5 Finals Tips For The Underdogs

I wanted to get this post out quickly before it becomes May 4th and my blog gets even more behind! With studying for finals, I haven’t had much time to brainstorm and really plan out all of my posts for this month just yet. So I’ve had to come up with this on the fly so just stay with me here. I decided that the most appropriate post was one about the main thing on my mind at the moment…finals! So here are 5 quick suggestions and tips that you probably already know but I hope you find them at least a little bit relevant and helpful anyway.

1. Get some sleep!

I know this is like impossible for any college kid to the point where most of us have just gone ahead and embraced the whole no sleep thing. But, I still believe that you can get at least a little bit of sleep. It’s important to do everything you can not to be up all night cramming at the last second. If you want to cram at all, make sure it’s right before you actually take your exam. Sleep is really important, red bull isn’t your friend. Chances are, if you take it, you might end up crashing right when you’re taking your exam and no one wants that. The best way to be fully focuses is with plenty of sleep.

2. Minimize your distractions

Setting aside some time where you just sit down and study all your materials for each exam is the best way to just center yourself on what you’re doing. I realize this is pretty much impossible but try to just stay inside your own little bubble. Don’t bring in any electronics or anything of that nature because you’re bound to get seriously sidetracked.

3. Use some white noise or instrumental/classical music

Music with words can be dangerous while studying because you start to simply focus on that and not what you’re studying. However, there are other types of music that work quietly in the background as you get to work. White noise is a great tool for when you want to buckle down and study. You can also never go wrong with some classical music to get you in the study zone. Modern classical music is good too but some (like the ones that are the instrumental versions of your favorite songs) may be a bit distracting, so watch out for that!

4. Work with others

There are both pros and cons to spending all your time studying for finals for other people, but sometimes it can be a very helpful thing to do. I recommend this one when you share a class with a friend. You both can share your notes and you can get some feedback if they caught something that you didn’t or vice versa. They might also give you some cool study ideas that you’ve never heard of before!

5. Find an organization strategy

Everyone has a different method to studying that works for them. Most students never had any need for them in high school so some of us may still be developing this as we go along in college. That being said, you know what works for you. I just think it’s crucial to at least have something set in place that is your own personal method that you know has worked for you in the past.

Best Sports Speeches

I’ve always loved speeches and ones given by athletes, coaches, and other important sports figures are especially touching to me. Here are some (but certainly not all) of my favorites.

1. Lou Gehrig Farewell Speech

It’s a short and sweet type speech but the emotion is so evident. Lou Gehrig was such a great baseball player who had gained so much respect from the Yankees fans over the years. It’s such a famous speech that’s had such an impact and is still celebrated to this day. It’s incredibly quotable and thoughtful to say the least.

2. Jimmy V Speech

Yet another powerful speech from somebody that knew they may not have much time left on Earth. The speech is filled with pathos and was actually used by my English teacher when we were learning about pathos, ethos, and logos because Jimmy uses pathos in such a natural way that really is showcased in his extremely touching delivery. You’ve got to love the heart of this legendary coach, who never lost his vibrant personality even in his final days. This will always be my go to video when I need an extra dose of heart and motivation.

3. Kevin Durant MVP Speech

This was a much more recent speech but still a memorable one. Kevin Durant was the NBA MVP last season and this was his rather long yet touching acceptance speech. The most memorable parts were where he talks fondly of his mother, who is in the crowd beaming up at her son. It’s evident how grateful Durant is to his mom, who he notes did everything possible to make sure he and his brother had a roof over their heads and that they weren’t out in the streets. It’s always nice to see such a humble and gracious player.

4. Stuart Scott ESPY Speech

This popular beloved ESPN announcer lost his fight to cancer early in January. Last summer, he accepted an award at the ESPY’s in the name of Jimmy V, the guy I previously mentioned who gave a famous speech and also lost his battle to cancer. This is such an awesome speech because of the manner that Scott carries himself. He had such a natural grace about him and you can’t help but love that. He was also just a great storyteller and his shout out to Jimmy V made me bawl my eyes out.

5. Rickey Henderson Hall Of Fame Speech

Henderson is a player known for his rather cocky personality on the field. This speech is mostly memorable for how humble he was in it. My favorite part about it is the hilarious personal stories that he adds here. I think it’s hilarious that he had to be bribed in order for him to play baseball.

Poems About Sports

Poetry is such a beautiful and emotional thing. Poems about sports has always fascinated me endlessly. Each of these poems are about several different sports and paint such fabulous pictures, regardless of whether or not you like the sports, you can’t help but respect the poems. So without further ado, here are some of my favorites about sports.

1. A Boy Juggling A Soccer Ball

This poem has such gorgeous and descriptive imagery while describing this seemingly simplistic event. It’s just a boy juggling a soccer ball, nothing outrageously interesting, but the language used turns it into something much more respectable and fantastic.

2. Slam, Dunk, and Hook

I love this poem because it makes a game of pickup basketball about so much more than just that. It uses great descriptive language that captures the fun that can come from just playing a simple game of basketball with your best friends, while you go through events in your personal events at the same time. It makes me want to get my friends together and just play the game and make memories.

3. Fast Break

“A hook shot kisses the rim and hangs there, helplessly, but doesn’t drop,” I love this line because it really puts us in the shoes of somebody playing the game of basketball, in the present tense. We can feel all of the sights and sounds around the boy. Poetry is really a beautiful thing because it takes the most simple words and spins it into something more complicated and striking.
This is a very long poem and reads more like a story. But it holds up as a poem due to the structure. I love how the story flows in such a unique way that makes it all the more memorable. It’s filled with words, I typically enjoy poems that are much shorter than this one is. But something about this poem still makes it work and stick out in my mind as being one of the better sports poems.
Could I really talk about famous sports poem and leave this one off? It’s by far the most famous poem on the subject and it’s become a type of pop culture phenomenon. There’s an interesting cast of characters that fill the lines of this incredible poem. It also takes you through many different emotions. It’s odd how easily he’s able to get you emotionally invested and just caught up in the story. Basically, the question most fitting for me to ask is, who doesn’t love this one?

The Less Popular Sports

There are several sports that I really haven’t touched on yet this month. Unfortunately, there’s 30 days in April and there’s many many sports that I could talk about. However, I didn’t really want to talk about sports that I don’t know much about. So I just stuck to what I know the best which isn’t exactly a lot of different sports, just the main ones. I thought it’d be best to at least acknowledge these sports.

1. Hockey

I think hockey is a really awesome sport. It’s one that definitely doesn’t get enough credit. I mean, what other sport has so much physical action? Basketball, football, and baseball don’t have the type of physical contact and the fouls are hardly ever called. Like one hockey player once said, hockey gives you a free nose job. Hockey does have it’s pretty big stars but only a few of them, much less than the main sports I’ve already mentioned frequently this month. But here is my much too short talk about hockey. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk about it longer, I’d just sound uneducated on the sport (because I am) so I’ll stop here!

2. Soccer

One of the biggest sports in the world. It has a much bigger appreciation and following in other countries but I think it’s sort of catching on in the United States. The World Cup had such a high rating when it was on this summer. Pretty much everybody was suddenly a huge soccer fan but not so many people care during the actual season, but that’s typically how it goes. A lot of the most popular players aren’t actually American, but again, the World Cup gave some American soccer players attention like they’ve never seen before. Outside of the World Cup, there really isn’t much to say about the sport. I think the clubs and how they organize the teams can be a little more complicated than what I’d like for it to be. But it does deserve it’s special shout out since there are so many people who play the sport and also love watching it!

3. Swimming

I love swimming for fun but it was never something that I was good enough to do as a sport. I think it can be a really fun sport to watch, especially during the Olympics. There’s also several different popular athletes I can name off the top of my head: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Mark Spitz, etc. Okay, let’s be honest, Michael Phelps is easily the most popular but Ryan Lochte is pretty up there too. Lochte is most famous for his attitude and vibrant outspoken personality. Phelps is most famous for his incredible swimming and his weed smoking. There are also many talented women swimmers who deserve some recognition as well. Both men and women swimming teams were absolutely dominant for the United States in the Olympics back in 2014. It was a really fun time to watch and I can’t wait for 2018 for the next one.

Best Babe Ruth Quotes

The Great Bambino said some incredible things during his life. These are some of the most memorable and striking quotes.

1. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

2. “Every strike brings me closer to next home run.”

3. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

4. “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

5. “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

6. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”   

 

Top Sports Documentaries

These are some of my favorite sports documentaries of all time. I’ve tried to include many different sports in this list but I’m sure I left some out so let me know if I forgot any of your favorites!

1. Undefeated

This documentary won an Oscar for Best Documentary and it’s not hard to see why. It follows an inner city high school in Memphis that’s run by a volunteer coach. The stories of these individual players is so touching and interesting. It just gives audiences a lot of insight into the struggles that these kids have to deal with. This is a documentary that’s pretty impossible not to cry over.

2. Baseball

One of the best documentaries about baseball and an extremely long one at that. It’s a very in depth look at the history of baseball. It makes sure to stick as close to the dates and important decades in the sport as possible. As a whole, it’s just a fun documentary that teaches you a lot about all of the players and dates that are significant for baseball.

3. The Endless Summer

A timeless documentary that changed the direction of surfing documentaries right around. It takes a unique first person point of view that had a way of making audiences feel that they were actually apart of the story. Bruce Brown’s approach to filming and narrating in this feature in general was something that we hadn’t yet seen. He also showed that the theory “less is more” can be a relevant one when used by the right filmmaker.

4. Hoop Dreams

This is a long one but it’s far from boring, the length is perfect for you to get involved in the lives of these two high school basketball players who have dreams of playing in the NBA. That plot sounds like a simple one, what basketball player doesn’t have that dream? But as you take a closer look, you realize the racial and economic challenges that these two African American boys have to deal with. It becomes a lot more about their lives outside of the sport and that’s what keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time.

5. 30 for 30: Fab Five

ESPN 30 for 30 films never disappoint. They always manage to tell such fascinating stories from various points of view. This one in particular revealed a lot about how these underprivileged boys were given the opportunity to play basketball at Michigan. At the time, they came off as being “cocky” and “punks” but this gives us more insight as four of the boys (Chris Webber didn’t want to be apart of it) were interviewed as well as other coaches and reporters around during this time. I gained a lot of respect for them after watching this and seeing how much they truly changed culture and what people thought about them.

6. 30 for 30: Into The Wind

30 for 30 isn’t typically known for being so emotional and heartbreaking. Most of the time, just the facts are being presented and it isn’t exactly tear jerking. However, this story about Terry Fox is bound to make even the hardest of hearts shed a few tears. Canadian Terry Fox was a big runner when his leg was amputated at the age of 19 because of cancer. In 1980, he ends up running across Canada on one leg. His relentless work ethic and pure love for running is so heartwarming and inspiring.

7. We Could Be King

An inspiring look at two Philadelphia rival schools being forced to combine their football programs due to budget cuts. The horrors that these kids go through is really emotional. One of the boys Dontae is a big guy who is extremely sensitive and it breaks your heart when the boy struggles with reading out loud. The coach himself is also an inspiration, he began helping these boys after his close friend was murdered. He wanted to help these boys get away from the realities of their lives and focus on the sport they all love.

8. The Battered Bastards Of Baseball

The Portland Mavericks were an independent team owned by Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt Russell who also did some acting himself. The movie is hilarious but also touching to see these underdogs rise to the top in such hilarious fashion. The people interviewed including Kurt Russell, a batboy, players, coaches, Kurt’s mom, and many more give us new dimensions to the story.

 

My Favorite Things: Sports Edition

So guys, these are a few of my favorite things as far as it goes with sports. Feel free to comment on my favorite teams, athletes, sports, etc.

Sport to watch: Football, baseball, and basketball.

Sport to play: Basketball

Baseball team: Pittsburgh Pirates

College basketball team: WVU

College football team: WVU

NFL team: I don’t really have any one team that I love. I just like watching any team in general.

NBA team: Cavaliers

Active NFL player and why: J.J. Watt, Brandon Marshall of the Bears, and Russell Wilson. I love J.J. because he seems so down to earth and even though he’s crazy rich, he acts like a normal guy and doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else, he’s also hilarious. Brandon Marshall because he’s open about his struggles with mental illness and I respect that a lot. Wilson because he was really underestimated when he first became the quarterback for Seattle but he managed to get his team to back to back Super Bowls at such a young age. He’s also crazy humble.

NFL player of all time: Lawrence Taylor, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Jim Brown. I think each of these guys made history with their methods of playing football and they will go down in history for that reason.

MLB player and why: Andrew McCutchen because he has such an awesome personality and attitude about life. The guy is always smiling and you have to respect the way he just turned around the Pirates organization in such a positive way.

MLB player of all time and why: Babe Ruth obviously and I love Sandy Koufax too. Ruth made a crazy impact on the game of baseball in such an intense and awesome way. Koufax had an unconditional way of pitching that was dominant and earned the respect of the world.

NBA player and why: LeBron James and Jeremy Lin. James has done so much for his hometown and I really respect his attitude and passions. Lin came out of nowhere to become a respectable NBA player.

NBA player of all time: Jerry West, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson. I’m biased about Jerry West since he’s from West Virginia and I’ve done reports on him before. But he’s a very down to earth and humble guy. Jordan and Magic are both classic players for what they were able to do. Jordan is obviously the best basketball player of all time because he paved the way for so many other players.

I think my list of favorites is a rather basic one but I put a lot of thought into it also. I think it’s important to have players and teams to follow and look up to as they play the sport that you love. So I hope that you learned hopefully a little more about the athletes and teams that I look up to the most.