Month: January 2017

Reactions from around the sports world – what’s trending and why

Reactions from around the sports world – what’s trending and why

By: Ashley Conley

In a world dominated by cellphone use, being present on social media is just part of being a sports fan. Almost everyone is on social media, so it’s become one big melting pot of people from all over the world watching the same game but sharing different perspectives.

The best thing about sports fans (like you and me) is that we’ll always be around. We’ll never stop watching our favorite players and favorite teams and we’ll probably never stop tweeting/Facebooking/etc. about them either.

Since Fans Unfiltered is dedicated to discovering, discussing and sharing the good, the bad and the ugly posted to social media by sports fans, professional reporters and even the athletes themselves, this is the perfect place for you to keep up with what’s trending and why.

What’s trending right now? 

1. NFL Pro Bowl uniforms – After scrolling through Twitter, it’s safe to say that the majority of fans watching the Pro Bowl on January 29 were appalled by the uniforms for both teams. The NFC sported an odd shade of blue with neon yellow/green accents while the AFC wore an off-tone red with the same colored accents.

Who designed these things? And why are the uniforms such a big deal in the Pro Bowl?

2. The SEC-Big 12 Challenge should happen in football, too, not just hoops – Another SEC-Big 12 Challenge has come and gone and boy, was it entertaining. The Challenge shakes things up a bit, allowing teams to play non-conference opponents midway through the season. A lot of these contests can be game changers (for instance, No. 2 Kansas versus No. 4 Kentucky) when March rolls around.

Why can’t this happen with football, also? Can you imagine how great it would be to have some non-conference action midway through the college football season, especially if it could help determine who makes the College Football Playoff?

3. Is the ACC the best conference in college basketball this season? – This has been a pretty heated debate on social media over the last month or so. Of course ACC fans agree, rightfully so, with six teams ranked in the Top 25 being the most of any conference. However, the Big 12 has three teams in the Top 10 alone.

This argument could go either way, for now.

4. Should Gonzaga really be ranked No. 1 overall? – Yes, Gonzaga is undefeated (22-0) but does that automatically grant them the No. 1 overall ranking? A lot of folks on social media would disagree. The Bulldogs play in the West Coast Conference, a conference with seemingly little competition. It’s the end of January, and while teams like Kansas are playing teams like Kentucky, Gonzaga’s competition is Portland and Pepperdine.

5. An Oklahoma Big 12 trophy got shattered and the Internet can’t stop laughingA photo began to trend on social media a few days ago of a man pushing a raggedy cart over a sidewalk with a handful of Oklahoma’s Big 12 championship trophies on board. One of them fell off (which isn’t surprising if you look at the photo) and shattered to pieces. Meanwhile, the Internet has been trying to figure out why OU doesn’t take better care of its hardware.

Stay tuned to Fans Unfiltered for these stories and more!

Cover Image: Michael Reeves/Kentucky Kernel

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy

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Social media backlash most likely prompts Musberger’s sudden retirement

Social media backlash most likely prompts Musberger’s sudden retirement

By: Ashley Conley

Longtime sports announcer Brent Musburger is calling it quits after more than 40 years in the industry. Some sports fans, coaches and colleagues on social media aren’t ready to see him go but for others, the 77-year old who’s found himself trending on more than one occasion for off-the-wall comments made on live television should’ve packed his bags a long time ago.

Musburger’s most recent social media downfall came during the 2017 Sugar Bowl broadcast when he praised Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and wished him a lengthy and successful NFL career despite the fact that he punched a female breaking multiple bones in her face back in 2014. Gruesome video of the altercation was released to the public just days before the game.

“We’ve all talked to the coaches and they all swear that the young man (Mixon) is doing fine,” Musburger said. “Folks, he’s just one of the best. Given a second chance by Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, let’s hope that this young man makes the best of his chance and goes on to have a great career in the National Football League.”

Musburger was almost automatically a top trend on Twitter. Someone in the press box must’ve told him about it because he re-addressed the topic moments later in an attempt to dig himself out of the hole he just stepped into.

The announcer went on to say that he believes what Mixon did was “uncalled for” but since Mixon made a tearful apology, he deserves a second chance.

*Insert eye roll here.*

I believe in second chances, but someone who demonstrates violent behavior and poor decision-making skills like Mixon shouldn’t get another shot at a million-dollar career as a professional athlete. Those people are supposed to be role models.

Musburger’s decision to retire midway through the NCAA basketball season is pretty strange and you can’t help but wonder if he actually chose to retire or if the social media backlash finally got him down.

People first began to question Musburger’s moral values during the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship when he made inappropriate remarks about then-Miss Alabama Katherine Webb, who was A.J. McCarron’s (the Crimson Tide starting quarterback) girlfriend at the time.

“You quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women, I’m telling ya,” Musburger raved as the camera focused on Webb for an extended period of time. “What a beautiful woman. Wow. If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throwing it around the yard with pops.”

Way to fail in the professionalism department, Brent.

I can’t say I speak for everyone, but I won’t necessarily miss Musburger’s occasionally distasteful commentating. His final call will come on January 31 as the Kentucky Wildcats face the Georgia Bulldogs at Rupp Arena.

Cover Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy

Tweeters in uproar that Westbrook won’t start All-Star game

Tweeters in uproar that Westbrook won’t start All-Star game

By: Ashley Conley

The statistically dominant Russell Westbrook has been left out of the NBA All-Star Western Conference starting lineup and the Internet is totally unimpressed.

According to an ESPN article authored by senior writer Bryan Windhorst, Stephen Curry (who received more fan votes than any other player) will start over Westbrook because the NBA doesn’t want to disappoint Curry’s trendy fan base by snubbing him as a starter.

Westbrook placed third in fan voting, but first in both media voting and player voting. However, fan votes make up 50 percent of the end result while media and player voting only make up 25 percent. So, it technically makes sense, but just doesn’t seem right. Westbrook’s NBA peers were baffled.

Oklahoma City’s starting point guard averages a triple-double (yes, you read that right). In fact, he has 22 total triple-doubles so far this season which is nine more than any other player.

Since the Thunder suffered the departure of another All-Star in Kevin Durant (who went to Golden State to join Curry and the Warriors), Westbrook’s consistency may be the only thing guiding them to an above .500 record halfway through January.

stephen-curry-russell-westbrook
thebiglead.com

Westbrook leads the league in PPG with just over 30. Curry averages 24 PPG, which is down from his previous season average of just over 30. Oddly enough, Westbrook averaged 24 last season.

Is it just me or does Westbrook always get the short end of the stick?

Even NFL starting quarterback Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders expressed thoughts on the situation.

The best reaction of them all had to be that of Russell Westbrook himself.

NBA.com released the official list of All-Star starters last week. Starting for the Eastern Conference is DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), LeBron James (Cleveland), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) and Jimmy Butler (Chicago). Starting for the Western Conference is Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Kevin Durant (Golden State), Stephen Curry (Golden State), Anthony Davis (New Orleans) and James Harden (Houston).

If Westbrook’s ability to rank among the league’s best while playing through adversity on a regular basis is indicative of how the All-Star game will go, watching him come off the bench on February 19 is something you won’t want to miss.

Cover Image: sportingnews.com

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy