Tag: football

Females should not be excluded from playing football

By Abi Hernandez

Football was traditionally a sport for guys since 1869.

  But now more and more girls are interested in playing football. When guys hear this, they start complaining and bragging that the girls will just get hurt and say that it’s “not for girls.” Women should be allowed to play on football teams. 

In high school, I played football and was pretty good. At the beginning of the season, I got a lot of backlash for even thinking about playing football. When I finally did, it was rough at the beginning. Half of my teammates were not happy when they found out the new player was a girl. My fellow teammates treated me badly. But I would just ignore them and worry about what I was doing. Football

Even my coaches would treat me badly at times, as well as my own friends. Many people doubted me during this time, saying I was just going to let the team lose and I made them look weak and pathetic. I just wanted to open a new opportunity for the girls who would like to play as well.

Girls should be allowed to play football too, because this is a new opportunity and women have rights too. Just because I am a girl, that didn’t stop me. I had a couple of friends who supported me and helped me get away from the mean comments.

girl fbFootball is one of those touchy areas where men still dominate and girls are thought to be too weak and unskilled to play. But girls should be able to play football if they really want to. 

I understand that football is a very physical sport and can cause some health problems, especially for women.  If men can play football, women can play football. Not only can they play with other women, but they should be able to compete with men. It’s only fair. 

Other than the injuries, I don’t see why they won’t give girls a chance. The only thing I do see as a problem is women playing in professional football. High school is different because you are not going against 6-foot-4, strong men ready to bulldoze anything and everything in the way. I am all for girls playing football and trying to get equal treatment. But since the guys are physically stronger, it is more likely for women to get concussions or worse.

The big question is, can they play? Of course. Not every position in football requires you to bench 300 pounds or run a 4.3 40. There are several positions that if a woman wanted to play she sure could. A great example is a kicker. When I played, I was a center field, and on occasion, I was a cornerback. 

I got injured during my freshman year and I was almost paralyzed. I broke my knee and dislocated my shoulder because I wasn’t that big and the other guys were husky and shredded. During the summer, I recovered and worked until I was happy with my body size and my muscle mass. So I totally understand the concerns, but women still deserve a chance to play football.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Professional football glamorized, lacks loyalty

One of the most popular sports in the country is football. The Super Bowl alone gets around 100 million views a year.

I love football, the energy and excitement. But I hate the NFL, and I refuse to watch professional football.

In college and high school football, people cheer for where they attend/attended school or their hometown school. There is loyalty in college and high school football that the NFL lacks. Followers of NFL teams often switch who they cheer for. That makes the experience feel cheap. You’re not actually invested in the team.

The only reason a player goes to the NFL is for a paycheck, while, for college players, it’s about more than that. It’s about the community, the team and school. College football is all about the loyalty and pride of the game.

Most people like college football because of the tradition and the sense of community. That’s what makes the sport great. The nostalgic feeling that you get every year in the fall when college football begins is something that cannot be compared. The traditions are more abundant and more meaningful.

It’s the same sport, but it’s two different games. Many people equate the two, because college games looks like pro games. Both take place in large stadiums under bright lights, with players in shiny uniforms, and is broadcasted to a national television audience.

College football players are just better at playing college football than NFL players are at playing NFL football. This is mainly because of how the two are structured. Rules and penalties between the two vary in several areas, including number of feet a receiver must have in bounds for a completed pass, down by contact rule, and defensive holding. Don’t you want to watch a better game with better players? You’re just flipping through channels watching what seems like the same game after game. Most fans like action, and there is more action at the college level.

Salary cap rules encourage NFL teams to fill rosters with young, cheap players. But they are allowed fewer full-contact practices, which limits how players unfamiliar with NFL style learn.

Ideas and styles have moved from high school to college. Some of the most influential systems in college football have been introduced by coaches who started as high school coaches. Most NFL coaches have resisted the new ideas. NFL coaches and executives have blamed college offenses for a lack of NFL-ready quarterbacks and offensive linemen.

NFL games are about strategies, like a game of chess, while college games are about the skill of the players.

At this point, the NFL has become boring and glamorized just to make a profit. The whole point of professional football is to make money. It resembles professional wrestling at this point, cheap and played out.

NFL player determined to grow education opportunities in hometown

Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles is donating the rest of his year’s salary in effort to increase educational equality.

Long, a defensive end in his first season with the Eagles, has already donated his first six game checks to give two scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.

His next 10 game checks will be used to launch the, “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” campaign, which includes four organizations that branch out to three communities in effort to grow equal education opportunities.

Long is taking initiative with the platform he has access to in the NFL to promote positive changes in society, starting with the children of America receiving equal education opportunities.

Although athletes in various professional sports advocate giving to charities and organizations, Long is one of the few who is making the most of his professional career to provide for his cause.

Athletes donate and help with various societal issues but do not continuously speak out and push their followers to do the same.

I believe more athletes who have the money to give should be more involved with society and the various problems Americans are facing. It is not only equal education, but so many more such as job opportunities, environmental advances, and the overall well-being of cities and towns.

Long is not the top earning player in the NFL by far, which presents the question of why can’t the top paid athletes throughout the league do more?

It is not a rule that players are forced to help society in any way they can, but it should be encouraged. Instead of buying mansions, sports cars, and other luxuries, players can do more for the people struggling in society or put their resources toward creating a better environment and healthy city or town they came from.

I continually read and hear about professional athletes who grew up in ghettos or middle-class neighborhoods where life wasn’t always the easiest. Their families, siblings, and friends didn’t always get the newest or nicest things because parents were working to put food on tables.

As professional athletes who get paid more than enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle, these players could make a difference by helping families and neighborhoods that struggle like those players once did so long ago.

  That’s not to say only the athletes who struggled at a young age to find better opportunities should be the only players to help. As a whole, leagues should be pushing everyone within their systems to help various causes to create a better society for future generations to be more successful.

With athletes beginning to use their platform to create and promote social change in different aspects in our American culture, it is only a matter of time before fans and followers begin to join the movement of creating a better world.

Long is creating a positive example of changing society for the future of America. He is creating a movement people will eventually follow when they realize this is allowing kids to receive an education that will benefit them in the future.

Even though his organization is meant to help his hometown of Charlottesville, it is a big step for the city, and Long did not have to do this. Hopefully, his actions will push others to be more involved around the country and give everyone a chance to receive an education they deserve.

If Long was able to come to this decision of helping society in any way he can, whether money is necessary or not, I hope more athletes realize there is an endless amount of opportunities to help our society grow and better itself.

Kickoff injuries not worth brief excitement

In professional football, the kickoff should be replaced with a game mechanic that doesn’t sacrifice personal safety for a moment of entertainment.

With so many scandals and controversy coming out of the NFL, it’s understandable that the folks in charge of making big sweeping changes have a lot on their plate. But there’s a glaring problem that both the public and the league may not be able to put off for much longer.

Kickoffs in football are inherently exciting, and a driving force for the way the flow of regular gameplay is established. The tables can turn in a kickoff in such an abrupt way that they might even decide the fate of an entire game. But it comes at a high price.

It’s no secret that, in the NFL, more injuries occur during a kickoff than any other moment in the game. There’s simply too much time to gain too much speed, and then players are expected to collide headfirst with others to bring things to a dangerous halt.

According to the New York Times, a few years ago when the NFL decided to move the kickoff just five yards downfield, touchbacks increased to nearly 300 percent more than the previous number.

This sounds like a frustrating and boring result, weakening what is arguably one of the most exciting parts of a football game. But the change had the desired, and frankly humane, result—it led to a 40 percent decrease in the number of concussions sustained during a kickoff compared to the previous year.

If this simple change of five yards can make such an enormous difference, why are we allowing the injuries to continue at all?

If the idea of curbing hundreds of needless injuries doesn’t appeal to the institution as a whole for some reason, then maybe player skill might be a good motivation to consider nixing the kickoff.

The moment of kickoff, while certainly exciting, employs so much randomness so as to almost be as effective as a coin toss. Sure, the ability of a player to work in conjunction with a team is still important to the process. But the shape of the ball and the fallibility of kicking something hard and fast into the air creates massive chaos on the field.

Some would even argue the chaos is completely arbitrary, and it only serves to shake up the flow of the game in favor of a weaker team. If one team gains a noticeable lead, a chance at taking back the reigns may be just one kickoff away.

It’s true that kickoffs have been around for a very long time, and removing them would generate a giant backlash from many who think they should stick around. But the greater truth is that football, as a sport, isn’t sacred. It can, and should, adapt as the decades go on, in order to better serve the fans, the teams, and the individual players.

When talking about the safety of players, I think there’s no better reason to make a change than to preserve the lives and livelihoods of the ones who have to actually make their living on the field. If throwing away kickoffs means football can continued to be played more safely than it has in the past, then it’s a small price to pay.

BackTalk: NFL players kneeling creates noise

Silent protests from NFL players prove nothing

by TINA GONZALEZ / Editorial Assistant

During the past year or so, football players across America have taken it upon themselves to start a silent protest.

They have the right to disrespect the people who sacrificed their lives so that they have the opportunity to play the game that gives them income, publicity, and a life. By no means it is right for anyone in American to have their rights taken away, no matter the color of their skin.

However, it is in no way moral or logical to protest about the issue of racism and police brutality by deliberately disrespecting the country’s flag and anthem. It is a great country that we are able to live in. Many people years before gave their all to make this country as free as it is. It is sad that our country still has issues with racism, but there are better ways to make your statement than by being discourteous to the flag of the country that gives you the freedom to kneel.

President Donald Trump does not use words wisely and doesn’t say what he means in the right way. But he is right about saying how disgraceful these football players and owners are to ignore a song and flag that gives them freedom. In kneeling, you are also disrespecting the people who fight for our country. People who are fighting for our lives, for our freedom, do not deserve the rudeness and disrespect that the NFL players are giving.

Protest and fight for what you believe in. There is nothing wrong with that. But think of what and who you are blaming. It is not the flag’s fault or the people’s fault for the cruelty that happens in the streets, it is ours. It is the people among you that you should be protesting.

American is a home. It is a family. Just like with any other family and home, there is dysfunction. But the people, not the home itself, cause that. It is OK for high-profile players and celebrities to use their platforms to voice their opinion on current issues. But it is important that they voice their opinion the right way, by holding walks and conferences. High-profile people think more thoroughly about their actions because it has a major effect on their supporters. It is important that they do not disrespect the one thing and the people who make it acceptable for you to have freedom.

The NFL and other supporters of the kneeling protest are referring to a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. kneeling. But the difference between a great iconic man kneeling and selfish football players kneeling is that Martin Luther King Jr. was kneeling for prayer. The NFL players kneeling are disrespecting the flag and everything it stands for.

There is no right way to protest. There are always going to be people who don’t agree with how things are done. Thankfully, the NFL’s protest is peaceful. But the way the NFL is protesting is not the right way to protest for racism and police brutality. All it is doing is dishonoring the one thing and the people who make this the country way it is.

We want a “fair” society, though that may never be accomplished because there is always a group or a person who wants things different. But that is the beauty of this country. We get to express our own opinions.

It is OK to protest whatever your heart desires. But don’t disrespect the one thing that gives you the right to protest.

Kneeling football players have right to stand against injustice

by DOM PUENTE / Staff Writer

NFL players protesting the injustices that are going on in America against people of color by kneeling during the national anthem are causing an outrage throughout the country.

Those claiming these players are disrespecting their flag, national anthem, soldiers, and veterans who lost their lives are oblivious to the actual reasons for their protest. Countless people put up a front for defending what they believe to be is the perfect country, which everyone should be grateful for. But it’s not.

Throughout 2017, masses of enraged Americans of all colors and nationalities have marched down highways and streets, protesting injustices that continuously happen.

Our veterans have laid their lives on the line to allow us to have freedom of speech, to peacefully protest. These players are doing so while thousands of Americans believe this country is regressing.

No action has been taken to help correct the atrocities that have already taken place, or to prevent further injustices from taking place.

These NFL athletes are using their platform to send a message throughout America that this is not the greatest country right now. There is constant police brutality, senseless murders and racism that fill the streets of America, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans speaking about and protesting for changes are constantly being ignored because brainwashed America believes that it only happens in ghettos, or in crime-heavy cities and neighborhoods.

These people also believe that police officers are doing their jobs and keeping the streets safe. However, the streets are filled with protesters of all races who beg to differ when unarmed young adults, teens, and children are being gunned down in neighborhoods because an officer was “technically” in the right to do so. People with the ability and power to fix these situations are pushing these issues to the back burner.

Players kneeling during an anthem and not standing for the flag is because some believe that they are not being heard, and the minorities are being treated unfairly. They believe the country we live in now does not represent what the flag and anthem stand for. People are being ignored, and these players constantly being talked about negatively are speaking for the people who will not be listened to. These players are right for protesting what they believe in.

Former San Francisco 49’rs starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick began this form of peaceful protest and said, “I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…”

I believe the hundreds of thousands of Americans of various races who march and protest throughout various cities in the country feel the same way. Yet their opinions do not matter, or they are automatically being told they’re wrong.

We should not stand for a country that looks the other way when racism prevails and oppression continuous to hinder America. These are the reasons for NFL players taking a knee. It is not to be disrespectful to the fallen soldiers or the men and women fighting for our rights overseas. The players kneel to show they are against a country full of people who have the chance to make things right, yet believe this nation is perfect the way it is, though horrendous acts of racism and prejudice still take place.

The people that argue this form of protest being disrespectful are nonbelievers of the current social issues and only argue that simply kneeling disrespects our soldiers. These people also do not understand the reasons for NFL players protesting and the reason for players utilizing their platform.

No form of protest can make everyone happy. Protest is not meant to make people happy. These players are using their platform to bring social issues to the forefront of conversations, and it is working. Whether it enrages people or gives people a sense of urgency to continue to protest and let their voices be heard, the players are right when you understand the actual reasons and stop being blind.

Word on the Street

How do you feel about NFL football players kneeling during the National Anthem?

image_6483441-3Honestly, I really don’t think it’s that big of an issue, because it’s their First Amendment right to say what they want to say. I do think the flag stands for our rights and the people who fought for those rights.”

Racheal Klein – Music Education, Sophomore, Lubbock


image_6483441-2Well actually, I feel like the players have their own rights. But the way Donald Trump is treating other people, it is affecting other people and the players too. They’re defending themselves against Donald Trump.”

Manuel Martinez – Business Administration, Freshman, Levelland


IMG_0123Honestly, I feel like it’s a big disrespect to me. I grew up in a military family, so it hurts.”

Trace Riol – Diesel Mechanics, Freshman, Levelland



IMG_0113For me, it’s more about the soldiers. When you know one or are personally related to one, you understand, but you want respect.”

Cecilia Gerrero –  General Studies, Freshman, Levelland


IMG_0120I think it could go both ways. I have family that have served and could see why they would be offended. However, I also think that they are doing it in a non-violent way. But they could have gone a different way about it.”

Nadien SanchezPerformance and Education, Freshman, Levelland


IMG_0108I have mixed feelings about it. One, you have your right to protest, which is OK. But the other half of me thinks it’s disrespecting our flag and country.”

Nev RiosBiology, Sophomore, Shallowater

NCAA ruining college football with unneeded rules

by DOM PUENTE//Staff Writer


With the college football season in full swing, the NCAA continues to dictate the game with pointless rules and an outdated perspective.

Thousands of sports fanatics tune in to watch college football every year, while the fan base continues to grow with younger generations eager to experience college football.

As I have become one of those young fans who enjoys the game, I feel college football has been lacking an exciting factor to create more order and gain more money for the NCAA.

Through the years, the NCAA has flooded the game of football with rules that do not affect the game in any shape or form.

An example of pointless rules are celebration penalties. A player and a team should not be penalized for celebrating an accomplishment, whether it be a game-deciding touchdown, a tackle that could decide the game’s outcome or even a simple touchdown.

Being told there are only a few ways to display emotions after something big is a disappointing use of power. Having penalties such as excessive celebration and unsportsmanlike conduct due to celebrating can hinder the outcome of a game. The NCAA feels a player is being over the top with his personal expressions, which is a bad look for the game.

Players and coaches may not feel the same way about the type of celebrations being penalized or that they may fall into the gray area for the officials to call. If that is the case, the rules of celebrations should not be as strict or even used.

Younger fans such like me enjoy over-the-top celebrations, as they bring an exciting atmosphere to football. Regulating celebrations is a form of regulating emotions, which should not be a loud. It is a form of excessive power the NCAA uses to take advantage of and holds players back from expressing themselves.

The efforts of making a game safer by implementing rules can create a better game for players and the people participating in football.

The game of football has been played for decades, yet the NCAA continues to flood in rules that hinder the game, as if there are not hundreds of rules already in place in a text book the size of a dictionary.

If rules are continuously being made, they should be placed in an effort to make the game better overall. They should not determine if a player should be penalized for diving into the end zone if no one was near the player.

Rules such as this should be excluded from the game of football. They benefit an era of football that is dead. The older generations loved watching offenses run the “Power-I,” yet it is hardly ever used because the game has adapted and evolved.

I see the game as being outdated, with rules benefiting an older generation who does not appreciate the flair and excitement the players are trying to create.

Change can scare people. However, I am not implying a total makeover of the way the game is played. Creating a better game that appeals to the excitement a younger audience can admire should be a top priority.

When Oregon began their uniform and style transition, players flocked to the university in order to play for the Ducks. They weren’t the best team in the country, yet the style and little change inspired other teams to do the same and change the status quo.

This became an on-going trend that has changed the way coaches recruit and how schools and the NCAA market college football.

With changes such as bright and attention-grabbing uniforms, reformed celebration rules that can keep the audience excited during the game can bring more attention. Having crazy uniforms and celebrating big plays can be perceived as negative, but it is just kids expressing themselves and displaying excitement for their accomplishments after putting in countless hours of hard work.

The game has become a way to make money and bring in sponsors along with marketing opportunities. The focus needs to be shifted back to the players and creating a game that is fun and exciting, while bringing people back for more without questioning the NCAA’s decisions and rules.

After all, the players are what keeps the sport going. That applies to any sport, whether it be men’s or women’s sports in junior leagues, high school, college or the professional level.

We turn our televisions on and flock to stadiums in order to watch athletes play sports. The NCCA might create rules and regulations, but athletes do not have to play.

They can do anything else with their lives, yet they make the sacrifices to play a game that we love to watch. Without the athletes, we don’t have sports, which is a discussion the NCAA needs to have because they are working in their best interests, not for the athletes.

College football players are the reason why colleges have million-dollar facilities, stadiums and bring them schools millions.

While the NCAA meets to discuss rising topics, they need to talk about ways to create a more exciting game for the players, instead of ways to create a game that is already outdated, bland, and dull.

Underrated career of Romo impacts Cowboys franchise

by SERGIO MADRID//Editorial Assistant

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys

Underdog. Undrafted. Underappreciated. Underrated. And maybe still underestimated.

The Cowboys have yet to release former starting quarterback Tony Romo, probably holding out for the right deal to be made before the draft. But Romo’s time in Dallas is likely nearing an end.

Growing up Hispanic, you learn to deal with the inevitable. Your sisters are going to watch Selena a million times over, and neither God nor you can do anything about it. When you’re the only boy in the family, your best hope is to have a good male role model to save you from an estrogen-infested home. Lucky for me, I had a couple of uncles to do just that.

My uncles would pick me up, or throw a cookout, and put on the game. More often than not, it was a Dallas Cowboy game.

Another thing about being Hispanic, you have a shortage of guys to idolize and look up to, especially when your favorite sport is football. So, for me, being able to watch a guy such as Romo lead the Cowboys on Sundays was a pretty big deal.

Romo was quick to reach rock star status. Of course, it’s not very hard to do when you’re the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and you date women the caliber of Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson. Even if you’re not a fan, according to guy-code, you’re kind of forced to respect the guy.

But it is not his dating career that makes Romo such a well-respected man in the sports world. It is his heart and commitment to every guy who has shared the field with him.

Romo is, and always has been, a selfless player. He would rather die trying to win the game than sit out one play. So many times Romo went down, only to get back up and save the day with one of his famous, and sometimes not so famous, game-ending drives.

His toughness is a big attribute to his amazing play, though it was also his undoing as Romo has suffered many unfortunate injuries during his career. None sting as much as the collarbone fracture he suffered during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks last year.

Romo got his shot at starting quarterback through an injury to Drew Bledsoe, where he came in and showed that he gave the Cowboys a better chance to win. It would also be the way he was dethroned by an impressive third-round draft pick from Mississippi Sate.

Dak Prescott, like Romo, was unexpectedly impressive. He played at a veteran level as a rookie and held himself as a true professional. On top of that, Prescott led the Cowboys to a divisional-round showdown against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the best game of the 2017 NFL playoffs.

Lately, the big talk surrounding Dallas has been their impressive offensive line. But it wasn’t always so. In fact, Romo was one of the voices that convinced Jerry Jones to start using first-round draft picks on linemen to protect him.

Romo spent so many years running for his life and doing everything he could to singlehandedly lead his team to many late-game victories. Now Dallas has a suitable offense, a defense on the rise, and a formidable coaching staff, which is a formula for success in the NFL.

It must be a bitter taste for a competitive guy such as Romo to watch a franchise he’s carried for so long finally get all the pieces to the puzzle, then not be able to fit in the overall picture.

Romo is certainly not a man without his faults. He plays big, so you can expect a lot of good, and just as much bad, from him. In no way am I trying to take anything away from true Cowboy legends Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, two Super Bowl champions who did so much for the franchise. But Romo is the quarterback I grew up watching. To know he will soon be leaving Dallas burns a bit.

Romo is the most exciting, most spontaneous, most courageous player I have ever seen play the game. Wherever he ends up next, I’m sure he’ll do the same. Despite what the naysayers may think, that’s my quarterback.

Sitting out bowl games should become trend

by STEVEN GEHEGAN//Sports Editor

With all of the money that is on the line for star college athletes, it seems that the players should look out for themselves, since it seems that the university will not.

During the college football bowl season, two college stars, Leonard Fournette of Louisiana State University, and Christian McCaffrey from Stanford University, decided to skip the bowl games that their university was playing in. Fournette sat out the Buffalo Wild Wings Citurs Bowl, while McCaffrey sat out the Sun Bowl.

While it seems to many people that these players were quitting on their team, the difference in money from the first round and the second round of the National Football League draft is enough that more players should think about skipping bowl games.

There are more than 40 bowl games that are played each year, and that number seems to be growing more each season. The more that are added, the less important the smaller bowl games are. With the addition of the college football playoffs, people are caring less about bowl games.

I am not suggesting that all of the draft picks sit out, or even the end-of-the-first-round-draft picks they should play to help their draft stock. But every year, there are 10 players who are top draft picks who probably should not damage their draft stock by playing in meaningless games.

There are only three games that are important in the bowl season, and those are the college football semi- finals and the championship. Those games can help their draft stock, since they are playing against the best talent.

While the players who sat out bowl games will not admit it, it seems that the major knee injury to Jaylon Smith from the University of Notre Dame is the reason they are sitting out bowl games. Smith went from a sure high first-round pick, then falling to the second round of the NFL draft. A fall in the draft that big costs a player millions of dollars. Now why would a player risk that much money to play in one final game that has little impact on the season? While this is not the first injury that cost a player to fall in the draft, it seems that this was weighing on the minds of the players.

Another reason that Fournette and McCaffrey might have thought about is the fact that they both play the running back position. That position seems to be slowly devalued in the NFL, with most teams using multiple backs. Or it could be the fact that the lifespan of a running back seems to be the shortest of all positions. With these factors working against both Fournette and McCaffrey, it would make sense for them to go get all of the money they can, while they are able to do so.

While there were just a few players sitting out bowl games this year, it would make sense for this trend to continue. Top players should sit out meaningless bowl games to avoid losing out on potential earnings from the NFL.

Now is the time for student athletes to start looking out for themselves, since no one else will.