Category: Sports

Everything You Need to Know for Super Bowl XLVIII

By Sarah Kirkpatrick (@Kirkpatrick_SJ) and Andrew Battifarano (@Squidthoughts)

Not familiar with the Seattle Seahawks or Denver Broncos? Only going to your friend’s Super Bowl party for the snacks? Don’t worry — here’s everything you need to know about each team, plus some final score predictions from the DFP sports staff.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Regular Season: 13-3 overall record

How they got to the Super Bowl:

The Seahawks, as the top overall seed in the NFC Western Division— fueled by a dynamic running game and the NFL’s best defense — earned a first-round bye and met the fifth-seeded New Orleans Saints in the divisional round. The Seahawks jumped out to a 16-0 lead, but the Saints fought back. They came within eight points twice, but an illegal forward pass by Saints running back Marques Colston in the dwindling seconds to end the game allowed Seattle to exhale, giving the Seahawks a 23-15 win and a berth in the NFC Championship Game.

But in order to advance to the Super Bowl, the Seahawks had to beat their biggest enemy — the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead, but a field goal right before half and a Marshawn Lynch touchdown five minutes into the third quarter tied things up. Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick connected with wide receiver Anquan Boldin for a touchdown shortly thereafter, but a field goal and a touchdown from Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse gave the Seahawks the lead for good. The 49ers attempted to stay in it, though. On Kaepernick’s attempt at winning the game, cornerback Richard Sherman tipped a pass intended for 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree into the hands of Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith to end the game and give Seattle an exhilarating 23-17 win.

Players to Watch:

Loudmouthed corner Richard Sherman has divided America — confident or cocky? You’ve all seen the interview— but he has the stats to back up his talk. He led the NFC in interceptions this year, with eight.

Marshawn Lynch has also made headlines with the opposite problem — he is succinct with the media  — but has quietly been the difference-maker for the Seahawks. He has had 249 rushing yards in the postseason, the most of any player, and tied for the most rushing TDs in the NFL during the regular season (12).

Doug Baldwin isn’t quite as talked-about as Lynch or Sherman, but the wide receiver has been reliable this postseason, including three receptions for 20+ yards. His quarterback doesn’t pass to him often — only 10 times this postseason — but Baldwin has been there nearly every time, catching eight of those attempts.

DENVER BRONCOS:

Regular Season: 13-3 overall record

How they got to the Super Bowl: Future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning led the best passing game in the NFL to the top seed in the AFC Western Division. Ever since Manning was cut from the Indianapolis Colts and signed with the Broncos, Denver’s offense has been a powerhouse and a threat to win it all. Last year the Broncos lost in heartbreaking fashion to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on a final-minute “Hail Mary” from Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco.

Opening night this season the Broncos had some chance for vengeance against those same Ravens. In that game, Manning and the Broncos not only beat the Ravens, but absolutely manhandled them. Denver put up 49 points, which included an amazing 7 touchdown passes from Manning. The Broncos kept this prolific offense up through the entire season, and with an amazing core of receivers, Manning set the record for most touch down passes in a season with 55.

Rolling into the playoffs with just three losses, the Broncos earned a first-round bye, and eventually took on the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Divisional Round. Although the Chargers made a second half push, the Broncos held on for a 24-17 win.

The next week in the AFC Championship game, long awaited matchup of Manning versus New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady happened. Manning threw for 400 yards, the Denver defense kept the pressure on Brady all game and the Broncos were able to advance to its first Super Bowl since John Elway was quarterback (1998 season). 

Players to watch: It is no secret that the key to the Denver offense is Manning. With one of his best seasons, if not his best, he runs an impressive show that rivals the 1999 St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense. While Manning has been slinging the ball with accuracy and efficiency all year, there is more to Denver than the quarterback.

Without the amazing receiving core of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas, Manning would have not had the numbers he did. Those four each had at least 10 touchdowns this season, proving to be headaches for many defenses. Welker was concussed recently, so it should be interesting to see what kind of factor he plays in the game.

While running back Knowshon Moreno’s pregame emotions have been well documented, he’s quietly had a career year as the team’s starting running back, posting over 1,000 rushing yards and recording 10 touchdown runs.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTIONS:

Andrew (Sports Editor): 23-14 Seahawks. Even with Denver’s prolific offense, Seattle’s defense will be strong, and will stop Peyton Manning. The combination of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will be too much and the Seahawks should prevail.

Michael Joscelyn (Women’s basketball writer): 24-20 Denver. Seattle’s defense and running game will make this extremely tough on the Broncos but in the end I think it’s Peyton Manning’s game to lose. If the Denver defense can’t slow down Marshawn Lynch, that score may just be flipped around.

Kevin Dillon (Men’s hockey writer and Sports Editor, Fall 2012): Denver 19-17. The cold weather forces Denver to rely on Knowshon Moreno and the short passing game, which means a lot of Matt Prater field goals. His fourth and final one is a last-second game-winner, as Champ Bailey and the underrated Denver defense hold off the Seahawks offense just enough.

Conor Ryan (Associate Sports Editor, Fall 2013): 24-17 Seattle. Lynch runs through Denver’s defense and Peyton can’t handle the cold weather or Seattle’s secondary. Wilson gets SB MVP but hands it to Tom Brady as a lifetime achievement award. All is well.

Meredith Perri (Men’s hockey writer and Sports Editor, Spring 2012):  Can I just predict that regardless of the score all you will hear about for a week afterward is Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman, not necessarily in that order?

Jackie Bamberger (Associate Sports Editor): 28-24 Seahawks. But I predict that no matter the score, Sarah [Kirkpatrick] will be in tears after the game.

Sarah (Editor-in-chief): I’m a diehard Seahawks fan, so I’m not going to make any predictions. I don’t want to jinx anything.

 

2013 in review

2013 was a year of tragedy, triumph and new beginnings. Here is a look back, in chronological order, at the stories that impacted BU students and the entire city of Boston the most this year.

Winter Storm Nemo prompts cancellation of classes, snowball fight, arrest

Freshman Anthony Barksdale II dies after being medically transported to hospital from function at Allston house, Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity suspended, alcohol policies at BU reformed 

Jack Parker retires after 40 years as men’s hockey coach, is replaced by former BU player and assistant coach David Quinn

Women’s hockey team reaches Frozen Four, falls in national title game

BU cuts varsity wrestling program

Explosions rock Boston Marathon finish line, BU student Lingzi Lu dies, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev captured after daylong manhunt shuts down Boston

BU student Binland Lee dies in off-campus house fire

Gender-neutral housing approved by University

Boston celebrates as Red Sox clinch World Series title at home

Martin Walsh wins mayoral race over John Connolly, becoming first new mayor of Boston in 20 years

James ‘Whitey’ Bulger sentenced to 2 life terms in prison

Mayor Thomas Menino to chair initiative at BU in 2014 following end of mayoral term

For a look at some of the images of 2013, click here to view our album. 

Narrative Lede: The story behind the David Ortiz Photo

David Ortiz runs the last part of the Boston Marathon. Photo by Meredith Perri

David Ortiz runs the last part of the Boston Marathon. Photo by Meredith Perri

On Saturday, at the Red Sox Rolling Rally, Meredith Perri captured David Ortiz running across the Marathon finish line. Instinctively, she Instagrammed it. Little did she know what would happen to it.

From her blog: The Narrative Lede: The story behind the David Ortiz Photo

I’m, quite honestly, a bit shocked right now. When I posted the photo of David Ortiz onto my Instagram, I never imagined that an hour later it would have gone viral. As some of you know, though, there is a non-social media reason why I’m overwhelmed. Before anything happened with that picture, I had decided I was going to make this post. Now it seems even more relevant.

Should college insurance cover sports-related injuries in current and former college athletes?

By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
@Brandon_S_Lewis

Terrence Williams with the pass

Kevin Ware’s teammate Terrence Williams. Ware’s injury has stirred up controversy regarding whether or not the injuries that college athletes sustain while playing college sports should be covered by college insurance plans./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Bradjward

Kevin Ware recently suffered one of the most gruesome sports injuries in the history of the NCAA tournament. While attempting to block a Duke player’s shot, the University of Louisville point guard landed awkwardly on his legs, which resulted in his leg breaking in a very graphic and painful way. I would show you the video of the incident but I will spare you the gore.

After sustaining the injury, Ware was treated for his injuries. Officials at the institution he attended, University of Louisville, stated that Ware would not be on the hook for the medical expenses regarding his injury while he was in college. All Louisville athletes will not have to pay out-of-pocket for injuries sustained while still in school. However, this isn’t always the case.

Another issue surfaces when athletes graduate or move on to the big leagues. The New York Times reported that universities do not cover the health care expenses for post-college injuries that arise from injuries sustained in college. So if Ware had leg problems down the road, he will be liable for those medical bills.

So the question is: should colleges extend their medical insurance to athletes after they leave their institutions?

I say yes. NCAA basketball is an empire earning over $780 million a year simply based on the performance of the ballplayers. NCAA’s revenues stem from sports fans paying to attend games, television broadcasts of games, and countless donations. The NCAA has more than enough money to provide schools with the funds to medically cover their unpaid athletes. So money isn’t really the issue; it’s the colleges themselves.

College scouts travel all over the country looking for athletes to add to their teams in hopes of creating a championship caliber  team. Once athletes commit to a school and play competitively, there is a possibility that they will get injured. Colleges should not withdraw their support for these hand-selected students when injuries occur. The least they can do is provide full medical insurance for  athletes that these recruiters compete for.

When athletes leave college, I believe that universities should continue to cover the medical expenses related to injuries sustained or related to their time spent faithfully serving the school as student-athletes. In other words, after Ware leaves Louisville, I believe the school should cover the bills of any later health problems resulting from his broken leg. Athletes provide innumerable amounts of publicity for colleges, entice prospective students to attend their schools and build up the reputations of their institutions. They do so much for their universities and it’s only right for the schools to return the favor.

Ravens win “Blackout Bowl”

By Gregory Davis, Sports Editor

@Greg_HD

The Ravens were the victors at this year's Super Bowl/ PHOTO VIA ibtimes.com

The Ravens were the victors at this year’s Super Bowl with a final score of 34–31. / PHOTO VIA ibtimes.com

In a game that many will refer to as the “Blackout Bowl” for years to come, the Baltimore Ravens came just a few yards away from surrendering the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, but the San Francisco 49ers were unable to complete the job with a final score of 34–31. Just in case you tuned out at the blackout (or before) here’s a recap.

It was all Ravens from the very start of the first half. Joe Flacco was firing on all cylinders while Colin Kaepernick was struggling to put a substantial drive together. The Ravens drove 51 yards on six plays and Flacco found Anquan Boldin in the end zone to get Baltimore on the scoreboard first.

While the 49ers settled for just two field goals in the first half, Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, including a 56-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones. The teams went to their respective locker rooms with the Ravens in the lead 21–6.

All hopes of a 49er comeback seemed thwarted when Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones opened up the second half with a 108-yard kick return for a touchdown. But after a half-hour delay due to a power outage in the Mercedes Super Dome, the tide quickly turned.

After Kaepernick was unable to convert on a 3rdand long, the 49ers’ defense looked better than it did all game, stopping the Ravens’ drive before it got started. Kaepernick then drove his team 80 yards in 7 plays and topped off the drive with a momentum swinging 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.

The 49ers followed that up with a 6-yard touchdown run from Frank Gore and a 34-yard field goal from David Akers to cut the once 22-point deficit to just five.

But Joe Flacco did not allow his team to fold under the pressure of potentially watching its 22-point lead become a deficit. He led his team 71 yards down the field to set up a 19-yard chip shot from Justin Tucker to put the Ravens up by 8.

After Kaepernick responded with a 15-yard touchdown run of his own — accompanied by a missed 2-point conversion — to bring the 49ers back within 2, Flacco led his team on a clutch drive once again that ended in a field goal.

The stage was set; a 5-point game with 4:19 remaining in the Super Bowl. It was up to Colin Kaepernick to take his team downfield for a touchdown to take the lead.

With clutch passes, well-timed rushes and a crucial completion to Michael Crabtree, Kaepernick got his team inside the 10-yard line. After a rush for a short gain and three incomplete passes — one of which was accompanied by a debatable defensive holding that the referees did not call — the 49ers’ offense could not punch it in.

As miraculous as the 49ers’ resilience and near comeback was, it was not enough to give them the honor of hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Instead, the silver statue belongs to the Baltimore Ravens, who were just yards away from the worst Super Bowl meltdown of all time.

Fans react to Patriots’ loss

By Seline Jung, Staff Writer
@SelineJung

It’s a sad, sad time for New England football fans. As the sports die-hards know, the Ravens beat the Patriots last night 28-13. And, as anticipated, fans from both sides took to Twitter. View the Storify here.

A Twitter user reacts to the Patriots’ loss/ IMAGE VIA Storify and Twitter user @AdamsDTD

A freshman’s perspective: BU vs. BC

By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
@Brandon_S_Lewis

During this time of the year, thousands of college students enthusiastically support their respective football and basketball teams. These two sports seem to dominate the collegiate athletic scene across the country. However, at Boston University, hockey seems to be the standout sport. If you are not a hockey fan before you arrive in Boston, you’re likely to become one by the time you leave. Whether you are an avid Terrier fan or dismiss hockey altogether, it is impossible for you to avoid the notion that Boston College is our most hated opponent.

I was introduced to the rivalry between BC and BU while I was applying to BU a year ago. I didn’t think much of the rivalry because I was not an admirer of hockey. Now that I am a full-fledged Terrier, I realized that it is my duty to support my school’s contention with the Eagles.

BU HockeyThis Sunday marks the Terriers’ first hockey game of the season against Boston College. It will also be my first time experiencing a BU vs. BC game, which I hear is a wild, spirited experience. After beating 5/6 North Dakota last Saturday, the 4-2-0 men’s hockey team looks to win again this Sunday at Agganis Arena. Last season, the BU men beat BC twice and lost to them twice. They’re also attempting to maintain their undefeated record, 2-0-0 at home and continue the solid play within their conference.

As a freshman, I am excited to just be able to experience all the hype surrounding the contentious rivalry. When I attended the BU vs. Providence game in mid-October, I was baffled at the anti-BC cheers despite  the fact that BU was not playing BC at the time. (And I thought the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry was malicious…) Well, I have learned that BU is not shy when it comes to voicing its distaste of its rival.

School of Management freshman Abena Amoakuh echoed my excitementt:

“Oh man, I just bought my ticket,” she said. “I can’t wait to go to the game and cheer on my Terriers. I’m not really a hockey fan, but I’m all about school spirit and supporting our teams. I can’t wait to yell ‘BC sucks!’”

The good news for Terrier Nation is that BU leads BC in their head-to-head record. Since the first game contested between the two teams on Feb. 6, 1918, BU leads the series 127-114-17. I am confident that my first BU vs. BC game will be one to remember, hopefully with a Terrier win. Don’t let us down Terrier men, we don’t want bragging rights given to those wannabes in Chestnut Hill.

BU Bucket List: BU Quidditch

By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
@HeatherGoldin

What can a group of students do with brooms, partially deflated dodge balls, volleyballs and hula hoops? If you think this is a trick question, think again. This is all the equipment you need to play Quidditch, and Boston University’s Quidditch team has six years of experience. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, competitive sports or avoiding homework on Sunday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., then checking out the team may be worthwhile.

BU Quidditch

HEATHER GOLDIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

When I first got to the team’s practice location behind Sleeper Hall on West Campus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Instead of starting to understand how the game was played, I became more confused by the second. However, talking to College of Arts and Sciences junior Katrina Bossotti helped. She’s on the Quidditch e-board and a captain of one of the teams.

According to Katrina, there are a few main rules that have been adapted from the game portrayed in the best-selling Harry Potter series. There are seven players from each team on the field at one time: three chasers, two beaters, a seeker and a keeper. The goal of the game is for the chasers to throw the quaffles (volleyballs) through the hoops while avoiding the bludgers (partially deflated dodge balls) that are thrown by the beaters. If you are hit, you must go back to the hoops on your side. Katrina explained that this is supposed to simulate “falling off your broom, since we can’t actually fly.”

BU Quidditch

HEATHER GOLDIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The game seems difficult to pick up, but the main thing to remember is that the seeker has to catch the snitch. The snitch is usually a cross-country runner or wrestler with a tennis ball in a sock tucked into their pants. He or she has no boundaries, and they can do pretty much anything to avoid getting caught. Once caught, the game ends and the team with the most points is the winner.

School of Management senior Joe Barkus explained to me that while there are seemingly no limits to Quidditch (no field boundaries at all!), you can only catch the snitch with a single hand, and yellow and red cards are issued for fouls. There are four teams at Boston University that practice together, but there is a single tournament team of 21 players that compete in official tournaments on a local and regional scale. Just this semester there are three different tournaments, and in the spring there is the World Cup.

I chatted briefly with College of Communication sophomore Brett Engwall, who plays the position of seeker. Brett began his Quidditch career last year, and he played on the tournament team. When I asked what kept Brett playing, he responded that he was surprised at how athletic the sport is.

“We also form close friendships, especially on the tournament team,” he said.

I learned that the tournaments are even more intense than the practice I witnessed last weekend, highly competitive and violent, but also extremely fun. At the end of a vigorous Quidditch game, the opponents can be seen hugging each other and congratulating their enemies on a good game.

If you are wary of trying something so new, take the advice of College of General Studies freshman Marianne Walters. When she couldn’t join a soccer team at BU, she said Quidditch seemed just as interesting. Marianne heard about the team through splash, and she loves playing. Competitive sports aren’t for everyone, but what good is a sport if there are no fans to cheer them on?

And let me emphasize again that this game has NO boundaries. It’s best to watch this game from a distance because the players are not afraid to blow right past you to keep playing!

BU Quidditch

 HEATHER GOLDIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

BU Bucket List: BU Hockey

By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
@HeatherGoldin

Over and over again I was told, “If you aren’t a hockey fan now, when you go to Boston University, you will be.” At the time I was dumbfounded, but after going to the first men’s hockey game of the season this past weekend, I understand what the fuss is about.

Agganis Arena hosts a multitude of musical shows, theatrical performances and, above all, hockey games. You can’t help but get excited at the echo of fans cheering as you ascend the staircase to the second level of the arena.  Whether you arrive with friends or go alone, you’re going to have a good time regardless.

BU Hockey

Terrier hockey / PHOTO BY HEATHER GOLDIN

A group of BU students in particular caught my attention, sitting in the first two rows of the arena.

School of Management freshman Cooper Davis said the hockey game is a “way to support your school and the BU Terriers working hard for the win.”

CGS freshman Dillon Schuyler said, “Hockey is the best sport on earth, and Boston University is the best college hockey team in the NCAA.”

BU hockey fans

PHOTO BY HEATHER GOLDIN

To say that BU has a lot of spirit would be an understatement. Coming from a high school without a cheer team or marching band, I find the passionate fans of BU Hockey a severe culture shock. There seems to be a constant current of spirit within the arena, even during a timeout. The BU Band plays recognizable songs in between whistles and breaks in the game. In addition, the dedicated fans have their own synchronized chants and motions to the music. It is quite a sight to see.

As an unspoken rule, the crowd never fails to cheer whenever Rhett the Terrier makes an appearance. There are fun challenges and competitions during breaks in the game, which Rhett is on the ice for. I had a blast at the game, and on my way out I passed by our university mascot.

Rhett the Terrier

Rhett the Terrier with Merissa Pico / PHOTO BY HEATHER GOLDIN

When you find yourself at a BU hockey game, there are a few things you should keep in the front of your mind:

1. Fact: No matter what team we’re playing, Boston College Sucks.

Learn it. Memorize it. And don’t forget it.

2. Get decked out in scarlet and white!

Showing up is one thing, but sporting your school colors is another great way to show school spirit.

3. Cheer. Loudly.

I think this one is self-explanatory. And if you go to enough games you are sure to learn every insulting chant Boston University students have thought of. If you ask me I find these chants entertaining to say the least.

Follow the Puck.

If you know what’s going on in the game, you are sure to have a better idea of why there are suddenly entire sections of fans going crazy. Then again, fans tend to cheer at the most random times (see tip number three).

Go Terriers!

Top five favorite workouts for college students  

By Marie Goldstein, Staff Writer

As college students, we are busy from morning to night with schoolwork and other activities that make it easy for us to skip the gym and make up excuses. However, after freshmen year we realize that the freshmen 15 is no joke and we quickly get our bodies into shape. Boston has various opportunities to help students get in shape. Here are the top five favorite workouts for college students:

1. Running:

In Boston, we are lucky to have beautiful and lengthy running trails nested within our city. A student favorite is the Charles River esplanade. Students take a break from studying indoors by running along a beautiful river. Workout stations are next to the track that students can stop at to tone their body. In the winter, it is easy to continue running either on a treadmill or the indoor track at FitRec. Running is one of the few exercises that work out every muscle in the body.

College of Arts and Sciences junior Emily Brennan runs at least once a day:

“Running is a good exercise because it not only improves heart health and builds endurance it is a good source of stress relief and emotional catharsis,” she said.

2. Yoga:

Yoga is an amazing stress reliever! Yoga not only physically makes you fit, but it helps your mind stay active. It removes you from the busy streets of Boston, the piles of homework on your desk and that boy or girl who has been pulling on your heart for weeks. Yoga also leaves little room for excuses because people of all body types can participate; yoga will help tone your body and serve as light cardio as well.

3. Swimming:

If you have ever stepped inside FitRec you would know that there is really no better place to swim! Swimming is another exercise that serves as both body toning and cardio, as well as being a fun activity! Grab a friend and head down to the pool, get competitive with each other or work on personal goals.

4. Zumba

This African inspired dance craze is one of the best workouts. The atmosphere in these classes is high-energy, friendly and judgment-free. You may get so caught up in the action that it won’t even feel like a fitness class anymore, until you wake up the next morning and you can’t walk. Every Zumba class is different and will never fail to surprise you. One Zumba class can burn up to over 1,000 calories. I know I would rather dance around looking like an idiot than stay on the elliptical for three hours. CAS senior Samantha Andrews said, “Zumba is a great way to work out because you get to dance to wicked awesome music and nobody judges you. Its so much fun you don’t realize you are working out.” Warning: Your abs may get the most exercise, from laughing.

5. Spin Class

I like to call this exercise the “Devils Gift.” When you are riding that stationary bike you feel like you are dying, but afterwards it feels great. Taking a 60-minute morning class gets your brain and body started for the day. This is another high energy class where the atmosphere is enough to get you excited and anxious to get in shape. This is one of those exercises that are dreadfully addicting. If you are looking for a weight-loss exercise this is the one for you. Most importantly, wait until you see how awesome your legs look in your stilettos next weekend.