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Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James tosses chalk in the air before a game in his eight-year run with the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Published in the End of Year Issue of Volume XIII of the Big Red Magazine.

Lauren Witmer ’19 plugs her earbuds in as the opening guitar riff of the Dropkick Murphys’ “Fields of Athenry” runs through her head. As a staple of her pregame ritual, the senior outfielder is no stranger to the roll of the drums and the thick Irish accent of lead vocalist Al Barr. Witmer said she has always had a soft spot for Irish rock, but this song was different.

“In my sophomore year, I just decided to play it before the first playoff game and…


Co-written with Eugene Wyman in the March 1 Issue of Harvard-Westlake’s Chronicle.

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A close-up of a board in Las Vegas with betting lines for the NFL. (Credit: AP Images)

Marcus* sat alone as he watched the final minutes of Super Bowl LIII from his leather sofa. It was late in the fourth quarter, and all that remained of his pregame order were the scattered bones of his buffalo wings. He had decided against attending a viewing party this year so that he could focus on the game without the annual distractions of chips, guacamole and social obligations.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Marcus had adopted the Rams’ franchise as one of his favorites after its move…


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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 on Feb. 5, 2017 in Houston, TX. (Photo Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

This is my least favorite post of the year. For the past four months, I have anticipated every Sunday and all of the excitement that comes along with it, running through scenarios, predicting the matchups, and watching the magic unfold. From no-look passes from Patrick Mahomes (yes, I’ve finally come to accept his undeniable talent) to the reincarnation of the Monsters of the Midway, the 2018–2019 season in the National Football League brought a lot of surprises to viewers nationwide. But the time has finally come. It’s Jared Goff and the high-powered Rams against good ole’ Tom Brady and the…


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Chicago Bears’ Kicker Cody Parkey moments after missing a potential game-winning kick off the crossbar twice that would have sent the #3 Bears to the Divisional Round. (Photo credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

From a dose of Luck in Houston to a “Double-Doink” that will haunt Chicago fans for years, Wild Card Weekend did not disappoint. Players and fans can celebrate or mourn all they want, but the the top four seeds, fresh off a bye, aren’t going to wait for them to finish. So, as we head into the Divisional Round of the 2018–2019 Playoffs, here’s an quick preview of what to expect in the second weekend of the NFL Playoffs:

#6 Colts @ #1 Chiefs (Sat. 1/12 — 4:35 P.M. EST)


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Smith-Schuster greets the Pittsburg crowd during a game. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster spiraled towards the ground with 41 seconds remaining in perhaps the final chance to save a plummeting season. The 2nd year wideout had already recorded 110 yards on ten receptions in a Dec. 23 matchup against the New Orleans Saints — adding to an impressive 1,300-yard season at just 22 years old — but in this game, nobody would remember the stats.

Right before he hit the ground, Smith-Schuster lost control of the football. …


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Harvard-Westlake’s Sophomore Linebacker Kanoa Young ’21 is helped off the field after suffering an apparent leg injury. (Photo by Ryan Albert/HW Chronicle)

Originally published in the Fall 2018 Issue (Volume XII) of Harvard-Westlake’s Big Red Magazine.

Jake Kelly ’20 felt a sharp pain shoot through his left leg as he hit the turf after a four-yard gain on a muggy Friday night in August. It was late in the third quarter of the Wolverines’ football opener against Birmingham and a fresh start for a young squad after a disappointing finish in the 2017 season. Hobbling back to the sideline, Kelly told himself to shake off the pain, blaming the young season for highlighting his rustiness. He bent his knee a few times…


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Eli Harold (#58), Colin Kaepernick (#7) and Eric Reid (#35) of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest on the sidelines during the national anthem prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on Oct. 16, 2016. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

The opening to First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law…”, proceeding to list the five freedoms of our country that Americans have come to know and love. What American citizens don’t realize is that their very first amendment does not guarantee nearly all the freedoms that we expect.

In fact, the only employer who must guarantee these freedoms are Congress and the government itself. According to a 2015 survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 7 percent of the population falls in this category. The other 93 percent are left with restricted rights…


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LeBron James dribbles down the court in his return to Cleveland on Nov. 21. James finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds in the Lakers’ 109–105 victory over the Cavaliers. (Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

When an athlete leaves their city, fans usually react in one of the following ways: angrily douse their jerseys with gasoline and toss it into the fire pits, post many aggressive tweets (usually consisting of “you were never good” or “we don’t need you anyway”), or try and remind the player that they called their city “home” years ago while creating some sort of sob story about how their move drastically affects their life. Every fan has experienced it, and you’d be surprised how quickly they forget about it.

LeBron James’ departure from Cleveland last summer was different. It…


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Sam “Bam” Cunningham leaps through defenders for a touchdown in the 1973 Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State. Cunningham finished with four touchdowns, helping to secure USC’s 1972 National Championship. (Photo by George Long/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Sam Cunningham’s life is governed by four general rules. His father had always stressed to him from a young age that “what you start you can’t quit” and “give everything that you have”. His elementary school football coach completed the list, adding, “have fun” and “be a good teammate” during his second and third grade years playing flag football in Santa Barbara.

Believe it or not, these four rules were all Cunningham needed to help him progress from elementary school football to the National Football League, including a spectacular performance in Tuscaloosa that changed the football world forever.

On Sept…


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SEPT. 2, 2017 — Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson (22) tackles USC running back Ronald Jones II (25) in the first half of Alabama’s 52–6 rout of the Trojans at AT&T Stadium. (Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

There was a time when the Pac-12 Conference was the strongest in the NCAA. A time when the UCLA men’s basketball team cut down the nets 10 times in 12 years. A time when Arizona, Arizona State and USC baseball teams dominated the diamond in Omaha every year. A time when Stanford women’s tennis seemed unbeatable after winning 15 singles’ championships in 24 years.

The Pac-12 used to be unstoppable. But after last year’s performance, players, fans and coaches across the country were left unimpressed with the so-called “Conference of Champions.”

So what happened?

Founded in 1915 as the Pacific…

Will Mallory

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