“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.

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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.”

Rookie Playlists Over Everything

It’s safe to say that I’m running short on inspiration. I can’t think of much to think about which is really frustrating because I want to post everyday, but I also don’t want to post anything that I don’t really care about. So this is where I’m currently at. I’ve decided that the best solution to this problem is to shout out one thing in particular that has managed to inspire me.

As most of you should know by now, I’m a big fan of Rookie Mag. I’ve been introduced to so many new bands and artists because of them. It’s also safe to say that every Friday, the online magazine releases a playlist that is always worth the listen. They manage to mix a variety of different genres as they capture a playlist that centers around a particular theme. It’s truly inspiring to me and I just want to bring it to everyone’s attention in case you haven’t heard of it!

While I’m at it, I might as well do my best to point you towards some of the best playlists on the website. This most recent playlist is all garage rock songs that are all about appreciating who you are. Everyone needs to hear a playlist like this. It’s already become my go to.

This playlist holds nothing back and brings on the feels with artists like Fiona Apple, FKA Twigs, Kate Bush, and Nicki Minaj. Need I say more?

As the description says, “Listen to this mix when you’re looking for a place to go and nowhere seems to fit.”

Rookie’s Hanging With playlists are always the best but the one about Rayanne Graff and Angela Chase remains as my favorite.

I think I’ve included enough playlists to get you on the ground with what Rookie is all about! While you’re listening to the mixes, you might as well look around the website as well. You may find yourself getting sucked in to this world and beautiful music just like I did.

TV Shows Worth Watching

These TV shows will take some time to watch. However, if you want a show that is pretty far along, these are worth watching and getting invested in.

Scandal

I’ll be surprised if you haven’t watched this one. Olivia Pope is a former White House worker and campaign manager. She’s also a professional fixer. She runs her own business called, “Pope and Associates.” Her and her crew call themselves Gladiators and they take on some tricky cases that happen among some of the most prestigious political figures there in Washington. Oh yeah, Olivia is also President Grant’s mistress. Throw in Mellie Grant, Fitzgerald Grant’s (such a Presidential name for a fake President) political hungry wife and the drama is in place. The show can get more than a little graphic and sexual for a ABC show but at least it’s never boring.

The Sopranos

This is considered one of the best TV shows of all time. The tales of Tony Soprano and his gang lasted for six extremely intense seasons. Some of the things that happened on the show just couldn’t be predicted. No one was safe, even the main characters could be killed off at any minute. Part of it’s appeal was that it always kept you guessing and just when you thought it couldn’t cross anymore lines, it’d cross yet another line. Carmela Soprano is easily one of my favorite female TV characters of all time. She’s complicated and badass, not much more could you want from a character. James Gandolfini had one of the best acting performances ever as this evil cheating mob boss. It’s a beautiful show that’s definitely worth watching.

Gossip Girl

This teen drama is obviously nothing like The Sopranos. Yet I think this show is worth watching because it’s filled with intense drama and who doesn’t love watching a bunch of rich kids fight their problems out? This show has amazing music and outfits that you can’t help but envy. Plus the love story between Chuck and Blair is by far one of my favorites. The most significant thing about the show is just how much of a part of our culture the show has become in a fairly short amount of time.

Hart of Dixie

Zoe Hart is a doctor from New York who finds out her biological father who recently died left her half of his practice in Alabama. She moves down South and finds her life changing forever. This show is silly and filled with jokes that don’t always work. Some of the storylines also fall flat. Why do I think it’s worth watching? Rachel Bilson is charming and stylish as Zoe Hart. The love story between her and country boy Wade is adorable. The show is also filled with the cutest outfits and has also introduced me to some of the best music.

Friday Night Lights

There aren’t many things as amazing as watching this TV show for the first time. It’s hard not to find yourself caught up in the characters and stories. The show focuses on high school football coach Eric Taylor who starts off the series as the new head coach for the Dillon Panthers. The football team is preparing for it’s best season yet but finds themselves unsure of what to do when the team is thrown an unexpected curveball. Prepare to fall in love with bad boy Tim Riggins, the good quiet boy Matt Saracen, nerdy Landry Clark, and the overconfident running back Smash Williams. You can’t tell me Eric and Tami aren’t the cutest couple ever.

Magazines to Read

Spring break can get a little busy, especially if you’re planning on hitting the beach or something like that. These suggestions are magazines that you should read while in a long car ride or on a plane. Whatever it may be, these suggestions obviously don’t require too much of your time. Anyone can make just a little bit of time for some magazine reading! Hey, who knows, if you love it you might even subscribe to the magazine so you’re able to read more and more of it!

This magazine always has the most famous celebrities on the cover. It also is filled with a lot of pictures and wise style and relationship advice. Glamour is starting to become more like Cosmo, it has a lot of really sexual tips. But I still recommend it because the fashion and general articles are still amazing. Plus getting a subscription to Glamour is so cheap and you won’t regret it!

W magazine is filled to the brim with stunning photographs. It always has such stunning photoshoots with the models and celebrities. It also is just an incredible fashion magazine and general magazine for women. It’s hard not to love these stories and pictures.

Hey, you gotta stay educated right? Time is the biggest news magazine out there. It has so many issues and always keeps you up to date on what’s going on in the world. If you like reading in-depth articles, this is the magazine for you. I find it so interesting because it informs you about facts you may not know about. Plus so much research is spent on these stories and you can’t help but respect that.

If you just really want to read about what’s going on in the movie and television world, look no further than EW. It’s filled with so many interesting celebrity interviews and general news. It always keeps me updated on what’s going on in the entertainment world and that’s always fun to read about. It’s not too heavy but it’s always entertaining and what more can you ask for during your break?

The New Yorker is definitely my personal favorite “literary” magazine. I included the quote marks because that’s not really what it is. It talks about everything and so many different topics. The New Yorker has pretty much everything stacked inside the magazine. It’s filled with pieces from some of the greatest writers. It also has detailed profiles on certain popular celebrities and it’s news stories are always on issues that are ongoing.

Despite the fact that the swimsuit cover is the most popular issue, Sports Illustrated actually has some really cool stories about sports. It keeps up with what sports on going on when. If you’re a fan of sports, this is obviously the top magazine. It profiles all the best and most popular athletes, both current and old. The stories are really in-depth looks and you can always count on them to be extremely well written.

An Education From Movies & TV Shows

Sometimes we don’t really associate movies and TV shows with learning something. We typically consider it to be just a form of entertainment and there’s nothing educational about it. However, these movies and TV shows prove that there’s still many lessons to be learned here.

The Rise Of ISIS

PBS’s Frontline takes on a popular topic in our world today. For those of you that have heard of ISIS but know next to nothing about it, this is perfect for you. It’s really vital information that we all need to know and this documentary does a great job at laying out all of the pieces for us.

Brain Games

I happened to accidentally stumble upon this show one day and I’m pretty happy I did. This show is filled with interesting and random facts about the brain that you definitely don’t know. The games are fascinating and challenging. They make you think but in a fun way that you thoroughly enjoy. The show is set up in such a cool and unique way you can’t help but love.

Crimes Of The Century

CNN’s multi-episode Crimes Of The Century takes a closer look at some of the most popular criminal cases in recent years. They present each case with many different interview subjects as well as candid and old footage surrounding the case. Among the stories include: the D.C. Sniper, Amanda Yates, Unibomber, Amanda Knox, Oklahoma City bomber, Ronald Reagan attempted assassination, and the John Lennon assassination. The John Lennon one in particular really pissed me off because it looked at so many different sides that I was unaware of until I watched this. It’s deeply informative and I certainly learned from these events in history that aren’t talked about enough.

10 Things You Don’t Know About

Henry Rollins hosts this fascinating H2 show. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from this show. It’s filled with people and event that you learned about in history class but you didn’t learn these facts. It consists of a lot of lesser known facts that are often overlooked. The show makes me really remember exactly why I love learning so much.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

This Carl Sagan reboot is much better than I expected it to be. Neil deGrasse Tyson has one of those commanding deep voices that makes you shut up and listen to what he’s saying. The general sights and technology used here is incredibly innovative and awesome to watch.

Sweetest TV Couples

These are the types of couples on TV shows that you can’t help but love. Either for the fact that they’d make hilarious/amazing parents or the simple fact that they seem to just go together perfectly. Here’s some of my personal favorites that I’ve grown to love over the years.

Cliff and Claire from The Cosby Show

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All opinions about Bill Cosby aside – the character he played in this show made the perfect husband. Claire was the ideal mom and she didn’t take Cliff’s crap. He didn’t boss her around and she didn’t sit around and make dinner for him. She was a hard working lawyer and he was a doctor. They were the first and have been really the only above class African American family on television. They are both iconic characters who showed love to each other in so many ways. They both respected each other which is exactly how relationships should be.

Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls

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Even though she fought it for many years – from the first episode, it was clear this pair would end up together. They bicker all the time but they banter back and forth like an old married couple and it’s hilarious and sweet. Luke is the only guy in Stars Hallow who can up with Lorelai. They also were close friends before they became involved which is important.

Lilly and Marshall from How I Met Your Mother

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They are by far the best matched couple on the show and one of the best on TV as well. They are both so different but they somehow work together perfectly. They are both funny but also the most level headed of the group. It just seems like they’ve been together for such a long time but yet you never get tired of the love they have for each other.

Jim and Pam from The Office

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Yet another couple that was clearly meant for each other from the beginning. Jim had a crush on Pam who was a secretary at The Office since pretty much episode one. She had a douche fiancee and Jim basically had to work against that for a majority of the season. The show more or less revolves around their romance since it’s the most endearing and realistic of all the relationships that happen on the show.

April and Andy from Parks and Recreation

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By far the most opposite couple on the list. April and Andy are a hilarious and weird couple. It was random when they got married on the show and people kind of thought it was a joke or something. This was one of the first episodes of the show that I really watched and I thought what April said about hating everyone except for him was so much like something I’d say. I instantly loved how this couple interacted with each other and had such remarkable chemistry. It’s a relationship that’s worked out really well on the show and it’s one of my favorites by far.