Friday, May 6, 2011

The Media, The Press, you name it and they’re probably something many people hate to listen to sometimes…Spoilers!

By Evan Troxel
A lot has gone on recently.  One thing was the NFL Draft.  The #1 Overall Pick was…well you probably already know if you’ve heard of anything to do with football within the past week or so.  The #1 Overall Pick in this year’s NFL draft was easily predicted weeks before by NFL analysts and supposedly called NFL “scouts” and other NFL people who think they are smart and have some credibility to share their views.
Another thing also happened.  I had to hear the same basic statement at least a hundred times on May 1st starting at 10 p.m. Central Time on not national Television that you all probably know what was revealed then and there also.
Well the first two paragraphs were delay paragraphs and to move this article forward so I can make my points I will reveal what the news was for those paragraphs.  I really don’t want to spoil everything this early but the news in the first paragraph isn’t so obvious if you don’t pay attention to sports.  In the second paragraph everyone who had some kind of media device nearby (cell phone, television, radio, etc.) probably knew within the first hour of the initial announcement.
So now here is the news.  In the first paragraph, the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers was Cameron Newton former quarterback of the Auburn Tigers.  The second paragraph was simply that Osama bin Laden had been killed and U.S. officials had the body.
My thoughts on Cam Newton being drafted #1 overall are that I cannot imagine him playing for any other team besides the Panthers.  I will admit I’m a Cameron Newton hater and I think he’s a show-off.  The only thing that bugged me about the press for the NFL Draft is that they had to “brownnose” the Panthers and other NFL teams who were getting high seeded first round picks this year.  Obviously, the press doesn’t like these teams that played badly last season because it gives low seeded first round pickers an advantage to an easier pick in the first round.
My thoughts on bin Laden being killed are that it’s good we got somebody over on the other side of the planet whether or not he actually is the real leader of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or is just a decoy because the people of Afghanistan secretly hated him.
Osama bin Laden makes me (and maybe you) wonder though, could we have got him caught dead or alive a lot sooner?  Before bin Laden got killed I heard that President Obama’s approval ratings were extremely low (if not the lowest ever).  I wonder if Obama was waiting for his approval ratings to go down and then when they did he planned and ordered the U.S. military to get bin Laden killed so his approval ratings would shoot back up again.
Finally, to put a seal about bin Laden it was terrible to have to be bombarded with the exact same message over and over and over and over and over…again.  Whenever something such as breaking news like bin Laden being killed happens I want to ask the press, “Do you have anything else to tell us besides just the obvious?”  Get your facts and all the details straight and maybe wait a day (just because you can).
To all of us Americans I think breaking news needs to be redefined.  I think September 11, 2001 was breaking news to all Americans but Osama bin Laden being killed I don’t think was breaking news.  The news of bin Laden’s death could have been postponed until Tuesday, May 2nd, 2011 but I guess if the U.S. officials are sure they got him then I guess it’s okay to go ahead and report it immediately to the American people.  
Whatever happened to the media/press/whatever simply stating that the President of the United States has an announcement to make?  What’s the point of the President even making a speech if the press is just going to gossip about breaking news before the President even gets to talk?  For example, after the AFC and NFC Championships in the NFL the media is constantly gossiping about who’s going to win the Super Bowl until it is actually over with each season.
To conclude this article, it’s not fun when the media and press have an inside track and try to undermine everything.  People respond differently when the press has to spoil and tarnish everything (by gossiping about the latest news) vs. letting the people hear from a believable source such as the President of the United States (even if and when he has lied sometimes) and having a more natural reaction to whatever news comes out of the President’s mouth.

Ready for the Football Season

by Hayden Flanders
With the NFL Draft, which took place last weekend, completely in the books, the only thing to wait for now, is the college football, and NFL season to officially begin.  The wait has already gotten to me as you can probably already tell by the way all of my articles have been.
August and September can’t come fast enough for me, the months when my Favorite time of year is, football season.  The passion I have for the sport is insane, some of my friends, even call it obsession.  I personally wouldn’t say obsession.  It’s not like I live, breathe, and eat football.  I have other things outside of it, like working my jobs and going to school, and of course, most importantly, my amazing family and friends.  But enough about that, back to the topic at hand.
Of course, as I’ve explained time and time again, the NFL season can not begin until the NFL Players and owners get this labor situation figured out, which may take a very long time again, now that the lockout is temporarily back in place, and now looks like the owners are going to get the decision they want, which is, to overturn the “lift the lockout” ruling and remove the “temporary” from “temporary lockout” and make it permanent once more.
While all the court rulings and appeals go in- and out in the NFL, there is always one safe haven of football . . . college football!  This is the first year Nebraska, a once-longtime member of the Big 12 now enters the Big 10 or BIG as some shorten it.  It is shortened that way, because, if you look at the shortened Big 10 logo it’s the letters B, I, and G but the I looks like a 1, and the G looks like a 0 to incorporate Big and 10 into the logo.  I thought that’d be in interesting little tidbit of information for everyone.  The Big 10 offers a lot of new possibilities for NU athletics, but I’m most excited about seeing our new competition the next few seasons.  The three teams I’m most excited about seeing my Huskers play, are the Wisconsin Badgers, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Penn State Nittany Lions.  Those three are considered the Top Dogs of the Big 10 conference.
I personally believe that we can come in to the Big 10 conference and compete right away.  In football at least.  The other sports I haven’t really thought much about, other than how our basketball team will hopefully keep going in the right direction and take that next step towards being able to at least beat a few Top teams, instead of always getting crushed and going to the NIT tournament every year.
That being said, as I mentioned in the first part of the article, football season needs to hurry up! I’m getting antsy over here!

Finding Advice

by Shawn Strasburg

In the class Introduction to Entrepreneurship, we have been tasked with conducting several interviews with entrepreneurs. I have chosen several different small business owners to interview and found great insight. The following article is a summary of an interview with a young man that has taken risks and has been rewarded in the process. At the bottom of the article is some wisdom that he has learned in his journey.

I interviewed Zack Baird of VicNor Farms, he is en-route to being a majority share holder in the corporation he formed. Right now he and his grandmother Norma Baird are the major shareholders. Other Family members have smaller interests in the corporation to satisfy inheritance. VicNor farms is spread along several miles of county road near Colby Kansas. The business is a for profit corporation which sells crops, feed, and cattle off of 1200 leased family owned acres and approximately 1000 acres rented pasture along the Beaver creek. Various ventures spring from this corporation base, such as a 200 head rebreed joint venture and a terracing project that is in the first phase of three with the first phase consisting of a large USDA contract. Custom farming also springs from the corporation along with other smaller ventures. Most of the crops are marketed to the local elevators depending upon prices with much of it being sold prior to production. The feed side of the operation is sold to the Colby Community College farm with remainders being sold to local cattle and horsemen.

Farming has run in Zack’s blood as his lineage is tied to homesteading and farming on the location of the corporation. He has been involved in farming from early in life and went to college with a business major. His interest in business and entrepreneurship along with the opportunity to lease his grandmother’s land led to him forming the VicNor Farms Corporation. Victor is his deceased grandfather and Norma is his grandmother, hence VicNor. He started off with an enormous debt load and a few pieces of equipment that were in poor shape and a few tractors under loan by bank. Equipment was sold, traded, and fixed and new equipment has been purchased when possible. In the 6 years the corporation has been operation Zack has refinanced some loans with the FFA and reduced the debt load while increasing the profitability of the corporation. Today the corporation’s value after debt was paid off would be over $100,000, while it operated in the red for several years because of the inherited debt load it was servicing.

Zack has plans to further the business by implementing the next two phases of the terracing project, installing feedlots on the farm, purchasing irrigated ground with a first time farmers loan, lease farmland, custom farm, purchase a semi to haul hay and to do custom shipping, and perhaps when possible get a harvesting outfit to harvest corporate ground and local custom harvesting. He also plans to build a heated shop soon, as mechanical bills could be reduced and the building could pay for itself in several years.

Zack has been helped in setting up the corporation and running the corporation by his Grandmother, the FFA, his accountant, his attorney, his banker, and his father. He felt that the uniqueness/appeal of his operation is proven by repeat customers. He feels that with his diversity, training, marketing, and quality products allow the corporation to consistently to operate well above the goal of a 10% profit margin for the last three years.
The future of the business he sees is that while he is a proponent of organic production, he only sees it being feasible in the far future. The primary demands he see are; money, banking, and marketing.

The struggle that he faced in starting this Corporation was mainly of time. He spent 40-60 hours on the farm while finishing a full schedule of college that was a three hour round trip from the farm. He felt that his biggest mistake was, from a farming standpoint, he realized his time was very valuable, yet in saving money he found himself stepping over $300 bucks to save a nickel and he found that in business one of variables is timing. He has found that to be successful he must make time for a money making idea even when he is super busy.

            His advice would be…

……. To have a good attorney and CPA, He said my job is farming, I pay them to keep up on tax codes and laws….you got to be smart enough to pay people to help you.

…….Failure builds success; you can learn more from failure than success.

……..People never make money on a “no” decision; it will never work if you don’t try it.

………It is very important to be well rounded, you need to think about the $10 jobs and the 100$ jobs, if you need a hired man don’t give him the $100 an hour job for them to screw up. Likewise do not waste skills on low paying aspects of a task.

…….You need the complete package as much as possible just because you are really good in one area the other 20 areas may break you. And you need to hire people to work in the areas you are weak.  

……. Be careful with money keep things separate and don’t dump money from a good venture into a bad venture and without good bookwork you will never know what’s good and bad.

…….One thing that kills small business is that some people are not ready to handle growth.

…….Get a good dog that howls all night so that you can’t sleep, but seriously the dog is always nice to you even when the banker isn’t.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Check Out this NPCC Student Blogger, Brian Bohan

This is the link to my blog, which started on March 26th (I even made a short blog post to commemorate the occasion!).  In it, a number of my pertinent interests are discussed.  The blog is a potpourri of topics, from ponies to college and more!  Whenever I feel the inspiration to blog, I do it!

One of the latest topics is My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic.  The show is praised inside, and clips that demonstrate why the show is so beloved are included in blog posts.  My blog is honestly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to MLP discussion, as there is a blog "Equestria Daily" that has literally gotten over 4 million hits since it's inception less than 6 months ago.

Other issues discussed include college, naturally.  I discuss the general rising cost of college, the rapidly ending spring semester, and other issues (I haven't said anything about my instructors yet, but the blog only has 11 posts so far, so that content hasn't come to mind yet.

I am a bit of an art nerd, although clearly not trained.  My blog is a place for me to discuss some of my artistic leanings.  In one post, I talk about Pixlr, the web application for image editing.  In another, I discuss the tablet that a classmate gave to me for no charge.  I may discuss my deviantART account in the future (I've created art), and other issues as I improve my skill in this personal hobby.

The only thing to do is to keep an eye out for future postings in my blog at this point.  Summer's approaching, and that may mean a wider range of activities occurring outside of school.  More activity means potential blog topics, which means fresh and interesting content for readers!

Thanks for checking out my blog.  I hope to develop at least a small set of followers with it.

Student Assigned to Write About a Job, Reveals the Horrific Details of Being a Hotel Maid

Crabs on the First Day
By Jennifer Whitaker
“The first thing you do is knock on the door,” Mary suggests as she taps on the motel door. No answer that I could hear. I grab the master key and slip it in the lock. Slowly turning the handle, I peer around the door to make sure I don’t see anyone. I’m nervous, because this is my first day in housekeeping and I want to make sure I do everything in the right order.  As long as I can make the bed in 5 minutes, clean the bathroom in 15 minutes, dust and vacuum in 10 minutes, I should be fine.

“It looks clear to me,” I exclaim as I nervously step aside for her next direction. I make sure to keep eye contact so Mary doesn’t think I’m trying to ignore her, she looks kind of stressed. Mary marks on the paper the out box notating that our overnight guest has left the room. Mary is stripping the bed and asks me to put the blanket on the luggage rack. “How come we don’t put the blanket in with the sheets,” I question.

“We don’t wash those every day. Only if you see noticeable stains on them do you take them to laundry,” Mary states. I’m thinking to myself oh my god what have I gotten in to. That is freakin’ disgusting.

I was just about to come back in from taking the sheets out to our cart when I heard Mary screech “Don’t come back in here! We need to go get Nita so she can get Harry to take care of this. There are crabs on the toilet seat!”

Now I’m really freakin’ out! This is a nice first day on the job. I thought when I got this job it would be pretty basic. Make the bed and clean the bathroom. How hard can that possibly be? Apparently there is more to this job than I had bargained for. I go on to the next room while Mary heads down to the office. I open the door, mark on the paper they are gone, and open the curtain. Not too bad. I turn the TV on and listen to the Price is Right while I strip the bed. I proceed to gather all the towels and beat as much water off the shower liner as I can with the dirty towels. Oh how nasty! There is a used condom slung over the top of the shower rod! Wait till Mary comes back I am not touching that thing with or without gloves!

I move on to the next room and go through these steps with the next eight rooms. I have ten rooms today. Mary told me once I get them all stripped I only have 30 minutes to get the bed made, bathroom cleaned, dust and vacuum. That is a pretty tight time frame. I hurry down to the laundry room so Anita and Sherry don’t get behind on their work. I don’t know how these ladies can stand working in all this heat. I can see the sweat dripping off Anita’s brow as she’s folding the bleach white sheets. I watch in awe as they finish up, and not one time did the crisp sheet touch the filthy floor. I could tell these ladies had been doing this together for a long time. Their motions were in unison just like a synchronized swimming team. The only thing good about this room is you can smell the fabric softener, even if it was a cheap imitation of snuggle.  I pass Mary on the way back out, still thinking about the crab room “Harry is going to spray that room,” Mary explained. “We will have double up on that room last.”

Nita the head house keeper stops us. Geez I hope I don’t get her mixed up with Anita in the laundry room. Nita explains to me that at the end of the day she is the one in charge to check my rooms. She will make sure the sheets are all tucked in and no wrinkles on the bedspread. Also no hair in the bathroom, or streaks on any of the mirrors. She seems kind of sad, I suppose I would too if I had this job as long as she has. Nita finishes her introduction. She states that sometimes the crab thing just happens and in this job we are going to see things we don’t like or don’t want to do, but it is our responsibility to get the job done.

“Even if there is a used condom in the room? I don’t even see any gloves on the cart!” I reply totally stunned. While she’s explaining I have to provide them on my own if I want gloves I just stand there in disbelief. Mary pats me on the shoulder to signal me it’s time to get back to work.
Mary shows me how to make the bed properly. First you put the first flat sheet on and tuck it with really tight corners. The second flat sheet goes on top of that one and you flip the top over, next is the filthy paisley comforter, then pillows and roll the top. Mary makes sure to show me the creases at the foot of the bed.

Next I am off to the bathroom. The toilet bowl cleaner is a runny blue liquid that doesn’t cling to anything. The only thing it’s stripping is the air from my lungs. The shower cleaner has a clear color and smells of a bunch of flowers that are sure to give me a headache. I’ll be leaving the fan on in here for sure. I use a clean dry towel to dry everything, especially the chrome fixtures. That is apparently one of the pet peeves of Nita.

I started the vacuum while I watched Mary and what was the required dusting of each room. The only furniture is the TV stand, plain night stands and the lamp shades. Mary points out to dust inside the lamp shades to free them of the cobwebs.

Trying hard to not touch my face with my hands, I wipe the sweat from my brow with my shirt. “It’s definitely a workout! You are doing a great job though. I will be sure to tell Nita,” Mary praises.

We get to the room where the condom is and Mary explains to me that you can just wad up toilet paper to pick it up. In my mind I’m thinking I’m definitely bringing gloves tomorrow. I can’t believe that people would expect a maid to actually touch something like that. They should pay more than $4.25 an hour if they do. Oh well at least I have a job so I can pay my rent. Finally, we are at the crab room. It’s been sprayed, and the blankets were removed by someone else. Thank God maybe they burned them.

As we finish up for the day we take a rest in the office/laundry room. Everyone has a good chuckle about the new girl finding crabs on her first day. The attitudes are light, so at Ieast I know they are not going to be mean to me. They just like to have a good laugh. I thought Nita was going to fall out of her chair and the tears were streaming down her face. I didn’t have the heart to embarrass Mary and tell them I still don’t even know what a crab looks like.  It may not be the best job on the market, but we will at least have a good time!

Thoughts on Round One

By Hayden Flanders
And so the 1st round of the NFL Draft came and went.  In a hurry I might add.  Lots of good picks today, and quite a few surprises as well.  Cam Newton, the Quarterback from Auburn going Number One overall to the Carolina Panthers was, of course, the most obvious pick of the night in my opinion.  Everyone knew he was going to go #1, even though there were some thoughts of Marcell Dareus, the Defensive tackle from Alabama jumping him to go First.
My Miami Dolphins let me down, again.  I was hoping and praying for Miami to go quarterback in the 1st round, for the FIRST time since Dan Marino, but instead, the Dolphins chose to go conservative with Florida Offensive lineman, Mike Pouncey, the twin brother of Pittsburgh Steelers’ Pro Bowl Center Maurkice Pouncey.  While Miami did need another offensive lineman, to bolster their running game, and pass protection, the problem is . . . who is that bolstered line going to block for? Miami has no faith in quarterback Chad Henne, and both running backs Ronnie Brown, and Ricky Williams are free agents.  But alas, I’m done ranting now.
There were a few surprises, including four quarterbacks going in the 1st round, which I did not honestly expect, including the Minnesota Vikings taking Florida State product Christian Ponder at #12 overall, which I consider quite a reach, when you could have taken him late 1st – early-mid 2nd round instead.  The Titans taking Jake Locker, the quarterback from Washington also surprised me, I think they could have traded down and taken him later.
The best pick, or picks, in my opinion go to the New Orleans Saints.  They take Cameron Jordan the defensive end from California, and Mark Ingram the running back from Alabama.  Those two picks will have New Orleans either very close to- or right back at Super Bowl contenders again.
The worst pick went to the Seattle Seahawks.  James Carpenter, offensive tackle from Alabama.  No analysts I knew, nor myself (even though I’m not an analyst), didn’t even have Carpenter going until mid-to-late 2nd round.  Quite a shock, at least, to me, seeing the ‘Hawks reach for Carpenter.  My 1st round mock can be seen in my previous story.  I will post the Actual 1st Round below this.
Overall, I had a lot of fun watching this 1st round, and can’t wait to see what rounds 2 through 7 have in store this year!
NFL Draft – Round 1:

Pick #   Teams                 Pick                Position       School
Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
2. Denver Broncos – Von Miller – LB – Texas A&M
3. Buffalo Bills – Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama
4. Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green – WR – Georgia
5. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Peterson – DB – LSU
6. Atlanta Falcons(From CLE) – Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
7. San Francisco 49ers – Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri
8. Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker – QB – Washington
9. Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith – OT – USC
10. Jacksonville Jaguars(From WAS) – Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
11. Houston Texans – J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin
12. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Ponder – QB – Florida State
13. Detroit Lions – Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
14. St. Louis Rams – Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina
15. Miami Dolphins – Mike Pouncey – OL – Florida
16. Washington Redskins(From JAX) – Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue
17. New England Patriots – Nate Solder – OT – Colorado
18. San Diego Chargers – Corey Liuget – DL – Illinois
19. New York Giants – Prince Amukamara – DB – Nebraska
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Adrian Clayborn – DL – Iowa
21. Cleveland Browns(From KC) – Phil Taylor – DT – Baylor
22. Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College
23. Philadelphia Eagles – Danny Watkins – OL – Baylor
24. New Orleans Saints – Cameron Jordan – DE – California
25. Seattle Seahawks – James Carpenter – OT – Alabama
26. Kansas City Chiefs – Jon Baldwin – WR – Pittsburgh
27. Baltimore Ravens – Jimmy Smith – DB – Colorado
28. New Orleans Saints(From NE) – Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
29. Chicago Bears – Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin
30. New York Jets – Muhammed Wilkerson – DT – Temple
31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cameron Heyward – DE – Ohio State
32. Green Bay Packers – Derrek Sherrod – OT – Mississippi State

Hockey: My thoughts of it and the National Hockey League (NHL) Playoffs for 2011

By Evan Troxel
Here’s something cool to think about as the weather starts to get warmer for the summer…Ice Cream.  Okay, I’m not going to be talking about food for this article.  Something cool (in Celsius or Temperature terms) to think about though is the sport of hockey.  Is it a “cool” sport or not?  Think about it.
I’m going to start this article off by typing about the National Hockey League playoffs for the 2010-2011 season.  Then I will conclude the article by typing about my thoughts hockey.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The National Hockey League Playoffs are here for 2011 and this is how everything has gone so far.
In the Eastern Conference, the #1 seeded Washington Capitals defeated the #8 New York Rangers 4 games to 1.  The Rangers won the third game of the series.  The Capitals won game one 2-1 in overtime and game four 4-3 in double overtime.  The #2 Philadelphia Flyers and the #7 Buffalo Sabres are knotted at 3 games apiece.  The Sabres won games 1, 4, and 5 and the Flyers have won games 2, 3, and 6.  In games 5 and 6 in which both games went into overtime, the Sabres won 4-3 in game 5 and the Flyers won 5-4 in game 6.
The #3 Boston Bruins lead the #6 Montreal Canadiens 3 games to 2.  Montreal won the first two games and Boston since then has won three straight.  The Bruins won games 4 and 5 respectively in overtime, 5-4 and 2-1.  The #4 Pittsburgh Penguins and the #5 Tampa Bay Lightning are knotted at 3 games apiece.  The Penguins won games 1, 3, and 4 and the Lightning won games 2, 5, and 6.  In Game 4, the Penguins won 3-2 in double overtime.
In the Western Conference, the #3 seeded Detroit Red Wings swept the #6 Phoenix Coyotes in 4 games.  The Red Wings scored at least 4 goals in every game of the series and they gave up at least 2 goals in every game of the series.  Game 2 was the closest and the Red Wings won 4-3.  The #1 Vancouver Canucks and the #8 Chicago Blackhawks are both have three wins.  The Canucks took the first three games of the series and the Blackhawks have won three straight since to even things up.  The Blackhawks won Game 6 4-3 in overtime.
The #2 San Jose Sharks defeated the #7 Los Angeles Kings 4 games to 2.  The Sharks won 3 of their 4 games in the series in overtime.  Those games were games 1, 3, and 6.  In Game 6, the Sharks won 4-3.  The Sharks also won game 4 of the series.  The #4 Anaheim Ducks lost to the #5 Nashville Predators 4 games to 2.  Nashville won games 1, 3, 5, and 6 and in game 5 Nashville won 4-3 in overtime. 
Thursday, April 28, 2011
In the Eastern Conference, the #2 Philadelphia Flyers defeated the #7 Buffalo Sabres 5-2 in Game 7 to advance to the second round of the playoffs.  The #6 Montreal Canadiens took Game 6 vs. the #3 Boston Bruins 2-1.  However, in Game 7 the Bruins prevailed in overtime 4-3 to take the series.  In Game 7, between the #4 Pittsburgh Penguins and the #5 Tampa Bay Lightning the Lightning won 1-0.
In the Western Conference, in Game 7 between the Canucks and Blackhawks the Canucks won 2-1 in overtime.
So I will now set the stage for the second round of the NHL playoffs.  In the Eastern Conference, the #1 seeded Washington Capitals will go up against the #5 Tampa Bay Lightning.  I hope the Capitals win this series.  Anyway, the #2 Philadelphia Flyers will go up against the #3 Boston Bruins and I like the Bruins in this matchup.
In the Western Conference, the #1 seeded Vancouver Canucks will vs. the #5 Nashville Predators.  I think I’ll cheer for Nashville (the team from the U.S.A.) in this matchup.  The #2 San Jose Sharks will vs. the #3 Detroit Red Wings.  I think the Red Wings look like a bunch of communists with their red home uniforms.  I like the Sharks to win this series because I like their uniform colors better (and it’s not because of the communism factor)!
Friday, April 29, 2011
I have never myself actually played hockey on ice before or used ice skates to play it.  I played hockey in P.E. class in middle school in a basketball gymnasium in which we used hockey sticks and a plastic puck.  When I play hockey I usually wear regular tennis shoes. 
One time I wore roller blades instead of tennis shoes and a baseball glove to use to imitate a goalie’s catching glove.  When I’ve played hockey with my brother we play on this concrete slab or something at home in the backyard.  The goalie box and the red and blues lines are marked by using chalk on the concrete slab.   We also have used a tennis ball instead of a puck and plastic baseball bats to imitate hockey sticks.
So, is hockey a “cool” sport?  I think it’s a warm sport if you are playing the game or watching it at home on television.  Hockey spectators are the real losers when they decide to actually watch a game live in person (unless they are constantly going to the concessions stand or the bathroom to stay warm or they were smart enough and brought cold-weather clothing).
I think it’s funny how hockey players (when they do) play outdoors on a rink that is on top of a football or baseball field.  Whatever happened to playing on a frozen lake or pond?
Playing on a rink (indoors) takes away the natural element of letting the ice temperature to change when playing outdoors.  I like the boundaries of the boards and glass on an indoor hockey rink but I don’t like the fact that the playing area is so small with how many players are always on the ice at one time.  I wish the playing area was slightly wider, maybe longer, and yet the rink keeps it oval shape with the number of players that are always on the ice at one time in a typical hockey game today.  If it’s hard to make an indoor rink any bigger then I think there should be less players on each team always playing on the ice at any one time. 
The only explanation for why any goals are scored in a hockey game anyway is because goalies aren’t allowed to “lay down” their stick to stop the puck from sliding across the ice.  Goalies are only allowed to use the shorter end of their stick to stop the puck when they have to hold onto the longer end.  I guess another explanation for why goals are scored in a hockey game is because the goalie holds onto his stick in one hand and has his glove on the other hand so it’s hard to use the glove and the stick at the same time.
The beautiful thing of hockey is the unpredictability of where the puck is going to go.  I don’t think the indoor hockey rink has an area big enough because hockey players know where the puck is going to go most of the time.  I like the fact of playing outdoors with “obstacles” or maybe just a stick or rock laying on the playing surface or a frozen plant’s top sticking out from underneath the ice vs. playing on a typical indoor rink.  Playing outdoors (as I just explained in the previous sentence) is good because hockey players don’t know where the puck is likely to go, the game pace is slowed down a little bit, and players are less aggressive.  Playing indoors quickens the pace of a game because there aren’t things on the playing surface to “suddenly” change a puck’s direction.
I think there are too many players on the ice at one time because the puck is always getting kicked with skates (when it’s not supposed to be kicked) and caught in mid-air by hockey players (not the goalies and with a gloved hand) in which they can place the puck down almost anywhere they want to on the ice.
I don’t really think hockey was intended for the violence hockey spectators typically see in a game.  For example, one hockey player “checks” another player on the opposing team by using his body and forcing the opponent up against the boards and the glass.  I think most of the time “checking” is unnecessary unless it’s to get the puck away from the opponent in the area of the puck.
I think hockey is definitely more exciting and worth playing than actually watching.  Someone who watches a hockey game on television constantly wants to know where a tiny black thing called a puck is at because it’s so hard to see.  I think watching hockey is like watching paint dry.  I have been to two Tri-City Storm hockey games before and I’d say it’s definitely worth more watching a hockey game in person than on television. 
Finally, to conclude this article, I would love to hear feedback and/or any questions, comments, or thoughts about any of my articles from the 2010-2011 school year.  If you are serious about expressing your opinion to me you can submit anything for publication consideration at  If your opinionated content is considered okay with “The Yard Rake” editors it will get publicized and be on this website.