The Twitter disaster

By: Reed Morris


In my articles, I prefer to look at events in the form of a story, however, the disaster that has been Elon Musk and Twitter over the past year or so is something that must be attacked chronologically to fully comprehend. Musk’s decision to buy Twitter for $44 Billion has to be one of, if not the worst, financial decision since the Enron disaster at the turn of the century (see my previous article if you want to know more about Enron). People will lose their jobs, Twitter will crumble, and immense risk has been put on Musk’s other financial endeavors. Such a terrible series of decisions can only be tackled chronologically, so let us start at the beginning. 

January 2022 

Musk makes his first investments in Twitter. The exact amount is unknown, but his investing did begin in late January according to documents filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the following months. 

March 2022

Musk decides to take control of the company. His share percentage in Twitter reaches 9.2% which is the highest percent holding of any other shareholder. This is when the larger public became aware of the ongoing overtake. At the time, there was uncertainty if he would go further or stop where he was at. As we now know, he continued to buy up more and more of the company. 

April 2022

April was a wild month in the Twitter dealings. At the start of the month, Musk officially disclosed the amount of money he really had sunk into the company. His shares reached a whopping $2.9 Billion. After he disclosed his true involvement with Twitter, shares in the company rose over 27% the day of his announcement. 

A day later, Twitter officially announced that Musk would be joining Twitter’s board of directors. He was welcomed aboard in a tweet by now former CEO, Parag Agrawal 

Shortly after being invited to the board, he flipped direction and said he would no longer be joining. 

Only four days after refusing to join the companies board, he proposed an official offer to buy out the company at $54.20 a share, valuing the company at a laughable $43 Billion. The offer overvalued the company by 38% but he stuck to his guns regarding the price. 

Twitter immediately responded with what is called a “poison pill” which essentially devalues shares for current board members allowing them to purchase more, but making it extremely difficult for Musk to purchase the necessary shares to take over. However, this strategy never took full effect as only a week later, Twitter decided to accept Musk’s original offer. 

While this feels like a good ending point to the story, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

May 2022

In May, Musk buckles down and starts to look at how he would finance such an acquisition. He gathered $7 Billion worth of financing from several investment firms including Sequoia Capital and Binance, a crypto exchange (you’ll hear more about them in the next article.) To fill the $43 Billion price tag, Musk also had to sell $8.5 Billion worth of Tesla Stock, dropping the company’s value ever so slightly.

All throughout May, Musk makes several claims and promises with little to no basis. The biggest of which was the claim that he could increase Twitter’s yearly income four fold, up to over $26 Billion a year. 

With hindsight being 20/20, we can now see that was an absolutely insane claim. While during the writing of this article, Musk has not been in ownership of Twitter for long enough to make financial changes, however the business model he seems to be adapting to is currently losing more money than before he bought the company. 

Musk, soon after making these claims, and presumably finally doing research, he quickly realized he made a mistake. He quickly announces that the deal would be on “temporary hold”, the reasoning of which, Musk claims, was the supposed prevalence of bot and spam accounts on the platform. 

Not long after he announced a temporary hold on the deal, a Reuters report surfaced claiming that less than 5% of the accounts active on twitter were bot or spam accounts. Musk requested more information but seemingly never received it. 

Only hours after announcing the deal’s stallings, he announced that he once again had changed his mind and was going through with the deal. 

Summer 2022

The Twitter excitement slowed down in volume but exploded in intensity during the summer months, so June, July and August will be grouped together for continuity’s sake. 

Musk once again jumps back on an old train and demands that Twitter supply more information regarding the possible prevalence of bots. This time, he threatened a full retraction of contract and claimed he would no longer buy the company per the deal he signed. 

After the Twitter board essentially said, “You know all we know and what we know is the truth,” Musk still moved to terminate the acquisition. 

On July 12th, 2022, Twitter sued Elon Musk in a Delaware Chancery Court. They sued on the basis that Musk knowingly breached his contract and that Musk must follow through with his deal. 

With tens of billions of dollars, several massive companies, and gargantuan investment firms involved, the outcome of the court case would have extreme ramifications no matter which way it sways. 

The court date would be set for late September, later stalled for mid October.

October 4th, 2022

Musk finally agrees to follow through with the deal, and to acquire Twitter at the original stock price. 

October 28th, 2022

Elon Musk officially becomes the new private owner of Twitter.

Final Thoughts

In theory, Elon Musk can afford this whole Twitter debacle, however on paper, things are much different. The aspect of this that scares me so much is the fallout it could have on his other businesses and ventures. While I am not a fan of Elon Musk himself, the engineers and scientists he employs at Tesla and SpaceX are doing truly spectacular work. 

In making this $43 billion deal, Musk put a lot of risk on his other businesses. Tesla stock is the main collateral involved in all of his extensive loans, and SpaceX bends at the will of his other enterprises. The question is not if Musk can keep Twitter from collapsing, it is merely if he can make it profitable, and how fast. The interest on his loans float around a billion dollars a year and if the economy faces more struggles or Elon can’t pay it all back, there will be serious ramifications. 

Musk put everything on the line for this passion project, and we will see in the coming months and years how it all turns out. If in the next 15 years Tesla and Elon Musk are forgotten or infamous names, then he failed. But if Elon Musk is still kicking and Tesla’s are still zooming around, and Falcon Heavies are finally taking people to Lunar bases, then maybe this whole Twitter debacle turned out alright. As we can’t see into the future, all we can do is buckle up, keep your arms and feet inside the ride, and let’s watch some more billionaire drama unfold. 

A dramatic 2022 MLS Cup might go down in history as the best!

By: Aedon Evenson-McDermott

On the 5th of November, 2022, the eyes of America’s biggest soccer league turned their attention to the Banc of California Stadium. The teams were solid and quite evenly matched which made it to be an insightful affair between the squads.

LAFC came into the final as the Western Conference 1st seed, and champions, and likewise as Philadelphia Union was the Eastern Conference 1st spot, and champions. Bedoya for the Union was a big miss as he was one of their biggest leaders and a stud in the midfield.

For the first 25 minutes, both teams ran up and down the field as they searched for the early goal. Two minutes later, when the 27th minute came, LAFC’S Acosta struck the net with a thunderous hit which struck the back of the net. 1-0 LAFC and the supporters section went crazy!

The second half would be all a soccer fan would dream of. The Union’s Gazdag put the ball in the back of the net in the 59th minute. 1-1! The constant drama of the back and fourth would be a lead runner for the rest of the game.

LAFC would respond near the end of the 90 minutes in the 83rd minute with a goal from Murillo. When most thought it was over and LAFC would walk away with the Cup, Union’s Jack Elliot smashed the ball into the back of the net with his thunderous header two minutes later in the 85th minute. The very few Philadelphia Union faithful fans had a lifeline.

The end of the regular 90 minutes of regulation would end thus prompting the 30 minute layover of extra time. Both teams had chances and in the 116th minute a bad back pass from center back Murillo to LAFC’S goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau led to the horrific collision between Crepeau and the Union’s Cory Burke. Crepeau is Canada’s number 1 keeper but will unfournately miss the World Cup. Milan Borjan or Minnesota United’s Dayne St. Clair would get the start. Crepeau was carted off and unfortunately would break his leg. This would prompt substitute goalkeeper, and penalty specialist, John McCarthy to come in for the remaining extra time.

After the end of the additional 30 minutes, there would be an additional 9 minutes added on after the injury for stoppage time.
In the 124th minute, a second incredible goal from the Union’s Elliot went in and it was the first lead of the game for the Union. 3-2! Four minutes later, the storylines would be written as the almighty Welshman Gareth Bale bails them out with an incredible jump for the header. 3-3 in the 128th minute!

After both teams finished tied at 3 a piece, it would all come to a penalty shootout. John McCarthy who played before, for the Union, would be in goal as Crepeau’s replacement. Knowing a lot of where the guys put their shots on goal he would put his mind to the test. Andre Blake, one of the MLS’s best, would step up first as he would save the penalty. Philly would miss their second penalty as it skied over the bar. Bouanga converted for LAFC making it 1-0 on their second kick. Union would miss their second kick. Hollingshead for LAFC scored and made it 2-0 in the shootout. The Union would miss their third shot as well. IIie would step up and put the winning shot into the back of the net. No coming back for the Union as they missed their first three shots. McCarthy would be the hero of the game and go on to win MVP.

It couldn’t have been more of a Hollywood ending with a great effort put on by both teams! Congratulations to the champions LAFC and better times for the Union. It was a joy to experience such a great game and a nail biting ending. It should be an interesting offseason for both teams and it will be fun with the league resuming in later February and early March!

Minnesota Vikings come out on top in the NFL’s game of the year 

By: Abby Altman

Image taken from: @jjettas2 on instagram 

*NOTE: This article was written prior to the game against the Cowboys

Last Sunday’s noon matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills will go down as one of the best regular season games that the NFL has ever seen. Kirk Cousins, also known as “The Noon Nightmare”, led the Vikings to yet another show stopping 4th quarter comeback this week, earning yet another 1 score win. 

“Frauds” and “Pretenders” are just some words that will not be following the Vikings name anymore. 

After a very sloppy 1st half, the Vikings found themselves down by 14 at halftime. 

In the 3rd quarter, the Vikings still did not appear to be playing their best football. Minnesota went almost the entire quarter scoring 0 points, and giving up 3. With 1:48 left in the 3rd quarter, Dalvin Cook rushed for an 81 yard touchdown up the side to make it a 10 point game. 

Going into the 4th quarter down by 10, Kirk Cousins is arguably the 1st QB you’d want on your team. This season, Cousins has led the team to 5 4th quarter comebacks, and is 7-0 in 1 score games. Last season, the Vikings finished 6-8 in 1 score games. 

The 4th quarter was one that will likely not be forgotten for a very long time. 

Minnesota’s defense stepped up big time for this 4th quarter comeback. 

Patrick Peterson showed up with an interception in the end zone on 4th and 2, running it back to the 35 yard line. 

Minnesota’s offense then responded with a long drive capped off with fullback CJ Ham’s first touchdown in 5 years. The touchdown put the Vikings down by 4 with 4:34 left in the game. Kicker Greg Joseph then missed the extra point, putting the Vikings in a position where a field goal would not suffice, and a TD would be necessary to win. 

The defense once again stepped up big, with Harrison Smith breaking up a pass to Stefon Diggs on 4th and 15. 

On the next drive, Cousins was sacked 2 plays in a row, setting up Minnesota with 4th and 18 with 2:14 on the clock. 

At their own 27 yard line, the Vikings were forced to go for it. Cousins sent a pass deep downfield, hitting Justin Jefferson at the Buffalo 40 yard line. 

Jefferson took that opportunity to make one of the best catches ever made. Jefferson jumped up in double coverage, grabbing the ball with 1 hand while fighting off Buffalo’s Cam Lewis, who had 2 hands wrapped around the ball. Jefferson managed to bring in the ball, and transfer it to his other hand without losing control. 

“One of the more remarkable catches I’ve ever seen,” said Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, “He’s such a special, special player. I’m really proud of the way Justin has battled all season long against a lot of different looks and a lot of different coverages.”

This catch was the first of multiple miracles for the Vikings. 

The Vikings drove downfield, and had the ball at 1st and goal at the 3 yard line. Things then went south for Minnesota. 

On 1st down, Cousins was tripped up behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 5 yards. On 3rd down, Cousins completed a catch to Jefferson, who appeared to break the goal line at first, but was later ruled down at the ½ yard line. 

On 4th and 1, Cousins passed to Cook on the side, who was unable to make the catch. However, offsides by the Bills gave the Vikings a repeat 4th down, where they opted for the QB sneak. 

Cousins was ruled short of the endzone, and the ball was turned over to Buffalo with 44 seconds left in the game. 

The Bills received the ball on the 1 yard line. Unwilling to take the safety and risk a Hail Mary, Buffalo decided to have QB Josh Allen run the ball out of the endzone. Allen, however, fumbled the ball on the snap. This was miracle #2 for Minnesota. 

Erik Kendricks recovered the fumble in the endzone, for a Vikings touchdown. Minnesota took a 3 point lead, with 37 seconds left in the game. 

Buffalo did not forget that they have one of the best offenses in the league. Allen connected with Gabe Davis downfield to set up a 29 yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining. 

The field goal tied the score and sent the game into overtime. 

Minnesota won the coin toss, and although they had an impressive drive downfield, they were unable to get the touchdown. The Vikings settled for a 33 yard field goal by Greg Joseph, and put the defense on the field to win the game. 

Josh Allen and the Bills offense drove downfield, and got into field goal range easily. Josh Allen threw 2 passes into the endzone from the 25 yard line. The first pass, intended for TE Dawson Knox was broken up by Duke Shelly, who joined the Vikings active roster the day before the game. 

The second pass was miracle #3. 

Patrick Peterson made his 2nd interception of the game, picking off Josh Allen in the endzone, and securing the win for Minnesota. 

Bills QB Josh Allen blamed himself for the loss, after multiple turnovers. 

“Losing sucks,” Allen told reporters. “Sucks this way even worse. Horrendous second half. I’ve got to be better. I’ve got to be better … It’s on me. Can’t have that.”

Although coming into this game with a better record than Buffalo, Minnesota was seen as a heavy underdog. The win secured the Vikings as a legit threat in many eyes, and moved Minnesota way up in most rankings. 

Clearly, this win wasn’t an easy one for Minnesota, but not just because of the comeback. The refs were not making good calls, and several of them could have cost Minnesota the game. 

The most important missed call by the refs came late in the 4th quarter, just before Buffalo made the game tying field goal. On a 20 yard pass to Gabe Davis, the refs failed to call for a review on the completion. The catch then set up the field goal leading to overtime. 

The NFL later stated that the catch should have been reviewed, as it was within the final 2 minutes and couldn’t be challenged. The NFL also stated that had it been reviewed, the catch would have been overturned, as Davis did not keep control when he made contact with the ground. 

With 5:27 left in overtime, the refs missed another crucial call. With the Vikings in the red zone, Dalvin Cook rushed up the side, and was tackled for a 3 yard loss. On that play, Buffalo had 12 defensive men on the field. This should have resulted in 1st and 1 for Minnesota, but was instead 2nd and 5. The Vikings were later forced to make a FG. 

While it is unrealistic to expect the refs to notice everything, there were several other missed calls that impacted the game. Minnesota was able to overcome these odds and won the game.

This game extends Minnesota’s win streak to 7, and Buffalo’s losing streak to 2. The Vikings are sitting comfortably atop the NFC North with a significant lead over the 4-6 Packers. 

The Bills, however, fall into 3rd place in the AFC East, behind the Dolphins and the Jets. This comes as a surprise to many, as Buffalo was largely the expected winner of the division. 

Next week Minnesota heads home to host the Dallas Cowboys while Buffalo stays home to host the Browns.