Auburn Iron Bowl 2013!

In recent amazing sports news Auburn takes an unexpected victory from all time rival Alabama in the 2013 Iron Bowl. The Iron Bowl was played this past Saturday on November 30th, 2013. It was a victory on behalf of Auburn that truly no one sawauburn logo coming from the stands and it is was a major play that the NCAA fans will be lucky to experience ever again. With one second remaining on the game clock in the 4th quarter, Alabama lined up for what would have been the winning field goal of the game, both teams were tied at a score of 28. With one second remaining a field goal for Alabama would have surely taken the win over Auburn, but this was not the case. The final play starts and Alabama sets up for a 57 yard attempt at Auburn’s 38 yard line. Auburn coaches knew that the freshmen back up kicker for Alabama may not have enough leg to get the ball through the uprights and so the team acted upon it. Placing Senior corner-back Chris Davis, #11, in the end zone to run back a potential short field goal, and that’s exactly what happened! As the kick was released it fell short of the uprights and landed in the hands of Chris Davis who performed nothing short of spectacular. Davis charged through his own end zone and the following hundred yards for the final score, not a second left on the clock. Pushing past the entire defense of Alabama Davis scored a final Touchdown that put Auburn up 6 points for the win! Thousands of fans rushed the field, so quickly that Auburn could not even get off their own extra point, but who cares! It was a victory that meant so much to the fans, a victory that will be remembered for  a lifetime and more. So much so that someone was finally able to lay a fallen Auburn fan’s ashes to rest, sprinkling them on a section of turf in the midst of the victory celebration.Ashes

Auburn Victory Celebration

Auburn Victory Celebration

A Lost Action Hero

When we wrap our minds around high speeds, adrenaline and the hunger for action, it is often hard not to think of Paul Walker. Paul was an American Actor that initially became famous in 1999 after his role in the sports drama called Varsity Blues. Shortly after that, Walker became even more recognized as Brian O’Conner, his character in The Fast And The Furious Series that we all know so well today.

It’s deeply saddening to know that as of 3:30 on November 30th 2013, the world has lost an outstanding Action Movie Star and also such a great human being. Along with his recognized face in film, Walker was also someone who gave back to the world through his charity Reach Out Worldwide. His death at the age of 40 was caused after a severe car accident in Valencia California. Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, were in route to Walker’s charity event when Roda’s Porsche Carrera GT lost control and hit a light pole and then a tree.Obit Paul Walker

I remember growing up watching his movies, where the Fast and Furious series were some of my favorites. I think of how ironic it is the way that Walker went out, you know, involving a high speed sports car explosion. All we can hope for is that it was quick and painless but the truth I think will never be known. I like to think he rests above us in a place where he can still enjoy the thrill of driving his Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R V-Spec II, I bet he drove it through the gates. R.I.P.

Nissan_Skyline_GT-R_R34_Paul_Walker_02

NCAA Athletes Pay For Play!

heisman-cash

“Imagine a large group of employees in a company working long hours, some of them far from home, going to school full time, and helping bring in millions for their employer. Does this sound like a sweatshop making Reeboks or Kathy Lee Gifford clothing? Actually, this describes the typical athlete in a revenue producing sport at a National Collegiate Athletic Association member institution” (Goplerud, 1). The exploitation of college athletes in today’s world is a topic that is breeding much controversy in the NCAA. College athletes have always been looked at from an amateur stand point and therefore not truly recognized as a professional athlete and not truly compensated for what comes hand in hand with their athletic capability. The major question in raised here in college athletics is whether or not it is fair to financially compensate college athletes. Some people believe that a free ride through school is payment enough, however when it is broken down in to hard numbers, a new side of this controversy is unearthed. Athletes feel that they are being taken for granted and want to make it known that they are not clueless to what goes on behind the curtains. The restrictions put on NCAA players compared to the sheer revenue incurred from their physical presence in the sport are unjust. College athletes are more than just a tool for a university to market and profit from. If they hold such an important financial foundation then it is only fair to cut them into the pie.

“When it comes to debating whether or not college athletes should be paid, the two most often used terms are amateurism and exploitation”(Miller, 1). Collegiate amateurism references the fact that no college athlete can receive compensation for his or her athletic participation at school. The NCAA, who for some reason does not want to view college players as professionals by any means. further hammers this home. “According to the NCAA, student athletes’ participation in athletics is just another part of their entire education, not the primary purpose for attending college”(Miller, 1). How can this be true though? If the primary purpose of college is truly to get an education, why is so much energy and money put towards recruiting the best possible athletes for sports teams? Personally I think this statement from the NCAA and their drive to preserve “amateurism” is an improper excuse for no compensation.

In an effort to preserve the level of amateurism, that apparently is what NCAA sports are all about; the NCAA allows schools to reserve the right to use a player’s image and name for commercial use. Schools are allowed to do this to incur revenue while all players involved are completely restricted from endorsements or any form of outside payment. This situation can also be looked at in terms of fairness from a non-athletic standpoint. If a student were to create a project in class that a professor saw as a huge opportunity, and then if the school took that project, published it and sold it, would it be fair to the student who actually did all the work to being with? Its simple, the answer is no.

Student athletes are without a doubt being overly exploited by Universities and the NCAA as a whole. When discussing terms of exploitation there are two major arguments that come into play, mutually advantageous exploitation and consensual exploitation. In both areas athletes are being exploited, meaning, “… Those being exploited are not getting what is considered fair. They do not receive an appropriate return on the financial surplus they create for their universities”(Miller, 2). The image of collegiate athletics has under gone serious change that reflects a negative outlook from the player’s point of view. “What started as nothing more than student-organized competitions has turned into what has been described as a sports entertainment enterprise”(Miller, 2).

The amount of revenue generated by NCAA athletics is staggering, and is a main reason there is so much talk about the exploitation of athletes. “College football and men’s basketball have become such huge commercial enterprises that together they generate more than 6 billion in annual revenue, more than the NBA”(Nocera, 2).2012Revenues With these numbers it makes complete sense that student athletes seek compensation, for the revenue stems from their day in and day out efforts on the field. Maintaining the illusion that college sports are focused on amateurism has been lost somewhere along the way. If that were what it was all about, we wouldn’t see large contracts and billions of spending in relation to college athletics every single year. Reformers realize that having universities in charge of a major form of American entertainment is not the most ideal, however “… they are also realistic enough to know that scaling back big-time college sports is implausible, given the money at stake. Instead, the best approach is to openly acknowledge their commercialization and pay the work force”(Nocera, 3).

From an ethical perspective, the use of student athletes to incur 6 billion and more in annual revenue is something that needs to be revisited. It is an ethical obligation to compensate the individuals who are putting in the hours. This isn’t a sweatshop, its NCAA sports where student athletes should be treated like an employee. Without NCAA revenue I often wonder where many schools would end up in the future? From a consequential perspective, universities are able to grow from the athletic revenue incurred. This positively affects everyone in a university’s community as well.  The consequences here are that athletes are beginning to feel like they are nothing more than a moneymaker in schools eye. Paying college athletes would not tarnish the image of collegiate athletics, it would be a fair compensation for the hard work and long hours these students put in each and every day. College students aren’t clueless, the numeric evidence has been visualized and now its time to act on it.

 

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The Helgasons (DTF)

Eiki and Halldor Helgason

Eiki and Halldor Helgason

The Iceland native Helgason brothers continue to push the boundary of freestyle snowboarding with their newly released movie. Down To Film also known as (DTF) has recently been released and is the Helgason’s third free full length video available for the world to admire. Growing up in Iceland, both Halldor and Eiki Helgason have taken Icelandboth sport and industry to new heights. Together, they not only push the boundaries of whats expected but also bring high energy and fun to a sport that craves it more than anything.

Cornered By Apple

To first address Apple’s utilization of planned obsolescence it is important to take a look at the current product line today. The newest additions to the iphone product cycle are the iphone 5s and the 5c. Upon their release, apple also rolled out its newly established ios7 software to be downloaded for all current mobile consumers. Although this new software is completely compatible across iphone 4 and 5 models, it was designed to specifically negatively impact consumers who still cherish their 4th generation phones. An article in The New York Times titled “Cracking the Apple Trap” by Catherine Rampell highlights how exactly this software has a negative impact on consumers. “Around the time the iphone 5s and 5c were released, in September, I noticed that my sad old iphone 4 was becoming a lot more sluggish. Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 10.13.00 AMThe battery was starting to run down much faster, too. But the same thing seemed to be happening to a lot of people who, like me, swear by their Apple Products. When I called tech analysts, the said that the new operating system (ios7) being pushed out to existing users was making older models unbearably slow. Apple phone batteries, which have a finite number of charges in them to begin with, were drained by the new software. So I could pay Apple $79 to replace the battery, or perhaps spend 20 bucks more for an iphone 5c. It seemed like apple was sending me a not-so-subtle message to upgrade” (Rampell, 1). We can evidently see here how apple utilized the new strength and capabilities of the ios7 software In order to send that “not-so-subtle” message to its current consumers. By making the new software drain old batteries, consumers are not left with much of an option if they choose to continue to be loyal to Apple. They have to replace it or make the upgrade to a new phone that will be able to successfully handle the computing strength of ios7. “Economists have theories about market conditions that encourage planned obsolescence. A company has strong incentives to degrade product durability when it has a lot of market power and when consumers don’t have good substitute products to choose from” (Rampell, 2). It is without a doubt that Apple is a company with a lot of market power and this would be something that they would zone in on. Apple consumers do not have any form of an Apple substitute. Those who have grown up with Apple and have always used Apple will continue to fall victim to this degraded product durability.

Apple Revenues

All that being said however, Apple is a serious market holder in its industry, and therefore needs to continue to incur revenue. Apple makes close to 50% of its revenues from the iphone and ipad generations of product. This makes sense because we as consumers also see the most significant and sometimes insignificant changes happen to these two product generations. Apple is realizing that by making changes to their most popular product lines, it will keep consumers involved in the product cycle of that specific line. By making older models of the iphone and ipad obsolete, it allows apple to revamp their technology for the next generation. Highlighting new improvements such as appearance, shape and speed in order to keep the flow of cash from its loyal consumer base.

Works Cited:

Chayka, Kayla. “Apple’s IPhone 5 and Getting Angry at Planned Obsolescence.” Hyperallergic RSS. N.p., 13 Sept. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://hyperallergic.com/56857/apples-iphone-5-and-getting-angry-at-planned-obsolescence/&gt;.

Crane, Kim. “Planned Obsolescence – Products Designed for Profit, Not Planet.” RSS. N.p., June-July 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/green24/51989/planned-obsolescence-products-designed-profit-not-planet&gt;.

Rampell, Catherine. “Cracking The Apple Trap.” The New York Times, 29 Oct. 2013. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/magazine/why-apple-wants-to-bust-your-iphone.html&gt;.

Watts, Jonathan. “Apple Secretive about ‘polluting and Poisoning’ Supply Chain, Says Report.” The Guardian. TheGuardian, 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jan/20/apple-pollution-supply-chain&gt;.

GroupY Fueling Action Sports Progression

The effect Group Y has on the Action Sports Industry is remarkable. Group Y has become a leading organization that values the importance and necessity of strategic networking. In today’s faced paced and competitive work environment we realize how key networking is to leading a company or individual to that next big hit! Group Y, an action sports Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 1.18.18 PMorganization that started in 2006, saw a window of opportunity and went for it. The founders of Group Y had noticed something big in the Action Sports Industry. They noticed that there wasn’t a currently structured event that could bring the top dog professionals and big names in the industry together. Group Y founders Mark Sperling and Elizabeth Randall had one goal in mind, to bring the professionals, youth members and top brands together to fuel progression and strengthen the industry they love.

Since the creation of Group Y in 2006 the action sports industry has made history! On Wednesday July 24th 2013 the first Action Sports + Culture Conference was held. Focusing on a theme of authenticity it seems the conference was a great success. A quote from information on the conference reads …

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“ASC Action Sports + Culture Conference has curated authentic conference programming that brings together the best and brightest new talent in lifestyle, culture and youth industries with global industry leaders in entertainment, media and sports. By creating an audience mix that includes the world’s largest corporate brands and media alongside industry-leading action sports and lifestyle-focused companies, the ASC strives to create an environment that benefits attendees through education and the expansion of personal and professional networks. Past conferences were sold-out successes, hosting speakers, attendees and sponsors from companies including ESPN, The U.S. Olympic Committee, NBC, Target, Getty Images, Red Bull, Fast Company Magazine, Nike, Disney, Vans, IMG, The Hundreds, Burton, Huf, Oakley, Monster Energy, UFC, Wasserman Media Group and Transworld Media.”

Group Y has brought the ease and importance of networking and relationships to the Action sports Industry. The power to learn, connect, meet, create and socialize with others who share your passion is there! Group Y is making it happen.

A YES! Man

I feel that throughout my life I have had numerous mentors each with their own light that I would look up to. One of the most important qualities I have today is being what I call a “yes” man. This “yes” quality applies to my attitude towards much of the work I have done and the work that still lays ahead of me. Work involving school, internships, and summer jobs, work around the house … the list can go on. Being a yes man to me is tackling the tasks and obstacles that stand in my way, good or bad. Knowing that if I put my mind to something it will certainly get done.

Doug!

Doug!

When I became a counselor at my summer camp, located in Vermont in a small town called Fairlee, I really began to apply the “yes” attitude towards all aspects of work and play around camp life. I feel that I had received this “yes” gift if you will, from a former counselor I had at camp when I was younger, around the age of 13. My counselor was a man named Doug Pilcher, someone who remains to be one of the most creative and hardworking individuals I have ever met. His attitude towards us campers was always one that possessed strength and positivity. He was a “yes” kind of dude. Whatever task was asked of him “yes” he would get it done, always going the extra mile compared to what was expected. I had always looked up to him and when I finally became a counselor and was able to work along side him, I saw something. I realized how much I was able to take away during my years as a camper and directly apply that to my new counseling position. Doug was my a mentor of mine when I was 13 and even now that we are working together, he still and will always remains one in my eyes.

Once I was able to become a counselor, having my own tent of three 9-year-old rambunctious campers for seven weeks was not the easiest of tasks. It was that summer during the last week of camp where I realized I had become a smaller version of my previous counseling mentor. I gave that summer 100% of my effort, always having a “yes”attitude towards any job, task, responsibility or activity that I had the chance to get involved in. Upon my campers leaving I realized a change within them and how as a counselor I as able to teach them new skills and how to continue to look at life as a glass half full. It became even bolder when I was actually contacted outside of camp by one of my former campers parents who had nothing but great things to say about how the summer went with one of her youngest sons. It was ironic for me to reflect upon how at one point I was in her sons shoes, looking up to my own counselor just as he had to me during that summer.

http://www.alohafoundation.org/

A moment to be remembered for the rest of my life.

A moment to be remembered for the rest of my life.