Five-star Walker commits to Canes


For years, the University of Miami has been known as a football-centered university.  It hasn’t been until recently that basketball has found it’s way into prominence onto the Coral Gables campus.

Under head coach Jim Larrañaga, Miami has won the ACC regular season championship,  the ACC tournament championship and made two appearances in the Sweet 16.  But Coach L’s greatest accomplishment may have occurred on Wednesday morning.

Five-start guard and the 19th-ranked recruit by ESPN, Lonnie Walker, committed to The U and signed a national letter of intent.  He is the highest rated recruit to commit to Miami in the history of the school’s basketball program.  The ground-breaking acquisition has cause a lot of reactions in the news media.

Many were quite surprised by Walker’s choice. It was believed that the Arizona Wildcats were the favorites for Walker to choose.  This was represented Ben Roberts’ article on

“[Kentucky] weren’t necessarily considered favorites to land his commitment,” Roberts wrote. “but Miami wasn’t the frontrunner, according to any recruiting analysts, entering the early signing period last week.”

Matt Norlander of also wrote how Walker’s commitment is “the most surprising commitment by any five-star player in the 2017 class.”

But that is not the only angle being taken by media.  This has also provided the media with opportunity to give coach Larrañaga credit for the amazing job he has done with the program.  Jerry Steinberg of called Larrañaga a “master chef”  which is fitting with the magic he is cooking up in Coral Gables.

It’s clear that the news media are wanting to approach Walker’s commitment with an angle relatively new to the university.  The angle of a university that is new to the idea of a top tier basketball team and their rise to prominence.  It is also noted that more is expected to come from the Hurricanes.

Wade met with thunderous applause


At the end of the 2015-16 NBA basketball season, Miami Heat fans were nervous.  Dwyane Wade, the greatest player in franchise history was a free agent.  Fans new Wade was older now but still a “Heat Lifer” in many fans minds.  As nervous as the finds were, they were also just as confident that basketball mastermind, Pat Riley would keep him in South Beach for a few more years and maybe the res of his career.

But on July 16, their worst fear was realized.  The former NBA Finals MVP, Scoring Champ and 12-time All Star signed a contract with the Chicago Bulls. And since that day in July, every heat fan was waiting for Nov. 10.  The day Dwyane returns to the American Airlines Arena to take on the Heat as a Bull.

I was lucky enough to attend this game and I was excited.  There was so much anticipation from the crowd getting to see there former idol again.  But with all storylines going into the game, the news media was unsure of how the crowd would react.  After all, he did leave the city for another team that one could argue is not much better than the situation in Miami.  Also, there was the Riley vs. Wade storyline pitting the two figures against one another.

But despite all the speculation and reason to boo D-Wade, what I witnessed was an act of genuine love by the Miami Heat community toward a man who have 14 years of his life to a franchise and never wavered for those 14 years.  There was not a single person seated in the AAA and all were applauding, cheering, and chanting his name. Even though he left, it is still “Miami-Wade County.”

This great moment was exactly what the media was hoping for and they had a field day.  Multiple tweets, articles and TV spots were put out on the return.  And in every single one he was the local hero coming home to a warm welcome.

Wade ended the night by reminding the fans he still has it when he hit the two free throws that secured the win for Chicago.

Wentz, Prescott face each other Sunday


One was considered a top prospect in the draft while the most teams slept on the other. One was forced into action by injury while the other’s team traded away a veteran so he could start.  As different as these two quarterbacks are, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott find themselves in the same place, facing each other in Week 8 of he NFL regular season on Sunday Night Football.

Both rookies led their respective teams to successful seasons as of now.  As a result, these players received much praise from the news media and NFL analysts alike.  Wentz and Prescott have both been hailed as Rookie of the Year candidates and viewed as the future of the quarterback position in the NFL.

These praises have only drawn the news media to do two things, compare the two quarterbacks and discuss who is better and push the prospective rivalry to the public.  Prescott does not like these comparisons and just like to be compared to himself.

“I really don’t measure myself to anybody,” he told reporters at the Cowboys headquarters. “Not any other rookie, not Peyton Manning, not Tony (Romo), not any of those. It’s all about how I can become better each and every day.”

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson says it is the players’ intangibles that draw their comparisons.

“They know how to lead their teams,” Pederson told the media, “Nothing seems to be too big for either one of them. They take it in stride, the ability to protect the football through these first six, seven games like this has been crucial.”

The game’s being on Sunday Night Football only aids the media in their quest to balloon this rivalry before it begins.  Reporters are already saying Wentz and Prescott could produce a rivalry that could equal the rivalry of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

It is clear the media is looking for a new QB rivalry following the recent retirement of Super Bowl 50 champion Peyton Manning.

Johnson’s league suspension upheld


The National Football League has outlawed the performance enhancing drug (PED) use among players for many years. The league also, however, provides an approved list of supplements that players can take.  To our surprise, it seems that players aren’t even safe when it comes to these approved supplements.

Lane Johnson is the starting right tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles and is now serving a 10-game suspension.  Prior to the season start Johnson tested positive for a banned substance.  The interesting part is that Johnson claims it was something in an approved NFL supplement which caused the positive test.

Johnson told Jay Glaser of Fox Sports that he took an amino acid approved by the NFL which caused the positive test.

This provided an difficult decision for the NFL. They do state players should take the substance at their own risk and they still may contain substances that are banned. But they also should consider how misleading that is. They ultimately decided to carry out their initial decision of a 10-game suspension as this has been Johnson’s second run with he PED code.

The news media have covered this story for weeks due to its long timeline. Johnson tested positive prior to the season and has only been officially suspended in the sixth week. During that time it has been a constant stream of stories making if he finally be suspend this week.

The NFL’s drug policy has also come into question by the news media.  Questions have been raised as to whether an approved list should exist if the players may not be allowed to take  the drugs on the list.

Overall, the news media has found that Johnson’s case and suspension will serve as a precedent and scare players from taking any supplement that may or may not cause them to potentially fail drug tests.

Lane Johnson’s attorney has expressed dissatisfaction regarding the NFL’s decision.

“We are disappointed with Arbitrator James Carter’s summary ruling,” Steve Zashin, Johnson’s attorney, wrote in the statement obtained by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. “We will wait for his formal written opinion. After we review that decision, we will consider all available legal options.”

LeBron to stand for anthem


Colin Kaepernick sparked a major discussion this year when he chose to kneel during the national anthem.  It was done to protest the mistreatment African Americans are facing in the nation.

Kaepernick’s protest has caused many athletes to join his protest. LeBron James, however, will not be one of these athletes. LeBron has stated during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ media day that he will in fact be standing for the national anthem.

“Me standing for the national anthem is something I will do,” James told the news media. “That’s who I am. That’s what I believe in.”

James also made sure to mention that he also does not disagree with Kaepernick’s actions.  The former MVP actually stated that he supports Kaepernick and his right to protest.

“You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion, and he’s doing it in the most peaceful way I’ve ever seen someone do something,” said James.

LeBron James is arguably the best player in the National Basketball Association. He is probably the most famous athlete in the world and is idolized by millions of people.  When LeBron speaks, people listen.

These words carry a lot of weight because of the one who is saying them.  As a result the media has been all over the statements. Multiple internet articles have been written and his statements have the topic of conversation on TV channels such as ESPN and Fox Sports.

This is very important because LeBron’s message is one that should be heard throughout the country.  Even though he doesn’t share the belief that he should protest, he respects the other athletes enough to recognize that these players have rights and it should be respected.

The news media have recognized this message and are spreading James’ word for the nation to hear.

Wentz, Prescott are not average rookies


Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott are starting NFL quarterbacks.  They are entrusted with knowing the team inside and out and their restive teams season rest on their shoulders … and they’re also rookies.

This is their first season in a strange city away from their families with a city’s worth of pressure sitting on their shoulders. The similarities continue to stack up. Both were expected to sit on the bench the whole season. Both had questions when they were drafted by there respective teams and both are doing a great job.

Carson Wentz, the second overall pick from North Dakota State, has led his Philadelphia Eagles to a 2-0 start becoming to first rookie QB to win his first two starts without a team turnover.  He is a contender for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and looks have a bright future in Philly.

Prescott, a fourth round pick from Mississippi Sate, hasn’t won both of his first to games but has yet to commit a turnover.  he is also a contender for the OROY Award and could be the permanent successor to Tony Romo for Dallas.

With two young figure like this at their disposal, it is no surprise that the news media have constantly talking about these two. On the Fox Sports show, “Skip and Shannon Undisputed,” Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe and a lengthy debate over who is better. One of may discussions comparing the two young stars.

The media also ha the added benefit of these young men playing in the same division.  Went and Prescott will play each other twice a year.  This scenario provides the means for a rivalry to be cooked up among these two and as a result a story that has legs to be covered for 10 to 15 years.

“Wentz vs. Prescott” is a headline you may want to get used to.

Bosh ‘ready’ to begin new NBA season


Chris Bosh is one of the NBA’s best big men and was on his way to another amazing season.  He was averaging 19.1 points per game and 46.7 percent shooting. Sadly, his season was cut short when he was diagnosed with blood clots and forced to end his 2015-16 season.

That was eight months ago.  Since his diagnosis. Bosh has been doing everything in his power to rejoin his teammates for training camp. He believes he has done so.

“I’m ready,” Bosh told the Bleacher Report podcast, “Uninterrupted.” “I’ve done all my work. I’ve done what I need to do working with the doctors.”

Bosh, who had the previous two seasons cut short by blood clots, plans to attend the Miami Heat’s training camp in Nassau, Bahamas, when it opens on Sept. 27.

The story presents an interesting choice for the news media and how they will follow it.  They can continue to portray it as a mystery or they could make this an uplifting comeback tale of an athlete overcoming odds.

Until this point, sports journalists have presented Bosh’s story as a “will he or won’t he” story about whether or not he could return or forced to retire. This angle is warranted considering the severity of the condition and that he has had multiple occurrences.

But now that he has stated he is back and “ready to play,” the news media have a chance to change their angle to a more positive view. Bosh could be represented as a hero type character or role model as some who represents the notion that people shouldn’t let the issues be handicaps. Or, we could see the other, more pessimistic, view, asking if he will be forced to end his season again.

That’s what makes this story interesting, it allows for the news media to look at how they wish to present it and make a decision based on how they want to portray Bosh as central figure of the story.

NFL debuts with Super Bowl rematch


The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers faced off at the NFL Kick Off in a rematch of Super Bowl 50.

This game was much anticipated as these teams played a gritty, grind-it-out game in the Super Bowl.  Many were expecting a similar game in the rematch.  But despite these anticipations, quarterback Cam Newton did not share these feelings.

“It’s not a rematch,” Newton told the Associated Press, “It’s just our next opponent.”

Despite Newton’s feelings, he played the Broncos, the same team that beat him for the Lombardi trophy, on NBC in Primetime.

The high amount news media attention drawn to this event was expected due to the importance of this game.  It marks the beginning of the 2016 season of the NFL which is the highest grossing professional sports league in the United States.

Also, the game features Newton, who is arguably the most marketable player in the league and reigning MVP.  A player of his charisma is bound to draw attention and therefore media.

Finally, media was tuned in to see if any players would partake in the Colin Kaepernick’s demonstration of not standing for the American flag. Linebacker Brandon Marshall was the only player to do so.

The Broncos released a statement acknowledging there stance on the matter.

“While we encourage members of our organization to stand during the national anthem, we understand and respect it being a personal decision,” said the Broncos in their statement to NBC.

The multiple personalities and story lines heading into his game have created a perfect melting pot for media follow.

Cam and the Panthers were unable to change the outcome as the Broncos repeated their success with a 21-20 victory.