacker LSU- I know, I know Tom Brady is no longer in town, and the Patriots need a quarterback, but they won’t take one here.  Instead, the Patriots will look to replace Kyle Van Noy, who left for Miami in free agency.  Chaisson had 34 solo tackles and 6.5 sacks for the Tigers last year, while being known for being agile and a great leader.  If he doesn’t fit the Patriot Way, I don’t know who does.

#24- New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen, Linebacker, LSU- Tigers keep flying off the board as now Queen goes to New Orleans to shore up the weakest part of the Saints defense.  His ability to recognize plays is one of the best in the entire draft, and along with his excellent open field tackling ability, he fills a need for the Saints to maybe finally get to another Super Bowl.

#25- Minnesota Vikings: Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson- Stefon Diggs is gone and it would make sense to save a little money and replace him.  Tee Higgins could possibly be the best receiver in the draft, and they could snag him at 25.  The leading receiver with 1,167 yards last year on a stacked Clemson team, he will provide Kirk Cousins with a threat anywhere on the field.

#26- Miami Dolphins (Via HOU): Josh Jones, Offensive Tackle, Houston- Miami will finish their first round by getting some protection for their new quarterback, and they should be thrilled if Josh Jones is still here.  Jones tends to win one-on-ones and is good in run and pass blocking.  He might need to tweak some of his technique to compensate for NFL talent at edge rusher, but this would be a steal and make the Dolphins a happy team after day one.

#27- Seattle Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos, Defensive End, Penn State- There aren’t many holes on the defensive side of the ball for the Seahawks, but you can never have too many pass rushers.  Out of Penn State, Gross-Matos has a lot of length which makes it easier for him to get outside the tackles and get to the quarterback.  I think Jadeveon Clowney has found his new running mate.

#28- Baltimore Ravens: Malik Harrison, Linebacker, Ohio State- The Ravens have lost so many linebackers over the last few years and it’s become a weak point on their defense.  Harrison can play either inside or outside linebacker and had a great year for the Buckeyes.  He’s smart, quick, very physical when tackling and can also rush from the outside.  This is the combo linebacker the Ravens are looking for.

#29- Tennessee Titans: Ross Blacklock, Defensive Tackle, TCU- With 25 solo tackles and 3.5 rushing from the middle last season for TCU, Blacklock can provide depth to a Tennessee defensive line that lacks it.  While other needs might be in order, there comes a time where reaching for value isn’t the right moveand adding depth is okay.  Tennessee shows that here.

#30- Green Bay Packers: Henry Ruggs III, Wide Receiver Alabama- Aaron Rodgers needs more targets, plain and simple.  Ruggs just ran a sub 4.3 forty yard dash and is a burner that will give any corner problems.  Even with a crowded wide receiver room at Alabama, Ruggs was a favorite target, mainly due to his speed, and there’s no reason to believe that wouldn’t change in Green Bay.

#31- San Francisco 49ers: A.J. Terrell, Cornerback, Clemson- If one thing was evident in the Super Bowl, the 49ers lack speed in the secondary.  Terrell ran a 4.42 forty and had two interceptions at Clemson last season.  For a team that basically has everything, this shores up their biggest weakness.

#32- Kansas City Chiefs: D’Andre Swift, Running Back, Georgia- Could the Chiefs get any faster? Well they would with Swift.  To say Georgia has a great history with running backs would be an understatement and the Chiefs are in a position where they don’t need much, so why not dabble in that history?  Swift is a dual threat out of the backfield and would give the Chiefs yet another deadly weapon in the underneath passing game.  He’s very shifty and would make perfect sense for the Chiefs here, that is if he is still on the board.

The Cavs: A Season of Ups and Downs

With COVID-19 suspending all the major leagues for at least 30 days, the season is, for now, suspended. With that already happening and the possibility of this suspension going on for longer, I want to look at the Cavs’s season so far and analyze how the rebuild went this year and where it could be going.

The standout player this year, without question, has to be Colin Sexton. After a rough first half of the year, and an especially rough rookie season, he really shined the last couple of months and most nights was one of the best, if not the best player on the team, leading the team in points per game. After the Jordan Clarkson trade, a lot more seemed to open up for him; his assists per game averages went up (along with his passing vision slowly improving) and he had the best stretch of his early career scoring wise. Obviously, he still has plenty of issues. He still loves to put his head down and run at the rim, often throwing up some questionable shots in the process. His passing is still very sub-par for his position, even if you say he is a natural shooting guard. His defense is terrible but the team’s defense is also terrible so some leniency should be given, at least for this year. His biggest asset is his hard work and there is little reason to believe he will not improve in these areas at least somewhat in the next couple of years. His ceiling may be low compared to the other young players on this team but he is definitely the best out of all of them right now.

Kevin Porter Jr., especially in the last month or so, has been a revelation. While he had a slow start to the season, he ended it on a high note. His best game came against Miami, which I wrote about here, where he had a career high of 30 points while looking like a quality starter throughout. Koby Altman gambled on him by trading up to the end of the first round to get him, and as long as he continues to work, that gamble should pay off. He was a very nice surprise this year, and he could be the x-factor that turns this rebuild around in the coming years.

There is not much to say about Darius Garland this year. He barely played any college games and was coming off of a major injury, he should never have been given any expectations at all. Even then, he often was a bit disappointing, especially later in the season. That being said, his passing is fairly far along for his age and he can shoot well from 3 point range, so I have confidence that with a full NBA offseason with the team, and with a (mostly) full year under his belt already, he can make a similar jump to Sexton in his 2nd season.

The biggest questions after this year involve Dylan Windler, Andre Drummond, and Kevin Love.

For Dylan, it will be all about his development. If he develops well he could be a great bench shooter for the Cavs down the line, but he is already a year behind on his development. We will have to wait and see how he looks next year to get a real feel for whether this becomes the case.

For Drummond, it is all about his player option. He only played 8 games for the Cavs, so it is hard to know whether he could become a better fit with the team with more time. The best scenario for the Cavs would be if he picked up his option and played his contract out next year, because they could get a much better look at how he would fit with this team in the long term while not having to commit to him for the foreseeable future. If he does decline it, there would not be much pressure to re-sign him, due to the team not giving up much of anything for him in the trade for him. But the question is: should the Cavs resign him? It is a difficult question. He is an all-star caliber center, and one of the best rebounders in the league, but he will be commanding a lot of money in free agency if he opts out this year. If he opts out, he will be one of the best unrestricted free agents available, and may get offers close to the maximum salary. Should the Cavs put a sizable chunk of their cap space into a center that is talented, but somewhat outdated due to how the game is changing and moving smaller? I personally do not think so, but there are not many alternatives that end up with the Cavs having better players than Andre Drummond.

With Kevin Love, the question has been lingering for months: will he be traded? It would be the best move for both parties, as Love wants out and the Cavs will get less and less production out of him as he ages more. But Koby and the team seem to value him higher than the rest of the league, which has become an issue in previous trade negotiations. He has been a good locker room guy for the young guys (he has his bad moments, though) while being a somewhat stable presence on the floor for the team, which would be great if his contract was not so massive. The biggest issue is that he wants to leave, and at any point if the Cavs stop trying to move him, he may become unhappy and take it public. With his contract, hardly anyone wants him unless they’re giving back a similarly terrible deal. Altman seems to want to get off of the money in some way (a contract that is similar but has less years on it overall) plus a pick of some capacity, which I do not think is possible. Maybe with a weak free agent class teams will get desperate, but the front office will probably have to lower their expectations to get a deal done.

If the season does resume and everyone plays the rest of their regular season games, the rest of the team’s schedule is manageable. The Bucks and the Lakers are tough matchups, but besides that, there are some very winnable games (notably against the Suns twice, Hawks, and Kings) in there to make the end of the season exciting and watchable.

In the more likely event that this goes on for longer and the NBA jumps to the playoffs or even cancels the season, I am optimistic about the team’s future after this year. The Cavs have a nice core that we will hopefully add to in this draft (Obi Toppin would be ideal). JB Bickerstaff signed a long term extension, so it seems that the Cavs have a coach committed to being here for the duration of the rebuild, which will really help with finding a direction and building towards it. The team has a lot of cap space, which is not useful in this free agent class but they could turn that into expiring contracts to trade next season, or they can wait until 2021’s class and try to get solid guys around Garland, KPJ, and Colin. While this season was a rough one to watch for fans,  the future seems fairly bright for the Cleveland Cavaliers.