Tag Archives: Featured

Have NFL celebrations gone stale?

Donald Huskey | Staff Writer

Over the 2000’s era of the NFL, we have seen some jaw-dropping celebrations. Whether it has been Randy Moss mooning the crowd with his uniform on in Green Bay or Terrell Owens degrading the Cowboys logo as a 49er, the celebrations have been entertaining for sure. But have they gone too far?

The players are still as adamant as ever to show their moves after a touchdown dance, no matter how large the fine is. The NFL has realized this and continue to enforce methods to tone down the wild touchdown celebrations. NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent made a statement on Twitter on March 21, confirming even more cautionary measures. “We’re developing an educational training video for players to show clear examples of appropriate and inappropriate celebrations,” Vincent stated.

During the 2016-2017 season, the NFL levied hefty fines to players in an effort to crackdown on inappropriate celebrations. According to Newsweek’s Ryan Bort, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was fined $9,115 for twerking and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was fined the same amount for hip thrusting after a sack. The fines continued to pile up with the most expensive fine being handed to Brown. Brown was fined $24, 309 for more sexual gyrations after a touchdown.

With players not following the previous penalties for inappropriate celebrations, it seems this is the last warning before severe penalties will be enforced. Even with this being the case, players still seem rebellious to the NFL’s policies. Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett did not seem too fond of the idea and responded on March 22 to Vincent’s tweet asking, “Let the players express their individuality and creativity. Y’all gonna make an educational video on how we should talk next?”

Bennett is not the only player that has been open with their disapproval of the NFL’s policies. Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman joined ESPN First Take on March 24 to speak his opinion on the NFL’s extensive amount of rules. “We just need them to get out of the way. The game is already too difficult to officiate, the rulebook is thicker than a phonebook, you need them to get out of the way.”

Celebrations are apart of the players ways to interact and entertain the NFL fan base in a unique fashion. Eliminating celebrations altogether will do more harm than good and ultimately cause a rift between the players and the NFL. If the NFL doesn’t want their league dubbed the ‘No Fun League’, they must trust their players to some extent so that it is fun for every participating party, and not just the “higher-ups”.

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“Real Estate” revisits familiar sounds with “In Mind”

Aaron Worley | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Indie rock band Real Estate has undergone a variety of changes since their debut album, “Real Estate.” In the beginning, their sound was more focused on a beachy and calm tone that carried some of their most popular guitar patterns they continued to implement on later projects. It was glorious, and set the mood for “Days,” their sophomore effort. It had much more of a subliminal psychedelic tone than “Real Estate,” and opened up a gateway for repeating sounds that featured more production overlays than previously implemented. Their following album, “Atlas,” was monumental in that it carried such raw emotion that they had never shown before. The album was sad, deep, and explored personal relationships sung by Martin Courtney, the lead vocalist of the band. This new content was interesting to hear and became one of their more critically lauded projects. The latest album by them, “In Mind,” exhibits a lesser amount of emotion, favoring a balance between their iconic sound that made them popular and more upbeat songs. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it does feel redundant at times and hearing about long nights does not compare to Atlas’s broad range of emotion and feelings suggested.

The opening track, “Darling” paints a picture of Courtney in either a grassy or suburban house, waiting for his love to come back. With a soft and hopeful tenor he sings, “The night surrenders softly/The moon retreats from sight/The darkness that surrounds me/The sun cuts like a knife to shine.” Though the lyrical content is not varied and is often limited, it can be sensed that the narrator is wishing for something to actually happen with his relationships. He feels that the days have been turning into nights quicker than he thought, and is growing tired of letting life pass without his love interest.

The fifth track, “Two Arrows,” stands as one of the highlights of the project, explores a vivid description of a dark town, and the journey of walking through it with someone. The guitar work is fantastic and gives the mood an actual sound. It is reminiscent of “All The Same,” which was the final track on “Days.” The repetitiveness of the guitar added a ‘loop’ pattern that most users of psychedelics tend to experience, where a visual element or sound repeats itself, hence the name. The ending of “Two Arrows” starts to become much more raucous than how it started, before it almost abruptly cuts off to lead into “White Light.” This could be taken as a symbolization of the narrator’s decaying state of mind as he plunges deeper into darkness.

On “Diamond Eyes,” there is a country influence, as was the case for “How Might I Live” on Atlas.” While this may be a departure from their iconic sound and may confuse some, it is a showcase of the band’s experimental qualities and their desire to broaden their sphere of influence. Courtney sings, “I will not go quietly” in the dialect of a southern gentleman, and draws empathy for the situation he is dealing with. “Saturday,” which is the best showcase for the band’s guitar work, is fantastically driven by an opening piano, as well as the later guitar tempos that bring the album to a satisfying close.

While it may not attract a good amount of fans who have not heard of the band before, “In Mind” stays true to what original fans hoped for in a new release, though to an amount that offers less catchiness and replay ability than their previous efforts.

National Council of Negro Women returns to HU

Daijiah Steele | Contributing Writer

Marking its return to campus after a four year absence, the first call to action of Hampton University’s new National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is a feminine hygiene products drive for underprivileged women. The drive, which runs from March 20 to April 3,  aims to collect pads, tampons, and other feminine products for Menchville House Ministries in Newport News.

“Being able to give to women that need feminine products but don’t have the means to get it themselves inspired me to start this drive,” said junior psychology major Arie’yana Easterling who is a local vice president who helped spearhead the effort to bring the historic organization back to campus.

Menchville House, at 13658 Warwick Blvd., is a 46-bed emergency housing facility that helps homeless these families in their journey to self-sufficiency with temporary housing and supportive services.

“Without the donations, the women here would have to use their own money to buy the feminine products they need and a lot of people that come here don’t have that money,” said Menchville House case manager April McKinney. “With the donations we receive, the feminine products are already in their rooms by the time these women get here.”

At Hampton’s NCNW’s first meeting the executive board told their sisters to start collecting items from their dorms and people they knew to donate to Menchville House Ministries. At the second meeting, so many products were donated, the organization had to arrange for extra storage space. Organization officers said the newly formed group was already living up to the legacy of assisting women in the community, the original mission of the NCNW, founded in 1935.

 Its mission is to lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. Founded by educator, philanthropist and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune, the organization historically pushed for jobs, voting rights, and anti-lynching legislation.

Bethune envisioned NCNW as a clearinghouse for other organizations with similar goals, facilitating networking and coalition-building, and advocating the use of collective power on issues affecting women, their families and communities, according to the NCNW website. Local president of Hampton University’s NCNW Olivia Okeke made a promise to herself and to HU women that she would try to bring this sisterhood back to Hampton University. “The reactivation of this organization means everything to me,” Okeke said. “Words can’t explain how elated I am.”

Initially, Okeke was unsure whether the women on campus would be familiar with NCNW. She feared that they would categorize the organization with other campus programs for women and not be interested. Her fears were unfounded.

“Students were  excited for the reactivation of this organization and I cannot thank them enough for their support,” Okeke said.

By keeping in contact with the National Headquarters as well as the chapter president from her hometown Staten Island, New York, Okeke avoided the time-consuming process of re-activating Hampton’s NCNW. She sees the National Council of Negro Women as the epitome of excellence and wants Hampton’s NCNW to maintain that image.

The feminine hygiene drive is just the beginning of the legacy of service that Hampton’s NCNW plans to uphold. The group is planning an empowerment event for homeless women in efforts to ensure that these women understand their value and that they have sisters in the local NCNW that genuinely care.

 “NCNW is a new concept to the younger generations of Hamptonians,” said Okeke, who believes NCNW will be  a force to be reckoned with on HU’s campus. She hopes students will attend events, donate to NCNW drives, and consider joining the sisterhood.

“We need our Hampton family more than ever,” she said. “So please look out for us and support our efforts.”