Sagging second half costs CSU game at New Mexico

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Jan 312002

Emotions were running high as the CSU women’s basketball game went up against the University of New Mexico on the road, a little too high for the Rams as a poor second half leads to the Rams first conference loss of the season.

CSU made only five shots from the field in the entire second half as a 33-22 second half lead quickly evaporated. New Mexico (16-5 overall, 5-2 Mountain West Conference) doubled the Rams’ second half output of 17 points, and won 56-50 at “The Pit” in Albuquerque.

“We didn’t have the poise we needed in the second half,” head coach Tom Collen said.

The game was still undecided until the very end. UNM led 49-47 with 5:00 left in the game, but the score stayed that way until there were 29 seconds left, as both teams couldn’t make a basket.

CSU (16-4, 5-1) was forced to foul, but junior forward Shannon Strecker was charged with a flagrant foul on UNM’s Jordan Adams, which gave Adams’ two free throws and UNM the ball. The Lobos made three of four free throws to make it 52-47.

“I think the referees were inconsistent tonight,” Strecker said. “Sometimes, it seemed like we could be really aggressive, and other times we couldn’t.”

CSU still had a chance after junior forward Ashley Augspurger made a 3-pointer to close the gap to 52-50. UNM’s Molly McKinnon missed the front end of her free throws, but Chelsey Grear got the offensive rebound and was fouled. Her free throws made it 54-50 to seal the game.

“We were in position to win the game, and we let it get away from us,” Collen said.

CSU was outplayed in nearly every category. The Rams allowed 43 rebounds, including 20 offensive boards, which led to a 65 to 42 shot advantage for UNM.

The Lobos came out of the second half on a 7-0 run, which CSU countered with a 6-0 run to make it 39-29.

UNM kept riding the emotional high of playing at home, and went on a 9-0 run to close the gap to 39-38.

“The emotions for the most part ran against us in the second half,” Collen said.

Strecker, in her first full game back, led the team with 15 points, as she had to make up for the absence of junior forward Lisa Narkiewicz. Narkiewicz was still suffering from an ankle sprain she sustained before the Wyoming game.

UNM freshman Lindsay Arnt led the team with 15 points and contributed 10 rebounds. Grear also grabbed 10 rebounds, seven offensive, to go with 11 points.

New Mexico moved to one game back of CSU in the conference. CSU next plays Air Force on the road on Saturday. The Rams hope to rebound against the Falcons, who have had trouble at home with conference matchups.

“If we can just put this game behind, us we will be fine,” Strecker said. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Do or die for

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Jan 312002

It all comes down to this.

For the CSU hockey team, the long season has boiled down to two must-win games this weekend. The Rams will take on the University of Utah (17-8-1) tonight at 7 and will play a winner-take-all game against Weber State (15-13-2) at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of Saturday’s game will earn the fourth and final berth into the ACHA National Tournament in New York. Both games will be played at the Providence Ice Arena.

“It’s big, the biggest game of the year,” defenseman Ryan Antonson said. “All the guys have been gearing up for it, and we’re ready.”

The Rams have tied and lost twice to the Utes this season and they split the series with Weber State at 1-1-1. CSU and Weber State currently share the No. 4 ranking in the Western Conference, so both teams will put it all out on the ice this weekend.

“Win or lose: it’s as simple as that,” team captain Chris Lockrem said. “We’ve got to step up and concentrate on team defense and not turning the puck over. There’s a lot of older guys on the team and this is the last chance for some of them.”

The Rams take a three-game winning streak and a 13-10-1 record into the weekend. Win or lose, there will be some great hockey to be seen this weekend at the Providence Ice Arena. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

More to sports than Super Bowl

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Jan 312002

We are in the midst of the most over-hyped week of the year – Super Bowl week. The media is busy flooding the public with anything and everything having to do with the Super Bowl.

There’s a couple other hype-worthy things going on too, so I thought we’d examine some other hyped up sports stories of the week.

Boxing, where the big hype has to do with everybody’s favorite cannibal. I have just one question for Mike Tyson: What the hell did he think was going to happen? He goes in front of the Nevada Boxing commission and promises them he’ll be good, exactly one week removed from biting another potential opponent and screaming wild obscenities at a room full of reporters. Did he really think that Nevada was going to give him his license back? There is no two ways about it; Mike Tyson is an idiot. And a crazy idiot at that. If I were Lennox Lewis, I wouldn’t even consider getting in the ring with Tyson. Not unless I knew he had a Big Meal beforehand.

The over-hyped NBA All-Star rosters are set, and to everyone’s surprise, there isn’t a single Denver Nugget on the team. Well, duh! What makes me laugh is that some fans are really upset that Nick Van Exel wasn’t named to the All-Star team. Okay, he’s averaging more than 24 points and eight assists a game. But he’s on a horrible team that could be no worse even if he were gone. Besides, whom would they take off the team to replace with him? Gary Payton? Peja Stojakovic? Kobe Bryant? Probably not. No one from the Nuggets deserves to even buy tickets to the All-Star game, much less be selected.

The madness that is CSU Men’s Basketball. Okay, not a lot of hype has been generated about this, because not many people are going to the games. I guess it’s understandable, because people are just used to the guys being bad. To be honest though, they really aren’t that bad. They have been competitive in every game they have played this year, despite the fact that they’ve had more guys in and out of lineup than “The Sopranos.” If they can get healthy, they might be able to steal a few of these games they’re coming close in. It might be too late for this season, but virtually every player will be back next year. If they can get a solid lineup of guys who know how to play with each other, they might make a splash in the Mountain West.

And now for the big game. The big story of Super Bowl week? Brady or Bledsoe? The Patriots will decide today whom they will start at quarterback. If Brady is healthy, I’ll bet he’ll be the guy; if there is any question about his health, Bledsoe will get the nod. To be perfectly honest though, I think the 14-point underdogs might need Joe Namath at quarterback to beat the Rams. I know, I know, the Patriots have beaten the teams that no one thought they should and Bill Belichick is a defensive genius, and the Patriots gave the Rams a tough game earlier this season and blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard everybody’s reasons why the Patriots won’t get blown out. However, the bottom line is the Rams are playing football at a different level than anyone in the league right now, and it would take a major league meltdown by the Rams to blow it in New Orleans. I’m going to root for New England, as I always root for the underdog in these situations, but it looks like the clock is about to strike midnight on the Cinderella Patriots.

So, enjoy the hype. We won’t be overexposed to another sporting event for a whole year. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Men’s b-ball hits the road

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Jan 312002

Coaches often preach about the importance of consistency in sports.

Unfortunately, consistency is something the CSU men’s basketball team has been short on so far this season, and its record shows it.

The Rams (9-10 overall, 1-4 Mountain West Conference) have been crippled by injuries and suspensions this season, and therefore have had a tough time learning how to play together.

The result has been a streaky shooting offense and a shaky defense, which was never more evident than in the Rams’ disappointing 70-64 loss to New Mexico last Monday, when CSU shot a paltry 38 percent from the field.

One thing is for sure: they might want to figure it out fast, or it could get worse before it gets better. The Rams hit the road Friday to play league-leading Utah (15-3, 5-0) on Saturday night, then swing over to Provo to take on Brigham Young (12-6, 2-3) on Monday night.

The Rams will look to last week’s MWC player of the week junior Brian Greene and junior guard Andy Birely to lead them against the two conference powers.

The Rams are going to have their work cut out for them in Utah.

The Utes are led by explosive sophomore forward Nick Jacobson, who is averaging more than 15 points a game, but will be without senior center Chris Burgess, Utah’s best rebounder. Even without Burgess, the Utes are one of the best teams in the Mountain West and will almost certainly have a wild crowd to cheer them on.

This has proven to be tough on the young Rams so far this season.

It won’t get much easier in Provo, where the Rams will have to face the sharp-shooting Cougars and a tough BYU crowd.

In order to come away from this road trip satisfied, the Rams are going have to find some sort of offensive consistency.

Greene said it has been hard to be consistent with as many players as they’ve had in the lineup.

“We’ve had so many guys coming in and out that it’s been tough,” Greene said. “We have to get everybody used to playing with each other. We have to get back in the flow.”

This weekend will give the Rams two big chances to do such.n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

A new game for the Big Game

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Jan 312002

If you’re anything like me, you’re all ears for a new drinking game.

I mean, you can only get the asshole to drink so many times, and everyone has his or her own rules for King’s Cup. This is why I’ve conjured up a new game to make this year’s Super Bowl a little more interesting.

Make sure you hit up the liquor store Saturday so you’re not left in front of the closed stores on Sunday.

Now, let’s get you started early: Drink four when either Pat Summerall or John Madden mention the St. Louis Rams being “The Greatest Show on Turf.” The game is in the Louisiana Superdome, so they’re bound to mention this at least 12 times. And while we’re talking announcers, drink three when Madden messes with the telestrator and five for every player Summerall misidentifies.

During the game, here’s the back-breaker: Drink one for every point the Rams score. Think that mark of 55 points the 49ers put up on the Broncos can be topped? Me too – this one might knock us out.

Patriots fans, here’s your chance to hang. Rams fans, you’ll already be tanked when this happens, so if you need a break, feel free. Drink 14 if New England scores, whether it’s a field goal, safety, or two-point conversion; whatever it takes to catch up.

But regardless of what happens Sunday, the Patriots have had a magical season. No one expected these guys to beat the Raiders, let alone the Steelers. So drink five every time the Patriots are referred to as a “Cinderella” team. Also remarkable was quarterback Tom Brady taking the NFL by storm, only to be injured in the AFC championship game and replaced by the man he replaced, Drew Bledsoe, who led the team to the big game. But Brady gets the start. Drink three when someone mentions New England’s QB controversy.

The key to New England having a chance in this game is its defense. Drink six every time the Patriots blitz. If they’re successful, Kurt Warner and his quick release will run into some problems. Drink four every time the Rams turn the ball over.

Buzzed yet? Don’t plan on breaking during the longest halftime ever. Drink three every time a new halftime performer comes out on stage. This would have really done it to us last year.

If you happened to buy 3.2 beer or just have a tolerance as high as Nate Newton’s clients, these should help: Drink three whenever St. Louis goes deep and drink two whenever New England runs the ball. And for the lushes, drink four when they mention Bill Belichick as a defensive mastermind, or Mike Martz as an offensive genius.

If you just plain have problems, drink seven after a busted commercial on which some no-name company just dropped $7.3 million.

For those still coherent for the trophy presentation, drink three when Marshall Faulk is handed the MVP trophy. If you want to quit now, the bathroom is down the hall. If you want more, drink one for every time a player thanks God.

Now, it is a school night, so we should be off to the couch. But if you’re still standing, congrats.

Just try making the rest up on your own.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Save debate, but we ain’t paying for it

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Jan 312002

The debate team will have plenty to argue about if their $20,000 travel budget is suspended for next year.

And that’s a good thing.

The orange flyers posted around campus have urged students to write in and complain about the loss of the travel budget, which debaters say will destroy the extracurricular competitiveness of the program.

This will definitely force the forensics team to make some changes if they still plan on competing.

We realize how important the debate team is for CSU; they are ranked No. 11 in the nation, and some students decide to attend CSU just because of the program.

Debate is truly an intellectual art in which anyone, regardless of background or education, can participate.

We feel that the program should continue, and the team should be able to travel and compete as they have in the past.

However, it’s for the best that their money will have to come from new sources.

The issue at hand isn’t whether or not the speech team should have funding for travel expenses, but where this money should come from. The money has previously come from the Department of Speech Communication, which is in turn funded by the tuition that each student pays CSU.

Other traveling groups, like club sports teams, must find private donations, grants or other sources of funding – they can’t rely on a departmental budget funded by students.

Departmental budgets pay for classroom expenses.

The debate team shouldn’t lose hope just because they are losing a generous subsidy; they should seek financial assistance in other areas. The university, through travel grants, has money available for student organizations, and there is always the tedious but effective process of fundraising that many clubs and organizations must go through to travel with their groups.

The debaters seem to have had it easier than most. That’s unfair, to some degree.

That doesn’t mean that the university, and particularly the speech department, should not assist in securing new revenue. Without assistance, finding enough money to maintain the program might not be possible.

A travel budget of $20,000 is big money – maybe too big considering only 16 students benefit.

Another concern for the future of the debate team is their leadership. Cara Buckley-Ott, the director of forensics, is leaving after this semester. This will be the fourth director in four years; that’s a problem.

Without strong leadership, it will be interesting to see how the debate team holds together. With the loss of funding and the loss of a director, their future doesn’t look bright.

We wish them the best.

But they should foot the bill.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Super Sunday not just about the big game

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Jan 312002

I grew up watching and playing football.

My family didn’t go to church often; our religion was football. Every Sunday we’d watch the Broncos on TV. I remember “the drive,” “the Three Amigos,” and many tense fourth quarter comebacks in the playoffs. I’ve also watched a lot of Super Bowls.

For me the Super Bowl isn’t just about funny TV commercials and eating a tub of nachos large enough to clog the arteries of a bull elephant. The Super Bowl reminds me of playing football when I was a kid. There was a field behind Namaqua Elementary School in Loveland where I grew up. It was a hard, raggedy, dirty piece of land with no grass or goalposts. My friends and I would go out on recess during the snowy January days dressed in five layers of clothing and battle each other in the cold snow and mud for dominance of that field. The dirtier we got, the better.

During recess we stopped being just kids. We split into two teams every day and became the John Elway’s, Jerry Rice’s and Barry Sanders’ of our school. We played for crowds of imaginary fans. It was as if we were at Mile High Stadium in our heads. We played to be champions, if only for a day.

As we got older, the games became more complex. The hits were a little harder. We gradually played less and less, because it became harder to find time. Suddenly, we were young men. We had jobs, car insurance and rent bills. Parties, girlfriends and the plotting of our career paths distracted us. We split up all over the nation to go to college.

I miss those cold January days at that elementary school field. I miss the feeling of running for a touchdown and seeing who could make everyone laugh the hardest with their impression of an Ickey Woods end-zone dance. I miss the smell of our wet snow boots when we had to come back inside for class. I miss hiding behind my desk and trading sports cards while we were supposed to be listening to the teacher. I miss those friends who I hardly ever get a chance to talk to now.

Our old elementary school has been totally remodeled. There are expensive new houses and apartment buildings surrounding it that didn’t used to be there. When I go back to visit, I don’t recognize the place anymore except for the field. It is still there at the back of the playground. There still is no grass or goalposts on it, it’s just like it used to be. I’d like to think that there are still groups of grade-schoolers playing football on it today, just like I did a few years ago.

I watch the Super Bowl because I’m reminded of days when my life was simpler. The grown men that play in the NFL have a job I envy. They still get to play like when they did as boys on their schoolyard fields across the country. They played on one of two teams battling it out to be No. 1 for a single day.

And what a super day it can be.

Josh Hardin is a senior majoring in technical journalism.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Fun shows ahead

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Jan 302002

One of the good things about the music scene in Fort Collins is that it never seems to really stop. Even on those slow weeks, one can always find a little live music to distract oneself from the everyday grind. This upcoming week is no exception. So, pick a night to take a break from that physics or sociology assignment, and go out and shake your bones to one of these great musical acts:

Friday night, Moving Matter returns to the Starlight Theater. Moving Matter, one of Fort Collins’ fastest growing bands in classic “jam-band” style, is a quartet whose members move effortlessly from one song into another, keeping the audience attentive and entertained. Moving Matter seems to do just that: move matter around and about with their musical nuances. A relatively young band, Moving Matter has built an impressive following around town and along the Front Range. The show will get started at about 9 p.m.

Another Colorado local, The Tony Furtado Band, will be gracing Fort Collins on Saturday night at the Starlight Theater. With elements from traditional American and Irish folk music, funk, blues, jazz and beyond, their music is rich in culture and deep in groove. Expect a big crowd for this show, as the band will be doing live recording, hopefully for an upcoming CD release. Get to the show early and you might find yourself right in the middle of the action; things are starting around 9 p.m.

The North Mississippi Allstars will be playing at the Starlight Theater on Sunday night. Hailing from Mississippi, the Allstars tell the classic tale of starting out as a small band and exploding into a force to be reckoned with. Having toured with bands from Widespread Panic to Medeski Martin and Wood, the Allstars have developed quite the fan-base.

The fun will be getting started at about 9 p.m. and will rock ’til last call. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Furtado returns

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Jan 302002

Tony Furtado and his talented entourage of band members are scheduled for a live-recorded show Saturday at the Starlight.

Some may recognize the Tony Furtado Band by their unique psychedelic bluegrass that is sometimes masked with funk, jazz, blues, Cajun, Celtic and Latin influences; if you haven’t seen or heard of them before, you are selling yourself short of one of the most rare and enchanting musical performances to come around Fort Collins.

With Gawain Matthews on electric guitar and vocals, Myron Dove on the five string electric bass, acoustic bass, and vocals, Aaron Johnston on drums and percussion, and Tony Furtado on the acoustic slide guitar, banjo, resoelectric guitar, drobo banjo and vocals, this assembly of gifted artists evoke a spiritual connection between the human soul and their ostentatious performance.

“The Tony Furtado Band puts on an awesome show; the way Furtado jams on the banjo with an electric twist takes bluegrass to a new level,” CSU student Sam Wardell said.

The latest CD from the group, “Cojema Music,” is a tantalizing peek at the seasoned manifestation of contemporary bluegrass to be heard this Saturday. On the reverse of their vivacious, high energy tracks, are songs like “False Hearted Lover (with Kelly Joe Phelps),” “Hazel Comes Home” and “Raleigh and Spencer,” in which the band coos enchanting lullabies like serene intermissions from the sounds in which you just can’t stop moving your feet.

“The Tony Furtado Band is quintessential music for studying because it provides mellow background tunes that help me concentrate on my work,” CSU student Jess Murphy said.

Tickets for the show on Feb. 2 are on sale at ABCD’s (157 N. College Avenue). n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

‘In the Bedroom’ breaks hearts

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Jan 302002

This heartbreaking drama illustrates how family misfortune and unforeseen murder originates “In the Bedroom.”

An innocuous summer romance turns deadly, leaving Matt and Ruth Fowler (Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek) without the one thing they shared in common – their only son, Frank Fowler (Nick Stahl).

Marisa Tomei portrays Natalie, Frank Fowler’s girlfriend and a mother of two, searching for a new life withdrawn from her vehement (not quite) ex-husband Richard Strout (William Mapother).

Maine’s dark, choppy waters and scornful, gray skies set the dismal tone for the film. “In the Bedroom” illustrates the unfortunate loss of a child and the strength to overcome the tension and blame that follow thereafter.

Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek impeccably deliver the role of a couple torn apart by murder and bitterness. The Fowlers’ misery envelops their lives and darkens each scene as it becomes inescapable – even for the viewers.

Director Todd Field’s “In the Bedroom” deserves attention because of the message it delivers without all of the distractions. Silence says more than any words or actions in the film. Its simplicity creates depth and emotion resulting in an unanticipated and shocking ending. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm