My Experience

I'm so excited for life!

I’m so excited for life!

My experience was new and very exciting. I had been looking forward to getting a taste in online journalism and blogging and learning more about the power of social media has transformed the way I think and how I go about trying to promote my style. Twitter has become a valuable news tool to help keep me up to date on the latest events. WordPress wasn’t necessarily new to me but the learning of the mechanics in taking your blog to the next step has been fascinating. HTML and CSS have been interests of mine before the class but I’m not going to lie, it can be a bit intimidating when going at it alone. This class definitely helped me be better prepared for the online world and taught me how to use the tools to help me succeed, whether it be in online writing, publishing or being able to navigate media that others don’t fully grasp or understand. I’ve never been more excited in pursuing my career in media. Thank you once again for being such a hands on professor! Cheers.

-Andrew J. Conroy

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Playoff Picture, the “Then” and “Now”: Eastern Conference

A disappointing start has the state of New York hanging it's head

A disappointing start has the state of New York hanging it’s head.

With the first month of season over and with a clearer picture beginning to show on who is the real deal and who is just a sheep in wolf’s clothing we come to a radical new look at who may be going into the postseason come April.

So first thing’s first, the Eastern Conference looks like an implosion is imminent, the two New York franchises are floundering, injuries are one thing but the lack of effort, finger pointing and abysmal chemistry problems that exist have knocked these would be contenders on their ass, not knowing how to fix the problems prevalent. The only true contenders at this point from the Eastern Conference look to be Indiana and Miami now with Rose knocked off for the season. The draft order that I had originally had went something like this:

  1. Miami
  2. Indiana
  3. Chicago
  4. Knicks
  5. Brooklyn
  6. Cavaliers
  7. Washington
  8. Detroit

Now what does it look like after the first month? Minus the first two teams on the list, everything has changed. Atlanta is in position to have home court advantage, the two New York teams take up the 2 out of the last 3 places in the Eastern Conference, Jason Kidd is spilling drinks, Chicago looks towards another season without it’s floor general, Washington has jumped to the front of the pack, the Cavaliers look frustrated way too early and can someone please tell Josh Smith that he is not a small forward. THIS WASN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AGAIN!!!! This was supposed to be the year the East went from the “Least” to the “Beast” and now we have teams running around with their heads cut off trying to solve internal issues plaguing many of them. Now I find myself enjoying the Tank Teams more so than the “Contenders”. Is it possible that there is time to right the ship before sinking? For some of these teams yes, the Nets, Knicks and Bulls have the ability to pick themselves up from the ground with the leadership and veterans that are on their respective squads. Injuries will have it’s handprints over these teams but one can’t let the blame solely rest on that excuse. So now I’ll pray for this season to be salvaged from mediocrity in the Eastern Conference, I know a few Western Conference teams that are looking at the East with salivating mouths. Let’s hope the East steps up it’s game in the coming months (don’t keep your hopes up).

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Basketball Never Stops (Storify Blog)

Growing up as a kid, I had an influence on the sports I watched and played, most importantly basketball. Deciding to take a trip down memory lane I went back ten years to get images or videos that showed me the greatness from the likes of the Spurs, an underdog Pistons team, Shaq winning without Kobe, Celtics finally breaking it’s streak of losing, Kobe winning without Shaq (twice), a Mavericks team that defied logic as Nowitzki went Bird-esque against the juggernaut Miami Heat and won, and then the Heat winning back to back titles. Yes the past ten years seems so long ago now, but the stories and the drama is what makes going back and visiting those memories ageless. Basketball never stops.

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Oklahoma City’s Run in 2012 to the NBA Finals

This gallery contains 4 photos.

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The Wilting Rose?

There always seems to be a player in every generation in the NBA that captivates audiences, has co-workers at the water cooler saying, “Did you see when (insert player’s name) leapt out of the building and nearly caused everyone in the crowd to lose their minds?!” Yes there are names like LeBron, Jordan, Bird, Magic, Dominique and so on and so forth that everyone will argue who would win one on one or who was more clutch. But then there is the other category, as Eddie Martel from the movie The Replacements so eloquently put it to the protagonist Shane Falco, “You’re not even a has-been, you’re a never was!” Yes, sadly this category is for those who had the visible skill set, the great leaps of athleticism, they had it. It being that killer instinct, that mentality that said, “Get the f**k out of the way or I will go through you. These players are the Len Bias’, the Penny Hardaway’s, the Grant Hill’s, Greg Oden, and (for the love of basketball let me be wrong) possibly Derek Rose. He had the traits and story, the hometown kid, the struggle of coming from a rough background, the humbleness, the likability. The fact that he is the youngest player in history to nab the coveted MVP award in the 2010-2011 season with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant had their names on the ballot as well. He had plays that made people ask themselves if Newton had it all wrong and that gravity was only a choice we lived by. He and his ferocious Bulls team were the team to challenge the new-look Heat for dominancy in the Eastern Conference. Then the ACL tear happened, then the waiting, the return and then another tear in his uninjured knee. It was as if you were about to finally hook up with that one girl that was going to make everyone say, “Damn I can’t believe Josh got with her, way to go Josh!” Instead she got back with her ex-boyfriend and all your friends tried to reassure you that she would break up with him again.. But sometimes that’s not how life works. Sometime’s life squeezes lemon juice in your paper cuts or you step in gum in your new shoes. That’s just how it is. Life can take away great possibilities just out of bad luck or a wrong landing. But hey, there are those redemption stories that we all hear, the comeback tales of ridiculous proportions. Maybe it’s the half-full view I like to have when discussing the Rose situation. Best wishes D-Rose, the basketball world will be holding it’s breath until we see you back on the court. The shelf space is too crowded for you to join the “Could’ve Been’s”.

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Portland, the Hip Place to be a Blazer

Posing with Carrie Brownstein from the show, "Portlandia" Aldridge seems to have found a niche with the culture in the city of Portland.

Posing with Carrie Brownstein, Aldridge seems to have found a niche with the culture in the city of Portland.

The Portland Trailblazer’s have been on a tear to start the season. Looked over as having holes in their defense, the idea that Robin Lopez could be a productive rim protector was laughable, LaMarcus Aldridge looked poised for an exit after another potential dismal season. Well, who’s laughing now? The Blazers have defecated on any previous thought that they would be a team to tread water this season after beating three of the top teams in the NBA (San Antonio, Indiana, Oklahoma City) but with the production of Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum bringing down the boom, Wesley Matthews shooting lights out and Aldridge looking re-energized and downright ferocious has him ready to lead this team to the playoffs for the first time since Brandon Roy did this. It’s been a long time coming for this franchise,

Aldridge, Lillard and Batum look to keep the Trail Blazers hot after a prolific start

Aldridge, Lillard and Batum look to keep the Trail Blazers hot after a prolific start

the pieces of the puzzle that seemed impossible to find (or at least stay healthy) seem to be falling into place. The hip culture surrounding the city of “Portlandia” has taken them in and is ready to scream and attempt to bust a few ear drums with how their home crowd has reacted to the hot start. Aldridge is showing once again that it is him and not Kevin Love or Blake Griffin that shall be taking the spot of “Best Power Forward” once Duncan decides to retire. Aldridge has been nailing fadeaway jumpers, studying the double teams for easy kick outs and has an entourage of skilled players ready to pounce. Another nice addition is that of Mo Williams who can play the “2” spot or even relieve Lillard of ball handling duty, the depth is finally getting deeper. But we’ve seen these starts before, it’s consistency that is really going to make or break this team, can Aldridge continue on the tear he is on right now? It sure seems like he’s willing to take the challenge and his feisty comrades in arms seem ready and willing to prove that this flame isn’t going to die so quickly.

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Top Four Fun to Watch NBA Players

With so many All-Star names in the NBA a lot of times the average NBA viewer may miss some players that are overlooked due to their tie-ins with a crappy team, hampered due to youth or the depth of a bench full of capable veterans. Sure these guys may not have a killer instinct in them or may lack in certain fields making them a more complete player but there’s times when I’ll be catching what appears to be another episode of Tankapalooza 2013-2014, when all of a sudden Michael Carter-Williams decides to steal the show with his awe inspiring hustle and finesse. These are, in my opinion, the top four players that get you genuinely excited as you watch them flash feats of greatness, making a name for themselves to become the new Paul George or Joakim Noah all the while being entertaining as hell.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

*Whew* That one is a mouthful, Giannis Antetokounmpo a.k.a. The Greek Freak has cause all in Milwaukee to actually have something forward to seeing when they attend games. Think of it like Andre Drummond was for Detroit last year, moments of complete thrills as he destroyed rims and did this to Dwayne Wade. Giannis for the most part has been a mysterious figure in the league, averaging just under twenty minutes a game and the most he’s scored in a game was eleven, it was against the reigning champs, and he was 3-5 on his three-point attempts. The fact that he is also still growing, both skill wise and in height gives the Greek Freak plenty of upside as a project and possibly a steal in a draft that many though lacked on real talent. Besides, just look how much fun he is having.

Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers

Stephenson's "I will eat your babies!" face.

Stephenson’s “I will eat your babies!” face.

Lance Stephenson embodies everything Frank Vogel could ever want in a player. Hard nosed, hustles and has a stare down that few could duplicate to the degree that I would pay to see him and Metta World Peace have a staring contest. His coming out of his shell defining moment was definitely the Pacers-Knicks playoff series in where it seemed like Stephenson was a one man wrecking crew hell bent on smashing the Knicks every chance he got. His play defines his personality as well, chaotic, out of control yet at the same time looking like an acrobat with perfect poise. His “I don’t give a damn who you are or what you’ve done!” demeanor is the truest depiction of what the Pacers team identifies with.

Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers

Crawford with the shake n' bake

Crawford with the shake n’ bake

Amongst all the high flying antics of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the Chris Paul crisp assists there lies Jamal Crawford. Crawford has one of the most devastating crossovers in the game, his pull up three pointer also in his arsenal makes him one of the more deadly shooting guards in the game. Though a nomad throughout his career it seems as if the Clippers are a perfect match with the depth they have on their roster to where Crawford can come in as sixth man capable of slicing up second units or even running the point with his skilled ball handling. He may not be the best player on his team but when he catches fire, get ready to be burned, his ability to flip the “on” switch seemingly any moment he has the ball makes him one the more exciting players to watch on a team contending for a championship.

Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Spurs

The Italian Stallion's

The Italian Stallion’s

The closest thing I think we’ll get to see as the Italian Stallion playing basketball, (seriously the dude is a spitting image of Stallone back in his Rambo First Blood days) Belinelli has almost a pick-up game type of style about him that makes him seem clumsily unstable only to be fooled once you see the ball defy natural laws and go through the hoop. Belinelli fills the role of what a young Ginobili once was, a disrupter. He’s shooting 51% from the field and 56% from three point land. His unorthodox style creates for moments of what looks to be a sure turnover or Belinelli tripping over some invisible wire when suddenly he fires precision pass or makes an unsinkable shot leaving you wondering what the hell you just saw. One thing is for certain, makes for one of the more entertaining players whether he’s fighting Mr. T or serving his meatballs spicy.

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