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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Why?

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. 

All Hail the Rockets Defense

In early years of Mike D’Antoni’s career as a professional basketball coach, a joke went around claiming that the “D” in his last name was silent because the teams he coached lacked valuable defensive skills.

However, that joke is far from the truth after the Rockets’ success in the 2017 season. The Rockets are constantly being recognized for their outstanding offense, but their defense is a now a major factor in their success.

With Harden and other talented shooters, the Rockets can effectively put up big numbers each game. According to NBA.com, they have the second highest offensive rating in the NBA (no surprise there). What’s more interesting is that the team is currently ranked seventh in the NBA for defense.

harden defense

After adding Chris Paul, Luc Mbah a Moute, and P.J. Tucker, the Rockets have become a strong force to be reckoned with on both offense and defense. These three players have undoubtedly modified outside perceptions of the team. Once known for their offensive prowess, the Rockets are now praised for their undeniable defensive ability.

Luc Mbah a Moute claims that his main goal for the upcoming season was to help improve theRockets defense.

“That’s one of the reasons we came here – to help them out defensively. Everybody already knows how good they are offensively.”

-Mbah a Moute

Chris Paul also highlights the importance of a good defense for a winning season.

“That’s the biggest thing for me and Luc, because we’re both so defensive-minded. We know what we are capable of offensively, [but] we go into games trying to figure out what we want to do defensively because that’s how we can break the [other] team’s spirit.”

-Chris Paul

defense

By adding a powerful defense to an already existing stellar offense, the Rockets will continue to win by large margins and earn their way into the playoffs.

Roger Goodell Contract Saga

NFL: Super Bowl LI-Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference
Source: CBS Sports

It is time for the National Football League to decide if they want to offer a new contract to Roger Goodell, and the issue is being faced with strong opinions. A contract for Goodell could be finalized this week as the Compensation Committee is looking to have this done by December when full ownership meeting will take place. However, not all owners are interested in seeing Goodell receive a new contract. There is a small group of owners, including outspoken Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Jerry Jones has displayed a complete lack of support for the new Roger Goodell contract. He is so against a new contract that he has even threatened to sue if one is offered to Goodell. For Jones, the ideal situation would be that the full owners meeting taking place on December 13, 2017 in Texas will be the time to discuss Goodell’s contract more. Unfortunately, for him, he does not have the authority to make such a decision. Back in the spring, the full ownership agreed to a deal that would allow the Compensation Committee to make the final decision on Goodell’s contract situation.

Without a doubt, Jerry Jones has been the most vocal of the small group of owners against a Roger Goodell contract. Most owners would rather see this whole situation just be over already, but Jones only wants it to be over if Goodell is not getting the contract. Jones has a limited number of people backing him, and he does not necessarily have their full support. Some support his platform and some are sympathetic of his stance, but it is not enough to get a larger group to support Jones.

The Compensation Committee will be meeting in New York this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. This means that if the meetings go as planned by the committee, Roger Goodell could have a new contract ready to be finalized by midweek. This contract could possibly include up to $200 million and a base of $20 million per season over the course of five years for Goodell. For the Compensation Committee, this is a task that they can finally get off of their hands. As for Jerry Jones, this goes against everything he and a few other owners wish to see. Ultimately, the Compensation Committee will have the final say whether Jones likes it or not.

Author: Kimberlee Walters

The University of Texas is not a Football School Anymore

Volleyball on the rise

It is no secret that The University of Texas’ football program has had a rough time these past four years. Coaches have come and gone, games have been blown, and losing seasons are now the norm, but there is hope.

Hope?

Yes, hope. When most people think of the University of Texas the first thing that comes to mind is football. The University of Texas has always been a football school, and when looking back at their history you get a good idea of why, but this has not been the case recently. The University of Texas has been severely lacking in the football win department these past four years, and it is starting to wear down the fans.

The amount of students attending the games has slowly been declining this season, with many students opting to watch the football game at home or at a bar rather than watching their school lose at home once again. This has caused people associated with the football program to lash out at the students, such as Tom Herman quoted saying “…the students need to do better”, which in turn has ostracised the student fan base even more.

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A new hope for students and fans

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A lesser talked about the program at the University of Texas is UT’s volleyball team. They have had amazing seasons these past four years, which is completely opposite of the football team, and are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve.

With their recent win against Baylor, UT is the Big 12 champion once again and is gearing up for their NCAA tournament games. With such a lackluster football team and such a great volleyball team, many students are starting to ask if UT is actually a football school, or if it is actually a volleyball school.

So what is it?

Thit is something the student body has to decide. Although students are starting to talk about the volleyball team more and more they have yet to fully accept that the volleyball team is leading the way when it comes to representing the flagship university of the state of Texas. Will they ever accept that UT is a volleyball school? We’ll find out soon, as the students begin to rally around the volleyball team as they dive and spike their way to an NCAA championship.

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Author: Trent Koen

 

 

Deshaun Watson— The Beginning

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(Deshaun Watson pictured in Warren Moon jersey @deshaunwatson)

Despite Deshaun’s Watson’s laundry-list of achievements at Clemson which include winning a national championship and two Davey O’Brien Awards, questions remained about how his play would translate to the NFL field. Some questioned his arm strength, others questioned his decision-making. Amidst all these questions, none questioned his ability to lead.

(Check out the video above for an inside look at Deshaun’s Watson’s draft experience) 

Many wondered if Deshaun would be a boom-or-bust player, and he was thrust into a backup role behind less-talented Tom Savage. In fact fellow teammates like Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins not only supported this decision, but encouraged it.

“If anybody should be a judge of quarterbacks, I’ve played with the most quarterbacks in NFL history throughout my first four years…..I put the stamp on Savage, and I think that’s all that needs to be said about that.”- DeAndre Hopkins

Questions surrounded his ability, and Head Coach Bill O’Brien and teammate DeAndre Hopkins supported Deshaun’s counterpart, Tom Savage. This is what makes Deshaun’s strong start so interesting. During week 1 of the NFL season, the Houston Texans fell behind the Jacksonville Jaguars as Tom Savage threw for only 62 yards in the first half and struggled mightily to move the ball.

Enter Deshaun Watson.

Although the Texans still left in defeat, his play jump-started a lowly Texans offense that struggled mightily to give the ball. Since that moment in week 1 Deshaun was not only good, he was HISTORICALLY good.

Through his first 4½ games, Watson already sat seventh on the franchise’s all-time passing touchdown list with 12 and only trailed former MVP Aaron Rodgers by just one touchdown for the NFL season lead in that department. In just his 3rd NFL start Watson scored 5 total touchdowns, good for second-most touchdowns scored in a game behind Hall of Famer Gale Sayers. He also joined Fran Tarkenton as the ONLY rookie quarterback in NFL history with at least 250 passing yards, four touchdown passes, and a rushing touchdown in a single game. During this time Houston’s offense was rolling and looked like THE best offense in the league.

The article below by ESPN Staff Writer Sarah Barshop gives readers an inside look on Deshaun’s hot start.

http://www.espn.com/blog/houston-texans/post/_/id/20940/bill-obrien-despite-hot-start-deshaun-watson-constantly-learning

During his tenure Deshaun showed that not only is he a franchise quarterback, but he is a culture-changing talent. The team looked more fun with him in the lineup, and his play provided hope during the texans injury-riddled 2017 season. Deshaun Watson’s impact was not only felt on the field, but off it as well.

Deshaun Watson’s impact reached beyond the field, and was felt throughout the Houston community. Whether it was doing volunteer work and helping in the community, or bringing additional exposure to Hurricane Harvey, Deshaun quickly integrated himself in the Houston community.

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(Image captured from Deshaun Watson’s Instagram page @deshaunwatson)

Unfortunately for Deshaun Watson (and Houston’s playoffs hopes), the talented rookie suffered a freak injury in practice and tore his ACL just eight games into the season.

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(Deshaun Watson on his season-ending injury)

In the image above, Deshaun thanks his NFL counterparts, and the Houston community for all their support.

By all accounts Deshaun Watson’s short rookie season was incredible for any quarterback, yet alone rookie. He flashed the potential so many individuals questioned, and put to rest any notion that he would not be an NFL-caliber quarterback.

Deshaun Watson is the type of franchise altering quarterback the Texans needed, but is he a Hall of Fame caliber player? I do not know the answer to that. But I do know one thing, this is just the beginning.

-Evan Bell

#G9

3 Reasons Why the Columbus Crew Should Move to Austin.

Columbus Crew, a MLS franchise that resides in Columbus, Ohio is in the works of moving to Austin, Texas. The Crew has done very well this year in the MLS Cup. They are currently competing for the conference title and are one of four teams left playing for the MLS cup.

The owner of the franchise, Anthony Precourt, is set to announce the move if the Columbus stadium cannot be moved to downtown area.

Here’s 3 reasons why moving to Austin will help the franchise become more successful.

Austin is the largest market without a pro team in the United States. 

Austin is one of the largest growing cities in the nation. Since 2010, 330,000 people have moved to Austin. In a March 2017 report, it was said that 159 people move to Austin everyday. Austin is a lively city that thrives on their outdoor entertainment. While the Texas Longhorns have been the backbone of sports for the city, a professional team could bring a novelty to Austin that they haven’t yet experienced.

Austin is one of the biggest viewerships of the World Cup. 

Austin is often top ranked for most viewerships during soccer games. For a U.S. vs. Germany game, Austin was the only city in Texas to be ranked for top viewership. This could mean there are much more soccer fans in Austin than there are in Dallas or Houston which are home to FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo. With proof that soccer interest lives on in Austin could mean big things for a professional team.

Austin is an active, diverse community.

The secret is coming out, Austin is one of the most fun, lively places to live. With attractions such as Austin City Limits music festival, South by Southwest, and more, Austin is a city that is always moving. Austin is known for their renowned barbecue, numerous food trucks, and parks and lakes that line the city. Austinites love to keep busy and stay active, attending professional sports game would be another great addition to activities that make Austin so great. In addition, tourists fill the city. What better way to get the full experience other than attending the only professional team the city has?

 

3 Reasons The Mavs Could Win Tonight

 

Let’s face it, we’ve reached the point of expecting the Mavericks to lose (i.e. It’s a delightful surprise when they win). But, taking down the OKC Thunder the other night with almost a 20-point lead felt different — it felt like a turning point. We saw a team that fought back, we also saw a team taking advantage of the awful performance by the Thunder. Currently, we’re standing at five wins (the very bottom of the Western Conference) but, a two-game win streak.

And yet, that could all come crumbling down tonight’s game against the Spurs.

But here’s are the reasons why we have hope:

1. Tony Parker’s return doesn’t mean instant Spurs success

With Tony Parker making his season debut tonight for the San Antonio Spurs, it raises the question of the Mavericks losing their solid ground. The veteran point guard surely brings maturity to the team, but with the Spurs playing all season without him, there’s a chance he could mess up their groove. And with break-out rookie Dennis Smith Jr, the Mavericks will certainly challenge Parker as a point guard. Smith Jr is living up to the hype this season, even averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game this season while shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from 3-point range. Even with the losing record so far, that performance can’t be questioned.

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2. The Texas showdown is unpredictable

This Texas showdown is a huge rivalry (forget the Rockets, for a second). It’s all about two of Texas’ most beloved NBA teams leaving it all on the court. Just like every rivalry that’s ever existed, it’s hard to predict an outcome. There are so many emotions that flow through the players and into their game. Both teams have played each other 173 times throughout regular season game, with the Spurs coming out on top at 106 wins (leaving the Mavericks with only 67 wins). But, even though the Spurs lead the matchup, the Mavericks have proven themselves time and again they’re prepared to make an upset happen.

The Mavericks have a rhythm right now. This two-game win streak has built some great momentum for the team and there’s no doubt tonight’s game will challenge that. But, with that said, the Spurs are also coming off of a win against the Hornets (and a loss to the Pelicans).

Tonight anything that can happen — but don’t count the Mavs out just yet.