Return of the Mack

chris mack


It was recently announced that Chris Mack and his family are “returning” to Louisville (as you’ve no doubt heard by now, his wife is from Louisville and played basketball at Holy Cross High School), and I believe that I offer a unique perspective on the signing.

As someone who grew up in the northern Kentucky area with a Xavier alum father and a current student of the University of Louisville, my opinions on this signing were a bit…conflicted. Mack has been the face of Xavier basketball for the last nine years, and left the school that I affectionately call my second favorite with the most wins in school history, and a staggering 215-97 record. Xavier had been growing under Sean Miller, but Mack welcomed them into the Big East, and most recently won the same conference that Xavier shares with eventual NCAA tournament champion, Villanova.

In the past, Xavier has been called a “stepping stool” job, and this story just adds fuel to the fire that was created by the likes of Skip Prosser, Thad Matta, and Sean Miller. The guy who had recruited names like Semaj Christon, Edmond Sumner, and Trevon Bluiett is now going to be doing his recruiting about an hour and a half down the road.

It was tough to watch Xavier’s first ever 1 seed in the NCAA tournament flame out in the second round to a team that Louisville had beaten twice already, all while rumors about Mack were swirling. It was tough to stomach that guys like Naji Marshall, Paul Scruggs, Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin would now have to finish their Xavier careers without the coach that recruited them in the first place.

But it wasn’t all bad.

As anyone who even remotely follows college basketball knows, the University of Louisville needed a pick-me-up recently. The school has been rocked by scandals, the firings of beloved Athletic Director Tom Jurich and of course, Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino. Following this news, students and fans alike endured an unusual down year with David Padgett at the helm, and watched as Mississippi State ended the football and both men’s and women’s basketball seasons. Outside of a ranked baseball team, there wasn’t much good news to be had.

And then the announcement came. The hiring of Chris Mack was a silver lining in a raincloud, and seemed to signal the beginning of the end for the tumultuous times at Louisville. Shortly before the announced Chris Mack hire was the stripping of the interim tag of newly minted Athletic Director Vince Tyra. Shorty after, it was announced the same day that Mack was already on the recruiting trail, offering scholarships to no less than a “dozen” 5 star 2019 recruits.

As someone familiar with his style, I know that Mack usually runs a system with big guards that can space the floor on offense, and big men that aren’t afraid to run pick and rolls. His teams are usually led by an obvious talent at the guard position, and versatile wings. Mack will have a chance to lead Jordan Nwora and Darius Perry next year, and has the chance to still land some promising grad-transfers to shore up some depth.

Mack’s style of play differs from what Pitino ran in year’s past, in that defense has never really been Mack’s focus. Instead he will push the pace a bit more, run more half court offense than Louisville fans have been used to, and score more points.

From both perspectives, the hiring was a good one. Mack was not only the best coach reportedly available, but he offers unique opportunities along with his seven-year, $4 million per year deal.

He offers a chance to lead this team for the long haul, something that this University needs. He was quoted as saying this would be his last coaching job ever, and that is the kind of stability that a school who’s only had two coaches in the last 40 years needs.


For Xavier, it is a bit of a setback. They are afforded, however, an opportunity. An opportunity to build a new name for themselves and an even better reputation.

For Louisville, it is a chance to start over. The era of scandals is (hopefully) over, and the Mack era has begun.






On the eve of Rock the Roof, I’ve realized that my invitations have exceeded 50 people. That being said, I hope and pray that we get about 300-400 people for our event, something that we have been focusing on for many weeks now and hoping that it turns out well.


For SigEp men, this is one of the most exciting days of the year. I can remember in years past that I have had so much fun at our event and we have raised a lot of money for our event, but that record can be broken and we can raise even more money.

I just wanted to make sure that before the event happens, I wanted to say how thankful I am for perspective. This year I joined IFC, and if you are not familiar with Greek life here at the University of Louisville, IFC stands for interfraternity council, which means that i am on the executive council of the board that oversees every fraternity. Without attempting to brag, that’s about 1,200 fraternity men. My job is simple, I’m the Public Relations guy. This just means that I’m in charge of spreading messages when it comes to Twitter, and Instagram, and Facebook, and all of that millennial stuff.


Basically, what this has done for me is granted me perspective. Before this year, I was all about SigEp and everything that could get us ahead. I didn’t know a ton of other fraternity men and I didn’t care to, because all that mattered to me was the well being and the reputation of SigEp.


Being on IFC, all of that has changed. I now see that every chapter is different and has different needs and succeeds in different ways. I see that some chapters excel at some things while other chapters aren’t good at those things. It’s a balance here at Louisville and I am grateful for that. The single greatest thing that I have gained from joining IFC is meeting people. Meeting people from different backgrounds who have different goals than I do, and who are a part of different chapters than I am.


Perspective is beautiful.


I couldn’t have asked for a better change of scenery than the one I was given this year.


IFC uofl


Tough Decisions Ahead Road Sign     As I come closer to finishing out my college career (I am currently a junior), I am starting to make decisions that will, to an extent, affect the rest of my life.

For starters, I have to pick whether, and where, I want to hold a summer job. As someone looking to work in sports, I’d like to work in a myriad of places, and a lot of those are outside of Louisville. I love the idea of traveling, as I’ve previously written about, and I love the idea of “finding myself” – sorry for the cliche – in another city in the summer.

Outside of this, I have to decide whether I want to spend the little money that I do have from my good job on a good, reliable car that I will use for the near future, or make do with my crappy 2000 Honda Civic that is falling apart from one end to the other.

Outside of THAT, myself and four of my friends are looking for a house to live in in the Fall, and that process alone is enough to make me want to tear my hair out. You see, I’ve been trying to figure out who I’m going to live with next year for the better part of 4 months, and the first attempt didn’t go so well.

And even further outside of all of that, I have to still worry about keeping my grades up (something that is even more of a struggle than normal this semester because of a rather unorganized ASL teacher), and this is just one of the many worries and decisions that is coming to a head.


post college


As someone who is pursuing a degree in sports, I am not necessarily staring down the barrel of a six-figure-paying job. That’s never really bothered me all that much, however.


And that brings me to the positives:


  1. I have a great support system of fraternity brothers, great friends, and the most supportive family I could ask for.
  2. I am very happy with my major of choice here at the University of Louisville (Sports Administration with a Communication minor), and I am very excited to look for an internship and a full time job in a field I am very passionate about.



3. I think I have a good resume. Objectively, since my major isn’t the strongest that it can be, I’ve filled a lot of my free time with extra curriculars that will only benefit me in the long run, including being in a fraternity, being the Athletic Director of my fraternity, being on IFC, being a member of the SAB concert committee, and so on and so forth.

To put it all simply: I have a lot of decisions coming my way. A lot of big decisions that will affect me for a decent amount of time in my near future. But, all things considered, I think I’m ready for it.

This is the college purgatory. The step in between being a “student” and being an adult and making adult decisions.


Heaven or hell await.

On Roofs and Rocking

rock the roof header


This year, just like the past couple years and as long as I’ve been a part of my fraternity, we are putting on our philanthropy event Rock the Roof. It’s a local battle of the bands type deal where we bring in about 6-8 bands, they play for a whoever is in attendance, and then there is a point system given to judges who decide who was the best.


Last year we had some exciting bands, and one of our own actually won the competition (I know, sounds fishy, but they were very good.)


We’re excited about this event because it brings together a lot of people from campus and is a fun night for everyone involved, and usually brings in a solid amount of money for charity.


*In previous years, we’ve raised as much as $10,000 for our philanthropy, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana*

This year, however, we’re expecting some changes. To start, we’ve moved our location from Tin Roof’s local atmosphere to the much bigger


headliners music hall


Headliner’s Music Hall, which can hold a couple hundred instead.


What has previously been more of a bar atmosphere with music on the side will now probably change to a music centered event, which means we hope our new bands will bring some quality and entertainment, something we definitely expect of them.


So far I’ve probably invited half of all of the people that I’ve ever encountered on this campus. I’m currently working on the other half.


In case anyone is reading this and would like to attend, it’s on April 13th at Headliners (as the poster states), and doors open at 6:30.


Below is a link to buy the $8 tickets, instead of paying $10 at the door.…



This one should be our best event yet, and I am more than proud of our VP or Programming Eric Elder, for making it happen this year.


Rah Rah SigEp.



To See the World

As a millennial, and a college student, and someone who loves the idea of seeing as much of the world as humanly possible, I love the idea of traveling.


This isn’t exactly newsworthy, I would venture to guess that at least half of the undergrad population at Louisville wants to travel at least a little bit.

Last year, I did it. Just a bit. Nowhere too far, or wide, but a couple places that were at least a plane ride away.


Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 9.46.55 PM.png

I saw Miami, Myrtle Beach, Panama City, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Gatlinburg.


Like I said, none of these places were too far, but I loved visiting them all the same. I climbed the smokies, went to so many (mostly Jon Bellion) concerts, saw Wicked on Broadway (wow what an experience), and gained a greater appreciation for the country that I live in.


Out of all of those places, I would say that Chicago was my favorite. I went for a concert and, don’t get me wrong, the city was expensive, but it was great. The concert was lively and blew my mind, and the food after was great, and the hostel we stayed in was pretty great all things considered.


New York was, honestly, not great. The people were rude (I know you’ve heard that all the time and I should’ve expected it), the prices were unbelievable, and we had tickets to a movie at a time at night when the theater was closed. Yes, closed.


I saw a lot of great things with a lot of great friends last year, but I’m not even close to being done.


I just got back from Gatlinburg for Spring Break (my preference to a beach because, honestly, I find beaches boring).


I currently have plans to go to Denver on May 7th for a concert, and a 4 day trip to New York on May 2-6, just to give it another shot.


I still have plans to see Portland, Washington, Houston, and Iceland. One of those is not like the other, I know.

blue lagoon


I want to see and swim in the blue lagoon, in Rejkavic, Iceland.


I want to See the World.


And I intend to do so.


The Importance of March Madness

peyton siva and father


If you’re anything at all like me, this time of year is one of your favorites. I’m a huge sports nut. It’s what I’m studying at school, it’s what I’ve spent my whole life consuming, and it’s what I intend to spend the rest of my life doing.


And March Madness is just another level of sports enjoyment. You have mid major schools fighting for recognition, you have underdogs fighting for a chance, nku first tournament

and you have schools that are entering their first NCAA tournament after just becoming eligible this year.


Players literally leave every part of them on the floor, giving everything that they have for a chance at April glory.


Sometimes, you get heartbreak.


The beauty of it all is that these players have one chance. It’s different from the NBA or MLB  where it’s most likely that the best team wins it all that year. Any favorite can get cold and lose in the second or even first round.

duke lehigh


Or any small town team from Carolina can get carried by a future two-time NBA MVP all the way to the Elite 8.

steph magic


All of these things are important. Exciting. Enthralling. Must-watch-tv.


But the best part about March, and about all of this Madness, is the bevy of opportunities that it creates.


My earliest memories of March Madness are with my dad. My dad went to Xavier University, and carried his alumni status into rabid fandom. Naturally, that fandom carried over to me as well.


Xavier has enjoyed a lot of success in the NCAA tournament in the last decade, making the Sweet Sixteen in 5/10 of those years, and even making the Elite 8 in 2008. That was the game they lost to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love.


I remember watching it at a sports bar with my dad.


in 2012, they made it to the Sweet 16 to face a stacked Baylor team. They didn’t win, and in fact it wasn’t all that close until the end of the game.


I remember sitting in a hospital watching that one with my dad too.


But my most fond memory of March Madness was back in 2010. Xavier had had a good year, led by their superstar guard combo of Jordan Crawford and Tu (then Terrell) Holloway. They had a sweet 16 matchup with Kansas State.


This game was later at night on the East Coast, starting at 9. I was in 8th grade at the time, and I was at my dad’s house on a Thursday night. We snuck downstairs right around 8:30, turned on the pregame, and watched. We were relatively subdued throughout the broadcast until the end of the game, when all of the madness happened.

By that time it was close to 11, and we had to try to be quiet so as to not wake up the wake up the whole house. The game swayed back and forth, Kansas State looking like it was going to break away and Xavier matching their shots all game.


But through the magic of March, Xavier sent it to overtime.


Toward the end of the first overtime, Xavier looked done. Kansas State hit shot after shot and Xavier was finally running out of gas. And that was when it happened. Down 3 with 8 seconds left, Jordan Crawford took the ball toward the right side of the 3 point arc. He jumped up from 30 feet away and absolutely nailed the game-tying shot, sending the game to another overtime.


Madness ensued.


We were anything but quiet after that. I remember jumping, stamping, running around the first floor of the house like I never had before, and I remember my dad being right by my side during it all. It felt like I had never been that excited in my entire life, and I looked over to my dad feeling the same emotions.


I couldn’t tell you the score at the end of the game. I only remember that Xavier lost because of the article I just read on Wikipedia.


No, what i remember was much more important.


father and son


Here’s to March.

Things Money Can Buy

As recently as last week and up until yesterday, I had the good fortune of watching the Netflix series, “The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”. For some reason I had waited until this point in time to watch it, when I knew that it had been on Netflix for a good many months. Being right up my sports interest alley, I decided to give it a try.


Man, I wasn’t disappointed.


I hate to exaggerate, especially when I finished the series yesterday, but I have to say it was absolutely one of the most enthralling, detail-driven, informational, and enlightening things I have ever had the experience of consuming.


Being that it is only 10 fifty minute episodes, it’s not hard to binge it rather quickly. This is one of the things that makes it so deserving of my attention.


It starts out with O.J. leaving his house, being driven away by a limo driver. Later that night, three policeman happen upon the scene after calls of loud noises and disturbance. What they found there were the dead bodies of Nicole Simpson Brown (O.J.’s ex-wife), and Ron Goldman (presumably her “lover” at the time).


The rest is history.


The highlights of the year long trial, lasting from January 1995 to October 1995, include the famous glove fitting scene.

If you’re not familiar with the trial, these gloves were found at the scene of the crime, and were thought to have belonged to O.J. The People prosecuting O.J. went back and forth deciding on whether to make him try on the gloves, almost balking because at the time of trial, it had been a year since the crime occurred, and things can happen in a year to leather gloves.

If it wasn’t already obvious, the gloves didn’t fit. Or at least O.J. made them not fit.


Regardless, the jury saw what they wanted to see, and this was just the first step in a monumental acquittal against overwhelming evidence.


Watching this series made me think. It made me think about the justice system and the sequestering of jurors and the power of the media on impartiality. It made me think about O.J. and this fascinating look into his psyche.


Lastly, it made me think about money.



Money is what brought O.J.’s absolutely stacked defense team together. A New York Times article states that it cost O.J. approximately $5 million in legal fees to win this case.

Five. Million. Dollars.

That’s how much it costs to let a pretty obviously guilty man go free.  This made me think about other cases, like the Ray Lewis case, and the Tonya Harding case, and the Oscar Pistorious case. Some of these cases went differently than others, but maybe that isn’t because of the truth, or because they did or didn’t do it.


Everyone has a price, and that includes hot shot lawyers who are very good at what they do, spinning narratives and creating alternatives to stories that are pretty much already solved.


Maybe, just maybe, it all came down to how much money they had in their pockets.



Nostalgia Ultra

Nostalgia can be a very powerful emotion or affectation, especially if you think you were happier in a previous time. Me personally, I can say that I am nostalgic about many things at this point in my life.


Movie Producers know this. And they feed off of it.

If you’ve been to the movies in the last couples years, you’ve seen plenty of rehashed/rebranded/redone movies that bring us back to a time in our past, or rather movies that have been made that bring back toys or characters from our childhoods.

Transformers, for example.

Another example of this phenomenon would be Spider Man, which is now about to be rebranded for the third time in 15 years. Yes, third.




And you know why?

Because it keeps making money.


Plenty more examples include any superhero movie, bringing us back to any range of years from World War II to whenever the superhero was first created, or Fantastic Beasts, the newest “Harry Potter universe” movie, or the least successful of them all, “Ben Hur”, a remake of a 1959 movie that no one really asked for.


Now don’t get me wrong. This can get a tad annoying, especially when the same idea gets thrown around a thousand times when all I want to see is something new. BUT, there comes a time when movie execs get it right.


One of the best examples of this is

The Lego Movie (2014)

the lego movie.jpg


and now more recently,

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)



After seeing the first movie a couple years ago and laughing all the way through it, I had high expectations for this movie.

And they weren’t disappointed.


This kind of Nostalgia is the purest. I was never a huge Lego person, from what I can remember, but this movie put together the humor of a child and added many references, twists, and and action shots (yes, action shots with Legos), that kept a 21 year old happy.

It even *spoiler alert* added many characters from previous loved movies, like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, King Kong, and many more.


Will Arnett (the voice of Batman) was the best and funniest part of The Lego Movie, and he didn’t hold back in this performance. His gruff and gravelly accent throughout the movie only added to the “friends are family” vibe that appears throughout.

To put it simply, this movie is very enjoyable for a huge range of fans. Anywhere from say 8-66, in my unsolicited opinion.


Sometimes nostalgia can be kinda alright.

Sports are fun

My favorite person in the sports world and quite possibly any celebrity in general, is Steph Curry.

For tons of reasons.

For starters, he is in many expert opinions, the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. He is quickly climbing the career list of made 3’s and is shooting them at a career rate of 44%, which is absolutely staggering. He is also a family man, with two young children and a beautiful wife who he met at church.


These are just some of the reasons I love Steph.


And I can remember the night it all started. Sitting in my friend’s basement, we had the tv on watching basketball because it was a Saturday night and we were just chilling. We could start to hear the announcer’s getting louder and louder, so we actually gave our attention to the television, and what we looked up at was something awesome:



This (relatively) small and skinny guy absolutely making it rain for 54 points on basketball’s biggest stage, Madison Square Garden in New York City. I had heard of Steph before, but I had never really paid close attention to him.


That was about to change.


That was my junior year of high school. Fast forward to my freshman year of college, and I’m deep into the obsession. I’m watching Steph every time he’s on television, I’m googling his stats before and after games, and I’m starting to get into r/nba, which is an offshoot on the site called Reddit, which makes it very easy to follow things you like, including sports. This was the year where I legitimately watched every game, from start to finish. This also happened to be Steph’s breakout year in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors had been knocked out of the playoffs in 7 games by the Los Angeles Clippers the year before, but they were ready to make a run.


And Steph came out on fire. Before a month into the season was up, he was leading MVP discussions. This was absolutely mesmerizing to me. My favorite player is now the talk of the league.


steph smilin.jpg


More months pass, and Steph is still leading the NBA in MVP buzz. His team, the Warriors, are leading the NBA with the best record. And there I was, fully engrossed into the NBA for the first time in my life.


*side tangent: now, I had watched the NBA prior to this. My first ever experience with professional basketball was turning it on in ’06 and watching Dwyane Wade and his Miami Heat take down first the Detroit Pistons, and then the Dallas Mavericks to win a title with Shaq by his side. So I grew a little bit of an affinity for Wade, and a little affinity for the Heat. But this was nothing like my obsession with Steph. Anyway…


There I was, watching every game, even carving time out of my college social life to sit and watch basketball. I can even remember a night where I had 4 or 5 friends packed into my tiny dorm room to watch movies, and I was on the top bunk of our bed, headphones in, watching the Warriors play the Sacramento Kings. I remember that night because it was the night Klay Thompson, the starting Shooting Guard for the Warriors, dropped 37 points in a quarter, which was an NBA record.


Fast forward another couple months and the playoffs are beginning. I’m all the way invested. I’ve bought jerseys,




shoes, surprise-party-currys






and more.


The NBA announces the MVP award right after the playoffs start. Or at least they did until this year. So here I am, watching Steph and the Warriors take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, and I hear them announce that it is final.


Steph Curry is the MVP of the NBA.


I watched the entire press conference, and re-watched it several times after that. His speech blew me away. This small guard from Davidson College who was lightly recruited out of high school is now the MVP of the NBA. His character is also right there, being a devout Christian and a family man, and one who knows exactly how to talk to the media without stirring up any trouble and still providing insightful knowledge.


And there I am being blown away by him game in and game out, always wanting to watch more.


It didn’t hurt that Steph and the Warriors also won the championship that year, taking down LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.



Nah, it didn’t hurt at all.


Sports are fun.


I can’t live without lists

I love lists, and I hate them. I incessantly list everything that I enjoy and I won’t lie, it takes a certain level of the fun out of it. But I cannot help it, it is engrained in my brain to list, rank, order things and compare them to other things.


And music is no different.

So here are my top 5 songs of 2016.



Am I Wrong – Anderson .Paak ft. Schoolboy Q

If you’re into the hip hop scene and listened to literally any music in 2016, you probably heard about Anderson .Paak’s meteoric rise. From featuring on Dr. Dre’s 2015 album “Compton” to coming through with this masterpiece “Malibu,” Anderson .Paak was definitely one of the hottest acts of 2016.

Oh, and this song is bananas.

Favorite line: “They wanna know where I’ll be in 5. But what about today? What about tonight?”



Nikes – Frank Ocean

This song seems to be divisive. Some people that I know hate it because of the voice changer and all of the added effects. My favorite version is the Spotify version, which gets rid of the narrating voice throughout, but keeps the voice changer effect. But the song stays good no matter what, even great. I linked the video, but it is super NSFW, so I hope if anyone watches it they are in a place where they will not be judged for doing so.

Favorite line: “Said she need a ring like Carmelo, must be on that white like Othello.”


Number 3: 

Maybe IDK – Jon Bellion

This pick is more about lyrics than music, which I am admittedly a sucker for. And that’s not to say the song is sub par by any means, because I think it’s simply fantastic. Jon has an adept knowledge of exploring complex ideas and thoughts and putting infectious music behind it. One of my favorite things as a fan is the idea that my favorite artists struggle through the issues that I struggle through, and this song is a perfect example of that.

Favorite line: “I wonder why I feel short when I know my money’s tall, I wonder why I miss everyone and I still don’t call.”




If I Believe You – The 1975

This song is another perfect mixture of lyricism and music. The opening lines, the choir, the ambient noise in the beginning, all the way down to the mellow ending, this song is very close to perfect. This song was one of the best spectacles I’ve ever seen live. Unfortunately, all traces of this song have been removed from YouTube, so you’ll have to go through Spotify to listen to it, unless you want the live version.

Favorite line: “If I believe you, will that make it stop? If I told you I need you, is that what you want?”


And…finally….my pick for best song of the year is….




Somebody Else – The 1975

Yes, my top two songs are both by the same band. I realize that’s a no no usually, but hey, I obsessed over this list, and this is the decision that I came to. I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to this song, and I can only imagine that it will be countless more before it gets old, if it ever does. Skip to to 3:00 in the music video for song. You won’t regret it. Although, again, this one is a tad NSFW as well, so be careful about viewing.


Favorite line: “I took all my things that make sound, the rest I can do without.”



Aren’t lists fun?