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Concussions vs Touchback % in the NFL on Kickoff Returns from 2004-2012

Concussions are a major problem for the National Football League. The NFL has been hit with big lawsuits from their former players, and have received criticism for their handling of it by the public. The NFL is now viewed as an extremely violent game by the general public. It has gotten to the point of parents not letting their kids play football. President Barack Obama claims that he wouldn’t let his son play football if he had a son. Also, basketball superstar LeBron James says that his two sons are only allowed to play basketball, baseball, and soccer.

Counter arguments are also present and vocal as well. Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino claims that “NFL players know what the concussion risks are. When I went out there to play I knew there was a chance I could get a concussion or I could break a leg or get a knee injury, I really do believe they’re protecting the players as much as they can right now.”

For the protection of the players, the NFL moved kickoffs up from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line in 2011. Since kickoffs are viewed as a dangerous play with a lot of head on collisions, the goal of this rule change was to have more touchbacks. Basically, the NFL tried to take kickoffs out of the game without actually removing them.

In 2011 and 2012, concussions on kickoffs decreased slightly from the previous 6 years. In 2011, which was the first year of the rule change, there were only 20 concussions on kickoff plays compared to 2005, where there were 36. Although, in 2012, concussions increased from 20 in 2011, to 26 in 2012.

However, the NFL’s goal of increasing touchbacks from the rule change was a huge success. In 2004, there were touchbacks on only 8.5% of kickoffs. In 2012, that number has ballooned up to 44.1%.

Leah Bush’s Advice to Journalism Students

Leah Bush offered advice to students in a Hofstra University journalism class. Bush, who was a philosophy major in college, is a former editor of Northport Patch. She now free lances in her hometown of Oyster Bay, Long Island.

She described journalism as “presenting content in the most over saturated market in the world,” said Bush. “You are competing for people’s attention, and their short attention spans,” she added.

When talking about social media, Bush said, “64 percent of the American population is on Facebook and 30 percent get their news primarily from Facebook.”

“Local has always been something the media has banked on,” said Bush when talking about the business of journalism and her time at Patch.

She also offered a three word quote to live by for journalists: “never stop learning.” Bush encouraged the students to perfect their craft and told them that there is always something they could improve on.

Leah Bush, who has experience in public relations as well, offered advice for PR majors also. “The best PR people are former journalists,” said Bush when encouraging PR majors to have a background in journalism.

She ended her visit to the class with a Q&A session from the students, and after answering their questions, she asked each student why do they pursue a career in journalism or public relations.

Mitch McConnell to Become New Senate Majority Leader

Election Day 2014 saw the Republican Party take control of the Senate. The Republicans won 52 seats compared to the Democrats’ 47. The GOP now controls the Senate as well as the House of Representatives.

Mitch McConnell won his sixth term in a landslide, and now the Kentucky Senator will become the Majority Leader in the Senate. McConnell crushed Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by winning 56.19% of the vote to Grimes’ 40.73%.

90 minutes after the polls closed, McConnell thanked supporters outside of a Marriott in Louisville, Kentucky. “I work hard to bring your concerns to Washington, and I will not let up” he said.

Despite winning re-election in a landslide, he was one of the most endangered incumbents leading up to the 2014 Midterm Elections. He entered the race with a very low approval rating in his state and the Conservative Republicans were very suspicious of him working quietly with Democrats.

However, Tuesday night was a great night to be Mitch McConnell, as the 72-year-old reached his highest point in his political career.

McConnell, currently the Senate Minority Leader, will now become the new Majority Leader in the Senate since the Republicans have gained the advantage in seats.

Adina Genn

Adina Genn currently operates 12 local news websites for She runs them all by herself. Her most popular websites are Port Washington, Huntington, and Northport. She tries to post 3 stories for each of these websites by 10 a.m. She is one of four people who cover local news on Long Island for Patch but that is not how she got her start.

Her first job out of college was in book publishing. This job was not her goal, it was just a starting point. After she realized that she didn’t want to edit other people’s words, she wanted to write her own, she started free lancing as a journalist. She started meeting new people and ultimately found a job at Long Island Business News. After a few years at Long Island Business News, she made the jump to Patch and has worked there ever since.

She loves her job because it has taught her unique skills that can be used in any part of her life. She gets to meet people who come from all walks of life and tell them what is going on in their neighborhood,  She has covered many events such as Hurricane Sandy, explosions, and fires. She juggles all of these events with the pressure of running 12 different websites and a family at home.