Tag Archives: Sports News

How Damar Hamlin’s collapse may change football equipment

Damar Hamlin is a safety for the Buffalo Bills who went into cardiac arrest after a big hit during a game on January 2nd

By now, you have either seen or heard about Damar Hamlin. Damar Hamlin is a 2-year veteran of the National Football League, currently playing for the Buffalo Bills out of New York. On January 2nd, 2023, Hamlin was playing against the Cincinnati Bengals in a big game that would determine the playoffs for the NFL season. During the game, Hamlin was making what was considered a routine tackle against Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the 1st quarter of the critical game.

During the tackle, Higgins had lowered his shoulder a little bit, aiming at Hamlin’s chest. Hamlin made the routine tackle, not appearing to be in any pain or an unstable state. Soon after Hamlin stood up, he then collapsed onto his back. The Bills’ medical staff then ran out onto the field and began CPR, to which Hamlin was loaded into an ambulance on the field and rushed to a local level 1 trauma center.

After staying up for a while after the game had been suspended, I listened to what the commentators and ESPN reporters had to say, and I took away that this rarely happens in football games to the point where they have to pull an ambulance on the field.

I personally do not play football, and I don’t know what it feels like to take a hit wearing the pads that football players wear. As someone who follows football, I know that players’ equipment is designed to be light and to put player safety first. My theory about how this might change football on all levels, peewee to the NFL, is simple.

I believe that the companies that are responsible for designing and manufacturing football pads are going to either be required, or out of the safety and compassion for their customers, will find a way to add a new layer of padding, either foam or some sort of shock absorbing material similar to what the players already wear inside their helmets. The companies will put that type of padding in the same area where Hamlin took his hit. Hopefully, adding these pads will prevent injuries at all levels of football, like the one that Damar Hamlin suffered during the game.

Quinn Wells is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

How the MLB’s revisions improve the game

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At the beginning of September, Major League Baseball announced three new changes that will alter how the game is played. Starting next year, the MLB will implement a pitch clock, increase the size of the bases, and enforce limits on the shift.

The new pitch clock will make it so that pitchers must begin their motion within 30 seconds between batters, 15 seconds for batters with no runners on base, and 20 seconds for batters when there are runners on base.

Pitchers will have two disengagements (pickoffs and step-offs) per batter, and if a third pickoff is unsuccessfully attempted, the runners will advance a base. However, if runners advance, the pitcher will get 2 more “disengagements.”

With a similar pitch clock in Triple-A ball this year, the average play time decreased by about 21 minutes.

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The MLB has been trying to make the game shorter for years and, in trying to do so, has made the game worse with the implementation of runners starting on second base in extra innings.

However, they have finally figured it out with the new changes. The new pitch clock will only increase the pace of play while keeping traditional aspects of the game, and this simple revision will make the games quicker and more exciting.

The MLB will also increase the size of the bases from 15 square inches to 18 square inches. This adjustment should lead to fewer injuries and more stolen bases.

With bigger bases, the injuries to players as they run to 1st base or slide into 2nd or 3rd base should be less frequent. Bigger bases also mean that the distance between bases is less, so there should be more attempted and successful stolen base attempts.

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This adjustment can only be beneficial to the players and fans of baseball and is another great change made by the league.

The final modification made is the new limits enforced on the shift. Teams will now need four infielders, with two on each side of 2nd base. Teams can add additional infielders by moving outfielders to the infield, but they must have four players within the outer boundary of the infield and two on each side of 2nd base.

Whether or not the league should enforce limits on the shift or not has been one of the most polarizing debates in recent years. However, implementing a limit on the shift allows for pull hitters to be better.

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Being able to hit everywhere on the field is a special skill that makes some hitters special. This change is bad for the league as it encourages players to not work on the craft of hitting everywhere on the field and lowers the skill level of the league.

However, implementing these restrictions on the shift should lead to more hits, making the game even more exciting.

The three revisions by the MLB will make the league more exciting and safer and generally good for the league. While implementing restrictions to the shift will reduce the consequences of being a pull hitter and lowers the skill level of the league, the other changes are significant for the league as they make the games shorter, safer, and more exciting.

Jimmy Thomas is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Could this be a championship season for MSJ Football?

The Varsity Football team is primed for a stellar MIAA season this year. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

The Varsity Gaels Football Team looks primed to compete for the MIAA championship. The Gaels have arguably the best defense in the MIAA (with an average of 12 points given per game last year). With an explosive offense led by Junior Quarterback Winston Watkins, with many talented wide receivers, running backs, and offensive lineman. 

The Student Section always shows up for game time. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

With being the #29 team in the nation in 2019 (Pre-Covid), and being the #2 team in the A conference in 2021, they knew that this season would be a dominant one with most of last year’s starters returning. With multiple schools losing their best players due to transferring, MSJ has managed to keep its core players. Thanks to this, Saint Joe has a fantastic opportunity to reclaim their title as best in the MIAA. They have a team full of hungry players who remember the sting of their Semi-Final exit last year. 

The plan for the season is complete domination, with the team’s focus continuing to dominate through all 4 quarters. With the addition of 6 new coaches, this year’s team looks more like they will reach the ultimate goal.

Varsity Football is led on the field by Joe Gael. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster
Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

The team is looking forward to having games against great teams to prepare them for the championship. They played St. Ignatius in a match many thought would be a blowout and MSJ held its own. Even though they came up short, they opened a lot of eyes. The team also has a game against the #35 team in the nation, Good Counsel. 

The Gaels will come into league play starting off hot on September 24, against Loyola Blakefield. Then for the rest of the season, all of the other games are league games. These games will determine if they will reach their ultimate goal. MSJ looks to claim the #1 seed to ensure home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

Nicholas Paxton is a senior member of the multimedia journalism Class.

The Championship Series is here – Who’s gonna move on to the World Series?

The Championship games are here, meaning we are one round away from the World Series. After the Dodgers beat the Giants 2-1, the NLCS is now between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers most likely will outperform the Atlanta Braves, but I believe Atlanta will defeat the Dodgers in a wild upset. I see the Braves beating the Dodgers in 6 games, so we could see a large upset soon.

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In the ALCS, the Houston Astros face the Boston Red sox. The Houston Astros have a better record against the Red Sox, but Boston has been proving teams wrong throughout the playoffs as they beat the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, both teams having a better record against the Red Sox. This is a hot take, but I believe the Red Sox will beat the Houston Astros in 7 games, possibly even 6 games. The Red Sox and the Braves have been on a roll and it would be exciting to see them play each other in the World Series

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According to my prediction, the Red Sox would take on the Braves in the World Series. This would be a real close couple of games, but I think Alex Cora and the Red Sox will come out on top, giving them their 10th World Series victory.

Thomas Moore is a freshman member of The Quill

The lack of equity in soccer has gotten out of hand 

Football, aka soccer in the states, is a beautiful game. The game most of the world loves. The game where everyone with just the ability and desire to work hard to earn their chance on a team will make it right? Maybe you would also hear that it is the sport where “anyone or any team can win.” Well, you are actually almost utterly wrong if you think that. You can spend your entire life working towards making it to the highest level and maybe have the chance to win a title for your team. Instead, you will likely just end up losing to a team that can spend on players who have better talent than you. So I am going to explain to you how wealthy billionaires have ruined football. 

First, let me explain why the owners have more power than American sports owners. In American sports, there is something called a salary cap. This salary cap system is used in many American sports to stop teams’ excessive amounts of money. Yes, in European soccer, there is some sort of rule where you aren’t allowed to spend over a certain amount for wages. However, this rule is relatively easy to bypass for teams with wealthy owners. They can spend more on wages than the less affluent teams due to their higher wealth, causing this separation between teams. This leads to exclusive competition among only a few teams in the league compared to everyone else.

 Now, what teams have these types of owners? Simple answer: almost every single good one. 

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Let’s talk about one of the first real mega-money men of the sport, Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea F.C. He took ownership of the team in June 2003. He wanted to take over the club because he saw potential in the team after they finished fourth. In total, under his reign of ownership, Chelsea has won nearly 20 trophies, with more still to come for as long as he is in charge. It also has kept them at the top consistently for most of that time.  Yet he has also spent nearly 4 billion dollars on players alone to get Chelsea to where they are.

Years of constant investment in some of the best players in the world can also impact players who could succeed in this newfound competition for a position. A player who has had this experience is Tammy Abraham. He played for Chelsea FC, and got consistent game time during the 2019-2020 season. During this season, he shined looking like one of the best strikers in the premier league and thought he would keep the form going. Then, Chelsea spent millions on strikers such as Timo Werner in 2020 and Romelu Lukaku in 2021 to push him out of the starting position. He has since moved to a team named Roma FC, where he has gotten off to a good start.

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Now that we learned what it is like to be at the top, let us see what it is like to be average. Sometimes, you can spend this mass amount of money and still not reach the heights of winning trophies or competing for more significant competitions. For example, Everton, a team that has spent nearly 500 million dollars, still has found little success.

What owners mainly spend their money on is the transfer fees of players. For example, recently, Manchester City spent nearly 130 million dollars on Jack Grealish. Yes, spending that much money on a single person is extreme, but that is the primary way for teams to compete for the top.

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These owners also want more ways to make money. Through wanting to cut costs on running the team, taking money from the team, and even trying to come up with grand ideas to bring more cash into themselves. An example of this would be Manchester United’s owners taking money from transfer fees to pay their own expenses.

The sport is now viewed by hardcore fans as being a cash grab rather than an experience for anyone and everyone. A way the fans feel this is through ticket prices. The average ticket price to get into Premier League games increases every season and gets more hurtful to fans’ pockets. Not only in tickets, but the owners also likely make fans overpay for any sort of merchandise that the team makes, such as jerseys, scarves, hats, etc.

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Overall, owners can completely invest in making their team better to become a more prominent name to make their money. They rob players’ careers to make money for their own gain rather than even caring about the players; they don’t care about the people who give them the money, the fans.

Chris DeGroote is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

New Coach Brings New Strategies To MSJ Baseball

Baseball at Mount St. Joe is an institution, with a long and storied history. Over the past few years, the record for the varsity squad has not been as good as expected, but things might be turning around this coming season. Last year, the varsity squad finished just shy of the playoffs, ending with a deceptively solid 11-16 record. Although they ended with this losing record, there were some very well played games, including their defeat of Spalding in a tight 3-2 contest. Coach Rod Cameron was the head coach of the baseball program until this season, having a very productive and successful run as an assistant coach, and also as head coach. While he may not have won a championship as a head coach, he set up a team with great players and strategies to get the job done correctly. The man that was chosen to follow Coach Cameron, Coach Phil Kraska, has been coaching at the Mount for 10 years, assisting the varsity team as well as previously serving as the head coach for the JV team. Before that, Kraska won an MIAA Championship as a player as part of the 2004 Varsity team.

Coach Kraska
Coach Phil Kraska, the new head coach for Mount Saint Joseph Baseball.

Coach Kraska has big plans for this season. He hopes to turn the program around and bring it back to its winning ways through rigorous offseason training and dedication. “We are doing a strength training program, trying to get our athletes stronger,” said Coach Kraska, “so that when we get to tryouts in February everyone is in shape and ready for the season.” Another issue that has plagued the Gaels are injuries, and this is something that Kraska hopes will be reduced, if not eliminated, through this offseason training.

Coach Kraska is very well-suited for the job as head coach, because he played for three fantastic coaches while attending the Mount. “I’ve played for Mr. Norton, Mr. Harris, and Mr. Cameron. They helped me while I was a player, and have helped me form my own coaching style,” he reminisced. All three of these coaches did great things at Mount Saint Joseph, and there is much to look forward to if Coach Kraska will be modeling his style from the experiences he had with his former coaches.

Matt McManus, the southpaw ace for the JV team, pitching in the semifinal game against Calvert Hall. The Mount would lose this game 10-9. Photo by Nick DeLauro ’20

Another positive for the team this year is the incoming talent. Many of the rising juniors hope to make a great difference to the team. One of the names to watch out for is Matt McManus, who was dominant on the mound last season for JV, even throwing a no-hitter against McDonogh. Another player that could drastically change the game is Michael Marsh, a clutch player at the plate who led the JV team in home runs last season. Many of the players returning to the varsity team, including Justin Looney and Connor Rudel, will be the driving force of the offense.

When asked if there were any schools in particular that he would be looking forward to facing, Coach Kraska said, “Everyone! People will have a picture of what we were last year in their minds. We are going to come out and take them by surprise.” This is another great insight into how this team will be playing this year. With a new coach and new talent, there is a definite excitement for the upcoming season.

There are many new elements in the baseball program this season, and they could turn out to be extremely beneficial. Although the team did not perform to their full potential last year, there is much room to grow and a whole lot to build off of. Coach Cameron left Coach Kraska in a very good place to start for next year. Coach Kraska, as well as the whole school, hopes all of the offseason work and preparation translates into success on the field when March rolls around.

Coach Kraska follows in the footsteps of his former MSJ Varsity Coach, Dave Norton, shown here with the team at Camden Yards. Photo Credit Brown Media

Ben McElroy is a Junior and a member of the Multimedia Journalism class.