JJ Watt: Houston Hero

WATT1JJ Watt has played for the Houston Texans for his entire seven-year career in the NFL. He has quickly established himself as one of the league’s best on and off the field. He has become the face of the Houston Texans for his incredible playing but also his charitable work. This year Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, the worst hurricane to hit the Gulf of Mexico since Katrina and the worst to ever hit Texas. JJ Watt immediately stepped up to the task of fundraising for relief efforts and did something incredible.


Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas on August 25th. On August 26th, the outer band of the storm began to pummel Houston with heavy rains, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes. The storm hovered over Houston for five days, dropping FIFTY inches of rain in some areas of the city and surrounding areas. Governor Greg Abbott called for over 30 counties along the coast to evacuate but not everybody was able to leave their homes. The country watched the heroics of brave everyday people brave the storm and take to their boats or trucks to save those caught in their homes.

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 1.43.26 PMOn August 27th, the day after Harvey hit Houston, JJ Watt took to Twitter to start fundraising efforts for his city which was at the time being pummeled by the massive storm. Watt was evacuated to Dallas before the storm hit. He began a donation drive with the goal being $200,000. He kicked things off with a $100,000 donation personally. He reached the $200,000 goal in two hours. By the end of the day August 29th, the drive had reached $4.5 million. Athletes, celebrities, and even rival teams were donating huge sums of money. On August 30th, Ellen Degeneres announced on her show that she would be donating a million dollars. The drive nearly doubled that day alone. The drive kept reaching new heights. Every day, Watt took to Twitter to keep the donations coming and thanking the extremely generous people and organizations contributing to the relief effort. Watt eventually closed the donation drive to begin to focus the money towards the relief effort. By the end, his fundraising drive had raised $37 million! That is a huge step up from the original $200,000 goal. JJ Watt will forever be remembered for his efforts to help rebuild the city of Houston.


What’s a Maverick to do?

1200px-Dallas_Mavericks_logo.svgThe Dallas Mavericks now have the second highest cap space available in the NBA at $12.5 million.[1] This creates a fair amount of options for the team to increase their winning in the 2017-2018 season which stands at 5-16. The question now lies in what Mark Cuban decides to with the remaining salary allowance and the three players (Dorian Finney-Smith-power forward (r), Devin Harris-shooting guard/point guard (r), and Jeff Withey-center (r)) who are all on partial guarantees for the season.[2] Besides these few, there are 22 other players in the league which are currently pending their full season guarantee. This is not including any other free agents available, five of which will be from the Mavericks trade exemptions following the trade deadline. With a cutoff date of February 8th for the NBA trade, this gives them eight games between then and the playoff eligibility time.
The Mavericks have been working toward reforming their team since their backbone consists of one of the oldest age-averaging teams in the NBA. Given the nine new players added this season far exceeding the three that they lost, is Cuban going to simply allow these players to adjust to their new surroundings?[3] This may be the best method to abide by. With the 2017 game record not looking the good thus far, the push to qualify for playoffs with the newly adjusting team seems like a bit high of an expectation. Between the salary leniency and the option to either resign or guarantee the eight pending Mavericks, focusing on next season to spend their remaining salary allowance would be most beneficial. Although this isn’t the greatest news for the Mavericks and their fans, this may present a lot to look forward to for the team in the future.

2017-18 Dallas Mavericks Media Day


[1] “NBA Team Salary Cap Tracker” < http://www.spotrac.com/nba/cap/&gt;.
[2] “Dallas Mavericks Team Salary” < http://www.basketballinsiders.com/dallas-mavericks-team-salary/&gt;.
[3] “2017-2018 Dallas Mavericks Preview:” http://uproxx.com/dimemag/dallas-mavericks-season-preview-nba-2017-2018/&gt;.

A New Team Rises

res.cloudinary.com20171110_Texas_NWSt_923_h-42a286a5f6c2b07d4186d4728bcee5cb4a5fd105The University of Texas has always been known as a football school. But several sports teams are making their rise to fame proving they belong on this campus. One of those teams are the men’s basketball team.

Head coach Shaka Smart is in his third season with the team and we have already seen some great additions he’s brought to the team this year. Last year he lead his team to a losing season. The Longhorns finished with a 11-22 record overall and were win less on the road! Thankfully Smart has be able to turn things around this season with the help of two power house athletes the crowds are hyped for.

Freshman power forward, Mo Bamba, is one of these athlete. USATSI_104345481The seven foot athlete has dunked his way into the hearts of students across campus as he seems to be the focal point of the season. Bamba has played in only four games but still has some of the highest game averages on the team. He averages 27 minutes of play time, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks and 10 points per game.

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However, Mo Bamba isn’t the only player dribbling his way to help this winning team. Tulane transfer, Dylan Osetkowski, has been a driving force on the court and the numbers prove it. The junior forward has played in all five games this season so far and averages 30 minutes of play time, 8 rebounds and 12 points per game.

These two athletes have meshed well and have helped a limping team stand tall with pride again. The Longhorns are currently first in the Big 12 with a 4-2 record. Although the season has just begun, the Longhorns already look like a new team who is ready to fight to the end. They already have the fans on their side but only time will tell how this rising team will fair by the end of this long season.

Longhorn Swimming and Diving Dominate, but their Social Effort Doesn’t

The University of Texas at Austin Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving team are dominating swim meets, but losing in their social media efforts. Longhorn Women Swimming and Diving team are currently undefeated with wins against Florida, Indiana, Texas A&M, North Carolina State, and North Carolina. Longhorn Men’s Diving swept the 2017 UT Diving Invitational. However, their social media efforts to build their following base, capture attention, and produce audience engagement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are consistently falling. The Longhorn swim meet wins and swimmer statistics are definitely outweighing their attempt to generate a higher social media fan base. With competition from Texas Football, Basketball, Volleyball, and Soccer teams, it is unfortunate these Olympic Longhorn swimmers are not as recognized and supported compared to other UT athletics.

Longhorn Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving low fan base, support, and recognition is due to their relaxed posting timing and non engaging post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If the social media team did a better job producing interesting content such as clips from swim meets, quotes from swimmers and divers, information on where to purchase student tickets, and excitement for swimming and diving meets as wells as highlighting our UT Olympic and high achieving swimming and diving athletes. UT Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving team is competitive and talented similar to the rest of Longhorn athletics and deserves more recognition. Here are some of the featured members on the Longhorn Swimming and Diving team:

Men’s Swimming and Diving:

Townley Hass—2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist for The United States in 4x200m freestyle relay, 2016 Rio Olympics finalist in 200m freestyle 5th place

Joseph Schooling—2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist for Singapore in 100m butterfly, 2012 London Olympian and 2016 Rio Olympian for Singapore

Jordan Windle—Two-time qualifier for the FINA World Championships

Women’s Swimming and Diving:

Meghan O’Brien—2016 and 2017 NCAA Championship qualifier, 2016 and 2017 USA Diving National Championships qualifier

Joanna Evans—represented The Bahamas at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Allison Gibson—2017 NCAA World Champion in 1-meter diving

The MLS Is Not Improving

As the current Major League Soccer season is coming to an end, there has not been a major improvement in terms of overall quality in comparison to previous years. With one leg left to play in both the Western and Eastern conference playoffs, there is a notorious favoritism of the Seattle Sounders who aspire to defend their title obtained last season. The two legs have shown that the Sounders are absolute rulers in the West and Toronto in the East with a slightly larger level of difficulty against the Columbus Crew. At the same time, both first legs were not as exciting as most soccer fans expected and have led many to become skeptical about the league’s quality.

sounders stadium

Quality is Essential in a League

This being said, one could argue that the league’s level has become stagnant considering that we are on the verge of seeing another final between the Sounders and the previously mentioned Canadian side. Even though many experts consider it to be a league that is rising year by year, this overwhelming dominance between a small number of teams contradicts that idea. On top of that, games in general do not always seem entertaining and lack that final touch of magic that other leagues have.

toronto crew

Old School Is Not Always Better

Additionally, many believe that the league’s acquisition of European superstars like David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Kaka, and many others, would improve the level and make it a more appealing league for the world but in reality, it has only shown that the MLS is a league where big players come to retire. If my opinion counts, I believe that it will take some time and hard work for the MLS to be considered an important league.

kaka orl

Welcome Back Tony!

The San Antonio Spurs faced the Dallas Mavericks again tonight and defeated them in a close game that ended in a score of 115-108. It was Tony Parker’s first game back after suffering from a quadriceps tendon injury back in May. After surgery, Parker bounced back quicker than expected.

Fans as well as Parker’s teammates were glad to have him back. Longtime teammate, Manu Ginobili, tweeted “Wonderful day today because is back! We missed you!!  “. 

Pau Gasol also tweeted “Why am I happy? Easy, #ParkerIsBack! 🤷‍♂️
¿Porqué estoy contento? Fácil, @TonyParker vuelve a jugar!

#GoSpursGo #WelcomeBackTP 💪”

Parker played like he hadn’t missed a game. Playing for 14 min, mostly in the first half,  he finished with six points (3-7 FG) and four assists.

Although Parker was back on the court tonight, but Kawhi Leonard is still recovering from a similar injury. Parker, after seeing the rehabilitation Kawhi is going through, speculates that he is only a few weeks away from playing again.

Spurs are looking good with another win and are very close to having all of their injured players back on the court. That will all come in good time though. Tonight, everyone is just happy to have #9 sporting his jersey.

#GoSpursGo #SpursNation

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A Team That Needs Their Student Section

There’s air is hot and sweaty. People are packed in tight, giveaway fans in one hand and an ice cold beverage is in the other. Standing on the silver bleachers for hours on end. They scream whether or not their team is doing well. Starting chants to encourage the team and intimidate the visitors. This is what people think the Texas student section is.

But it’s not.


Recently, students are bypassing the game and staying late at tailgates or going straight to local hangout restaurants and watching the game on t.v. 


Well according to some students like Journalism senior Lauryn Overhultz, the numerous early games this season are not enticing so they sleep in and show up at the tailgate late and never make it into the game. 

At the media availability following the 11 a.m. game to Oklahoma State, UT head coach Tom Herman said that it’s incredibly noticeable and upsetting to see the student section that empty. 

Players also added that they notice the absence as well. They would rather it be a rowdy bunch up in section 27, but expressed that they still have to get their job done on the field no matter the atmosphere. 

Many could blame the unfavorable record, early game time or the new wristband protocol for a lack of student fans, but none disregard the fact that the University of Texas is a university with over 50,000 students. An empty student section is incredible no matter the circumstance.