Being A Falcons Fans Is A Love/Hate Relationship During Football Season

Being A Falcons Fans Is A Love/Hate Relationship During Football Season

It's like that ex that you keep going back to thinking they're gonna change but they won't.

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We all remember February 5, 2017. I remember that day in infamy as well as every person who lives in the state of Georgia that watched SuperBowl 51 on TV or in real time in Houston. That fourth quarter was devastating and we didn't blame the Patriots, we were disappointed in our dirty birds for getting comfortable and celebrating too early before the game was even over. But we had hope that next year they would come back with a force to be reckoned with.

They didn't make it. They lost in the 2nd round of the Playoffs to the LA Rams. But we had faith that next year we would dominate next season and represent Atlanta in the Mercedes Benz Stadium.



But now it's October and we're 3-3 and the season isn't over until December. The thoughts of getting in the playoffs are up in the air right now because every week we get a different team playing. One week they don't know how to play defense, the next week we have an defense and offensive line that's awake during both halves of the game. We root for them Sunday and by the afternoon, we're cussing them out asking what the heck happened? Some people ask why we still think they have a chance. It's the same reason everyone else roots for their team, whether they're the reigning champs or the worst in the league. We stay loyal to a fault and keep the hope alive of having a championship trophy for our city.



So at this point, there's a 60/40 chance of us getting into the playoffs and to the superbowl but you know what, we're still going to celebrate because the city of Atlanta knows how to party and Super Bowl Weekend will definetely be lit.

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Just Because You Can Throw A Ball Does Not Mean Your Rape Is Admissible

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?

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I wish rape didn't seep into every sphere of my life. But, like ink, it has.

Interpersonally, my childhood friend was gang-raped by members of the University of North Texas basketball team. As uncovered in an investigation, her circumstances were not isolated, unlike what it says in UNT's initial statement. I am proud to know my friend. I am proud to stand with her. However, I am ashamed at the situation and the commonness of her suffering among students just like me, on college campuses.

Politically, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, promotes new fortifications for students accused of sexual assault. Basically, the rules would reduce the legal classification of harassment while offering protections for those accused of wrongdoing. In my emotions, I firmly believe in the American ideal of being "innocent until proven guilty". However, even in a crime so entrenched in emotions, I must look at facts. Facts say that the falsification rate of rape is the same as most other crimes, somewhere around 5%. Therefore, I believe that DeVos' proposal would tilt investigations in favor of the committer and significantly lessen the number of victims who would have the assurance to come forward and tell his/her story. In a campus-setting, where 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted, her "solution" adds gasoline to a country-wide fire.

Educationally, Brock Turner, a swimmer at Stanford University received just six months in county jail after being found guilty of five felonies, all of which amount to him raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. In defense of the light sentence, the judge said, "the more time (Turner spends) in jail, the more severe impact" on his future, who wanted to go to the Olympics. Never mind the future of the victim.

First off, rape culture, a sociological concept in which sexual assault is pervasive and normalized, exists. And while it exists everywhere, I can only speak with any authority on the campus setting, where hook-up culture is both catalyzed and camouflaged. Here, the area that needs the most treatment is in the locker room, on the court, or on the field.

Student athletes are proportionally the greatest perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

While a tiny 3% of male students are athletes, male student athletes are responsible for almost a fifth of sexual assaults on campus. And that is just the events that are reported, (just so you know, about 3 out of 4 go unreported). However, the NCAA has no policy that lessens a student's athletic eligibility in the face of sexually violent behavioral patterns. If you have allowed these numbers to simmer in your mind, you can see that this is unacceptable.

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?

Most experts make cultural and institutional arguments.

Culturally, student athletes are not seen as "normal" students – rather, they provide a service to the college. Where most students get something from the college, student athletes give to the college, and we should be so lucky to have them grace us with their presence. It is a part of the status quo: high-status students on campus are athletes, especially males who play the most popular sports, like football, basketball, or baseball. These students carry social privilege.

Obviously, athletes are not naturally ethically worse than other students. I am simply saying that absolutely no one is immune to the culture that surrounds him/her, and we have a weird culture.

On average, athletes are more likely than other students on campus to buy into the cross-cultural concept of robust masculinity, which, in extreme cases, can lead to increased sexual aggression. Don't just take it from a non-athlete like me. Even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an NBA champion and a former UCLA basketball player, declared the cultural privilege from which he benefited.

"I'm especially aware of the culture of entitlement that athletes feel... they strut around campus with the belief that they can do no wrong."

I am not going to sugarcoat the point that we all know well: football players are comparable to celebrities on campus, which has dangerous implications for a certain untouchability in mindsets.

Institutionally, colleges are as inclined to protect the perpetrator over non-athletic peers. A Senate report concluded that administrators tend to do three actions to protect their athletes, and therefore, their brand.

1. Higher-ups at the school discourage victims from reporting to police outside of the university. In this method, they let the campus police "handle it" and not report to less-biased city forces.

2. Admins downplay an assault's severity, making it less 'criminal', more unintentional and of an event to "move on from".

3. The athletic department can work with the administration and strategically delay proceedings while athletes finish their season.

If these three things are not enough as far as systemic ethical transgressions go, when athletes are found responsible for sexual assault, they may face small consequences.

Just to pull an infamous example from my home state of Texas, Baylor University continues to wrestle with how to deal with battery; I don't need to go over the sheer amount of claims that they were conscious and compliant to most allegations of assault involving their student-athletes.

So, not only is our mindset messed up, but the administration who is supposed to protect us is similarly bungled.

Obviously, athletes are not bad people, only people that are subject to their environment and protected by their talent. But crime is crime. The unnamed victim of Brock Turner said it well as she argued that being "an athlete at a university should not be an entitlement to leniency, but an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law" no matter your status.

Throwing a ball does not make someone above the rules.

Yes, I realize that my words have become trite. Scary articles, documentaries, and books about the sheer magnitude of sexual crime in college abound. But I see my seemingly-repetitive diction more as a reflection of our fallen collegiate system, rather than of myself.

With my article, I only ask that you keep fighting for victims like my childhood friend, for the classmate who sits next to you in lecture, for yourself. This institutional and social discrepancy of "athletics above all else" happens at more universities than I had the breath to mention.

Your first step is taking a searing examination at the failure of American universities to grapple successfully with campus rape in the systematic pattern of protecting student athletes more than other students. The next steps follow naturally. Take part in the activism at your school, encourage survivors, and productively confront the problem. Fear not, the policies will change with your effort.

Politics aside, we are in a time for you to continue speaking the truth, even if your voice trembles.

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5 Reasons The Eagles Should Be Role Models For All Young Athletes

Go birds, always!!!

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Yeah, it is just football, and they are just one team out of many, but this team is so unique in the fact that all young athletes should look up to this team. As a young athlete, I never had the best role models that taught perseverance and sportsmanship. Sure, there were tons of athletes that were super good and the best, but if 'being the best' is the only advice you have to offer, you are not the best role model.

Other than my one game in our high school's powder puff game, I have very little experience with football, but even taking football away from the Eagles, they still shine through with so many reasons as to why they are the best role models for young athletes.

1. They never give up

Who would have ever thought that they would have gotten into playoffs? Not only get in, but then move to the next round. They truly started each game with a clean slate and a positive mindset. Not even just starting games on clean slates, but also each play, they didn't care that the clock was ticking and the odds were not in their favor, they truly gave their all, 100% of the time.

2. They are each other's biggest fans

This can truly just be summarized by Nick Foles consoling Alshon Jeffery after the final play in the Saints game. I wish growing up that I could have seen that kind of remarkable sportsmanship. They put their egos aside and just play the game that they love.

3. They love what they do

It is so clear that everyone there wants to be there, not for the fame or the money, but they genuinely love the game and their team. Growing up on sports teams, there were always kids who were forced there and hated it, but the Eagles love the opportunity they have and truly seize every moment.

4. Doug Pederson is the type of coach every athlete deserves

Pederson is the type of coach that truly loves his job. Of course, he loves the wins, as anyone would, but he also loves any opportunity to learn and grow as a team, which makes him one of the best coaches ever. He talks to his athletes, he lets the team weigh in on decisions and takes their feedback and will even readjust his plan if the players have a different idea.

5. They are proud to represent Philly

They love their team and they love their city. Too often young athletes are just too obsessed with the game and miss out on who or what they are representing. Too often you will hear high school athletes say they hate their school, then why play on a sports team representing your school? The Eagles teach athletes what it means to have pride.

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