Why The U.S. Leading The Medal Count In The Olympics Is A Big Deal

Why The U.S. Leading The Medal Count In The Olympics Is A Big Deal

Especially in this summer of despair.
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The Olympics is an event like no other. It’s the one time every four years the entire world comes together to celebrate talent, athleticism and the power of human perseverance. Athletes of all sports, backgrounds, races and countries are brought together in a true battle of the best of the best. The notion of the Olympics in Rio was the only thing keeping many people from losing their minds this summer.

It’s been a tough year in the United States, a violent year. The summer has been filled with some of the most heinous crimes a human being could commit against another human being. And the ongoing war between the political parties hasn’t made matters much better.

The nation has been very much divided this summer. People disagree, arguments break out, arguments turn to violence and hateful speech, and it has seemed as though nothing is a “winning” scenario. The rumors of Rio de Janeiro being “unsafe” for the Olympics just seemed like the icing on the crap-cake that was the summer of 2016.

Then, Team USA, with swimmer Michael Phelps carrying the American flag, walked out with gusto at the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Waving, smiling, with a shining sense of pride about them, our athletes were there to show the world what America is really made of.

I don’t know about you all, but I was touched. For the first time in a long time, I felt like we were going to be okay. We just had to hold on to moments like this. Moments where we feel on top of the world; where we know a whole country is standing behind us, rooting for us. Moments where we can all come together for one common goal: To win.

Team USA now leads the medal count with Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky’s wins Aug. 9 in swimming. Nine Gold, 8 Silver and 9 Bronze puts us above greats like China, Russia and Australia.

Whoever said winning wasn’t everything has never seen swimmer Cody Miller take home a bronze medal. I’ve never seen anyone that excited about third place.

But that’s the whole point. It’s incredible that the United States – or any country for that matter – has talented enough athletes to even compete, let alone place. And to be blunt, the athletes themselves and us as a nation have every right to celebrate. No, winning isn’t everything, but sometimes it helps.

We deserve to feel like “us” again. To feel like the best, be the best and be so extraordinarily happy that we forget – just for a second – the harsh times behind us, and no doubt, the rough times ahead.

If we can rally together to watch a bunch of sporting events, and cheer our country on, we can come together to conquer larger obstacles as well. And I have faith that we will.

Cover Image Credit: eonline.com

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12 Things Texans Hate About Oklahoma

We all know Texas is the superior state, but just why do we Texans hate Oklahoma so much?
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So, everyone on the planet knows that Texas is indisputably THE BEST state in this glorious country and because of this, we Texans deem every other state inferior. It also may seem that we have a 'rivalry' with Oklahoma (although, it's no contest which state is superior). However, this rivalry is actually more of a disdain and for many good reasons. That being said, here's a list of 12 credible, bona-fide reasons that Texans hate the state of Oklahoma.

1. The Constant Wind

Everyone has heard that the wind is constantly blowing in Oklahoma, but you don’t realize how annoying that is until you live here. You think you walk outside looking good, but the wind is like, “Haha, not today.” Also, it’s not the kind of cool breeze that’s refreshing on a hot day; if it’s cold outside, the wind is freezing cold, if it’s hot outside, the wind is a gust of hot, humid air.

2. No Buc-ee’s

If you haven’t heard of the amazing-ness that is Buc-ee’s, then you are missing out. Buc-ee’s is the most awesome gas station. They have everything, and by that, I mean everything. They even have Comfort Colors tanks with the Buc-ee’s logos, as well as the cleanest gas station bathrooms you’ll find anywhere. Unfortunately, unless you’ve ever driven to south Texas, you’ve possibly never heard of Buc-ee’s, which is a real shame.

3. Narrow Lanes

First off, the roads in Oklahoma are absolutely atrocious. The first grievance on this list is that the lanes are just too small. You think I’m going to be able to fit my dually truck and horse trailer in between these lines? Yeah, I don’t think so, that Prius barely fits.

4. Slow Speed Limits

On the subject of roads, the highways here have an average speed limit of 55. You have to get on a toll road to even have a speed limit of 75. That would not fly in Texas. How do you expect to get anywhere quickly if you have to go 55 mph? That’s child’s play. Texas boasts the highest speed limit in the United States, something we utilize to its full potential.

5. No HEB

HEB, aka the BEST grocery store on the planet, probably in the universe, but I cannot confirm, only has stores in Texas. And even then, the northernmost store is all the way in Burleson. I mean, you can buy Whataburger’s fancy ketchup by the bottle; what more can you ask for?

6. OU

The Red River rivalry is a well-known rivalry between OU (University of Oklahoma- Sooners) and UT (University of Texas- Longhorns). Admittedly, there is a lot of division between Texans on this issue, but if you’re a diehard Texan, then chances are you hate OU simply on principle.

7. Majorly Lacking Major League Sports Teams

As a Texan, we’re used to having our pick of major league sports teams, whether it be football, basketball, or baseball, and trash talking other Texans that root for the rival team is half the fun. All Oklahomans have are the OKC Thunder, and I guess hockey, but who really follows that any way? It’s America, football is king here and baseball is the national pastime.

8. Eternal Road Construction

Road construction is a necessary evil; it’s always going on. However, at least in Texas, you see actual progress. In Oklahoma, roads are cut down to one lane for months on end with no visible progress to be seen.

9. Increased Sales Tax

According to taxfoundation.org, the combined state and average local sales tax rate for 2015 is 8.77% in Oklahoma compared to 8.05 %. This seems like something really petty to add on to this list, but hey, I don’t want the government any more money than it has to. Also, when you start being an actual adult, Texas is one of seven states that does not charge state income tax.

10. No Coastline

Oklahoma is landlocked. For a Texan, whose home state boasts 367 miles of coastline (the 6th highest in the United States), this is stifling.

11. Mite Infestations

Apparently, this past summer and fall, there was an outbreak of mites that like to bite people. They were worse than mosquito bites and quite frankly, a pain in the butt to deal with. If you walked across any patch of grass, chances were you woke up with an itchy, red sore from this microscopic

12. It’s Just Not Texas

Any Texan can tell you, as we are know for our rather fanatic state pride, that there’s just something about Texas that feels like home. And no matter how many great things a city has to be proud of, nothing will ever replace Texas. Everything’s better in Texas and there’s no denying it.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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At Last, the Buffalo Bills Have Released Nathan Peterman

After Matt Barkley's successful stint at quarterback, it seemed all but likely that the Bills would part ways with Peterman

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In a decision that has been long overdue, Buffalo Bills fans can breathe a sigh of relief, at last, knowing that quarterback Nathan Peterman is no longer on the roster. I know it may seem like I've been harping on this guy recently, but it can't go unnoted that he has thrown as many touchdowns as he has interceptions that have been returned for a touchdown. In Buffalo, we live and die with our team. We ride the bus through the many trials and tribulations that are experienced. We know not to get too high on any particular moment because, in an instance, it will turn into a low. This fanbase has endured too many lows throughout its tenure and releasing Peterman may be the change of mojo that has been needed.

The Bills started their 4th quarterback of the season last week against the New York Jets. Playing a team that has underperformed this season just as much as Buffalo has, the stakes were very low entering the contest. Matt Barkley, a free-agent that was signed to play for the Bills just 12 days before the game was expected to start at quarterback for the team. That's right, the Bills decided to go against playing Peterman, who has been on the roster for over a year and knows the offense far better than Barkley and went with a new guy. And to their credit, Barkley excelled. His first play from scrimmage he ran a fake run play and heaved up a 47-yard completion to Robert Foster.

He dominated the offense for the Bills and lead them to a monster 41-10 victory against their division rivals. More importantly, the Bills put up the most points in a single game in the last three years in their win last weekend. Barkley was a much-needed spark to this seemingly depressing offense. He demonstrated that the guys on this team are talented and capable of playing well, they just needed the right guy in the driver's seat.

After cementing a win, it seemed all but likely that the Bills would finally release Peterman. There seemed no point in having four quarterbacks on their roster and releasing a QB would clear up cap space. Peterman, who clearly resides as the worst out of the four roster spots, would be the guy to go. The following Monday, a dream became a reality. Breaking Buffalo News reported that the Bills had decided to release Peterman in an all but necessary move.

Now, do I feel bad for the guy? Sure, he loved Buffalo and really did try to bring his all to the team. It's unfortunate that it didn't work out in the end, as this happens with players from time to time. However, Peterman's resume may be padded as the worst in NFL history. His 3 touchdown passes to 14 interceptions is by far the worst touchdown to interception ratio by a quarterback ever. I feel sorry for the guy, I really do, but bye bye Nathan Peterman.

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