This year we might have experienced one of the most entertaining playoffs in NFL history. It included two overtime back-to-back weeks and games that were decided by one possession, not even including the Super Bowl.
On January 23, we may have witnessed one of the most explosive and exciting playoff games of all time. The Bills scored and left 13 seconds on the clock; the Chiefs, with three timeouts, drove down the field and kicked a field goal to tie the game at 36. The rest of the game was history.
The rules of overtime in the playoffs were that the team that wins the coin toss can choose to receive or defer the kickoff. There is a 15-minute quarter, and if no one scores, then they will go until there is a winner. As the Chiefs won the toss, they chose to receive. The Chiefs drove down the field with ease, it was first and goal, and Patrick Mahomes tossed the ball to Travis Kelce and he caught it, ending the game. This game will never be forgotten. This game left many people speechless and wondering what would’ve been the outcome if the Bills had a chance to possess the ball.
In 2010, the NFL changed the rules for the postseason only. The change was instead of being able to kick a field goal to end the game on the first drive they had to score a touchdown to win. Although the NFL and the NCAA have many different rules, I think the NFL should adopt the same overtime rules. Both teams will have possession before the game is over in the NCAA overtime rules. If one team scores, the other team gets a possession. After three times of this happening, it stops being touchdowns and transitions to 2-point scores; they start from the 25 and have a drive to score. This would until there is a winner.
This would improve the rules because it is more entertaining to watch, it’s fair for both teams, giving them a chance to extend the game and try to win. Lastly, the rule only being in the playoffs means it doesn’t change the regular season making it a tiny change to their many rules.
I firmly believe if the Bills vs. Chiefs overtime went this way, it would have been a different outcome. I think this because the Bills had a lot of momentum as they went into overtime, but they didn’t have a chance to prove themselves. It is situations like these where it would be beneficial to have the change.
The following week the Bengals and Chiefs played in the AFC championship. The Chiefs started off hot, getting an 18-point lead going into halftime. The Bengals were able to rally and tie the game. The Chiefs went three and out and punted the ball. The Bengals kicked a field goal and gave Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs six minutes to score. The Chiefs made it look similar to the game against the Bills. They drove down, and in the final seconds, they kicked a field goal to send it to overtime.
The Chiefs won the toss and got the ball to start. The Chiefs got the ball at the 25, and they got a first down, thinking this game would be the same as the week before. Everyone now assumed the Chiefs would win. Mahomes dropped back and threw an interception. The Bengals drove a few yards and kicked the field goal to win. I believe that if the Bills had a chance, they would have won like the Bengals did.
Ironically the Super Bowl between the Rams and Bengals came down to a similar situation to the divisional and championship. The Bengals had a chance to go down and score, but they didn’t.
In the following months, the NFL would change the rules, and as of March 29th, 2022, the NFL just recently changed the rules of what will happen in overtime. Both teams will get possession. Also, if the kickoff is fumbled and results in a safety the game will end there. As they made these changes in situations like these, I believe they don’t need to fix anything else in the rules. This change will be seen in the upcoming 2022-2023 season.
Roger Fredrickson is a freshman in Mr. Lambdin’s English Class.
I wrote this essay to create a scene that I thought would fit into the appropriate time of the school. I wrote this essay to create a story about MSJ students during the 1940’s and what their life was like back then. In this essay I want the readers to understand what it might be like at Mount Saint Joseph during the 1940’s.
“Hey Alex,” called Ben running up to his best friend. “Do you want to go to the mall with me after school today? I need to buy a new leather jacket with the money my neighbor gave me for fixing her car.”
It was an unseasonably cold September day at Mount Saint Joseph, and students were slowly walking down the cobblestone path to their first classes of the day. The leaves in the trees around them were fading turning crimson.
“I don’t think I can,” Alex replied. “I have a meeting with the student council. Don’t you have detention anyway?”
“Oh right, I forgot,” Ben replied sullenly.
“How did you get detention,” Alex asks.
“I was in class having a simple debate with my history teacher about why Thomas E. Dewey should be elected president instead of Truman,” Ben said, “and the old geezer decided to give me detention for arguing.”
The boys walked in silence down the cobblestone path, listening to the chatter of other students around them. The icy wind blew against the students like a piercing dagger. Ben, stuffing his hands deep in his pockets, wished he was at home in his bed away from the frigid September weather and listening to the music of his favorite musician, Louis Armstrong, on the record player he had recently bought. His thoughts were interrupted by Brother Bartholomew, the headmaster of the school. He was a strict, but kind man, who dedicated his life to serving God and making the boys of the school better men.
“Belts tucked in, ties straight. It’s another day of school. Let’s make the most of it,” barked the headmaster. “And remember, devote this day to making the Mount a better place.”
The boys trudged past the headmaster in silence, watching their breath flow from their mouths like smoke billowing from a chimney. Pushing his sleek blonde hair out of his freckled face, Ben remarked, “I can’t wait to get inside the building. It is so cold.”
“I know,” Alex replied, “Just imagine what it will be like a month from now.
The two boys finally approached the doors of the buildings. For one, it was a gateway to learning, but for the other, seven long hours of misery.
“See you at lunch,” Alex said to Ben.
“See ya then,” Ben replied, heading towards the other building. “If I make it that long.”
An Unforgettable Moment
I wrote this essay during English class with Mr. Peightel because I wanted to write a short story about two young boys and their adventure up the mountain. I wrote this essay because I wanted to create an interesting story with as much detail as I could. I hope the reader will take away from the story that description can make your essay so much better.
“ Hurry up,” Peter said, turning around to see his little brother Timmy trudging along the path. “ We are almost at the top.
“ I’m tired,” Timmy replied while trying his best to avoid the roots and rocks under his feet. “ Can we just take a five-minute break?”
Reluctantly, Peter walked back down to his brother, setting down his long stick he had found while ascending the mountain. Then he sat down next to his brother on a fallen tree, wiping the mud off his legs, and listening to the birds in the air and the scampering of small animals, like squirrels, scurrying from tree to tree trying to find enough food before winter.
Timmy sat there in silence, watching a soaring eagle flying down to her nest with what looked like food for her children.
“Peter, what type of bird is that?” Timmy asks, not taking his eyes off the bird.
“I think it is a bald eagle,” Peter replies.
“Do bald eagles eat humans?” Timmy implores, looking up at his older brother.
Smiling, Peter responds, “No Timmy, they only eat smaller animals like mice and other smaller birds.”
“It’s been five minutes, let’s get going, we are almost there we just need to make one last turn on the path. Trust me, the view you are about to see will be worth the tedious climb up the mountain.”
Guzzling down the last of his precious water from his canteen and picking up his walking stick, Timmy slowly gets up and starts walking next to his older brother, determined to make it to the top.
After five minutes of the rocky and steep path, They made it to the top. Looking around, Timmy sees a massive boulder that reminded him of the one from his favorite show, The Lion King. Once near the edge of the rock, he looked down, seeing at the trees and rivers below and off in the distance the setting sun.
“Now are you glad you kept hiking to the top, instead of turning back around and walking back down to the bottom?” Peter says.
“You were right, Timmy gasped. This is the best view I have ever seen in my life.”
Putting his arm around his brother, Timmy gazes into the sunset, enjoying these precious moments of silence, trying to implant this moment in his head forever.
Jack Bonham is a member of Mr. Dan Peightel’s Honors Freshman English class
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most profitable sports in the entire world. Generating $8 billion dollars in revenue last year, the league holds the world’s third highest income across all sports. It has been America’s most heavily followed sport. Aside from its national popularity, the NBA yields roughly $500 million in international media agreements every year. The individual franchises themselves are valued at an average of $2.12 billion dollars, and that number continues to climb. So with the league having such a high income year in and year out, it makes sense that the average NBA player’s salary is $7.7 million dollars, right? This question is still unanswered and is debated every day by hoops junkies and experts alike.
To be able to properly address whether there is an issue with the league’s current average salary, we must first understand how salaries are determined. There are various levels to different salaries players can make. These include the rookie scale contracts, veteran-minimum contracts, and ‘SuperMax’ contracts.
For example, first-round draft pick out of the University of Maryland, and MSJ Class of 2018 graduate, Jalen Smith received a ‘Rookie Scale Contract’ after being drafted 10th overall by the Phoenix Suns. The ‘Rookie Scale Contract’ is the first contract negotiated by a team and their first round draft pick. This contract entails a minimum length of 2 years, with a 3rd and 4th year option. The salary of said contract is determined by the rookie salary scale and can vary depending on minutes played, injuries, suspensions, etc. In Jalen’s case, he inked a 4-year deal worth $19.3 million dollars, an average salary of $4.825 million. However, a contract is much different for that of an undrafted rookie. The least amount of money an undrafted rookie player can make in his first year with their team is $893,310 dollars. That number typically goes up when the player’s minutes increase, points per game (ppg) increase, rebounds per game (rpg) increase, etc. The rookie salary scale continues to grow as the “salary cap” grows and other various elements to a team’s spending budget increases. That being said, does the NBA have a serious problem on its hands, or is this just the nature of the beast?
If there is one thing that the NBA should be commended for, it’s the fact that they do not sell league veterans short on their ‘vet-minimum’ salary. The base ‘vet-minimum’ salary a player with 10 or more years of service in the league can receive is $2,564,743 million dollars annually. If the ‘vet-minimum’ deal said player was signed to is a multi-year deal, they will receive the above salary each year pending the contract’s terms and conditions designated by the franchise. For example, longtime NBA center Marc Gasol signed a 2-year, vet-minimum deal last offseason with the Los Angeles Lakers. The league encourages teams to sign veteran players to deals by lessening the amount of “real money” the veteran accounts for on the franchise’s payroll. The NBA will reimburse teams for signing veteran players by paying off a certain portion of the vet’s salary that is equivalent to a 2-3 year player’s minimum salary. Basically, a vet can sign a 1-year contract worth $2.8 million, but the team that signed him only has to pay $1.6 million of that deal. Alleviating a franchise of a portion of a veteran player’s salary helps the NBA continue to keep veterans on rosters and a part of the league’s community.
A gray area of the league that is arguably the most debated and talked about aspect of salaries is the ‘SuperMax’ extension that can be given to all players regardless of age/years played. The ‘SuperMax’ contract extension is the largest amount of money a team can offer a player, typically a superstar of the league. The terms of the contract vary depending on how long the player has been in the league. For example, a player that has been in the NBA between 7-9 years can earn an extension worth greater than 30% of the franchise’s overall salary space. This means that the ‘SuperMax’ itself has to be worth at least 30% of the entire team’s payroll. Another option the team has is to increase the player’s salary by 105% of what they earned the previous year. Aside from the numbers aspect of the ‘SuperMax’ deal, it can cause division in locker rooms and between teammates.
Players who make the league minimum or significantly less than that of a ‘SuperMax’ player can feel undervalued and unappreciated. Some can even be envious of their teammates. For example, former Houston Rocket shooting guard James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets after having a fallout with the Rockets. Harden was adamant about not playing for Houston, turning down a 2-year deal worth $103 million dollars. As a player on the Rockets at that time, it would have been easy to feel discredited and overlooked by the coaches and management. Even though he was later released, former center for the Rockets DeMarcus Cousins voiced his displeasure with management and with James when it came to how the situation was handled. This is a prime example of how ‘SuperMax’ contracts can rip a franchise apart.
After analyzing and reviewing the NBA salary and how it works, do you feel that the players are overpaid, underpaid, or paid just right? Should franchises continue to dish out ‘SuperMax’ deals, or should the league regulate how many players can receive these contracts? With the NBA having a “soft” salary cap, meaning the cap number can be stretched and adjusted, should the league switch to a “hard” cap to limit super teams and “big threes”? All these questions I have presented all stem from one, single major debate…are NBA players overpaid?
Brayden Spurgeon is a member of Mr. Dan Peightel’s Honors Freshman English class.
During my first day at the Mount, I was shadowing Tyler Collins, the best soccer player in the school who runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. You could see the nervousness on my face walking into the school. Little did I know I was walking into the place I would spend my next four years. The shadow day was a success because I wanted to go to Mount Saint Joseph but, mainly because my friends were going, and they have a good soccer team. I did not think it was a particularly “great” school.
Skip to a couple of months later I had to cut my summer short a week early and wake up at 6 in the morning for freshman orientation, what a great start to high school (sarcasm font). I spent the whole week not caring about any of the school history, or rules, or school values. This was how I acted all of freshman year, which is the reason freshman year was the least memorable experience for me. Even the big things like Solution Showcase. I just grinded it out and did not put any care into it, just like I did with everything else regarding school, and I was a B student. This wasn’t a terrible thing, but did I really want three more years of just “getting by.”
Sophomore year was my turning point because of one teacher that showed me what MSJ really stood for, and this teacher’s priority was to make sure that we know how to act, and exemplify being a Mount Man. He always emphasized the point “you only have two more years here, it goes by so fast, make it worthwhile” and wow was he right. It feels like yesterday I was walking into that classroom! If I had to define a Mount Man, I would say it’s the opposite of the first year Anthony DiPino. A Mount Man takes pride in his work and works hard to not just be a better student, but to be a better person. Being a Mount Man doesn’t just give you good grades, St. Joe teaches you to use these values of hard work and put care into everything else that you do. If you apply these to your job you will be successful, into sports you will be successful, and now in college I’m going to be successful. I applaud this teacher because of course, I knew that you need to work hard, but he’s the first person that actually knocked it into my head and forced me to do it.
Junior year was the best year at MSJ for me. Going into junior year all I heard was “it’s so stressful” and “it’s going to be hard, there’s a lot going on”. They were right, I had to keep my grades up, I had to deal with the stress of soccer, I had a girlfriend, and I had to work on college stuff all in one year. I was different this year though, I said to myself that I was going to be the best I can be, and I did it. I worked as hard as I could and exemplified being a Mount Man in everything that I did. I got straight As for the first time in my life. I went from my soccer coach saying “you won’t see the field all year” to becoming first off the bench and scoring goals. Things feel so much better when you work for them. Luckily for me I had a helping hand other than the school pushing me to do the best I can.
My parents were a huge part of pushing me to do better and I couldn’t have done it without them. St. Joe has the same values as my parents, and it was kind of weird hearing quotes and sayings from my teachers and coaches because I’ve heard it all before from my parents. This is good because people that aren’t as fortunate to have parents like I do, will still learn these important values if they go to St. Joe. Junior year in all was one of the best years of my life. I wish everyone could experience what it’s like when the hard work finally pays off, what it’s like to see the straight As on your report card after hundreds of hours of homework and studying. I wish everyone could experience the joy of what it’s like to score a goal in a Varsity soccer game after working for hundreds of hours trying to improve your game just to get playing time.
I applied these values again into my senior year and it was another great year and now going into college I will use the same formula to be the best possible me!
Anthony DiPino is a member of the Class of 2020. This article is part of his Senior Capstone Project.
To introduce myself, my name is Danny Palmer. I’m writing this based on my experiences with this quarantine to hopefully help those who read persevere until life returns to normal.
Speaking of normal, for me life was good up to quarantine. I had just begun to really enjoy my freshman year of high school. I enjoyed all of my classes, I was in fun extracurricular activities, and I was finding good friends.
One of my favorite classes was English. Not only because I had just published the same piece twice, in “The Quill” and MSJ’s amazing English teachers’ book called “Insights.” But also because that was the time of year when freshmen at Mount Saint Joseph would be working on their Solutions Showcase Project. It was fun because everyone’s project was different in a way. Some guys built objects like instruments or made podcasts on sports or another subject they enjoyed.
I was working on a stuffed animal donation drive for kids who were experiencing some kind of trauma in their lives. My project was going very smoothly up to quarantine. I was working on a poster I planned to hang up around the school. I also was calling Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, The Ronald McDonald House, and Stuffed Animals for Emergencies to see if they would like to be a part of the drive and collect the donations. The next step for me was to start the drive throughout the school with the permission from Miss Coyne to collect the stuffed animals.
Besides organizing the school drive, almost every day after school I was able to participate in MSJ’s show “Newsies.” In the show I played the character of Les. This was my first show I’d ever been in. Auditioning for this show helped me find my passion and helped me gain this confidence to do more. Being able to go to rehearsals with my friends was the highlight of my day every time. I was even planning on going to the Spring Formal Dance with a girl that I met at rehearsals.
A little more about myself. I love to do art. All of my classes were great and I loved doing all of them, but art is my favorite. I found the art room to be my safe haven in school. It was a great place to go and relax. I was also in the art club that was held almost every Wednesday after school in the art room.
Besides the art room and rehearsals, being in my homeroom was another highlight of my day. I got to see all my friends, most of whom were in the show. Some of my friends and I also loved going to the games especially during the basketball season.
Then word of the Coronavirus started spreading around the world and we heard rumors that we’d go into quarantine. No one really believed it at first because it just seemed so harmless and felt like a joke. Then the school started to take more precautions and I saw my life and what I loved begin to crumble. Then quarantine finally struck and everything that was normal was gone.
Chapter 2. BOOM!
First off, what is Covid-19? It is a type of Coronavirus that spreads extremely quickly between hosts by air or physical contact. It originated in China and spread quickly throughout the world affecting major world economies. The virus completely stopped unnecessary travel, caused social distancing and finally caused quarantine.
When the quarantine came, it was a surprise to most of us. It just seemed to escalate very quickly. Everything changed. We were told the bare minimum of quarantine would be two weeks, but deep down we knew it would be much longer. Then the fact set in that we wouldn’t be able to see our friends and do the activities we love to do. I continued to practice for the show still hoping that it would happen.
Meeting up with my teachers and friends online, and knowing that they were ok was a huge relief. However, online learning was definitely a change. For me the hardest thing to do was finding the encouragement and motivation that I normally found in the classroom. Also when you’re not with your friends in a work setting being overlooked by the teacher it seems pointless.
Life became so boring. Not being able to see friends, participate in activities, and being cooped-up in a house with the same people for more than a month is ANNOYING! Everything good that I was planning to do flew out the window. Like going to the Spring Formal Dance, performing in “Newsies” with my friends, or doing a school wide drive, and donating the stuffed animals to kids, and presenting my work to a professional panel of judges.
Speaking of the project, I had to completely scrap the idea and start over. So while I searched for a new idea, I thought, how can I help people in the MSJ community? So I decided that I could write a guide based on my experiences with this “Coronacation” that would help me and others to deal with quarantine.
Chapter 3. Do’s and Don’ts
The following is based on my experiences with quarantine.
Stay in touch with friends and family
Keep yourself in isolation
Be a slob
Try new hobbies
Binge the crap out of Netflix
Clean around the house
Pray your Mama will do it
Get ahead or catch up on schoolwork
Read a book
Try to reach a high score of 100 on Flappy Bird
Turn off Social Media for a while
Turn on Social Media for a while
Go to bed and wake up at a normal time
Stay up till 4 am on video games and wake up at 2 pm
Keeping in Touch
Quarantine has started! That doesn’t mean we are completely apart. It’s healthy to stay connected with family and friends. A daily text like “Hey! How are you doing?” or just a quick five minute phone call as a check up on friends and family will not only improve your mental health, but others’ too. Without this you may feel a sense of loneliness.
There is a chance that we may not see each other until January of 2021. I think that the biggest challenge with this quarantine is uncertainty. We have to remember that at this point no one knows when or how this quarantine will end. No one can see into the future, people can only make predictions, which do not always turn out to be the truth.
New truths are being refreshed on the news all the time. No matter if it’s the C.D.C., Fox News, C.N.N., W.H.O., etc. Whether or not it is about the death count around the world, the total of people who contracted the virus, or if the curve will flatten over the summer before school starts up again in the fall. Constantly checking the news can cause stress and anxiety.
Even though school hours are shortened and pushed back, that doesn’t mean we should stay up till midnight watching Netflix or playing video games. I’m sure most, if not all of us, have already done this. Going to bed at a normal time every day, possibly at 10:30 p.m., can help you to do more the following day.
Read a book. Try picking up new hobbies. Like an instrument, making art, sewing, woodworking, etc. Maybe if you are fortunate enough to have a large front or backyard, practice the sport you’re a part of.
We might be stuck at home for a lot longer, possibly till the end of 2020. Make use of it! Besides getting into new hobbies, we have to remember that school is still a thing. Most of our teachers have already posted more assignments than we can count. It’s important not to fall behind. Even if you did, now is still a good time to catch up.
It’s also important to stay on top of your tasks because we are a part of a bigger plan. You see, the county needs proof that online learning is working. If you do not want school to go further into the summer it’s important to get your work done.
Clean around the House
Also since we are home more it’s best to do our mothers a favor and clean around the house. Most of us are the ones who have to go to the store for the necessities because our parents or guardians might have pre-existing conditions. This makes it extremely important to always be washing our hands. I find it best whenever you pass your kitchen or bathroom sink just to wash your hands then. Scrubbing down all flat surfaces such as tabletops, counters, shelves, etc is very helpful. Just by doing light house cleaning once or twice a week you will make a lot of improvement.
Being home for over a month can be challenging. Especially since we are not outside more often doing sports or other activities it’s important to continue the amount of exercise we used to receive or at least get as close to it as possible. Just being outside for an hour can help.
Before this whole quarantine started I went to the YMCA about three times a week. I know that most of the guys at MSJ were going to the gym, YMCA, or other places to exercise. Sure the equipment at the gym was great and really did make a difference, but even though we are at home that doesn’t mean we should stop. I recall my friends telling me that they sort of or completely stopped working out regularly because of quarantine.
I think that quarantine is actually the best time to get in shape and work out. We are at home 24/7 now. Make use of it! I’ve started to challenge myself to different workouts recently. Since we aren’t outside as much as we usually are, I like to find a small space in the living room or basement and jump rope. In between my kitchen and living room we have a pull up bar in the doorway. On YouTube I saw this challenge that was being held in Los Angeles: if you were able to hang on to a bar for 100 seconds you won a hundred dollars. At first I thought it’s not that difficult and I tried it and I only did sixty seconds. I think it was the second day when I actually managed to complete the challenge and now I’m extending how long I can hang on the bar.
It’s also important not to forget the basics that you can do without any equipment. Just your basic pushups, sit-ups, crunches, wall sits, etc. For instance, I want to train myself to be able to stay in the plank position for an hour. It seems ambitious, but it would be amazing if I could pull it off!
Chapter 4. The upside of Quarantine
Even though quarantine took away our normal lives, at the same time it gave us the meaning of family as well. For me, being able to see my sister every day can be annoying ,true, but she is now back from college. That is both a curse and a gift. We have been able to do so much more! We make movies at home on iMovie almost every day , which I will NOT be posting on the Internet!
As a family we watch family movies almost every night after dinner. Also after dinner we all have been slowly losing it. All of us miss our social lives. Now we start to break out dancing to our favorite songs. Even our dog joins in the fun by barking at us thinking that we are fighting. Then ten minutes later we have all stopped trying to catch our breath and out of nowhere and out of the silence he throws up very subtly. It’s gross but it means that he had a good time too.
Don’t be afraid to get silly. By this time we have already passed the fifty day marker. Enjoy your family, spend more time together. Try at the end of each day to remember the three things you are grateful for that happened that day. It’s a good practice to do with your family.
Have meals with them more often. Pray together. My Mama found a prayer that is said for the protection during the time of a pandemic. It is a novena prayer, which is a nine day prayer, but you can pray it every day until the pandemic ends. We have prayed it every night before dinner alongside with the prayer before meals. Both Archbishop Lori and I recommend everyone to pray this prayer because in these trying times a little bit of prayer is what we may need right about now.
Chapter 5. Wrapping it up
I hope that these suggestions will help during this “Coronacation.” Just remember to stay safe, and care for each other.
Go MSJ! Saint Joseph pray for us!
Danny Palmer is a freshman student in Mr. Lambdin’s English class.