Category Archives: Columns

If you’re paying attention, everyday life provides a lesson in gratitude

By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published August 2011)

Some of us are so focused on our problems we regularly fail to count our blessings.

There is often something to worry about, something to desire or something to regret.

The state of the economy seems to be the most pressing concern among Americans. The tentacles of the recession have reached the young and old, white- and blue-collar workers and everyone in between.

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Should college football players be compensated for their play?

By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published July 2011)

Campuswide adoration, nationwide attention and a free university education are apparently insufficient for some NCAA football players.

In a league where so many student-athletes compete with every ounce of heart and intensity they possess, others just seem to have their hearts intensely set on money.

Even Tim Tebow, one of the most beloved and wholesome players in NCAA history, is a proponent of paying college football players.

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Distracted driving not a wise road to take


By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published March 2011)

I survived seven near-wrecks on my way to work the other day.

In the six miles it took me to get to the Gazette, I saw two drivers speeding; a car dangerously pull in front of me and just as dangerously slow down; two run red lights; someone switch lanes in the middle of a busy intersection, almost colliding with the car in front of me; and another make a sudden, right turn without using a signal.

When I pulled into my parking spot, trembling with stress, I took a deep breath and wondered how it is I safely make that drive four times a week.

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Should pitchers be able to nab the MVP Award?

By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published October 2011)

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander regularly pounced on opponents this season, winning more than 80 percent of his starts en route to a pitching Triple Crown. He earned his stripes as the most valuable hurler in the league, but to recognize him as the most valuable player would be a travesty.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not diminishing Verlander’s performance in any way, shape or form.

The righty should win the American League Cy Young Award by unanimous vote. He made batters look about as spectacular as LeBron James in the fourth quarter of last year’s NBA Finals.

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