When History Says “C’Mon Man!”

In this lesson students will research and take the “C’MON MAN” approach at describing world issues.

ESPN uses the phrase “C’MON MAN!” to point out head scratching mistakes and odd plays that took place in sports. Within this lesson students will research a specific moment in history that was questionable, a mistake or head scratch worthy.

Each historical moment could be randomly selected or chosen based on time period being studied in class at the time.

The Rant: Making Sense of Mr. Bryant

In this lesson, students will imagine they are Kobe Bryant’s personal editor and use his recent Facebook rant to learn to identify mistakes in writing and compose their own essays to better express Kobe’s woes.

Royce White vs. The Rockets: Just How Real is Mental Illness?

In this lesson, students examine their own perceptions of mental illness to help the class reach a consensus on the following question: Should the Houston Rockets provide Royce White everything he demands, or is White asking too much?

Royce White was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft and picked 16th overall by the Houston Rockets. White has yet to play a single minute in the NBA, however, because he has demanded that the team make special accommodations to deal with his anxiety disorder.

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Matchup of Legends: LeBron James vs. Larry Bird

 

Many longtime NBA fans are amazed that LeBron James is already playing in his 13th season. At first glance, that number might not seem particularly important, but consider this — Larry Bird played only 13 total seasons in his career.

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Bird, who is frequently referred to as the best small forward in history, was forced into retirement by back problems after the 1991-92 season. James, meanwhile, remains one of the best players in the NBA even though he has already played in considerably more regular season games than Bird.

As a player, James shares many qualities with Bird. Both men were terrific all-around players who filled up stat sheets in almost all statistical categories. Like Bird, James has tremendous court vision and passing skills. While Bird might have been a better long-range shooter than James, LeBron has made up for that difference with his incredible efficiency in finishing plays close to the basket.

Because he came along two decades after Bird, James has benefited from better nutrition, weight training, and travel accommodations. He also had the benefit of entering the NBA straight out of high school, whereas Bird played a full college career first. However, LeBron’s supporters also argue that he is a better athlete than Bird ever was, meaning that he was built for longevity in a way that Bird wasn’t.

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The site Land of Basketball shows that Bird and James are almost neck-and-neck in career accomplishments, with Bird holding the edge in championships and rebounds per game and LeBron carrying an advantage in MVP Awards and points per game.

Both James and Bird are among the 10 best NBA players ever, but only LeBron has a chance to add to his legacy. Even before James finishes out his career, LeBron vs. Larry is already one of the best debates in NBA history.

From the Backyard to Barclays: The Marketing of Your Neighborhood

In this lesson, students examine how they can create or improve upon marketing plans for their own neighborhoods.

Jay-Z grew up in a small apartment only blocks away from a stadium of the team he now partially owns. Although not a primary owner, Jay-Z played a major role in marketing the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets to the stadium’s surrounding community in Brooklyn. His actions were an integral part of the overall growth of a neighborhood he once called home. In this lesson, students have an opportunity to develop ways to change their own neighborhoods and communities.

Jay-Z: Agent to the Stars

Using Jay-Z’s newest business venture as an example, students learn about the business behind professional sports by acting out a contract negotiation.

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March (Math)ness: Teach probability in math to create the perfect tournament bracket

March-Mathness

College basketball’s NCAA Tournament has long been called “March Madness” because of the unlikely outcomes in many of its games, improbable upsets by unknown teams, and the general craziness that surrounds the event.

In the week leading up to the Tournament, people all over the world fill out brackets predicting each of the 67 games that will be played. Filling out the bracket can be done in a variety of ways – from diehard basketball fans combining all their knowledge of the game to make their picks, to casual fans choosing winners based on the fearsomeness of team mascots. Who wouldn’t be scared of Sebastian the Ibis, official mascot of the Miami Hurricanes? That bird is straight-up dangerous!

Over the years, though, one thing has become clear: there’s no surefire way to predict exactly how the Tournament will turn out. There are always surprises, like when third-seeded Baylor lost to No. 14 Georgia State in the first round of the 2015 Tournament, or when No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast pulled off a shocking upset over second-seeded Georgetown in 2013.

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Because of the randomness of the games, experts calculate the chance of designing a perfect bracket at approximately one in 128 billion. Men’s Fitness compiled a list of other improbable events that are more likely to occur – becoming a professional basketball player, winning the Powerball lottery jackpot, dating a supermodel, getting struck by lightning, and making a hole-in-one in golf. In other words, even if you’ve watched hundreds of hours of college basketball this season, don’t bank on predicting all the Tournament games correctly.

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Billionaire Warren Buffet has offered $1 million per year for life to any of his employees who can pick even the first two rounds of the Tournament correctly, a slightly less impressive feat than predicting the whole Tournament. However, it’s safe to say that Buffet probably doesn’t have to worry about anyone winning his challenge.

The long odds of winning an NCAA Tournament bracket pool won’t stop millions of people from trying, though. You can fill out your own bracket here any time after “Selection Sunday” on March 13. Just don’t expect to pick all – or even most – of the games correctly.