Aisle 9

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Aug 312009
Authors: Jenna Allen

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Rocky Mountain Showdown extended through 2020

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Aug 302009
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

The annual football rivalry between CSU and CU-Boulder, called the Rocky Mountain Showdown, extended its contract on Monday through the 2020 season.

The agreement states that the game will be held the next ten years in Denver at Invesco Field at Mile High with the final year of the contract, 2020, holding the game in Fort Collins at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.

Below is a list of dates, locations along with what school will be playing host that year.

Sept. 4, 2010 Invesco Field at Mile High CSU

Sept. 17, 2011 Invesco Field at Mile High CU

Sept. 1, 2012 Invesco Field at Mile High CU

Aug. 31, 2013 Invesco Field at Mile High CSU

Aug. 30, 2014 Invesco Field at Mile High CU

Sept. 19, 2015 Invesco Field at Mile High –CSU

Sept. 3, 2016 Invesco Field at Mile High CU

Sept. 2, 2017 Invesco Field at Mile High CU

Sept. 1, 2018 Invesco Field at Mile High CSU

Aug. 31, 2019 Invesco Field at Mile High CU

Sept. 5, 2020 Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium CSU

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Rams name Stucker starting quarterback

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Aug 302009
Authors: Stephen Meyers

The wait is over. After a lengthy battle beginning in spring practices, the Rams named senior Grant Stucker their starting quarterback for the season opener against CU-Boulder.

Head coach Steve Fairchild made the decision after practice Friday, citing Stucker’s consistent play the past week.

“Based on what he’s done in the last four or five practices, he has earned the right to start,” Fairchild said. “He better play (well). It’s like any other spot on our team: you earn the right to start, but you got to keep it.”

The 6-foot-2, 203-pound senior from Parker, Colo., said he’s been dreaming about being CSU’s starting quarterback since he was a kid.

“Not only being a senior, but being the local Colorado kid, it would be huge. Getting that kind of support from all the local guys knowing I’m from Colorado,” said Stucker of starting against CU-Boulder.

Stucker competed for the starting quarterback position last season, losing to Billy Farris. He spent most of the season as number two on the depth chart and threw his first collegiate pass at Utah on Oct. 18. In his career, he has completed three of five passes for 22 yards and four carries for 43 yards with one touchdown; that score came during last season’s New Mexico Bowl victory.

Senior wide receiver Dion Morton will be catching passes from Stucker and the clarity at the quarterback position comes as a relief.

“It’s good to know, just from the standpoint of knowing who’s going to be out there with you, who’s got your back, who you need to make plays for and who’s going to help you make those plays,” Morton said.

Fellow receiver Rashaun Greer came to CSU in the same class as Stucker and feels a certain chemistry with the quarterback.

“I’m real confident in Grant. I mean, we’ve got a lot of chemistry going back. We’re the same class, same age and everything, so I’m real confident in Grant and I’m sure he’s real confident in me too,” Greer said.

With Stucker as the starter, junior Jon Eastman will man the backup quarterback position — an important role.

“It’s very important because if the number one doesn’t produce, (Eastman’s) going to be playing,” Fairchild said. “As always in every spot, you’re one play away from a guy getting hurt and the team’s counting on you, so you got to get ready.”

Eastman enrolled at CSU in the spring and immediately began competing for the starting quarterback position. Although he is not the starter now, Fairchild has made it clear he needs to be ready at any time to take the field.

“You’ve got to be ready and just be preparing yourself and be ready to go,” Eastman said.

Both Stucker and Eastman have been taking reps with the number one offense, thus Greer is familiar with Eastman’s game.

“I’m confident in Eastman, too. If he has to step into the game, I’m feeling confident that he’ll get the job done as well,” Greer said.

Stucker is excited and knows the job is his, but also knows it could be Eastman’s at any moment.

“Nothing is ever in concrete. Even if coach says you’re the starter, you got to keep in mind that you got to keep coming out to work and get better every day,” Stucker said. “And if you’re making mistakes, then he’ll put somebody in there who’s not going to make mistakes.”

Football beat writer Stephen Meyers can be reached at

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Volleyball goes 1-2 to start season

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Aug 302009
Authors: Joel Hafnor

The 2009 CSU volleyball season is officially underway after the Rams hosted the Asics/Coors Classic this weekend at Moby Arena. The round robin tournament featured west coast schools Pepperdine, Oregon State and Cal Poly.

The Rams, ranked No. 24 in the country, debuted Friday night in front of 3,876 fans, facing the Pepperdine Waves. Despite an electric environment provided by Ram fans, the Waves controlled the match (25-23, 25-17, 25-14), ending CSU’s 28-game home winning streak in the process.

Pepperdine’s up-tempo style caused trouble for the Rams blocking game, and as a result led to tougher digs and fewer opportunities.

“Defensively we are not where we need to be,” said head coach Tom Hilbert. “We need to be more disruptive.”

A similar challenge would be posed Saturday night by the Oregon State Beavers. Again, the Rams found themselves out of rhythm defensively, thanks in large part to the Beavers All-American outside hitter Rachel Rourke.

Rourke, a 6-foot-5 senior, dominated the match with 16 kills.

“We expected her to play well,” said Danielle Minch, the Rams junior outside hitter. “But we could’ve blocked her a lot better.”

After dropping their first six sets of the season, the CSU volleyball team decided enough was enough Sunday, calling a team meeting before their match with Cal Poly.

“We are a great team and we wanted to go

out and show everyone,” Minch said. “We made a decision that we were going to win this game.”

That decision was made loud and clear Sunday afternoon in the final match of the tournament as the Rams earned their first victory of the season by pounding the visiting Mustangs (25-19, 25-18, 25-19).

“Our serving really helped us today,” Hilbert said. “It allowed us to dictate the tempo.”

The Rams (1-2) were in control from the beginning, and for the first time this season played with confidence reminiscent of the 2008 squad.

“This win gives us something to build on,” said senior middle blocker Tessa Nelson. “It brings a real sense of hope for this team.”

The season-opening tournament proved a difficult task for the home-standing Rams; however, the Rams improved themselves markedly over the span of three days and the experience of facing three strong west coast programs will prove invaluable as the season progresses.

CSU will again take to the court this Thursday at 7 p.m., hosting the Georgia Southern Eagles in the 2009 Hilton Classic.

Volleyball beat writer Joel Hafnor can be reached at

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The Weekly Blitz

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Aug 302009
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

After writing last week’s column on volleyball, I was originally planning on this week being all about football with the season kickoff just six days away. But then volleyball lost for the first time in 28 home matches on Friday against Pepperdine. Then again on Saturday to Oregon State.

Even with those losses, there was redemption on Sunday when the Rams swept Cal Poly behind the stellar play of Danielle Minch and her three service aces and 15 kills. While I won’t focus my column on it this week, I will say that there is no need to panic on the volleyball front. Yes, it sucks that CSU’s winning streak ended on Friday, a new one began (hopefully) on Sunday with the number one.

Now to the gridiron.

As you’ve probably heard by now, head football coach Steve Fairchild named senior Grant Stucker the starting quarterback on Friday afternoon, making the Ponderosa High School graduate the first Colorado native to start under center since Justin Holland’s tenure ended in 2005.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Stucker, let me give you a quick run down.

He’s 6-foot-2, 203 pounds, likes to run and is good at doing so. He’s not the Terrelle Pryor, one spin move and he’s off to a 60-yard touchdown type. He’s not the Tim Tebow, run you over type. He’s Grant Stucker, and while he is mobile, he also throws a phenomenal deep ball. As a junior last year, his deep ball was much better than Billy Farris’, and this year it has improved even more.

The main question people have, or the most criticism he seems to receive in practice from coaches, is about his short-to-intermediate range passes, struggling in consistency with reads and accuracy. Sometimes he’s spot on, others Nick Oppenneer just got a pick-six and Fairchild throws TJ Borcky in as quarterback for the remainder of practice.

Even with some of the publicized “struggles” (struggling is a relative term) Stucker has had during camp and how extremely vocal Fairchild has been about the situation, I don’t mind it. Why?

Because Fairchild is an amazing coach of quarterbacks. He wouldn’t be so hard on Grant if he didn’t think — excuse me, know — that Stucker has everything it takes to bring the Rams into contention for a MWC championship.

Remember how worried Fairchild seemed to be about the wide receivers last summer? How they may hold the quarterbacks back and hurt the team’s possible potential? He seemed to be really hard on them. Well now the receivers are the strong point, in terms of skilled positions, on this offense. Rashaun Greer is a preseason candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, Dion Morton still has hands made of glue and Ryan Gardner might actually be the most improved player on this entire team from a year ago.

I’ve heard so many people question Fairchild’s methods of being too openly displeased by certain positions to the media, how him choosing Stucker over Jon Eastman is a huge mistake. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Why is it such a bad idea? Because Stucker has never started at the college level? Because he has only thrown passes in a game that the Rams were getting blown out of? Because he only has one year left in the program, and CSU will have to start the whole process over next season?

Shut up. I mean, seriously, shut up.

Steve Fairchild is, for all intents and purposes, a miracle worker. He’s the Anne Sullivan of the MWC, if you will.

Last summer CSU was in the exact same situation with a junior and a senior competing for the starting job, Farris won and led the Rams to a 7-6 season with a bowl victory after the Rams won only three games in 2007. Like Stucker, Farris had never really completed any passes in games that CSU still had a chance to win. While he wasn’t the greatest quarterback, Farris did what it took to lead CSU, and that’s exactly what is expected of Stucker starting on Sunday night.

Keep in mind, Stucker has something going for him that Farris did not. Stucker has had an entire extra year with Fairchild to develop his skills.

Before we all riot because a former 2-star prospect just beat out a former 3-star prospect for the starting quarterback job, can we at least give the man a chance? What do ya say we let No. 18 take the field on Sunday, blood boiling with the leave-it-all-on-the-field attitude, ready to finally get his chance to lead the Rams against those “too-good” hippies from this state’s other school? He’s a Colorado native and now he’s getting his shot.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Go Rams.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at

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Playing video games: the new addiction?

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Aug 302009
Authors: Kevin Hollinshead

If you’re making the time to read this column, you’re lucky. You haven’t fallen prey to video games, the hot addiction sweeping the globe. They’re the new meth!

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Gee, I play Halo and Wii Sports four hours a day, but I’m not addicted to them!” That may or may not be true, but either way, you should be worried.

Recently, numerous stories portraying video games in a negative light have surfaced. Investigators from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Andrews University pieced together a travesty of a study that found the average gamer is 35 years old, overweight and depressed.

They neglect to emphasize the small sample size, the area in which the study was conducted –Seattle, which is known for its rainy, depression-inducing weather — the fact that no gamer under 18 was part of the study and myriad other factors.

Most importantly, though, their proposed correlation between gaming and being overweight and depressed is flimsy at best. Who says the former was a result of the latter, as opposed to vice versa?

Last Monday, the first video game addiction rehab center in the US was opened. We join countries such as China and the Netherlands in having high-priced clinics for tech-related dependency issues — the 45-day treatment program in Washington state cost $14,500.

We’re told that deprivation of Halo 3 drove a 17-year-old to kill his mother (the jury thankfully didn’t buy that), and that Grand Theft Auto IV caused teens in several cities to beat up random homeless people. Give me a break.

Several countries have instituted bans on violent games, and more are following suit, as evidenced by Venezuela starting the legislative process over the weekend.

This trend of viewing video games as a potential health hazard has gotten out of hand. It seems studies that seek to find a correlation between gaming and violence or depression are resorting to increasingly lazy tactics when compiling data.

The study above had so many quirks that skewed the results more than a little unevenly. Yet, it has gotten media attention akin to cancer research. The media has taken to blaming games for more and more of society’s problems.

In an age when more people than ever are playing video games, our collective notion of personal responsibility seems to have taken a hit. I enjoy playing my Xbox 360 from time to time, as do several of my friends, so I’m slightly biased I suppose.

That said, I can unequivocally say it is pre-existing circumstances such as depression that contribute to excessive playing. Ask yourself, who is more likely to play a lot of video games? You will probably come up with an image of a kid who is, you guessed it, overweight and depressed.

A few extreme cases have drowned out reality. For most people, gaming is harmless. Several studies suggest that it actually helps people with depression.

To all the non-gamers out there, I say this: anything you hear in the media about harmful effects of games is the exception to the norm. To most of us, games are simply a fun thing to enjoy with friends, nothing more. Yet, we also pride ourselves on personal responsibility, so we know when to put the controller down and resume normal life.

Gaming gives people a rush on par with playing music or watching a great movie. It’s a positive part of our lives. The same goes for 99.9 percent of gamers, media coverage be damned.

Those who get “addicted” to them are more prone to addiction or depression anyway. To link gaming with a person’s harmful psychological attributes is a stretch and an insult to statisticians and gamers everywhere.

Kevin Hollinshead is a junior political science major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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Our View – Chalk up another one to Frank’s admin

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Aug 302009
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

In a move that exemplifies CSU’s new commitment to bolstering academia at our fair university, the administration announced that it has, for the past four years, been conducting a capital campaign that aims to bring $500 million to the school’s starved academic colleges by 2012.

The move is part of a growing national trend of CSU’s peer institutions trying to establish alternative revenue streams as state and federal funding for higher education wanes at alarming rates.

This is especially important for CSU because, let’s face it, fellow scholars, the university isn’t exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to its finances.

Colorado is, and has been as far back as our double-decade lives allow us too remember, one the worst funded states in the nation when it comes to higher education.

Adding insult to injury, Frank’s predecessor, Larry Penley, didn’t exactly show a whole lot of support for students’ finances at CSU. During his time at CSU, tuition and fees skyrocketed by more than 50 and 70 percent, respectively.

This money-making venture, if successful, looks to be a bright change in CSU’s future. Even better, half of the money will be invested in scholarships to slow the shrinking of our thin wallets.

In the abysmal economy, it’s great to hear the university is taking matters into its own hands. The campaign represents a strong commitment on part of CSU to further its land grant mission to foster alternative revenue streams and establish relationships with alumni and donors.

So, applause, tip of the hat.

Now we just need to answer the question of whether the university will meet this goal. Only time will tell, but hopefully this is the first step for bettering our university.

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Yays and Nays

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Aug 302009
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Yay – To the Rocky Mountain Showdown this weekend. With the game in Boulder, we don’t need to get wasted to drown out the smell of those dirty hippies. Fortunately, the Rams record in Boulder is enough to drive anyone to drink heavily regardless.

Nay – To the volleyball team’s two losses this weekend. Who do you think you are? The football team?

Yay – To CSU’s $500 million fundraising effort. Better professors and more scholarships are always welcome, but one has to wonder how much of that money will go to maintaining Tony Frank’s luscious beard.

Nay – To Swine Flu. Luckily for you engineering majors, it spreads mostly through human contact.

Yay – To the Tour de Fat next weekend. Remember kids, boozing and biking isn’t a safe alternative to drinking and driving. But it is more fun.

Nay – To hazing. Sure it might be fun to watch your friends eat cat food, run in circles and vomit on themselves, but it’s awfully difficult to get that smell out of the carpet. And did we mention it’s a bit inhumane?

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Guest column: Greek hazing; just part of the game, get over it

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Aug 302009
Authors: Andy Kruse

It’s about rush time again in the Greek world. Fraternities are out throwing barbeques. Sororities gather in front of their houses and practice cheers. These are the fun time days of social events geared towards promoting new members.

But once the days of rush are over and pledging begins, it’s not all fun and games anymore, especially behind closed doors. As seen with the Omicron Omicron chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority that was recently booted from campus for hazing activities such as sleep deprivation, physically straining activities and the forced eating of cat food.

Well, I say to those who complain about hazing, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Pledging to a fraternity or sorority is not supposed to be an easy thing. It’s a challenge, and that’s one reason you do it. You form a bond with your brothers or sisters because of what you go through to gain your membership.

It sounds twisted, but that’s only if you look at it that way.

So what if you had to eat some cat food? That’s hilarious. I ate cat food a couple times as a kid with my sister for fun.

So you had to recite the history of the house while in a one armed push-up position. That’s a great workout. Would you sign up for the army and file a complaint because you had to do sit-ups while your commander yelled in your face?

If they try to make you do something that will physically harm you or will permanently scar your pride, be a man or woman. Get up and walk out.

Now there may be some Greek organizations that take things too far, but as an ex frat boy, I understand the mentality and think that as a general rule, these organizations get an unfair bad rap from many.

Yeah, I had to put on a suit, stand up in front of a room full of screaming brothers and recite each and every member’s personal attributes and interests. But what great public speaking practice that was. I’ll never have a more difficult audience.

Yeah, I got boxing gloves taped on my hands, was given a bunch of change, and told to go down the street and buy drinks for the brothers. But that was really funny and actually a good time.

And yeah, I went through a hellish week with little sleep doing all kinds of teamwork challenges. But it improved my work ethic and ability to handle difficult tasks in adverse conditions while working in a group. It was good for me.

One time a brother told me to eat a gold fish. I simply said no.

So don’t complain and claim “torture” like one pledge did from Zeta Phi Beta. If you want to know about torture, ask John McCain. Obama wouldn’t even say this was torture, and Dick Cheney definitely would not.

Despite the challenges, my fraternal experience ended up being great. I learned about making a large organization run and had a lot of fun doing it. So if you can’t do it for positive reasons or can’t handle the challenge, then just get out.

Go Greek and have fun with it or go do your own thing.

Andy Kruse is an anthropology graduate student. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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Keeping in touch outside the classroom

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Aug 302009
Authors: Annie Marie Merline

For the past two years in this column, I have been reflecting about how I interact with the students in my classroom. As I have been thinking about writing my column for yet another year, it has occurred to me that I keep in touch with my students outside the classroom as well. During the summer, my students became more involved in the community we both share.

I will have to admit the bulk of my interactions have been with my former students who have become my new Facebook friends. Usually it is late at night, in a “hey, how’s it going?” sort of conversation. Many of these are too late at night when neither of us can sleep and are too wiped out to do anything more productive.

One of my earlier conversations this summer was with Chris, with whom I had not had a meaningful conversation in a couple of years. It was nice to catch up and to better understand where he is in life these days. It is nice to know he will be back on campus, and Kudos to him for turning his life toward finishing college.

I ended up chatting with Jim, often. Jim is still on campus now as a grad student. He, again, ended up being a cat-sitter extraordinaire for my summer sojourns. He also helped me finish up chores around the house, which I could not manage to get done by myself.

One of the earliest interactions was when a student of mine from my teaching days at Front Range Community College ended up on my doorstep just as the summer was starting.

Margaret has been a former student and friend of mine for more than a decade. Her life is never without a challenge, but she keeps on forging ahead. Every once and a while, her beautiful smile flashes unexpectedly before my eyes.

In mid-summer I had to say goodbye to Kate, a student from five years ago, who ended up being my roommate for more than a year. She finally spread her wings, and now she is in grad school in Washington D.C. All of us in the Honors Program can’t wait to hear about the new classes and adventures she has without us looking over her shoulder.

David ended up calling me while I was in Portland, Ore. to ask if he could borrow some space in my garage for 24 hours while he moved. That was six weeks ago now, not that I am counting .

Kristina and I ended up having an instant message conversation about “boys” last week. These sorts of introspection in the virtual world are sometimes some of the most meaningful “e-versations.”

You can trust the person and the information, but they are “far” enough away so that we can be comfortable enough to be honest with each other. It’s better to communicate from a distance than not at all, in my opinion.

As the semester started last Monday, and the summer officially came to a close, I had a “wall-to-wall” Facebook exchange with one of my former junior students. Amber posted that she was “becoming a pro at missing important phone calls. Ugh.” I chimed in, “oh no … say it isn’t so.”

Amber replied “I know! It’s like de ja vu, huh? But, last time I got the job, so maybe this will just be my shtick! (I threw that Yiddish in just for you Anne Marie!).”

I then added, “Funny you should say that. My boyfriend tells me time and time again, ‘You are more Jewish than you give yourself credit for.’ I throw him off all the time with my Yiddish. Glad you picked some up.”

Amber agreed with him by telling me that, “I used to try in keep track how many times per class you used a Yiddish word, and it was usually at least one per class.”

Here’s to learning and laughing in class for another 15 weeks.

Anne Marie Merline is an instructor for the University Honors Program. Her column appears biweekly Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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