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The Stanley Project

A website that holds all of the published work in John Stanley's writing career.

This NFL Prospect May Oddly Benefit From Deflategate

With the New England Patriots having to forfeit their first round pick this year because of the Deflategate scandal, only 31 players were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft’s first round. The last time this happened was in the 2008 draft when, again, New England Patriots were punished for the Spygate scandal.

This may be a disadvantage for the Patriots, but interestingly it could help (or hurt) the first pick of the second round, defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah of Oklahoma State, and everyone else picked beyond the 29th pick this year.

Why? Well, he is now the 32nd pick in the draft. In any other year that the league has 32 teams with no forfeited picks, he is a first round pick.

The Cleveland Browns owned the pick and this presents the question: how big is Ogbah’s signing bonus going to be? Furthermore, is he going to be paid as the first 2nd round pick or as the 32nd overall pick?

The differential is somewhat substantial, especially for a person that made no earnings playing football in the three years at Oklahoma State (assuming he played by NCAA rules):

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If Forbes is correct, offensive lineman Germain Ifedi, the 2016 31st pick, will earn a $1,052,697 signing bonus in 2016. Linebacker Stephone Anthony, the 2015 31st pick, made $970,766 through his signing bonus. This is a 8.44% raise for the draft pick.

From 2014-2015, each pick from 31-33 saw an equal signing bonus increase of about 15%. So if Forbes predicts around a 8.44% increase in signing bonuses and the increase stays consistent throughout the picks, Ogbah, the 2016 32nd pick, should receive a signing bonus of about $1,029,337. Add the 2016 rookie base salary of $450,000, he makes almost $1.48 million in his first year.

If he is paid as the first second rounder rather than the 32nd pick, his signing bonus would be $735,036. This totals a $1.185 million for his first year. This totals near $295,000 in a salary difference and a 24.89% raise if he were the 32nd pick versus the first second round pick. This would be the highest of the six years under the new CBA deal, which previously topped at 24.53% in 2011.

If Ogbah wants more money, he may have a good argument to be paid as the overall pick rather than the first second round pick. The new CBA deal between the NFLPA and NFL fixes salaries for each pick. What does this mean exactly? Smells like a potential lawsuit if the language is unclear about how the picks are counted and if Ogbah wants to earn more cash.

It is also noted that Ogbah may not have been selected in the first round even if the Patriots had their first round pick this year. The draft after the forfeited pick would most likely be very different from our current reality. It is still a bummer for the player that would have been apart of the hypothetical scenario of the 2016 32 pick first round draft.

For those looking for reasons to hate the New England Patriots more for Deflategate, not only did it take away one player’s dream away by removing a pick from the draft entirely, but also one less player gets to be paid a first round salary.

It goes the other way as well though. In this case, Ogbah could be found lucky if he is paid as the 32nd pick because he may not have been a first round pick with the Patriots being eligible. This is all assuming that he would have gone to Cleveland at the 33rd pick if not picked in the hypothetical first round.

All draft information and salary information was sourced by spotrac.com and patscap.com.

 

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Journalism: A Reborn Industry

When applying to colleges as a high school student, it is common advice to pick a major that offers jobs that don’t exist in the present but will be important years down the road.

I grew up in Albany, New York, and nanotechnology was a popular program at SUNY Albany; ranking as one of the top universities for the program in 2006. In middle school and high school, it was highly encouraged to follow the path of the sciences and to take advantage of pursuing an education in our own backyard that is unique and valuable to the rest of the world.

So what did I do? I chose journalism, a major whose name is associated with a “dying industry.” As I’ve learned over my years of journalism classes, the industry isn’t dying but evolving.

Sure, there are certain aspects of journalism that are dying. For example, print media is fading its way out of existence. But with that comes its replacement: online media.

Publishing news online isn’t necessarily groundbreaking in 2016, but the way the content is spread and shared is recent within the past five years. What I am referring to is using social media as a news sharing platform.

I remember making my Facebook profile in 9th grade, just trying to fit in with the new trends. I already missed out on AIM and MySpace throughout my adolescence so it was time to change with the times. Twitter came a year later for me and I was using both platforms to follow up on what my friends were doing and a couple professional athletes I liked.

Fastforwarding to the present, I use Facebook to share articles and photos of myself. Same thing with Twitter, except I might tweet things that reflect my personality more:

This is all part of the transformation for my social media accounts. They are changing from strictly personal profiles to a more professional, brand-driven profile.

I say “brand-driven” meaning that I now have intention behind every tweet. I have a better understanding that everything I post reflects who I am. It affects other people image of me. How do I want other people to see who I am? What are my interests? What do I do of value and what do I value, myself?

These are the same questions a confused college kid asks him or herself when trying to become the person they want to become. It’s a similar process (for any person at any age) when trying to develop your social media profile.

I’ve learned that to maximize my profile and my brand, I need to be taken seriously, but not as some mindless robot that spews information. That’s why tweets like the one I posted above is important to my brand. Sure, it’s irrelevant to much of reality and if I flood my page with posts like that, at best I would be some sort of parody account.

That may be the goal for some people. As a journalist, this is not usually an ideal image. I want to be able to keep my personality, have it reflected in my work, and to have that work be taken seriously, yet entertaining. In doing so, I hope people like reading my work and will continue to read my content.

This is important to writers and journalists more than ever. We are more than an “About Me” section online, in a newspaper or in the back of a book. People have the opportunity to get to know us and interact with us. This helps fans and readers interact further with us, ultimately helping us writers create better content for our respective audiences.

These are just some common themes that I learned in my Mobile and Social Media Journalism class. I am a part the first of a generation to receive and education on these topics and it will continue to be taught as social media becomes more and more apart of our lives.

 

Ithaca HS Spring Sports Midseason Report

 

We are already nearing the halfway point through the spring sports season for high school sports and Ithaca’s teams have fared well thus far.

Baseball (3-2):

Ithaca played four games in four days, an unusual occurrence for high school baseball. When the weather doesn’t agree with the schedule, such adjustments happen. From April 13th to the 16th, they won three of four games, beating Union-Endicott, Vestal, and Class A school Maine-Endwell. A recent loss to Horseheads puts the squad at 3 and 2. They play against their division rival Elmira/Southside today at 4 p.m.

Softball (0-4):

It’s been a tough start for the Ithaca softball team. According to the team’s schedule online, they have failed to score any runs so far this season. There is still plenty of time to turn the season around. They can start that bounce-back today against Section III’s Auburn.

Boys’ Lacrosse (5-4):

After winning four of their first five games, Ithaca has lost three of their last four. They currently place second in the New York Section IV Class A standings with a 2-1 record. Their only loss came against Corning, who is 7-1 on the season. Their next game will be against Section 5’s Irondequoit (3-3) tomorrow.

Girls’ Lacrosse (3-3):

Ithaca is .500 on the season so far in their overall and conference record (1-1). They are also behind Corning (5-3) who is undefeated in Section IV’s Class A standings with three wins. Ithaca lost to Corning 12-5 on April 8th. The Lil Red have tough non-conference matchups upcoming as they face Vestal (6-0) and Horseheads (6-3) in a couple weeks.

Boys’ Tennis (5-0-1):

Ithaca is (somewhat) undefeated so far, beating everyone but Vestal, whom they tied. In four of their five wins, they won six of the seven matches. They will look to continue their role against Binghamton Friday.

Boys’ Track and Field:

There were no overall records posted for the track and field teams, but Ithaca did recently top Horseheads in a meet yesterday with a score of 93 to 48. They won 12 of 16 events.

Girls’ Track and Field:

The girls had a closer matchup, beating Horseheads 79 to 62. They took 9 of 17 events. They do have one more event than the boys: the 3,200 meter relay. E.J. Onah had a great day, winning the 100, 200, 400 relay and the long jump.

 

Recapping a Stellar Season for Elmira HS Wrestlers

The sweat and grind of the New York State wrestling season has been over since February and Elmira High School wrestlers were very successful this year, sending five Section IV champions to Albany for the state championships.

Noah Carpenter (Jr. – 120), Charlie Mahon (So. – 160), Tommy Mackay (Sr. – 182), Matthew Burge (Sr. – 195), and Zane Tucker (Sr. – 285) competed against the top state competition at the Times Union Center. Carpenter and Mackay are back for their second time.

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Zane Tucker (right) practices taking down his opponent.

Head coach David Guyette has been coaching for 14 years at the high school and has never sent more than two wrestlers to states. “I don’t know if it is a record, but I’ve never been on a team that sent so many. It happened once before in 1951.”

 

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Head coach David Guyette teaches technique to the team before going to Albany for the state tournament.

Elmira competes in Division I, the division for the larger schools in New York State. Division II represents the smaller schools. Each section in New York sends a champion from each weight class to represent itself.

Mackay (31-3) finished with the best record at the state tournament with a 2-2 record. Unfortunately, it was not good enough to place in the top six. Tucker (29-5), Mahon (34-8) and Burge (21-6) finished 1-2, while Carpenter (35-6) failed to win a match.

Asking each wrestler the same questions, each had similarities and differences between their routines, their favorite music, Gatorade color choice, and their superpower of choice.

Each of them were hungry going into the state tournament. Mackay and Carpenter both shared feelings redemption after failing to place in the 2014-15 season. “I know I didn’t do as well as I wanted to last year,” said Carpenter. “It feels good to have another opportunity.”

The other three also expressed excitement for the new opportunity to compete in the state tournament. “I can’t wait to get there and show them what I’ve got,” said Mahon.

“That’s a really weird question” or “Let me think about that” was a common first answer between the other questions. Although puzzled by my question choices, we all had a good time.

There were some similarities between the wrestlers. Carpenter and Mahon both wanted the ability to fly, while Burge and Mackay like country music. Notably each like a different flavor Gatorade, so kudos to the company for making delicious drinks in many flavors.

As for next season, Carpenter and Mahon will look to repeat as section champions. They hope to lead the Express into further success with more experience against higher level competition.

Tips From Professional Journalists: Syracuse.com

My Friday class of week eleven started with a forty minute skype conversation with members of the Syracuse.com team. Christine Loman, Katie Kramer, and Trish LaMonte specify with website and mobile operations for the online publication.

Social media is the core of these operations, as it is the main priority of the website. They find their social media profiles to be the first priority over its website. It’s the best way to spread their content. The more viewers, the better.

This brought about conversation of the quality news versus clickbait. Sites like BuzzFeed focus on getting as many clicks as possible, posting headlines such as  “Boyfriends Tried To Do Their Girlfriends’ Makeup And Failed Miserably“. Not discrediting such articles, but there is a certain tone that each publication speaks with. Local news outlets typically have more straight forward headlines.

For each social media profile, there is a unique policy that fits each platform. These are not set-in-stone, they are updated as new experiences require new rules. An example of what a policy covers is how social media posts are written and what is posted. What you say not only reflects yourself, but the company you work for.

It is important to understand how to utilize social media websites as a journalist and with personal profiles. For Facebook, sometimes you only want to share posts to friends so opinions and biases are kept more private in public. A good rule to abide by “If you wouldn’t write it in a news article, don’t write it in your social media post.”

Content delivery is very important, as it is seen as courtesy to readers to receive news as fast as possible. The issue is that accuracy may be sacrificed if not all details are exposed immediately in a story. This is a very important aspect in journalism, and it is always a big mistake to deliver news that is not true.If the news is delivered wrong, the problem is handled on a case-by-case basis.

Journalists do best on social media by posting content constantly. A good way to do this without being annoying is to update stories as they develop. Tweeting new information at a time is more beneficial and does not appear like spam on news feed.

These were all very helpful tips that any journalist or public figure should manage their profiles with.

 

 

 

 

Spring Planting Starts for Ithaca’s Beautification Brigade

Have you ever noticed the flowerbed by Purity Ice Cream where Meadow Street splits? Or when you walk around the Commons and see a garden spilling over the sides of its base with a variety of colors?

This is all thanks to the Beautification Brigade, a group of volunteers that work for the Tompkins County Community Beautification Program. Established in 2002, the program plants in over 30 locations in the city of Ithaca.

These locations are chosen based on where tourists will most likely be around Ithaca. This is why much of the gardening happens in the vicinity of the Commons.

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The Beautification Brigade’s van is distinctly recognizable, painted by Kelly Cox.

It is tourist driven because the Tompkins County Tourism Program funds it. They administer the Hotel Room Tax, where guests at local hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts pay five percent of his or her bill to support tourism initiatives.

Martha Gioumousis, the Community Beautification Program Manager, explained that people expect these programs to be taxpayer funded. “We actually get a piece of the funds through the Hotel Room Tax.”

Gioumousis has worked in the program for about ten years. She started as a volunteer her first year, then working as a program assistant for six years, and is now working into her third year as coordinator.

As for action taking place, the Brigade did its first greenhouse planting of the spring yesterday at their greenhouse on the Cornell Campus. Those will be planted outside in May and June. Next week, they plan to plant pansies if the weather stays nice.

Other flowers will be zinnias, marigolds and petunias. “These flowers are durable, they’re beautiful, and they grow well in the situations we have in downtown areas,” Gioumousis explained further.

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Gioumousis (left) leads newcomers in a training session for the upcoming spring.

 

To prepare new volunteers for the job, Gioumousis leads two training sessions for newcomers to attend. One was last night, where the history of the program, planting locations, site considerations (such as difficult watering or animal damage in the location), and design considerations for those locations.

“Each training session has different material so some people come to both,” Gioumousis said. “People have lives though and sometimes can’t make it. So we try to cover enough of the same material so they know about the program.”

Linda Bartnik just started volunteering for the program last year and was one of several awarded as a Super Volunteer for her hard work. She encourages many to join and that everyone has a place in the Brigade.

“If you aren’t the strongest physically, don’t do the heavy work,” she said. “If you can only work 30 minutes or four hours, or if you can come one day, but not the next day, it’s fine. It’s flexible and refreshing.”

It’s a great program, we love it,” Gioumousis said. “We love having new people volunteering with us. If you’re interested, you don’t need prior experience. We will train you, provide gloves, tools and welcome anyone to work and learn how to plant some flowers.”

IHS graduate lacrosse player continues success at Georgetown

After today’s tough opening day loss for the Ithaca High School boys’ lacrosse team, I started looking into the history of the program and if there were any big names that were currently playing in college.

Sure enough, Georgetown midfielder Joe Bucci was a 2011 graduate from IHS and is playing in his last year of eligibility. Bucci is named captain for the Hoyas as the fifth year senior.

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Bucci (26) ended his career with 80 goals and 21 assists. He also helped lead his team to a Section IV title in 2011.

 

 

Bucci was a three-year varsity player at IHS, being named captain his senior year and was eventually named an All-American. He was first team all league selection in his junior and senior year as well. In his three years on the team, he was apart of a 35-game winning streak, which is uncanny in any sport. His high school football accolades and college bio are also very impressive.

So yeah, this guy was pretty dominate to say the least and is now a big name in a power conference in college sports. It’s cool to see guys from smaller areas perform well on big stages.

Georgetown lost its conference opener today in a close match against Marquette 9-8. Bucci had a good game though, scoring one goal and two assists on the day.

Georgetown (1-8) is having a tough season, but it is only the beginning of conference play. It’s not late to gain momentum, let’s see if Bucci can help lead the forces.

IHS Boys’ Lax opens its season at home against Section III’s Auburn

The tremendous weather continues in the Ithaca area as the sun shines down on Ithaca High School’s Joe Moresco Stadium as the boys’ lacrosse team battles against Auburn for their season opener.

Last year, Ithaca lost against Auburn 17-9 and look to start this season on a better note.

The captains for Ithaca are Jay Reynolds, Nico Capalongo, Jalil Clark, and Collin Case, according to the team’s twitter page.

Results around the conference this week:

Section IV’s defending champions Corning (0-1) lost at Section V’s Victor (1-0) 16-6 on Tuesday. They play against Class B opponent Union-Endicott (0-0) next Tuesday.

Binghamton (0-1) lost to Section III’s Cicero-North Syracuse (2-0) 11-6 yesterday. They will play at Elmira (0-0) in Section IV’s conference opener.

Terrific Early Spring Weather a Blessing for Ithaca HS Spring Sports

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Baseball plays outside, a rare occurrence this time of year.

It has been a very unusual year for weather in the Ithaca area, as the normal gloomy and grey cold winters last until April.

Not this year. According to weather.com, Ithaca average’s a 42 degree high temperature in the month of March. In the first week of spring sports, starting March 7th, the high was around 76 degrees and sunny. During the week, the high temperature was over 60 degrees.

Obviously this is substantially different to what normally happens around Lake Cayuga. Global warming activists probably have issues with what is happening, but the spring sports teams at Ithaca High School are enjoying it very much.

“This is now my fourth year here, and this is the earliest we’ve ever been outside,” says head baseball coach Ian Valentine. “Two years ago, we never even played outside, we had to save the field for games.”

Baseball and softball are two sports that must play on grass and turf based on the school’s facilities. Both teams mentioned that they normally start in the gym and don’t get outside until later in their seasons.

Lacrosse, on the other hand, gets to play on a turf field. Turf is usually ready to play earlier than grass because the field is made of rubber, which doesn’t turn into mud like a dirt playing surface. Girls’ lacrosse coach Lyn Reitenbach said it is still amazing to see this weather. “In twenty years, never have the softball or baseball teams practiced outside before or at the same time as us.”

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Girls’ Lacrosse and Boys’ and Girls’ Track and Field practice outside in Joe Moresco Stadium

Obviously this is a tremendous advantage for the teams as they get to work on more realistic skill workouts rather than workouts that are limited due to the environment. Working out in the gym or hallways is not nearly the same as playing on a suitable playing surface, according to the Ithaca High School coaches.

The biggest perks that coaches have picked up on is the attitude of the  players. Each coach mentioned how the players and coaches have been in an uplifting mood, crediting the weather for part of the positivity. Reitenbach, in particular, mentioned how important it was for the players to have a healthy psychology, which the weather certainly helps with.

Riley Lasda, the assistant girls’ lacrosse coach, was a former lacrosse player for Ithaca High School and played in college for Penn State and SUNY Albany two years each. He reflected on one particular experience as a player before there was a turf field to play on.

“I remember years that we had to shovel off the parking lot to do line drills in the parking lot,” he said. “It’s definitely preferable to be out on the field.”

Overall, the workouts are more efficient and the energy levels are higher than normal. It sounds like Ithaca High School spring sports are ready to take advantage of their tremendous and unusual opportunity.

Check out my Snapchat Story  at Ithaca High School on the first day of spring practices:

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