Who is the GOAT of Sports

By Luis Berg

February 23, 2021

Since the beginning of sports, the debate of who is the best in their given experts, Who is the greatest of all time who is the GOAT of sports. Tom Brady has been called the GOAT  of football for the last couple of years and many would say he solidified his legacy with his 7th Super Bowl win last Sunday. This is more wins than any other player in the history of the NFL. Tom turned 43 last year but he looks better than ever. In his 20 seasons in the NFL, he has won 3 MVPs and 4 Super Bowl MVPs also throwing nearly 600 touchdowns in his career. 

     In basketball, the younger generation would say Lebron James,  but most adults and basketball players agree that Michael Jordan is the best. With six NBA championships, two more than Lebron, and he won three of them in a row, also winning 5 MVPs, one more than Lebron. 

     In hockey, it must be Wayne Gretzky. Nicknamed “The Great One’’, the NHL itself said he was the greatest hockey player of all time. Winning a total of four Stanley Cups and nine MVPs during his 20 seasons in the NHL. 

     In soccer, it’s a 4-way tie between Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, and Diego Maradona. With so many different trophies to win from the World Cup to Winning the league they played in and many other tournaments, it’s very difficult to rank them. Also, the game has evolved a lot over the years each player has played. Soccer in the 40s when Pele played was a much different sport to what soccer is today. Maradona played in the ’60s, a very physical era of soccer compared to the modern game where fouls are regularly called. 

     If we look just at who has the most trophies, Lionel Messi would win,  but there weren’t even that many trophies to compete for back when Pele and Maradona played. Ronaldo has won fewer trophies than Messi, but one could argue that he has won more important trophies. 

     For the sake of finding out who is the GOAT of all sports, no one soccer player has been dominant enough to separate himself from being named the GOAT  of soccer, let alone the GOAT of sports as a whole. In tennis, the GOAT is Roger Federer with 20 grand slam titles more than any other person in the history of tennis. 

     In the solo sport of swimming, it isn’t even an argument, Michael Phelps has won more Olympic gold medals than anyone else. Not only in swimming, but more than any other sport. With a total of 28 medals and 23 of them being gold, Michael Phelps is far ahead of anyone else not only in his own sport but any Olympic competition. It is an individual sport that speaks even more to his individual greatness and I think that’s the true meaning of the GOAT of sport. No other person is as good at winning as he is. That’s why I believe that Michael Phelps is the GOAT of sports.

Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier Face Off in UFC Match

By Colin Murphy

February 12, 2021

On Saturday the 23rd, Dustin Poirier avenged his loss to Conor Mcgregor from his 2016 UFC match. 

     The UFC lightweight contender shocked McGregor; beating him with a Technical Knockout after two minutes and 32 seconds of the second round. The event took place  Saturday night in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 

     During the first round of this fight Conor and Poirier went back and forth. Some believed Conor was dominating, however, the points revealed this simply was not the case. McGregor had a very strong first round. He landed multiple left handed swings and one very strong right handed upper-cut. This shot snapped Poriers head back, and many thought this was when the fight was going to end. Shortly afterward, however ,Poirier took down McGregor. Nevertheless, McGregor found his way up with relative ease.

 In the second round, Poirier took over, easing his way into victory. Poirier first began to hurt Mcgregor with kicks to the right calf. With an upper hand on Mcgregor’s hurt leg, Poirier knew he’d be slower so he began combining punches. According to ESPN, the final blow was a “shovel right hand that dropped McGregor,” he then followed up on the ground and the referee stepped in to make the call. This call made this loss McGregor’s first KO or TKO of his 13 year career.  

     However, many high ranking UFC fighters believe that nobody should count out McGregor yet. Although it was a very tough loss, he has been out of the octagon for quite awhile and has been very inactive, his managers shared. Post fight McGregor shared that he is very confident in his abilities and believes that he will be back in the octagon and will win again. “I have to dust it off and come back and that’s what I’ll do.” He said in his post interview. 

     Those who believe McGregors days as a top contender are over are just false. Losses in MMA do not mean nearly as much as they would in another sport, such as boxing. Headed into the fight, McGregor had only fought for 40 seconds since 2018. Although he lost, Porier is one of the best fighters there is. He came into the octagon with a great game plan and won the fight completely fair. If Mcgregor does make his comeback and proceeds to win that fight, he will most likely become a top contender (fighter) again. After all, McGregor is only 32. 

Competing with COVID-19

By: Sophia Pilot

December 14, 2020

Athletes must think on their feet and adapt to the challenges present in their games. 2020 proved to be the obstacle that athletes had to overcome. In March, sporting events worldwide were postponed or canceled in response to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) advice to take precautionary measures against COVID-19. 

The National Basketball Association (NBA) was the first league to report a positive COVID-19 test. Moments before the tip-off between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder game on March 11, 2020, players were sent to the locker room after the two head coaches, Billy Donovan and Quin Snyder, and the officials met on court. Fans awaited an explanation and later found out the game was postponed due to a medical emergency. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert received positive test results moments before the tip-off. Although he was not at the game, the league knew others were exposed. In addition to Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, a handful of other athletes and staff contracted the virus. 

In response to the outbreak, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver postponed the season for 30 days. Basketball games are played in large facilities with thousands of people attending; thus, the potential for spreading the virus is enormous. The players recognized that many people rely on NBA games for their salary. In an effort to help those financially affected by the cancelations, many players including, Zion Williams of the New Orleans Pelicans, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Giannis Antentekumpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons stepped up by paying NBA arena workers who lost their jobs. 

After Commissioner Silver’s announcement, other leagues postponed their seasons, as health became the first priority. Most professional leagues were canceled including: Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), while other major sporting events waited to decide as they continued to monitor the spread of the virus. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed after the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, determined that holding the games was not safe. 

Despite the uncertainty of when it would happen, players were anxiously awaiting the return of their seasons. Players brought forth ideas of a March Madness-style tournament as opposed to a multiple game series. There were concerns that if the NBA returned too late that would impact the playoffs and the start of the 2020-2021 Season. 

The idea of having a bubble where the NBA players were isolated for the remainder of its season at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports facilities in Disney World allowed teams to safely finish the end of the regular season and the postseason. This location was equipped with three basketball courts and a village area in Coronado Springs which housed the athletes and isolated them from the rest of the park. Players were instructed to participate in a training camp following a two-week self-isolation period. After the success of the NBA bubble, the MLB decided to create a bubble for their postseason games. The MLB agreed on neutral locations to house its 2020 postseason games: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and Petco Park in San Diego, California. The NHL also copied the MLB’s idea of playing in limited cities (Toronto, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta). 

The NBA and NHL bubbles were executed safely as they did not have any positive COVID-19 test results. However, MLB’s bubble ended its 54-day COVID-19 free streak with the positive test result of Justin Turner, of the Los Angeles Dodgers during game seven of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Contrary to the CDC’s recommendation of sporting events being played in an isolated bubble, the NFL, MLS, and NCAA were heavily impacted by the spread of COVID-19. 

The NFL had strict protocols of mask-wearing, testing, and limiting gatherings and holding meetings virtually. But, the spread of COVID-19 was inevitable with the amount of personnel and the extensive travel needed to play the games. Similar to the NFL, the NCAA had to cancel several of its games due to players contracting the virus. 

During the height of the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd on March 25, 2020, caused many athletes from different sports to speak out against racial injustice. In the NBA bubble, players were seen with phrases on their jerseys in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Professional Tennis player, Naomi Osaka was seen wearing seven different masks with the names of seven different victims of racial injustice and police brutality during the 2020 U.S. Open. As a victim of racism, Osaka used her platform to get people to talk about racial injustice. Her efforts also caused The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to take a stand against racial justice. Osaka was playing not only to win the U.S Open but more importantly, to spread awareness about issues in our society. 

Athletes are hoping that next season, they will be able to continue to use their voice on the court and on the field to spread awareness of racial injustice. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA, and the NFL held virtual drafts amidst the pandemic. The NBA plans to start their season on December 22, 2020, which has been reduced to 72 games without a bubble. The MLB plans to begin spring training on February 27, 2021, and begin the regular season on April 1, 2021. 

Each league handled the challenges of this past year in different ways. Some more successful than others. But as we know in sports, you train so you can quickly adjust and succeed.  Hopefully, this coming year will see many successes for these leagues.

Los Angeles Reigns Victorious

By: Luis Berg

December 14, 2020

This Year has been a rollercoaster for sports, athletes caught COVID-19 and seasons were postponed, leaving sports fans eager to see their favorite teams back on the court or field. Despite this year’s challenges, sports returned with a new approach to the coronavirus, holding their season in an isolated bubble. The National Basketball Association (NBA) was the first league to successfully execute a bubble at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. Initially, no fans or family were allowed in the stadium because of the strict protocols. Major League Baseball (MLB) allowed a limited number of fans to attend, but it definitely wasn’t the same atmosphere of fans cheering in their home field that players were used to. Yet the athletes pulled together and demonstrated how strong the sports community is, especially in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the MLB world series, defeating the Miami Heat and the Tampa Bay Rays. This marked the Dodgers’ first championship since 1988 and the first time since 1988 that the Lakers and Dodgers won in the same year.

While the Lakers had an amazing year, other California basketball teams were not so successful. The Golden State Warriors were dead last in the western conference with a record of 15-50. They went from the best to the worst team in the NBA this year due to their two best players being injured, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They also lost Kevin Durant in free agency to the Brooklyn Nets. They traded two draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kelly Oubre, a very good small forward from the University of Kansas. Using their second draft pick, the Golden State Warriors drafted James Wiseman. He looks like a very promising center with great size and mobility, but we haven’t seen him play since high school. The return of Steph Curry and the possibility of Klay Thompson returning later in the year should be enough to get them back in the playoffs for the 2020-21 season. 

The Sacramento Kings acquired young players who appear to be improving each year and are optimistic that Deron Fox will bring their team to the playoffs for the first time since 1981. The Los Angeles Clippers had a disappointing playoff exit in the second round blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets. Clippers fans hoped that they could acquire some players to get them over the hump next year, but they didn’t make any moves except losing Montrezl Harrell, the 6th man of the year. Many people suspect that he left for the Lakers due to the Clippers disappointing playoff run. In addition to Harrell, the Lakers were also able to acquire Dennis Schroder and Wesley Matthews who should help increase their three-point shot percentage, something that the Lakers struggled with in the 2019-20 season. Head Coach Frank Vogel and the Lakers organization are optimistic that they will be back for another championship matchup in the 2020-21 season. 

The Los Angeles Rams have their eyes set on winning the Super Bowl this year which would bring another trophy to Los Angeles. They are currently first in their conference and are playing very well this season with a record of 8-4. Quarterback, Jared Goff has thrown 17 touchdown passes and has a career-high pass completion percentage of 68%. ESPN explained that “Jared Goff is capable of being a winning Super Bowl quarterback”. Rookie running back Cam Akers is playing surprisingly well too, currently, he has two touchdowns, 357 rushing yards, and zero fumbles. The San Francisco 49ers are currently last in their conference with a record of 5-7. Hopefully, they can climb back up as there are still a lot of games to be played after many cancelations due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the National Football League (NFL), as they did not choose to play their games in a bubble.

California colleges are resuming their football seasons. The University of Southern California (USC) is ranked 15th in the country right now, led by starting quarterback Kedon Slovis. The Los Angeles Times said he’s the 5th best quarterback in the country. He is looking to progress his team in the standings over the upcoming season.

California is one of the best states in sports, having a good team in almost every sport. Through the adversity on and off-court, athletes did their best with the challenges of COVID-19. Athletes and fans can be hopeful sports will return to normal with stadiums full of fans in the near future. Hopefully, next season will bring even more trophies to the city of LA.

Will School Sports Make a Comeback?

By Liam Moore

November 9, 2020

As the coronavirus quarantine approaches eight months, schools look to reopen and allow sports to start practicing on campus again. Although MHS is projected to reopen sometime next semester, multiple sports teams are looking to start practicing on campus before then. 

   Luckily, the California Interscholastic Federation, or CIF has announced on October 1st that their schedule for sports will not change. In July, CIF released a new schedule for all sports teams, which moved some sports to different seasons. This was done to help reduce the amount of “overlap” between different sports seasons. As of October 1st, this schedule will not change stating “They remain in place since they were announced on July 20 and will continue to remain in place as we begin October, approach November, and move forward in preparation for the launch of our Fall Sports season in mid-December.” Seeing that CIF has made monthly updates on the state of sports being reopened, we can expect to see another update for November soon.

   Now, as fall gets closer, many fall sports athletes at MHS are eager to get back to practicing on campus. Fortunately, it seems that some sports are getting the “ok” to start practicing on campus. For example, the baseball team has also started practicing on campus, using the baseball field and weight room. Both boys and girls volleyball are going to have their first on campus practice November 6th on the football field. Although volleyball is  not able to practice in the gym, it is certainly a step towards practicing indoors. All players are required to wear masks and attempt to maintain six feet distance.

  Although we are making progress towards practicing on campus and indoors, it seems that many other schools have already begun practicing indoors. At least for volleyball, multiple schools in our league such as Nordoff have been allowed to practice in their gym, presumably with masks and social distancing.

   Hopefully, as the number of covid cases per day drops in California and a safe vaccine is created, all athletes will be able to return to practicing on campus and in the gym.

Tennis’ Fight Against Racial Injustice

By Sophia Pilot

September 29, 2020

  The 2020 US Open served as a stage for the fight against racial injustice. In response to racial inequality, many Americans have become united in support of racial and social justice. Professional athletes have used their platform to bring awareness to systemic racism. Naomi Osaka, a professional tennis player, reached the final where she continued to advocate for racial and social justice, winning her third Grand Slam Title. Osaka was playing not only to win the title, but more importantly,  to spread awareness about these issues in our society. 

   Naomi Osaka is the third-highest ranked women’s professional tennis player in the world. She represents Japan. Her mother, Tamika Osaka was born in Japan and married Haitian Leonard Francis, who is Osaka’s father. She identifies as ‘Black Asian’ and is proud to be bi-racial. People often assume Osaka is American because she moved here at the age of eight to train in Florida. Osaka responded to confusion about her ethnicity,  “My dad’s Haitian, so I grew up in a Haitian household in New York. I lived with my grandma. And my mom’s Japanese and I grew up with the Japanese culture too, and if you’re saying American, I guess because I lived in America, I also have that too.”

    Tennis fans have questioned Osaka’s Japanese heritage. She declines requests to speak in Japanese during interviews, despite her ability to understand the language. This has raised questions concerning her Japanese identity. 

    There are debates about what country Osaka should represent to maximize her career. Tennis fans believe that she represents Japan for marketing purposes, but her mother declined the possibility that Osaka received financial support from the Japanese Tennis Federation, “We made the decision that Naomi would represent Japan at an early age. She was born in Osaka and was brought up in a household of Japanese and Haitian culture. Quite simply, Naomi and her sister Mari have always felt Japanese so that was our only rationale. It was never a financially motivated decision nor were we ever swayed either way by any national federation.” Due to the regulations of Japan’s Nationality Act, no dual-citizenship can be held after the age of 22. Osaka was faced with the option to represent the USA but ceased her American citizenship in order to compete for Japan in the 2020 Olympics. 

    Osaka has been a victim of racism in Japan. She encountered discrimination for her Haitian ethnicity, being called “haafu” (a Japanese term referring to an individual born into one Japanese and one non-Japanese parent). A group of Japanese comedians discriminated against Osaka, calling her “too sunburned” and said she “needed some bleach”. Osaka responded to their remarks by promoting her sunscreen sponsor, “Little did they know, with Shiseido Anessa perfect UV sunscreen I never get sunburned.” Osaka also was seen whitewashed in an advertisement by Nissin, a Japanese Noodle company. Some believe that the altercation to Osaka’s appearance ruined the opportunity for a person of color to be seen in a Japanese advertisement.

   She postponed her semi-final match at the Western and Southern Open to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. She participated in the social justice movement, attending a rally in Minneapolis. Osaka continued her fight against social injustice to the tennis court where she was seen wearing seven different masks with the names of seven different victims of racial injustice and police brutality.  

   Tennis hasn’t always been the most inclusive sport, but Osaka’s efforts caused the Western and Southern Open to postpone matches until the following day. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) responded to racial injustice by stating, “As a sport, tennis is taking a stand against racial inequality and social injustice.”

    In the 2018 US Open Championship match, Serena Williams was favored to beat Osaka. Osaka prevailed and defeated Williams to win her first Grand Slam title. Williams was frustrated she was getting beat by Osaka and ran into the Chair Umpire Carlos Ramos, who called three code-of-conduct violations against Williams. She also was penalized for allegedly receiving a hand signal from her coach. She was docked points and fined over $17,000. Williams was furious and believed they were only penalizing her because she is a Black woman. In 2001, she pulled out of the Indian Wells Tournament after experiencing racism. Williams then realized the fight for equality that she had to overcome, “I remember the whole stadium was 99 percent white people and they were all booing. Racial slurs used, it was loud, it was like an echo, it was so loud I could feel it in my chest.” Since then, she has been a vocal advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and has pushed for equal pay for women. 

   In response to being asked what message she wanted to spread on her mask, Osaka responded saying “What was the message you got? The point is to make people start talking.” 

   Although fans could not attend this year’s Open, Osaka is hoping to bring awareness to millions of people watching on TV.

What’s Happening With MHS Spring and Winter Sports?

By Liam Moore

September 14, 2020

   As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, many of our school sports have been rearranged by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Any rumors that there will be no sports until spring or that there are no winter sports are incorrect.

   On July 20th, CIF released their new schedule – which can be reached at cifss.org or on Malibu High School’s website – for all sports during this new school year. Many sports now have new seasons, for example, boys volleyball is now in the fall, when it used to be in the spring. 

   CIF has done this “primarily to help with the spacing between particular sports and the overlap of certain sports between seasons”. In short, the seasons were moved around to accommodate for the coronavirus outbreak. There have been no updates since July 20, and with the ever-changing number of coronavirus cases, there may be more changes to the schedule.

   There have been no official announcements by either the school or CIF that sports are postponed until spring. There is a low probability that sports will be canceled this semester, seeing that many private organizations in Southern California are allowing people and student-athletes to use their facilities for training. 

   Additionally, the Pepperdine Women’s Beach Volleyball Team has recently started practicing at Zuma, with nets and balls, despite volleyball being prohibited on LA county beaches. This has led to the assumption that MHS will allow students to start practicing on school grounds soon, but it is still too soon to say. 

   With sports seasons moved around, there was a possibility that multi-sport athletes would have trouble playing their regular sports. However, no students have spoken out about this issue with concern.

  In fact, this schedule change has allowed some athletes to play both of their preferred sports. Jared Hughes, a senior baseball player said, “That’s so hype” when he heard that boys volleyball was in the fall, allowing him to play both sports.