Category Archives: The Wood In Quarantine

NFL Draft: 1st Round Analysis and Grades

By: Bradley Friedrich and Mat Fluker

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
  1. This was the obvious choice for the Number 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Bengals are officially ready to move on from the Ginger Assassin in Andy Dalton and revamp that Bengals offense. If the Bengals did not select the Heisman trophy winner, they would have officially become the meme of the NFL. 
  2. Grade: A+ 
  3. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, OSU
    1. If Joe Burrow did not exit, Chase Young would have been the clear number 1 pick. He is a freak athlete, measuring at 6 foot 5 and 265 pounds, and is the most hyped up pass rusher since Jadaveon Clowney, but is possibly even more technically sound. I mean, the guy had 17 sacks and did not even play a full season. He will terrorize the NFL’s offensive linemen and quarterbacks for years to come.
    2. Grade: A+
  4. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, OSU
    1. The Lions were a better team than their record shows, as they suffered through the losses of star quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Kerryon Johnson. That being said, we think they were in a great position to trade down their pick and get a lot out of it. They didn’t, which we would have liked to have seen, but we can’t knock them too hard for picking Okudah, the guy is a stud who will pair nicely with the newly acquired Desmond Trufant and make Matt Patricia’s defense as deadly as it was when he was in New England.
    2. Grade: A-
  5.  New York Giants: Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia
    1. Andrew Thomas is  a safe pick. He may not be as physically gifted as Wirfs or Becton, and therefore have a lower ceiling, but he is still a stud Left Tackle who rarely allowed a sack in his 3 years at Georgia. All the Giants needed was someone who would prevent second year QB Daniel Jones from getting sacked, and this pick gets that job done, so it is a great pick in our opinion.
    2. Grade: A-
  6. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
    1. I understand the appeal in Tua. He’s got the arm, he’s got the swagger, he’s got the winning mentality. However, I am unsure how well he will transfer to the next level. His career at Alabama was riddled with injuries from concussions to broken noses and fractured hips all in just 2 full years at Alabama. He seems to struggle when under pressure and needs to develop within his decision making. 
    2. Grade: C+
  7. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
    1. Herbert is a project, and an exact replica of Mitch Trubisky. He has all of the talent in the world, but has never put it together for a complete season. He has had some games (like against Colorado) where he looks like the next Peyton Manning, and others (like against Auburn), where he chokes and looks like Nathan Peterman. He has all of the physical tools, and if he can learn to confidently read his cues and command the offense, he will be a special player. But, given the fact that he showed very little improvement over his 4 years as a starter at Oregon, I am not sure if he can make the mental jumps that he needs to.
    2. Grade: C
  8.  Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
    1. Derrick Brown is a freak athlete and a great player, and he definitely fills the hole in the interior D-line with the departure of Gerald McCoy, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind the biggest hole they needed to fill was at MLB after the retirement of future hall of famer Luke Keuchly. We would have liked to see them draft his replacement in Isaiah Simmons, but this could still be a great pick, especially if Shaq Thompson proves to be a suitable MLB.
    2. Grade: B+
  9. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
    1. Isaiah Simmons is the definition of a swiss army knife when it comes to defense. In fact, when asked what position he plays he simply says “defense”. And defense is clearly what this Cardinals team needs. The Cardinals were dead last last season in Yards allowed per game and gave up a whopping 27 points per game. The guy is bigger, stronger, and runs faster than everyone else. Simmons fits the team needs and has great value for the number 8 overall pick. 
    2. Grade: A-
  10.  Jacksonville Jaguars: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
    1. Props to the Jaguars for addressing a need, but this is not a player that could really get it done, in our opinion. Just watch his tape against Georgia and LSU to see why he failed to make Florida  “DBU”. Also, they could have traded down a bit, as Henderson would have been available in the mid first round rather than the top 10.
    2. Grade: D+
  11.  Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
    1. The Browns definitely needed an offensive lineman and they got one in Jedrick Wills. Playing Right Tackle for a Left handed Quarterback in Tagovailoa, expect Wills to transition over to the right side of the line in order to protect the blind side of Baker Mayfield. Wills is a very strong lineman who will need to be effective immediately for the Browns. 
    2. Grade: B
  12.  New York Jets: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
    1. The dude is a mammoth, to put it simply, and he can move too. If he can refine his game a bit, he will be the protection that Sam Darnold needs to excel, so props to the jets to do what they can to put their franchise QB and former 1st round draft pick in the best possible position
    2. Grade: A
  13.  Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
    1. Henry Ruggs is FAST. Running a combine best 4.27 40 yard dash, the kid has elite speed to fuel the Raiders offense in their brand new stadium. However, I’m not sure if he is the best wide receiver in the draft. His Alabama counterpart, Jerry Juedy has elite speed as well and can run the full route tree, whereas Ruggs is more specialized in taking the top off the defense. Not a terrible pick, but believe there were better options on the board. 
    2. Grade: B-
  14.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from San Francisco): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
    1. In signing the greatest quarterback to ever pick up a football, Tom Brady, The Buccaneers would be ill advised to not select someone to protect him. Amongst the Lineman in this draft there is little separating the top four. Props to the Bucs for protecting the greatest to ever do it! Wirfs, though, is a raw talent that needs to develop for this to be a great pick.
    2. Grade: B+
  15.  San Francisco (from Tampa Bay): Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
    1. We’re jealous of the pure mastery by GM John Lynch. He decides to pay Armstead, and trades Deforest Buckner for a pick that he uses on a cheaper replacement for the DT. Not to mention, Kinlaw is an absolute stud who dominated SEC interior lineman throughout the year. We hate the fact that the 49ers just made their elite D-line even better, but it was a phenomenal pick.
    2. Grade: A+
  16.  Denver Broncos: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
    1. Jerry Juedy can do it all. He has great speed running a 4.45 at the combine and is unanimously the best route runner in the draft. He also fits the Broncos needs as they are looking to provide young quarterback Drew Lock with weapons on the outside. He may struggle against stingy corners due to his thinner frame, but for the 15th pick Jeudy has great value. 
    2. Grade: A
  17.  Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
    1. The Falcons needed Defense more than any team in this draft. The Falcons were tied for 17th in the league for total interceptions, which does not display their struggling secondary because they play Jameis Winston twice a season. Terrell is a versatile corner which fills a need. He is a little grabby and may frequently get called for pass interference similar to former Falcons corner Desmond Trufant. The pick was definitely made out of desperation but it filled a need. 
    2. Grade: C+
  18.  Dallas Cowboys: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
    1. We are huge fans of CeeDee Lamb, and the argument that he is the best WR in the class can easily be made. However, the cowboys just didn’t really need a receiver more than they needed a replacement for Travis Frederick or Byron Jones. Still, Dak now has elite weaponry now in Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, Lamb, and Michael Gallup, so we cannot complain about this pick too much.
    2. Grade: B+
  19.  Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): Austin Jackson, OT, USC
    1. The Dolphins needed an O-lineman to protect the injury prone Tua Tagovailoa, and they went out and got one. At 6 foot 5, 310 pounds and possessing great mobile skills, Jackson is a 2 time member of the All Pac-12 team, and was the best O-lineman available at the time of the pick. There is not too much else to say about this pick, a rare good job from the Dolphins.
    2. Grade: A+
  20.  Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): Damon Arnette, CB, OSU
    1. A solid player, but not a great one. We think he was definitely taken too early, and players like Kristain Fulton or Noah Igbinoghene, or Jeff Gladney are better players that should have been taken over Arnette. GM Mike Mayock drafts weirdly, but the pieces he has acquired during his tenure seem to find success, Josh Jacobs being the perfect example. Still, a weird pick that we do not agree with, but we will give Arnette and Mayock a chance before giving them a failing grade.
    2. Grade: C-
  21.  Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR): K’lavon Chaisson, DL, LSU
    1. The Jaguars bombed on their first pick, but they rebounded well on their second attempt. They addressed another position of need in Chaisson, to replace the likes of the 2017 “Sacksonville” defense that dominated opposing teams. Chaisson will play alongside Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue, and eventually take over for the latter in a defense that should be on the rise again.
    2. Grade: A
  22. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
    1. The Eagles are probably the team that needs a wide receiver the most and they got one with this pick. Reagor is a true home-run threat with deadly speed. However, we think there were better receivers on the board. The Eagles could have gone with a potential No. 1 WR in Justin Jefferson or even traded up to get CeeDee Lamb or one of the elite receivers from Alabama. He may struggle against bigger corners due to his smaller frame. However, still a solid pick as it filled a dire need for the Eagles, but not the greatest player that they could have gotten to fill the role. 
    2. Grade: B-
  23. Minnesota (from Buffalo): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
    1. With sending receiver Stefon Diggs to the Bills, the Vikings found a nice replacement. Jefferson is a solid route runner with strong hands that can high point a jump ball with the best. Playing primarily in the slot which is where reciever Adam Thielen plays, the Vikings may have to find unique ways to get Jefferson more involved. Jefferson has No. 1 receiver potential and could easily be the best receiver in this draft class coming from LSU who has produced receivers such as Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. 
    2. Grade: A-
  24.  Los Angeles Chargers (from New England Patriots): Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
    1. Kenneth Murray is a freak athlete, much like Bills LB Tremaine Edmunds, who has the potential to be an absolute stud LB if he puts it together. However, he has to put it together first, and the Chargers are trusting their coaching staff to do this. If he pans out, a defense consisting of Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and Murray will certainly wreak havoc among the rest of the league and be capable of stopping the explosive Chiefs offense. But he has to pan out first.
    2. Grade: A-
  25.  New Orleans Saints: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
    1. A little unsure why the Saints targeted a lineman this early in the draft. Possibly due to the number of lineman selected earlier in the round. It seemed as though they were set on drafting a linebacker but surprisingly chose a center. Plus there is speculation on where on the offensive line he will play. It seems as though the center will settle in as a Right Guard for the Saints. The Saints didn’t really fill a need here and left some solid talent on the board, and they could have traded back a bit if they wanted to settle on Ruiz. Confusing to say the least.
    2. Grade: D
  26.  San Francisco 49ers (from Minnesota Vikings): Brandon Aiyuk, WR, ASU
    1. Brandon Aiyuk is a physical specimen, with a wingspan the size of a person standing 6 foot 8, although Aiyuk is only 5 foot 11. He has great agility and ball skills, and can use his freakishly long arms to win one on one battles with cornerbacks who may even be taller than him. However, we think a WR like Denzel Mims or Van Jefferson may have been better players than Aiyuk, but a good pick that addresses a position of need nevertheless.
    2. Grade: B+
  27.  Green Bay Packers (from Miami): Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
    1. The player is good. He will be the future of the Packers, that’s for sure. But if I’m Aaron Rodgers I am screaming at the front office right now. They made the NFC championship and desperately needed another WR to help Rodgers out, and they could not afford to have the luxury of developing the next stud quarterback if they want to contend now, which they could. The only plausible explanation for this pick is that they are entering rebuild mode, which they have too talented of a roster to do at this point. The silver lining is that with Jordan Love being mentored by Aaron Rodgers, Love should become an absolute stud. But they needed to win now.
    2. Grade: D-
  28.  Seattle Seahawks: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
    1. We hate the pick, but we are not going to knock the player. Instead, we are going to knock GM John Schneider for not addressing the team needs. I mean come on, resign Clowney or draft his replacement in Yetur Gross-Matos or AJ Epenesa, but don’t take insurance for Bobby Wagner just yet.
    2. Grade: C-
  29.  Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
    1. Queen is a great player, he would be more well known if he did not play behind Devin White at LSU. The Ravens do not really have any glaring holes on their roster, so adding Queen, a LB with great upside that could learn behind CJ Mosel, just adds another layer to that Ravens defense that has and will continue to thrive for years.
    2. Grade: A-
  30. Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
    1. Great pick in our opinion. Wilson is a physical freak, standing at 6 foot 7 and weighing 340 pounds. Additionally, he is a cheaper and just as effective replacement for RT Jack Conklin, and we are excited to see Wilson pave running lanes for Derrick Henry
    2. Grade: A 
  31. Miami Dolphins (from Green Bay): Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
    1. Igbinoghene is a good player for sure, but not a great one. Additionally, they paid Byron Jones and Xavien Howard a lot of money to be their cornerbacks, and they have bigger holes on their roster that they should have addressed, like RB for example. That being said, not a great pick, but not an atrocious one.
    2. Grade: C
  32. Minnesota Vikings (from San Francisco): Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
    1. The Vikings addressed a need by taking Gladney ro replace Xavier Rhodes, and they traded back to do it, getting a pick in return. Gladney is an underrated player that had to face the best of the Big 12’s WR talent, but not a terrific player in a cornerback class that was generally weak. However, the Vikings did very well with the situation they were given, so this grade reflects not only the player and the position that they drafted him in, but the trade and manipulation of the draft order.
    2. Grade: A
  33.  Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
    1. Capping off the 1st round the Chiefs selected the first running back off of the board. Helaire spent time in one of the most electric offenses of LSU during the past year so it is fitting that he is drafted to the most electric offense in the NFL. The LSU running back is very shifty and versatile out of the backfield however is a little short for the position and will be the shortest player on the Chiefs roster. However a little surprised they did not select D’andre Swift out of Georgia who clearly has the most upside of all the backs in the draft. Nevertheless, solid pick. 
    2. Grade: B+

10 Things to do in Quarantine!

By Dani Barnard

  1. Go outside ☼

Just because we have to stay home doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the fresh air! Appreciate the sun shine when you can. Walk your dog, cat, guinea pig, or whatever animal you can. Play with chalk and create a masterpiece. Or soak up the sun, but protect your skin and wear sunscreen!

  1. Have a zoom party with your friends

Zoom is super easy and free. You can talk to your friends using the video chat and can enjoy each other’s company from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Try new recipes

Your parents may be stocking up on lots of food and bringing in new things you’ve never seen. Why not experiment with them? There are so many fun recipes you can try that are online.

  1. Netflix Party

Watching movies alone can get boring. You can download Netflix Party – a chrome extension – onto your computer and chat with your friends while watching Netflix in sync!

  1. Start a book club with your friends

Another way to stay connected with your friends is by reading the same books. Amazon has so many amazing books for good deals that you and your friends can order right to your house. 

  1. Become an artist

You do not have to be artistic to do art. Art can be many different things. Learn a new instrument! Paint something! Dance, because why not!

  1. Be active!

It is important to have some type of structure in your day. Get up out of bed and find some way to be active. You can walk around your neighborhood, find a workout online, or dance in your room, whatever your heart desires.

  1. Make jewelry

It doesn’t necessarily have to be jewelry, be creative and stimulate your brain without screens. Whether you have old friendship bracelet string or beads hiding in a box around your house, make something for yourself or people you love.

  1. Make a spotify playlist

Spotify is free and has tons of music! Making your own playlists allows you to listen to your favorite songs and discover new artists in the process. 

  1. Take time away from technology and enjoy people’s company

I know it can be tough to put down your phone and put your computer away but it’s so important to give our eyes and brains a break. With all of our work online, we are constantly looking at screens. Try to give yourself time away from technology and spend time with those you love.

Your Definitive Netflix Binge-Watch List

By Rachel Cohn and Lauren Cohn

I’m sure by now you have spent a considerable amount of time in quarantine watching television, which is totally fair. And you’ve probably heard this a lot, but during these uncertain times it is great to have an escape and to get lost in whatever world your tv show takes you. Whether you’re in the mood for some light and breezy comfort-binging or want something captivating to keep you actively engaged and pressing “next episode”, we are here for you with a fully detailed list of the best Netflix shows to binge in quarantine.

If you want to escape reality

The Haunting of Hill House
  1. Locke and Key– After their father is murdered under mysterious circumstances, the three Locke siblings and their mother move into their ancestral home, Keyhouse, which they discover is full of magical keys that may be connected to their father’s death
    1. The little kid is Georgie from It, just saying. Might save you a google search, I don’t know

  1. Stranger Things– When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief and his friends must confront terrifying supernatural forces in order to get him back
    1. Don’t let the upbeat 80s music and bright fashion distract you from the fact that this is in fact a scary mystery about a monster. Just keep that in mind. 

  1. Haunting of Hill House– Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it
    1. To this day I still have nightmares about the Bent-neck lady. And I mean that in the best way possible.

  1. The 100– Set ninety-seven years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends one hundred juvenile delinquents back to Earth, in hopes of re-populating the planet
    1. Maybe you should watch this to learn some survival skills before the virus inevitably destroys our planet, just kidding. Sort of

  1. Black Mirror– An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech multiverse where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide
    1. If you are looking for a show to completely shatter your perception of reality, then this is for you. Try the interactive movie “Bandersnatch”, too, if you’re really feeling adventurous. 

  1. The Umbrella Academy– A family of former child heroes, now grown apart, must reunite to continue to protect the world
    1. Superpowers plus time travel plus monkey servants plus some weird cello thing. What’s not to like.

If you want to finally get around to watching that show everyone’s been talking about

Breaking Bad
  1. Mad Men– A drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies a the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm’s most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper

  1. Ozark– A financial advisor drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss

  1. Breaking Bad– A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family’s future

  1. The Crown– Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century

  1. Twin Peaks– An peculiar FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more peculiar town of Twin Peaks

  1. Orange is the New Black– Convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend, normally law-abiding Piper Chapman is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life-changing prison can really be

If you want a good, comforting laugh to remind you of better times

The Good Place
  1. Schitt’s Creek– When rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt’s Creek
    1. It’s pretty funny to watch a really, really rich family lose all their money and move into a motel. So much so that you forget to really feel bad for them

  1. Parks and Recreation– The absurd antics of an Indiana town’s public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place
    1. Okay, controversial, but this show may be better than the office. Not that it’s a competition, but this particular workplace comedy has Chris Pratt in it.

  1. The Good Place– Four people and their otherworldly frenemy struggle in the afterlife to define what it means to be good 
    1. Someone tell me why a comedy has more twists and turns than any other drama or thriller out there because honestly, this show never goes in the direction you think it will.

  1. New Girl– After a bad break-up, Jess, an offbeat young woman, moves into an apartment loft with three single men. Although they find her behavior very unusual, the men support her– most of the time
    1. In this world, you either are a Nick Miller or know a Nick Miller. And I bet that you’re finally beginning to really see that now that we’re in quarantine

  1. The Office– A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium
    1. You’ve either seen The Office 30 different times or have not seen a single episode. There is no in between, so you might as well get started on 1 of 30 while we’re in quarantine.

  1. Arrested Development– Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable
    1. And by that, we mean the first three seasons, Netflix’s version of the last two seasons is not valid

If you want a good old crime drama

Criminal Minds
  1. Dexter– By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he is a serial killer who only targets other murderers
    1. Yeah let’s just toss aside the fact that Dexter pretty much kills a person in cold blood every single episode. He’s only killing the bad guys, can you blame him?

  1. Criminal Minds– The cases of the F.B.I. Behavioral Analysis Unit (B.A.U.), an elite group of profilers who analyze the nation’s most dangerous serial killers and individual heinous crimes in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again
    1. If Criminal Minds doesn’t keep you up at night fearing that there is a serial killer spying on you through your window, then I don’t know what will. But also, like, Dr. Spencer Reid.

  1. How to Get Away With Murder– A group of ambitious law students and their brilliant criminal defense professor become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives

  1. Mindhunter
    1. Set in the late 1970s, two FBI agents are tasked with interviewing serial killers to solve open cases

  1. Lucifer– Lucifer Morningstar has decided he’s had enough of being the dutiful servant in Hell and decides to spend some time on Earth to better understand humanity. He settles in Los Angeles, where he becomes an LAPD consultant who tries to punish people for their crimes through law and justice
    1. Your run-of-the-mill procedural cop tv show, but they’ve got the devil on their team this time.

  1. NCIS– The cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Washington, D.C. Major Case Response Team, led by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

If you think Carole Baskin killed her husband (documentaries)

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
  1. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness– A rivalry between big cat eccentrics takes a dark turn when Joe Exotic, a controversial animal park boss, is caught in a murder-for-hire plot
    1. If you haven’t already seen the train wreck that is the whole cast of Tiger King, then I advise that you at least take a look. Who knew that abusing tigers in captivity could be so scandalous?

  1. Salt Fat Acid Heat– Docuseries, based on the award-winning book, explores the essence of cooking and the vital ingredients at the heart of a great dish

  1. Making a Murderer– Filmed over a 10-year period, Steven Avery, a DNA exoneree, while in the midst of exposing corruption in local law enforcement, finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime

  1. Miss Americana– A look at iconic pop artist Taylor Swift during a transformational time in her life as she embraces her role as a singer/songwriter and harnesses the full power of her voice

  1. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes– A look inside the mind of serial killer Ted Bundy, featuring interviews with him on death row
    1. Just in case you needed a reminder of how truly terrible and horrifying Ted Bundy is after watching Zac Efron play him in the movie

  1. Cheer– Follows the cheerleaders of Navarro College as they prepare for the biggest moment of their lives

If you want to focus on the absolutely ridiculous drama of other people’s lives instead of your own 

The Society
  1. Outer Banks– A group of teenagers from the wrong side of the tracks stumble upon a treasure map that unearths a long buried secret
    1. If “wrong side of the tracks” was any indication, this show is basically if The OC and Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill and every other teen drama had a baby, but throw in some Goonies just for good measure.

  1. On my Block– A coming-of-age story about four bright, street-savvy friends navigating their way through high school in the gritty inner city of South Central Los Angeles. Dealing with the danger of getting their friend out of a gang and friends turning into romance, danger is constant

  1. All American– When a star high school football player from South Central is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High School, two separate worlds collide

  1. The Politician– Payton Hobart, a student from Santa Barbara, has known since age seven that he’s going to be President of the United States. But first he’ll have to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: Saint Sebastian High School
    1. If the plot doesn’t interest you, at least stay for Ben Platt singing “River” and “Vienna”

  1. You– A dangerously charming, intensely obsessive young man goes to extreme measures to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by
    1. Joe Goldberg is just like if Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl never told anyone that he was Gossip Girl and continued being an absolute creep and stalker. Same actor even, what do you know.

  1. The Society– When everyone else mysteriously vanishes from their wealthy town, the teen residents of West Ham must forge their own society to survive
    1. The Society details one of the more relatable aspects of adolescence: that awkward moment when everyone in the town except for your senior class vanishes from sight and you have to set up your own government to control the rebellion and mayhem of 18-year olds. Classic

If you want to focus on the absolutely ridiculous drama of other people, but make it reality 

The Circle
  1. The Great British Baking Show– Bakers attempt three challenges each week trying to impress the judges enough to go through to the next round and eventually are crowned Britain’s best amateur baker

  1. Love is Blind– Singles who want to be loved for who they are, rather than what they look like, have signed up for a less conventional approach to modern dating
    1. Kinda wild how appearance doesn’t matter when every single contestant is outrageously attractive.

  1. Queer Eye– A new Fab Five set out to Atlanta to help some of the city’s people refine their wardrobes, grooming, diet, cultural pursuits, and home decor

  1. Next in Fashion– 18 budding fashion designers compete for a $250,000 prize and the opportunity to launch a clothing line with Net-a-Porter

  1. The Circle– Players start off isolated in an apartment, and with their online interactions as their only means of any communication. The players use a social media platform called “The Circle”
    1. This show is absolutely ridiculous but also wildly entertaining because every contestant overuses hashtags and has to describe every emoji they want to use in painstaking detail during their conversations.

  1. Nailed It– Home bakers with a terrible track record take a crack at re-creating edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize. It’s part reality contest, part hot mess
    1. If this isn’t an accurate representation of life in quarantine, then I don’t know what is

If you want some feel-good teen content

Sex Education
  1. Sex Education– A teenage boy with a sex therapist mother teams up with a high school classmate to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at school
    1. Okay so this one might be a little too graphic for our innocent little high school eyes, so just keep the name of the show in mind when you start it. Besides that, Sex Education is surprisingly endearing and an easy binge.

  1. Atypical– Sam, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum, decides it’s time to find a girlfriend, a journey that sets Sam’s mom on her own life-changing path as her son seeks more independence

  1. I am Not Okay With This– Sydney is a teenage girl navigating the trials and tribulations of high school while dealing with the complexities of her family, her budding sexuality, and mysterious superpowers just beginning to awaken deep within her
    1. In classic Netflix fashion, this show takes place in the present but for some reason their technology and fashion don’t know that. You can also watch the entire series in 3 hours, which is a plus.

  1. Derry Girls– The personal exploits of a 16-year-old girl and her family and friends during the Troubles in the early 1990s in Ireland.
    1. A bunch of catholic girls living in Northern Ireland take on adolescence. It’s fun because they have accents and talk about things that only a person living in Northern Ireland would really understand. 

  1. Gilmore Girls– A dramedy centering around the relationship between a thirtysomething single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut
    1. Once again, just like Arrested Development, do not watch the special that Netflix made, not worth ruining the show over

  1. Glee– A group of ambitious misfits try to escape the harsh realities of high school by joining a glee club
    1. Okay, so I know that this show is absolutely ridiculous and honestly pretty offensive in so many ways. But, that does not diminish the fact that Glee is actually quite entertaining, in an “unable to look away from a car wreck” sort of way

How to Celebrate Your Birthday in Quarantine

By Lauren Cohn

Every single day so far during this corona-cation has been absolutely meaningless, which is especially devastating for those of us celebrating the beginning of a new year in our lives. Normally, that is, when we are not being pent up inside to contain the spread of a viral pandemic, birthdays are cause for celebration. You go outside (scandalous, I know), be with your loved ones and have a great time. Now, on the other hand, you might be able to eat some cake or work on a puzzle with your immediate family (if you haven’t already locked yourself in your room to avoid hanging out with them), but for the most part, birthdays in quarantine are only an additional boring, droning day to add on to all the others that make time feel absolutely meaningless. That’s not to say that birthdays aren’t fun anymore, because they can still be still exciting regardless of what you’ve done to your hair or the number of TikTok workouts you’ve failed to complete. Sometimes you just gotta make your own excitement to make the big day stand out a little. Take it from me, my birthday was last week and I still managed to have a mildly okay time. So, without further ado, I present to you a definitive how-to guide that will give you what you need to have an amazing birthday during quarantine.

  1. Sleep in. For everyone’s sake, take the couple extra hours to wake up refreshed and feeling great.
  1. Hope that your family has whipped up some amazing breakfast for you, ready and hot at the kitchen counter waiting. In the more likely scenario that nobody bothered to do that, make yourself one of the best meals you have ever had in your entire life. Not only will that take up some time and keep you entertained, but it will also guarantee that you start the morning off right.
  1. Talk to your friends. I completely understand how utterly draining it can be to spend every waking moment with the same people. So, on your special day, you get to pick who you want to socialize with. Completely ignore your siblings for all I care, but I would definitely recommend talking to your friends and the people you haven’t seen in forever. Whether it’s zoom or facetime, you deserve having the conversations you want to have and to see the people you want to see.
  1. Don’t do any chores. I’m sure your parents are taking this opportunity to give your house that deep clean they always said they would get around to doing. And, if your family is anything like mine, a second on the couch is a second wasted from doing the dishes or the laundry. But it’s your birthday, so don’t do any of that. One of the greatest gifts is the freedom to just sit there while everyone else in the family cleans up after dinner.
  1. And finally, start planning the real celebration you are going to have once this is all over. Sure, it’s fun to have the day to yourself and spend it the way you want, but it’s also great to have a party and get gifts and actually be in the same room as your friends. So, just wait a little until you can spend your birthday in style. Think about your actual day in quarantine as more of a prep time for your birthday later on.Then again, it is also totally reasonable to just completely postpone your birthday in general and choose to have it at another time so that your day isn’t restricted by stay at home orders or life-threatening viruses.

No matter how you chose to spend your birthday, just know that by staying inside and compromising some fun and partying to help halt the spread of the virus, you are doing something very respectable and are absolutely deserving of all the pampering when your birthday celebration does come along.While it is your special day, everyone appreciates you still thinking about those at-risk and choosing to remain in quarantine. Also, happy birthday, by the way!

The Problem with Fulton County’s Grading Policy

By Andrew Wyatt

Ever since the Fulton County Board of Education decided to close schools in an emergency board meeting on March 16,  schools, teachers, and classrooms have had to improvise as to ways to fully educate students while both students and educators remain at home and indoors due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. As a result of  students not attending class face-to-face, the county has turned to online learning as a means to still accomplish the goals of which the classroom seeks to sustain. 

Nevertheless, digital and online learning possesses challenges everyone within the education system continues to face, and for the most part, Fulton County has tried to address these issues as best as possible. However, Fulton County’s updated grading policy in response to the COVID-19 local epidemic still has some momentous issues that need to be solved.

Released in the county’s quick reference guide for parents available on Fulton County Schools website, the district stated that “Student work submitted during Remote Learning will only count if it positively impacts a student’s overall grade as reflected on March 12, the last day of traditional instruction.” 

While this condition is largely agreeable, what the district has failed to mention is that they have asked teachers to not enter any summative grades– major assessments such as tests and projects– into their gradebooks. At first glance this may not seem as an issue, but the effect of what stands behind this policy is that students no longer have a major opportunity to improve their grades. 

Summative assessments in most classrooms typically account for 35-45 percent of a student’s final grade, and usually are the largest category within the gradebook; therefore, by not allowing teachers to enter new grades into the summative assessment category, students lose the option of raising their grades through the category that has the greatest impact on their final grades. This fact further leaves the content taught at the beginning of the semester to disproportionately affect students’ final grades as teachers can no longer test students on the lessons they have been working through since March 12.

In return for teachers not being able to input summative assessments, many have only been able to assign formative assessments, which includes quizzes and traditional classwork. Yet, the major conflict with these assignments is that many students already benefit from high formative assessments scores, so inputting high scores into this category will only marginally raise a student’s grade. In many cases, some students have already earned 100 percent of the points available in this category. So, in a time where teachers are urged to blindly hand out 100s to the students who turned in their work, many students’ grades will remain exactly the same.

Even during this period of uncertainty, teachers don’t have to specifically assess students by handing out tests. There are a myriad of other options for providing summative work that takes less than two hours time including small projects, written classwork assignments, or class discussions involving the target material. These assignments could be explicitly aimed at helping students improve their grades; however, the district has pushed that possibility out the door.

Interview with a CDC Response Team Member

By: Rachel Cohn

I am lucky enough to have a mother who is also on the CDC Coronavirus Response Team. In a small period of time when she wasn’t on a work call or on the phone with Apple or the NFL, I was able to ask her a few questions about the virus that everyone has been wondering. 

Me: Do I need to wear a mask and gloves when I go out? 

Amanda: Yes, we do recommend that when you are in public places, you wear a mask. I don’t recommend that you wear gloves but rather that you wash your hands frequently, especially when you are touching things like doorknobs or grocery carts and things like that. 

Me: Can I go for a walk or a run with my friends outside? 

Amanda: I think it’s safe at this point in time to go for a walk or run with a couple of friends just make sure that you run next to each other and a couple of feet apart and don’t give each other high fives and things like that when you see each other. 

Me: Do you think we are going to go back to school in the fall? 

Amanda: I am really hopeful that you guys are all going to be back in school by the fall. I do think that there will be some things that will look different like you may not have huge assemblies and there may be a change in football games or dances, but I’m really hopeful that things are somewhat back to normal and you guys are going to school each day. 

Me: And what do you think about camp and other summer activities? 

Amanda: I’m also really hoping that things like camps and people’s summer plans and jobs are able to happen. They may not happen at the beginning of the summer, but I think that by mid June or the end of June people will be able to go places and do their summer plans. 

Me: Can pets transmit the disease? 

Amanda: We don’t have any evidence that pets can transit the disease to people. We do have some evidence in the United States that cats can get Coronaviruses including some large lions and tigers who got Coronavirus at the Bronx zoo. There’s been a case of Coronavirus in a dog in Hong Kong, but at this point I would not worry about your pets giving you Coronavirus, what’s more likely to happen honestly is that you are going to give your pets Coronavirus, but it doesn’t seem to be serious in pets at all. 

Me: Does climate affect the disease? 

Amanda: It’s really hard to say if changes in the temperature and climate will impact the spread of disease. What we do know is that sunlight and heat do seem to lower the possibility of you transmitting the disease. So being outside is better than being indoors, but we don’t know if Summer’s really going to change the way it’s being transmitted. Even if it does lower the amount of transmission, that makes us worry about having big increases again in the Fall so we still have to be really careful. 

Me: Is the six feet apart rule still a rule? 

Amanda: We do still recommend social distancing which means six feet apart or two arms lengths apart as much as possible. When you can’t social distance that is one of the reasons we do recommend that you wear a face mask because as you know it’s impossible to stay away from everybody six feet apart like in the grocery store and things like that. 

Me: Do you agree with certain authority figures that say a good way to combat the virus is injecting clorox and bleach into our bodies? 

Amanda: No, there’s a really big difference between treating a CoronaVirus infection inside of a person versus getting rid of it on surfaces and in the environment. What I will say is that it’s really important that we do studies to see whether or not different treatments are safe and effective and I think the most, I do think over the next several months we will have some ways to treat CoronaVirus and hopefully a vaccine that will help us get out of this really challenging time. 
Me: So let’s just make sure everyone knows: you are not supposed to drink bleach.

Mixing Politics with Sports: Saudi Arabian Takeover of Premier League Side Newcastle Raises Questions Over the Motives Behind the Move

By Jonah Glenn

In all of professional soccer, there are only two state-owned clubs, Manchester City, owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and Paris Saint Germain, owned by Qatar. Both teams rank in the top four in money spent in the last decade, with Manchester City ranking number one, and have won a multitude of tournaments and leagues, PSG with 22 trophies since the takeover and Manchester City with 10 (more than its 114 year history before the Abu Dhabi takeover). In this time, both teams have risen to be two of the greatest teams in the world backed by owners with billions to spend. PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi has a net worth of 6.5 billion pounds and Man City owner Sheikh Mansour has a net worth of 23.3 billion pounds. 

Neither of these net worths are even comparable to the soon to be owner of Newcastle United Magpies.

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), which invests money in projects and businesses on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government, is headed by Mohammad bin Salman who has a net worth of over 320 billion euros. In comparison, the net worth of the owners of all other Premier League teams combined is approximately 75 billion euros. Salman is the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and soon to be king, and his purchase of Newcastle has sparked questions on whether the prince should be permitted to buy the club. 

Numerous human rights activists and communities, like Amnesty International (which strives to prevent and end human rights violations), have begun to express their concerns about the take over. Felix Jakens, the head of priority campaigns at Amnesty International UK said,  “Saudi Arabia is attempting to use the glamour and prestige of Premier League football as a PR tool to distract from the country’s abysmal human rights record.” He is referring to “sportswashing”, when a country attempts to use sports, or the introduction of a sports team, to hide and down play a poor human rights record. The Saudi government has been accused of many cases of harassment, torturing and treating activists poorly, and in 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (although the government has publicly denied it). Others, like media group BeIN Sports, have spoken out against the takeover as they claim that Saudi Arabia has been pirating Premier League broadcasts illegally. Furthermore, the Saudi’s have been profiting off the illegal sale of these games and it poses a vast threat to Premier League commercial revenues. 

Despite these concerns and urges, the United Kingdom government has said it will be unlikely to intervene, as it has and wants to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia. With regard to the Premier League, Richard Masters, the chief executive of the league replied to Amnesty International to say that the league is taking extra measures to ensure the takeover is done correctly.

Therefore, it is very unlikely that the takeover will be halted.

With that in mind, the PIF plans to complete the takeover of Newcastle United from current owner, Mike Ashley, in the coming weeks. Ashley has a current net worth of $2.9 billion but has consistently failed to invest or show ambition towards the club. During his thirteen year tenure, Newcastle United was relegated twice, fired a club legend coach, and recently became the first Premier League team to furlough all non-playing staff. These actions have caused a poor relationship between Ashley and Newcastle supporters and has led to the sale and takeover by the Saudi Arabian PIF. 

Another question that may arise over the incoming takeover is, why Newcastle? Why would the Saudi Arabian government buy a club that is currently in 13th place in the Premier League and last won the league in 1927? The answer is one of the main reasons Newcastle fans want a change, lack of investment. Because Ashley has only done the bare minimum when investing in players, he has presented PIF with plenty of opportunity to invest in big-time, impact players in the future. Like the Manchester City and PSG takeovers, Salman could transform the Magpies into a soccer powerhouse. 

However, due to Financial Fair Play laws the Magpies cannot spend endless money. The law states that a team can only lose 105 million euros over three seasons. Essentially, a team, over the course of 3 seasons, can have a maximum of a 105 million loss in total revenue which includes player sales, jersey sales, player purchasing. There are ways to get around these laws as infrastructure is not regulated so they can spend unlimited money on their stadium and training fields, gaining sponsorships that were previously unavailable which would also greatly increase their revenue, and investing in youth development all don’t apply to the fair play laws. 

Nonetheless, Newcastle fans generally remain unaffected by the abysmal human rights of the Saudis and are excited to what the ownership will bring. News of the takeover has “given the whole city, the whole region, a buzz even in these difficult times,” says Alex Hurst, chairman of the Newcastle Supporters Trust. While Newcastle rejoices over dreams of becoming like Paris Saint Germain or Manchester City, the entire soccer community must wonder if takeovers like this becomes common, will soccer be truly owned by governments across the world and will these league be seen as helping sports-wash human rights abuses.