Tip-in: Manners

Tip-in: Manners

When was the last time you said “thank you,” or “please?”

Sure these words seem like redundant, overused pleasantries that are outdated and obsolete, but they mean much more to most people. A simple thank you can make someone turn a one-time surprise into frequent favors.

The true importance of manners is that they represent humility and respect. If you are thankful for a duty done, let it be known and vocalize your appreciation. Emotions and feelings can’t be seen but words and actions present themselves with clarity – especially as a tandem.

I’ve gotten so much from so many people because I treated them with respect and sincerity. Even if someone treats me with a level less than what I extend to them, I remain polite and respectful – in most cases. Sometimes people take themselves out of my respect circle with ignorance, closed-mindedness and malevolence. To me, these people don’t deserve my respect – let alone my manners. However, I try to be fair and equal in my dealings with people.

The hardest thing about manners is maintaining humility. Of course you will get tired of the older coworkers calling you boy, son or youngster, but you should maintain your composure (at all times) and continue to address them by whatever name they deem appropriate. It’s not because they are better than you or even because they have a higher position, it’s because you are better than their attempts to belittle you.

At the end of the day, remember to treat people the way you want to be treated. It can’t get any simpler than that. If you want to be treated well, said treatment relies heavily on your ability to treat others just as kindly. You are just a small blip on a small planet of billions of people, which is in one of many galaxies. Instead of acting like ‘hot shit,’ how about treating others like they are and watch how they respond to you.

#BroTip: The women dig manners too!

The Tragedy of the Rice Situation

The Tragedy of the Rice Situation

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

In a civilized society there is no room, there isn’t any need nor are there many supporters of men who assault women.

Period.

America is a poster child of patriarchy so the least an American born male could do is not harm a less physically imposing being in a physical way.

For centuries (possibly longer) women have had their existences imposed upon by men.  Males have told women how to dress, what to say,  how to think, how much they should earn and their place in society. Hell,  men even tell women what to do with their bodies.

If one has never been a woman how could he feel comfortable telling a woman what to do with her body — her temple?

There is no doubt that Janay Rice is yet another victim of a system that has literally and figuratively beaten women. Her participation – or unwarranted victimization – in her family’s situation will negatively affect her life. The head of her family – her husband – is the cause of her plight and should be ashamed of the mental and physical anguish he has caused her.

What happened to Mrs. Rice on that elevator was wrong…but why was it?

As a society, we agree that domestic violence is a terrible and inexcusable situation. But what if the roles were reversed? Would people bash Mrs. Rice if she slapped/punched/or whatever else the media is calling Ray’s violent action against his wife to him? Would the National Organization of Men (look that up when you have free time) feel the need to call for people to lose their jobs? Would Mrs. Rice have her entire credibility destroyed because of it?

She would not.

She would be praised for being a woman with enough strength to deck her husband out cold. Ray would be emasculated for being a victim while she enjoyed media-lauding. Pretty much the opposite of what is happening to Ray would happen to Janay.

Don’t tell me you are upset with domestic violence. You are against men hitting women, which isn’t necessarily the same issue.

However, Janay didn’t hit Ray. He knocked her out. But we don’t know what caused it. We don’t know if she has been an abusive wife for the last few years or if Ray has a history of domestic violence with women. We don’t know their private lives. Unfortunately, a snippet of the Rice’s private life unfolded in a public space and has been broadcast on a global stage.

Their lives will never be the same.

Janay isn’t the only victim in this situation. The Rice family as a whole will suffer. Ray has become the scapegoat for an issue that has plagued the NFL for decades. According to ESPN reports, he was upfront with the Ravens organization and the league officials. They punished him but still remained supportive.

When the media got involved, there was no present help for Ray and he was suspended indefinitely. Last time I checked, it was unconstitutional to punish someone multiple times for the same crime. Who cares if you didn’t get it right the first time, that isn’t Ray’s fault. They abandoned him and left him for the media feeding-frenzy.

Unfortunately for the NFL, the media shows no sympathy for those who can make a story more sensational. Ray Rice is but a player; the commissioner of the league is a much bigger fish. The media has been itching to fry his ass and now they get a chance.

The worst part of this entire situation is that the worst part of Ray hitting his wife is that it looked bad. It wasn’t a “politically correct” hit. People wouldn’t have gotten so upset if he slapped her without her losing consciousness. Even if he would have carried her in his arms instead of dragging on the floor people would have responded differently.

People are more upset at the PR scandal it caused than domestic violence itself.

The true issue here is the contradictory ideology we have in this country. We say we don’t want domestic violence, but we only get outraged by it when a woman is the victim — and she has to get knocked unconscious for people to really care. We tell our athletes to live on the straight and narrow but we don’t expect the same from their superiors. A man could lose his job for hitting his wife, but a police officer doesn’t  when he steals the life from a young man.

What happened to Janay was terrible. But their lives will move on. The Rice family will have to pay bills and save for college tuition without Ray currently earning a salary. His family will suffer most. He’ll find employment again, but he’ll never be able to make as much money as he would before the elevator assault. Everything his family has grown accustomed to will be compromised. Given the situation, it was justifiable that the Ravens released him. But I have a problem with the league suspending him after the fact and ending any hopes he would have of making money in the NFL this year.

Although the media is sometimes an accurate portrayal of society, it doesn’t have to be. If Janay can move on from this, society can as well — even if the mainstream media decides not to.

The nation’s best mid-major conference

The nation’s best mid-major conference

Outside of the six power conferences that exist in college basketball, there is a traditionally strong mid-major conference filled with much smaller schools that may actually be able to compete against the big boys.
Despite the West Coast Conference producing a No. 1 seeded Gonzaga team and also sending Saint Mary’s to the NCAA tournament, both teams had rather disappointing losses early on. The Atlantic 10 generated three teams in the tourney, but the Saint Louis Bilikins lost to a 12 seeded Oregon team, and the conference hasn’t had many teams who have had success in past NCAA tournaments.

The Missouri Valley conference is by no means a household name, but it is probably the best conference that most people have never heard of.

The reigning repeat MVC champion, Creighton, beat a higher seeded Cinnicinati team (a former member of the MVC). The Jays have been one the more consistent teams in college basketball all year. CU finished first in shooting percentage in the country as they shot over 50 percent on the year. The Jays also finished fifth in total assist per game and produced an All-American in Doug McDermott. Although Creighton was defeated soundly by the Duke Blue Devils, their season as a whole was impressive. I’m sure the rest of the Valley will miss what has become a flagship program once CU leaves for the newly formed American 12 conference.

As if having a program like Creighton isn’t enough, The MVC also houses a 2013 Final Four team in the Wichita State Shockers. Statistically, the Wheat Shockers weren’t very impressive. In the team’s biggest area of strength, rebounding, WSU was only the 25th best rebounding team. In points per game and shooting percentage, the Shockers ranked 117th and 115th respectively. It wasn’t the numbers that propelled WSU to success, but their unity as a team. Everyone on the team had a role to play and every one perfomed that role effectively under head coach Gregg Marshall. The Shockers amazing tourney run was highlighted by wins over No. 1 seeded Gonzaga and highly touted Ohio State before being defeated by Louisville after the WSU had led most of the game.

Despite Creighton leaving the conference and Wichita State loosing key seniors, the MVC looks strong moving forward. It’s small programs like Evansville and Northern Iowa are grabbing higher ranked and local recruits. The competition between the conference teams is getting better and WSU’s success in the tourney will draw much more attention to the small conference. Nationally, college basketball fans are noticing not to take these mid-major programs lightly.

The Modern Athlete

The Modern Athlete

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Every generation has its share of great athletes and this will hold true until sporting competitions cease to exist. Most athletes in sports today have yet to dominate thier respective areas of play the way Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice and Wayne Gretzky have, but they are leaving their own legacies: great and not so great.

LeBron James is the most explosive athlete the game of basketball has ever seen. The 6-foot-8 forward moves more swiftly at 250 pounds than most lithe point guards can. At his size, he can do things spectators of the sport have never witnessed before; from highlight dunks to amazing no-look behind-the-back passes. The one knock on the Akron, OH., native is that he isn’t a clutch perfomer. After winning the 2012 NBA championship, LeBron now has three gold medals, nine All-Star game apperances, rookie of the year honors, three MVP titles, and an NBA scoring title. Not only has he quelled his would be detractors who believed he couldn’t win the big game, but he already has one of the most storied careers in NBA history.

While Bron Bron is the most proflific athlete in the game, Carmelo Anthony is probably one the best visual scorers the league has ever seen. Melo dazzles with his amazing ability to put the ball in the rim from almost anywhere on the court it. He is the player that the average fan wants to be because his style of play is so attractive. But it is also decieving.

Being a great scorer doesn’t make you a great basketball player, there are many other facets to the game that Melo appears not to really care about. There is no doubt he is talented but fans often consider him one of the top five players in the game when he usually affects the game in one area.

Melo’s defensive ability is pourous and mediocre at best, but not for a lack of ability. Carmelo could be a good defensive player as we have seen from time to time in his contest against LBJ, but he doesn’t put in a concerted effort on a nightly basis. Despite his 6-foot-8 frame, he has never averaged over 1.0 blocks per game and has never averaged over four apg in any of his NBA seasons. Not to mention he has only been out of the first round of the playoffs once.

Although racing is not considered a “true sport” to some, Jimmie Johnson is perhaps the greatest athlete mainstream America doesn’t really recognize. Johnson is one of the few modern athletes to utterly dominate his sport. He has won five consecutive Sprint Cup Championships and was voted the AP male athlete of the year in 2009. The AP award usually go to athletes in major sports because of the thier exposure in the media. The most amazing thing about Johnson is that it appears that his best years may still be ahead of him and he already has a legacy comparable to the greatest of NASCAR drivers.

Saluki seniors stabilizes rotation

Saluki seniors stabilizes rotation

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The SIU men’s basketball team honored its seniors Wednesday night as the Salukis defeated Northern Iowa 63-57 in the last home game of the year.  Although junior guard Desmar Jackson leads the team in scoring and freshman guard Anthony Beane is the team’s best free throw shooter—according to Coach Barry Hinson—it is the seniors who have meant the most to the Salukis’ attempts to protect their home court.

Guard Jeff Early has been the backbone, heart and soul of the team this season. The senior guard, who is the eldest player in Missouri Valley basketball, leads the team in rebounding with an average of 7.4 boards per game. Early is also the second leading scorer for SIU with 12.6 points per game. At 6-foot-1, he has grabbed 71 offensive rebounds this season, the most on the team by more than 20 rebounds. Coach Barry Hinson crafted a new position for Early in the Saluki’s formation called the hybrid. A position that functions as part guard and part forward. Early has thrived in his new role and has developed into a prolific rebounder for his size.  He has eight double-doubles on the season and scored a career high 31 points against Miami of Ohio University Saturday. When the Salukis need a high energy, it is usually Early who delivers. He hit the game tying 3-point shot to send Saturday’s game into overtime, despite making just six shots from beyond the arc all season.

Early’s roommate and fellow Monroe College transfer, guard T.J. Lindsay has also contributed to SIU’s success in home games. In the last three games in the SIU Arena, Lindsay has connected on at least one 3-point field goal. Despite recivieng less than starter minutes (19 minutes per game), he has been consistent and is one of three Salukis to play in every game this season. Lindsay also leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage at 37 percent. In the second matchup against Wichita State on Feb. 5, Lindsay poured in 14 points off the bench in 19 minutes and connected on four 3-point bombs— including a crucial 3-ball at the end of the first half to spark a Saluki comeback. Although he hasn’t been great from 3-point land all year, his shooting touch is starting to connect at the most opportune time of the Salukis’ season—just before the MVC tournament.

Fellow senior guard Kendall Brown-Surles has been SIU’s most used perimeter weapon and has drained a team high 36 3-pointers on the year. Brown-Surles is the only senior to have played his entire collegiate basketball career as a Saluki. The Evansville native also leads the team in assists and minutes played per game as the team’s floor general.  Every year Brown-Surles has played at SIU, he has seen an increase his playing time. He went from averaging less than 19 minutes per game his freshman year to 30.5 in his senior campaign.  After this season concludes, Brown-Surles said he would like to re-join the team as an assistant.

The seniors who were honored have earned their celebration with their play on and off the court. The Trio is among the last to leave the gym, according to teammates, and they are the ones most looked to in pressure situations. They will have a chance to end their Saluki athletic careers in dramatic fashion if they can upset a team or two in the MVC tournament on Thursday.

 

NBA All-Star Weekend Awards

NBA All-Star Weekend Awards

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MVP: San Antonio Spurs G Tony Parker– Your eyes do not deceive you. Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, nor Kevin Durant is the front-runner for MVP half way through the season. The Frenchman is having the best season of his storied career, even with Spur’s F Tim Duncan sidelined due to injury.  Parker is averaging career-highs in assists, free throw average and 3-point field goal percentage. The Spurs have the best record in the NBA, and TP is by far the best player on the team. Over the last three games, the star guard has scored totals of 29, 31 and 31. Although he isn’t in an attractive, sexy market, Parker is worthy of the award.

 Defensive Player of the Mid-season: Chicago Bulls C Joakim Noah– With Derrick Rose still recovering from an injury he sustained last season, Noah has become the team’s best and most valuable player. The Bulls big man is averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds at the break. I expect Noah to elevate his play with Rose’s return, as the Bulls look to make a push for the No. 1  spot in the east.

Most Improved: Orlando Magic C Nikola Vucevic– Saying the Magic haven’t been a great team this season would be a serious understatement. Devoid of any legitimate scoring threats, Vucevic has become a reliable source on both ends of the floor. The second year center has raised his scoring average from five points per game in his rookie campaign to 12.5 this season.

Sixth Man of the Year: Los Angeles Clipper s G/F Jamaal Crawford– It’s Jamaal Crawford people… need I say more?

Rookie of the Year: Portland Trailblazers G Damian Lillard- The young floor general has provided the Trailblazers with youth and explosiveness. Lillard’s patience and pacing in the game rivals his more experienced counter-parts. It is Portland’s thin bench that is holding them back from being contenders because Lillard, F Nicolas Batum, and F/C LaMarcus Aldridge make a formidable group.

Rising Star Award: Indiana Pacer G Paul George, Golden State Warriors G Stephan Curry– The Pacer’s talented wingman has filled a scoring void for the Pacers —left by Danny Granger. He has also been stellar on the defensive end and active on the glass (7.8 rpg). Curry is also putting together an impressive first half. The fourth year pro is averaging a career best 20.9 points per game. Curry is the most essential part of a well balanced Warriors team.

Scrappy Illini

Scrappy Illini

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The University of Illinois basketball team (17-8, 4-7) has had an interesting season thus far, to say the least. After losing four of five games, which started with a loss against Northwestern at home, the Illini were looking like they had lost their identity and confidence.

UI head coach John Groce must have had one amazing pep talk to deliver to the team after being defeated by Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin, because his troops rallied to beat the No. 1 ranked Indiana Hoosiers. Normally, teams who lose in-conference games against opponents they are considered to be more talented than usually fold under the pressure of a big game like that.

The Illini remained calm and collected to upset IU in Assembly hall, and then they beat a ranked Minnesota team in the next contest. Perhaps U of I is really as good as they have been tabbed, or maybe they are as bad as they looked against Northwestern. Whatever the case, the rest of the season should be very entertaining for the orange and blue.