Will Marino '25
As I was sitting at my desk the other night, having trenbolone pumped directly into my bloodstream after a workout, I began to think about what factors led me to cultivate such an immaculate physical form and keep such powerful dominance over my peers. Below I have compiled a list of tips and tricks I have learned that have helped me become the spectacular specimen of masculinity that I am today. Men these days have become too weak and it is time for a return to our former glory and power.
A true man always controls his emotions. There is no room in our modern society to feel sad, anxious, or depressed. Your emotions are simply a distraction from your pursuit of dominance and any action that is not taken with the intention of domination of others is useless. Your emotions only have power if you give them power, personally I suggest keeping them as buried as possible. Furthermore, a true man does not take part in activities or hobbies that deal with one's emotions. Participation in the arts is the most beta-male activity a man can perform. Participation in the arts requires study and introspection, and introspection leads to acknowledgement of emotion. Acknowledgement of emotion distracts one from the grind. The only acceptable hobbies for a true man are as follows: kickboxing, weightlifting, and drag. Any other activity is feminine and should be avoided.
An alpha must keep a consistent workout regime. The male body is the pinnacle of beauty in the physical world and constant maintenance of one's body is necessary to assert your dominance over others. In addition to this, a shredded male body is useful in everyday activity such as moving heavy objects, bearing the crushing weight of the pressure put on men in today's society (wOe IS me We hAVE it sO BAd) and beating up incels. Personally I recommend spending seven to eight hours at the gym a day.
An alpha male must act the part. In today’s society an alpha is defined by how he is treated by those around him; thus, an alpha must always refrain from beta and feminine behavior around their inferiors. Beta actions and mannerisms include the following: bad posture, eating vegetarian, wearing makeup, lip wrists, drinking iced coffee and using the urinal next to another man. Any of these actions signals to those around you that you are a soy-boy who deserves little respect.
Lastly, a real man questions everything. Never believe what they tell you, because they are trying to weaken and control you. They want you to think it's ok to exist in a state of mediocrity. Everyday you are told what you can and cannot do, no real man would be controlled like that. Whenever I see a rule without a reason, I go out of my way to obey it. I stare into the sun, I spit into the wind, I eat the silica gel packets that come with my food and I AM FREE. Remember alphas, stay toxic.
Holden Lombardo '23
One fateful evening in 1997, Phil Shaw returned home, unaware that he would proceed to invent the world’s most unique sport that very night. Shaw, after a hard day of work at a knitwear factory in Leicester, England, wanted nothing more than to take the evening off through one of his favorite pastimes, rock climbing. However, he reluctantly acknowledged that he had a number of chores to complete before the next day at work. Unsure of whether he had the time to iron his shirts and then go rock climbing, an idea of unlimited genius lit up like a lightbulb in his brain (like some strange, purple lightbulb, far from the ordinary, yet impossible to ignore). Shaw, equipped with his shirts and an ironing board, set off for the mountains of Leicester, where he ironed his shirts for the next day, while scaling the rocks. The activity would soon reach international fame as a brand new sport: Extreme Ironing.
While many attribute the origin of Extreme Ironing to Shaw’s after-work adventure, others find the genesis of the sport seventeen years earlier. That story starts with two other British citizens, Tony Hiam and his peculiar brother-in-law, John Slater. Slater regularly ironed his shirts wherever he went, including on overnight camping trips in which the two brothers stayed in small tents. Hiam found the ironing laughably excessive and useless, and so, to tease Slater, he began to iron his own shirts in stranger and stranger locations, such as airport terminals, phone booths, and the peaks of mountains. Hiam would walk around towns and parks with an ironing board and an iron, ready to press his shirts in the most absurd location possible. Due to this abnormal activity, Hiam gained a sort of local following, but Extreme Ironing would have to wait for Phil Shaw in order to take off on an international scale.
In 1999, two years after his first ironing outing, Shaw, who adopted the nickname Steam (as he is still known amongst Extreme Ironers), departed on a tour across various countries, advocating for his sport from South Africa to the United States. During a New Zealand stop on the tour, Shaw teamed up with a few German tourists to create the Extreme Ironing International. From there, the sport only grew in popularity, and by 2002, the First Extreme Ironing World Championship was held in Bavaria, Germany. Twelve teams from various countries competed in the championship event, where the teams had to iron their shirts in five different ways: involving a broken down car, on a fast-flowing river, at the top of a tree, while climbing a high wall, and in a “freestyle” category, in which competitors could create their own situation. Judges considered the creativity of the ironing styles, as well as the conditions of the shirts (no wrinkles or creases). Unsurprisingly, Great Britain, the birthplace of the sport, won the first championship.
Today, millions of people from across the globe tune in to Extreme Ironing. Many participators have taken the sport in new and surprising directions, testing the limits of where and how a human can possibly iron a shirt. John Roberts and Ben Gibbons completed the task 17,800 feet up Mount Everest in 2003, setting the altitude world record for Extreme Ironing. In 2008, 72 scuba divers ironed shirts at the same time underwater. This record was later broken by a team of 173 divers in 2011. Others still have performed the task while skydiving, surfing, biking, skiing, or horseback riding. Meanwhile, Shaw published a book on the sport before retiring from Extreme Ironing in 2012. However, in his retirement, Shaw ran the Marathon of Hastings wearing an ironing board and pressing shirts as he ran, popularizing the running variation of the sport. Extreme Ironing has even inspired other extreme sports like Extreme Cello Playing. Who would’ve thought that when Phil Shaw returned from a more-than-average day at his more-than-average job, he would have started the world’s least-average sport, creating a cultural phenomenon that remains popular to this day.
Theo Johnson '23
A Note from the Editor: Here’s an objective fact: Theo Johnson wrote this article. It may or may not be true, but consider the following: the very nature of truth is a fabricated idea, and we can know nothing beyond our own existence (thanks, Descartes). Also, go ahead and look up the S.S. Atlantus — it has a Wikipedia page.
July 25th, 1927, 4:30am. The ships have taken to the starting line 500 meters off the coast of Cape Spear, Newfoundland. In a few minutes, these 50 captains, some of the bravest and most adventurous in the civilized world, will be the first people on the American continent to see the July sun rise, yellow from the depths of the Atlantic. But in just three days’ time - and 2,260 miles’ distance - one among this most exemplary class of mariners will be the first to cross the finish line in Key West, Florida.
The task: Traverse the Atlantic coast down the Eastern Seaboard in any sort of naval vessel manufactured in the captain’s home nation.
The challenge: Gusts of wind over 60 miles per hour, seasickness, persevering currents that test even the world’s most magnificent machines, storms whose crashing thunder cause even Poseidon to tremble, waves the size of the Empire State Building, starvation, mutiny, and madness.
The reward: A ship and her crew etched in eternity as the greatest in human history—forever champion of the Race to Key West!
Which captain will win the race? Which ship will find her place next to the great Roman and British vessels of days past?
The cannon blows off the dock at Cape Spear, and, quickly, the order of ships begins to take form. The Cuban Schooner Club’s Morning Star and the Empire State Boating Company’s Liberty Bell come in 4th and 5th place, trailing just 30 seconds behind The Troubadour, registered under the Lone Star Corporation. Just a few boat lengths ahead, the Eagle, registered by Ino Engineering, trails the Imperial, the only British ship in the race. As the top five plow ahead, the rest of the field has come together in a large gruppone. As the boats pass out of view and around the southern tip of Newfoundland, only one boat - the S.S. Atlantus - finds itself clearly at the back of the race. Elsewise, the race is closer than predicted. Signing off.
The S.S. Atlantus sits quietly off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey. At low tide, you can see its stern nod up and down over the waves.
It’s a concrete ship.
A relic, not of the past or of any time at all. Just a relic. One that you find at low tide when you're looking off the beach at the southern tip of New Jersey. There’s not much of a story within it, to be frank. It’s a concrete ship, after all. But, at one point, there was a crew of 75 men and a captain who dreamed of, by taking a shortcut through the shallowest waters of the Delaware Bay, becoming the greatest crew in the history of mankind.
But there is no glory. Or story.
There is only a concrete ship.
And there are only the sons and daughters of that dream that never came true, that shored up beside the Jersey shore.
Actually, there is no dream here, those left with the frantic crew members and weeping captain. There is no dream here, there is a relic.
And a concrete ship.
Look out and you’ll find it, peaking out of the water. Look out and you’ll find it, an empty shell. A dream hatched out of this shell, prematurely and dispersed, leaving only a relic. Leaving only the S.S. Atlantus, out of the coast of Cape May.
Leaving the replacement propeller. The stamp left by the moss of a junkyard in Virginia. The shoe of a sailor. The broken glass which fractured the cape Spear sun into a million glowing stars. And the concrete.
“Don’t you wonder what’s there?”
“Of course not, it’s a relic.”
Phillip Sosnik '23
An inside look at the strongest division in NFL history from an impartial fan.
This past NFL offseason did not disappoint as it was one of the most exciting in recent memory. Tom Brady was retired for less time than an ensemble period before he unretired, several veteran quarterbacks switched teams, and the AFC West experienced an arms race for Pro-Bowl Caliber talents unprecedented in scope. Taking note of these offseason additions, the betting markets have adjusted their odds accordingly. Of the top five AFC teams most likely to go to the Super Bowl, three are AFC West teams, and the fourth team, the Las Vegas Raiders, nearly beat the reigning AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals last year in the playoffs. To get a better understanding of the outlooks for each four of these AFC West teams, I’ll now go through the strengths and challenges that will make or break these star studded squads and rank them in order of the likelihood of them winning the division.
#4. Denver Broncos
Perhaps more than any other team in the division, the Denver Broncos have undergone the most changes in the last year. The team was sold, they fired their head coach, and they traded their entire future away for Russell Wilson. In their first matchup of the season, a primetime Monday Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos were out played, out coached, and out hustled by a team with a fraction of their talent. The massive amount of turnover they experienced resulted in a lack of team chemistry. Though that was only one game, the team did not look unified nor well acquaintanced with each other. In a division as competitive as the AFC West, Broncos Country won’t be able to ride its way into a playoff spot if they continue to play the way they have.
Biggest Strength: Defense
Biggest Weakness: Lack of Team Chemistry
#3. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders had a brutal 2021 season. Two of their rising stars in their organization were released due to major legal troubles they faced. Jon Gruden’s racist, sexist, and homophobic emails were leaked which resulted in the coach’s firing. Despite the drama surrounding the organization, they made a Wildcard matchup and played well in their loss. In the offseason, they switched GMs and acquired DE Chandler Jones and WR Davante Adams. Though these aforementioned players are some of the best talents in the entire league, the Raiders lag behind their divisional rivals in one major aspect: quarterback play. It doesn’t matter how unified or well rounded your team is if your quarterback is mid and the pass protection around him is mediocre at best.
Biggest Strength: Team Chemistry
Biggest Weakness: Quarterback play and Offensive Line
#2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs need no introduction. One of the strongest teams in the NFL for a while now, they are poised to make another deep playoff run. However, they too experienced turnover as Tyrann Mathieu and Tyreek Hill both left the team. Despite this, they’ve looked strong as of yet, and recent history leads me to expect more of the same terrific results they've churned out over the past couple of years.
Biggest Strength: Consistent offensive production and being the referees favorite team in the NFL
Biggest Weakness: Poor Defense
#1. Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert. Austin Ekeler. Keenan Allen. Mike Williams. Joey Bosa. Derwin James. And now Khalil Mack and JC Jackson, the Chargers are one of the most hyped up teams in the league for good reason. On top of having the best fans in the NFL, the Chargers boast arguably the best roster on paper. However, a few questions linger. Will the Chargers succumb to injuries as they often do? Will their coach continue to be an idiot and cost them games? Are they simply too good of a team? As an optimist in life, I chose to believe the Chargers will have a breakout year and will even win it all come February.
Biggest Strength: Is everything but coaching an option?
Biggest Weakness: Coaching, special teams play, and being hated by Roger Goodell.
Bruce Chen, '24
“40-15, Federer serves. A clean cross-court return from Tiafoe, and Federer slices back. Here comes Sock ready to poach, he hits right at Nadal, but a nice reaction at the net from Rafa saves the point. Back to Tiafoe, a short ball across the net, not a bad choice. Now Roger approaches and hits a forehand down the line. What a passing shot! The ball went directly through the net, classic Roger magic. Sock and Big Foe can’t believe what has happened. The judge comes down to check, and without doubt, points for Team Europe. Game.” This is my recap of a spectacular winner from Federer last Friday. Consternation from the opponents, admiration from the other players, and waves of applause from the crowd, all seem to be back for him.
But the day still has to come.
On September 23, 2022, 41-year-old Roger Federer announced his retirement from competitive tennis after losing to Sock/Tiafoe (4-6, 7-6, 11-9) in Laver Cup doubles alongside Rafael Nadal, marking the end of the Swiss legend’s 24-year long professional career.
As the symbol of perfection in tennis, ending the career with a defeat seems to be a pity. But is it really the case? Clearly not. “It feels like a celebration,” said Federer in the post-match interview, “It’s exactly what I wanted at the end, exactly what I hoped for.” Indeed, having won 103 ATP singles titles including 20 Grand Slams, as well as one Olympic silver medal in singles (2012), one gold medal in doubles (2008), and plenty of other accomplishments on or beyond the court, one loss matters little. Perhaps what means the most to Federer is that he played his last match on the same side with Nadal against two next-gen players who grew up watching him play on TVs. That last moment is shared with Djokovic and Murray cheering for him from the bench, with all other players and fans in the audience and worldwide witnessing his last dance. “I’m happy, not sad.” All joys are embodied in these simple words.
As players of the next generations gradually come to dominate in recent years, with Serena and Federer retiring in the same month, it seems to be a sad truth that the old generation is leaving us. However, leaving does not mean forgetting, the qualities of Roger’s tennis are still seen in many young players–the incredible backhand overhead from Tsitsipas in the same day’s match against Schwartzman is a great example–and hence, the legends have passed down their legacy to the future players and they themselves will be remembered forever as the milestones in the history of tennis.
“This is the ultimate that you could ever ask.”
Pierre Attiogbe, '23
I’m not too tall or too strong. I don’t throw too far or jump too high. I’m at best slightly above average in terms of general athleticism. A lot of people find themselves in this category. They can toss a football during the turkey bowl and are good enough to play pickup basketball during an ensemble period, but that is the extent of their ability. In a true football game they’d end up squished like a fly and playing organized basketball they would end up on a poster. But what about on a cross country course? There, a lot of the uncontrollable physical skills so important to other sports are rendered insignificant.
As the great distance runner Eliud Kipchoge says “Athletics is not so much about the legs. It's about the heart and mind. If you believe in something and put it in your mind and heart, it can be realized.” One can only run as fast as their mind believes they can. One’s legs, in the case of cross country, are not the primary determining factor for their accomplishments, rather, it is their mindset. All runners start at their own respective fitness levels. Some are naturally faster than others, sure, but that doesn’t mean the others can’t train to catch up. A naturally quick runner who is lousy with their work ethic and loose with their goal setting has nothing on a slower runner who is dedicated to the sport and has ambitions for themselves. No runner is limited by their physical build the same way that other athletes may be in other sports. But that is also what makes it such a challenging sport. The fitness gained from steady runs and workouts aren’t going to be enough to make a runner truly successful. One’s mind has to be just as fit as their body, and in the case of athletics that is something people are used to looking over. They lift weights to make better tackles and get shots up to help with their accuracy, but how do they practice their mental devotion to a sport? With running, this is how the winners are found: Who wants it the most? At a certain level of professional long distance running, everyone knows that all their opponents are elite, world class athletes. What ends up tipping the balances one way or the other turns out to be the mind.
Cross country teaches us lessons greater than the sport itself, and that is why I have come to appreciate running so much. It teaches people the importance of their mindset, and shows that with enough hard work and a dedicated heart and mind, anything is possible.
Zaara Hussain Ahmed, '25
Head up, back straight, hands at waist level, shoulders relaxed, you propel yourself forward and land softly on the soles of your feet. Then you push forward again, slowly at first and then, slowly your speed picks up as you find a rhythm. The wind on your face, your clothes sticking to your body, beads of sweat make their way down the sides of your face as the sun burns down. Your heart starts pounding and you fill your lungs with air. Oxygen pumps through your body and your brain, your eyes focused ten, twenty feet ahead of you. That is running for you.
It is not rock climbing or snowboarding, but an indescribable feeling of freedom, spontaneity and exhilaration that overtakes you as you push yourself beyond your limits and shuts out the pain of achy muscles. You run for no other reason but to cover the next block, cross the next corner, power through the next mile, and continue forward. Running cross country is a challenge. You have to convince yourself, “I’ve got this.” You fight the limitations of your body as you propel yourself forward and before you know it, you have overcome your fears. You realize you are capable of more than you ever thought possible. An affirmation that you are the master of your own destiny. Running cross country gives you confidence in yourself and your ability to overcome every obstacle that comes your way.
For many people running is just a physical act. For me, running in my free time is a form of meditation. It tears apart negativity regarding school, clears out the cobwebs in my mind and replaces them with a sense of achievement. The steady pace of my feet hitting the road is like my mantra. As I leave my worries behind, I feel completely relaxed and connected with nature and the environment.
It is also a wonderful group of friends, like-minded determined people who make my day. We connect with each other by sharing experiences of pain and euphoria, inspiring each other, and building memories as we work towards our individual goals. We are part of a unique community — united, respectful, and understanding.
Running cross country is a life-affirming sport that can help you achieve your potential, not just on the road, but everywhere by applying its lessons of resilience, self-discipline, and commitment to all spheres of your life. But you do not have to be the next Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, or Florence Joyner to run. You can just enjoy the wind on your back and the spring in your feet.
Jacob Fife, '23
Autumn is my favorite season. Sweaters, colorful leaves, and Halloween are all pretty stereotypical characteristics of Fall. While these attributes are accurate, I like to think of Autumn as the season of sadness and Taylor Swift. Shorter and busier days lead to declining mental health, and Taylor Swift is the pinnacle of Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-girl music.
So, to celebrate the beginning of Fall, here are not only some sad songs but also my two favorite songs from each Taylor Swift album.
Wesley Solomon, '24
The defining trait of St. Albans School is its brotherhood. There is no better example of the St. Albans brotherhood than in its sports teams. St. Albans and sports go hand and hand like peanut butter and jelly, or Bonnie and Clyde for those allergic to peanut butter.
Sports at STA have made a profound impact on me as a person; it’s where I’ve made my closest friends, learned the most challenging lessons, and been pushed to my extremes. Last year I participated in three sports: football, basketball, and Crew. Each lift, each practice, and each game taught me different lessons about life, this school, but most importantly, about myself.
This year was the first time I played contact football. It was tough from the very beginning. Early morning lifts in the summer, hundred-yard bear crawls across the baseball field, and countless up-downs tested me as a man and as an athlete. Among all the struggle were two very important lessons. On the first day of pads, I vividly remember Coach Armstrong excitedly yelling, “Today is the day we’ll see if you can actually play football!” He later explained that everyone has a plan; everyone can catch passes, run routes, and tackle a bag but it is not until you get knocked down and have to get back up that you find whether you can play or not.
The second lesson I have taken away from football dates back to the first Varsity football game I attended. If you know anything about the STA football program, then you probably know that going into last season we had not had a winning season for more than a decade. You would not, however, have been able to guess that by the number of students who came out to support the boys at Bishop Ireton Week 1 of last season. Even after a decade of losing seasons, the BEEF Club showed up to support the boys. This taught me another important lesson. Just showing up to support someone can make a big impact.
Following football, I participated in basketball; it was not my first time playing basketball, but coming off of a couple covid years, it was definitely a shock to my system. Throughout the season, Coach OJ always talked about the little things like touching the line, doing the extra repetition, or helping a teammate out. In the moment it felt tedious because I thought that as long as we were winning games, the little things shouldn’t matter. In retrospect this taught me another important lesson: sometimes it doesn’t matter if you win or lose but rather how you carry yourself while doing it.
In the spring, I participated on the crew team. It was the first time I had ever participated on a varsity team, and I can still remember the excitement I felt when I made the first varsity boat. Throughout the season, I had a blast rowing under sunsets and sunrises, bridges and monuments, rain and shine, however, I began to become complacent, and with two weeks left in the season, I was seat raced out of the boat. Again, I learned an important lesson, doing the bare minimum doesn’t cut it. To succeed, you must go above and beyond.
However, transcending all of the life lessons, heartbreaking losses, exhilarating wins, early mornings, and late nights are the lifelong relationships I built with my friends -- scratch that -- my brothers.