Saints’ Drew Brees braces for improving Browns
By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer
Friday, September 14
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees is in his 13th year playing for the Saints — and it’s been about that long since he’s beaten the Cleveland Browns.
Brees’ first game with New Orleans was a victory at Cleveland in 2006. The Browns have won the past two meetings in 2010 and 2014.
“Man, they’ve been tough games against these guys,” Brees recalled this week as he prepared for his latest clash with Cleveland on Sunday.
While the Saints (0-1) made the playoffs last season, they’ve opened the season with an upset loss at home to Tampa Bay. Cleveland (0-0-1) comes in with a marginally better record after its opener against Pittsburgh finished in a tie.
And Brees doesn’t want to hear about how the Browns haven’t won a game since 2016 — not after watching Cleveland’s defense produce six Steelers turnovers last weekend.
“You hate the fact they haven’t had a win for a while, because you look at their side of the ball and you’re like, ‘Man, that is a really good defense that did a lot of good things,’” Brees said.
“Forget their record. Forget last time they had a win. … Whatever they throw at us, we have to have a plan for, we have to be ready for — do all the things that equate to winning football.”
If Cleveland were to end a long winless streak in the Superdome on Sunday, it wouldn’t be the first time.
When the current incarnation of the Browns joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1999, they arrived in New Orleans winless through seven games and wound up celebrating their first victory after Tim Couch’s 56-yard heave as time expired found Kevin Johnson in the end zone. The lasting image for Saints fans was deflated then-coach Mike Ditka lying face-down on the turf.
For the Saints to avoid falling on their collective faces against Cleveland again, New Orleans’ defense likely will have to improve on the more than 500 yards it allowed to the Bucs in Week 1.
For new Browns QB Tyrod Taylor, the opportunity to play the Saints represents a shot at redemption. He struggled against the Saints last year while playing for Buffalo. He passed for only 56 yards without a touchdown and was intercepted before being removed from that game and benched the following week.
“Of course, I remember that game,” Taylor said. “It didn’t go as planned. So, definitely looking forward to competing against that group again.”
Some other story lines surrounding the Browns-Saints matchup:
Adding intrigue to the matchup is the return of Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to the city where he helped the Saints win a title in 2009. Williams left after 2011 and was suspended months later for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal, which also resulted in Saints coach Sean Payton’s one-year suspension.
The previous time the Saints faced one of Williams’ defenses, Payton’s offense ran up the score in a 49-21 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. But Payton now dismisses any notion of lingering animosity.
“My relationship with Gregg is great. He was part of a championship we won,” Payton said. “He has done a great job in Cleveland. … This game is more about the Saints and the Browns and finding a way to win regardless of how many points it takes.”
Brees is now 39 and in his 18th season, but showing little sign of slowing down. He passed for 439 yards and three touchdowns last week. And while the Saints lost, the offense looked good scoring 40 points.
Brees “continues to play at a really high level,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “Obviously, they have very talented players around him.”
Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who had 112 yards receiving last week, said Brees’ ability to read defenses will help against the blitz packages favored by Cleveland coordinator Williams.
“They’re a high-risk defense. They want to get pressure on the quarterback,” Kamara said. “When you do that, you’ve got to make sure you make it to the quarterback. So, with some of those looks they’re bringing, we’ve got some good things schemed up.”
The Saints’ second highest-paid player on offense is left tackle Terror Armstead, who expects to have one of his tougher assignments this season against Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. Last week, Garrett had two sacks.
“It’ll be a fun game,” Armstead said of facing Garrett, the top overall draft choice in 2017. “Size, speed, power — he possesses a lot of tools.”
While wet conditions didn’t help, Taylor’s Browns debut was a sloppy one. He went 15 for 40 passing. If he doesn’t perform better in the dome, it’ll only increase pressure on Jackson to turn to 2018 top draft choice Baker Mayfield.
The game sets up a possible matchup between a pair of former Ohio State players who thrived in Week 1.
Cleveland rookie defensive back Denzel Ward had two interceptions and could cover Saints receiver Michael Thomas, who had 16 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs.
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed.
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Ohio State, Coca-Cola extend relationship
15-year contract to support scholarships, student projects and other priorities
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University has extended its relationship with Coca-Cola for another 15 years through a pouring rights contract.
The new pouring rights contract extends the relationship through June 30, 2033, and has a total projected value of $84.7 million. The contract provides funds to support student initiatives and strategic priorities, including scholarships, student discovery projects, educational initiatives and internships.
Ohio State has a 20-year history with Cola-Cola. Through this renewed relationship, Coca-Cola will continue to offer a variety of beverages, drawing on its portfolio of more than 800 products, including 250 low- and no-calorie options.
Currently, more than two-thirds of the beverages sold in campus vending machines are low- or no-calorie.
The contract supports a variety of academic priorities, including:
- $2.25 million for student scholarships
- $1.88 million for student discovery projects and other educational initiatives
- Six student internships per year
The funding for student projects will result in grants of $125,000 per year to support academic and other projects, as determined by the university. Ohio State has begun work on a process to award those grants.
The contract extension includes a $6 million upfront payment for maintaining and improving campus facilities.
For Coca-Cola, the pouring rights contract provides exclusive rights to supply the Columbus campus with beverages in most categories. The contract continues to provide exceptions in some areas, such as beverages used in patient care at the Wexner Medical Center.
6 questions you can ask a loved one to help screen for suicide risk
September 12, 2018
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Florida
Andres Pumariega does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
University of Florida provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
Suicide rates in the United States have increased by 25-30 percent since 1999. This is particularly true for youth ages 12-24, with increases of approximately 30 percent over the same period. In Alachua County, Florida, where I teach and practice at the University of Florida, the base rate for suicides among youth ages 12-17 had been about five per 100,000 for many years, below the base national rate of 13 per 100,000. However, in the year 2017 that rate of completed suicides increased to 27 per 100,000, and for 2018 we are at a pace that will likely equal 2017.
While we mental health professionals know that depression and other mental and emotional disorders contribute to deaths by suicide and having thoughts or plans for suicide, life stressors are more often listed as causes, especially since most people do not access mental health services. These include such things as relationship problems, job and financial problems, substance abuse and life crises. Suicides also take approximately twice as many lives as homicides, which garner much more attention.
Our society is now aware that we are facing a national epidemic. The challenge is to identify and serve individuals who are at risk of attempting and completing suicide before that tragic outcome. I have been part of important work over the past few years that offers hope for early identification and prevention, including at a population level.
Curbing a heartbreaking trend
Health care organizations have established a national patient safety goal of reducing suicide as part of receiving health care, particularly in hospitals, promoted by The Joint Commission, a nonprofit that certifies health care programs and professionals.
While at Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Reading, Penn. as chair of psychiatry from 2006 until 2011, I was approached by the nursing leadership about tools and processes for suicide screening for patients being admitted, consistent with that national safety goal. Searching the literature, I identified the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) as a possible tool. It had been primarily developed Dr. Kelly Posner as a tool to screen for suicidality in medication research trials. It is now mandated by the FDA for psychiatric, neurological and endocrinological trials. This came after concerns about suicidal thoughts and at-risk behaviors being associated with the use of such medications.
The Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale was unique in having predictive value for future suicide attempts, but I found it was cumbersome to administer as a brief screener. Being convinced of the potential for the tool, I approached Dr. Posner about developing an abbreviated screening version. She agreed to the proposal, and my research assistant, Udema Millsaps, and I proceeded to develop a brief, six-item version. Five questions that relate to having ideas about suicide and one question on prior suicidal attempts met Dr. Posner’s approval.
In 2009, we went on to implement the first screening C-SSRS, embedded in the initial nursing assessment within the electronic medical record, for all patients being admitted to Reading Hospital. We also developed a response algorithm for either referral to mental health services or urgent safety precautions and psychiatric response during the hospitalization. We also trained over 600 nurses on its administration, with the assistance of Dr. Posner. The results, including both feasibility and outcomes, were very encouraging, including reliability of administration and effective identification of patients at risk, and we presented them at national meetings.
Since that time, I similarly worked with nursing leadership at Cooper University Hospital during the years 2011-2013 in implementing systematic suicide screening using the screening C-SSRS as part of the initial nursing assessment, much as was the case with Reading Hospital. By that time, Dr. Posner had done further work on the scoring of the screening C-SSRS and had developed a new official version, which we happily adopted. Both Reading Hospital and Cooper University Hospital were early adopters of this novel approach to suicide prevention.
However, the team at Columbia has gone much further in promoting the implementation of the screening C-SSRS, now recommending it for broad use in many settings, including our military as well as by the general public. There is now a community version that is recommended to be used by concerned friends and family members if they identify someone close to them as having some risk for suicide.
The six questions
The first five questions are about a person’s feelings over the past month. These questions can be asked of people ages eight and older. They need to be included within an emphathic conversation indicating concern for the person, and asked in a nonalarming, matter-of-fact manner.
- Have you wished you were dead or wished you could go to sleep and not wake up?
- Have you actually had any thoughts about killing yourself? If the loved one answers “yes” to question 2, ask questions 3, 4, 5 and 6. If the person answers “no” to question 2, go directly to question 6.
- Have you thought about how you might do this?
- Have you had any intention of acting on these thoughts of killing yourself, as opposed to you have the thoughts but you definitely would not act on them?
- Have you started to work out or worked out the details of how to kill yourself? Do you intend to carry out this plan?
- Always ask question 6: In the past three months, have you done anything, started to do anything, or prepared to do anything to end your life?
Examples you could mention would be: Have you collected pills; obtained a gun; given away valuables; written a will or suicide note; held a gun but changed your mind; cut yourself; tried to hang yourself.
The potential of this work has only touched the surface of this critical problem, and it has many broader applications and opportunities for implementation. These include combining the screening C-SSRS with training on risk surveillance for implementation by teachers, counselors and student organizations, ranging from middle school through the college levels. This especially includes minority and culturally diverse populations, where there have also been major increases in numbers of suicide attempts.
I am currently pursuing such opportunities to make this tool as well as awareness about suicide widely available with the ultimate goal of saving young lives.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). The website is National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Images of suffering can bring about change – but are they ethical?
September 12, 2018
Alison Dundes Renteln
Professor of Political Science, Anthropology, Public Policy and Law, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Alison Dundes Renteln does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
University of Southern California — Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
In a series of provocative photographs, poor children in India were made to pose in front of fancy tables covered with fake food. A prize-winning Italian photographer, Alessio Mamo, took these pictures in 2011, as part of a project called “Dreaming Food.” After the World Press Photo Foundation shared the photos on Instagram, they sparked a bitter controversy. Many considered them unethical and offensive.
In his apology, Mamo described his desire to show to a Western audience “in a provocative way, about the waste of food.” He was attacked for lacking cultural sensitivity and violating 21st-century photographic ethics.
Despite such risks, as a public law scholar, I am aware that images of suffering are often part of human rights campaigns. And freedom of expression, including visual representation, is protected by a United Nations treaty and many national constitutions.
At the same time, however, I argue for ethical limitations on the right to take pictures.
The controversy around Mamo’s so-called “poverty porn” images is not the first time that such questions have been raised.
One such case was that of the 1936 black-and-white photograph of Florence Owens Thompson that became the iconic image of the “Migrant Mother” during the Depression. Photographer Dorothea Lange took the picture for Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency tasked with helping poor families relocate. It showed Thompson, with her children, living in poverty.
The family survived on frozen vegetables and birds they hunted. The photo was intended to build support for social welfare policies.
The photo raised some moral questions.
While Lange shot to fame, no one knew the name of the woman. It was only decades later that Thompson was tracked down and agreed to tell her story. As it turned out, Thompson didn’t profit from “Migrant Mother” and continued to work hard to keep her family together. As she said later,
“I didn’t get anything out of it. I wish she hadn’t taken my picture. … She didn’t ask my name. She said she wouldn’t sell the pictures. She said she’d send me a copy. She never did.”
Thompson felt “bitter, angry and alienated,” over the “commodification” of her image, wrote scholars Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, in their study of powerful images.
Thompson was the poster child for the Depression, and she did take some pride in that. Her photo benefited many. But, as she asked a reporter, “what good’s it doing me?”
What’s the role of a photographer?
Another striking example is a 1993 photo by South African photographer Kevin Carter showing a young Sudanese girl, with a vulture perched near her. The iconic image captured public attention by focusing on the plight of children during a time of famine.
Unlike other images depicting starving children with “flies in the eyes,” this one highlighted the predicament of a vulnerable famine victim, crawling to a food station in Ayod, in South Sudan.
The picture won Carter a Pulitzer Prize in 1994, but also precipitated an avalanche of criticism. Although Carter scared the vulture away, he did not carry the girl to the nearby food station. The fate of the girl remained unknown.
In a critical essay about the image, scholars Arthur and Ruth Kleinman asked: Why did the photographer allow the predatory bird to move so close to the child? Why were her relatives no where to be seen? And, what did the photographer do after he took the picture?
They also went on to write that the Pulitzer Prize was won “because of the misery (and probable death) of a nameless little girl.” Some others called Carter “as much a predator as the vulture.”
Two months after receiving the Pulitzer, in July 1994, Carter took his own life. Apart from his own challenging personal circumstances, his suicide note revealed that he was haunted by the vivid memories of the suffering that he witnessed.
Pictures for charity
Admittedly, famine, poverty and disasters need attention and action. The challenge for journalists, as scholar David Campbell notes, is to mobilize public reactions before it is too late.
These catastrophes require prompt intervention by government and relief agencies, through, what human rights scholar Thomas Keenan and others call, “mobilizing shame” – a way of exerting pressure on states to act to rescue those in dire circumstances.
Such an effort is often more effective if images are used. As Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, co-directors of African Rights, a new human rights organization based in London, note,
“The most respectable excuse for selectively presenting images of starvation is that this is necessary to elicit our charity.”
The truth is, these images do have an impact. When James Nachtwey, an American photographer, took photos of the famine in Somalia, the world was moved. The Red Cross said public support resulted in what was then its largest operation since WWII. It was much the same with Carter’s image, which helped galvanize aid to Sudan.
Nonetheless, as Campbell contends, media coverage can reinforce negative stereotypes through an iconography of famine or images of those starving in “remote” places like Africa. His argument is that individuals continue to present people in what the Kleinmans call the “ideologically Western mode.”
In this framing, the individual appears without context, usually alone, and without the ability to act independently.
Greater awareness of the power of images in different contexts has exerted pressure on NGOs and journalists to shift from a “politics of pity” to a “politics of dignity.”
In 2010 Amnesty International issued photo guidelines, regarding rules for images that show suffering. Save the Children also drafted a manual after conducting research on image ethics in various parts of the world.
Explicit rules include not posing subjects, avoiding nudity and consulting subjects about the way they believe the narrative ought to be presented visually. A major concern has been how sometimes the subjects and scene might be manipulated to orchestrate an image.
What this reflects is a desire to show greater sensitivity to the precarious status of some subjects in photographs.
But this is easier said than done. Recognizing that voyeuristic interpretation of distant suffering is offensive does not necessarily mean this practice will cease. The real challenge ultimately is that the ethically problematic images that present “pitiful” victims to the world are often the ones that capture public attention.
Eventually, much rests on the stringent ethical standards that photographers set for themselves. What they do need to remember, is that often, good intentions do not justify the use of questionable images of suffering.
Arik Greenberg logged in via Google
Kudos to Dr. Dundes Renteln for an informative and thought provoking article. I particularly appreciated the discussion of the Dorothea Lange photo of Florence Owens Thompson, which has haunted me for years, but which I did not realize had been taken and used under such questionable conditions.
I would also like to offer some observations and alternate viewpoints to those made by many of the individuals quoted in the article. The tendency for “armchair philosophes” and keyboard warriors to make snap criticisms of those who have accomplished much is a powerful impulse. It is easy to criticize in the luxury of aftermath, especially in the comfort of a thriving industrialized Western society. While Thompson may not have benefited directly from the photograph, it indeed helped mobilize people to address the issues surrounding her poverty and that of those like her. Regarding Kevin Carter’s photograph of the Sudanese girl beset by the vulture, it is far too easy for critics to state what they would have done in these circumstances; it has long been the quandary of journalists whether to use their camera as a weapon against injustice or to pick up a gun and fight the rebels directly, or to pick up a bowl and feed the hungry–thereby missing the critical photo that could change the world. It is the rare Hemingway who was able to do both–with his pen and his “sword”. In the end, it occurs to me that Arthur and Ruth Kleinman, and those like them, may have bullied Carter to his death, seeking to cut down a giant who had done more than most people have ever done. Now, who is the predator?
As noted in the essay’s section on David Campbell, photographs are critical in mobilizing our sympathies before it is too late. I would add that we are simultaneously a very visual society, and are very easily touched by the plight of fellow human beings. We are, by nature, compassionate, and we react to perceived suffering. But we are also inundated with images of suffering, and the rare photo that is able to stir our hearts amidst our own suffering, and to devote our meager funds to helping bring about equity in the world, is perhaps worth the questions raised about equity for the subjects of the photos themselves. In journalism, there is often no time to deliberate, as scholars are wont to do, about the course of one’s actions. Imagine the absurdity of expecting photographer Richard Drew, who took the iconic photo of the man falling to his death as he jumped from the burning Twin Towers on 9/11, opting not to take the photo, since he was unable to receive a ready answer from the man as to how he wanted to be positioned in the composition to best highlight his dignity as he died. Once again, it is far too easy for established and powerful organizations–like Amnesty International and Save the Children–to unilaterally institute this or that set of guidelines or best practices of how to be a journalist and how to focus on the dignity of their subjects, while the world is becoming more and more callous to the murder and tragedy around us. It is crucial that our eyes every now and then be assaulted by photos of the truly suffering, to move us to collective action, and to distract us from our preoccupation with the beautiful and the wealthy, like the Kardashians and Trump, who are smokescreens and decoys from the inequity and destruction pervasive and waxing in our world.
I take issue with only one aspect of Dr. Dundes Renteln’s conclusion to an otherwise excellent article. She opts to focus on the offensive nature of “voyeuristic interpretation of distant suffering”, when it is my preference to mitigate this with the recognition that what is truly at stake here is the need to tell someone’s tale, and to preserve their suffering for posterity and to elicit sympathy from those with control over society’s purse strings. I cannot imagine the Rohingya of Myanmar opting not to have their story told, due to insufficient control of the composition and usage of the subject matter, thereby allowing their villages to burn unnoticed by the world. I think that both sides of the equation need to be considered–both urgency and immediacy of the need for action, as well as preserving the dignity of those whose tales are being told. It is too easy to focus on one over the other in the comfort of our homes and offices.
This is an honest and thought-provoking article. I also appreciate Arik’s comment above. We should be cautious when judging the morality of the photographers. Florence Owen (migrant mother) and Kevin Carter (starving girl) were doing what photographers should do: baring witness. There are other journalists that fulfill different roles by adding context via print or other forms of mass media. It is not the photographers job to save the world just as it is not the social workers job to take photos. It would be nice if the world were all rainbows and daisies, but it is not. Rest in peace Kevin Carter.