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American Football's Popularity Problem and What it means for the Future of Rugby

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Since the 1960's, the sport of American football has maintained its stranglehold as the most popular sport in the United States. Both in viewership and participation, football has a massive lead on all other sports, but as of late many

Since the 1960's, the sport of American football has maintained its stranglehold as the most popular sport in the United States. Both in viewership and participation, football has a massive lead on all other sports, but as of late many factors have led some to believe that trouble could be on the horizon. With various issues including head injuries, player protests, and television viewership decline plaguing football and its professional league, the NFL, the door could be open for another collision sport from across the pond to surge in popularity: rugby. Played in 119 countries by millions of people, rugby is currently one of the most popular sports in the world, but because of American football's dominance in the U.S. it has yet to really find its footing here; however, despite its popularity paling in comparison to football, rugby is actually the single fastest-growing sport in the U.S. Both sports share some strong similarities, and with football facing a myriad of issues, there is real reason to believe that rugby could be on the rise while football could continue to falter. By reading through articles and statistics on the subject, this thesis was divided into four main analysis topics to compare and contrast the two sports: injury problems and how they affect viewership and participation, international following for each respective sport, culture around the games themselves and how it could appeal to American viewers, and potential for growth domestically. By examining these factors within both sports, I was able to come to the conclusion that rugby's potential to take hold in the U.S. is growing, and in the coming years as American football's safety and importance continue to be called into question, rugby could one day even supplant football as the most popular collision sport in the country.

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2018-05

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Coverage of The Cape Cod Baseball League: Past, Present, and Future

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As the premier colligate summer league in the country, the Cape Cod Baseball League has operated since 1885 and has seen over one thousand all-time alumni step foot in professional baseball. Every season, each of the CCBL's ten teams call

As the premier colligate summer league in the country, the Cape Cod Baseball League has operated since 1885 and has seen over one thousand all-time alumni step foot in professional baseball. Every season, each of the CCBL's ten teams call upon some of the nation's top aspiring sports broadcasters, writers, and social media managers to spearhead the coverage of the league and tell the stories of the summer. However, while the season offers hours of repetition and exposure to players and journalists alike, the league's coverage capabilities fall short of its high potential due to inconsistencies and inadequacies that restrain its media content from matching the level of baseball that takes place on the field. Through the identification of specific problems within the league's broadcast equipment, its varying platforms, and its growing gap between individual coverage teams, this thesis offers both short-term and long-term solutions that aim to raise the standards and capabilities of league content while also raising awareness of the issue itself. While considering the Cape Cod League's unique non-profit business model and its most recent financial situation, this thesis also illustrates opportunities within fundraising events, the league's online audience, and its vast alumni network that can create a sustainable business plan for the near and distant future of the Cape Cod Broadcast Network.

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2018-05

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Drama Drama: Using Creative Experiences to Develop a Screenplay

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"Drama Drama" is an original story idea that I hope to one day develop into a full-length screenplay. For my honors creative project, I wanted to conduct the planning process of writing a full-length screenplay and start to work through

"Drama Drama" is an original story idea that I hope to one day develop into a full-length screenplay. For my honors creative project, I wanted to conduct the planning process of writing a full-length screenplay and start to work through the fundamental story problems, character motivations and the story itself. Loosely based off experiences in my own high school theatre troupe, "Drama Drama" tells the story of Josh Simpson, a diehard Thespian, whose only goal is to graduate and go to a New York acting conservatory. Josh counts on nabbing the lead in the school's spring play, using it to spruce up his resume and seal his admittance, however he loses out to Spencer, a first-year actor and otherwise dumb jock. Inspired by campy off-Broadway musical "Ruthless!," Josh accepts a role as stage manager and tries to get to Spencer to drop out. Sabotage doesn't come so easy, however, and in trying to ruin the show, he's forced to confront his future, his friendships and the kind of person he wants to be.

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2018-05

Basketball Analytics: How We Got Here and Where We're Going

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Basketball has been evolving since its inception during the winter of 1891. A myriad of factors have played into its growth and evolution over time, among them being the subject of this paper: the integration of advanced statistics and analytics.

Basketball has been evolving since its inception during the winter of 1891. A myriad of factors have played into its growth and evolution over time, among them being the subject of this paper: the integration of advanced statistics and analytics. Taking inspiration from baseball's analytics revolution, a sport that is vastly different from basketball, coaches and statisticians began to innovate new ways to evaluate teams and players outside of the constraints of the traditional basketball box score. In recent decades, their work has spread throughout the basketball community, and now both fans and team front offices alike have found value in the application of empirical analysis to professional basketball. The effects of their work have emerged with the passage of time, and can be seen both on and off the court. Through advanced analytics, players and teams have shifted their focus towards efficient play, which has resulted in the exploitation of the very geometry of the basketball court itself. Recent technological innovations look to push this trend into a new era, and hint at the future of the sports fan experience. In short, basketball has not had a strong relationship with statistics. Early basketball statistics were born out of convenience, and over time the statisticians of the sport introduced new ways to quantify team and player performances. This paper looks to examine this progression over time, and show that advanced statistics and analytics have firmly planted themselves in the way basketball is viewed, evaluated, and covered.

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2017-05

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Analyzing the Brand Personalities and Social Media Practices of College Athletic Twitter Accounts

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This study examined the brand personality types and social media practices of six college athletic Twitter accounts. Specifically, this study investigated whether certain brand personalities corresponded with specific social media practices on Twitter. The author conducted a content analysis of

This study examined the brand personality types and social media practices of six college athletic Twitter accounts. Specifically, this study investigated whether certain brand personalities corresponded with specific social media practices on Twitter. The author conducted a content analysis of each school's tweets to measure brand personality and scraped data in order to collect social media practice information. Results suggest that brand personality and social media practices are distinct. Extraversion was the most common personality type among all schools. In addition, schools that tweeted less frequently than others exhibited more brand personality and used more visual media.

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2018-05

Dazed & Confused: Using Science to Diagnose concussions

Description

Abstract My documentary is about the concussion detection study with Arizona State Football, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Riddell and the Barrow Neurological Institute. Football players voluntarily participate in the study that aims to identify a biomarker released from the

Abstract My documentary is about the concussion detection study with Arizona State Football, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Riddell and the Barrow Neurological Institute. Football players voluntarily participate in the study that aims to identify a biomarker released from the brain to identify if a player has suffered from a concussion. The study uses blood, urine and saliva samples, along with head impact data from Riddell's Sideline Response System. The study is also focusing on the impact of sub-concussive hits and the effects. According to the Barrow Neurological Institute, 84% of respondents believe concussions are "a serious medical condition," and a third of Valley parents will not let their children play football. I interviewed an ASU football player who participated in the study and found out about his experiences with concussions. The severity of concussions has received a lot of attention in recent years, and this study hopes to mitigate concussions symptoms and the fear of concussions. According to the 2015 NFL Health and Safety Report, since 2012 the NFL reported concussions were down by 35%. I interviewed the TGen leaders of the study and the neurologist at the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury center involved in the study to find out how they plan to find a biomarker and use it to develop an objective way to diagnose concussions. An example of a possible objective test is a mouthguard that changes from clear to blue after a player sustained a hit that resulted in a concussion. The 2015-2016 ASU football season marked the study's third year of research. At the time of my documentary, the study had no timeline to release data.

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2016-05

On Deck: Inside the Arizona Fall League

Description

Each year, a select few minor league baseball players are chosen to attend the Arizona Fall League, a development league within Major League Baseball that hones the next generation of players, coaches, managers, and even umpires. These players make u

Each year, a select few minor league baseball players are chosen to attend the Arizona Fall League, a development league within Major League Baseball that hones the next generation of players, coaches, managers, and even umpires. These players make up the top talent currently in the minor leagues from each of Major League Baseball's 30 organizations. Of the thousands in the minors, just seven players from each organization can go to this extra six-week season, and learn to play alongside the best future talent the sport has to offer. On Deck: Inside the Arizona Fall League is a short documentary that looks at some of these players, as they continue their baseball journey that they hope leads them one day to the Majors. The documentary can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/jkggYiDtn14 or nicolesheraefox.com

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2016-05

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Holding Out for a Hero: The Evolution of the Superhero Genre in Post-9/11 America

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This thesis aims to analyze and explain the resurgence of the superhero genre, particularly in recent cinema, directly following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It will also deconstruct the current American political landscape and define how popular culture

This thesis aims to analyze and explain the resurgence of the superhero genre, particularly in recent cinema, directly following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It will also deconstruct the current American political landscape and define how popular culture has historically reflected real-world issues. The study draws heavily on the political ideology of neoliberalism and Henry Jenkins' media theory of convergence culture. I ultimately argue in the course of the analysis that viewers of these superhero films, regardless of their interest in comic books, cathartically release their fears and post-9/11 anxiety through cinematic escapism. It will also relay the evolution of the superhero in the last seventy years as a way to show the effects current events have on popular culture and history, using Captain America and Iron Man as examples of shifting American values.

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2014-05

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A comparative study of four factors of fan attendance for the three Arizona sports teams

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Sports teams are an integral part of a city. They attract revenue to the area around the stadium and they also give a city a sense of pride. The aim of this study was to determine what makes a team

Sports teams are an integral part of a city. They attract revenue to the area around the stadium and they also give a city a sense of pride. The aim of this study was to determine what makes a team successful in the area of attendance using four factors (Bernthal & Graham; Jensen; Kim, Trail & Magnusen; Edensor & Millington; Clowes & Tapp; Greenhalgh & Greenwell; Denaux & Yalcin; Paul & Weinbach & Robbins; Levin & McDonald; Lee & Kang; Drayer; L'Etang; McDonald & Rascher; Armstrong; Ross): the history of the team, the location and population of the city where the team plays, the social media following of the team and the promotional giveaways the team uses to attract fans. Using these four factors, a comparison was made among the Arizona teams and the top performing team in attendance in the respective leagues during the 2013 season. The Arizona Diamondbacks are compared with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks were not as equipped as the Dodgers in any of the categories. There is a more storied history for the Dodgers, the Dodgers play in Los Angeles - a significantly larger city that Phoenix, where the Arizona Diamondbacks play, they use social media more frequently and more effectively, and they offer more promotional giveaways than the Diamondbacks. The Phoenix Suns are compared to the Chicago Bulls. The Suns history competes with the Bulls, but they lack in the other three categories. The Bulls have a better location in Chicago, their stadium is located in the downtown area; they have a massive social media following and their promotional giveaways are more substantial. The Phoenix Coyotes are compared to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks exceeded in all of the categories, while the Coyotes were poor performers in each of the four factors. The Blackhawks have a storied history, they share a stadium with the Bulls, they have a great social media following and they give promotional items away 30 of the 41 home games. The overall recommendations for the teams are to win, in order to help build their locations and make it fun to be near the downtown area, to use social media effectively and engage with their audience, and finally to provide more promotional giveaways to attract people to the games.

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2014-05

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Film Reviews: A Complete Look at the 2015 Oscar Nominated Films

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My name is Adriana Becerra and I am a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. In hoping to combine my two passions of journalism and film, for my Honors Undergraduate Thesis

My name is Adriana Becerra and I am a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. In hoping to combine my two passions of journalism and film, for my Honors Undergraduate Thesis project I created my own film review website. My website is a complete review of the films that were nominated for the 2015 Oscars in the following categories: Best Picture, Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, Foreign Language, and Short Film Live Action. In all, I watched and reviewed a total of twenty-eight films based on acting, lighting, music, cinematography, costume/makeup/set design, writing, and visual effects. Over the course of nine months, I have watched, reviewed, and talked extensively about each film that I have reviewed. Though tedious at times, I thoroughly enjoyed completing my Undergraduate Thesis Project. I hope to continue critically looking at films, and possibly even incorporating film in my journalistic career.

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2016-05