Author: Victoria Femia

JLo and Shakira, Super Bowl Halftime Show 2020

Whether you’re a football fan or not, the Super Bowl Halftime show grabs your attention. Following Maroon 5s performance last year, Shakira and Jlo are ready to light up this years Super Bowl.


Shakira and Jennifer Lopez set to take the stage for the Super Bowl Halftime show 2020.

By: Victoria Femia.

On Sunday February 2nd football fans will gather around the TV cheering on the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. But for the non-football fans, they’re probably there to cheer on Shakira and Jennifer Lopez as they take the stage at halftime.

Performing at the Super Bowl halftime show turned into a controversial matter following the NFL’s issues with Colin Kaepernick. Many celebrities boycotted the show out of support for Kaepernick, who hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2016 following his protests (in which he took a knee during the national anthem) against racial injustice. 

Cardi B, Rihanna and Jay Z are amongst the celebrities that have declined performing at the show.

Last year, Maroon 5 took the stage with a special guest performance from Travis Scott. Prior to the Super Bowl, the creator or Sponge Bob passed away so Travis Scott included a clip from the show into the performance. 

Taking a look back at some of the most iconic Super Bowl halftime shows, starting with Diana Ross and her 14 outfit changes. Her performance was filled with theatrics from the sparkly airlift, a field-covering golden cape, and a helicopter exit set to I Will Survive and Take Me Higher took the short entertainment slot to new heights. 

Imagine being at a concert that included: Aerosmith, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly. Well, that was the halftime show for Super Bowl 35.

The performance opened with a Ben Stiller Dodgeball cameo, then it was filled with dance offs, fireworks and boyband power. 

And no one can forget when Beyonce reunited Destiny’s Child to perform a medley of their hits. 

Not only was Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show an explosive success in its own right, but it served to somewhat alleviate the reputation of the singer herself after controversy over lip syncing earlier in the year. 

A few years later Queen Bey hit the stage again to join Bruno Mars. ColdPlay also had a surprise performance with Beyonce to perform their collaboration “Hymn for the Weekend.” 

This year Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will have an opportunity to top some of these performances when they hit the stage at halftime. Demi Lovato will also have a performance of her own to sing the national anthem. 

Tweet: “Shakira and Jennifer Lopez will perform at Super Bowl 54, but you can’t forget about some of the iconic performances from the past. Check out my article ‘JLo and Shakira take over Super Bowl Halftime Show.’ to catch up!” 

Mahomes and Garoppolo take over Super Bowl 54

A Super Bowl without Tom Brady leaves room for two new quarterbacks to take over and set new records. This year we get to see Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo make the Super Bowl their own.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

By: Victoria Femia

This time has come for two new quarterbacks to shine in the Super Bowl because, for the first time since 2016, Tom Brady will not be participating in Super Bowl Sunday. 

Kansas City’s 24-year-old Patrick Mahomes and San Francisco’s 28-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo form the freshest matchup of up-and-comers that this game has seen.

In Super Bowl 54, this duo ranks third in youth, tied for sixth in playoff inexperience and tied for first in fewest career starts. This year, Garoppolo and Mahomes will be starting for the first time in a Super Bowl.

The Chiefs and 49ers are two teams that dominante in both offence and defence. Both finished the 2019 regular season as top-5 scoring offences, and haven’t disappointed in the NFL playoffs thus far. In four combined games this postseason, the lowest amount of points scored by either side in a single game was 27.

When it comes to the roles of the quarterbacks, they bring different skills to the table. 

Mahomes is the ultimate playmaker, his ability to have a good game while throwing a lot is unmatched. An example of this can be seen when the Chiefs played against the Titans and he had 35 pass attempts. 

According to BetOnline he opens as a +125 favorite to win the Super Bowl LIV Most Valuable Player award.

On the other hand, Garoppolo proved more than once that he could deliver in close games and win games throwing the ball. Garoppolo led the 49ers to a 13-3 regular-season record, and two playoff wins have them at 15-3.

Garoppolo and Mahomes have a combined career winning percentage of .794, which is notable for one big reason: It will set the record for the highest combined winning percentage for two Super Bowl starting quarterbacks.

Tweet: “Super Bowl 54 is just days away so catch up on what you need to know about the quarterbacks with my article ‘Mahomes and Garoppolo take over Super Bowl 54.”

Super Bowl 54 in Numbers: Kansas City Chiefs Vs. San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl 54 will take place on Sunday, February 2, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

By: Riley Gillespie-Wilson

The stage is set for Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs’ high-flying offence, which generated the second-most passing yards per-game in the playoffs, will have a tough test in a 49ers defence that gave up the fewest passing-yards per-game in the regular season this year. That’s not to say the 49ers offense is anything to sneeze at, either. They were actually the fourth-ranked offense this season, while the Chiefs were the sixth. 

The 49ers won the last meeting between the two teams, 27-17, but that was an August 24 preseason meeting. Clearly, there’s a lot more on the line this time around. All in all, fans have agreed this has the makings to be one great Super Bowl. Why? Let’s go by the numbers. 

25: 49ers coach Kyle Shannahan has been known throughout his career as an offensive guru. However, his defense gave up just 25 yards per-drive this season. (including playoffs) That’s the second-best in the NFL behind only a New England Patriots unit that stifled offenses all year long. The 49ers’ defense has simply had an incredibly easy time getting the opponent off the field this season. 

125.2: The 49ers ‘D’ will have a handful in facing Patrick Mahomes, though. 2018 MVP Mahomes clearly likes to throw the deep ball, and he’s very, very good at it. He completed 36 of 69 passes of 20 yards or more this season, connecting on a league-leading 15 majors and just two interceptions. That gave him a league-leading 125.2 passer rating on these throws. For comparison’s sake, the league average on the deep ball was just 85.7. Mahomes has a plethora of weapons at his disposal, and Tyreek Hill’s lightning-like speed opens up the lengthy strike for him. 

36.4: Mahomes may want to avoid one cornerback on the vaunted 49ers defence. Richard Sherman has given opposing quarterbacks nightmares all season long. QB’s targeting Sherman have just a 36.4 passer rating in the regular season and playoffs combined. Crazily enough, that rating is lower than a quarterback gets for throwing an incompletion on every throw. (39.6) That’s just a bonkers stat. Sherman will likely be tasked with covering the speedster Hill, which will put that impressive rating to the test, as Hill racked up the 15th most receiving yards this season, but the fourth most yards per-reception. 

3.2: Speaking of Hill, he is lethally quick. He averaged 3.2 yards of separation from his primary defender at the time of the catch this year. That’s tied for the tenth-biggest gap among receivers this season. Apparently, though, Hill was only warming up in the regular season. He increased that digit to 3.5 in the AFC Championship game against the Tennessee Titans. 

80: Sherman isn’t the only cog in the 49ers defence Mahomes and company will have to lookout for. Rookie Nick Bosa was the first 49ers rookie voted into the Pro Bowl since 2007, (Patrick Willis) and for good reason. Bosa’s 80 quarterback pressures were the most by a rookie pass rusher since Pro Football Focus started tracking them in 2006. Bosa had the sixth-most quarterback pressures among edge-defenders this season. He will be a threat to bring down Patrick Mahomes in this game, if the Chiefs struggle to contain him, like most offensive lines did this season. 

.815: Football fans around the world are debating whether Chiefs head coach Andy Reid needs this win to cement his legacy. One thing is for sure: he’s in a good position to do so. When Reid rests, Reid wins. His teams are 22-5, (an .815 win percentage) during the regular season and playoffs, immediately following a week off. Whether it’s just the rest, good film study, a little bit of both, or something else entirely, Reid sure knows how to make the most of a bye week. 

38.9%: If the Chiefs can get past the stifling coverage of Sherman and into the red-zone, there’s one man in particular they’ll be looking for. Including the playoffs, Travis Kelce’s 24 red-zone targets rank second in the league, and 14 of Kansas City’s 36 targets (38.9%) in goal-to-go yardage have landed in Kelce’s hands. That’s the highest ratio in the NFL. 

Whether it’s Reid’s bye-week magic, Tyreek Hill’s separation speed, Richard Sherman’s lockdown coverage, or another factor that decides Super Bowl 54, the numbers dictate this being one spectacular game. The one number not mentioned: 1: the number of chances each team gets at this game. One tilt for all the marbles. Super Bowl 54. 

TWEET: Beyond the players, and the halftime show, there are the defining digits. Super Bowl 54 by the numbers.

Offense or Defense Wins Championships? Chiefs, 49ers, Super Bowl 54 Preview

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Last years MVP Patrick Mahomes Flexing after his Chiefs dispatch of the Titans

By: Austin Maki

  The National Football League will wrap up its 100th season in Miami Florida Sunday night with Super Bowl 54. The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers for the first time in the history of the big game.  This will be the 11th time Miami has hosted the Super Bowl, the most for any city.

This is the first Super Bowl appearance for the Chiefs in 50 years. The last time Kansas City made it this far, it was 1970, when the Chiefs topped the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV for their first — and only — Lombardi Trophy. A win would end the second-longest Lombardi Trophy drought among teams that have already won a Super Bowl. Only the New York Jets (51 years) have endured a longer stretch in between titles.

The 49ers on the other hand are one of the most successful organizations in the history of the NFL. This will be there seventh Super Bowl appearance. San Francisco went to five Super Bowls between 1981-1994 and won all five of them, then returned to the big game in 2012, loosing the Baltimore Ravens. With a win the 49ers would tie the Patriots and Steelers for the most Super Bowls wins at 6.

There is always hype going into a Super Bowl, and 54 is proving no exception. The game presents clashing styles, and philosophies, both steams strength match the other weakness.

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Andy Reid Celebrating first AFC championship

 It’s a matchup that sees Veteran head coach Andy Reid, taking his second team to a Super Bowl (Eagles 2004) against the third youngest head coach in the NFL Kyle Shanahan. Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, won the super bowl in 1997 and 98 with the Denver Broncos. If the 49ers were to win, they would become the first father son duo to win separate Super Bowls. 

On the field, the 49ers greatest strength is its defense, which ranks first in the playoffs and second in the regular season, as well as first in total pass defense. Overseen by Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh, they’ve allowed just 15 points per game in the postseason after surrendering just over 19 per game in the regular season. It starts up front, led by rookie pass rusher Nick Bosa, who has logged three sacks in the playoffs alone. Fellow D-linemen and pro bowlers Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner combine to give the Niners one of the most fearsome front fours in the league.

And they will have to be going against last year’s MVP (and presumptive favourite to win Super Bowl MVP) Patrick Mahomes and the fearsome Kansas City offense. While their regular-season numbers weren’t always gaudy, the Chiefs eclipsed 35 points in both of their playoff games and have three different players among the best at their position: Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. In the AFC Championship game, Mahomes also showcased his legs, leading Kansas City in rushing. He is a true duel threat. While the Chiefs can run the ball here and there, but their chief mission (no pun intended) is to beat you through the air. To show how good this guy has been in his first 2 years, The Chiefs have never lost a game by more than seven points with Mahomes as their starter.

The 49ers on the other hand thrive keeping the ball on the ground. San Francisco led all playoff teams in rushing yards after ranking second among running teams in the regular season. The 49ers have used a rotation of running backs all year but in the NFC championship game it was all about Raheem Mostert. Mostert totaled 220 yards and four touchdowns that night dominating from start to finish. Where questions are being asked is third year starter Jimmy Garoppolo appearing in his third super bowl, but first as a starter. He only threw 8 passes against the Packers though, and questions have been asked about whether he can rise to the occasion.

The last unit we must look at is the Kansas City Chiefs defence. It is last for a reason, the less said the better about a unit that at best could be described as average.  However they have been much better in the post season holding Derick Henry to 69 yards in the AFC championship game. Defensive backs Bashaud Breeland and Tyrann Mathieu figure to play a key role on defense for the Chiefs. Both veterans have had a knack for being around the ball this year, particularly in the postseason.

What sets these two teams apart, is San Francisco’s defence. The Niners rank dead last in passing yards allowed and sixth in total sacks. If the front seven can establish dominance early against Kansas City’s questionable offensive line, this game – and their sixth Lombardi – is theirs for the taking. What the 49ers don’t have though is Patrick Mahomes, a generational special talent. It is impossible to predict or anticipate what he will do. This Super Bowl won’t provide the final answer but could shed some light on the one of sports greatest debates. What wins a championship Offence or Defence.

A Championship Year for the Toronto Raptors.

In the span of one year Canada became a threat to the world of sports, specifically basketball. The Toronto Raptors showed the rest of the NBA they are a winning team.

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors hits the game-winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

By: Victoria Femia

This year consisted of some of the craziest moments we’ve seen in sports. But for Canadians this year was historic. 

Holding the top spot, as probably Canada’s ultimate moment of the decade, is the Toronto Raptors winning their first ever Championship.

With Kawhi Leonard coming off an injury season with the Spurs in which he only played  9 games and Toronto trading away one of their stars, DeMar DeRozan, people were not expecting the Raptors to make it far.

But doubts against the team started to fade as Toronto maintained a spot high up in the Eastern Conference standings. 

After coming off a 58-24 regular season, it was time for playoffs. 

The first round against the Orlando Magic came and gone, but the second round was a back and forth battle that ended in dramatic fashion.

The series went to game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers, and it was an iconic game.

With 4 seconds left, the Raptors had possession on the inbound and the game plan? get the ball to Kawhi Leonard.

Marc Gasol inbounded the ball to Leonard who took it to the corner, shot it and hoped for the best. The ball dramatically bounced from each side of the rim before finally going through the hoop. 

This was the first game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA history, which led to its name, “The Shot.

Tears were shed by the 76ers, Joel Embiid specifically, and just like that the Raptors had moved on to the Eastern Conference finals to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

Given that Toronto was 1-4 against the Bucks in the regular season, most people thought Milwaukee would take the series. It started out with Milwaukee winning the first two games which made people doubt Toronto even more.

But the unpredictable Toronto Raptors went on to win the next 4 games to close out the Bucks and win the Eastern Conference title. 

Toronto was so close to a title and the city was electric, every game thousands of fans filled the outside of the Scotiabank Arena, aka Jurassic Park to cheer on their team. 

The Raptors went on to face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

The whole Raptor team had stepped up tremendously during the playoffs, Norman Powell turned into “playoff Powell,” racking up points for Toronto. Fred VanVleet was consistently hitting clutch threes along with Marc Gasol. Pascal Siakam was averaging 20 points per game and Leonard was averaging 28 points in the playoffs. 

Toronto dismantled Golden State player by player. An injured Kevin Durant tried to make an early return to the series to attempt to save the Warriors from losing but failed as he ruptured his achilles. Then Klay Thompson tried desperately to keep them alive in game 6 but he left the game with a torn ACL. It was all up to Steph Curry, who was noticeably exhausted. 

Raptors took full advantage of the injury riddled Warriors, winning game 6 114-110 and went on to win their first NBA Championship. 

After the game the crowd cheered for Leonard as he hoisted up his second Finals MVP trophy. 

To celebrate their first title, over one million fans crowded the streets of downtown Toronto and about 100,000 packed Nathan Phillips Square and the surrounding streets at the Raptors Championship parade.

The Raptors ambassador, Drake, was of course in attendance celebrating with the team on their bus. 

At the end of the ceremony Leonard gave a speech to the crowd telling them to “enjoy this moment and have fun with it,” he then mocked himself by doing his own infamous laugh.

Not long after, Marc Gasol completed a historic double by winning the World Cup with Spain. The Raptors centre became the 2nd player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year.

It was the perfect way to cap off a Championship year for the Toronto Raptors.

Tweet: “Read my article, ‘A Championship Year for the Toronto Raptors’ to recap on one of the greatest moments of 2019.”

The Greatest Grey Cups in CFL History

From the underdogs to coaching battles and to snow storms, here are some of the best moments in the Canadian Football League’s biggest game.

The 77th Grey Cup in 1989. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

By: Victoria Femia

It’s that time of the year again. The weather is getting colder, Christmas is around the corner and the Grey Cup is just days away. For CFL fans, it’s Canada’s greatest week.

The 2019 Grey Cup will consist of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats taking on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Though this looks to be a good game, there have been some pretty great Grey Cups over the years. 

Continue reading “The Greatest Grey Cups in CFL History”

Athletes & Activism

The 3 Most Influential Athletes who took a stand for Social Justice.

Several African-American athletes who have advocated heavily for social justice

Whether it be the Black Lives Matter movement, protests against the Vietnam war, protests against racial discrimination and most recently, tensions between China and the NBA, sports athletes have been very effective at causing social change. 

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It’s Time To Notice Racism in Hockey

 

Discussing racism in the sport of hockey.

By: Raegan Subban

Chase Hardwell talking to teammates at practice

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another. Racism in the form of discrimination persists in society. It is one of the major issues which occurs at many different levels in certain fields. In sports, racism is happening more often, also becoming a much bigger problem.

Continue reading “It’s Time To Notice Racism in Hockey”

The Drake Effect

It’s only a game, let the man cheer.

Throughout the course of the 2018-2019 NBA season, more so in the playoffs; athletes,
fans and coaches seemed to have a problem with Drakes “antics.” But was it really too
much?

From heckling at any player on the court that was not apart of the Toronto Raptors to
actually ​ giving Raptors head coach Nick Nurse a shoulder massage on the sidelines,
Drake was able to poke fun at everyone in the NBA.

Continue reading “The Drake Effect”