Zach Bryan and his newest album ‘American Heartbreak’

By: Mia David

Zach Bryan, a young veteran passionate about country and folk music, has been rising in the music industry. Bryan was born in Oklahoma and was recently discharged from the U.S. Navy. He started producing music in 2019; he has produced three albums and multiple singles and EPs.

Bryan’s most recent album, ‘American Heartbreak’ came out in May 2022. It quickly became popular and has been in the top 20 on Billboard music’s best albums since its release. The album consists of 36 tracks and has a total time of 2 hours.

Bryan explored the idea of storytelling with this new album. While listening, the songs connect to each other and tell stories of falling in and out of love and meeting new people.

When the album was released, Bryan wrote, “I’d like to always be a story-teller and to do that I figured I’d have to fit into many shoes.”

Throughout the past year, Bryan has continued to produce more and more music. After ‘American Heartbreak’ he released an EP called ‘Summertime Blues’ and recently announced the release of yet another EP.

Bryan has been on tour, and he recently played at Surly Brewing Company here in Minnesota, and the concert was completely sold out.

Bryan has been on the rise and continues to gain popularity. However, he remains humble and continues to make music he enjoys. In an interview with the New York Times, he says, “I’m too writing driven to be a big star… I’m not meant for it.” However, Bryan seems to be proving that he can be both.

Bryan’s passion for writing music is refreshing to many, and his old country feel captures the attention of everyone, even those who claim to be anti-country music.

People enjoy Bryan’s music not just because of his talent but because of how relatable he is and how much he loves what he does.

Bryan describes his attitude towards music and life the most accurately. In an Instagram post, he writes, “My only ambitions in this life are to never bend to the thoughtless routines of this world, to always move slow enough to watch the sunrise, and to accept every single person for who they are, exactly where they stand, regardless if they can return the favor.”

You can listen to Zach Bryan’s music on all streaming platforms.

Columbus Day and the controversy surrounding it.

By: Brogan Frey

Image taken from: https://www.npr.org/2021/10/
11/1044823626/indigenous-peoples-day-native-americans-columbus

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” This quote is one that many people hear often, most commonly on a day known as Columbus Day. However, in past years, this name has been subject to controversy. Here’s why. 

Columbus Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday of October. In the past few decades, a day named “Indigenous Peoples Day” has started to take over and replace Columbus Day. 

Last year, Joe Biden became the first U.S. president to formally recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. The first thought of Indigenous Peoples Day was in 1977, at the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas. The convention, which was sponsored by the United Nations and held in Geneva, Switzerland, was when countries began to discuss replacing Columbus Day in the Americas with a celebration to be known as Indigenous Peoples Day.  

In 1992, in the city of Berkley, California, “[S]ymbolically renamed Columbus Day as ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the losses suffered by the Native American peoples and their cultures through diseases, warfare, massacres, and forced assimilation”.

Before we get too far into Indigenous Peoples Day, let’s talk about Columbus Day. This day is, as many may already know, named after the famous European explorer Christopher Columbus, who many know as the first person to “discover” the Americas. Although this is something that, until recently, was taught often in classrooms around the country, there are actually a few things that are incorrect about this statement. 

The first thing incorrect in this statement is when it is said that he was the first person to discover the Americas. This is far from correct. This is the ignoring of an entire group of people who had lived on these 2 continents for a long time before Christopher Columbus had even seen them. Indigenous peoples had already been living in the Americas for thousands of years when Columbus “discovered” them. Columbus didn’t discover the Americas, he was simply one of the first non-natives to find them. 

Now that we know that he was not the first person to discover the Americas, let’s go into the other thing incorrect about this statement. Columbus wasn’t even the first non-native person to find the Americas. The first confirmed non-natives to find the Americas were Vikings in around 1,000 A.D. from Greenland. 

There is clear evidence that this group of Vikings stayed for about 10 years before returning to Greenland, supposedly because relations with native North Americans were hostile at best. This group consisted of a man named Leif Erikson and his extended family. 

Even before the Vikings, there is legend of an Irish monk, named Saint Brendan, sailing to North America on a wooden boat covered in animal fur. His alleged journey is detailed in the ancient annals (historical records) of Ireland. There is, however, no evidence that he ever made landfall in North America. 

Essentially, Columbus was never the first non-native to find the Americas. His story is simply told so often because of the dramatics of it all. He begged the King and Queen of Spain to give him ships so he could sail to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia. 

At the time of his voyage, Europeans knew the earth was round, but they didn’t know that the Pacific Ocean or the Americas existed. Because of this, Columbus thought that if he sailed East, he would eventually get to India because he thought that it was just the Atlantic in between Spain and India. 

A few months after setting sail in August of 1492, Columbus spotted the island of Cuba, on October 12th, 1492, believing it to be mainland China. In December, the expedition found Hispaniola, which they believed to be Japan. They didn’t know they were in a place previously unknown to Europeans. 

Soon after landing in Cuba, he and his crew found out that they were not in fact in China, but a completely new place. On his first day in what was called “the New World,” he ordered six of the natives to be seized. Columbus kept a journal, and on this, he wrote that he believed that the natives that were seized would be good servants. 

This is where this story turns dark. This is the part of the journey and “discovery” that is not spoken about nearly enough. Throughout his years in Cuba, Columbus enacted many policies of forced labor in which natives were put to work for the sake of profits. 

Later, according to History.com, he sent thousands of Taino people (the natives) from the island of Hispaniola to Spain to be sold. Many died on the trip. Those that were left behind were forced to search for gold in mines and work on plantations. Within 60 years of Columbus arriving, only a few hundred Taino Indians were left of what was most likely a group of over 250,000 before Columbus. 

Violence wasn’t the only thing that killed many native populations in the Americas. The Europeans brought many diseases that had never shown up there before. These diseases killed about 90% of the population that hadn’t already been killed by Columbus or his crew. 

Overall, Columbus was far from being the first person to find the Americas. There was at least one confirmed group before him, and many that have not been confirmed but who may have visited long before him. He was also cruel and racist towards the natives, and his policies ended up killing several hundred thousand people. 

We need to stop celebrating a man who ruined and ended many lives. Next year, instead of Columbus Day, let’s celebrate the first, original people who called these lands home by celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day. 

For more information on Indigenous Peoples Day, please visit

For more information on Columbus Day, please visit

Fantasy football studs and duds – through week 7

By: Toby Martin-Kohls

Stud: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Saquon came into the season coming off a poor 2021 season that saw him play in only 13 games while injuring his ankle and getting placed into the NFL’s COVID protocol. He averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per carry and only scored 2 touchdowns in 13 regular season games. He also lost his first NFL fumble.

This season he has looked like he’s back into his first two seasons’ form when he had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. So far, in 2022, he is averaging a career-best 5.1 ypc and 104 rushing yards per game.

His ADP (average draft position) on ESPN this season was 22, as the RB8 overall. Through 7 weeks he has scored 137 fantasy points, good for RB2 on the year, only trailing Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. According to oddsmakers, Barkley is the current favorite to take home the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award.

Dud: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor was largely the consensus No.1 pick in most fantasy drafts this season. Coming off a monster year where he was the best player in fantasy, he has disappointed a lot of managers this year. Last year he played in all 17 regular season games, rushing for over 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns. He scored 369 fantasy points on the year, good for an average of 21.7ppg.

Because of his scarce injury history, and the Colts’ willingness to run the ball, he was considered the consensus No. 1 pick this year. An ankle injury has forced him to miss two weeks this year, but even before that, he was underperforming. He currently sits with 62 fantasy points, as the overall RB31. 

Stud: Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs has certainly surprised owners this year, finally breaking out, as he is sitting at RB4 on the year. Throughout his 4-year NFL career, he has been a solid, but not an overly spectacular choice for fantasy managers. Coming into this season there were questions around a timeshare with backup running backs Kenyan Drake, Ameer Abdullah, and rookie Zamir White. Jacobs has proven that he is the superior back and the Raiders with continue to feed him the ball.

Jacobs has been red hot the past 3 weeks, averaging over 30 points per game. Jacobs just became the third player in Raiders franchise history to record 150 scrimmage yards and score a TD in three consecutive games, joining Marcus Allen from 1985, and Clem Daniels from 1966. Jacobs is a locked and loaded RB1 for the rest of the season.

Dud: Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

I think the whole fantasy community can agree that Pitts is one of the biggest busts that hurts this fantasy season. Coming into the season, he was being thought of and drafted as the TE3 behind only Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce. On average, he was being drafted around the 3rd/4th round turn in 12-team PPR (point per reception) leagues.

After becoming only the second rookie TE ever in NFL history to have a 1,000-yard season, expectations were high. However, it is clear that the Falcons are a run-first team right now and that head coach Arthur Smith does not trust his starting QB, Marcus Mariota, to throw the ball many times per game.

The Falcons are currently 2nd to last in the league in passing yards per game with only 1,062 yards on the year for an average of 152 yards per game. Pitts is borderline droppable at this point except for perhaps deeper leagues, and only because of his uber talent and upside at the weak TE position.