Informercial Gifts Gone Bad

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Dec 122011
Authors: Anna Palmer

Eggstractor Egg Peeler is the amazing new revolutionary egg peeler! Tired of peeling eggs? Not anymore! Simply place a hard-boiled egg into the Eggstractor Egg Peeler and out pops your peeled egg. It’s that easy!”

Could there really be a world without the hassle of egg shells? Well, for $24.95, it’s yours. Although a very out-of-the-ordinary invention and quite possibly very unique gift, the reliability of infomercial products such as this is always a matter of question for consumers.

Investigating further into the “Eggstractor,” one finds that the instructions are quite extensive, consisting of about 10 steps. It’s hard to imagine that such a product would make the tedious egg-peeling process easier, but is often not the case.

Another eye-catching infomercial product is called “Smooth Away,” a pad covered with superfine crystals that buffs away unwanted hair easily, safely and painlessly, according to the product’s website. This product, priced at $14.99, appears to be a great alternative to razor burn.

“I would probably buy ‘Smooth Away’ because sometimes shaving your legs really sucks,” Maddi Robbins, a junior journalism major, said.

However, according to “Consumer Search,” this product does just the opposite and tends to cause more razor burn than an actual razor.

Looking at another infomercial product, the body-adjusting, “Slendertone Abdominal Toning Belt,” priced at $150, also makes some questionable claims. This product tones abs in just eight weeks. Sounds pretty incredible, huh?

“Slendertone is appealing because supposedly you don’t even have to go to the gym to flatten your stomach,” Robins said. “How great would that be?”

Well, not according to reviewers, who say it is very uncomfortable, expensive and won’t help you lose weight.

Another potentially gift-worthy product is the “Perfect Pancake,” priced at $24.95. The producers of this product claim that it’s the world’s first spatula-free pancake maker, and it may in fact be. However, reviewers say this product is of poorly built and very time-consuming, as it only makes one pancake at a time.

The lesson could be drawn to always remain skeptical of such products, no matter how alluring.

“Even though infomercial products are appealing, I would never buy them because most of the time they break,” Laura Nelson, a senior health and exercise Science major, said.

But if you’ve ever been drawn into these savvy promotional advertisements before -–or if you’ve found yourself on the more skeptical side of the spectrum –you can’t help but be drawn to products claiming to save time and energy.

“We tend to laugh at these commercials but they are very powerful persuaders,” Jeff Blyskal, a senior editor at “Consumer Reports”, said in a New York Times article. “You say, ‘I’m too smart to buy this,’ but when you laugh, you kind of let your guard down and get drawn into it.”

 Posted by at 6:58 am

Not Home For the Holidays

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Dec 122011
Authors: Kara Sawinska

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder and the winter holidays are right around the corner.

For many Colorado State University students, being away from home during this time can be exceptionally hard. Many students have found certain foods can fill this void and recreate that homey atmosphere.

Since baked goods are common treats this time of year, selecting easy recipes that require minimal ingredients are a great option for students.

“My roommates and I usually make gingerbread cookies or decorate Christmas cookies,” Jordan Lillmars, a junior communications major, said.

She elaborated in an email that this tradition began during her sophomore year when she and her roommates started living in their apartment. For Lillmars, baking cookies is festive and brings her happiness during the holidays.

Although she and her roommates do return home for the holidays because their families live in Colorado, having a baking party still serves as a fun home-away-from-home activity, especially since it involves sampling their original creations.

Through spending quality time with friends and making recipes come to life, the tantalizing scents associated with each food wafting through the kitchen creates a feeling
of hominess.

Making a cuisine that mirrors one’s cultural background can additionally serve as a way for college students to create a holiday atmosphere that resembles the
one at home.

Esmeralda Rodriguez, a senior social work major, has done this through her sorority, Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc., by partaking in a cultural potluck that typically happens in the fall semester and involves the sisters either cooking or bringing food associated with their culture.

“Sometimes we do a presentation of that country and present a dish,” she said. “Coming from a Mexican family I usually do empanadas or chili rojo.”

By associating with those who share a similar ethnicity, it can serve as a yet another way to remember the holidays as well as one’s values and culture.

College students can bring the holidays to their home-away-from-home by being thrifty and purchasing some tasty holiday appetizers rather than the entire main course. Taking advantage of smart deals is a simple, inexpensive way to still have a taste of the holiday favorites while staying within a modest budget.

Harry and David items for less than $20

o Pineapple Macadamia Nut Cake…$14.95
o Old-Fashioned Bacon…$18.95
o Original Baklava…$19.95
o Light Size Cushman’s HoneyBells…$19.95
o Antipasto Plate…$19.95
o All Occasion Sweets Box…$19.95
o Create-Your-Own Cookie Collection, 1 dozen…$19.95
o Fruit-n-Berry Breakfast Bread…$19.95
o Chocolate Decadence Cake…$19.95
o Traditional Fruitcake, 1 lb….$19.95
o Moose Munch Chocolate Bites Tin…$19.95

For more information, visit

 Posted by at 6:42 am

Top 10 Holiday Movies

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Dec 122011
Authors: Allison LeCain

There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with movies. They make you laugh, they make you cry and they go well with a warm mug of hot chocolate and a cozy blanket.So curl up on the couch and click on the TV. Let’s get the season rolling with the top 10 holiday movies according to Colorado State University students. Don’t forget the popcorn!

1. A Christmas Story: The adventures of little Ralphie, set in the 1940s, as he seeks to get the only Christmas present he has every wanted: an “official Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot range-model air rifle with a compass and this thing that tells time.”

2. Elf: When Buddy the Elf learns that he is actually a human, he sets out for New York City to find his real father to spend the holiday season with him.

3. It’s A Wonderful Life: George Bailey contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve, but a
guardian angel shows him what the world would be like if he had never been born.

4. A Charlie Brown Christmas: Depressed child Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of Christmas while helping put together a holiday play.

5. Bad Santa: Willie T. Stokes moves around the country getting jobs as Santa Clause at malls in order to rob department stores, until he meets a young boy that changes his life.

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack Skellington, local resident of Halloween Town, discovers the wonder of Christmas Town and attempts to put on his own version of Christmas, stealing Santa Claus and all.

7. Frosty the Snowman: When a group of children put a magical hat on Frosty the
Snowman, he comes to life. But a magician tries to melt Frosty in pursuit of his hat.

8. White Christmas: Two former army men from World War II join together in a
song and dance act with two sisters as they perform a Christmas show in Vermont.

9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Whether watching the older animated version or the Jim Carey version, it tells the story of how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes after attempting to steal Christmas from the Whos in the town of Whoville.

10. Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol: The classic tale of the Christmas Carol is retold with
all the hilarious twists of Mister Magoo.

 Posted by at 6:22 am

Tablets: Give the Gift of Technology

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Dec 122011
Authors: Logan Martinez

Feeling a little behind the technology craze? Well, this year’s gift to give is a hand-held
computer tablet. Tablets are versatile gifts that range from recreational web surfing and games to notetaking for classes.

According to Alex Layman, a sophomore communications major and a computer and tablets specialist at Best Buy, most tablets run with a software that is about one to 1.5 gigahertz.

“In terms of a computer this would be really slow, but for a tablet it is actually really fast,” Layman said. “Since it is touch-based, it is actually faster than you can move, and that is all it needs to do.”

Colorado State University’s Morgan Library offers the opportunity to check out the iPad 2 for a 24-hour period during which you can take it home to test it out with your home computer. This is a great way to test out the iPad to see if it is the right gift for the holiday season.

Chris Chagnon, a senior political science major and library computer technician, said this opportunity arose to allow easier access of online databases that are utilized by students.

“Introducing the iPad into the library is part of an information and technology push,” Chagnon said.

At the Consumers Electronics Show (CES) 2011 in Las Vegas, more than 75 different tablets were showcased. The most common tablets found in stores are the iPad 2 and Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) processors such as the Acer Iconia, Samsung Galaxy, Asus Transformer and the Toshiba Thrive.

No matter which one is preferred, they all have similar apps available for gaming, notetaking and more. Though most tablets lack a USB or SD port, Layman explained that they won’t be necessary for long due to online storage availability.

A great way to ask family for this oh, so very light and portable computing device is to offer a statistic on the matter. According to the Pearson Foundation, 86 percent of tablet owners in college or college-bound say that tablets help students study more efficiently than other technological devices.

“These are going to throw you into the future, whether you like it or not,”
Layman said.

iPad 2: 9.7-inch LED-backlit display, Dual-core A5 chip, Front-facing and rear-facing cameras, Wi-Fi capability, Bluetooth technology and 10-hour battery life.

Acer Iconia: 10.1-inch high-definition touchscreen display, Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, Wi-Fi capability, Front-facing and rear-facing cameras, Media card reader for microSD and USB, Bluetooth technology and Eight-hour battery life.

Samsung Galaxy: 10-inch high-definition widescreen touchscreen display, Android 3.1, Honeycomb operating system, Wi-Fi capability, Front-facing and rear-facing cameras, Customizable options, Bluetooth technology and 14-hour battery life.

Asus Transformer: 10.1-inch touchscreen display, Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, Wi-Fi capability, Front-facing webcam with microphone and rear-facing camera, Media card reader, Lithium-polymer battery and Keyboard and mouse attachment capabilities.

Toshiba Thrive: 10.1-inch high-definition wide touchscreen display, Android Honeycomb operating system, Wi-Fi capability, Front-facing and rear-facing cameras, Media card reader for SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, Bluetooth technology and Prismatic lithium-ion battery.

 Posted by at 6:13 am

8 Steps to the Perfect New Year's Kisses

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Dec 122011
Authors: Jesi Fish

1. Find your target hot person (THP). Be aware of jerk vibes, wedding ring lines, funky clothes or obnoxious laughs. If you notice any of these signs, move on to another target.

2. Get noticed.
Be confident and open, and flirt with other people. But be sure to make eye contact with your THP and show them your interest.

3. Start the conversation.
Keep the conversation light and fun, and include other people. Lightly brush your THP’s arm, but don’t make too much physical contact unless he or she initiates it.

4. Leave the conversation.
Excuse yourself and join a quick side conversation.
You want to make your THP look over and think about you.

5. Return to the conversation.
This step has three parts:

#1 When you return, have something in your hand or at least something clever to say about being gone. This legitimizes your leaving, makes a better entrance and explains to your THP why he or she is enjoying the party so much more now that you are back.

#2 Pay attention to timing: Too late and you can’t get your THP alone, too early and you will be trying to keep the conversation going. You want two to five minutes before the countdown –enough time to pull him or her in and get focused.

#3 Close yourself off from the circle. Joining back into the circle gives the idea that it is a group celebration. Instead, come up behind or beside your THP and angle him or her away from everyone else. Establish that this is an A-B discussion –not a group discussion.

6. Secure the countdown.
Get close but not too close. Fall into your THP a little or use him or her as support, just to break the physical boundary. This signals that it’s okay to touch you. After all, kissing is hard to do when you’re not touching.

7. The countdown breakdown:

Close in, grab hands and drag your THP to where you are fairly alone or where it is packed so you have to get close. Use the excuse to see the fireworks or TV to justify moving.

Lean in and look expectant but
not too expectant.

Make eye contact and hold it
while smiling softly.

8. Close the deal.
Make the kiss last as long as possible and enjoy the start of your New Year!

10 Most Romantic Spots in Fort Collins For Your New Year’s kiss

1. CSU Oval
2. Overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir
3. A well-lit alleyway in Old Town
4. Apartment roof
5. Bridge over the Poudre River
6. A favorite restaurant
7. Swings at City Park
8. Apartment complex hot tub
9. A favorite trail
10. A horse-drawn carriage in Old Town

 Posted by at 5:48 am

Holiday Recipe: Oreo Truffles

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Dec 122011
Authors: Kara Sawinska

For those addicted to chocolate who prefer to satisfy their cravings by creating a delectable dessert using minimal ingredients, this is the ideal recipe! These Oreo Truffles are the epitome of easy and will make enough to last for multiple periods of indulgence. So, set aside some time in the kitchen to create these bite-size pieces of goodness and treat yourself to a moment of heaven on earth.


One 18-ounce package Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies,
finely crushed, divided
Eight ounces cream cheese, softened
Two 8-ounce packages semisweet baking chocolate, melted


1. Place wax paper on a baking sheet.

2. Mix the cream cheese and three cups of the cookie crumbs until well-blended. Mold into 42 one-inch balls.

3. Dunk balls in melted chocolate; place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with left-over cookie crumbs. (Any melted chocolate remaining can be kept in a tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for an additional use.)

4. Refrigerate for one hour, or until firm. Keep any remaining truffles in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Makes 42 truffles

 Posted by at 5:34 am

Fall Semester 2011 “Biggest Stories”

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Dec 112011
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Tony Frank, Joe Blake awarded incentive-based bonuses

During a closed performance review at the Aug. 9 CSU Board of Governors meeting, board members decided CSU President Tony Frank and System Chancellor Joe Blake deserved their annual incentive-based bonuses. These were later approved in public session.

Frank will be awarded $20,000 and Blake, who resigned in July, will receive $35,000 for work done last fiscal year.

While the bonuses were part of their contracts, ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg disagreed with the procedure through which they were awarded.

“There was no time for discussion, no time for questions,” Berlinberg said. “There was no time for student or faculty representation in the decision making.”

CSU Student loses legs in train accident

A 17-year-old Colorado State University student lost her legs after falling from a freight train in Longmont on Sept. 5.

The victim, Anna Beninati, was treated at Denver Health Medical Center, where she was airlifted following the incident. Beninati survived the incident.

Beninati was trying to hop aboard the northbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train with three male friends when she slipped under, severing her legs at the knees.

Kathy Poiry, a Firestone resident and registered nurse, was idling in her car a train passed the Longmont intersection of Third Avenue and Atwood Street when she saw what appeared to be a bag drop from the railcar.

“In my mind, I just couldn’t believe it was a person,” Poiry said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Poiry, who has been a nurse for 25 years, said she kept applying pressure to the wounds. Following the incident Beninati’s parents thanked those who helped on the scene.

“We are grateful to the outpouring of support for our daughter following this horrific,” read a statement released by Beninati’s family. “From the first responders and transport teams, to the hospitals both in Longmont and Denver, we are thankful to everyone who came to her rescue.”

Bash gone bad at Ram’s Pointe

An annual welcome-back party at the Ram’s Pointe apartment complex ended in disaster on Sept. 3, leading to an estimated 15 people being injured, 10 transported by ambulances and four arrested for fighting.

Garnering almost 3,000 confirmed guests on Facebook, the event started at 1 p.m. but, according to police spokeswoman Rita Davis, got out of control only two hours later when fire and ambulance responders were dispatched for cases of over-consumption of alcohol.

“I really just am not a partier so I didn’t go last year,” said junior journalism major and Ram’s Pointe resident Shelby Taylor-Thorn. “I remember sitting on my balcony counting ambulances, but it didn’t get this out of hand. It’s just an excessively large group of people using our pool party as an excuse to get drunk and be idiots, more so than usual.”

“I call it the hot tub rash move-in bash,” Taylor-Thorn added.

Celebrating Sascha

Friends and family of Sascha Franzel gathered on the Oval Sept. 12 for a candlelight vigil to celebrate and remember a life cut unexpectedly short — one marked with a kind heart and infectious laugh.

More than 150 people came to the Oval to share stories and memories of the third-year CSU student who passed away from unknown causes in her apartment on Sept. 11, just two and half weeks from her 20th birthday.

Describing themselves as “struck and overwhelmed” by the outpouring of community support, Sascha’s parents, David and Sonia Franzel, said many people have approached them to talk about the positive impact their daughter had on so many lives.

“As a parent, that’s what you want to read about and that’s what you want to see, what you want your kid to be,” David said during a gathering at the Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado.

FoCo Bans Medical Marijuana dispensaries

On Nov. 2 Fort Collins voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. Question 300 was victorious by a 52 percent to 48 percent vote.

“Since the dispensaries came, the character of the city has changed,” said Bob Powell, chairman of Concerned Fort Collins Citizens –– the group that initiated the ban. “This means that we have done something.”

Steve Ackerman, owner of Organic Alternatives and long-time supporter of dispensaries said the election shows a lot about the election process in Fort Collins –– a college town where he said the young vote seemed absent this election.

“We got a lot of people to turn out, but we just needed more,” Ackerman said. “Young people need to know that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the results.”

Freshman found in Summit Hall, pronounced dead at hospital

After learning about the Nov. 28 death of CSU student Sean McGowan, undeclared freshman Charles Fierstine could only sum up the ordeal with one word: surreal.

“You don’t expect something like that to happen on campus, let alone in the residence halls,” Fierstine said.

McGowan, who was found unresponsive in his room in Summit Hall, was pronounced dead after being transported to Poudre Valley Hospital.

While a toxicology report is still pending, McGowan’s death appears to be drug-related, said Greg Fairman, deputy coroner investigator for the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.

Late night bus route approved in Fort Collins

A popular late-night bus route proposal received unanimous support from the Fort Collins City Council on Dec. 6, clearing the final hurdle in a process that has been in the works since spring.

“This perhaps is an ideal solution to a problem that is extremely negative for Fort Collins,” said Mayor Karen Weitkunat, citing a need to deal with the image many see of Old Town after the bars close.

The Safe Ride Home Program was unveiled by the Associated Students of CSU in November and will consist of two routes servicing the Old Town area as well as areas to the west of campus at a cost of $1 per ride. It will be a supplement to the current bus system, and it will operate from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Drunk man releases birds in Morgan Library

A man was arrested at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, in the Morgan Library for violating his parole, but not before he managed to catch two pigeons in the library’s construction area and release them near front desk employees, proclaiming, “It’s just a bird! It’s just a bird!”

According to witnesses, the man, who they say was clearly intoxicated, came up to the front desk holding the two pigeons and showed them to the employees working there.

He then released the pigeons, which flew behind the front desk area, and later re-caught the birds by going behind the front desk himself.

“He caught the pigeons in a construction area and was trying to bring them to the employees’ attention,” said CSUPD spokesman Dell Rae Moellenberg.

Employees later caught one of the pigeons in a cardboard box, and the other escaped the library on its own devices, according to witnesses.

The birds initially entered Morgan through openings caused by the renovations currently underway in the library.

Athletic director fired, replaced by Jack Graham

In a shocking announcement Dec. 1, CSU President Tony Frank announced the firing of Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk.

“As I’ve watched where Ram Athletics are going, I have become concerned about the signal that we are sending to people who view Colorado State University and form opinions about our university through the lens of athletics,” Frank said.

On the same day, Frank announced the hiring of former CSU football player John C. “Jack” Graham as the new athletic director.

Frank had met with Graham a couple weeks prior about possible funding for a renovation to Moby Arena. When Graham proposed a bigger change, including an on-campus football stadium, Frank decided he was the man to take CSU athletics to new heights.

Graham’s main goal will be to increase funding through private donors to help see the teams achieve great success.

“I want to see our football program be a top-25 ranked football team in the country,” Graham said. “I want to see us play in bowl games every year. I want our basketball programs to be consistently competing for conference titles and championships, I want us in NCAA Tournaments.”

Steve Fairchild fired

Just four days after being named athletic director, Jack Graham fired football coach Steve Fairchild after three straight 3-9 seasons.

“Results are important,” Graham said. “And going 3-9 in three successive years is unacceptable. That in and of itself is enough to say that a change has to be made.”

To help in the search of a new coach, CSU hired the international research firm Spencer Stuart to help find candidates.

While the process is ongoing, CSU assistant coaches will remain with the program and continue recruiting efforts.

Once the new coach is named, they will have the final say on what the makeup of the coaching staff will be.

Graham did not set a specific timetable, but said the process will move quickly because of the need to have a staff in place for recruiting.

 Posted by at 11:38 pm

Colorado State football team has plenty of talent returning for new coach

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Dec 112011
Authors: Kevin Lytle

The CSU football team doesn’t know who its coach will be when the Rams take the field to begin the 2012 season.

The Rams don’t even know what their style of play will be.

And while the new staff will get a recruiting class signed before the season begins, CSU’s success next year will rely on the players already on the roster.

Here’s a breakdown of the strength’s and weaknesses for the Rams.


First the good. CSU has found its feature running back for the next two years in sophomore Chris Nwoke.

He ran for over 1,000 yards and was one of only six players in the nation to have multiple 200 yard games on the season. He will enter spring practice as the undisputed No. 1 back.

The offensive line he runs behind should be solid as well. The Rams lose second-team selection Paul Madsen and backup center Tyler McDermott.

But tons of injuries on the line this year forced players like Mason Hathaway and Ty Sambrailo into action. While that may not have been good for CSU this year, those players will have experience to help them grow into the dominant line that former coach Steve Fairchild said all season they could become.

The receiving corps will retain most of its key players, but will need more consistency from them.

Lou Greenwood had dominant games, but disappeared in others. Marquise Law was mostly irrelevant all season while Byron Steele struggled to be impactful after returning from a three game suspension.

Freshman Lee Clubb and Charles Lovett showed flashes and it can be expected that they will make a push get more touches.

And of course, the biggest question on offense is at quarterback.

Pete Thomas didn’t make the expected strides in his sophomore season before missing the final three games of the season with a knee injury.

In his place stepped Garrett Grayson. The freshman played very well at times, most notably at TCU. But also looked every bit of a freshman sometimes.

Expect the two to battle it out in spring ball for the starting job.

The direction of the offense will be hugely influenced by the style of the new coach, but there’s no doubt that the talent cupboard is not bare. But the Rams must find their quarterback before they can hope to move to the top of the conference.


The CSU defense will lose three senior starters (Nuku Latu, Myke Sisson and Ivory Herd), but are stacked with young, impact players.

Sophomore Nordly Capi was named to the Mountain West first-conference team at defensive end. He notched 10 sacks and forced seven fumbles on the season.

And the Rams have a perfect complement on the other side in C.J. James, who recorded five sacks.

CSU will have holes to fill on the interior of the line. Latu will graduate, leaving the undersized John Froland, Curtis Wilson and Te’Jay Brown to hold down the inside.

At linebacker the Rams are set.

They lose Sisson, but James Skelton, Shaquil Barrett and Mike Orakpo are all returning after starting most of the season as a unit while Sisson was hurt.

Skelton and Barrett were named honorable mention all-conference and Orakpo was third on the team in tackles with 87.

The secondary will have to improve after giving up big plays at the most inopportune of times, such as a 38-yard touchdown in the final minute to lose against San Jose State.

Starting cornerbacks Shaq Bell and honorable mention all-conference member Momo Thomas both return and will likely be pushed by Bernard Blake for time.

At safety Austin Gray should be better with a year of experience under his belt and special teams standout Drew Reilly will likely step into Herd’s starting position.

Freshman Trent Matthews should also push for time at safety.

As a whole, the defense should be stout at linebacker, so much so they may look to move to a 3-4 defense. The line will be able to pressure the quarterback, which should help the secondary.

Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at

 Posted by at 11:28 pm

Boise State, TCU departure leaves Colorado State out in the NCAA conference realignment cold: Till it like it is

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Dec 112011
Authors: Cris Tiller

At this point in time, it’s unclear what lays ahead for the Mountain West as a conference and consequently CSU.

The strength of the conference departed with Boise State’s move to the Big East and Texas Christian to the Big 12. Along with them went money and more importantly, national recognition.

Small schools like CSU are now left with a big decision for their futures—where to go from here?

CSU hasn’t shown anything of worth to receive an invite from one of the mega-conferences, leaving it two options.

The first option is to stick with the MW and hope the conference can survive on the leftovers of the old MW and the remnants of Conference-USA.

The second option is to jump ship and look for a better fit in other sports outside of football. Re-shift the focus from football and make the basketball team the centerpiece of the athletic program.

Football as of now should not be the No. 1 priority for CSU. Basketball has a great, young head coach in Tim Miles and a team with serious potential for national recognition.

The problem with option two is leaving traditional rivalries with Wyoming and Air Force, which chose to stay in the MW, and finding the right fit with a new conference.

College basketball is full of small conferences, but it’s hard to argue that joining another small conference is better than sticking with the MW.

Going to the Missouri Valley Conference, for example, means leaving behind over 100 years of tradition surrounding the Border War. Long-standing rivalries are the glue of college athletics and CSU would be throwing it away.

A move will say to the fans that we no longer care about the history surrounding our program and the last thing the Rams can afford to do is alienate the fan base further.

Logistically, moving conferences means extended travel, which in turn means spending more money. The Rams’ revenue stream can’t support long road games like Boise State and TCU, who will make up for costs with greater television income.

You’re also asking the fans to take up a larger financial burden in order to make the trips around a greater portion of the country. That’s a tough sell given recent economic hardships.

Based on comments made by CSU President Tony Frank, it seems likely the Rams will stay in the MW.

“There are a series of things that would benefit Colorado State University. That would be some stability that puts the focus back on our student-athletes and back on competitions and their success in the classroom,” Frank said. “I think stability around the revenue picture and scheduling and planning are beneficial.

“From my perspective, I am a big fan of long-standing rivalries. I attended two Big Ten universities, I love those sorts of things, and I hate to see those types of things being torn apart.”

But only one option is the right choice for CSU.

CSU needs to stick to the MW. This is its chance to stand up and do the right thing. To place importance on the long held values of college sports that have been thrown to the wind.

Instead of taking the grass in greener approach, become resolute to make the MW into a respected conference in the college landscape.

Loyalty has become an endangered species in sports across the board and CSU can be a symbol for what is right about sports.

The Rams can and will be strong one day and this is their chance to do it the right way.

Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at

 Posted by at 11:27 pm

Iowa debate further boosts Newt Gingrich’s standing

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Dec 112011
Authors: McClatchy Tribune Steven Thomma

DES MOINES, Iowa—Newt Gingrich is still standing.

Three weeks before Iowa Republicans cast the first votes for a 2012 presidential nominee, the man who leads polls in Iowa and other early voting states such as South Carolina and Florida emerged seemingly unscathed from a barrage of criticism from rivals in a fiery debate in Iowa.

He still has to survive one more debate — Thursday in Sioux City, Iowa — before the voting starts Jan. 3. At the same time, a wave of TV ads in Iowa echoes the themes of the Saturday night debate in Des Moines, slamming the former House speaker as an unprincipled flip-flopper and inflammatory leader who speaks before he thinks.

Those messages could sink in with voters in the final weeks. But if rivals were hoping to goad Gingrich into looking angry or rash, they failed. In fact, if anyone stumbled, it was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his offer of a $10,000 bet to another candidate.

“Nobody knocked him off his perch,” said Dennis Goldford, a political scientist at Drake University, which hosted the debate Saturday. “If anything, Gingrich came out more formidable than anyone thought.”

Gingrich appeared to enjoy the center stage in the two-hour debate in Des Moines, a spot awarded by ABC according to his lead in the polls, even though it also brought criticism from all sides.

When Romney called him a career politician and boasted that he spent his life in the private sector, Gingrich shot back that Romney avoided being a career politician only because he lost a campaign for the Senate in 1994.

When Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota slammed him as someone who once embraced liberal positions on issues such as a government mandate to people to buy health insurance and as a Washington insider who’s made more than $100 million, Gingrich told her she should check her facts.

And when Romney suggested that Gingrich was inflammatory and irresponsible for saying the Palestinians are an “invented” people, Gingrich called himself a courageous truth-teller in the mold of Ronald Reagan calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”

Potentially more stinging, he suggested that Romney is too cautious and too calculating, to lead.
Call it confident or call it cocky, that kind of bold stand is what endears Gingrich to many Republicans eager for an assertive champion to take on President Barack Obama.

And it’s coming at the expense of Romney. New polls Sunday showed Gingrich opening a big lead over Romney in South Carolina and Florida, which vote immediately after Iowa and New Hampshire. The NBC-Marist polls showed Gingrich leading Romney 42 to 23 percent in South Carolina, and 44 to 29 percent in Florida.

Romney, who otherwise gave another solid debate performance, committed the one potential gaffe of the evening when he offered Texas Gov. Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet on who was right about part of Romney’s record.

The demand to bet $10,000, which Perry did not accept, represented about one-fifth of Iowa’s median annual income of $48,000 and could suggest a chasm between those voters and Romney, who is worth an estimated $190 million to $250 million.

Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the Florida and South Carolina,

Miringoff likened it to a moment in a 1992 debate when then-President George H.W. Bush was caught on camera looking at his watch.

Although Bush later said he was checking to make sure a rival was staying within the time limit, he was widely portrayed as impatient with having to debate. It helped define him, and hurt his candidacy for re-election. So, too, Romney could find the $10,000 bet reinforcing an image of him as a wealthy man without much in common with voters.

Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist not aligned with any campaign this year, called the bet offer an “elitist” comment that will cost Romney. “Gov. Romney lost a lot more than 10,000 bucks last night,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

 Posted by at 12:06 pm