The Boys In Blue Are Coming For You

The Boys In Blue Are Coming For You

Why the Chicago Cubs will be World Series Champions in 2016.
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Baseball season is upon us! Well, actually it's just spring training, but it is so close that we can taste it. The unique smells of clean-cut bluegrass, chewing tobacco, and ballpark franks are in the air and frankly, baseball fans could not be more excited about it. After an extremely entertaining regular season and playoffs in 2015, the 2016 season is shaping up to be nothing short of spectacular. The season is set to start on Sunday April 3rd with a World Series rematch between the Mets and the 2015 World Series championship-winning Royals. Although the Mets and Royals are well equipped to have stellar seasons in 2016, many predict they will not reap the same success they enjoyed one year ago. In fact, many are predicting that a team founded in 1903 from Chicago will take home the trophy this year. This team and fan base, which has experienced Steve Bartman-size heartbreak year after year for 107 years, is ready for a championship. In 2016, Cubs fans, those who have known losing all their lives, will be able to rejoice and pop some champagne. Here’s why:

1. The Cubs made huge Offseason moves

The Cubbies were able to sign Outfielder Jason Heyward, Second Baseman Ben Zobrist and right-handed ace John Lackey this past offseason. Along with superstars like Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, and Jon Lester, the current Cubs roster is a powerhouse.

2. The NL Central will not be as competitive as at it has been in the past

Arguably the NL Central is the most competitive and exciting division in baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals are almost always a shoe-in to win the Central (they have done so 11 times) and the Pittsburgh Pirates as of late, behind the bat of Andrew Mccutchen, have been playing great baseball. However, this year there are more questions than answers with these two. The health of the Cardinal's best player, seven-time All-star Yadier Molina, is uncertain. The loss of A.J. Burnett to retirement, J.A. Happ and Charlie Morton to free agency presents serious issues for the Pittsburg Pirates. The Cubs will be able to take advantage of a less competitive division by winning more games and clinching home field advantage come playoff time.

3. The Cubs have Joe Maddon

If you are familiar with the game of baseball and great managers, then you surely know whom Joe Maddon is. The three-time manager of the year has already taken the Chicago Cubs from a team with a losing record (73-89 in 2015) to a National League Championship Series appearance in 2016. Not only is Maddon a winner and a fantastic manager, he is probably the funniest dude there is. During spring training, his antics are hysterical. He has hired a clown to come perform, a mime to come lead stretching and even allowed a man to jam out on a guitar for an entire practice! Recently, in an effort to keep his players loose, Maddon brought real bear cubs to practice. Who wouldn’t want to play for this guy?

4. The Cubs have nothing to lose and everything to gain

Let’s face it, the Cubs have not won a World Series Championship since 1908. Even if analysts, reporters and fans believe the Cubs have the best shot to win, it means absolutely nothing. What is of the utmost importance is what the players believe. For the first time in my lifetime, it seems that the Cubs organization believes in what they can achieve. For that reason, more than any other, I believe in the Chicago Cubs.

Cover Image Credit: https://cdn-sportsinsight.pressidium.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/where-will-you-be-Chicago-Cubs.jpg

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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The New 'Special One' Returns (Again) To Real Madrid

Soccer fans across the globe question what Zidane will be able to accomplish this time with a Madrid side that has faced many issues this season.

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On March 11, Spanish club Real Madrid announced that they would be firing former manager Santiago Solari and replace him with Zinedine Zidane immediately. This marks a second reign of leadership the Frenchman will have with the club as coach (he managed Real Madrid from the 2016-2018 seasons which resulted in nine trophies). Zidane left in May of 2018 just days after he helped secure a third consecutive Champions League title. This was the last time football fans and supporters ever saw Real Madrid on top of Europe. Since then, things have gone South for the Spanish giants.

The defending champions have been knocked out of both the Copa Del Rey and Champions League competitions. The La Liga club is also 12 points behind league leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona (which only adds more pain). Saying things have fallen apart at Real Madrid is an understatement. I can't think of many moments in which the team was this low. Real Madrid is one of (if not) the biggest soccer club in the world. They are more than a club. It's an iconic, brand-name powerhouse which has always had a long history of success.

So, seeing them lose over and over again is a weird thing to witness as a football fan. In my opinion, I think Zidane will alleviate some of Madrid's issues to a certain degree. I am almost 100 percent sure he will be able to fix the chemistry issues in the locker room. Players on the team have mentioned how much they enjoy playing for Zidane. He brings out the best in the squad and every player is content with their involvement on the field. Now I'm not going to be unrealistic and say Zidane is going to win Champions League for Real Madrid next season, but you never know.

The key thing to watch in the off-season is how much money Real Madrid is willing to spend. They have historically always been big spenders in the transfer window periods. To me, that is the crucial component of whether or not things will turn around for the club. Money (and lots of it) most of the time equals success in sports. Team President Florentino Perez has to open up his checkbook and allow Zidane to go all-out to get whatever he needs to change things at Real Madrid. If this happens, I have no doubts in my mind that Los Blancos will eventually return to being on top of the world.

All I know is that if Zidane restores the glory days at Real Madrid, people should start calling him "the special one" and not Jose Mourinho anymore.

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