Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Shifted Camera View

The news of Lauren Hill's amazing courage battling brain cancer through the game of basketball has spread into international media.  Most people have heard of the story by now-if you haven't, just google the small division three school "Mount St. Joseph" and scroll around.  You'll find the story in less than one minute.  Lauren Hill is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, and even though she has one month to live, her dream is quite simple.  She wanted to play in a collegiate basketball game, and she did just that.  Hill played at XU's Cintas Center in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,250 people.  She scored the first and last basket.  Most news stories only regard Hill's perspective of the story, as they should, but keep her coach, Dan Benjamin, remotely under the radar.  Benjamin is a family man, coaching women's basketball at a college smaller than Mason.  He was thrust into the spectrum of international media, and had to keep his team composed through the unexpected international media coverage.  I am writing a story about Benjamin's perspective of Lauren's story and how it has impacted the team he has coached for the last three years.  Pick up a copy of The Chronicle coming out December 12, flip to the sports section, and change the camera view on all of those news stories.  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Pre-game Prayer

Pre-game prayers.  Football coaches were banned from leading their team in a pre-game prayer at Santa Fe High School near Houston, Texas.  They were also banned at Oneida High School and Central Columbia High School in Tennessee because of of they could be interpreted as overly religious. They may reference God, or mention the men who have fought in the place before you.  In most cases, they aren't overly religious, as you can see in the video of the Nebraska Cornhusker's football prayer. The truth is, athletes that are about to hit the field are caught up in the heat of the moment, the pressure, the excitement, the nerves.  Their thoughts are racing with the anticipation of the upcoming moment, and they don't usually perceive things in literal terms. This explains the motives behind a pre-game prayer.  They aren't incorporated into a pre-game routine to get everyone thinking about the lord and his mission.  They simply are incorporated to relieve the nerves crawling in your stomach.  It's a time to sit back, calm down, and get "hyped". They don't just motivate, they congregate a group of people together before they all experience something important together.  So don't overthink the spiritual meaning of a pre-game prayer, they aren't as 'religiously in-depth' as one may think.