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April 11, 2014 Columns, Features Columns

You are born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.

As a child, when you feel like you are being dropped, your body goes into instant panic mode. When you hear something that disturbs the peaceful air, you cry.

As we grow, we get over these fears and develop new ones. For example, I’m deathly afraid of snakes, but will crank my music as loud as it goes when I’m alone.

However, I believe humans never completely outgrow the fear of falling; it only changes.

Falling is characterized by losing your balance or losing your grip. Physically falling may be something we learn to overcome – we simply patch up the boo-boos, dust ourselves off and try again. But emotionally falling is something we fear forever.

Not only do we fear falling in love, but also falling out of it. The name for the fear of falling in love or emotional attachment is philophobia.

Nowadays, some people push away every feeling that could hurt them. We avoid making deeper connections with aquaintances because it would hurt to lose grip of the friendship and slip into something more complicated. The same could be said when it comes to making friends.

We are afraid to trust in others because of the possibility of someone walking away, leaving us falling.

Honestly the odds of this happening are 50-50. If you ask me, those are pretty good odds. It’s like a true or false question on a quiz. You may not know the answer, but you have an indication that it could be equally right or wrong.

I’ve endured and conquered this fear and could explain how worthwhile it is, but I know it will never change how others view their own fear of falling in love with another person.

You will fall eventually, so why not now? Why let your fear of falling keep you from a happy relationship?

Even if it ends, it could still be some of the best memories of your life as you grow older.

Take it from me: a known scaredy cat of ruining simple friendships over a deeper relationship. It’s worth the risk.

Without overcoming philophobia, you may never make real connections with people.

The worst aspect of this fear is that it often leads to a life of solitude and loneliness.

If you base your relationships on the fear you might end up alone, you will always be left alone.

Don’t write feelings off based on fears.


Story by Hunter Harrell, Features Editor

From the Sports Editor: Fresh and fearless

November 8, 2013 Columns, Sports Columns

Murray State basketball has provided me with some of my favorite college memories.

Not many people from a mid-major conference can say they were the photographer for a basketball team that was the last undefeated team in the nation.

But I?can.

And there is nothing quite like sitting courtside when the Racers hit the game-winning shot, securing a place in the NCAA Tournament.

As journalists, we’re told to be unbiased in coverage.

I may have fist-pumped and yelled when I saw that shot go through. Oops.

Then last year, when the men lost to Belmont in the OVC Championship, all I could feel was sadness and a sense of loss.

Murray had to say goodbye to a group of seniors that won more games than any other group of players in Racer history.

That’s the thing about Murray State basketball, though.

It can really get in your blood and run through your veins.

I didn’t follow the teams until I was a sophomore working for The News, but it didn’t take long to become a fan.

Obviously, having the best record in all of basketball makes it easy to love the men’s team, but I became of fan of the women, too.

I get that people don’t like to watch their teams lose, but I can promise the teams like losing much less than the fans do.

That’s why we should support them and go to more games, especially this year.

For the first time in years, both teams have only one senior.

More than that, though, the players lacing up on gamedays are almost all new to Division I college athletics.

I’ve heard fans say they expect bad seasons. I’ve seen predictions that place Murray low in the conference.

And I won’t lie, I had my own doubts less than two weeks ago.

But now I’ve seen them play. I’ve seen how fearless they are, running up and down the floor.

They are young and they are new. They don’t know they aren’t supposed to be good.

They don’t know they can take their foot off the throttle because it is only an exhibition game.

If they can play with that intensity all year, we’re in for another good year of Racer basketball.

Maybe that innocent ignorance will bring home a couple of OVC championships.

Column by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor

Blurred lines

September 25, 2013 Athletics, Columns, Sports Columns


That is such a touchy word. And it can be dangerous for a journalist.

I, along with most people I know, learned at a very early age nothing in life can ever truly be free.

It is something people just come to accept. But what does it really mean?

In economics class a couple semesters ago, my professor tried to explain it away. Everything is some sort of tradeoff.

It may not cost money, but one thing is being given up for another.

OK, that quantifies the idea of free a little bit. It means everything has some sort of value.

For journalists, though, it doesn’t end there. We have to approach it from an ethical aspect.

Obviously, we get paid by our employers just like any other worker does.

But, situations arise often when a writer is offered some sort of gift by a source, by an organization or by the community in general.

While that sounds enticing, we must turn our heads. It is not because we are too good for that.

Trust me, if you look at the average salary of a journalist, you would think we’re crazy not to beg for everything we can get.

Instead, it is accepted by writers across the globe that taking any sort of endowment crosses the line. It casts a heavy shadow on that shiny technique we call being unbiased.

I have actually come across this ideological roadblock twice within the past month.

The more recent involved me directly. I was conducting an interview with the director of the local golf course in order to write an article regarding the 30th anniversary of the course.

After the interview was over, I talked with him about how I played golf in high school and have played a few rounds on his course.

Since they have installed new greens, the director offered me two vouchers for free rounds of golf.

The golfer on my right shoulder told me to take them and start swinging my clubs.

The journalist in my head told me to secretly hang my head and sigh, saying thanks but I can’t take them.

I have come to accept it and even embrace it. Professionalism outweighs the inner athlete and love of sports I foster within.

That brings me to the second situation. I recently read an article published by the University of Kentucky regarding sports journalist and free food at games.

Essentially, the column said if journalists are going to live and die by the hard rule of no freebies, that includes not accepting a free meal at games.

I really thought about this article for a while. I understand the thoughts behind the idea, but I disagree with the application.

The writer explained that accepting the food is basically the same as being paid by the organization in return for coverage.

Hence, it eliminates the true meaning of unbiased reporting.

I think this is a legitimate concern, but too much of a stretch.

My writer and I eat a meal at every football game we cover. I don’t go to the game for the meal. I go for the sport.

The meal is just out of kindness and respect, in my opinion.

So yeah, the meal is free. It is not recompense for coverage.

I can’t speak for others, but I do not change my writing based on whether or not I get fed.

Some chips and a drink don’t cloud my eyes and mind with niceties about the team who provides the catering.

So no, it is not unethical to me.

But ethical lines can get blurry in journalism. It’s up to us to make the call, to err on the safe side.

It may not be illegal, but we have to watch ourselves.

Maybe someday, someone will convince me to ignore the food and just report on an empty stomach.

For now, I am just going to think about it while I sit here and eat my free sandwich.


Column by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor


From the Editor: saying goodbye

September 10, 2013 Columns, Opinions Columns

It’s 8,000 cans. It’s baking cookies for someone who has lost a friend. It’s late nights in the Curris Center.

It’s giving up what you want to do, what human nature tells you to do, and having the maturity to be vulnerable. It’s taking responsibility for your individual actions.

It’s what Greek Life at Murray State is becoming – and one person, Jason Hinson-Nolen, can be credited more than anyone for this sudden, rewarding change.

When I arrived at Murray State in the fall of 2011, I was a pre-medical biology major, who wanted to join a sorority because my best friend was in one. I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to become.

Suddenly, sophomore year I was confidently voted into Panhellenic, and eventually into an executive position. This involvement has helped me figure out who I am and the type of person I want to be.

I’ve met many Greek advisers across the nation, I’ve learned how other campuses operate, and I’ve heard the horror stories everyone knows. From those experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jason has a sincere passion for helping others that is lacking in many people.

He wants to see people truly become better men and women, he wants to see organizations hold themselves accountable for their actions.

He’s calling for Murray State Greek Life to grow up a bit, and leave the stereotypes behind.

As many people know, he is leaving this week for a position at the North-American Interfraternity Conference, where he will be named the Director of Campus Initiatives.

A title is a title, but what is accomplished in a position is what truly matters.

Jason will help the NIC represent 75 fraternities nationwide, and will hold them to the standards they were founded upon.

While I’m sad one of my best role models is leaving Murray State, I’m incredibly excited for his future. Just from the small amount of time I’ve known Jason at Murray State, I can say he’ll make tremendous changes in fraternity life.

Meanwhile, I’ll return to the CSI office every week, pick a discussion topic at Panhellenic meetings, and laugh when the other exec members send stupid pictures via group message.

I’ll also support and push Live. Your. Values., challenging our members to go beyond what the past tells them they are.

I can only hope Murray State Greek Life will remain a respected and community-service based group of organizations. With the foundation Jason set for Panhellenic, IFC and NPHC, I truly believe it is possible.

One quote by Cecil Beaton comes to mind when I think of who I’ve become because of my role in Greek Life: “Be darling, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

Column by Lexy Gross, Editor-in-Chief. Follow her @lexygross.

Find your passion

After my second wreck and several scars, I decided it was time to stop riding motorcycles.

It wasn’t worth it to me. My heart wasn’t in it.

Sports, on the other hand, are a totally different story.

Even after a broken leg, a broken nose on three separate occasions and more bruises, cuts and sprained ankles than I can remember, I have never once wanted to quit sports.

Blood and tears are just part of the game. It is something athletes have to learn to deal with from the very beginning.

When something happens, we suck it up, rub some dirt on it and play a little bit harder. It does not necessarily make us tougher than others, or even better.

It just proves we are in it for the love of the game. It is not just a recreation to us. It is a way of life. It is a passion.

Everyone needs a passion. It is how we, as humans, survive. A passion drives us, molds us, defines us.

Whether it is sports or something entirely different, it is important to find something you love, something you can dedicate your life to. In the end, that is what life is all about.

When we die, we have no control over what happens. Maybe there is a Heaven and Hell, or maybe we have a soul that floats in some sort of limbo, or maybe there is nothing at all, no existence or meaning.

Maybe we just turn to dust in the wind, forgotten by the world.

But while we’re living, we do control our lives. We can be passionate. We can be happy.

We have to go beyond just finding a passion, though. We have to pursue it. We have to live it.

For athletes, it’s easy. Practice every day. Work out. Play more games. Then do it all again.

For others, though, it may be tougher. You might have to spend nearly 20 years in school to learn everything you need to know.

You may have to do dirty work that you hate for years until you get a chance to move to that corner office window.

Challenges will come your way. In sports, injuries are one of the biggest obstacles to overcome.

Instead of letting injuries defeat them, athletes learn to embrace the danger that comes with each play.

For me, there is a rush that floods my veins with each breath I take that no drug could ever provide. I would never trade that feeling for anything.

Those feelings of pure ecstacy are why athletes keep coming back. No matter what challenges may come, athletes have a passion that always brings them back.

That is how every person should be. You simply cannot let the challenges slow you down. You have to keep on fighting.

So what if you got rejected from a job? Find a different one, and prove to them why they made a mistake not hiring you.

If someone closes a door on you, there are two options. You can either find another way in, or you break the door down. Giving up is just not an option.

If you are passionate about something, you have to find a way to keep going.

Sure, you will struggle. You will most likely not succeed at first. In fact, you will probably become quite familiar with failure.

But if you truly love something, it will be worth it.

Despite all the hard moments, you will enjoy the ride. There will be highs and lows. It will probably lead to the best and worst moments of your life.

But it will be worth it. Find your passion. I’ve found mine.

Column by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor.

Subject To Change: Stomping a few million toes

May 2, 2013 Columns

After much deliberation, the title of my column will be Subject to Change. No, that does not mean I have yet to decide on a name; that is the name. Accept it, hate it, do as you please. It is your mind, after all. As this is the first of a hopefully long line of columns to come, I’m sure you are bracing yourself for impact, seemingly quivering in your shoes as you wait for the inevitably long, drawn out and heart-filled monologue as to why this title spoke to me. Well, you’re welcome, there is no story, and if there was, it would not be worth telling. Life is subject to change, and so is this column.

What is worth mentioning however, is the sad, sorrowful tale of woe that is Suzy Lee Weiss. If you have managed to miss the notorious high school senior’s offensive, flippant and entitled letter to the editor, published in the Wall Street Journal, you have quite the shock coming. Suzy, a high school senior from Pittsburgh, after being wrongfully, or so she thinks, rejected from her top Ivy League college choices, decided that tweeting her woes, or putting them on Facebook, was just not enough. No, Suzy decides instead that it would be a good idea to offend thousands of people by whining about her rejection in a national publication, trying and failing to blame her lack of acceptance on her lack of diversity.

As she says in her letter, Suzy represents about as much diversity as a saltine cracker, not a problem in and of itself, but when she continues to lament about how her lack of diversity is the reason for her rejection along with her unwavering honesty by not creating fake charities, she steps on a few million toes.

With statements like, “I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would’ve happily come out of it” and “If it were up to me, I would’ve been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything,” Suzy does spectacular work in offending nearly every minority group she can bring to mind.

So let Suzy serve as a reminder to us all as she now serves one of the single most hated internet personas. As the semester reaches its breaking point and stress is at an all-time high, don’t be a Suzy. Do not blame your problems on others, or play the victim. Be mindful of what you say, post and tweet while under stress. You never know how quickly you can burn a million bridges and step on a million toes.


 Column by Shannon MacAllister, Assistant Features Editor.

Draft Sleepers

April 26, 2013 Columns, Sports Columns

Jonathan Ferris

It seems like every sports journalist in the country has a piece of advice to give to NFL coaches and general managers this week as the draft gets underway. I?am no different.

Although the first round is already over, that is no reason to stop watching. Here are three players who I believe will make an impact, despite being drafted outside the top two rounds.

Da’Rick Rogers

WR – Tennessee Tech

Rogers spent his first two years in the SEC at the University of Tennessee, becoming a legitimate deep threat and earning an All-SEC selection. He was indefinitely suspended from the team in 2012, however, after failing drug tests. He transferred to Tennessee Tech and had a big season. Guys like Randy Moss and Percy Harvin failed drug tests before their respective drafts, yet still became solid players. Rogers has been clean since he left the Vols, and whoever snags him will get an extremely talented player in the third or fourth round.

Bacarri Rambo

S – Georgia

Aside from having the coolest name I have ever heard, Bacarri Rambo is an absolute beast. Last season, the guy racked up a ridiculous 73 tackles on Bulldog defense which featured several stars, including linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree. He finds the ball carrier and does not miss open-field tackles. He will need to work on his coverage ability, but Rambo will improve a team’s secondary and provide great run-stopping ability. Projected by some to go as low as the fifth round, Rambo is a huge mid-round value pick up.

Ryan Griffin

QB – Tulane

I am going out on a limb with this one, but I believe this guy is the next Joe Flacco. Griffin has been severely overlooked. He does not have the cannon arm of some of the high profile quarterbacks, but he makes up for it with his leadership and work ethic. Griffin was the team captain during his junior and senior years, and proved to be a vocal leader who was popular among his teammates. He has the body of an NFL quarterback, standing at 6 feet 4 inches, and will mature into this draft’s biggest surprise five years down the road.

Column by Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer.


April 26, 2013 Columns, Sports Columns
Taylor Crum

Taylor Crum

The Curse of the Bambino. The Curse of the Billy Goat. The Curse of Bobby Lane.

These are three curses in professional sports that some superstitious fans still believe in today.

The Curse of the Bambino came about when the Boston Red Sox traded the king of baseball, Babe Ruth, to the New York Yankees. Following that trade, the Red Sox have gone 83 years without seeing a championship title.

The Curse of the Billy Goat began because a goat and its owner, William Sianis, were ejected from a 1945 World Series game at Wrigley Field, where the Chicago Cubs lost to the Detroit Tigers. The Cubs have yet to see the World Series since then.

The Curse of Bobby Lane commenced in 1958 after the Detroit Lions traded quarterback Bobby Lane to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Prior to the trade, Lane led the Lions to three NFL championships within a six-year period.

Lane, angry because of the trade, reportedly said the Lions would not win for 50 years. During those 50 years, the Lions had the worst winning percentage of any NFL team.

On the 50th anniversary of his trade, the Lions became the first team in NFL history to go 0-16.

These curses seem very real when looking at the statistics, but do curses really exist?

In my opinion, yes, they do exist, because I don’t believe in coincidences.

The odds of the Red Sox going 83 years without a championship, the Cubs having yet to see a World Series game since the goat was banned from Wrigley Field and the Lions being the first team in NFL history to go 0-16 on the 50th anniversary of Bobby Lane’s trade all seem to be more than just a fluke.

To this day, fans of cursed professional teams believe in the curses more than the teams they root for.

Just this month on Wednesday, April 10, an unidentified man dropped off a package containing a severed goat’s head at Wrigley Field. Many are still caught up in the Curse of the Billy Goat, even after 68 years.

There are more than 50 different curses that have reigned over professional teams, and these curses are not biased to any sport.

Basketball, baseball, football, hockey, you name it, there’s a curse over it.

The Madden Curse, the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx, the Curse of Billy Penn, the Curse of Coogan’s Bluff, the Curse of William Bedford; the list goes on.

Although these curses are detrimental to a pro team, it does not mean the curses cannot be broken.

The Curse of the Bambino was eventually abolished in 2004 when the Red Sox finally snagged a World Series win. Oddly, it seemed as if the curse had been reversed, not just ended.

The Red Sox traded their best player, Nomar Garciaparra, and the curse had died. The curse started by trading their best player, and the curse was reversed by doing the same.

Unfortunately for the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Lions, it seems as if the curses will never fade.

According to the goat owner’s nephew-in-law, Sam Sianis, the curse can only be reversed if the Cubs show a genuine love for goats, allowing them back into Wrigley Field.

The end to the Lion’s 50-year curse is long overdue, but the team has yet to prove their worth with a winning season.

So the question still remains, are curses real? Just ask the Cubs and Lions.

Column by Taylor Crum, Assistant Sports Editor.

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