Is Lovie Smith Enough to Turn the Bucs Around?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially hired Lovie Smith as their head coach on Thursday, January 2nd.

“I think the fit is going to be tremendous,” former head coach of the Bucs, Tony Dungy said, but, is this seemingly perfect fit enough to return the Bucs to the playoffs?

Smith returns to his old stomping grounds, where he was the linebacker coach for five seasons and is regarded as one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. This team will need more than Lovie to succeed. They have yet to hire a general manager and have other holes that need to be filled as well.

It is a rare situation in the NFL when the head coach is in place before the GM and can sometimes cause issues.  The Jets, for example, hired John Idzik with the condition that he had to keep Rex Ryan as coach and it seemed to cause tension within the organization.  Those kinds of problems are not traits of a strong franchise.

Smith also needs to assemble his coaching staff and the potential candidates seem to be solid.  According to multiple news outlets, Jeff Tedford, the long time head coach at Cal, is Tampa’s new offensive coordinator.  Speculated candidates to become part of Smith’s coaching staff as the defensive coordinator are former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.

Frazier and Marinelli would both be ideal choices as defensive coordinator due to their head coaching backgrounds and familiarity with Smith’s defensive scheme.

Tedford is an intriguing choice as offensive coordinator considering he does not have NFL experience and is known as a college ‘quarterback guru’ with a history of his quarterbacks going in the first round.  However, these signal callers also were huge busts except for Aaron Rodgers who has reached elite status.  Because of this, there are questions if he can turn Mike Glennon into an All-Pro, if he is the starting quarterback.

Smith will need to solve the problem that has plagued him and this team: can they find a franchise quarterback?

In his last job Smith reached the Superbowl with Rex Grossman as his quarterback.  Let me repeat that, Rex Grossman.  If he had an average level starter he could have won that Superbowl and his tenure in Chicago may not have ended.

As for the Bucs, they have never had a quarterback start for more than five full seasons.  Consistency at quarterback is what you need to win today’s NFL and if they can’t find it, Smith will not last long.

Holes on Offensive and Defensive line, and in the secondary will also need to be addressed if Smith hopes to win.  After spending an enormous amount of money in free agency these past two offseasons, ownership may not be willing to throw more money at free agents.  Therefore the 2014 draft will be one of the most important in the team’s history.

NFL experts have hailed this as an excellent hire and it has the potential to be one if Smith can put the right pieces into place.

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs


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Hofstra University students are supposed to think again before lighting up a cigarette on South Campus. But, many don’t. Despite the smoking ban that went into effect last spring, many students continue to light cigarettes on their walk to class.
“The problem with the smoking ban is while people know about it, there’s no one that really enforces it,” said Zoe Hoffman, a resident assistant at Hofstra University. During last year’s winter break, the university sent out emails to all students, notifying them of the smoking ban on the south side of campus. However, by the time students returned to school for spring semester, administration of the ban were scarce.


Click on the map for an interactive version.

“It is to be enforced by the appropriate jurisdiction,” said Billy Finnegan, member of the University Senate, which was responsible for the placement of the ban on campus. The ban was first implemented on a trial basis. The university hoped for community policing, but after almost a year, some students are reluctant to participate in the ban and its enforcement.
“I still see people smoking on this side of campus,” said one Hofstra student. After a simple stroll around campus, it is apparent that there is a lack of “non-smoking” signs on the south side of campus, especially in the popular smoking areas. There are “non-smoking” signs located at every entrance to the campus, signs not much larger than a sheet of paper. The location of the signs plays a major role in their effectiveness. If no one sees the signs, how are they going to comply with them?
Many believe the system will continue to be ineffective if there is no new way to implement the ban. With the participation of public safety and an increase in signs in popular smoking areas, the smoking ban could be more operational.

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Future Business Model of Journalism future

Uncertainty is the word that seems to be associated with the future of journalism and has left college students with some nervousness about their futures. In 2012, Forbes, ranked journalism as fifth in their worst job list because of the low pay and future outlook.

Hofstra journalism professor Peter Goodman echoed these sentiments, “Nobody seems to know how to make money from journalism anymore and that means it’s harder to pay people.” Even though there seems to be a difficulty to know how to monetize journalism, there are more journalist than ever before. Now with blogs and more schools offering journalism as a major the competition is as tense as ever with even fewer jobs.

There is some cause for hope for the future journalist as new ways to make money off journalist will need to arise. Advertisements are still the main source of revenue for news companies and pay walls on websites are another source. Kerri Sheehan, a journalism major at Hofstra University, sees this future as an opportunity, “Honestly, right now, I don’t know if anyone can tell what the future holds but, there will probably more outlets for news in the future.”

However, as it stands, todays solutions are not full proof solutions as companies are not as willing to pay for advertisements on news sites and pay walls have more often than not deterred people. If it continues to look this way there will still be journalism but, will it be any good?

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Yankees Next Generation

The great dynasty that the Yankees have built over the past decade or so is on the verge of coming to an end.  The injury of Mariano Rivera has made many Yankee fans come to this reality.

This process has already started, this past year Jorge Posada retired and even Andy Pettitte making his return is only temporary.  All of the Yankees from the dynasty seasons will soon all be gone, but the one that will truly signal the end is Derek Jeter.  Jeter who is in his 19th season in the major leagues is 37 years old and is nearing the end of his career.

The eventual end of this group was pushed back a few years by their World Series win a couple of years ago.  That win showed that this team still had another run in them, but they were infused with talent from the outside, like Texiera, Sabathia and Rodriguez.  These legends of Yankee teams past now need to step down and allow these players to make their own mark on Yankee history.

However, when this generation of Yankee players does decide to give up the reigns, those next few years will not be as glorious.  The length of time that these older players have stayed has hampered the growth of the younger players in their farm system.  They cannot be called up to develop because the older players are taking their spots, while that can lead to success for an immediate period of time it stops another generation.  

The older players is a factor that has contributed to this problem, but the main one is the organization continues to trade away the young talent.  That talent continues to be dealt to acquire more major league ready talent who have already reached their potential and help them to win now.  So, even if all the young players were ready to play they still would not have the talent needed to develop and win.  The Yankees need to restock their farm system and that takes even more time that would already been needed.

The Yankee fans today probably would not be very receptive to these ideas, but they are needed in order for the Yankees not to suffer for years to come.  It is never easy to admit that the players that fans grew up need to retire and a new generation come in, but it has to be done.

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Nets Under Construction

The New Jersey Nets as of April 30th, 2012 have officially moved to Brooklyn and major changes are coming.  New and exciting possibilities result from this move, but there are still many questions surrounding this basketball team and if they can succeed.

While the Nets are now located in Brooklyn their new arena is still under heavy construction.  The Barclays Center will open for the 2012-2013 season and will be one of the most state of the art arenas in the NBA.  The arena will be ready and fully finished for the beginning of the season, but the same cannot be said for the team on the floor.

This team has many questions that will need to be answered during the offseason in order to know what direction they plan to go.  The entire direction of the franchise hangs on the decision of their star point guard, Deron Williams.

Williams has the option to become a free agent this offseason and has made it clear to numerous sources that he will exercise that option.  The writing appears to be on the wall that he will leave for most likely his hometown Dallas Mavericks and play for a contender.  That being said, if Deron decides to leave for a different team, then the front office will have some decisions to make.

The Nets have tried over the past few seasons to hit it big in free agency and through trades to build a contender without rebuilding.  This organization with the move to Brooklyn was under immense pressure to build a winner quick to create a positive reaction from their new fans.  If Williams decides to leave they will have failed and be back to square one because they would have lost their best player.

This team which seems to be devoid of talent besides Williams needs to be rebuilt from the ground up acquiring talent through the draft.  The first step will need to be trade away Gerald Wallace and get draft picks back.  I know some will say that the team gave up a lot to get him and could never get what they gave away, but it is necessary.  The Nets will then struggle through this season and then a few more, but it will then turn into a team that could eventually win a championship.

These decisions will not be popular among the new fans in Brooklyn, but unless they want to suffer through what the fans in New Jersey endured it must be done.  While in New Jersey never got their star player through the draft, their most success came through trades and getting veterans.  Since their merger into the NBA they have never won a title and unless this philosophy ends, they will wallow in mediocrity.

This is all just a prediction and if Deron Williams does stay, they may get another star to pair with him and win quick.  They still have a lot to do in these upcoming moths no matter what happens because change is needed.  The Nets hopefully for the sake of Brooklyn sports will turn into a contender and prosper for years to come.

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The NFL Draft: A Fan’s Perspective

For an NFL fan there are a few experiences that a fan wants to live, going to a SuperBowl, a Pro Bowl, a playoff game. However, the NFL Draft is an event that is unmatched by any other.

Fans flock from around the country to go to this prestigious event and there are fans from every NFL team, but of course the majority are from the Jets and Giants.  Each of this fans is truly a fanatic, they are each educated about their team and the prospects that the team could draft.  While they may be knowledgeable they almost all are loud and have an opinion, which they are not afraid to share in the form of yelling and screaming.

While watching the draft on television some may wonder how to get tickets and I wonder what is like to go, I will tell you it is nothing like you expect.  In order to get tickets fans stand on line in front of Radio City Music Hall the day before the first round, some are there for ten hours before the tickets are handed out.  Most stand in line for around five hours beforehand and that is no easy task.  Dealing with loud fans, not being able to leave the line for any reason including the bathroom or food.  It is all worth it once you get the bracelet to come back the next day, they are free that is why you can get anyone to go.

Draft day though is the reason to go, you get all of the cameras, the lights and the drama.  The draft to NFL fans is like a soap opera to women and we enjoy every moment of it.  

When your team is up to draft thats the moment you come for, to see what they do and watch your team’s future unfold.  Hearing all of the boos, the cheers, but mostly boos from opposing fans when you hear your team is on the clock.

It is the one day of the NFL season where every fan can have hope that they will get the player that will make their team into a contender.  The worst teams the previous year get the first selections giving them the best chance to get that type of player.  While the best teams get to brag about their team to every other fan and then steal a player who people do not see what they see in him.  Now you have two more days in the draft and this where teams separate themselves and only the hardcore fans will watch and be there.  

The NFL Draft is a unique experience for a football fan, it is not just a game between two teams, every team is involved.  There is not just one winner in the draft, any team could come out on top and there is a collection of football fans unlike any other making it something a die hard fan must witness in person.

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