Tag Archives: Randall Williams

The rivalry renewed: HU vs. HU

Randall Williams | Sports Editor

HUvsHU

Twitter | @PeteDPirate

It’s officially that time of the year, rivalry week is upon us. Universities across the entire country face off against their arch nemesis.

One of the matches that is frequently overlooked is Hampton University vs. Howard University.

As you can see, both teams have the exact same “HU” initials. This has sparked a rivalry between the schools.

Ever since Hampton was renamed from “Hampton Institute” to “Hampton University,” bad blood has been boiling between the two schools in reference to who the “real HU” is.

Regarding football, Hampton is undoubtedly the “Real HU.”

The Pirates lead the series 51-41-1, so in order for Howard to catch up, it’s going to take an entire decade.

That streak could start this weekend.

The Bison are second in the MEAC conference with a record of 6-1 in league play and 7-3 overall.

Howard made headlines earlier this year after beating UNLV in the biggest upset in college football history.

A week after that, they only lost to Kent State University by a mere seven points.
Leading this Bison team is Caylin Newton, the little brother of the Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback Cam Newton.

Since the loss to the Golden Flashes, Howard has been 6-2, and are currently on a five game win streak.

Meanwhile at Hampton, things haven’t been going so well. Just three weeks ago, the Pirates were under North Carolina A&T in the conference standings with an overall record of 5-2.

Since then, the season seems to have collapsed, as the Pirates have lost three games straight.

Hampton sophomore Kimand Albright says, “It seems like the team just got complacent with where they were. [However,] down the stretch the play-calling has been questionable along with the execution of the plays.”

Albright isn’t the only one that feels that way.

Hampton student Juwan Williams agrees, saying, “The team may need to try new athletes in at different positions to get a better feel of where they stand, maybe even at quarterback.”

Brendan Greene, a player for the Pirates, says, “It’s easy to blame play-calling when we’re losing. Honestly, it comes down to execution.

“We need to come out ready so that we can finish the season strong.”

For Hampton, there isn’t much on the line other than the basics.

If they win, they finish the season with a winning record; if not, they’ll finish 5-6.

On the opposite end, the Bison have higher stakes. If North Carolina A&T loses and the Bison come out on top, they will share the conference championship.

A victory in this game would be Howard’s first time winning the MEAC title since 1993.

Rivalries are always tense, but the energy for this year’s “Battle of the Real HU” will likely be at an all-time high.

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Beckham’s ankle and Giant contract hopes are fractured

Randall Williams | Sports Editor

The Giants and NFL fans have suffered a gigantic loss.

New York Giants superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was declared out for the rest of the season after breaking his left ankle on Oct. 8, according to The Associated Press.

In Week 5, Beckham went down in an awkward position as he was hit by a defender. Immediately after, he laid on the field grimacing in pain. Tears streamed down his face when his helmet was removed. Beckham was then carted off the field.

At that point, the Giants’ season was a complete disaster. Analysts and fans alike both thought that coming into the year, the sky was the limit for New York. Then the Giants started 0-5. To make matters worse, they also lost their three top receivers.

Many fans have given up hope and merely want this football season to fly by so that they can restart in the next one. For Beckham, though, something else is going to loom in the air for a while: his contract. In the off-season, Beckham stated that he would like to be the NFL’s highest-paid player. Currently, the person who holds that title is Matthew Stafford, who recently signed a five-year, $135 million deal.

OBJ is one of the NFL’s most recognizable stars. Whether it be his amazing one-handed catches, his flashy hair or flamboyant celebrations, fans love him. Beckham told Uninterrupted.com that the reason he should be the NFL’s highest-paid player is because he puts his “heart, soul, body, mind, spirit … everything” into this game. No one can question his passion. Beckham has broken almost every three-year receiving record in the league. It’s undeniable that the talent is there, too.

However, Beckham isn’t without his faults.

He came up short in the biggest game of his career during a 38-13 playoff loss to the Packers in January. He had three drops, and one would have been a touchdown.

That’s not all, though. OBJ’s passion can sometimes result in anger. The world has watched him get multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, rage on the sidelines and even slam his head against walls in the locker room after losses.

Beckham is compared the most to Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown. Brown, who is the league’s highest-paid receiver, is making $68 million over four years. Jones rakes in $71 million over five years.

So how much is Beckham worth?

The quarterback is normally the highest-paid position in football, but at least one defensive foe sides with OBJ. And not just any random player – Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, arguably the best defensive player in the NFL.

“The type of impact he has on the globe, the type of viewers he brings in … he’s a once in a lifetime player,” Miller told NFL reporters.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith disagreed.

“At the wide receiver position, no matter how great you are, there’s a potential to be neutralized,” Smith said on air. “And when that potential exists, you can’t be the highest-paid player in the game.”

Opinions about Beckham vary.

“There are plenty of other players that have a bigger impact than him,” Hampton sophomore Juwan Williams said. “He’s also not the best at the position.”

The Giants likely will discuss a contract extension once the season concludes. With Beckham’s fractured ankle, though, the team could be hesitant to give him the pay increase he wants.

There is a sufficient amount of time before meetings between OBJ and his team begin. With no playoff wins, an iffy ankle and Beckham not playing the quarterback position, the future of his contract remains up in the air.

 

Lost in translation in a “united” nation

Randall Williams | Sports Editor

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ESPN

Colin Kaepernick’s name over the past year has remained a frequent subject of discussion when it comes to the NFL. His protest over the racial inequality and social injustice has heard plenty of praise but also a significant amount of disapproval as well.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback aimed to spread awareness of the topics by kneeling during the national anthem last season.

“Kaepernick [was] not trying to disrespect fallen soldiers that have fought to protect the country for what it is today,” Hampton University sophomore Preston Randolph said this week. “He only wants equality and fairness.”

A week after the media frenzy began, Kaepernick’s jersey sales skyrocketed to the top, making him at the time the No. 1-selling jersey in the NFL. Time passed, and talk of protesting the league until he stood began.

The ratings of NFL games dropped 8 percent in January, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Many owners across the league believed this was due to the protests started by the onetime Super Bowl quarterback.

Kaepernick was released in March, and he has yet to be signed. The word “blackball” was mentioned often. Celebrities such as rapper and producer J. Cole, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley are just a few notable names in a sea full of people who say NFL owners have ostracized Kaepernick. Others believe that since his former team has not been producing, there is no reason to sign him.

President Donald Trump in March gave his own explanation on why Kaepernick remained unsigned. Trump’s reasoning was that “NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet.”

Six months later, the president’s attack was more personal than ever. Trump attended an Alabama rally in support of Luther Strange on Sept. 23 and said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of [an expletive] off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

The comment was extremely unexpected. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was one of the first to respond the following day, saying, “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.” From there, an array of responses occurred from players and celebrities.

This was Saturday, though, and when Sunday came, the whole world waited to see how NFL teams would react as organizations. Division was the result. Teams kneeled together. Teams locked arms. Three teams stayed in the locker room. Some teams were split in between standing and taking a knee. Trump, however, did not back down, and instead sent another load of tweets reiterating his point that everyone should stand.

A day passed, and then the Dallas Cowboys were the center of attention. Jerry Jones, owner of “America’s Team,” was also a point of focus. This was due to his avid support of Trump over the past two years in his run as a politician, even donating $1 million. The team knelt and locked arms, all while being booed by the crowd.

People who did not agree with protests during the anthem began using the hashtag “I Stand” on social media and also discussed boycotting the NFL until the players stand. The NFL was already being boycotted by some American citizens for Kaepernick’s unemployment.

So two sides who oppose each other are now doing the same thing to try to cripple the nation’s most popular sport.

“I feel because of Trump’s comments towards the NFL [that] people are now missing the point of why the knee was taken in the first place,” Hampton student Kevin Monday said.

Has America become lost in Trump’s comments? Is the U.S. forgetting the purpose of the original protest? Although there are individual players such as Bennett, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and more who have remained kneeling for the original cause, there is a discrepancy.

Since teams in Week 3 took a knee following Trump’s comments, the impression was conveyed that they are kneeling out of humiliation by the president.

A humiliation that was met without a response would have been an embarrassment. To avoid this, the league responded accordingly.