February 5, 2016

Tis The [Sports] Seasons For Distractions

By Zachary Ashman

Contributing Writer

By: Jade Jetjomlong Student Daniel Pigott gets his football fix on ESPN.com.

By: Jade Jetjomlong Student Daniel Pigott gets his football fix on ESPN.com.

Kick off, puck drop, opening tip: For the sports fanatics here at John Jay, there are seldom phrases they enjoy more. Watching and rooting for a favorite team offers an escape from the every day pressures of being a student.

Starting in October, this escape becomes a bit more of a distraction as three of the four major sports are starting their seasons. The NHL, NBA, and NFL are all in the midst of their seasons; so, there are games on every day from each sport to distract students as they attempt to pass their classes as they fly their teams’ colors.

The main sports that people watch are football and basketball, while some others like hockey, tennis, wrestling. Some like European soccer, whose popularity has been on the rise in recent times.

Josh Currence, a John Jay Sophomore and an avid Detroit Red Wings fan, describes his Hockey fandom, “I watch all the Red Wings’ games, but I also watch the NY Rangers, Islanders, and NJ Devils games too just to talk smack with my friends about how bad they are”.

But not everyone loves hockey as much as Currence. The John Jay NFL fans consist mainly of New England Patriot fans, while the NBA fans are mainly Knicks and Miami Heat fans.

A lot of these students’ favorite teams are out-of-market, which makes watching them harder and perhaps more of a distraction.Out-of-market teams do not have their games broadcasted on national television. For example, the Chicago Bulls will not be on TV in New York unless they are playing the Knicks or the Nets. There are some channels like ESPN or NBATV that broadcast an array of games with a different array of teams rather than just the hometown team.

Each sport has a handful of games on almost every day; the NFL is the only exception, having games only on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays.

Parish Maynard, a New England Patriots fan, said he watches about “12 to 15 games a week between the NBA and the NFL no matter what team is on the TV.” His friends, Elias Lugo and Carlos Gonzalez, only watch their own specific teams.

The amount of games people watch varies. Currence said that he watches about “ Two or three hockey games a week, and a couple wrestling matches sprinkled in here and there.” As a Miami Heat fan, Vini Singh, like Currence, watches about “two or three NBA games a week, but I also have to get my Manchester United fix in because I love Euro League Soccer.”

With all these games being watched, it sounds like there is not enough time after school to ration out between schoolwork and ultimate sports fandom.

Everyone agreed that their homework will be on the table when they watch their favorite team take the field, court, or ice; they made it feel like watching sports while working through their latest Criminology paper was a no-brainer.

Mirsad Zuckerman said that “there really is no escaping school when it is in session, so we have to multi-task.”

Robert Steinberg, Zuckerman’s friend, added that “the multi-tasking goes until late at night because some of the games don’t end until super late.”

Peter Goldberg, a European soccer fan, explained that it is hard to balance the “mix of obligations” when it comes to sports and schoolwork. “The mix of obligations leads to a loss of sleep; I spend all night watching my teams while I attempt to do my homework,” Goldberg explained. Games that take place on the West Coast start late, but fans will be fans, and they will stay up to watch their favorite teams.

Currence said that doing his work while he watches sports does not distract him, nor does he feel it affect his grades. “I think it’s a generational thing. As a whole I think this generation is better at multi-tasking than the previous ones; that’s why I don’t think it affects me,” Currence said as he explains his studying while watching habits.

It seems clear that watching sports while doing homework provides an easily avoidable distraction; yet, everybody seemed to agree that it will not, affect their grades.

But sports are not going anywhere, neither are the fans, and unfortunately neither is schoolwork. At the end of the day, die-hard fans are not going to miss their favorite teams’ games.

There will always have to be a balance between schoolwork and fun; sometimes the scale will lean heavily towards schoolwork and sometimes towards personal lives and interests. Students do not think that watching sports while doing work will affect their grades. Let them live in their fools’ paradise.


Meet New B-Ball Coach


Image by mvongrue via Flickr

In September, the John Jay Men’s basketball team, coming off of a 9 – 17 season, named Otis Fenn the new head coach.
Fenn isn’t a rookie in the coaching field.
As assistant coach in 2005, he helped lead New York City College of Technology to a CUNYAC championship and to the second round of the NCAA Men’s Division III tournament.
He has been coaching at City Tech for the past eleven years and the last five of them he was head coach.
Fenn calls himself a “players coach” and a “disciplinarian” who’s going to bring a new style of play to the “Doghouse,” something the John Jay student body “hasn’t seen in years.”
“It’s going to be a fast up-tempo style of offense,” Fenn said, “it’s going to be real exciting.”
Making the transition easier for the new coach is the fact that the Bloodhounds, who lost no seniors to graduation, have the nucleus of last year’s team returning; led by Jerome Alexander who finished third in the league in scoring.
The system Fenn wants to put in place isn’t difficult according to him, it is just demanding; the players need to be in top physical shape. This is because on top of the fast paced offense, Fenn is going to install a press defense into the system. This shouldn’t be hard given the great attitude of the players according to Fenn, although there are areas that need to be improved.
“Free throw shooting and rebounding are a problem,” Fenn said “but those are fundamental areas that can be improved.”
The biggest challenge walking into a new team is just getting to know the players according to Fenn. But being a player’s coach, he adjusts to the players, “the players don’t adjust to me.”
Fenn’s energy should mesh well with the team’s obvious chemistry as he is going to allow them to utilize their specific skill sets to the best of their abilities.
“With the core back we’re going to be much better, I can name seven or eight players ready to contribute right off the bat” Fenn said. “There is a lot of talent on this team that needs to be pushed.”