Final Project Ideas

So, the end of the class is coming up in less than a month, and that means that we all need to hunker down and start focusing on our final project (which, by the way, I am pretty excited about).

I don’t have a group to work in as of yet, but I’ve been reaching out to a few members in the class to see if they either have room for me or want to work together. Although, to be completely honest, I’m okay with working on the project alone as long as I have time to do everything myself.

Something that has always been of interest to me, being a female soccer player, is the discrepancy of wages between male and female athletes in sports. In the top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world, only two of them are female (Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova) and they don’t even rank that highly.

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Sports and Activism and Athletes

Activism in sports is a… touchy subject, to say the least.

You’ve got your diehard “sports and politics are SEPARATE!” folks (who, interestingly enough, don’t speak up when an an athlete supports their views) and the “athletes HAVE to talk about politics” people (who will praise an athlete for agreeing with their stance and shame an athlete for having opposing views).

And then there are the more moderate: people like myself, who think that athletes should speak up and should be given the opportunity to speak their opinions, but that it should not be an expectation of them.

John Carlos and Tommy Smith at the 1968 Olympics

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Scoring doesn’t make the player

The feature I’m writing is on Julianna Iafallo, a player on the Buckeyes Women’s Ice Hockey team. She’s a forward and wears number 18.

Ohio State Women’s Ice Hockey

My interest in her was piqued when I saw that she was from Buffalo, New York (a fellow Western NY’er, seeing as I’m from Rochester, NY) and that she’d played on the Buffalo Bison women’s AHL team.

My angle took a lot of time to decide on, to be honest. I realized early on that only wanting to talk to her because she was from Buffalo wasn’t going to be enough if I wanted to have a really impressive feature.

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The Etiquette of Gossip and Sports

I’ve always been, at least in part, against pulling gossip and drama into the world of sports, especially if A. the gossip has nothing to do with the player’s performance in the game, B. is being published without the consent of the player to talk abouft it, or C. it’s all speculative and there to generate ‘clicks’ instead of having any sort of journalistic integrity.

That aside, there’s definitely a place for gossip in sports. The audience demands it, and if a sports site wants views over their competition, they’ll publish the drama or gossip.

But I think that there is a line that needs to be observed. Aaron Rodgers specifically said that he doesn’t think that it’s appropriate to discuss family matters publicly – I think it was pretty rude of the reporter to continue on with the story against his direct wishes.

NY Times

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On Sports Articles both Good and… Not.

The Sports Article That Made Me Feel Almost Too Happy 

Any article that features a sports star doing nice things to make kids happy is guaranteed to warm my heart. When it happens to be one of my favorite players doing the nice things, it makes me even happier.

When the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in May, Phil Kessel (a Stanley Cup Champion) being on the winning team was a big story.

Little bit of background on Kessel. He survived testicular cancer and dealt with awful fan treatment while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs – while still leading the Leafs in goals for most seasons (it’s true). Then, Kessel went to Pittsburgh, where he had an okay season before flourishing in the playoffs for the Cup. Not only did Kessel help the team win the Cup, he led the team in playoff scoring! His entire journey to the Cup even led to President Obama making a couple of good-natured quips toward him during the Penguins visit to the White House.

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