The right ending for a series?


Everyone has their favorite TV shows. Everyone knows those shows that draws you in and makes you genuinely care about the characters. Shows that you mindlessly binge watch on Netflix and end up knocking out multiple seasons in a weekend.

“Breaking Bad,” “The WireandGame of Thrones” are dramas that keep you on the edge of your seat. “Scrubs,” “The Office,” and a few other comedies achieve an interesting and great balance of laughs and genuine emotions.

One conundrum that all writers and creators must face at some point is the question of how to end a beloved show. Some opt to go with the classic happy ending. Some look to add a twist and shock viewers. Some, like “Breaking Bad,” end the series sadly, but remain true to the main character of the show.

This problem is thrown into the national spotlight and debated every time a long-running series reaches its conclusion. The most recent example came with the ending of CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother” last week.

If you haven’t seen the ending and want to, you may want to stop reading now.

The creators of the show, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, opted to try for the twist ending, and opinions are highly mixed on whether or not they succeeded. The creators opted to kill off the titular mother. The main character, Ted, was telling the story to his children six years after her death as a veiled way of asking their permission to ask out their “Aunt Robin,” one of the shows main characters and Ted’s off and on girlfriend during the show’s run.

The show has come under heavy fire from both viewers and critics for the finale. Those that disliked the ending have complained about the mother’s death itself and were also extremely disappointed to see Ted revert to a woman he supposedly “got over” many times and who also happens to be his best friend’s ex-wife.

The creators have said that this was the plan for the finale since the beginning and a final scene with the kids was shot during Season 2, before the actors outgrew their roles. However, many have said that the direction of the show has changed since then and the writers failed to account for it in the finale.

Essentially, this question proves that it’s impossible to please everyone, even those people who have remained loyal to a show for a long time.

Ultra 2014 is upon us


As almost every UM student knows, this weekend is a big one. Why? That question can be answered in a single word.


The highly anticipated annual music festival is set to take Miami by storm this weekend, with most of the biggest names in EDM (Electronic Dance Music), making their way to South Florida from all over the world. Hardwell, Krewella, Zedd, Avicii, Martin Garrix, Jack U, and hundreds of other acts will perform this weekend in front of more than 50,000 spectators.

The excitement surrounding the weekend has been palpable around campus for the past couple of days. Everywhere you turn you hear it.

Ultra. Ultra. Ultra.

Tickets are being bought and sold among students at an impressive clip. If you take a peek at the Miami Students Facebook page, you are almost guaranteed to see posts such as, “Anybody want to buy my Sunday ticket? $150.”  or, “Is anybody still selling tickets? I need one!”

The event is huge for Miami every year, bringing in tourists from all over the country and from around the globe. Consequently, local Miami media often covers certain aspects of the festival, and just did a story today about the construction of the main stage.

The weekend is sure to be a memorable one, but anybody that is planning on attending, be sure to remain safe and healthy throughout the weekend!

March Madness and perfection


Today, the first real slate of games in the 2014 NCAA Tournament kicked off. As usual, the day was filled with upsets, overtime games, and plenty of the game’s patented “madness.”

Of course, one main reason for the mania surrounding March Madness can be described in a single word: brackets. Around the country,  millions of people compete against their friends, co-workers or family members for money and bragging rights.

This year alone, more than 11 million people entered ESPN’s “Tournament Challenge,” which grants $10,000 to the top one percent of brackets submitted. However, that prize is dwarfed by Warren Buffett’s now famous “Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge”, which as the name suggests, promises $1 billion for a perfect bracket. As expected with such a large payout, the news and sports media have relentlessly covered this possibility of perfection.

For Buffett, this is an extremely low-risk, high-reward situation. He has managed to create a huge media buzz, while there is an almost miniscule chance that he will have to actually dish out the billion. For each individual bracket, the chances of predicting all 63 games correctly is close to 1 in 9.2 quintillion. The chances of anybody in the U.S. winning are under 1 in a billion.

This is a great example of Buffett’s business savvy that made him a billionaire in the first place. He was able to use the media to his advantage, get his name back into the public eye, and will almost certainly not have to deal with the monetary consequences of a perfect bracket.

Whether your bracket is perfect, or far from it, March Madness is here. You may not use bracketology to win a billion dollars, but the tournament is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting in years. We might as well enjoy it.


The Blade Runner’s fall from grace


In the 2012 London Olympics, one man touched the hearts and inspired the minds of millions around the globe, no matter the country.

That man was Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. The Blade Runner. He was the man who became an Olympic athlete despite losing both of his legs and was able to run with the help of prosthetics. His story seemed too perfect even for Hollywood, but one night last summer, everything came crashing down.

Today, Pistorius sits in a South African court, on trial for the cold-blooded murder of his girlfriend. Although he pleaded not guilty, the evidence seems to be piling up for  conviction.

Pistorius has admitted to shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, but he claims that he thought that she was an intruder. Personally, that seems like a thin excuse, at best, and a ridiculous one at worst.

Seriously, how do you not recognize your own girlfriend? Why would you blindly shoot at someone without clarifying who it is? If his story were true, all that Reeva would have had to do to prevent tragedy is say, “Hey Oscar, it’s me.” Hopefully, the judge will use reason to lock Pistorius up and throw away the proverbial key.

It’s sad to see that a man that people all over the world once respected and admired is actually a monster. This situation reminds me of once-beloved Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace, except that Armstrong never killed anyone.

It is also disappointing in many ways that because of Pistorius’ celebrity, all of the media coverage surrounding this trial is focused on him, rather than Steenkamp. While it is because of who Pistorius is that this trial is such big international news, the memory of his victim should certainly not be forgotten.

Awaiting the March madness


The long month of February following the Super Bowl is often considered the worst time of the year to be a sports fan in America. Right now, SportsCenter has hardly any highlights to show and instead subjugates viewers to discussing Lebron James’ mask and Johnny Manziel’s height at the NFL Draft Combine.

But fear not, because as the calendar will soon flip to March, we are right on the precipice of arguably one of the best sporting events of the year: March Madness. The NCAA basketball tournament is a weeks long extravaganza of basketball and gambling across the nation.

What American among us doesn’t fill out multiple brackets in hopes of winning their office pool? Or just a bet with buddies? Who doesn’t love the first weekend of games, when anything is possible? When the clock hasn’t yet hit midnight for Cinderella and hopes remain to pull off a seemingly impossible upset?

Florida Gulf Coast University took the nation by storm in the 2013 big dance, becoming the first 15 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16 and earning the nickname “Dunk City” in the process. Years earlier, 11 seed George Mason stunningly advanced to the Final Four, beating powerhouse UConn to earn its trip.

Every single year, unbelievable endings are all but guaranteed and many unexpected heroes emerge. Their ranks include Steph Curry of Davidson, to Gordon Hayward of Butler, to TJ Sorrentine of Vermont. Rivalries have begun in the tournament, including the greatest individual rivalry in basketball history, Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson.

Quite simply, March Madness is a magical time of year for basketball fans, a couple weeks where basketball seems pure and exactly how it’s meant to be.

Can you tell that I’m excited?

Team USA unites a nation


At high noon tomorrow in Sochi, Team USA will battle Canada in men’s hockey with a spot in the gold medal game on the line. The game is a rematch of the final of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, which Canada won in overtime.

The U.S. is riding high following an epic win against Russia in the group stage, in which TJ Oshie became a cult hero by scoring four shootout goals to propel the Americans to a 3-2 victory. The win has been widely considered the greatest U.S. hockey win since the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

The Olympics are famous for promoting national unity and no Winter Olympics event accomplishes this goal better than hockey. Since the Olympics have begun, shirts bearing the USA emblem have been a common sight across campus.

The Twitterverse also exploded following the victory against Russia, with hashtags like #Oshie trending throughout the day. Viral videos also surfaced of raucous celebrations of the game-winning goal from bars around the country, mostly attributed to the popular blog

The excitement leading up to the face-off versus Canada has been almost tangible among sports fans across the country. In a way, that is the true magic of the Olympics. Once every two years, everyone in the U.S., though fans of many different sports teams, can unite under one common goal.

For once, Yankees and Red Sox, Celtics and Lakers, Duke and North Carolina’s fans can all cheer for the same team. Go USA!

Michael Sam and the media


Earlier this week, former Missouri defensive end and NFL prospect Michael Sam came out as gay, and will likely become the first openly gay NFL player following the draft in April.

Since Sam’s announcement, the news media, especially ESPN, has covered the story non-stop. Articles on Sam have filled the pages of, stories about him have been covered by Sportscenter, and his NFL draft stock has been constantly analyzed.

However, while most media sources have been highly supportive of Sam, the question remains; are they really doing him any favors by constantly featuring the story? Or are they actually hurting the cause of the player that they claim to embrace?

Since Sam has come out, certain NFL executives that wished to remain anonymous have stated that his draft stock will likely fall following the revelation. Some would say that this only reinforces the macho, misogynist stereotype of the NFL.

However, most teams that pass on Sam in the draft will not do so out of hatred or homophobia, but a desire to avoid the media circus that will inevitably follow Sam throughout the season.

NFL teams are well known for trying to avoid “distractions” at all costs. Any type of story that attracts severe media coverage is seen as a threat to the team’s on-field performance.

A recent example that exemplifies this idea is the ongoing saga of former Miami Dolphins players Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. When the story first broke of alleged bullying in the locker room, the team was above .500 and contending for the playoffs.

After the story made national headlines and became a “distraction” to players, the Dolphins lost their last two games to division rivals New York and Buffalo and missed the playoffs.

The point is, networks such as ESPN claim to be fully behind Michael Sam, but constantly adding to the story will only reinforce the idea in executives’ minds that having Sam on their team could potentially cause a distraction in the locker room that could manifest itself on the football field.

If the news media really want to help Michael Sam succeed as a professional, they should limit their coverage of the story and allow him to be seen first and foremost as a very, very good football player with NFL talent who happens to be gay, rather than simply the gay player.

The Sherman effect in sports journalism


As most know, last Sunday the Seattle Seahawks emerged as Super Bowl champions, manhandling the AFC champion Denver Broncos, 43-8. The win was largely thanks to the defense, particularly the secondary, nicknamed the Legion of Boom (L.O.B). The unit has been touted recently as one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. However, arguably the best player on that defense, CB Richard Sherman, is also undoubtedly the most controversial figure in the game today.

Sherman made national headlines due to his postgame interview following the NFC Championship game, an event in which he made a game-saving play to help the Seahawks defeat the San Fransisco 49ers. When Erin Andrews asked Sherman to analyze the final play, he forcefully yelled at the camera, “I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get! Don’t you ever talk about me! … Don’t you ever open your mouth about the best, or Imma shut it for you real quick! L.O.B!”

Obviously, this response is not typical for a professional athlete in a post-game interview. However, it raises the question, should it be? Most players are taught by their organizations to speak to reporters in near clichés and give simple answers that are seen as more professional. For example, a more common answer to Andrews’ question would be, “I was just trying to make a play and I’m glad my teammate was able to come down with the interception. We played a great game today and the 49ers are a great team.”

Although something to that effect would be a typical answer, it is questionable whether that is all that the player would really like to say. The reason that sports in general, and the NFL in particular, are so popular and exciting to watch is the intensity and passion displayed by the players during every single play. When you think about it, it is a weird concept to ask the players to shift out of hyper-competitive mode into interview mode so soon after the game is over.

Would the game not be that much more interesting if more post-game interviews were honest and candid like Sherman’s? It would add a whole new element to the game for the fans, who are rarely really able to see the trash-talking and personal interactions between opposing players that go on between the lines.

Even Andrews herself, who many thought would be troubled by the incident, was very supportive of Sherman, saying, “I wish more athletes would be like that. We want someone to lose their minds like that.”

Although it is unlikely that most coaches, particularly old-school coaches like the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick, will allow their players to speak this way to the media, it will be interesting to see if there are any even minor changes in the way that players handle reporters next season. If there are, and fiery interviews like Sherman’s become more commonplace, we could be seeing the start of a completely new style of sports journalism.