The return of the Oakland Raiders

Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr (4) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr (4) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

William Ricks | Staff Writer

This NFL regular season has been full of surprises. Powerhouse teams struggling and teams you’d expect to be terrible are in the thick of the playoff hunt. Then there are the Cleveland Browns, who have fell short everyone’s low expectations and are winless at this part of the season. One of the surprising teams this season are the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are 9-2 and are 2nd in the AFC standings. They are riding the hot arm of Derek Carr and all the other young talent on their team to make themselves a legit Super Bowl contender at this point in the season.

The Raiders return was due, but nobody expected it in this fashion. At 9-2 they have clinched their first winning season since 2002. They are hoping to clinch their first playoff berth in over a decade. That is certainly a long time, but it seems like those times are behind them. With the help of the NFL Draft and free agency, Reggie McKenzie, Raiders general manager, has helped the Raiders have built title contender team.

With the young core of Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, and Amari Cooper the silver and black now are poised for sustained success. Derek Carr is having a sensational season, completing 66 percent of his passes, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Carr is a MVP candidate and rightfully so, leading his team to 5 fourth quarter comebacks this season.

Derek Carr was overlooked in his draft year but I’m sure many GMs are wishing they chose this young superstar QB. His teammates love his leadership and his guts, finishing his most recent win against the Panthers with a dislocate pinkie finger on his throwing hand.

The Raiders defense is the true definition of the bend but don’t break. Having their many flaws this season, when the defense needs a stop to clinch the game, they come through. Khalil Mack, who started off the season slow, has picked up the intensity and has wreaked havoc all over opposing offenses. Mack is a defensive player of the year candidate, showing that he is a force in this league for many years to come.

Bruce Irvin on the other side is doing his part keeping the opposing quarterbacks running for their lives. The defense isn’t a great defense by any means, but when the game is on the line, they get the job done.

What has also helped Oakland in the rise to success was a change in culture. The Oakland Raiders we all remember from in the day were hard-nosed, physical and almost a bully ball type of team. With Coach Jack Del Rio at the head he has revived that mold. He wanted to bring back that Raider football we all knew and loved, and that is just what they needed. With their offensive line that is one of the best in the league, the Raiders now are physical and will hit you in the mouth and it shows throughout their play.

The same from their defensive line That comes with a consequence, as the Raiders back in the day were penalized frequently, and just this year the Raiders set the NFL record for most accepted penalties in a game. Seeing the results from the revival of the physical culture I’m sure they’ll be ok with that.

What has always hurt the Raiders in the past is that they couldn’t finish games. With the wins they’ve had to fight for this year, you can safely say that that trend is over. Oakland is now a team that if the going gets tough they won’t crumble and give the game away. Coach Jack Del Rio said this was a main point of emphasis if they wanted to get to the next level. With them focusing on how to close out games the Raiders now can seal the deal in crunch time, propelling them to that next level.

It’s not about how you start it’s how you finish and Oakland is now finding ways to finish games. The Oakland Raiders seem to be back and better than ever. Time will tell as we will see how they end this season and how they perform in the playoff. Raiders fans can now come out of hiding and believe in the silver and black once again.

The Curious Case of Josh Gordon

(The Comeback)
(The Comeback)

Camron Miller | Contributor

It is almost the end of November and, as we approach the end of the 2016 NFL season, it is worth noting two important things: the Cleveland Browns have yet to win a game (0-11) and that may be due in part to the fact that they are still without Josh Gordon.

The troubled 25-year-old Cleveland Browns receiver was released from a rehabilitation facility on October 30 a month after beginning treatment for his various substance issues. The question, immediately upon his release, became: “What are the Cleveland Browns executives going to do with him, since they missed the trade deadline on November 1?”

For those teams still interested in Gordon as a player, he has an upside because his performance on the field is outstanding. Gordon’s numbers in 2013 were amazing. He posted 1,646 yards with 87 receptions and 9 touchdowns in a career year any receiver would be proud of.

Gordon has a history of drug problems, he received a two-game suspension in 2013 for a failed drug test, and was let go from the Baylor football team in 2011 after he tested positive for marijuana while in school. He plead guilty to a DUI charge in September of 2014, failing an alcohol test last January, he violated his no-alcohol restriction triggering the indefinite suspension. These problems have caused him to lose $1.4 million in the year he was suspended.

Gordon was conditionally reinstated in July with a four-game suspension to start the season for previously being suspended from the entire 2015 season for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policies. He would have been eligible to play against the Patriots Oct. 9 had he abided by his treatment program.

Instead, he checked himself into rehab on September 29 tweeting that he was: “Under some pressure & stress recently, had to take a time out for myself. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. Thank u @nfl @Browns.” -Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII).

Rumors have floated around that Head Coach Hue Jackson and Browns executives have “moved on from Gordon.” The Browns planned for the future with the uncertainty of his return drafting four receivers and giving ex-quarterback Terrelle Pryor a full look at the position. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on September 29: “Hope is that Josh Gordon gets the help he needs. Hard to imagine him playing for the Browns again.” -@ Adam Schefter.

Gordon is not the only person at the center of the Browns’ woes, as the Johnny Manziel saga closed at the end of this past summer. Manziel was drafted in 2014 with the Browns first-round draft pick to be the quarterback the Browns needed to turn their franchise around.

Gordon and Manziel succumbed to the pressures of stardom and playing in a professional league, trying to live up to their college success. Hopefully, Gordon can turn things around before it’s too late, and he ends up like his friend “Johnny Football,” who is currently a free agent after being released by the Browns in March.

The Search for a new face

(shcjc)
(shsjc)

Timia Whitsey | Contributing Writer

It was an exciting and memorable afternoon for the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications on Thursday, September 24th. The WHOV-TV News crew went on the hunt to find the new faces of the channel, and several eager students rose to the challenge.

Over 40 Hamptonians auditioned to prove how qualified they are for the position of anchor. Auditions were highly competitive with each individual bringing their A-game and unique talent to the table.

Stress levels and nerves were through the roof as each person anxiously awaited their chance to be on the big screen.

The crowd of candidates was very diverse, however, the class of 2019, Quintessence 10, made up a majority of the population.

One freshman in particular, Miss Arianna Coles had plenty to say about her unforgettable WHOV-TV audition experience. “There were so many other students auditioning, the set was much larger than high school, and I was not expecting a crowd during my auditions. I was on the verge of breaking down and throwing the towel in”, Coles admitted.

However, after hearing a couple of encouraging words, Arianna pushed herself to give a great performance. “Because of the WHOV-TV [anchor] auditions, I am now more confident, and I will never let an opportunity pass me by because I am scared” she proudly stated.

While a position will not be available for everyone that auditioned, the tremendous turnout does symbolize the growth of the wonderful journalism and communications department here on campus.

The number of incoming Scripps Howard students is expected to increase each semester simply due to the fact that the program “emphasizes excellence and innovation while adhering to the core standards and ethical principles of the industry.”

The drive and desire for success within the Scripps building is not only inspirational, but also motivational. That positive presence felt throughout the entire audition process was powerful enough to uplift those that had fear in their hearts and re-assure others that the long nights spent studying the scripts had paid off.

Scripps majors and minors are very fortunate to have such experienced and knowledgeable professors in the program. These professors aim to educate and mold America’s next generation of PR’s, anchors, producers, writers, and other leaders in the media world.

Since there are so many passionate students ready to involve themselves in mass communication related activities, WHOV will be giving all those interested a chance to work behind the scenes on the news crew and with the WHOV 88.1 FM radio station.

These opportunities are not only enjoyable, but also an opportunity to make lifelong connections and build an outstanding resume. All in all, according to crewmember, Desmond Smalley, “the auditions went exceptionally well, and the team is excited for the upcoming school year.”

For future reference, all students are encouraged to attend the next audition regardless of major. In the meantime, Hamptonians should be on the lookout for new faces, voices, and ideas quickly coming their way.

All This Alvis: Jenner or Gender ?

usmagazine
usmagazine

Justin Alvis | Columnist

On the morning of June 1, 2015 Caitlyn Jenner came out of hiding. 

She, along with her tight abs and abnormally large breasts, graced the cover of Vanity Fair in a full spread about her new life as a woman.

Caitlyn, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is a courageous Olympic Gold Medalist setting a world record not beaten until 1980. Jenner became “an American hero” by winning an event long dominated by Soviet Union athletes during the Cold War.

She was the father of four beautiful kids, and the loving, caring, husband of Kris Jenner. Bruce was the people’s favorite on the E! reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” as the quiet and adorable father who always made time for his children and was supportive of everyone’s dreams and aspirations, including his wife’s. 

However, once Caitlyn announced her transition, her loyal friends became her worst enemy.

People took to their Twitter accounts to display their anger, shock, excitement, support and disappointment. Her Twitter account reached one million followers in just four hours and she was the talk of all of the blogs.

Now, keep in mind, Bruce went on air with Diane Sawyer weeks before to announce his transition; but no one actually thought he was serious.

The social media world became divided. There were the people who could not understand why someone would want to change genders. People called him selfish for starting a new life and seemingly abandoning his family.

Then there are the people who refuse to even acknowledge her transition, insinuating that Caitlyn is just a confused, gay man.

Gender and sexuality are two different things. Caitlyn is a woman who is still attracted to other women, therefore, society labels her a lesbian.

Caitlyn’s transition officially sparked the real conversation on gender issues in America.

Despite the overwhelming support from her family and friends, America decided to spew their hate on her happiness.

Caitlyn’s transition completely erased all of her accomplishments, amazing personality traits, and favorite hobbies. Her existence has been diluted to her gender, when that is such a small part of her existence.

According to the American Psychological Association, In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added gender identity dysphoria to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). a diagnosis of gender dysphoria ensures that more services for transgender people will be covered by health insurers.

However, Caitlyn does not think she suffers from “gender identity dysphoria.” She knows herself as a beautiful, blonde woman who was trapped in a man’s body for a very, very long time.

Gender and sexuality differ from person to person; everyone identifies differently. There is no one “man”, “woman”, “gay”, or “lesbian”.

Who are you to tell someone they can’t identify as a woman? Who are you to completely disregard someone’s presence because they do not fit into your religious and social beliefs?

The irony is that people develop serious mental illnesses and even resort to suicide because they are denied their presence due to sexual or gender preference.

To diagnose her gender identity as a mental illness is America’s way of labeling something they cannot understand. And that is the real problem.

It is the reason why millions of Americans are afraid to properly identify their gender and or sexuality like they can identify their favorite ice cream flavor. Both of them you are born with, it just takes exploring and time to determine. It is the reason why some major publications have a “LGBTQ” sections and “gay” clubs are a category of nightlife. It is the reason why eventually “gender identity dysphoria” becomes “schizophrenia” or “bipolar” disorder.

Imagine living life as a social experiment and/or topic all of your life for something that is biologically a part of your existence.

Your job is to love, support, and understand.

So the next time you meet someone that is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer, understand that is not their existence and they probably do not want to talk about it.

Serena and Drake are just a fling

okmagazine
okmagazine

Kenya Baker | Contributing Writer

When TMZ ran the story of Drake and Serena Williams being an item or when Baller Alert and The Shade Room provided photographic proof, many were confused and disgruntled.

The pairing shouldn’t be a surprise since the two briefly dated in 2011, remember when Drake and Common were beefing? Well Serena supposedly  played a part in that. Now, in 2015, Drake was spotted courtside-cheering Serena on at Wimbledon.

Jezebel writer Clover Hope jokingly wrote about the two of them being caught kissing “Serena probably smiled, the first real smile Drake ‘s received from a woman since his mom’s friend Judy called his beard “very nice” a few months ago.” ”

On the Internet many have claimed that Serena wasn’t Drake’s type or that Serena is on a higher level compared to him.  Let’s not forget the two dated years ago so someone is obviously someone’s type and certainly on someone’s level.  

When Serena lost her match in the U.S. Open, Drake received the blame.

People were tweeting things like “I TOLD YALL DRAKE AINT NO GOOD FOR SERENA, I TOLD YALL” (@brokemcpoverty), “Drake should stay off his girl’s tour” (@robinlundberg), and even CBS Sports tweeted “The Curse of Drake Strikes Again.”

Aside from cheering her on at Wimbledon and the US Open, Drake was also spotted sitting front row at Serena’s fashion show, there’s even a cute video of him hugging her after the show. As for Serena she looks happy in pictures whenever they’re spotted together not that he should be the sole purpose of her happiness.

Before we declare them a power couple or couple goals on Instagram and Twitter keep in mind neither party has confirmed that they are in a relationship with the other person. This could possibly be just a fling, especially knowing Drake’s dating history.

Drake and Serena are bae goals. Both individuals are worth millions, highly respected in their fields, and adorned by the masses. It’s not like he helped her win a match nor did she help him write a song.

Serena probably just wanted someone to share some moments with and Drake was the perfect candidate with his buff physique and charm. Plus after spending much of the summer putting Meek Mill’s career to shame, what else was there for Drake to do besides play cheerleader to one of the best tennis player in the world.

There are few reasons why this pair may not make it through cuffing season. For starters, Serena seems like the type to ignore Drake if he ever becomes a distraction and we all know Drake does not like to be put aside.

Another Instagram model or stripper will catch his eye eventually. “Views from the 6” is supposed to be released before the year is over and that means Drake will be busy  promoting his album leaving very little time to enchant Serena.

Even if this doesn’t work out we have a lot to be thankful for. We can always scroll through twitter to reminisce on all the funny tweets and memes about Drake wearing his sweater like Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air at Wimbledon or him excitedly clapping at the U.S. Open.

Let’s not even think about the songs he could write about Serena, before you know it we all will be searching for tennis references in his songs. So for the last time Serena and Drake are not a power couple just each other’s boo.

Are we encouraging our peers enough?

(theroot)
(theroot)

Alexandra Carmon | Staff Writer

American preacher, Joel Osteen once stated, “Encouragement to others is something everyone can give. Somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. It may be your listening ear.”

As African Americans, it is important that we stick together because it is a harsh world out there for our people. This is all the more reason for students in historically black universities to encourage their peers to succeed in school.

When people start undergoing the process of applying to internships and graduate schools, pressure often arises to be better than the people around them. However, competition amongst students rather than unity can be extremely detrimental.

If one studies alone, they may miss information that their classmate could have given them. Also, when students do not help each other, some students end up falling behind. In addition, students who have a longer time processing information feel like they cannot ask questions in class due to fear of scrutiny.

They do not want to be that annoying kid that constantly makes the teacher go over material over and over again. Instead of mocking the person asking questions, students need to offer a helping hand. You should not be at the top as a result of stepping on other people.

You should work your way to the top and help others on your way up. Senior, Kayla Johnson, Marketing major, Strategic Communications minor from Detroit, Michigan suggested that students should lead by example.

“By leading by example we can do well ourselves and influence and motivate others to do well also. You can’t tell someone to go to class, study, and do homework when you aren’t doing those things yourself.”

Students need motivation especially when they are performing poorly in their classes. People should not feel as though they have to receive perfect scores on all their tests in order to feel successful.

College students should strive to do their best, and not feel stressed when they are unable to pull the grade they wanted. However, unfortunately internships and graduate schools stress high GPAs, which then leads people who do not learn as fast left in the cold.

Sophomore, computer science major from Kansas City, Missouri says, “Lower grades can sometimes hinder the amount of opportunities you may receive.

For example, students with better grades are more likely to get asked to go on trips and conferences offered by their department. Although it could benefit every student in the departments, only the ‘smart’ kids get to go.”

As young African Americans, we need to make sure that our peers are doing well, because the more African American graduates we have, the more we can prove to the world how powerful we are as a race.

Genzebe Dibaba sets new women’s world 1500 meter record in Monaco

denverpost
denverpost

Jaelyn Allen | Staff Writer

Monaco–Genzebe Dibaba an Ethiopian woman, broke a 22-year-old world record in the women’s 1500m at a Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday night. The record is  one of the most controversial records held in recent times. Dibaba clocked 3:50.07 in the 1500m to break the 3:50.46 world record set by Qu Yunxia of China in 1993, which, until this year had been considered impossible.

Qu Yunxia was one of the dominant “army” of Chinese female athletes in the 1990s under the guidance of controversial coach Ma Junren. Officials suspected that he was giving them performance-enhancing drugs despite his denial, claiming that he fed his athletes turtle blood and a special fungus. Chinese authorities kicked him off the country’s Olympic team in 2000 after six of his athletes failed drug tests but, despite all of this controversy, Qu’s mark still stood.

Dibaba finished ahead of the Netherland’s Sifan Hassan, who posted a national record 3:56.05 and the United States’ Shannon Rowbury, who was in third at 3:56.29, breaking Mary Slaney’s 32-year-old American record of 3:57.12. Jenny Simpson, the 2015 U.S. champion and two-time World Championships medalist, came in fourth at 3:57.30.

In July, Dibaba broke the African record in the 1500m with a time of 3:54.11 in Barcelona, the fastest women’s 1500 in 18 years. This raised expectations for Monaco, which she exceeded. Her performance in Monaco has raised even more expectations that she might double in the 1500 and 5000 at next month’s World Championships.

Dibaba’s 800-meter split was 2:04, which seemed slower than the pace required to break Yunxia’s record; however, she breezed through the rest of the race, showing no signs of fatigue or loss of form. Her 1500m time is equivalent to a 4:08.41 mile and the women’s world record for the mile is 4:12.56. Her world record is the first in an Olympic track event since Russian Gulnara Samitova-Galkina in the 3000m steeplechase on August 17, 2008.

Dibaba was already very confident that she could break the record. “I knew from the beginning that I could break the record and am still able to improve, maybe under 3:50,” she told the Diamond League. “But one thing is clear: I will double at World Championships [1500m and 5000m]. And let’s try for 5000m world record after Beijing.”

The 24-year-old is the sister of three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic silver medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba. Dibaba’s older sister, Tirunesh, holds the 5000m world record set June 6, 2008. Genzebe spent the early part of the outdoor season trying to break her sister’s 5000 record of 14:11.15 and just barely failed. She smashed her lifetime best over 5000m in 14:15.41 when winning at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Paris on Saturday.

She produced the fastest time over the distance since 1997, moving up to ninth on the world all-time list. “I think Tirunesh will be happy, all Ethiopia will be happy,” she said.

Parallel Nightmares? Maryland eliminates parallel parking from the Driving Test

washingtonpost
washingtonpost

Dazha Austin | Contributing Writer

On May 19 parallel parking was officially removed from the driving test in Maryland. In a statement given to Fox News, Buel Young- a Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration spokesperson- said this change came after state official had determined “The man, the maneuvers and skills required to parallel park — which include backing up, using mirrors and depth perception — were already being evaluated in other parts of the test.” Young says parallel parking will continue to be a teaching requirement in state-controlled driver’s education courses in Maryland.

When you arrive to the MVA on test day, after all paperwork is completed and you get your car checked out you drive out onto a course on the MVA’s lot where you either are tested on parallel parking or on two point reverse turns. This is where you often see the walk of shame, where the instructor has to get out and switch sides of the car with you. Even though you get three minutes to complete this maneuver it’s still very nerve wrecking to sit in complete silence wondering if you’re doing everything right. Antony White, a student driver that has had his license for over a year said, “I don’t think it is completely fair to those who have taken the test over and over just to pass. Especially if that’s what made them fail.”

But don’t fret, Maryland is not the only state that has eliminated this portion of the test. Others include California, Oregon, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Maine, Ohio, Arkansas, Illinois, Wyoming, Alabama, South Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska. Kayla Hollis, a student driver from New Jersey, believes, “It’s necessary because if the only place to park is between two cars then you don’t want to owe money for a hit car.”

David Resnick, treasurer for the Maryland Professional Driver Education Association and owner of Elite Driving School, which has 14 locations in Maryland tells John Kelly of the Washington Post, “I’m actually in favor of it, we have a lot of parents who want us to make sure we spend a lot of time on parallel parking and make it a focus of a large portion of behind-the-wheel-training. Our response is, nobody dies [while] parallel parking. We want to work on entering and exiting expressways and focus more on dangerous maneuvers.” Samuel Hill, a Maryland resident who is also a parent, says, “ It is extremely important. It is an easy technique once you learn it. As a parent I am still going to teach it to my kids.” Coming from a teen  who lives in Maryland, and has failed their drivers test four times because of this skill, it comes as a  great relief that it is being eliminated.

If anything, merging should be included in the test because in major cities, the Capital Beltway is always a mess in the acceleration and deceleration lanes. Although I am happy with this decision, students living in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia – the DMV- should be tested on parallel parking because of the proximity to DC, which has over 17,000 curbside parking spaces. Truthfully, I agree with people like David and Sam. The agony of trying to parallel park is not worth it. The test is stressful enough as you are worrying about speed, hand placements, and other cars. At least now there is one less thing to worry about.

The Kardashian Dynasty Keeps Growing

usmagazine
usmagazine

Krystal Charity | Visual Design

Bruce Jenner, the stepparent of the oldest Kardashians sisters and the parent of the two youngest sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, has debuted his transgender transformation as Caitlyn Jenner. She made her first public appearance in true Kardashian form; on the cover of Vanity Fair. The cover was shared on Caitlyn’s new twitter account @CaitlynJenner.

Caitlyn Jenner did more than just become breaking news; she has become a social phenomenon. Caitlyn had over a million Twitter followers within hours of posting the picture the picture, and every news outlet from ABC to Fox to CNN was covering the reveal. Caitlyn Jenner acquired more Twitter followers than President Obama in a shorter time span, which shows you how much clout the Kardashian clan has in society. As Bruce, she laid low, but as Caitlyn she knows how to brand herself just as well as the other Kardashian clan members.

Bruce Jenner won the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon in 1976. He was considered the greatest athlete alive at the time by winning the physically grueling decathlon at the Olympic games. Yet, he was not a main focus in the “Keeping Up with Kardashians” series until recently when he revealed that he was going to transition into becoming a woman.

For years, the “Keeping Up with Kardashians” audience watched Bruce Jenner be a subtle character. He was always there, but didn’t always have a story nor did he have a lot of input on things. But, he was loved and loved his family, and that was about it.

The days when the only Kardashian we knew of was Kim Kardashian are long gone. Kim along with her mom/manager Kris Jenner have created a dynasty. The definition of dynasty is “a succession of people from the same family who play a prominent role in business, politics, or another field.” The Kardashians have created a pop culture dynasty that started with Kim and now includes her siblings, her in-laws, husbands, parents, nieces and nephews, her own children and now her stepfather.They have graced the cover of Vogue, presented at the Grammy’s, and married professional athletes and musicians.

We have watched their weddings, their divorces, and the birth of their children on the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” series. We have seen them go through depression, go to rehabilitation centers and even a sex change. People feel a connection to the Kardashians as if they personally know them, which is probably due to the fact that we have seen them at their most intimate moments for almost a decade.

Everyone loves to hate them, but people have watched “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” enough for there to be a tenth season. Are you watching their lives to simply hate on them or deep down are you just as interested? The Kardashians are some of the best business minds that the media world may have ever seen. They have everything from fashion stores to perfumes to book deals, and a plethora of other markets that they are involved in.

They have used social media in the most successful ways, and were some of the first to realize that money could be made with a strong social media following. Everyone has their opinion, but that should not discredit the genius of their brand. The Kardashians single-handedly created a brand by just being themselves, and now everyone is obsessed. The newest addition to the dynasty, Caitlyn Jenner seems to be building her own glamorous platform, further adding to the family’s success.