“I Hate Christian Laettner” Review

This 30 for 30 or ESPN film, whichever name you prefer, looks at one of the most hated college athletes in the history of the game. It explores many different reasons why the hate for Christian Laettner was so serious. After all, he was just a kid, what did he ever really do to deserve the hate? The film talks to many different people including Christian Laettner himself, his family, Coach K, Coach K’s wife, past teammates, the Fab Five, opponents of his, and many different authors, reporters, etc who wrote books and stories about their hate. Many different perspectives were offered during this film which is what I’ve always loved most about documentaries- especially sports documentaries.

The first reason that they look at is that Laettner was perceived as a rich kid because he attended Duke University and a prep school before that. In reality, Laettner came from a middle class family. His mom was a teacher and his dad was a journalist. He couldn’t afford prep school but they offered a type of work study where he would work these dirty type jobs extremely early in the morning in exchange for his tuition. He only went to Duke because Coach K offered him a full scholarship. This alone gave me personally some new respect for the guy. He didn’t have anything handed to him, he worked for everything he had which is something worthy of respect.

Another reason why people hate Laettner is that he’s a white kid. Some people thought he might be racist or view black people differently since the only black guys on his basketball team were called “Uncle Tom” and things of that sort. Laettner was actually extremely tolerant of other races, maybe even was more against white people than black. His teammates bragged on how impressed they were with his style and his knowledge of hip-hop.

The third reason explored was that he was a bully who preyed on the weak. I actually laughed out loud because they used Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift as the image for a bully. Yes, Laettner was an animal on the court and he was certainly a big trash talker. The way he carried himself and seemed to get away with so much stuff other players wouldn’t get away with was extremely disheartening and irritating. But he also seemed like a good teammate and actually a cool guy off the court. He just knew how to get under people’s skin.

After watching this documentary, I learned a lot about the background of this guy that got such a terrible reputation over the years. I think it’s sad how much people disliked him and how far some people took it. Like it’s actually ridiculous that his 12-year-old sister was called a whore just for being his sister. Like what did she ever do to deserve that? Sometimes the hatred people have isn’t rational and is fairly upsetting. Ultimately, people hated how good he was and I love that the documentary explored that. But I think it wasn’t just one sided, it also showed the reasons behind why people hate him by talking to the sources directly. Overall, it’s one of my favorite ESPN films.

Quotes From Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi is probably the most beloved coach of all time. His time coaching the Packers placed him on the map and helped him earn the respect of more or less the whole nation. His quotes were beyond inspiring and here some of his best just in case you’re running low on inspiration.

“If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.”

“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.”

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”

“The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”

“Winning is a habit, unfortunately, so is losing.”

“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

“Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

“If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.”

“Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.”

Spotlight On: Tim Riggins

Him in that football uniform...

I talk about Friday Night Lights a lot. It’s one of my favorite shows of all time. I think what I love so much about it is how incredibly complex every single character on the show is. They all have more to them than what meets the eye, and that fact is very true when it comes to Tim Riggins. Riggins starts out the show as being this ragged looking guy who doesn’t get along with his teammates and doesn’t care about much at all besides booze and girls. We then learn more about how he lives with his older brother Billy and doesn’t have any parents around that truly care about him. He’s a solid football player but it’s also pretty obvious that his football days won’t go beyond the high school level.

Tim definitely isn’t the most charming of the Friday Night Lights boys. Matt Saracen, the quiet guy with a crush on the coaches daughter who also takes care of his Grandma full time, takes the most charming award by far. But there’s something about Riggins that appeals to audiences. He’s honest and he doesn’t care what people think about him. He does his own thing and people are into that. He becomes a much more likable and charming guy as the series progresses.

Some of the other characters may lose their charm, but Riggins simply becomes more relatable and charming. At one point, he is staying with the Taylor family as he gets back on his feet. He and Julie end up going to a party together and Julie winds up getting drunk. Tim takes her home and takes care of her but Eric walks in and sees them together and automatically assumes that Tim is taking advantage of her and kicks him out of his house. This is obviously a lowpoint but it also shows the more caring side of Tim. He doesn’t defend his actions although he wasn’t in the wrong in this situation. Instead, he handles the punishment that he doesn’t deserve which shows his maturity.

Even though I enjoy his moments of rebellion in terms of entertainment purposes, his more sensitive caring side is who he is. When he and his brother get caught for the chop shop Billy started in order to provide for his family, Tim takes full responsibility for it. Despite the fact Tim just got thrown into the whole thing, he knew that he owed his older brother. Billy had a family to provide for and he couldn’t go to jail so Tim, without any hesitance, went to jail without his brother knowing anything about it.

All of these examples prove that Riggins is a character who isn’t just attractive, he also has a good heart who does what he has to for the people that he loves. I can’t help but love his drunk and just flat out hilarious moments just as much as his others. This proves that he’s a multidimensional character which is really explored throughout the series. As Tim would say, “Texas forever.”

10 Reasons Why I Love Johnny Cash

There’s a lot to love about country legend Johnny Cash. Here are just 10 of those reasons why I personally love him. Johnny Cash was an incredible storyteller and he paved the way for many other country artists who stepped onto the scene after him.

1. He was never afraid of being himself

Resultados de la Búsqueda de imágenes de Google de http://img.izismile.com/img/img2/20091111/iconic_photographs_40.jpg

As the picture shows, he was never afraid of letting you know who he is. He didn’t care what people thought of him, he didn’t ever sell out. He sang songs that he cared about and that meant something to him. That’s something to be celebrated.

2. He knows where he came from.

Johnny Cash:  Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line, Don't Take Your Guns to Town, Tennessee Flat Top Box, Hey Porter, Big River, Get Rhythm, Man in Black, Give My Love to Rose, etc...

This Blank On Blank interview shows that Cash was very aware of his gospel roots. He also automatically credits gospel music and is not shy about admitting that it’s a big part of his music. He also admits that he wasn’t called to be a preacher, he was called to share and connect his songs with other people.

3. He helped out with the new rebellion

Mamma gave me Barbra and daddy gave me Johnny

The outlaws in country music is a big part of what the genre is about. Johnny Cash was a big leader in that whole thing. In my opinion, he gave a face to the rebellion thing and made it kind of cool for everyone else.

4. His bond with Elvis

Johnny Cash & Elvis. They are so young. We didn't get to watch Elvis age, he died too young. Johnny Cash was an icon til the day he died.

In the interview I already mentioned, he talks about how he and Elvis didn’t talked about anything other than gospel music. Well, besides girls, but mostly gospel music. The two shared similar roots and therefore bonded over it while they toured together early on in Cash’s career.

5. He valued learning

Expand your mind.

I gained even more respect for the icon when I learned of this quotes and his general stance on learning. He believes in learning more and more and just expanding your mind. I think people don’t stress this enough and it’s really cool that someone as awesome and iconic as Johnny Cash believed in this.

6. He fought his demons

Be grateful for the time you have.

The man in black had a lot of demons due to his alcoholic past and also his struggle to be a good father. Despite all this, Johnny didn’t become a member of the 27 club, he didn’t become a tragic star who never lived long enough to see what an impact his music made. Cash fought through all of his issues for a long time but he never gave up. He kept fighting and that’s why he lived a long and complete life.

7. He forgave himself and moved on

Forgive yourself.

This obviously played a big part in why he was able to fight his demons and move on from his past. He forgave himself, something difficult but not impossible to do. He kept moving on in his life which is something that you can’t help but respect him for doing.

8. He wasn’t distracted by material possessions

Avoid materialism.

He obviously wasn’t poor but he was wise about how he spent his money. He stuck to the simple things in life, hence his predominately black clothing of choice. This quote pretty much sums it all up.

9. He kept his priorities in order

Keep your priorities in order.

Now that’s how you make a to do list.

10. His love for June was the cutest thing EVER

It's always the small things that we end up missing the most when its gone.

Letter transcript:

June 23 1994

Odense, Denmark.

Happy Birthday Princess,

We get old and get use to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.

Happy Birthday Princess.

John

There’s a reason why that letter was voted the most romantic love letter of all time. Johnny Cash talks about his love for June in the most simple yet beautiful way. This makes it so obvious as to why we often say that we want a love like Johnny and June. Who doesn’t? The couple was straight up perfect.

March Madness Cinderella Stories

Since March Madness is currently going on, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to highlight some of the most incredible Cinderella stories in the history of the tournament. We all like cheering for the underdog and in each of these cases, the underdog was able to achieve awesomely unexpected things and win us all over in the process.

1985 Villanova

villanova basketball

This was a brutal Nova team that depended a lot on their defense. They didn’t often score but they also kept their opponents from scoring as well. They were an 8 seed and they easily made it to the title game against Patrick Ewing and his favored Georgetown team. The game was pretty close, but Villanova came out on top and beat them by 2.

2011 VCU

Donald Miralie/Getty Images

This team had to win a play-in game just to make it into the tournament. That alone shows you just how much of an underdog they were. They didn’t let that slow them down, instead they came out swinging. They took out great teams such as USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and then top seeded Kansas. The Kansas game was the most famous one due to how good the Jayhawks were that year. They would eventually lose in the final four against another big underdog Butler, but that doesn’t take away from what VCU was able to accomplish.

1983 NC State

This video gives me chills and makes me cry a little bit everytime I watch it. The 6th seeded NC State was able to pull off a buzz beater in the final seconds of the championship game. This is by far the best game as far as being neck in neck in a championship game that I’ve ever seen. One Wolfpack player attempts a three-point shot that is obviously something done just on a whim and probably not going to make it. Then all of a sudden, another Wolfpack player pretty much comes out of nowhere and dunks it up to win the game. It’s so heartwarming to see coach Jimmy V run out on the court where he famously ran around looking for someone to hug after the big win.

2010 and 2011 Butler University

Nobody predicted that Butler would have the success that they did two years in a row. The first time, they beat out number one seed Syracuse in the sweet 16, then Kansas State, and then Michigan State before the team took on yet another number one seed Duke in the national championship. The game came down to the wire, but Butler lost after a heartbreaking half court shot by star Gordon Hayward hit off the backboard. Despite this, Butler still came back the next season and eventually lost to Connecticut in the championship game. Although they never won, they still made history. The team became the first team that wasn’t a one or two seed to make it to back to back Final Fours. They also became the first team to beat one and two seeds before the Final Four in consecutive years.

Turn Up The Albums

I’m going to make a complete playlist sometime soon but here’s some of my favorite albums to just turn up all the way and dance around to. You can listen while driving around with your friends or just listening by yourself! Whatever you choose to do, these are the albums you should do it to.

Charli XCX- Sucker

This album is best listened to while taking a road trip with your best friends or dancing around your room with your friends. It’s best to listen to this while surrounded by people you care about because it’s just so much more fun that way. “Break The Rules” is the fun and danceable skipping class anthem you can’t help but love. Charli XCX just puts out hit after hit and there’s not a skippable song on this album!

Ariana Grande- My Everything

This album put out by former Broadway star and vocal powerhouse Ariana Grande doesn’t disappoint. Not all of these songs are upbeat, some are gorgeous ballads that really showcase her voice. The sound here reminds us of a throwback to the 90’s. She has a vintage style to her but it never gets old. The highlight songs are definitely “Problem” and “Bang Bang.” These are also the biggest and most pop sounding songs but it can be fun to just let all your problems go and dance to pop music.

One Direction- Midnight Memories

I know, I know you guys probably think I’ve lost my mind by putting this on the list. However, I can’t resist these five British (And one Irish) boys. This isn’t there most recent album, Four is but I prefer Midnight Memories. Largely due to the fact that this album is filled with songs that you can just sing to the top of your lungs. Four doesn’t really have any of those type of songs. The title track of Midnight Memories is a fun song to listen with at a sleepover with your best friend while you just talk and reflect on all the good times. “Happily” and “Best Song Ever” are two more songs that I can’t help but love. As is “Little Black Dress” and “Diana.” I’m also a big fan of the song “Alive,” which is on the deluxe edition of the album. Whether just the name of the band makes you cringe or swoon, this is a great album to jam to.

Haim- Days Are Gone

Talk about sister power, these three sisters are the coolest. They are frequently compared to the ’70s classic rock band Fleetwood Mac. However, I think they’ve created their own sound for this new generation. Every song is filled with awesome catchy lyrics and the music is just unbelievably amazing. It’s pretty much impossible not to be charmed by the song “The Wire,” or for that matter, any song by the trio. The album is stacked with track after track of songs that you’re bound to love and share with others.

Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend is a small town indie band that reached an unpredictable amount of success. Lead singer Ezra Koenig and company has a unique sound that sets them apart. “Ya Hey” is definitely one of my favorite tracks off of the album, but “Diane Young” is at a close second. Part of the bands charm is that they don’t release ballad after ballad, instead they have lots of songs with funky and cool beats. How can you not love them?

 

Why Education Matters

Education is an important privilege that many Americans believe is a right given to them. This isn’t the case, Americans are lucky enough to have this available and accessible but many other countries don’t have that. In other countries, people would actually die to get a proper education. Millions of students risk their lives just to attend school. This seems pretty unfathomable for us since it’s never been anything we’ve had to personally fight for. On the other hand, these many leaders are to be credited for their academic achievements.

One leader to be highlighted is Malala Yousafzai. “Education is neither eastern nor western. Education is education and it’s the right for every human being.” Malala may only be 17 but she’s accomplished so much and used her voice for the greater good. She was shot in the head when she was only 15 years old by the Taliban. They targeted her due to the impact she’s had on girls attending schools in her village. Her dad started the school and Malala had become a voice heard around the world due to her speaking out in BBC journal entries and giving speeches.

This girl is someone we can all learn something from. The major lesson is to stand out and speak up about what you believe in. If you believe there’s some kind of injustice in the world, do something about it. The attitude that you’re just one person that couldn’t possibly make any kind of a difference is completely false. We can all use our voice to change the world. Age is something that doesn’t matter. If you’re passionate about it, then make it happen. Fight for what you believe in because you never know what will come out of it. Malala is making a world of difference in the life of girls around the world by speaking up and not letting anyone tell her that her voice doesn’t matter.