The Nice Guys: The Goose Problem

nice guys 3Matt brings to our attention a rather concerning issue with some new campus residents.

You can hear The Nice Guys every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 5:30. Tune in for hosts Cory Morgan and Matt Dotson, as they provide a look into their daily lives and neurotic ticks. Self deprecation, unwarranted hostility, and overall hilarity ensues each and every week.

 

 

 

Just By Chance: Chance the Rapper’s Rise to Stardom

Kaitlyn Koegler

WGMU Blogger

chance the rapperIt was an unprecedented event; a rapper with no record label behind him winning three Grammys.

Becoming the first artist to win a Grammy for a streaming-only album, Chance the Rapper (born as Chancellor Bennett), is a 23 year-old rising star with three mixtape releases under his belt.

Releases all pioneered by none other than himself.

Chance, unlike most big names in the industry, is not signed by any record label, releasing his music on Soundcloud to avoid the restrictions that come with being signed to a huge company.

Not to say that he isn’t wanted by any; he is. Big time. Pagesix reports that the artist is reportedly turning down 10 million dollar offers just to stay out of what he believes is a pointless deal.

“It’s a dead industry,” said Chance to Rolling Stone. “What’s an album these days, anyways? ‘Cause I didn’t sell it, does that mean it’s not an official release?” 

Despite his criticism of labels, he continues to prosper. With 1.39 million followers on Soundcloud and all-star artists like Justin Beiber and Kanye West featuring on his tracks, it doesn’t look like Chance will be slowing down anytime soon.

If you’re interested in seeing Chance live, tickets for his summer tour are currently on sale at ticketmaster.com. He will be making stops in Bristow, Virginia Beach, and Baltimore.

Kaine & Mason Student Elyazgi on Travel Ban and Community Effect

 

Photo Credit: Dea McCollum

tim kaineOn Friday February 10th, former Vice President nominee and current Senator of Virginia Tim Kaine returned to George Mason. He came in the fall, accompanied by Joe Biden, to promote the Clinton-Kaine ticket. Now, after the conclusion of the election, he came not for self-promotion, but to speak about the new administration’s recent ban on seven Muslim majority countries.

Prior to the entrance of Tim Kaine, the room was quiet. Hushed conversations peppered the space as Angel Cabrera; President of George Mason peered into the room every few minutes, allowing the audience a glimpse of his festive yellow shirt and green tie.

Many feel that the diverse and international student body is what enriches the student experience here. 87 students at George Mason are from the seven countries targeted by the ban. Hadeel Al-Tashi, a Yemeni graduate student, speaks about the hardship her family members in Yemen are experiencing due to the war and resulting displacement. She speaks of scattered families seeking refuge prior to the executive order, and how this ban has impacted human lives. She emphasizes the human aspect of the issue. She stressed that policies are not simply on paper, but are causing people to suffer. Here is her speech:

 

 

Sitting in the front row was Najwa Elyazgi, a Libyan George Mason student who had only recently been able to return to the U.S. She spoke prior to the Senator, detailing her experience. She conveys the harrowing feeling of not knowing whether she would be able to return to her studies. As she waited for information about whether she could return and communicated with her lawyer, she spent her time sequestered in a hotel, applying for other universities. She sent applications out of the fear and real possibility that she would be unable to ever return to George Mason. After a week of uncertainty, her brother called her in the middle of the night with the news that a federal judge had put a hold on the ban. She immediately booked a plane ticket to the U.S. A stark contrast to the executive order that kept her away, she recalls a CVPA official in the U.S. on her arrival saying “welcome back, we missed you”. Here is her speech:

 

 

Senator Kaine begins his speech by noting the inherent American value; talent from around the world is what energizes our country. When the ban went into effect, Senator Kaine was in Blacksburg. Even in an area not assumed to be a home of immigrants, the community there is connected to families affected by President’s Trump’s executive order. Senator Kaine learned of a Syrian family that had become important and loved members of the community. This family spoke of another Syrian family coming to live with them that had been in a “refugee camp in Jordan for four years being vetted”. Despite having successfully completed the lengthy vetting process, they could no longer enter the country. The small Virginia community ready to welcome this family would have to wait, as the family was detained due to the ban. In Many other areas of Virginia Senator Kaine visited, there was a great deal of uncertainty about how members of the community from the targeted countries would be affected. Here is his speech:

 

 

Tim Kaine remarks that while the administration denies accusations that this executive order is a Muslims ban, the ban affects Muslim majority countries, but has provisions for religious minorities – meaning provisions for non-Muslims.

He recognizes the issue with the ban turning away green card holders, or permanent legal residents. It should cause one to question whether those who follow the legal entrance process into the US should be punished. He takes issue with discriminations based on religion and country this ban appears to promote. He criticizes the fact that the ban applied too broadly, restricting those who were already legal residents.

The Senator spoke fondly of those he saw protesting in airports, standing with welcoming signs trying to convey their message so that it would be received by those who felt anything but welcome.

He notes specifically the affect of this ban on universities, who house many international students and faculty. The wildly diverse audience nodded at this, feeling his point to be incredibly relevant to their experience, no matter their background.

So what happens now? Or, more specifically, what will the administration do? According to Tim Kaine, the administration might try to repeal to the Supreme Court, fighting to prove the constitutionality of the executive order. It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court has a vacancy, making it possible for a ruling to be tied. If the case is repealed to the Supreme Court and tied, the 9th Circuit Court ruling would stand, continuing the freeze on President Trump’s Immigration order.

The second possibility is that the administration could try to make their case and present evidence in a lower court, fighting the decision. Another possibility, however unlikely, is that the administration could choose to retract the order and admit fault. As events continue to unfold, the administration’s choice will become clear.

The Senator closes by reminding us to have pride in the immigrant nation that we are, and to celebrate the strength of our diversity. In the diverse and international community that composes George Mason University, this event provided a venue for students to voice their fears, concerns, and their staunch dedication to working towards a more welcoming and inclusive community.

Lit&Local: A Live Set With L.A. Trip

IMG_7984On February 12th, WGMU’s Jackie Reed (Jammin’ with Jackie) interviewed L.A. Trip in WGMU’s live on-air studio, to talk about their upcoming album, Intervals I (2017). From Fredericksburg, Virginia, the rock band came together to put on a live performance showcasing the best of their music. Bobby Barber, guitarist and vocalist, and Sean O’Neill, drummer and percussionist, came by the studio to talk about their band’s background, to reflect on their first album L.A. Trip (2016), and to expand on their future productions as a rock duo. You can listen to their new album, complete with a fresh tracklist and innovative cover songs, next week.

 

Interview:

Studio Tracks “Crime” & “Hey Now”:

Live Set:

 

Intervals I

L.A. Trip’s Intervals I is available for listen February 21st.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/latripband/

Bandcamp: https://latrip.bandcamp.com/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/latrip/

Instagram: @latripband

 

All photos courtesy of Jennifer Shaskan of Office of Student Media. Special thanks to Jennifer Shaskan and Lottye Lockhart for their involvement and for representing OSM during the interview and performance.

 

Holtby/Grubauer- The Best Goalie Tandem In The NHL

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Friday February 10, 2017

caps goaliesIt is without a doubt that the Washington Capitals possess the greatest goalie tandem in the NHL. No other organization has such outstanding depth and versatility at the game’s most significant position. Braden Holtby and Philip Grubauer have been lights out and rarely give up any easy goals. Both standing strong in their creases and their Dominik Hasek-like acrobatic agility has been the key ingredient behind some of their remarkable shutouts within the last few months. The team in front of them is playing better than anytime in recent memory, scoring profusely and shutting down teams with strong grit and brutal intensity. But all the players in front of these two great goaltenders are given the energy and confidence they need because of their goalie’s stellar play between the posts.

Backup goaltender Philip Grubauer has 10 wins in 15 games with a save percentage of .931. Holtby ranks third in the league in wins with a goals against average of 1.97. Statistics like these clearly illustrate that whom the Capitals have in net this season is very special. Holtby continues to remain a viable candidate for his second Vezina and Grubauer continues to show he can replace other NHL teams starting goalie with ease.

As great as winning in the regular season is, what happens in the spring is what really counts.  A team knowing they can trust their goalies from giving up easy goals and preventing their mistakes from ending up as tally’s is a huge psychological necessity a team must have if they want to go deep into the postseason. With these two goalies in the Caps lineup, fans should be confident that this is the year this snake-bitten franchise gets over the hump.

Giant Food Reopens in University Mall

Matt and JamieeditWGMU General Manager Matt Dotson (The Nice Guys, Up to Eleven) had the opportunity to tour the brand new Giant Food Grocery Store in University Mall on February 7th, two days before the grand opening on the 9th. You can hear the report featuring exclusive audio of the store managers below. With ID, all Mason students receive a five percent discount at the store through the end of February 2017. Thank you to Giant for the tour, and supporting the Mason community!

 

Pictured: Matt Dotson and Community & Public Relations Manager Jamie Miller. Photo by Lottye Lockheart.

 

Four Players to Watch in Super Bowl LI

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Sunday February 5, 2017

super bowlThe New England Patriots will face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. This will be an exciting game to watch because both offenses can score points with ease. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady are two of the best signal-callers in the league.
Indeed, they will play huge roles in this matchup, but there are four other players who you should keep an eye on.
Mohamed Sanu (WR):
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick likes to take away what an offense does best. Atlanta likes to throw the ball to receiver Julio Jones. It’s no secret that Jones is quarterback Matt Ryan’s go-to target, especially in the red zone. The 28-year-old receiver will most likely face double coverage in this game, so Mohamed Sanu has to step up.
In 2016, Sanu caught 59 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns. If Sanu can consistently make plays in this game, he gives Atlanta a chance of winning its first Super Bowl.
Chris Hogan (WR):
Many of you may not know who Chris Hogan is, but he has been a playmaker all season for the Patriots. His nickname is “7-11” because he is always open. In the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 28-year-old finished with 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Hogan is a solid route-runner who can make difficult catches. Atlanta’s defensive backfield will focus on containing receiver Julian Edelman, who is Tom Brady’s go-to target. Hogan may not be the best receiver in the league, but he can wreak havoc on the field.
Vic Beasley Jr. (LB):
Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. had a stellar season in 2016. The 24-year-old led the NFL with 15.5 sacks. New England will try its best to make sure Beasley doesn’t get pressure on Brady.
The young linebacker is a relentless pass rusher who can make game-changing plays. Even though Atlanta’s defense struggled in 2016, Beasley was one of the few bright spots. Brady, watch out for Beasley.
LeGarrette Blount (RB):
Indeed, New England has one of the best passing offenses in the NFL. But running back LeGarrette Blount has been phenomenal on the ground in 2016. The 30-year-old ran for 1,161 yards and a league-high 18 touchdowns.
The Patriots will test Atlanta’s front seven early and often. They want to see how stout the Falcons are on defense. In 2016, Atlanta had the 17th-ranked rushing defense, so New England will probably run the ball at least 25 times in this matchup.
Blount can wear down a defense because of his physical running style.

Why Tom Brady is the Best Quarterback of All Time

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Friday February 3, 2017

tom bradyNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has achieved so much in his career. The 39-year-old is a four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, a two-time NFL MVP, and a three-time Super Bowl MVP.

Let’s not forget that he is a 12-time Pro Bowler as well. Brady is the best quarterback of all-time because he achieved so much with different players on offense.

It’s no secret that Brady has been throwing to a revolving door of receivers since he entered the league in 2000. For some reason, he always gets a lot production out of each receiver who comes to Foxborough.

Still not convinced? Well, according to Ricky Doyle of NESN.com, the 39-year-old signal-caller has thrown at least one touchdown pass to 64 different players in his career. He only needs to throw a touchdown pass to six different players to tie Vinny Testaverde record of 70. Here are some of the players who Brady threw a touchdown pass to:

  • Alge Crumpler
  • Doug Gabriel
  • Chad Jackson
  • Reche Caldwell
  • Bethel Johnson

These are not household names, folks. Some people say Brady is successful because he played in the same system for his entire career. Indeed, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been Brady’s coach since he came into the league.

However, most people fail to realize that a quarterback has to build chemistry with his receivers and tight ends to be successful. And it usually takes a long time for players to build chemistry.

Even with new faces each year at the receiver positon, the Patriots’ offense was still lethal. From 2009-2016, New England finished with a top-10 offense seven times. In 2014, it had the 11th-ranked offense.

Brady did play with some great players like Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Troy Brown, and Deion Branch. And the 39-year-old still plays with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.

When you think of the great quarterbacks in NFL history, most of them played with superstar tight ends and receivers throughout most of their careers.

For example, Peyton Manning threw to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Joe Montana had Jerry Rice, and Troy Aikman had Michael Irvin. Moss, who is considered one of the best receivers of all-time, only played with Brady from 2007-2010.

Brady is the best quarterback of all-time because he achieved so much with players who did not have a lot of success with other teams. The four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback always finds ways to win.

What Happened to Todd Gurley?

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Wednesday February 1, 2017

todd gurleyLos Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley got off to a great start in the NFL, but fans are wondering what happened to the 22-year-old running back. Why didn’t he have a great sophomore season? What happened to him?

Well, when the then-St. Louis Rams selected running back Todd Gurley with the 10th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, they thought they were getting an Adrian Peterson-type runner.

Coming out of Georgia, Gurley’s running style was similar to Peterson’s. He possessed a rare blend of power, speed, agility, and quickness. Jeff Fisher, who was the Rams’ head coach at the time, wanted the offense to be centered around the ground game.

Fisher wanted a running back who could run the ball 20-25 times a game. Gurley definitely fitted the bill. In his rookie season with the Rams, Gurley showed the NFL how lethal he could be. He ran for 1,106 yards to go along with 10 touchdowns, and he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award for his efforts.

However, the one-time Pro Bowler experienced the proverbial sophomore slump in 2016.

He couldn’t find rushing lanes or break off long runs. Indeed, the Rams kept feeding defenses a heavy diet of Gurley, but he didn’t make many big plays. The young runner ran for 885 yard to go along with six touchdowns and only averaged 3.18 yards per carry.

Now, Gurley should shoulder some of the blame for his sophomore slump. However, the Rams did not surround him with enough talent. It’s hard to be a successful running back in the NFL when your offensive linemen cannot create rushing lanes for you.

The Rams’ offensive line was mediocre at best. This unit didn’t carve out enough space for Gurley. Also, the passing game struggled throughout the entire season. Both Case Keenum and rookie quarterback Jared Goff lined up under center for the Rams in 2016, but neither performed well.

Goff couldn’t win a game for Los Angeles and threw for 1,089 yards to go along with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Keenum only racked up 2,201 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. To make matters worse, Los Angeles’ receivers and tight ends couldn’t get open and struggled with drops.

Kenny Britt was the best receiver on this team in 2016, catching 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. Opposing defenses knew the Rams wanted run the ball with Gurley, so teams keyed in on Los Angeles’ rushing attack.

The Rams need to surround him with talented players. Because of Gurley’s sophomore slump and the offense’s lack of production, Los Angeles fired Fisher after five seasons with the franchise. The Rams went 31-45-1 during Fisher’s tenure with the team.

Now that they hired Washington’s former offensive coordinator Sean McVay to be the team’s new head coach, fans can expect Gurley to return to his old form.

Washington had the third-ranked offense in league last season. It also had the second-ranked pass offense. The 31-year-old head coach can come in and galvanize the Rams’ pass offense.  That is great news for the 22-year-old running back because a successful pass game will take a lot of pressure off of him.

Gurley should be back in vintage form in 2017.

Whoever Gets the Ball Last Will Win Super Bowl LI

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Monday January 30, 2017

super bowl 51Super Bowl LI is now set. The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots to battle for the NFL’s richest prize, a Super Bowl victory. While both teams have high-octane offenses, this game will come down to which team gets the ball last.

Atlanta’s offense, led by quarterback Matt Ryan, has been lethal throughout the entire regular season and postseason. For example, the Falcons had the third-ranked pass offense and the fifth-ranked rushing offense in the regular season. This team can light up the scoreboard with ease.

The 31-year-old quarterback is the favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player of the Year Award. He threw for 4,944 yards to go along with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the regular season.

However, Ryan has an outstanding supporting cast. Julio Jones is considered one of the best receivers in the NFL. He possesses a combination of superb route-running skills, size, and speed. In 2016, he hauled in 83 passes for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns.

For the most part, Ryan always looked in Jones’ direction when the team needed a big play. It’s clear that Jones is Ryan’s go-to receiver. Atlanta’s rushing attack, led by running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, is dangerous as well.

Freeman and Coleman combined for 1,581 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns in 2016. They both have a rare blend of power, speed, and agility.

Indeed, New England’s defense has done a great job of limiting big plays and creating turnovers. But there are too many weapons on the Falcons’ offense to take account for. The Patriots are only surrendering 16.5 points per game in the postseason. But they haven’t played a team who has an offense like Atlanta.

New England defeated the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to reach Super Bowl LI. Houston’s defense is what got that team to the postseason. Pittsburgh has a great offense, but it does not have as many game-changers like the Falcons.

The Patriots will have a tough time containing Atlanta’s offense. But the Falcons’ defense will also struggle against New England’s offense. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gets better as the years go on.

After serving a four-game suspension due to his involvement in DeflateGate, the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback returned to the field and dominated. New England went 11-1 with Brady under center this season.

This year, Brady has thrived with receivers like Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. When tight end Rob Gronkowski went down with a season-ending ruptured disk injury, many thought New England’s offense would suffer.

Well, it didn’t. New England had a top-five offense in 2016, and Brady threw for 3,554 yards, 28, touchdowns, and two interceptions. Along with Brady’s strong play, running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 1,161 yards and a league-high 18 touchdowns.

Atlanta had the 25th-ranked defense in 2016, but this unit has been playing well in the postseason. However, the Falcons’ secondary is inexperienced, and Brady will look to take advantage of that.

Both teams are great on offense, and Super Bowl LI will be a shootout and a close game. Neither defense will be able to stop the opposing offense from scoring. This means that whichever team gets the ball last in the fourth quarter will win the game.