Flashes quite gold on the diamond

By Nick Shook

Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.

Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.

On the seventh day, Kent State took a risk.

In uniforms, that is.

The Flashes’ baseball team, which has sported a number of new looks this season—a new blue top, new pinstriped home uniforms (which are gorgeous) and a new gold top—took it one step further.

Kent State took the field in all gold. That’s right: gold tops and gold pants. Continue reading

Dri Archer grabs attention of NFL

By Nick Shook

Read original post on TheBurr.com

Kent State running back Dri Archer is tripped up by Buffalo linebacker Jake Stockman during first-quarter action at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio, on Saturday, October 26, 2013. The Buffalo Bulls defeated the Kent State Flashes, 41-21. Photo by Ed Suba Jr. of the Akron Beacon Journal. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Kent State running back Dri Archer is tripped up by Buffalo linebacker Jake Stockman during first-quarter action at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio, on Saturday, October 26, 2013. The Buffalo Bulls defeated the Kent State Flashes, 41-21. Photo by Ed Suba Jr. of the Akron Beacon Journal. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

In September of 2012, Dri Archer was just starting a record-breaking season as the Flashes’ do-everything back. Archer already had two kick returns for touchdowns under his belt and was quickly becoming the Flashes’ catalyst. National media took notice, honoring him with weekly special teams and all-purpose awards.

I took to the airwaves and social media to declare Archer the fastest man in college football. At the time, Oregon’s DeAnthony Thomas was the center of attention, even being featured in an ESPN the Magazine article about pure speed in college football. He was the consensus pick for fastest man in the NCAA. Continue reading

College fans leaving class at home

By Nick Shook

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart sits on the bench with four fouls during the second half against Kansas State at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Ks., on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. K-State won, 74-71. Photo by Travis Heying of the Wichita Eagle. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart sits on the bench with four fouls during the second half against Kansas State at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Ks., on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. K-State won, 74-71. Photo by Travis Heying of the Wichita Eagle. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Where’s the class?

College students sit through them, older fans passed—or flunked—them, but lately, fanbases big and small are missing stylish excellence and respect.

Saturday night’s altercation between Oklahoma State University’s Marcus Smart and a Texas Tech fan brought this issue to the forefront of national criticism. Talking heads have had opinions on what Smart should or should not have done and on the surrounding circumstances, but it seems like the focus is on the wrong person in this situation.

At the end of the game between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, Smart attempted to block an opposing dunk but stumbled into the baseline seating area, feet away from opposing fans. As the video shows, Smart was relaxed and was helped up by teammates when, suddenly, his head snapped around in a reactive manner. He immediately got up and into the face of a Texas Tech fan, who said something to Smart before the Oklahoma State star shoved the man.

As expected, chaos ensued. A smattering of Oklahoma State officials escorted Smart away from the section and to the OSU bench. Smart pointed at the man as he was escorted away and reportedly claimed the man yelled a racial slur at him.

I’m not going to get into the potential racism of this issue. Racial slurs are ugly weapons that are, unfortunately, all too real even in this day and age.

Continue reading

Don’t give up on the Flashes yet

By Nick Shook

Don’t mail it in on the Kent State men’s basketball team in 2014 just yet.

Yes, they’ve lost six of nine games.

Yes, they are currently last in the Mid-American Conference East Division standings.

As much as these two facts might drive a fan to leap off the bandwagon and hit the ground running, I’m here to tell you that it’s too early to give up on them.

History proves that the Flashes tend to hit their stride at this time of the season. Don’t believe me? Look at the last two seasons.

Continue reading

Kent State ends season with blowout win against Ohio

By Nick Shook

Read original story on KentWired.com

ATHENS, OH. — After losing five straight games, Kent State finished its 2013 season the way head coach Paul Haynes envisioned.
With postseason possibilities well out of reach, the Flashes (4-8, 3-5 Mid-American Conference) played as well as they have in the final two weeks of the season, capping a two-game winning streak with a 44-13 victory over Ohio (6-5, 3-4 MAC) on Tuesday night at Peden Stadium.

In his own words: New Kent State head football coach Paul Haynes

Originally posted May 5, 2013.

Paul Haynes, Kent State’s new head football coach, on his upbringing, winning and losing and what makes a good football player – on and off the field. (Quotes taken from interview for cover feature on Haynes in May 2013 issue).

Kent State head football coach Paul Haynes graces the cover of the May 2013 issue of The Burr. Story by Nick Shook.

Kent State head football coach Paul Haynes graces the cover of the May 2013 issue of The Burr. Story by Nick Shook.

Interview by Nick Shook

> I’ve got two older sisters. Mom and Dad were hard workers. I got a lot of my work ethic from them because they worked at the same place — my mom worked for the state, my dad worked for a place called Fournier Rubber for probably over 20 or 30 years. [They] kind of started from the bottom and worked their way all the way up top.

> I think it again goes back to my childhood, seeing my parents grind so much. They get up early; they drop us off; they go to work; they take a bus down to their job; they had someone take me to practice. Just all that sacrifice and that grinding to make sure the job was done. I guess the grind concept doesn’t mean that you’re there until one o’clock. That’s not grinding. Grinding to me is making sure you get the job done, and you’re not going to finish until the job is done.

Continue reading