The Golden State Warriors have started the season 19-0. They own the record for the best start to an NBA season. They are the defending champions and they have the reigning league MVP.
But every team has to lose some time, right?
Well, in a bit of news that won’t shock many and will rouse the haters, if Golden State doesn’t lose soon, they are going to go to celebrate New Year’s still perfect.
How soon are we talking? The next six games.
The Warriors just started a 7-game road trip with a gutsy 106-103 win over the Utah Jazz. They were trailing in that game as late as a minute left in the 4th quarter before Steph Curry started doing Steph Curry things, nailing a three over Rodney Hood in a play that you have probably already seen at least four times.
But it’s not just Curry.
Draymond Green, owner of two triple-doubles already this season, laid out a 20/9/7 line.
Not to mention that the Warriors did this without Harrison Barnes, a key component in the small-ball offense that no team has been able to stop so far this season.
However, all that being said, Golden State is not going 82-0. That is crazy talk. But if the Warriors are going to end 2015 at anything other than 32-0, which team is going to hand them a loss?
Well, as previously mentioned, Golden State is currently on a road trip. And they are playing a few teams that gave them problems earlier in the season. They defeated Toronto 115-110, and they needed overtime to put away the Nets. However, you have to look a little further down to find the team with the best odds.
And that team is the Indiana Pacers. Granted, they are on their own West Coast trip this week, but they have two full days off before they play the Warriors on Dec. 8.
The Pacers also have the comeback player of the year so far in Paul George. George is playing the best basketball of his career, and he certainly has the ability to out-score Curry. The Pacers would have to play defense like the 2013-2014 version of the team, but it’s not impossible.
If Golden State gets by Indiana, the next game to look at for their first loss would be when they face LeBron and the Cavaliers on Christmas Day. You can never count out King James against any opponent, after all.
Get past the Cavs on Christmas? Then the discussion has to turn to 72-10.
Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC by-SA 2.0)
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About the AuthorAlex Austin is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He currently resides in Tuscaloosa, AL.
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10 Meddling Questions With Local Weather Entrepreneur Spinks Megginson
Spinks Megginson has a rare mix of entrepreneurial spirit and love of weather. He also really can’t stand that weather app you have in your pocket right now and has little patience for national weather sources.
He has a bit of a radical idea- that people want to get good weather information and a sense of community while receiving it.
He launched RedZone Weather, a hyperlocal weather and information brand in early 2015. It has quickly grown into a sustainable business by serving the communities that dot Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida. But he has dreams for bigger things as well.
Here’s 10 questions with Spinks Megginson:
1) RISE NEWS- Where did your whole fascination with weather come from?
Spinks Megginson: I’ve wanted to study weather and teach others about meteorology for as long as I can remember, and that’s no exaggeration. I am incredibly thankful for my family and their support even when I was quite young. I can remember when I was 3 or 4, they would ask me to point to the “red spot” on the television screen. That’s one of the reasons why my company is RedZone Weather.
Also when I was super young, I was learning states and geography by putting glass stick-on puzzles together on the back door. They bought me maps, atlases, and books.
We also went through Hurricane Opal in 1995 as a family, and that was a defining experience. Nine years later, I had a Gateway (remember that?) desktop computer and I was able to track Hurricane Ivan as a seventh grader.
I think there’s a natural interest there and there always has been. That, in combination with my family fostering the development of an interest, has been a real blessing.
2) RISE- How did that development continue when you got to high school? Did you ever express your weather love in class?
Spinks Megginson: I can see #weatherlove trending!
I worked at WEBJ Radio in my hometown of Brewton, Alabama during high school. This allowed me to learn quite a bit not only about communication during severe weather events, but also about announcing news, daily weather, and sports. I also became a student member of the National Weather Association. That gave me some insight into the weather enterprise through their publications.
I didn’t ever really express how much I enjoyed meteorology to others in class during high school, but it definitely was a known fact that I was interested in the subject. People would often ask me about weather, even then.
3) RISE- What about your college experience? How did it help you on your path?
Spinks Megginson: College was an integral part of my growth, both personally and professionally. In addition to learning a tremendous amount about the broadcast communication industry, I connected with many different people across the nation. I am thrilled to maintain these connections even now, more than two years after graduating from The University of Alabama.
My professors at UA were truly spectacular. Dr. Chandra Clark and Dr. Jason Senkbeil are the two professors that really stand out. I learned a vast amount of knowledge and acquired “real world” experience just by taking their classes. Dr. Clark is a former television producer, while Dr. Senkbeil is a former television meteorologist.
I think the specific opportunity that helped me most was being able to work on staff at WVUA23-TV during and after college. It was an honor to be one of the only weather interns to ever be offered a job at WVUA. The staff at WVUA, particularly Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott, involved me in daily operations and also in multiple severe weather events. That enabled me to learn so much more than being in a class ever could. I also worked with WVUA-FM, furthering my radio résumé.
4) RISE- How long have you been thinking about something like RedZone Weather then? Because it seems like you had other career options coming out of school.
Spinks Megginson: It’s true that I’ve had several job offers to do TV weather, right after college and as recently as a few weeks ago. I’m grateful to have those opportunities and I’ll certainly consider each opportunity I’m given. I consider it an honor to even have the chance to work with some of the great people in television in Alabama and beyond. I still occasionally do fill-in work on the evening newscasts at WVUA. I like to “keep my feet wet” in the TV world. Moreover, I like to be reminded of just how wonderful my current schedule is outside of television.
RedZone Weather is a bit of a culmination of my life experiences and a grandiose opportunity that I couldn’t ignore. I’ve been thinking about the concept for years, and that’s not an exaggeration. No “old media (for now, anyway).” Simply “new media.” That’s the goal. Meet people where they are already. People aren’t watching 10 o’clock newscasts. For many reasons, but that’s a discussion for another day. People ARE, however, increasingly on their smartphones and tablets all the time. The initial thought was to build a company around that. My time at UA helped me form the initial thought process on how to successfully do something like this. Ten months after graduating college, I started the company.
I didn’t, and still don’t, have all the answers. It’s a day-by-day learning experience. I’m having a blast though. I’ve done so many presentations about RedZone over the past few weeks and months that I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve met. That’s been a highlight. It’s truly a wonderful company with hopefully a bright, sunny future.
5) RISE- What has been the hardest part of starting your own media business?
Spinks Megginson: I’m the “everything” for this company. That means I’m the weather guy, sometimes the producer, director, janitor, PR man, IT coordinator, CEO, editor, “you name it, I do it” individual. That fact has its perks at times, but overall, I wish there were more people involved. It’s a fine balance though because I’m not interested in having a massive company right now, either.
Bruce Thompson has been with me since the start… I told him about what I wanted to see with RedZone, and he helped me set up the company as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Bruce also has been active on severe weather days with the company. He and Leigh Margaret Bostic, who is one of my best friends, have been phenomenal at producing on-screen content during the severe weather events of the past few months. I’m thrilled to not only call both of them friends, but also have them involved in RedZone Group, LLC.
It’s certainly difficult being a “one man band” at times, but so far, thankfully it hasn’t been an insurmountable challenge.
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6) RISE- So you’ve been active with it for over a year now and things have seemed to go well. Have you been happy with the response from the community?
Spinks Megginson: For me to simply answer yes would be an understatement. I’ve had so many people from around the region rally around what I’m doing. I think it’s obvious, based on the comments that are publicly accessible on Facebook and Twitter and based on the large number of positive comments people have said to me in person, that this service is truly beneficial for our community and our region.
RedZone Weather is one of those things that people didn’t realize they needed until it benefited them directly. Like on February 15 and 23rd, when two EF3 tornadoes moved across our region. It’s a hyperlocal weather service designed with rural communities first in mind. This isn’t about putting profits at the forefront, like most radio and television stations have to do. This is about helping people. Communicating urgent weather information that has the potential to save a life. Being present in the community across the region and actually caring that people know what to do during severe weather. That’s what it’s about.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I don’t know who said that quote, and evidently the Internet doesn’t either based on my Google search, but it’s exactly what I want RedZone to be about. So far, I think we’re doing alright with that.
WATCH: RedZone Weather report on the start of Hurricane Season.
7) RISE- How do you compete with the notion that some people have that apps do a fine job of giving local weather information?
Spinks Megginson: Great question. Why should weather guys like me still be a part of a person’s life on a regular basis when he or she could easily look at the free iPhone weather app that comes preloaded on every device?
That means I’m competing with the app in almost everyone’s pocket. Android has a weather app. I assume Windows/Blackberry phones do too. I assume even most feature/flip phones have some type of weather access. That’s a pretty daunting challenge.
The difference with what I’m doing versus the apps is huge.
What most people don’t realize is nearly every weather app (including the iPhone weather app, by the way) is a view of raw model output statistics. No specific model is always right. Not one. They all have individual flaws. I take a blend of individual models AND incorporate what I know about specific recurring model errors. Models can’t do that. I can. TV weather guys can. I then apply corrections and refinements and produce a forecast.
Don’t even get me started about how many times I’ve seen the stock iPhone weather app be dead wrong. I can communicate “a line of storms will move through around 6AM Tuesday, followed by cooler temperatures and clearing skies.” The iPhone app displays nothing but a lightning icon for days in advance. The same holds true for many other apps. This isn’t a far-fetched example… It happened recently!
The media for how we communicate weather information is changing — and always will be changing. What doesn’t change is the need for people to communicate weather patterns. Weather-related models, computers, and apps are getting better. Slowly, but surely. I’m convinced that there won’t be any time in our lifetimes, no matter if you’re 4 years old or 84, that we don’t need people to communicate weather info, especially in the high-risk, panic-prone moments of a tornado or a hurricane.
8) RISE- So in a way, you are trying to push back a bit against the blandness of automated information sources like apps and broad ones like the Weather Channel?
Spinks Megginson: I view the network you mentioned and others like it as entertainment/broad information sources. Certain large weather vendors seem to have lost the local connection and the targeted focus of their past. There are a few large weather vendors that do a nice job, but that’s also a discussion for another day.
Read More: This “Funny Map” Of Tuscaloosa According To An Alabama Student Is Hilarious And Sort Of Spot On
9) RISE- Right now you are entirely focused on a specific geographic area (Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida). How do you keep up with everything happening in your region?
Spinks Megginson: It’s impossible to keep up with a massive number of events. I do try to keep up with as many events as I can. People seem to really like the hyperlocal forecasting for specific events, so I try to incorporate as much of that as feasibly possible.
Some events are regularly scheduled, like high school and college football games. I had many encouraging comments about providing specific forecasts for those last year, and I would imagine we will do some of those again.
I’ve had requests to do forecasts for other sports and miscellaneous events. There’s a balance, though, of keeping things generalized to cater to a wide audience from across our ten county dedicated coverage area as well.
10) RISE- Where is RedZone Weather going? What do you think the future of it will be?
Spinks Megginson: I have somewhat of a grand vision for RedZone Group, LLC. I think the next step is continuing the daily grind of building the company. What does that look like? I think visiting and being a part of our local communities — and not just my hometown. I think the exposure and brand recognition in my hometown (where RedZone started) has been fantastic. I am SO appreciative to everyone who supports us in Brewton, Alabama. I think there’s more to it than strictly Brewton, however.
Presentations, lectures, helping people with weather radios, seeking opportunities to help communities around the region and around the state.
This next step isn’t as “sexy” as other things we do. It’s not necessarily “in the spotlight” for everyone to see, but I think it’s a necessary step. Getting to know people takes time and letting them know how much you care takes time.
I can’t imagine ever retiring from something like this (says the 24 year old who probably doesn’t realize what he’s actually saying). I’m having a blast. Another ill-defined quote that I love… “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I truly love what I do. It’s sometimes not the most agreeable or pleasant job, but it’s always worth it. What an honor it is to be able to talk with people about something that affects literally ALL of our lives. 100% of us are directly and indirectly affected by… Weather.
You can follow the rise of Spinks Megginson’s weather revolution on Facebook and Twitter.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Spinks Megginson.Post Views: 1,789
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HuffPost Deleted That Shameful “Ladies Of The SEC” Piece, But We Saved It So You Can Read ItBy Staff Report
The internet was aflame last night with many people upset over a piece in the Huffington Post from contributor Rebecca Walden.
Walden penned a piece titled, “Young ladies of the SEC, cover it up!” and boy was it just awful.
Now, it turns out that the Huffington Post wants this all to go away and so they deleted it.
Not a good look HuffPost and not very journalistically sound either.
But have no fear, below you can read the piece as it look on the HuffPost website before it was deleted:
Here is a plain text version: (HT/ SaturdayDownSouth)
Dear young ladies of the SEC, can you do us all a solid and start covering it up?
Standing amongst many of you at the recent Alabama-USC game in AT&T Stadium, I was bewildered.
An Alabama student myself not 20 years ago, I remember what fun it was to dress up for football games. My friends and I would scour the racks of Banana Republic and other favorite stores for anything and everything crimson. We’d swap favorite pieces, share accessories and pull together our “best look” week after week, not only for those cute fraternity boys, but also to cheer on the mighty Tide.
What we didn’t want, and what we never did, was to show up for a college football game looking like we belonged in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
More than once at that last ballgame, I wished I could have wrapped my elephant scarf around one of you, teetering around on stilettos with your bra straps exposed and operating under the misguided notion that you looked irresistible.
I wondered if your mother knew what you were wearing.
I wanted to tell you that if you’re doing this for a boy, he’s not the one for you.
I wished you understood that a trend can be interpreted as fun and flirty without being tasteless.
Most of all, I hoped you would soon wake up to embrace the ethos shared by higher learning institutions everywhere – class.
That lucky shaker tucked into the back of your on trend boot?
The team logo you’re sporting on your cheek?
The Greek letters sticker on your shirt declaring the sorority to which you belong and your loyalty to your team?
All rendered classless by those ill covered curves you’ve made sure are on full display.
In talking with friends from all over the Southeast after college football’s opening weekend, it was immediately clear that this trend was hardly limited to the students I saw that Saturday.
Not that that made me feel any better.
Families attend these games. Little eyes are watching you.
On behalf of them, and the rest of us who feel embarrassed for you as you walk by, stop baring almost all in the name of game day fashion.
To be clear, I admire individuality and personal style. Team spirit is a precious tradition, and the vastly wide interpretation of any given school’s football culture is part of what makes Saturdays down south so darn fun (not to mention the stuff of people watching legend).
So by all means, be creative. Don your most debonair collegiate colors ensemble. Heck, try to sneak in a flask or two (this is college, after all).
Be young and fun and carefree.
But please, leave the club clothes at home.
Do you have an opinion about this piece and want it published in RISE NEWS? Send it to us at [email protected]
Here is a comment sent in to us by Katherine Y. Carothers, a student at Auburn University:
“You know it’s funny because on my college campus (which by the way I’m here all the time — not just on the game days you come to visit), the man jogging down the street with his shirt off is never seen as tasteless, the frat boys dressed in their embarrassing and frankly tacky pledge gear are considered funny and “builds character,” so besides this post being extremely right winged and strongly sexist — I see where your coming from, but not from the same perspective.
People dress how they feel about themselves and also as they were raised. So instead of addressing “these girls” attire as classless and repulsive, let’s remind ourselves of where it all started.
Shame on the ADULT who never told them they didn’t have to advertise their body to get attention, shame on the ADULT for never teaching their children, both girls and boys, that their clothing is not just what they wear but how they carry themselves, shame on the ADULT who never taught their son or daughter how to look sexy, confident, and cool without exposing every inch of their body.
So instead of body shaming and berating my peers, these young women, someone else’s daughter….hug your “little ones” a little tighter and remind them of their worth…because someone obviously forgot to tell the young woman you’re condemning.”
Not everyone disagrees with the Huffington Post piece.
Here is a comment sent in to us by Luisa Kay Reyes, a student at the University of Alabama.
“My Mother and I were walking around the quad during the tailgating at the last home game versus Western Kentucky and we were pretty shocked.
We’ve been going to the quad for years, so we’re used to the summer dresses worn by the sorority girls. But, now, it seems like the trend is these really, really, really, low cleavages with very short shorts and wedge heels.
We saw so many girls holding the wedge heels in their hands and going barefoot about half-time, as it is really too much for them to handle. And the low cleavages prompted my Mother to say that they looked like a Mexican man, with their shirts unbuttoned down to the navel.
Admittedly, all of the girls we saw were incredibly thin and looked like they could all be walking down the runways of New York or Milan.
But, it came across as “advertising” rather than enjoying the camaraderie of Alabama football.”
Do you have an opinion about this piece and want it published in RISE NEWS? Send it to us at [email protected]
WATCH-What Real “Ladies Of The SEC” Have To Say About That Slut Shaming Piece:Post Views: 2,814
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The One Thing Clinton and Trump Need During the Next Debate According To Business School ProfessorsBy Contributor
By Mario Moussa and Derek Newberry
As we get ready to watch the second presidential debate, you might be scratching your head about a tale of two countries.
In Trump’s telling, America is a nation in decline that needs a turnaround.
Clinton sees a leading world power that should continue on the positive trajectory created under the Obama administration.
As business school professors who specialize in the human side of organizations, there is one thing – that many may find surprising – each candidate needs during this next debate: a story.
At this point, you might be thinking that elections are really all about pocketbook issues and politicians’ stories are just a bunch of fluff.
We have a different point of view: hard-nosed policies and strategies are worthless without a good story. Whether people realize it or not, they think in stories. The best communicators know this and make the most of it.
Storytelling: The Crucial Leadership Skill
A famous experiment by two psychologists in the 1940s showed subjects a short clip of two triangles and a circle moving around, and asked them to describe what they saw.
Where some described a bully terrorizing two children and a jealous father protecting his daughter, others saw different dramas.
The imagined scenarios differed, but what they had in common was that nearly all of the subjects told a story about the shapes without any prompting.
Why are stories so pervasive?
Because they are how people make sense of their environment and get along with co-workers or fellow citizens.
The most brilliant policy can fall flat if it is not communicated with a strong narrative that makes it real and compelling for the people who are supposed to implement it.
Far from fluff, good story-telling is a crucial leadership skill for motivating commitment and moving a strategy from abstract idea to action.
Hence the importance of the two recent political conventions.
Like an annual corporate retreat, their purpose is not only to explain a specific policy platform but also to tell a story that motivates and guides those who need to carry it out.
In this respect, we think Clinton right now is in a stronger position as she goes into his next debate.
She does three things especially well.
And the next time you need to get your point across, you should remember them:
In any good story, the audience should empathize with the main characters.
According to screenwriter Robert McKee, the key to creating empathy is to portray a character who is overcoming a struggle.
This can make even an unsympathetic person relatable.
Steve Jobs wasn’t known for his humility, but his story about returning to Apple after having been pushed out is one we can all root for.
Trump has been focused on communicating his greatness, but not on talking about overcoming hardships to get there.
Just recently, he stumbled again by referring to the jobs he has created as one of his “sacrifices.”
Clinton creates empathy by acknowledging that she struggles with the “public” part of public service – that is, the aspect of it that involves public speaking.
She deftly turns this weakness into a strength by recounting how she pushes through it because she cares deeply about the service part.
Paint a Picture
If you boil any rom-com movie down to its most basic elements, they are all pretty much the same: beginning, middle, and end.
In other words, every story starts with a typical everyday situation, which is then disrupted by some new or unusual event, which sets in motion of series of actions that lead to a resolution and a return to normalcy.
So what separates a classic like Annie Hall from a flop like Gigli? The difference is in the detail.
Good stories use vivid imagery to make abstract ideas feel real and bring the audience along.
On this count, Trump misses the mark. When his family talks, their speeches provide a great opportunity to show the candidate’s lighter side.
While the Trump clan mentions plenty of great qualities, their speeches are light on anecdotes that would help us visualize how he lives these values in his everyday life.
By giving details about Hillary’s personal life, such as how she met Bill or how she stays connected to Chelsea while on the road, the Clintons paint a more compelling picture of the Democratic candidate’s values.
Make the Audience Your Hero
As speaking coach Nick Morgan reminds us, every story has a hero and when you need other people to help you get things done, you are likely to get more buy-in if you put them in the starring role.
Think of how rockstar Bono has driven support for his ONE campaign by imploring: “We can be the generation that ends poverty.”
This is why Trump’s declaration that “I alone can fix” the political system is perhaps the weakest moment of his debate.
Clinton, by contrast, hits on the theme of becoming “stronger together,” making voters the heroes of her campaign’s story.
Far from fluff, stories are a critical execution tool.
On the campaign trail, they help leaders communicate strategy, rally support and guide implementation.
Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who headed up communications for the George W. Bush campaigns, once said that the successful candidate is the one who tells the better story.
So far, by this measure, we think Clinton is pulling away from her opponent.
Dr. Mario Moussa and Dr. Derek Newberry are the authors of Committed Teams: Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance. Dr. Moussa teaches in the Executive Programs at Wharton School of Executive Education. Dr. Newberry is a lecturer at the Wharton School. Connect with Dr. Moussa at www.moussaconsulting.com, and with Dr. Newberry via Twitter, @derekonewberry.Post Views: 680
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