T HE FORUM. News. The merits of Merit

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2 2 T HE FORUM October 10, 2014 News L-S receives Wi-Fi upgrade By Amara Chittenden Contributing Writer As most students know, L-S has been making improvements to help build a more successful and innovative learning environment. Over the summer, the school s technology system was dramatically upgraded. Nancy Errico, the Education Technology Coordinator at L-S, discussed how the last major update to the technology occured when the new building was built in At the time, the infrastructure included a network of 21 wiring closets, which gave the classrooms and computer labs access to the Ethernet, a hard-wired system. There was a very small Wi- Fi network, with only about 30 or 40 access points around the school. Funds were not being provided to upgrade the system. When mobile devices became popular in 2010, the entire network began to struggle to keep up. As these devices continued to climb in popularity, there was no doubt that the system needed to be changed. The town eventually voted in favor of funds to allow more hardwiring to be constructed at L-S. This way, more Wi-Fi stations could be put in throughout the school. The funding made building 180 Wi-Fi access points possible. Ms. Errico notes that L-S has the campus like that of a university; with multiple buildings and floors, the task of providing Internet to every point of the school is no small one. To her, giving students the access to technological advancements is about creativity, innovation, communication, collaboration, and research. She, first and foremost, believes that we should be creating a robust environment for education to take place. Although some teachers and students may not take advantage of the technology, the future of education relies on the use of it. The speed at which we can access information for research through the Internet is a tool that has become invaluable. We want to teach people how to learn, says Errico, and how to be more independent learners. The learning extends to both teachers and students, who can continue to improve on analyzing information effectively. The immediate needs for the network include upgrading the Wi-Fi systems that require authentication for access so that these servers are more stable. In the end, there will be different levels of access to certain sites and different levels of bandwidth, but right now we haven t dealt with that because we want to make sure the stability factor was there, Errico elaborates. Other blueprints include investigating tools that could help student-teacher collaboration. While some teachers have websites and wikis, there is a desire for a more blended atmosphere online. Whether through the use of Google Apps for Education, or learning management systems which include websites with homework assignments and quizzes, it s how to get the tools in the hands of the teachers and the students so that they can collaborate, according to Errico. For more information about L-S s technology standards and goals, visit iste.org/standards. The merits of Merit THE MERIT SEMIFINALISTS (from left to right): Back Row: Elise Hinkle, Krystal Phu, Andrei Rakitin, Logan Engstrom, Eric Qin, Austin Lessin. Front Row: Sam Robiner, Greg Howard, Rohan Shankar, Will Ye, Mark Tentarelli. Not Pictured: Clara Cousins By Austin Lessin Editor Merit Semifinalists Last month, 12 Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School students were named as semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship program. These 12 L-S students are among the 16,000 semifinalists named each year across the country. To qualify as a semifinalist, a student must first take the PSAT in their junior year and score in the top one percent of the state. Once students are notified of their semifinalist status, they are asked to complete a full application, which includes a copy of their transcript, a list of extracurriculars and awards, a personal essay, and their SAT scores. About 15,000 of the 16,000 semifinalists go on to be finalists. From these 15,000 finalists, 2,500 are selected for a National Merit scholarship of $2,500, and approximately 5,500 are selected for other awards. Merit Commended Scholars Last month, 29 L-S seniors were notified of their status as commended scholars in the annual National Merit scholarship competition. These seniors are among the top 3% of PSAT test takers nationally. In order to qualify as a commended National Merit contestant, a student must take the PSAT in their junior year. The PSAT, a completely multiple choice exam, measures a student s abilities in math, critical reading, and writing. After analyzing the results, the National Merit Scholarship will decide a cut-off score for commended status that reflects the top 3% nationwide. This cutoff score changes from year to year; this year, the cutoff score was a 201 (on a scale of ). People differ greatly on what it means to be a commended National Merit participant. Ms. Zingale, the main office secretary, exclaimed how she was so proud of all the commended students, in particular noting the particularly high number of top scorers this year. Photo by Chuck Despotopulos L-S safety procedures to be improved By Robert Hayes Editor Over the past few years, schools all across the country have continued to enforce proactive measures to enhance school security and protect both students and staff against harmful behavior. Because of this concern, schools in Lincoln and Sudbury, including L-S, have adopted new techniques and safety precautions to ensure the well-being of students if some harmful situation were to occur. Last year, L-S adopted the ALICE program, a set of protective measures geared towards an increased survival rate in case of an event where there was an armed intruder. ALICE, standing for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate, is an improved approach to counteracting any act of violence that might occur in schools. This approach is one of the many efforts that L-S is taking to protect students and faculty in case of an emergency. In addition to this recently introduced program, the normal precautions against a fire or a bomb threat are also being taken. Like other school districts in Massachusetts, L-S practices fire and bomb drills to ensure student safety in the case of these events. This year, the school is adding a tornado drill to its list of safety precautions to prepare students and faculty for any emergency. We have a large campus and I feel everyone affiliated wth the buildings is watching out for one another -Bella Wong The L-S faculty recently voted to have photo identification cards, which they have begun wearing these past few weeks. These identification cards were issued as a way to easily identify teachers in case of emergency. Additionally, the three campus aides will monitor the parking lot as another mode of protection against outside threats. Once a month, school administrators meet with Lincoln and Sudbury police officers and the Middlesex District Attorney s Office to continue to improve safety protocols. Discussing L-S s safety procedures, Superintendent-Principal Bella Wong commented, We re always reviewing our safety protocols...we have a large campus and I feel everyone affiliated with the building is watching out for one another and responding to situations...including our grounds staff. Schools in Lincoln are also working to improve and add to their list of safety precautions. Like L-S, they have been working with local officials on a monthly basis to improve these plans and make the schools safer places. Town officials hope that in any case of emergency, the right precautions will have been taken. For now, L-S will continue to improve upon its safety precautions and make any changes needed to ensure student safety. To summarize, Wong believes that the school community works well together, commenting that everyone works together to keep an eye out for each other. L-S PLANS TO MAKE improvements to its long list of safety precautions to ensure that all students and faculty are safe. Photo courtesy of utoledo.edu



5 October T10, 2014 HE FORUM 5 Opinion The unprofessionalism of professional athletes By Noah Furman Assistant Editor Recently, most sports news has contained little of actual sports news, and more stories every week about an athlete (mostly professional, but sometimes a college athlete too) who was arrested on some heinous charge. Whether it is domestic violence, illicit drugs, or any of the other numerous alleged crimes committed by athletes, they all point to trouble. Any sports fan could logically conclude that professional and collegiate athletes have a crime problem. We re quick to jump on the NFL for its rap-sheet of awful Any sports fan could logically conclude that professional and collegiate athletes have a crime problem. After a few minutes (or hours, or days) of aimlessly browsing the Internet, Facebook messaging your friends, or just laying in bed doing nothing at all, it can be easy to write off the time spent as a loss and resolve never to waste time like that again, even when you know you won t fulfill such a resolution. Wasting time in this way, when you re busy and stressed out, can even lead to feelings of guilt. But it shouldn t. What are we really doing in our wasted time? It s not nothing. Even just lying around, one doesn t turn off their thoughts; sometimes we need time just to think, which is a lot more productive when it s not during class or while trying to do the English reading. During that wasted time, we think through the issues facing us and make better choices about how to deal with them, even if it s semi-subconscious. Similarly, talking to our friends the people with whom we feel the greatest connection over the shared human experience is not only enjoyable but also necessary to stay sane; meanwhile, isolating ourselves in order to pursue future success is counterproductive. And while watching Buzzfeed gifsets might not be the most productive possible use of time, that doesn t make it a waste. If nothing else, the reason we do these things is for enjoyment. Undoubtedly, that happiness does have value. What we feel guilty about is the opportunity cost: what we could have been doing during the time spent doing something arguably less productive and crimes, an ineffective personal conduct policy, and an egomaniacal commissioner, but the NFL cannot be held as the only liable party. Every major professional collegiate sports league has seen their share of crimes with their athletes. The NFL just happens to be the most prominent and the easiest to criticize. We could spend days discussing the best way to handle future situations and prevent issues in the future, but one thing has always eluded the great minds of sports: why do professional athletes act out in the way they do? The answer may not be as simple as immaturity or an inflated ego. Professional and big time college sports entrust millions of dollars to athletes via salary, endorsements, and scholarships. While I m sure most athletes act relatively responsibly with their money, it damages some athletes pysche. Often, fans or the media don t see or choose to ignore this influence. Many wonder if the proliferation of these millions of dollars inherently foster a sort of invincibility complex in the athletes. Do athletes really think of themselves immune from ordinary law? There are many different answers to these questions. Sure, the money distinguishes the athletes from everyone else, but does that mean they are corrupted people? If it s not the money that is the sole cause of these crimes, then what is? Why don t professional athletes and their leagues in other countries deal with crime on this scale? Certainly, these athletes are under enormous pressure to perform from coaches and fans, especially in the United States. American fans, football fans in particular, have little patience when an athlete underperforms. Without a doubt, some of the blame belongs to league officers who create vague, enforceable conduct policies for their athletes and fail to deter players from committing such reprehensible actions This misconduct could also be blamed on the culture of American sport. It s not just the fans, coaches, or league officers, but professional sports as a whole that influences the players. American sports are more dynamic, enjoyable, and full of inexplicable ardor than any other sports culture on the planet. With the exitement for fans comes great responsibility for athletes. More often than not, great consequences arise for athletes that don t perform as the public wants them to. In my opinion, the greatest possible reason for crime-ridden professional sports is the players themselves. Fans and the media are quick to point out external variables beyond the athletes control that could be the explanation. However, these athletes are not ordinary people and must be held to higher standards. Though they are human and do make mistakes, athletes must recognize the opportunity in front of them that only a few have. In the end, crime in professional sports boils down to several intertwined causes that encourage such disgraceful behavior. No one party is sufficiently more guilty than the other. It is the responsibility of all parties to prevent such conduct in the future, and must work together to effectively do it. Students, there is no such thing as wasted time By Natasha Kadlec Staff Writer Even just lying around, one doesn t turn off their thoughts; sometimes we need time to just think. RAY RICE is just the next in the string of professional athletes and celebrities who have been highlighted by media for problems in their personal lives. Some of the blame belongs to the league officers who create vague, unenforceable conduct policies. more enjoyable. And it s true that opportunity costs exist, which is why we can t pursue our hedonistic pleasures all the time, at the expense of everything else. Neglecting every responsibility forever would ultimately be unsustainable and eventually lead to less happiness. But there s no reason to take it to extremes: when you can do something enjoyable, just because you want to, please do it. Be hedonistic when you can. Hedonism helps us recover from work and stress, making it easier to deal with the next day or week or even just a few minutes later. And by definition, it makes us happy in the moment. Whatever you re neglecting as you waste your time, whatever goal that s in pursuit of, is probably something you want because you think it will ultimately make you happy. But you don t have to wait to be happy. Don t feel bad about doing something because you want to, not because it would look good on a resumé. Happiness doesn t have to be an elusive goal,nor should it ever Happiness doesn t have to an elusive goal, nor should it ever be accompanied by guilt. be accompanied by guilt. Dealing with wasted time is a matter of allowing yourself to enjoy the stupid stuff we all do anyway. Don t think of it as time wasted, just reallocated. Photo courtesy of Fox News Online


7 October T10, 2014 HE FORUM 7 Features Meet the New L-S Staff Editorial Happy October, L-S! Let s be real here, by now Ruth Anne Bergman Robert Britt Mary Brunson Kelly Bultema the new school year glow (if that is even a thing) has worn off, so welcoming you all back to school would be Excel ASC Science FATA fruitless. We have already started to settle back into the routine that we know all too well: wake up, consume copious amounts of caffeine, go to school, learn (do with that what you will), attend extracurriculars, begrudgingly do homework, sleep, and repeat. As mundane as this routine may be, and as much as we dread the coming months, October is just as much of a new beginning as September. As a freshman, I remember the sheer pride I felt when I finally learned how to find my way around the I previously worked at I studied abroad in Galway, I am a sci-fi/fantasy nerd I love metalsmithing/ jewwelry making in gold. I m had signed up for, jumbling all of October, 2012 into a school, as well as the excitement for the slew of clubs I L-S from I am Ireland when I was in college. I am looking forward looking forward to seeing looking forward to meeting blur. Things were still new, fresh, and somewhat foreign (video games/tv/movies). I m looking forward to seeing everyone I have missed and to getting to know all the student plays and sports a lot of you, and seeing your - freshmen, clutch onto that feeling for dear life. You re all the new students. students and staff at L-S. since I live close to school. creations in Metal Arts. going to miss it someday. As a sophomore, I began to get involved with a Jean Cole Christopher Collins Patrick Collins Steve Desrosiers club I had never heard of before...know anything about Support Staff Science Finance/ Operations Metco The Forum? Sophomores, this year is excellent for making new friends, trying out clubs, and seeing which subjects speak most to you. Put yourself out there and enjoy your time in the middle; you re almost halfway there! We juniors are now crazily signing up for any and all standardized tests, getting our Naviance accounts, and nearly going broke from going out to lunch far too often. We re still getting used to not being underclassmen, but loving every second of it. Seniors are embracing their place at the top of the school. There s definitely pressure, exemplified in college I enjoy swimming and biking. I ve heard a lot about a National Park Service of the 10th Annual Veterans applications and the final push for good grades and high I drove a zamboni and was I am the founder/director senior dress up day and I m Ranger in North Dakota. I Memorial 5K in Shrewsbury. standardized test scores. With that said, excitement looking forward to seeing want to see students advocate for the environment. support veterans. senior dress-up day, and so much more that I am not yet All proceeds are donated to lies in senior spot, an abundance of frees, the upcoming what that is all about! aware of. You re almost there, seniors! As cliché as it may Kayla DeWees Katelyn Dix Esteé Hill Amy Jacobs sound, live it up. Excel English FATA History Whether this is your last year at L-S or your first, it is an opportunity to do amazing things and grow not just as students, but as peers, mentors, and members of a community. None of us will have this much time again; let s make this year -Kate Weiler count! Can you find all of the new staff by last names? (Hint: 17 names) I m originally from Texas. I travel back home each year to visit my family and to make sure I keep my accent. Stephanie Kunst Special Education I really love the Lego Movie I look forward to having I look forward to teaching fun and making art with my exciting literature that I ve students. My favorite book never taught before, but is Italo Calvino s Invisible have dreamed of teaching! Cities. Melanie Mahoney Science Davis Mercier Math You may not know that I sneeze when I m full. I m looking forward to not being lost while walking through the school. Daniel Shuler Counselor I drive a Harley! I m looking I am an avid trail runner and training for a trail forward to becoming part of the L-S family and getting to marathon. know as many students and staff members as possible. Christopher Shutzer Special Education Heath Wright Support Staff I like to play basketball and play the drums in my spare time. I look forward to building many positive relationships around L-S this year. WELCOME TO L-S! We look forward to getting to know you this year! -The Forum Staff I am a musician: I play drums and guitar in a band. I m looking forward to joinng a great community of staff and students. Have an idea for a cool feature article? Want to write for the paper? us at A fun fact about me is that I am an avid bowler. I m looking forward to getting to know the community and the students I am a silent partner for a plastic recycling business. I look forward to working with and being part of the LS community this year. Compiled by Samm Katcher Managing Editor Features Editor Photos courtesy of Chuck Despotopulos




11 12 Arts FORUM October 10, 2014 The Blacklist proves worthy of critical acclaim By Indrani Kharbanda Assistant Editor The living, breathing stereotype of a female FBI agent. A rage-filled, red-haired man with a strange name, about to go over the Moral Event Horizon. An extremely frightening pair of tortoiseshell eyeglasses. And the slickest old guy you ve ever seen. Several oddly-named new cocktails? No, this recipe is for nothing more revolutionary than a sophomore television procedural well, a sophomore television procedural that surpasses every other contender in its category. That s right, kids. We re talking about The Blacklist. Premiering last fall, The Blacklist is a show with an intriguing premise. The world s most notorious criminal, a man on the high end of the FBI s mostwanted list, surrenders himself very stylishly in the middle of the J. Edgar Hoover Building and declares he ll only speak to Special Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), a rookie profiler. This is Raymond Reddington (three-time Emmy winner James Spader), a man so cocky he ll negotiate his own immunity agreement (which includes five-star accommodations, bodyguards of his recommendation, trips to Cuba, and a whole lot of marijuana) while making it seem as though it s the government that s imprisoned. This is where the title comes in Reddington, or Red, as he s known, wants to help the government in the capture of their mutual enemies, which he happens to have a list of the Blacklist. Most are named with epithets such as the Stewmaker, Lord Baltimore, Monarch Trust, and, most prominently, a one-armed, mustachioed man called Berlin. Over the course of the season, we become familiar with the object of Red s obsession: Liz Keen, a green but incredibly capable agent who happens to have a bespectacled husband with some questionable motives. Working with her in the secret blacksite known only as the Post Office is Donald Ressler (portrayed by the unconventionally named Diego Klattenhoff), our aforementioned angry young redhead and a whiz Photo courtesy of cinearchive.org hacker named Aram Mojtabai (Amir Arison). Having kicked off its second season with high ratings in the coveted age demographic and having been continually lauded by critics, The Blacklist is poised to start its reign over the kingdom of the crime show with scepter in hand. Recently, Netflix made its biggest purchase ever for the first season, buying the rights at two million per episode. Twenty-two episodes in the first season at two million an episode. To quote Ocean s Eleven, you do the math. For a freshman drama it says something, no? The critics are correct, as well. Comparing Spader s acting with the rest of the actors on the show is akin to giving one person an Abrams tank and the other a Ferrari sports car, but that obviously doesn t mean the latter isn t good. Boone, Klattenhoff, and Arison, to the surprise of many, are above-par actors who can, in fact, keep up with Spader. Boone especially Keen and Red s odd, slightly unconventional relationship has had Keen stabbing Red in the neck with a pen and Red pretending to be, at times, Keen s boyfriend, father, and monologuing gay best friend, which all amounts to a crackling, taut platonic chemistry that is more entertaining than many romantic couplings on other dramas, and with much better writing. Klattenhoff s Ressler seems to be the worshipful younger brother of Red, wanting his attention and approval despite their relationship running the gamut from Ressler pointing a gun at Red to Red delivering a decapitated head to Ressler s apartment in a gorgeous lacquer box as a gift. He also plays off of Keen well, at times seeming the jealous sibling and at others the supportive, if emotionally confused, friend. When considered initially, that is, without watching the pilot, The Blacklist is unutterably boring. The main characters, save Aram and the Assistant Director for Counter-Terrorism, Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) are all white. Liz, our one female character, believes she is viewed, as it seems a female FBI agent must always be viewed, as a bitch. When actually watched, however, The Blacklist The predicament of Pasolini By Katerina Matjucha PIER PAOLO PASOLINI in focus. Abel Ferrara s Pasolini, a biopic about the notorious filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, premiered Thursday at the New York Film Festival. As always, Ferrara s focus on sporadic scenes of intense violence and relative lack of character development have garnered criticism, but this time they don t lend themselves to biographical storytelling. Despite its artistic shortcomings, Pasolini is nevertheless significant; a film about one of the most controversial filmmakers of the 1970s made by another. Ferrara and Pasolini were known for their execrable subject matter revolving around abuse of power and personal violence. Pasolini s final and most criticized work, Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma, is a film about teenagers abducted and tortured by fascists in Mussolini s Italy. The film remains banned in many countries today for its graphic depictions of every kind and severity of violence. Ferrara s movies are arraigned for the same reasons, a notable example being Bad Lieutenant, a film about a corrupt cop who uses his title to get drugs and sexual favors without fear of resistance or punishment. Though Pasolini made it clear through his political stances that all his films were meant as condem- Editor nations of fascism and Ferrara s other works indicate that he does not condone the actions of his titular character, Salò and Bad Lieutenant are nevertheless ineffective criticisms of abuse of power. In Salò, the storylines of the tortured kids culminate in their murder while their kidnappers are never delivered justice. Pasolini s dedication to realism is admirable, but when combined with the increasingly creative torture methods employed against the captives, a lack of blatant condemnation has led Salò to become a prized item in the libraries of people such as self proclaimed godfather of filth, John Waters. Bad Lieutenant is ineffective for the inconsistent morality of its central character. The lieutenant is investigating the rape of a nun, a crime he finds so heinous that at one point he comes close to killing the perpetrators, and yet at other times during the film he himself commits sexual abuses. The film can t even be defended as a portrayal of reality in the way Salò is; it s just poorly made. Granted, those types of films are hard to get right. There are scores of films with blatant good versus evil themes, but for a film to teach a moral lesson without being preachy or unrealistic it must be subversive, and subversive themes are inherently hard to identify. Two of the more successful films of this nature are Martin Scorsese s Taxi Driver and Quentin Tarantino s Reservoir Dogs. Taxi Driver tells the story of Travis Bickle, a self-appointed vigilante who drives his cab around New York City at night fantasizing about washing all this scum off the streets. What makes Taxi Driver effective is that Travis spends most of the film brewing in hatred and narrating stream-of-consciousness monologues which allow the audience to relate to him and assimilate into his mind during his long and depraved descent. The only time he harms someone is in a short sequence towards the end of the film, and this scene is so sudden and so violent that the audience is shocked. This film is executed in a way that effectively shows what happens when the Travises of the world and in all of us are left unapprehended. Tarantino s Reservoir Dogs takes the complete opposite approach to Taxi Driver; it is an extremely violent film, but not in the fun, pulpy way most of is utterly fascinating. The first season co-starred the forever-lovely Parminder Nagra as a CIA agent with maleficence under her calm Punjabi demeanor. Boone gives layers to fierce, angry, doubting Liz, a female character who gets angry in ways it seems only male characters on other shows get angry, smashing her house to bits and methodically, almost sociopathically, putting everything back where it belongs, beating men half to death, throwing her lying husband through their dining room table. Ressler begins as a man bound to the law and to moral correctness, but by the end, his fury is rampant and almost uncontrollable. Red is one of the best-written characters on television today, his wit and delivery a beautiful, Emmy-worthy medley of Aaron Sorkin and Arrested Development. Stopping short of spoilers, every character in The Blacklist has a secret and a side story that mixes with the main plot like a particularly heady, blood-red drink on the dark side of sweet, with a payoff that you ll find is both worth it and will have your head spinning in the morning with its sheer genius. THE BLACKLIST is morally gray. Tarantino s later works are. It is about eight thieves and their interactions with each other in the aftermath of a robbery gone wrong. They are violent, bigoted thieves and murderers, and though there is no character to serve as a moral yardstick, there is an underlying theme. Before the robbery, their boss assigns them colors as code names and a fight ensues as to why they can t pick their own. His reply sets a tone for the rest of the film, Tried it once; doesn t work. You got four guys all fighting over who s gonna be Mr. Black, but they don t know each other, so nobody wants to back down. The thieves fight for superiority over each other through multiple unnecessarily violent confrontations, a sadistic torture session, and a Mexican standoff, culminating in all of their deaths. Making a nuanced film with a moral compass requires a perfect mix of realism, relatability, and shock, a balance so hard to strike that morality films often end up heinous or unbelievable. However, well conveyed moral themes require such creativity that the movies which successfully incorporate them, though often controversial, end up becoming some of the best in film history. MR. BLONDE, PINK, WHITE, AND ORANGE from Quentin Tarantino s Reservoir Dogs. Photo courtesy of wordpress.com Photo courtesy of Flixter


13 14 T HE FORUM October 10, 2014 Sports Royals, Giants advance as the MLB playoffs begin By Ben Katcher Assistant Editor As the autumn air grows crisp in October, Major League Baseball embarks on its most exciting time of the year: the playoffs. This signifies a fresh start for teams which have worked long and hard to make it to this point, as well as a time for the most reliable, and most surprising, players to come alive and make their city proud. As the 2014 regular season came to an end, ten teams were left standing. In the American League, the Baltimore Orioles headed the AL East division and the Detroit Tigers clinched their playoff spot in the AL Central division. Also coming from the AL Central were the Kansas City Royals, entering the playoffs as the number one Wild Card team from the American League; their first playoff berth in 29 years. The second Wild Card team from the American League was the Oakland Athletics, a team who made some significiant roster changes near the end of the season with the acquisitions of former Boston Red Sox LHP Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes. Last, but certainly not least, the team that topped the Athletics in the AL West division, and clinched the best record in all of Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are a scary looking team entering the postseason. With 36 home runs and 111 RBIs this season at only 23 years of age, the five-tool phenom and AL MVP candidate Mike Trout carries the Angels on his back, and shows that his team has a serious shot at the World Series title this year. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals clinched the NL Central division, with the Los Angeles Dodgers going to lead the NL West. With all-star LHP Clayton Kershaw posting a 21-3 record, a league-best 1.77 ERA, and 239 strikeouts, who knows how far this talented Dodgers team can go this October. The Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants clinched playoffs berths as well, theirs earned via a wild card. Clinching the NL East with the best record in the National League, the Washington Nationals are the favorite National League team going into the postseason. Led by starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals had an MLB-leading team ERA of In addition, the power bats of first baseman Adam La- Roche, shortstop Ian Desmond and third baseman Anthony Rendon, along with speedy centerfielder Denard Span at the top of the lineup make the Nationals quite the powerhouse entering October. On Tuesday September 30, the exhilarating time of playoffs began with the AL Wild Card game between the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals. In this one game playoff series, the winner would move on to the American League Division Series (ALDS) to face the Angels. This was definitely an exciting contest, as the Athletics started off the game with a two-run homerun from Brandon Moss in the top of the first to take the lead. The Royals battled back with a run in the bottom of the first, thanks to an RBI single from Billy Butler, and took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third with an RBI double by Lorenzo Cain, and a short single to left from Eric Hosmer, which drove in Cain. The Athletics came back ferociously in the top of the sixth, putting up five runs, highlighted by Brandon Moss s second homerun of the night, a three-run shot to center field. The Royals were able to tie the game up at 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth, and so the game went into extra innings. The two teams fought on through two scoreless innings of play before Alberto Callaspo singled in Josh Reddick for the Athletics, giving them an 8-7 lead in the top of the twelfth inning. The first postseason berth in 29 years for the Royals looked like it might be coming to an end. However, with one out in the bottom of the twelfth inning, Christian Colon gave Kansas City something to cheer about, hitting in Eric Hosmer with a single, who had just tripled in the last at-bat, and tying up the game. After an Alex Gordon fly out, Colon stole second, and with two outs, catcher Salvador Perez laced a ground ball past the outstretched arm of third baseman Josh Donaldson, hitting in Colon as the game-winning run and sending the Kansas City Royals to the ALDS. The NL Wild Card game took place on Wednesday October 1 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. This game looked as if it would be close at first, but shortstop Brandon Crawford quickly initiated the blowout in the top of the fourth inning, with a towering grand slam to right, giving the Giants a 4-0 lead. This was the first grand slam by a shortstop in MLB postseason history. LHP Madison Bumgarner went on to throw a complete game shutout with 10 strikeouts for the Giants, as they went on to defeat the Pirates 8-0, granting themselves a spot in the National League Division Series (NLDS) to face the Washington Nationals. These teams worked all season to get to this point, and October definitely promises some unbelievable games to come from the MLB. The ALDS began on October 2, with the Royals taking the first two games from the Los Angeles Angels, and the Baltimore Orioles doing the same to the Detroit Tigers. The NLDS began a day later, with the Giants taking two from the Giants, and the Dodgers and Cardinals splitting the first two games of their series. All stats accurate as of October 4, Photo courtesy of replacementlevelredsox.com Photo courtesy of archive.rgj.com SALVADOR PEREZ, the hero of the Royals wild card game, which they won in extra innings. Roger Goodell: worthy of NFL commissioner job? By Owen Trippe Editor The NFL season has been underway for about a month, and while the games continue, and the TV ratings skyrocket, everything is not how it should be. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has recently come under fire for the number of NFL players facing domestic violence charges, as well as his handlings of these arrests, particularly that of former Baltimore Ravens halfback Ray Rice. There have been 5 NFL players arrested for domestic violence in 2014 alone, and of these five, only one has been officially suspended. Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy and Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson are both on the Commissioner s exempt list, receiving pay but not actually playing. Ray McDonald is currently active for the San Francisco 49ers, and Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer has been deactivated from all team activities. The root of the problem is not the number of arrests itself, but the fact that the arrests continue in the face of the highly-publicized Ray Rice case, showing that Goodell is not taking the proper actions. This idea applies to more than just domestic violence. Goodell s rulings on every sort of issue with NFL players has been inconsistent, as he tends to come down much harder on substance abusers than he does on those arrested for violent crimes. Overall, Goodell is inconsistent and at times seems unsure of himself, not qualities one wants in a commissioner of a league that suddenly seems to be going down a dark path. While Goodell s general inconsistency is troublesome, his handling of the Ray Rice case is what has put him in hot water, and for good reason. When Rice was first arrested, video surfaced on the internet of him dragging his then-fiancee Janay Palmer out of an elevator. She was unconscious. For this, on July 24th, Goodell suspended Rice for a measly two games- a punishment ridiculously light given that NFL policy dictates that a first time Adderall user has to sit for four games. On September 8, TMZ released an additional video clip, this one clearly shows Rice knocking out Palmer in an elevator. The same day that the video surfaced, Rice was suspended indefinitely from the league, and released by the Baltimore Ravens. This part of the situation was handled well, but it s what came out in the coming days that provides the grounds for Goodell to consider resignation. While the NFL made claims that they hadn t seen the full video until it was released by TMZ, the Associated Press reported on September 10 that the video had been sent by an unnamed law enforcement officer to the NFL back in April, prior to the date at which Goodell suspended Rice for a mere two games. The Associated Press states that the officer had a voic from the NFL, in which a voice states that it s terrible, presumably referencing the video. While this is not 100% concrete, it appears that there s a good chance Goodell and the rest of the NFL may be CLAYTON KERSHAW hopes to lead the Los Angeles deep into the playofffs. hiding something. While it s not exactly grounds for a firing or resignation, Goodell needs to handle these sorts of situations differently, or his future as NFL commissioner may be in greater jeopardy than it s already in now. All stats accurate as of October 4, ROGER GOODELL S decisions in handling domestic violence cases, especially that of RB Ray Rice have been questionable. Photo courtesy of media.bizj.us