In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Sean Reis, asks our panel of experts three questions as they vie for the coveted title of Around the Dorm Champion: What can the New York Yankees do to come back from their slow start? Will the Golden State Warriors continue their dominant play without Steph Curry and which Super Bowl halftime show can compare to Prince’s performance?
1. What can the Yankees do to come back from their slow start in the AL East?
Chelsea: Growing up, I was always told I was a Yankees fan. Did my family follow baseball? No. We just said that because we were closest to New York. Now I’m starting to second guess my pretend support for that team as they only won eight games and lost 14, which is pretty embarrassing. Honestly, I’m not too sure that there is anything this team can do to come back from all of the losing. Although I’m not a pro, I used to play softball back in the day. I know that this sport is a mental game and if you keep losing, especially so quickly in each game, then you’re thrown off for the rest of the game or even the season. It’s hard to shake a losing streak and the team is really going to have to try to get out of this rut and start winning.
Sydney: The Yankees can still come back, but not unless the team starts to work on its offense. Coming into Sunday, May 1, the Yankees ranked dead last in the MLB with 74 runs scored. Even the Braves, arguably the worst team in the league, scored 75 runs. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury hasn’t hit well since coming back from a knee injury last July. Ellsbury isn’t too much of a loss on his own, but first baseman Mark Teixeira has not provided his usual power this season, and neither have infielder/designated hitter Alex Rodriguez nor outfielder Carlos Beltran. Those three veterans usually anchor New York’s lineup, but none are stepping up to the plate in the same way they have in the past. If the Yankees can start hitting better, they’ll be back in the game.
George: With their biggest stars now entering their late 30s and early 40s, those with good sense are retiring and the rest are starting to show their age in their stats. Additions like infielder Starlin Castro and pitcher Aroldis Chapman are going to be of little help fixing that. They’ll need a Fountain of Youth to do that, but that’s not to say the Yankees aren’t down for the count, yet. Right now, the 8-14 Yankees are about where they were at the beginning of May in 2005, when they were 10-14. Back then, they managed to turn things around and got into the playoffs. But it’s going to take a lot of work to recreate that season, primarily from the offense. With Alex Rodriguez hitting .185 and the team having only 74 runs in all of April — placing them dead last in the entire league — the Yankees are going to need to step up their offense. In 2005, they had 123 runs despite having a similar record of 10-14.
George gets 3 points for A-Rod and age, Sydney gets 2 points for poor offense, Chelsea gets 1 point because you’re a fake fan.
2. Can the Warriors continue their dominant play with Steph Curry injured?
Chelsea: According to espn.com, Curry is not coming back until Monday, May 9, which might hurt the Warriors’s chances a little, but not completely. Their 73 wins cannot only be attributed to one teammate. Sure, it’s a big loss, but this team has won so many times that it can handle Curry’s absence for a little longer. I have faith in the other teammates, like Shaun Livingston, who filled in for Curry when he was hurt and aided in the team’s win against the Rockets. The Warriors outscored the other team by 29 points during Livingston’s 28 minutes on the court. Based on that alone, I think the Warriors will survive. However, there are some other notable players that will definitely make up for the loss, such as Draymond Green, who had his best game yet against the Rockets and will continue to do well under pressure.
Sydney: Not only will the Warriors continue their dominant play in Curry’s absence, but in the process, the team will prove itself as something more than just Curry. The team still has Klay Thompson, the less lauded “Splash Brother,” whose skills often get overshadowed by Curry’s. Thompson isn’t the only player on the team who stands in Curry’s shadow: Draymond Green is one of the most unappreciated Warriors. While his gameplay doesn’t fit the conventional norms of superstardom, Green excels at creating opportunities for other players by moving the ball quickly before the defense gets set. With these two on the front lines, the Warriors will be fine fighting without Curry.
George: If gym class, schmaltzy, sentimental sports movies and Barney the Purple Dinosaur have taught me anything, it’s that teamwork and heart trump everything. The opponent could be steroid-abusing mammoths trained from birth in Siberia by retired Soviets who themselves played on the Gulag’s prison basketball intramurals team at the height of Stalin’s reign, but if they don’t believe in the heart of the sport — whatever the hell that means; only a select few will ever have the privilege to know — they might as well give up. So really, all the Warriors have to do is believe. Believe in both themselves and their teammates. And basketball. And something else, I guess. I’m just filling up space at this point.
George gets 3 points because I literally lol’d, Sydney and Chelsea both get 2 points for discussing the Warriors’s other talent.
3. Which Super Bowl halftime show can compare to the late Prince’s performance?
Chelsea: While Prince’s Super Bowl performance was truly amazing, it was not the only legendary performance to grace the Super Bowl. Another iconic performer stands out above the rest — the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, who performed in 1993. I wasn’t born yet, but that performance still goes down as one of the best. Several clones of the icon popped up all over the stage, and when the real Jackson showed up, the crowd cheered for a solid minute. Prince had a cooler stage and pyrotechnics, but Jackson’s performance featured hits like “Billie Jean” and his signature gliding and moonwalking across the stage. Prince and Jackson had a falling out, but they did have one thing in common — they were both talented musicians that left us too early.
Sydney: From a visual and shock-value standpoint, no performance can compare to Beyoncé’s 2013 halftime show. After her silhouette was lit on fire, Beyoncé emerged from a cloud of smoke and launched into a set that featured many of her biggest hits. All the while, animated duplicate Beyoncés danced behind her. The Destiny’s Child’s long-rumored reunion commenced when Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams rose from beneath the stage to join Bey for “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women” and “Single Ladies.” During Queen Bey’s reign on the halftime stage, she was backed by dozens of female dancers and band members. Ultimately, the night was a powerful display of feminism, vocals and multimedia flair.
George: My vote goes to the 2001 halftime show because it threw ‘N SYNC and Aerosmith, two contrasting ingredients, into the same pot. Prince performed in 2007, long after his purple reign ended, but in 2001, ‘N SYNC was on top. With Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears and Nelly added, you get an early-2000s-music jambalaya. You first taste the pop of ‘N SYNC, then notes of well-aged Aerosmith. The two trade off the spotlight a few times before the grand finale — every flavor coming together for “Walk This Way”. At one point, Justin Timberlake even shoots ten-foot fireworks out of the palms of his hands (not knowing that four years later, something else would be in one of those palms…).
George gets 3 points for Janet Jackson’s boob, Sydney gets 1 point because I prefer iced tea, Chelsea gets 3 points because MJ was the king, and Prince his prince.
George wins Around the Dorm 9-6-5.
“I have peered into the abyss.”