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9 Sep 2014 | One Comment | By Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief
By now, everyone already knows what happened to Ray Rice, so I’m not going to waste your time recapping it. But here are the things I still don’t understand about the whole thing, and hopefully these questions will be discussed in the aftermath of this scandal. How long would Ray Rice have stayed on the team if the video in the elevator had never been released? Up until the tape was released by Ton Monday, the plan was for Rice to be reinstated to play in the Ravens’ Week 3 matchup. Had this video never come out, he presumably would have been on the team for the […] Read the full story »

Columns, Sports, Talk Nerdy to Me »

8 Sep 2014 | No Comments | By Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief
Now that the first week of football is in the books, preseason predictions are going to start becoming clearer. The Seattle Seahawks look to be off to a good start, so those of you who picked them as the repeat Super Bowl team should be happy. For me, I like to use DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) to predict which teams will rise, and which will fall. As always, here’s the explanation for the stat I’m about to start throwing around: DVOA is a statistic developed by the website Football Outsiders to measure teams, units and players in the NFL. It takes every single play during the […] Read the full story »

Columns, Common Sense Sports, Sports »

NFL faces questions amid Ray Rice scandal
8 Sep 2014 | One Comment | By Justin Thau, Columnist
We, the American people, are addicted to NFL football. Sure, not every person likes watching football, but each of us knows someone who does — and, man, we need some counseling right now. I’m airing it all out this column… I need this. You need this. We need this. On Monday, the public got a first glimpse into the Atlantic City elevator in which, back in February, Ray Rice knocked unconscious his then-fiancée, now-wife Janay. That’s right — they still ended up marrying each other in late March. This is just a peek into how abusive relationships tend to operate. I think I speak on behalf of […] Read the full story »

Columns, Sports, Talk Nerdy to Me »

1 Sep 2014 | No Comments | By Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief
What is WAR good for? This semester, I’m reading “WAR and Peace.” All’s fair in love and WAR. An act of WAR. Did you see “WAR of the Worlds” yet? OK, that’s enough wins above replacement puns for the time being, so let’s get to the good stuff. For the uninitiated, WAR in sabermetrics — advanced statistics in baseball — is actually a relatively simple concept on its surface. The baseball website Fangraphs defines WAR as, “an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic.” For position players, it means taking into account how that player hits, […] Read the full story »

Columns, Sports, Talk Nerdy to Me »

Statistics during warm-up action doesn’t always translate to success in the regular season for many
21 Aug 2014 | One Comment | By Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief
Most of The Towerlight’s sports columns in the past have focused a lot on strictly opinion. And I’m an opinionated guy. Those who still hate me for hating Ray Lewis are aware of that. But I’m going to mix it up this semester with a weekly column completely focused on using statistics to build arguments. Are stats the end-all, be-all of sports writing? Absolutely not. My subscription to NFL Rewind confirms that. Part of what makes sports writing so tough is that in order to properly evaluate players and teams in any sport, you have to merge using statistics of all kinds and the so-called “eye test.” […] Read the full story »

Bank Shots, Columns, Sports »

14 Jun 2014 | No Comments | By Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief
All season in the NBA, fans have waited for the rematch of the San Antonio Spurs against the Miami Heat. Ever since Game 7 ended last season and Tim Duncan missed that layup over Shane Battier, the wait was on for these two teams to face off again. Through four games, it looks like NBA fans have held their collective breath for a little too long. I’m writing this the Saturday before Game 5, so the Heat could easily come back and force seven games all of a sudden, but it doesn’t look like the Spurs are going to lose this series. The Heat have the best […] Read the full story »

Columns, Common Sense Sports, Sports »

Breaking down the craziness leading up to Thursday
7 May 2014 | One Comment | By Justin Thau, Columnist
On Tuesday, Christopher L. Gasper of The Boston Globe wrote a piece entitled “NFL Draft needs to return to April,” in which he essentially yearned for the days when the NFL Draft was in April. Let’s break down his article and get to the heart of why the NFL Draft couldn’t wait until tonight (and tomorrow, and Saturday). Before I do, please take some time to enjoy random headlines about the draft as of yesterday: “NFL Draft 2014: How many rounds will it last? (+video)” Whoah, whoah, whoah Ms. Lippy! Someone knows how long the draft is going to be?! And they have a video to prove […] Read the full story »

Columns, Common Sense Sports, Sports »

Clippers owner is banned from NBA, but more needs to be done moving forward
30 Apr 2014 | One Comment | By Justin Thau, Columnist
On Tuesday afternoon, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned now-defunct Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life, in addition to fining him the league-maximum $2.5 million. In case you missed the drama over the weekend, here’s the gist of what happened: A mistress of Sterling’s, known only as V. Stiviano by the media, released an audio tape that was recorded (without Sterling knowing) while Stiviano and Sterling were arguing one night in a private residence. Sterling made clearly racist remarks throughout the altercation, and I encourage you to go take a listen for yourself if you want the full impact. The audiotape’s release led to an […] Read the full story »

Columns, Common Sense Sports, Sports »

23 Apr 2014 | No Comments | By Justin Thau, Columnist
It all started with a dismissal of Chicago deep-dish pizza. As the Washington Post reported Tuesday before Game 2 between the Wizards and Bulls, Wizards starting shooting guard Bradley Beal dismissed the famed deep-dish pizza of Chicago as “fat pie” that’ll keep you “in the bathroom for hours.” Sure, I might be slightly tweaking his comments for dramatic effect. And yeah – Beal probably meant #NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK, but #ALLDISRESPECTTODEEPDISH. If you don’t know what these hashtags are parodying, you need to get up to snuff on your Kanye West circa September 2013. Oh, breaking news during the writing of this column: Sir Charles Barkley just said the Wizards […] Read the full story »

Bank Shots, Columns, Sports »

19 Apr 2014 | No Comments | By Jesse Jones, Sports Editor
Editor’s Note: Because of Easter, this column was written before Sunday night’s opener. If we were in the realm of Westeros, I’d just ask Melisandre to come and let the Lord of Light help the No. 5 Wizards beat the No. 4 Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Granted, we would have to sacrifice somebody, so I would chose the entire staff of Fox News. That way, enough people would be sacrificed to ensure the Wizards would rule the NBA world for years to come, as well as getting the worst news station off the air. But sadly, we are not in Westeros. We […] Read the full story »