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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

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Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Take Five | Pitt News Editors give their hot sports takes

Buffalo+Bills+kicker+Tyler+Bass+%282%29+attempts+a+field+goal+against+the+Kansas+City+Chiefs+during+the+fourth+quarter+of+an+NFL+AFC+division+playoff+football+game%2C+Sunday%2C+Jan.+21%2C+in+Orchard+Park%2C+N.Y.+Bass+missed+the+field+goal.
AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes
Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass (2) attempts a field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter of an NFL AFC division playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 21, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bass missed the field goal.

In this week’s Take Five, editors from the non-sports Pitt News desks give their hot sports takes. From opinions on the NFL to predictions for the 2024 Olympics, The Pitt News editors provide their takes on a topic outside of their expertise. 

Don’t scapegoat Bills kickers for season-ending misses // Patrick Swain, Culture Editor

Scott Norwood’s wide right is a collective traumatic memory in Buffalo. My hometown still shudders at the thought of the kicker lining up in the final seconds of the 1991 Super Bowl before launching the ball to the right of the posts, handing the Bills their first of four consecutive Super Bowl losses. In Buffalo, Norwood is the butt of jokes for supposedly setting our suffering in motion. Still, Norwood served the Bills for seven seasons, including a perfect postseason in his final year. 

Tyler Bass finds himself in a similar spot after his missed kick, a familiar wide right, cemented the Bills’ annual playoff loss to the Chiefs. Bass was an integral piece of the roster for four seasons — yet, some fans handed him the blame for the ruinous defeat. He doesn’t deserve the flak any more than Norwood did three decades ago. Fans shouldn’t ask how Bass missed — they should ask why the game came down to a field goal in the first place. 

Blame me for asking a magic eight ball if the Bills would win the Super Bowl, eliciting the response, “better not tell you now.”

The Turkish national volleyball team is one to watch in Paris // Betul Tuncer, Editor-in-Chief

With the summer Olympics approaching, the pressure is on for international sports fans as they prepare to watch their favorite countries’ teams play in more than 30 sports. 

The Olympics is one of the only times I really tune into the world of sports. My favorite team by far is the Turkish volleyball team, and I must say they truly are the best. While I’m a bit biased, as I love watching fellow Turkish women succeed, their merits are definitely worth the attention of an international stage. 

Known as the “Sultans of the Net” by Turkish fans, the women’s team beat Serbia in the final matchup of the European Championship in Brussels this past September. Their dramatic victory against Serbia, which won bronze in the last Olympics, garnered much attention — though international media seemed more interested in the political implications of the win for the team given that it has faced scrutiny in its home country in recent years.

In the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, the Turkish team made its way up to the quarterfinals before losing an intensely close game against South Korea. Almost three years later, with a few new additions to their roster and another championship under their belt, the team is now ranked No. 1 in women’s volleyball by FIVB Senior World Rankings.

Look out for the Sultans in Paris this summer. 

Angel’s spring training is a litmus test for a post-Ohtani era // Nate Yonamine, Assistant Visual Editor

Spring training is the time for fresh faces, returning players and coaches to get settled in before the regular season. But for the Los Angeles Angels, the preseason opener against the Dodgers on Feb. 24 will serve as a painful reminder of their prospects for the future.

The Angels are losing a lot more than a reliable pitcher and powerhouse hitter with Shohei Ohtani’s departure across the city. While his 700 million dollar contract was steep, the Dodgers will likely make most of it back in merchandise, promotions and advertising revenue. Even worse, with Ohtani deferring most of his contract, the Dodgers were able to also sign pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto to further bolster their bullpen.

The Angels’ prospects going into the preseason are bleak. The loss of Ohtani leaves the Angels bullpen in an even more distressing state, and the lack of any big-name free agents only exacerbates the issue.

Only time will tell how the season will unfold for the Angels. Perhaps a new player from the minors will distinguish themselves during spring training. Or perhaps Matt Moore and Robert Stephenson, two recently signed free-agent pitchers, will finally add some much-needed depth to the pitching lineup. Regardless, Ohtani standing in the opposite dugout with a Dodgers uniform marks a new era for the Angels — one that may contain challenges as soon as spring training.

Students need to take advantage of free sporting events while they still can // Ethan Shulman, Visual Editor 

Students at Pitt have the amazing ability to attend almost all sporting events for free during their time at Pitt. Part of that package includes free admission to the matches of some of the best college teams in the country, such as Pitt volleyball and soccer. After graduation, these games become expenses.

Take it from a soon-to-be graduate — students will not have infinite opportunities for free sporting events, so they must take advantage of them while they still can. Watching Pitt’s women’s volleyball team, students get to witness a top-tier team compete at an almost professional level in an electric atmosphere. Students will not have such easy access to that kind of experience after they graduate. 

As someone who has photographed almost every Pitt varsity sports team, there is so much more to offer than football and basketball. Try out new sports! Learn new sports! Students never know what might pique their interest. 

American footballers need to play in the Champions League // Ryleigh Lord, News Editor

The National Women’s Soccer League has historically been the place to play in order for a shot at the U.S. Women’s National Team. But the USWNT’s lack of form in the 2023 Women’s World Cup revealed a glaring problem — the women’s football world is surpassing the States, in large part because of European leagues. 

Players in the American league miss out on the Champions League, the top competition for club teams in Europe and the place where teams play their most elite football. 

Europe holds the majority of the women’s football superpowers. England, the Netherlands, Spain, France and Sweden all field a majority of their players in European leagues. The NWSL, while no farmers league, is largely isolated from the rest of the football world and there’s a direct connection between that physical distance and the USWNT’s lacking form.

A move overseas is daunting, especially for young players. But to develop their game and play against the competition they’ll frequently meet in global competitions, Americans should seriously consider a stint at a European club. The U.S. national team will be better for it.

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