With bloodshot red eyes, an excruciating headache, and the energy of a tortoise, the 6-foot 4-inch, 319 pound Phillip Swanson enters the library.
It’s nearly 9 p.m. and after a long day of practice and a full schedule of classes, Western Michigan University’s starting offensive lineman still has to study for his Journalism Law and Ethics test in the morning. Due to WMU’s road game at Kent State on Halloween, Swanson even has to take the test earlier than the rest of the class.
This is a day in the life of Phillip Swanson: hard work and even more hard work.
“I’ve got a girlfriend, I’ve got friends, I’ve got school, and I’ve got football, which is the most important thing in my life and to think about how to manage all of this time,” Swanson said.
“Sometimes you have to upset the people that you love just because I have to go do this and go do football and really sometimes it’s frustrating but you got to understand that you’ve got priorities and the biggest thing is that you got to figure a way to make it work.”
Swanson has been successfully figuring out ways to make it work since he took his first step as an enrolled student on WMU’s campus as a freshman in 2006.
Joining the football team in 2007 after redshirting the first year, Swanson quickly made his mark as he started all 12 games of the season. He was also named to the Academic All-Mac team, which would only set him up for what he would go on to accomplish in the Brown & Gold uniform.
In 2008, he once again started in every single game and was named to the First Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District team. As he continued to thrive on the gridiron, Swanson also managed time to succeed in his academic work.
He wrote for the school newspaper, the , as well as interned at WWMT in the summer prior to the start of this year’s season.
After seeing all of his hard work in his desired field, came calling. The publication has allowed Swanson to contribute a blog to its Web site entitled “On The Line at Western Michigan,” throughout the season.
Despite all of this recognition, the football organization still remains a bit skeptical of the affect that this may have on his focus to the game of football.
“I’m concerned with the amount of time that you put into the game of football and the amount of things that he’s got going on and that’s a concern,” WMU offensive lineman coach, Bob Stanley said.
“There’s a certain amount of time that you have to put into this game and when you take away from that time then you take away from your pursuit of perfection and we’re concerned about that. I would be lying to you if I told you any different.”
Thus far, Swanson has managed to handle all of the pressure as he continues to thrive on the football field while bringing recognition not only to him self, but to the university as well.
“Anytime you get your name in a publication like and attached to your name is Western Michigan University, it’s gonna be huge!” WMU Media Director, Mat Kanan said. “Phil is kind of media savvy on both sides, so this is great.”
Due to his time management skills and attention to detail in everything that he does, it’s easy to see why Swanson is able to multi-task so well. This is why he was able to get an A on that Journalism Law and Ethics test on Halloween morning while still managing to partake in the bulk of the snaps in WMU’s game versus Kent State that afternoon.
“Kids that just go to school and work a job, that’s awesome,” Swanson said.
“But when they complain about not having enough time, I just smile. ‘You don’t have enough time?’ I wish I had the amount of time that they have but to each his own, we each have our own paths and we got to figure out a way to make it work.”
*this post can also be viewed at westernherald.com!
November 4, 2009
November 4, 2009
November 4, 2009
by Eric Woodyard
This is a public service announcement…
The Nike Air Max LeBron VIIs are the hottest basketball sneakers in the game right now!
With the seventh release of the LeBron James signature shoe, I have to admit that it sounds a little cliché to list the latest shoe as the greatest shoe but it’s true. There no other way to explain it because it’s clearly the best of the bunch.
“The New LeBron VII takes my signature line to a new level of innovation,” LeBron James said on www.nikebasketball.com.
Nearly every aspect of the shoe is beautiful which forms to make the product an overall masterpiece. Not only is the shoe eye candy for sneakerheads, it also provides maximum comfort and stability to the foot while still managing to pay homage to a few the King’s best personality traits.
Ditching the Zoom technology that was incorporated in the previous six sneakers and replacing it with the new Max Air 360 unit, James quickly shows that he’s willing to improve every aspect of his sneaker’s on-court performance. This unit contains 80 percent more air than the previous full-length unit and I can tell you from personal experience that it makes a hell of a lot of difference. This unit provides that walking-on-pillows feel and makes you forget that you’re even wearing a shoe at times.
Nike also decided to incorporate the Flywire technology into the product as well (a la Nike Hyperdunk/Hypermax) which drastically decreases the weight of the shoe. LeBron’s shoes have generally become known for heaviness and bulkiness, but this shoe is very lightweight.
The difference between the Flywire used in this sneaker than it was in previous Nike products is that a double-layer of the technology is crafted into the shoe. The double-layer Flywire is great for managing harder cuts because it makes the shoe stiffer and more durable to hold the inner beast of King James or anyone else for that matter.
“When designing the Air Max LeBron VII, we envisioned a shoe that was both strong and comfortable,” Nike Footwear Designer, Jason Petrie said on nike.com. “We delivered a shoe that is a perfect combination of superior performance and luxurious style, embodying LeBron himself.”
Paying homage to the legendary of LeBron James, as with all of the others, was also a theme of the shoe as several hints are placed throughout the shoe to remind you just whose shoes you are wearing. These include his symbol obviously, his autograph on the tongue, as well a few of his favorite punchlines (Passion, Fearless, Tradition, Community, Family, Loyalty) in several parts of the shoe.
Outside of all the technological details that went with the creation of the product, it’s just very stylish. You can rock the shoe with jeans or sweatpants and still look hot while doing so.
After purchasing the shoe, I decided to wear the shoe to a step-show on our campus and one of the security guards asked me if they were Michael Jordan’s? This is the ultimate complement for a basketball sneaker.
Despite all of the innovative qualities with the production of the shoe, it doesn’t come at a cheap price. The suggested retail is a hefty $160.
For a struggling college student like myself, satisfying that passion for flashin’ is pretty expensive for this product, but I truly believe that the Nike Air Max LeBron VIIs are worth the investment.
Pros: Quality, Style, Comfort
Cons: $160 Price Tag
Verdict: Must Have!
**this post can also be viewed at slamonline.com!