September 21, 2020

Around The Dorm 11/29: College Football, NHL and International League Games

In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Michael Battista asked our panel of three experts — Jennifer Lowenberg, Albert Gregorio and Tyler Law — three questions: 1. During the Oklahoma-Kansas game, who showed less class and sportsmanship? 2. What has been the biggest surprise so far in the NHL season? 3. Should American sports leagues play regular season games in other countries?

1. During the Oklahoma-Kansas game, who showed less class and sportsmanship?

Jennifer: I don’t watch football, but from what I’ve heard Mayfield was making hand gestures? I’m not sure what they were of, but if that was it and they had no meaning behind it, then it’s silly to not shake hands.

Albert: When University of Kansas players refused to shake Baker Mayfield’s hand, they broke a tradition that has been happening for decades. Shaking hands before the coin toss is a sign of good sportsmanship. Yes, by refusing to do this, it made Kansas players look bad, but it’s still not an excuse for Mayfield to act like a child. Mayfield is more at fault. When Kansas players refused to shake his hand, he should have just shut his mouth and played his game. It might be acceptable for Mayfield to act like this during a tight game to give his team an edge, but Kansas has one win. No one expected Oklahoma to lose that game. Mayfield should have just showed Kansas why he is a favorite for the Heisman Trophy with his actions on the field instead of his actions on the sideline.

(AP Photo)

Tyler: While I don’t think either party was completely in the right, I do think the Kansas football team started it. Sure, Mayfield has a history of being a little rowdy (see his games against Ohio State and Baylor University), but that doesn’t give Kansas’ captains a pass to disrespect the guy. Not shaking his hand and going for cheap blows and late hits throughout the game is almost like begging for him to lose his cool. He was obviously in a hostile environment and Mayfield is definitely not the type of guy to take that sitting down. Mayfield’s antics were inappropriate, but not uncalled for. Maybe Mayfield was going to act that way even if they did shake his hand, but we’ll never know for sure.

Albert gets 3 points for saying tradition isn’t an excuse. Tyler gets 2 points for calling out the environment and Jennifer gets 2 points for honesty.

2. What has been the biggest surprise so far in the NHL season?

Jennifer: For me, I’m surprised at how well my team, the New Jersey Devils, has been playing. We’re first in the metropolitan division and have been for most of the season, if not all of it. There are quite a few new faces on the team, too. So, between the rookies and players trying to put the team together after having a bad few years, I think the Devils are going to have an amazing turnaround. I hope to see them continue to do this well for the rest of the season!

Albert: The biggest surprise so far is the Vegas Golden Knights. Not only have expansion teams historically done poor in their first season, but they had to face adversity early in this season. For an expansion team, the Golden Knights have managed to still do well. After losing their starting goalkeeper, Marc-André Fleury to injury (the most important position in hockey), they continued to keep on winning with backup goalkeeper, Malcolm Subban. He too ended up getting hurt. Still, they persevered with their minor league goalkeeper, Oscar Dansk, at the helm until he got hurt as well. It was not until they got to their fourth and fifth string goalkeepers, who started in a stretch of nine games, that they started to consistently lose games. In the losing stretch, the Knights went 4-4-1. They currently sit at third place in the western conference.

(AP Photo)

Tyler: I don’t really watch hockey. I went to a few New Jersey Devils games when I was younger. I’m technically a Flyer’s fan according to my dad, but I’ve heard that the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that I’ve been told do not usually do too well, are actually kind of killing the game. I can really relate to Toronto fans because, being a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I too have lived a long life of disappointment. Maybe 2017-18 season will be our year, Toronto. Fingers crossed.

Albert gets 3 points for discussing Vegas breaking the bank. Jennifer gets 2 points for mentioning rookies and Tyler gets 1 point to continue his life of disappointment.

3. Should American sports leagues play regular season games in other countries?

Jennifer: I don’t really mind. If the players are from the countries that they’re playing for, I don’t see too much of a problem with it. The player may feel like they have an obligation to their home country to play for them, and if that’s the case, it’s no big deal to me.

Albert: I like the idea of trying to spread American sports in other countries but not during the regular season. Professional athletes are creatures of habit. Taking them to an unfamiliar country to play a game takes them out of their routine. At the end of the season, these games could be the difference between making the playoffs or going golfing. They should be played during the preseason when the games do not matter as much. This way, you do not have to worry about these games costing the teams a playoff spot. From a financial point of view, preseason games do not sell well to begin with, so there would be no harm in relocating them into unfamiliar territory anyway. These games would end up making more money than a preseason game would.

(AP Photo)

Tyler: I love the idea of playing regular season games in foreign countries, especially when it comes to sports that most countries do not have leagues for such as football. As weird as it sounds, I feel like sports are a huge part of American culture. So playing a game or two in England, China or Mexico is not only eye opening for Americans back home, but it must be pretty wild for people in other countries who have never even seen certain sports before. Learning about other cultures is the best way to break down barriers and come together in this world. Who knows? Maybe world peace will begin with us all mutually agreeing that the Dallas Cowboys suck?

Tyler gets 3 points because everyone can hate the Cowboys. Albert gets 2 points for talking about playoffs and Jennifer gets 1 point for thinking about homesickness.

Albert wins ATD 8-6-5

“Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

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