Purgatory

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.

 

spad

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.

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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.

oj

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.

 

oj-after-winning

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,

 

steph-san-fran

 

shoes, surprise-party-currys

 

keychains,

steph-keychain

bobbleheads,

steph-curry-bobble

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.

 

steph-championship

Nah, it didn’t hurt at all.

 

Sports are fun.