In our third issue, we talk with Mookie Jones aka Mook of the Syracuse University men's basketball team. We also talk about life abroad, why you shouldn't dump your girlfriend who loves the Yankees, and walking on to a D-I program.
extraPoint NOV. 15, 2011 MOOK EP thank you, chuck norris I’m not sure which cameo in Dodgeball was more ridiculous: Chuck Norris giving Peter La Fleur a thumbs up or Lance Armstrong expressing his undying love for ESPN 8: The Ocho. Dodgeball depicts the essential underdog story. Team gets picked on. Cue villain. Team topples villain, winning big money in the process and solving all of its financial woes. Despite the formulaic plot, how can you hate Dodgeball? The underdog plot is relevant to our team of the issue, though. Every issue, we choose a team for the color scheme for various page elements. Issue 1.3, we decided on the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons followed three consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals with three consecutive losing seasons. In the process, the franchise saw the core from its 2004 championship team fade into mediocrity. First, the team traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, who never quite meshed with the lineup, Rasheed Wallace left, and Ben Wallace bounced as well. The Pistons turned to Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva as the saviors of the franchise, but neither took control. Despite all of the personnel follies of the past three seasons, the team finally set forth on a smarter path last spring when Tom Gores purchased the team, along with the Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre, amid ownership issues. With the off-the-court money woes resolved, the team turned to rebulding, giving more attention to younger studs like Greg Monroe and drafting Brandon Knight in June. I’m not sure who the villain is in Detroit’s story. Maybe it’s the front office for trading the aging veterans. Or maybe it’s the NBA financial stucture. The Pistons haven’t defeated anything yet, but they can. It’s a bit corny, but everyone loves a good underdog story. Thanks, Editor-in-Chief/Co-Founder Jeff Laboon “A delicious beef bourguignon with roasted fingerling potatoes. I’m just kidding. My fridge is empty. Creative Director/Co-Founder Pete Gegick “Hockey pucks. I need to keep them cold so they don’t melt the ice rink in my living room. What? That’s a totally normal thing to have in your apartment.” Senior Editor Scott Simone “Yoohoo. I down a six-pack of the ’Hoo every day. It’s chocolatey goodness is unparalleled, or so I have read. ” Assistant Editor Alex Onushco “Sriracha sauce. I put it on waffles. I put it on chicken wings. I chase it with vodka. I can handle the heat, so I choose to stay in the kitchen.” Advisor Robert Lloyd Special Thanks To Ann Hettinger, Harriet Brown, Melissa Chessher, the Magazine Department of Newhouse, David Baer, Meredith Popolo, and mustaches Jeffrey Laboon 0 Hey editors, what is in your fridge? This issue is dedicated to the memory of Joe Frazier. Follow us @EPSportsMag epsportsmag.com Like us on Facebook 18 division rivalry if you have to date within the division, we’ve got you covered. By oritt blum 10 9 Penguins/Flyers (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, altered) Time Killers The five best sports apps on the market you’ve never heard of. By Trevor Hass MOOK 8 obey mook mookie jones on jim boeheim, slow jams, and why he likes the notebook. by scott simone 14 bench life don’t let his playing time fool you, tim frye could break your ankles. By jeff laboon 4 the anatomy of a front office we look inside a typical sports organization. Yanks in london a personal essay on adjusting to sports life in england. By anna klein 22 25 the end of parity? why green bay is still the team to beat in the nfc. by eugene lanzoni op-ed: the fall the horrible scandal that changed how we will see penn state forever. by pete gegick EP 11/15/11 1 The KickoFF Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble GOO GIGGLE Turkey for You, turkey for Me You can say you love Thanksgiving for the family time, but we all know that’s a lie. So let’s be honest here. We all love Thanksgiving because it’s the one day of the year we can over-indulge on the two best things on this earth: food and football. Well, maybe it’s not the only day, but it sure is the most glorious. Turkey Day is the only day you can slum around without worries of judgment or self guilt. You don’t have work the next day. You don’t have to worry about that 10-page paper you completely forgot about. Your only obligation today is to make sure no turkey goes uneaten and no football goes unwatched. It’s why the day was created. This is what the pilgrims had in mind on the first Thanksgiving. Just think about it; they sat around as the Indians prepared all the food. So, with that in mind, loosen up your belt, sit back in your favorite recliner, put on some football, and comfortably nod-off after engorging yourself with enough turkey to feed a village. It’s OK, we won’t judge you. 2 epsportsmag.com The Kickoff K Zone Our strike-zone of the biggest hits and misses in the world of sports Oklahoma Basketball NBA Lockout The men’s basketball program was given three years probation and fined $15,000 by the NCAA for committing major violations The NBA players keep refusing the deals offered them, prolonging the lockout more and more with each refusal New York Rangers The Rangers are bringing excitement back to the Garden, currently riding a six-game win streak and sitting in second in the Atlantic Aircraft Carriers As if aircraft carriers weren’t already badass enough, the Carrier Classic, a college basketball game played aboard the USS Carl Vinson, brought the badass level up a whole notch Syracuse Football After starting off the season strong at 5-2, the Orange have slipped into a funk, losing three games in a row, now sitting at 5-5 Pacquiao Promoter When Floyd Mayweather hinted at a fight with Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, called the attempt to steal the spotlight a “joke” Kyle Busch Busch has been placed on probation through the end of the year and dropped by sponsors after he intentionally wrecked Ron Hornaday Jr. in the Camping World Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway US Soccer After Jurgen Klinsmann was named coach of the US team (a move that excited all five US soccer fans), the team is only 1-4-1 under the new coach EP 11/15/11 3 ANATOMY OF A FRONT OFFICE The Kickoff Front offices are havens for over-the-top characters We’ve analyzed them for you, and made some generic conclusions Position Favorite Owner Scout GM RECENT Owner COACH voice google search How Occupy Wall Street will affect me Is Bartolo Colon good? GM Scout Baseball for dummies COACH How to stop the trap voice Howard Cosell reel Favorite PICK-UP LINE “want to get box seats....the hard way?” -owner “I want to make you the top pick in the draft” -GM “You’re a five-tool hottie” -SCOUT “i’LL TEACH YOU ALL ABOUT X’s and O’s” -COACH “No, seriously, I worked for the Yankees” -VOICE bad Owner GM Scout REACTION TO Owner Vacation to Private Island GM TRADE BEST PLAYER BEFORE GETTING FIRED HABIT COACH voice BEING FIRED Scout COACH voice blame ASSISTANT BACK TO WAL-MART system COLLEGE it on the COACH IN Kickoff HOW APPEALING Five sports-related apps that are sure to keep you chirping, laughing, and dominating helpless opponents By: Trevor Hass NBA Mini-Bobble LeBron James Not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven. LeBron never stops…bobbling his head, that is. Like LeBron himself, this app is so Hollywood. With the NBA Mini-Bobble LeBron James, which is available on the iPhone and Android for $0.99, James enthusiasts and haters can watch the incredibly talented star bobble his head ceaselessly. James bobbles his head more times in one second than the number of championships he’s won throughout his eight-year career. Although, after 36 minutes, the app stops functioning and the iPhone proceeds to spontaneously combust. [ed note: phone does not actually combust] FindMe18 FindMe18 is the perfect, free iPhone app to, quite literally, find golfers 18 holes. Say you’re on vacation in Florida and one day you’re driving around aimlessly trying to find something to do. FindMe18 can help you locate the closest golf course – of which there are 18,000 in the system - and provide you with directions via GPS. FindMe18 also tells you the weather at each course so you can plan an appropriate “course” of action. FindMe18 even has the capability to have golf clubs magically pop up from oblivion. OK, that’s not true, but the highly useful app has a “favorites” feature to allow you to store courses you may want to play at in the future. Ray Lewis Workouts It’s virtually impossible to be as much of a beast as Ray Lewis. But for those of you who want to come close and model the ferocious linebacker’s workout routine, “there’s an app for that.” For $0.99, the iPhone and Android provide you with this lights-out app, sure to make you a macho man (or woman) in mere days of training. Lewis’ workout routine gets you in magnificent shape so you too can annihilate 250-pound men with bulldozer-esque hits. Ball State Cardinal Chirper The Ball State Cardinals play the Butler Bulldogs in basketball on December 10th at home. Imagine this: the Cardinals have managed to stay in the game until the fourth quarter. Butler guard Ronald Nored gets fouled and heads to the line. All of a sudden hundreds of Cardinals fans in the rambunctious, red student section simultaneously utilize “The Chirper,” a free app for the iPhone, iPad Touch, and iPad, to startle Nored. “The Chirper” enables the Cardinal faithful to vigorously shake their mobile devices, which results in obnoxiously loud chirping. With the chirping catching Nored off-guard, there’s a good chance he’ll miss the free throw. “The Chirper” is simply a must have if you want to get inside the head of the opponent. Judo For all you diehard judo aficionados out there, the iPhone and iPad now have a $2.99 app that keeps you updated on Judo scores. The app is designed mainly for Judo referees to keep track of score and time. It even manages osaekomi times, in case you were worried about that. If Judo is your shindig, the Judo app is simply a must have. EP 11/15/11 5 The 5 Kickoff Allen Iverson’s Word Cloud for: Practice 1 Top performances by a NFL QB on Thanksgiving Nothing quite beats the three F’s on Thanksgiving: family, food, and football. With that in mind, here’s a look back at five quarterback performances that were better than mashed potatoes and gravy. By Pete Gegick Peyton Manning, 2004 Indianapolis v. Detroit In a career full of impressive performances, this one is the pumpkin pie. Manning completed over 82 percent of his passes for 236 yards and six touchdowns in a 41-9 Colts victory. 2 Bob Griese, 1977 Miami v. St. Louis One of the greatest games in Griese’s career, the Miami stalwart threw for 207 yards and six touchdowns in a 55-14 romp that had all of the fixings. 3 Scott Mitchell, 1995 Detroit v. Minnesota Known to many as a journeyman, Mitchell had a lot to give thanks for in this one. He finished with 410 yards passing and four touchdowns in a 44-38 win over the Vikings. 4 Tony Romo, 2006 Dallas v. Tampa Bay Romo was dominant in this game, as he carved the Buccaneers defense to the tune of 306 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-10 win. 5 Dave Krieg, 1994 Detroit v. Buffalo Krieg was in the twilight of his career in this battle against the Bills. Still, he found one last dessert, completing 80 percent of his passes for 351 yards and 3 TD’s in a 35-21 victory. TWeet of the week This week’s Tweet Gem brought to you by: Spencer hawes This page is not Andre the giant approved PaYing College Athletes GOOD College athletes generate millions of dollars of revenue - from television contracts to jersey sales. If they were paid, they’d finally be able to fully reap the benefits themselves. 6 BAD UGLY They already get paid through scholarships. Do they need more on top of the $50,000 a year they already get? Instead of going to the players, the money should be reinvested into the school. If college athlete’s get paid, there would no longer be an amateur league. Imagine how bad this winter would be if both the NBA and NCAA players were on strike? epsportsmag.com the QUIZ Test your knowledge about famous and infamous press conferences with this month’s EP Quiz. 1 What startup social media site did Shaq put on the map in his June 1 retirement announcement? a.) Tout c.) MyESPN b.) Google+ d.) Wooxie PLAYOFFS?! 2 LeBron James once said “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” What’s his playoff win percentage? a.) 31 percent c.) 81 percent b.) 61 percent d.) 51 percent 3 Terrell Owens once told the crowd to “get yo popcorn ready.” How many seasons did the wideout lead the league in touchdowns and popcorn-related moments? a.) 3 c.) 0 d.) 5 Ryan Smyth cried in the press conference announcing his trade to the New York Islanders. Who did the Edmonton Oilers not get from the Isles in return? a.) Robert Nilsson c.) Ryan O’Marra b.) First round pick d.) Joffrey Lupul 5 Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is a man, but is he actually 40? a.) Yes b.) No Answer Key: 1. A, 2. B, 3. A, 4. D, 5. A 4 b.) 1 EP 11/15/11 7 MOOKIE JONES By EP Staff On the Name Mookie: It’s from an old Spike Lee film called Do the Right Thing. My mother told me, when I was still in her stomach, when the name Mookie was called, I started kicking in her stomach. So they were calling me Mookie while I was in her stomach even before I was born. It just stuck from there. I didn’t like my name until basketball happened. On Childhood Heroes: I was never a Michael Jordan fan because I really didn’t understand basketball. Elton Brand and John Starks were my favorite players. [Brand] is a hero for our town. He was a straight-A student and he really represented where he came from. And he’s from the same neighborhood; he’s like our next-door neighbor. So he was big-time in our town. On Boeheim: Oh man. He’s legendary. Like, not only is he a great coach, but a legend, in my eyes at least. To meet him in person, it’s like wow, it’s Boeheim, master of the 2-3 zone. [When I first met him] I had dry mouth talking to him, couldn’t look him in the eye really. It was very intimidating. I think as I got older it started to get a lot better. That’s what I’ve heard, not just with me, but Scoop, everybody had a hard time talking to Boeheim. I mean he’s a great guy, but he just wants to win. So when he’s on the court, it’s strictly business. He’s a loyal coach, very honest, and he’s there for us. So he’s a father figure so-to-speak. On First Time in the Dome: I remember me and Kris Joseph, we were like, “I can’t believe we out here.” Because you see it on T.V., you see it in the video games, but when you’re actually on the court, I was nervous. Not a scared nervous, but your adrenaline pumping, like, “Man I’m really here.” It’s kind of hard to believe. [When I first got in the game] my legs were shaking. One of the coaches said it’s like losing your virginity. And that’s exactly how it felt. It was like a new beginning. Something new, and on a higher level. 8 epsportsmag.com EP&A Syracuse’s fan favorite on everything from playing for Jim Boeheim to listening to Miley Cyrus On Choosing ‘Cuse: It was a tough decision. I had maybe 50 top schools looking at me. I had Kansas and Memphis looking at me the same year they went to the Final Four. So it was tough. But ‘Cuse has always been one of my favorites. Watching Carmelo Anthony and just knowing Boeheim for being a legendary coach, I just had to do it. And it’s not too far from home, so I’m still representing New York. And it’s a major university. I’m the first one in my family to do that, to come here and get my degree and accomplish whatever I could on the court. On Musical Tastes: I don’t know if I’m supposed to say, cause it didn’t come out yet, but the new Drake. It didn’t come out yet, but I’ve been listening to it. I’m weird though. I listen to slow jams. I learned that from Wesley Johnson, if you listen to slow jams before a game, it kind of slows your mind down. So I do that every now and then. I was listening to this the other day and someone was like, “Are you really playing that?” I was playing Miley Cyrus, Party in the USA. And I like Fireflies by Owl City. I love those songs. Those songs are good. But the guys, if I played it in the locker room, they’d be singing it. I’m gonna catch them one day on video. On What’s in His Locker: I got a lot of junk. But I started a little motivation, started putting some old pictures in there. I’m gonna start wearing some of my old Peekskill stuff that I still have, just stuff to remember where I came from and where it started for me to get here. I’m going to start that at some point this season. I should have already done that. But there’s nothing in there but a lot of junk. Old jerseys and stuff. But I’m gonna put some treasure in there. Just treasure. On Life Off the Court: I sit in the house. I’m weird. I watch movies. I watch every movie in the world: Bug’s Life; Lion King; Fox and the Hound. I watch movies like the Notebook. A lot of guys find it funny that I watch it without a female, but I think it’s a lovely story, you know. But I’m just very chilled. Don’t go out much. EP&A On What’s Hanging On His Walls: At home I got a lot of my Peekskill newspapers, but I left them at home because a lot of females told me that’s egotistical. But I got a lot of posters, a lot of wires cause I got surround sound. Just pictures of my family, my daughter. ‘‘ you as a big star. Not that I don’t like the attention up here, because I love it. But at home it’s very comfortable and natural and a lot of people, kids and adults, that look up to you. But Syracuse, so much love. I feel like a celebrity sometimes. I’m still shocked to this day. I got a lot of people who Syracuse basketball and support me as well. On His Future: I’m going to be honest. Let’s be honest. I don’t want to work a 9-5 job. My chances for the NBA aren’t looking too good. That’s just realistic, you know. I’m a weirdo...but I think that’s why they love me. On High School Opponents: Playing in high school I definitely played against guys that are now at a high level, but AAU is the biggest. A lot of guys that are in the NBA now that still know me. Someone who I knew would be a star though, Jimmer Fredette, in the state championship. He was the best player I ever played against. He was a great player. He could score. He did the same things in high school, and he converted it you know? And a dude that was in my conference, he transferred from Rice, Jordan Henriquez. We always had the chills when we had to play them. Wasn’t as good back in high school. I used to play center and I used to score a lot on him, but now he’s playing for Kansas State and doing good. So he’s a big shot. Guys like Kevin Jones [West Virginia] who I played with, he’s like a brother. Sean Kilpatrick [Cincinnatti], he’s like a brother. We were supposed to play Rice, but I don’t know what happened. I’d say we kind of chickened out. We weren’t ready for them. Peekskill is good, you know, but not like that. We wouldn’t back down though. There’s a lot of guys in high school that were really good. Lance Stephenson [now with Indiana Pacers]. Tony Taylor [now at George Washington], that’s my boy. I played with him at Empire, he was on my team. So I played with a lot of guys. On Where he Gets More Love: I get more love in ‘Cuse. I’m getting ready to change my birthplace to Syracuse. I barely even go home. But that’s what I love about home. You go home, they don’t look at you know without learning. Just natural talent. I talk to myself a lot. I’m not crazy, but I like to enjoy myself. I crack jokes to myself, I laugh and say dumb things. When I’m having a tough time on the court, sometimes I’ll talk to myself and be like, “Yo come on, get it together man. Get back to the old Mookie.” You know, just talk to myself. I mean, I’m weird. People know I’m a weirdo. My teammates know, but I think that’s why they love me. I’m honest. I’m weird. I’m different. On Who’s the Team Jokester: I wouldn’t I’m honest. It comes and sometimes it don’t. Maybe, hopefully, sometime in the next couple of years, I’ll be overseas or something. As long as it’s some job making good money where I can sit back and take care of my family and my daughter as well. On Playing Other NY Natives: Kevin Jones and Sean Kilpatrick, those are like my brothers. I’ve known them all through high school. So when I see those guys, I get real pumped. I’ll get excited for them as well cause I know they’re thinking the same thing. I get so excited. The adrenaline is just pumping and pumping. Every time you play someone in the Big East, you know at least 2-3 kids personally. You’re always gonna be pumped. Even these other guys. Especially when you play Georgetown, Nova, Scoop [Jardine] and them got family down there. So you’re always gonna be pumped, every game. ‘‘ I just like to stay to myself. Blasting music. Playing Call of Duty. I play with a lot of the guys. Since Call of Duty came out, we got about 12 guys on Call of Duty playing big games online. I’m weird. I’m different. say I am, but I can be pretty funny. I think James Southerland is the best at being the jokester of the team. They always get me. Like the other day I’m walking with my headphones on, so I can’t hear James behind me. I go to tie my sneaker, and James comes up behind me, grabs me, lifts me up and is like [grunting noise]. I freaked out. I’m like, what’s going on? These guys take things from me, cause I always forget things, like my phone. I always misplace things. And I believe everything. I’m very gullible. I’m the gullible one they’re always playing pranks on. EP On His Off-Court Talents: I got a lot. People would be surprised. I play the piano. Not into like lessons, though, but I can play my own stuff. I’m good at fixing electronics. My boys told me the other day how I amazed them. I took apart a whole PS3 and I took a laptop apart and took the hard drive and put it in the PS3, EP 11/15/11 (AP Photo: Joe Lippincott) 9 10 epsportsmag.com FEATURES The View From the End of the Bench The trials of a Division-I walk-on. BY Jeff Laboon EP 11/15/11 11 T im Frye sits outside a brick house in suburban Pittsburgh on a humid May night. Days earlier, he walked the aisles of the Petersen Events Center – “The Pete” – the same building he called home for the last three basketball seasons, to receive his college diploma. He made his career-defining moment at Madison Square Garden, a meaningless threepointer in a blowout regular season win for Pittsburgh against St. John’s. But when you only play two minutes in a 24-point win, you need to take advantage of every opportunity. Tonight, he relaxes in a wicker chair in the company of some friends. No drunken fans swarm the former Pitt walk-on. Instead, he plays beer pong and dances to blend in with the crowd. It’s hard to blend in, though, when you’re 6’4”, 205 pounds, and stand heads above everyone else in the room. He wears a pair of dark jeans with a light blue dress shirt that hides his athletic frame. He shaved his face and hair before graduation to look clean cut. Occasionally, he pulls out his iPod and insists, in his deep voice, that his music beats the current selection. He just wants to enjoy Pittsburgh while he can. Weeks later, Frye moves to St. Louis to start his sales career, ending his childhood dreams of a professional basketball career. Frye is the norm among college basketball players. Each season, only 4,140 men can call themselves D-I basketball athletes. Approximately 1 percent of Division-I players can be drafted and move on to a professional basketball career. The ballers in this D-I club come from a pool of thousands of high schools and Amateur Athletic Union – or AAU – programs around the country and, sometimes, the world. For three seasons, from 2007 to 2010, Frye could say not only that he joined this club but also that he played on one of the top teams in the country. The Pittsburgh Panthers made the NCAA Tournament each of Frye’s seasons and even won the Big East tournament in 2008. But Frye watched from the bench for most of his career. As a walk-on, he had no obligation to stay at Pitt, and drew interest from several D-II and D-III programs. But with the odds against a NBA career, Frye decided to keep his bench role for reasons other than fame and money. Frye grew up around Pitt basketball. His family owned season tickets at the Fitzgerald Field House and then across 12 the street at the building’s successor, the Pete. The drive took only 35 minutes from his family’s home in Mars, PA, about 23 miles north of downtown Pittsburgh. His ABOVE: (LEFT) Frye poses for his studio photo while at Pitt. family’s athletic (RIGHT) The Panthers face UConn in the Petersen Events Center. pedigree made (Wikimedia/Crazypaco). following BELOW: Trees Hall after a 2007 renovation. Pitt sports natural. Frye’s uncle, Dave Frye, played basketball at Providence in the mid-70s; his other uncle, Tom Albright, is a member of the Indiana State hall of fame as part of the 1984 football team; his grandpa and aunt were state champions in track; and his basketball D-II or D-III,” he says with a laugh. Frye understood that basketball sister swam in college. This sports culture would not be a long-term solution and at home pushed Frye toward basketball at decided to pick a school that would suit an early age. him academically, but would also give him As a sophomore at Mars Area High a legitimate opportunity to walk-on. Pitt fit School, Frye deserved the attention he the mold. received from college coaches. He talked -------PAGE BREAK------to schools like Tennessee for basketball f Frye’s love for Pitt basketball started and Kentucky, Purdue, and Georgia at the Field House, it’s ironic that Tech for football. But the D-I interest his college career began across the disappeared when a tear of the ACL, or street at Trees Hall, a gym reserved anterior cruciate ligament, sidelined him for students. Trees houses three basketball for his junior football season. Frye made it courts on the main level, with a blue vinyl his mission to return in time for his junior divider separating each one. It looks and basketball season to salvage any potential college basketball career. Typically, an ACL smells musty, like any high school gym. Years of pickup games have left the floors tear requires six to eight months to heal, worn, making it hard for a player to keep but he returned to the court in five. His his footing. The blank white walls and rows excessive rehab was for naught, though. “My first game back is the first time I didn’t of empty wooden bleachers can’t compare with the banner-covered walls and capacity score in a game,” he admits. “My knee gave crowds of Big East buildings. out three times. At that point, I realized One day in March of his freshman that I was screwed.” He estimates that his year, Frye and a group of friends headed knee was only at 60 percent that season. to Trees to play an intramural game. He But he saw no purpose in complaining and his teammates–a group of guys he about the timing of his injury. Instead, he met during the school year–marched onto tried to make the best of his bad situation. the unattended hardwood court to play The D-I phone calls and potential suitors some anonymous group identified only turned into D-II and D-III ones. “Honestly, by a clever name listed on a schedule. I was a cocky son-of-a-bitch in high school Competition typically varies in intramural and I thought that I was too good to play epsportsmag.com I games from wannabe ballers that bust out their best And1 Mixtape impressions to inexperienced players who seem to see Reggie Miller staring back at them in the mirror before they step on the court. But today, the team staring back at Frye and his friends before the tipoff included two former Pitt basketball players. The former D-I athletes didn’t intimidate Frye, who took command at the onset of the game. He scored 17 points in the first two-and-a-half minutes. After drawing a foul, he stepped to the free throw line to continue his scoring feelings because I went from the star athlete in high school to the fan-favorite that people cheer for at the end of games,” Frye says. “It’s the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. You get in the game and you score, and people go nuts because they don’t think you can score.” A mid-season injury to starting point guard Levance Fields during the 20072008 season offered the best opening Wanamaker and Gary McGhee develop into team leaders. He can’t help but snicker at anyone who thinks walk-ons are just scrubs. “The last guy on the bench in the NBA is better than 90 percent of the players in basketball,” he says defensively. “And the last guy on the end of the bench in college is better than for Frye to get playing time. Though Frye thought his effort in practice earned him more minutes, his walk-on status kept him off the court. Scholarship athletes do not receive special treatment over walk-ons, but coaches do show preference towards them, often starting them ahead of walkons because of pressure from boosters who fund the program. Even with Fields’ injury, Frye played only a total of 15 minutes, scoring 11 points in his first season. “That frustrated me just because I knew that, at that point, I was better than some of the people who were playing, but they were on scholarship and I wasn’t, so they played and I didn’t,” he says with no resentment or bitterness. Despite his lack of minutes, he still looks back with satisfaction at his memories, like hitting a three at MSG and storming the court after winning the Big East championship. After his first season, he came to understand his primary role was contributing in practice. “My first week of practice, I got two bloody noses, a scratched cornea, and a hyper-extended elbow,” Frye says. “My job was to sacrifice my body to make sure that no matter what happened, I made other players better.” His playing time decreased with each passing season. In his second season, he played 11 minutes and scored six points. In his final year Frye played only play nine minutes and scored no points. But Frye was proud of his situation because he contributed to the team–only no one could see his contributions. Through his work in practice, Frye helped teammates like Sam Young of the Memphis Grizzlies and DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs develop into NBA draft picks and Brad 90 to 95 percent of the guys that play in high school.” With enough credits to graduate and an impressive job offer on the table from the Eaton Corporation, Frye decided to finally leave the game he loved. “Basketball was only going to last me another year,” he says, “and my job is going to last me another 40.” While tenured veterans like Shaquille O’Neil, with 18 years of experience, and Grant Hill, with 15 years, receive praise for their longevity in the league, the average NBA player has 5.07 years of experience. Though this number has increased from years past, the likelihood of a long NBA career is slim for any basketball player. So, even if a walk-on could sneak onto a NBA squad, or develop into a draft pick like Scottie Pippen, he’d likely be gone from the league before turning 30. Frye expects to be in management by the time he turns 35, which helps ease his mind when thinking of the future. Frye refuses to think of his career negatively, because it’s an experience that any athlete would want. He came back from an ACL tear and still played basketball at the highest collegiate level. He joined a fraternity of guys he used to watch religiously every winter at the Field House. Pitt players he used to idolize, like Brandin Knight, became friends. Now Frye plays only in pro-am leagues and at athletic clubs. He plays on courts like the ones at Trees. No fanfare. No crowd cheering for him to shoot threes in the final minute of a blowout. He sees his college career as a gift, a lucky break, as being in the right place at the right time. He’s just a man willing to work to play a game he loves, however he can. EP “My first week of practice, I got two bloody noses, a scratched cornea, and a hyper-extended elbow.” clinic when one of his opponents finally spoke up. “Hey man, what’s your name?” asked the former player. “Tim Frye,” he said matter-of-factly as he prepared to shoot. “What year are you?” his opponent asked. “I’m a freshman,” Frye replied. “Why haven’t you walked onto the team?” the player asked. “ACL surgeries–I tore my ACL two years ago and played like shit my junior year,” Frye replied as the group return to the game. Frye knew he had enough talent to compete for a spot on Pitt’s bench if given the chance. After the game, the same player who questioned Frye told him he would get him into an open gym after the season ended so he could try out for a walk-on spot with the team–a simple offer that gave Frye a chance of a lifetime. He went to open gyms and worked himself every day in the summer league to leave an impression on head coach Jamie Dixon, and it worked. Before the 2007-08 pre-season, Dixon offered Frye the last spot on the bench. As the 12th man on the team, Frye would enter the game only when victory was a certainty or injury made it a necessity. He instantly became a fan favorite. The Pitt faithful would bring Frye-related signs and cheer for him to enter the game. He became a mini-celebrity in Oakland, the downtown neighborhood of Pittsburgh that’s home to the university. “The student section always wanted him to score,” says Ryan King, an usher at the Pete during Frye’s sophomore season. Despite his ACL tear, Frye had finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in Mars basketball history. Now, he drew attention from the fans for pity rather than his talent. “I have mixed EP 11/15/11 13 My Life Ab Different time zone Soccer is actually p adjusted to life in a BY Anna Klein 14 epsportsmag.com broad e? Other side of the ocean? popular? How an American fan new country? EP 11/15/11 15 G reetings from across the pond! This semester, I am studying abroad in London, England, one of the sporting capitals of the world. Thus far, I have had an eye-opening experience learning about the sporting environment in London. Being from Pittsburgh, I am a huge Steelers fan. Coming to London, I knew that I would have a hard time trying to rally people to go to a pub or sports bar to watch a game at 3 AM. What I soon found was that it was even more difficult to find a place to watch the game. When the Rugby World Cup is going on, or when Arsenal is playing Fulham, there’s no convincing the bartenders to play what seems like a meaningless American game. After going to Sports Cafe, a sports bar in Piccadilly Circus (which is the Times Square of London), and unsuccessfully trying to bribe the bartender into turning on the Steelers game, I began searching for alternative ways to watch my team. Luckily, I came across a website that allowed me to stream the game live onto my computer. Sure the game wasn’t in HD, but it got the job done. But my Internet isn’t fast enough to actually stream the game live without stopping to load every five minutes, so the viewing experience was not ideal. Also, it didn’t solve the problem of the games kicking off at 1 AM London time. So, though I didn’t completely give up on the Steelers, I decided to start getting invested in London’s sporting culture. This semester, I had the opportunity to take a class titled Sociology of Sport. Part of the class includes going on trips to sporting facilities throughout London. Lucky for me, the facilities in London just happen to be some of the most famous in the world. Last month, my class went on a tour of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. Soccer, or football, as it’s known on this side of the pond, is not one of the sports that I follow regularly, but as soon as I touched down in England, the football fever was infectious. Before touring Emirates, one of my friends briefed me on the Premier and Champions Leagues. Afterwards, I felt as though I had a handle on how football works in this country and throughout Europe. After taking a quick look at the player’s entrance, we were given a tour of the Arsenal locker room. This was probably the most entertaining part of the tour, 16 because our tour guide told us how the locker rooms were designed by the coach of Arsenal, Arsène Wenger. He had much to do with the design and layout of both the home and away locker rooms. We were let in on the secret about the away locker room. Inside, there is nothing to muffle the sound, the lighting is horrendous, the floors are not carpeted (so if it rains, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if one of the opponent’s slipped), the benches aren’t padded, and there’s a giant table in the middle of the room that makes it impossible for players on one side to see the players on the other side. The design was completely intentional and Arsenal’s locker room, of course, has none of these same problems. Hey, anything to gain an advantage, right? My favorite part of the tour was walking out of the entrance onto the field. Our guide popped in a tape that he claimed was equivalent to what it sounds like to the players when they take the field. The sound was deafening, but definitely gave me a feel for what it might be like if I were to take the pitch. The tour of Arsenal was all I needed to see before I looked into buying tickets to a game. I checked out the ticket costs of Arsenal and Chelsea matches and even looked into traveling the two hours to Manchester to watch a Manchester United match. Unfortunately, the prices were extremely steep and I couldn’t convince anyone to splurge with me. I finally came across Fulham FC, whose tickets were much more quickly found that this was a cardinal sin at football matches. When we made our way to our seats, and kindly asked the man sitting in the aisle seat to make room for us to get through, he said, “You’ve got to wait till halftime now.” We were unsure of what to do, so we turned around and shuffled to another row, where we found a few seats. Most of the sporting events that I’ve attended in my lifetime have involved teams that I have known and loved for as long as I can remember. This was the first time that I was attending an event in which I knew nothing about the team or the players. I did a bit of research beforehand to find out who Fulham’s stars were, their numbers, and if the opponent was going to give Fulham a run for their money. Turned out that Wisla Krakow didn’t hold a match to Fulham, as the final score was 4-1, Fulham. Upon entering Craven Cottage, I immediately noticed a few differences between sporting events in the States and ones in England. First of all, at football and basketball games in the U.S., women are always the minority, but I never feel uncomfortable with the lack of women in the audience. However, at the Fulham game, I spent a substantial amount of time searching for my fellow female fans, who were nowhere to be found. This was made even clearer when searching for a restroom. Right outside of my section, there was a line of bathrooms. Out of 15 bathrooms, just two of them were for women. Most miraculously, reasonable than some of the other Premier League clubs. Although Fulham is in the Premier League, they are not as well known in the States as some of other Premier League clubs. Before coming to London, I had never heard of Fulham. However, I decided that even though I knew nothing about the team, I had to make it to a football match before going stateside. A small group of us got off the Tube and headed towards Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham FC. Our first mistake was not allowing enough time to walk from the Tube to the stadium. We arrived at the match five minutes after kickoff, and though, was that the men’s line was about four times as long as the line for the ladies room. I’ve never seen that before. Another shocking facet in England sports is the lack of support for the players. When a Fulham player committed a foul, missed the chance to score, punted the ball in the wrong direction, or kicked the ball out of bounds, the Fulham fans booed. Every time a player made the smallest mistake, the fans would be screaming at them. I’m not just talking about the angry, red-faced man sitting behind me either. No. I’m talking about the majority of the stadium actually booing their own players for making a mistake. When I leaned over to the man next to me to ask him a question, he politely answered, but did not, for one second, take his eye off the game. epsportsmag.com Emirates Stadium, the home of Arsenal FC of the English Premier Leauge, opened in 2006. The 60,000-seat stadium cost TK390 million. Populous, aka HOK Sport, designed the stadium. The architecture company is the designer of choice for American sports venues like the new Yankee Stadium, the Consol Energy Center, and Gillette Stadium, just to name a few. (Wikimedia/Nazmi Amin-Tai) As a die-hard Steelers fan, I was appalled to see this. Unless the Steelers are losing 40-0 (and, let’s be honest here, how often does that really happen?), the fans stick by the team. In the U.S., we spend more time supporting our players and cheering them on than we do booing them. This is how it should have been, especially since Fulham was in complete control for the match’s entirety. Additionally, I was startled by the lack of Fulham apparel in the stands. Have you ever been to a Syracuse basketball game where every single person in the stands isn’t wearing orange, white, or blue? Probably not. How about a Penn State white out where someone isn’t wearing white? Here, though, there were fans wearing black (one of Fulham’s colors), the majority of the fans were wearing normal street clothes. I saw very few Fulham jerseys, hats, jackets, or flags. For someone who is used to wearing my team’s colors, I was fascinated by the fact that these fans did not seem to think that that was important. The last noticeable difference was that these men take their football seriously. Despite what seemed like constant booing, the fans really did love their team. Throughout the match, they stay relatively quiet, so as to stay focused on the game. The stands do not break out into the wave, and much to my surprise, I didn’t even here any “Ole’s.” When I leaned over to the man next to me to ask him a question, he politely answered, but did not, for one second, take his eye off the game. The Fulham fans are just as die-hard as my fellow Steelers fans, but the way they express their commitment to their team is completely different. In Pittsburgh, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a day where you don’t see at least five people wearing Steelers gear. Everywhere you walk, you’ll find men whose winter jackets have Steelers emblems, women whose nails are painted black and gold, or even a man whose mohawk has been dyed to support his side. Fulham fans do not feel the need to show off their love for their team. They think it’s okay to criticize and not always stick by their players. These fans have chosen a team to support and they know in their hearts that they will stand by the team that they’ve been supporting for years, no matter what. Despite originally knowing nothing about Fulham prior to attending the match, I quickly caught the football bug. It’s infectious in London and even when you’re an amateur of the game, it’s hard not to want to be a fan. Football is overwhelmingly the favorite sport of England. At every pub I pass, I see a group of men happily cheering on a team of their choice. If you’re not a football fan of some sort in London, you feel alone because it seems as though everyone else has chosen their side and they’re sticking to it. It’s been extremely difficult to keep up with my favorite teams back home, but I’ve started enjoying following British football teams. When I get back to Syracuse, I’ll be able to talk about the Premier and Champions League, what Emirates Stadium is like, and most excitingly, what it’s like to go to a game in England, arguably the football capital of the world. I may have lost contact with American football, but I’ve gained a whole new perspective on football over here, and I love everything about it. Although I miss the crazy fans expressing their love for their team by shouting and wearing team colors, I appreciate that there are other ways to show support for your team. EP EP EP11/15/11 11/1/11 17 17 EP’s Rules for Dating a R Bet On Games Have fun wagers to keep things interesting. Yankees-Red Sox matchup? Loser plays out winner’s fantasy. Rangers-Devils game? Loser has to cook winner’s favorite dinner… naked. You might be a sore loser at first, but in the end you’re both satisfied. Designate Dessert Night One night a week, when no games are on, take the time to enjoy each other. Watch a movie. Spend all night in bed. Go to a concert. Just do something to remind each other that while the other six nights might be feisty, it’s all worth it. Know Their T Never underestimate passion. things in the heat of the mom little taunting following a win but you need to know when to should be able to handle teasi on an open-net shot or your W However, there’s only so much push beyond that point, thing Fully Understand the Situation You Are About to Enter Into The sex might be great and you might enjoy the conversations, but this decision will impact your entire life. Seriously. It won’t be easy and it won’t always be fun, but if you do decide to go through with it, never say we didn’t warn you. Determine where you fall on the actual sports spectrum It’s one thing for an avid New York Giants fan to date an apathetic Pittsburgh Steelers fan and a totally different thing for a dedicated New York Giants fan to date a dedicated Philadelphia Eagles fan. Just recognize whether this is actually something that needs to be handled. Quiz them–ask when the last time their team won the Super Bowl. If they can’t answer that, it’s probably not much of a rivalry. If they can answer, and show you up by naming every player that caught a TD or know how many 35-yard field goals were kicked, get ready to meet your fan match.. 18 epsportsmag.com Tell Your Friend Chances are that you and most o similar teams. If so, break it to th wasted Redskin-fan friends find a Cowboys jersey. If you have fri spectrum, gain brownie points b minded friends. Both will apprec when everyone gets together to w Rival Ticking Point . People say and do crazy ment. Keeping that in mind, a n is completely permissible… o stop. Every sports fan ing after your captain fans WR fumbles a perfect throw. h one can handle, and if you gs can get ugly. ds Early On of your friends are fans of hem gently. Don’t have your out when she shows up in iends spread across the fan by introducing them to likeciate having a support system watch a game. What’s a sports fan to do when choosing between love and the team? Here are some of the pros and cons when deciding whether to date within the division. BY Oritt Blum Respect Each Other on Big Game Days This is when dating a rival sports fan comes in handy because at least you both get what sports are all about. That’s why for big games you should never change the channel when you partner goes to grab beer from the fridge. Plus, try not to make fun of the starting goalie when he’s lying on the ice injured. Know Your Enemy As the saying goes: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Know your significant other’s team’s stats, updates, rotations, and schedules just as well as you know your own team’s. Never let your guard down or act surprised when they tell you something about your backup QB that you hadn’t heard yet. Never Make Them Wear Your Team’s Apparel Come on. This should be a given, but you know that it could come back to bite you in the ass. Find yourself on the bad end of the next bet and you’ll be going to work wearing a Boston Bruins tie every day for a month. Plus, this is rarely something raunchy sex can fix; people are sensitive about their wardrobes, and being humiliated into wearing a rival’s apparel can take years of therapy to get over. Never Date Within Your Division Enough Said. EP 11/15/11 19 In this issue: - NFL: Green Bay All the Way - CFB: Time to Go Pro - NHL: Best Acquisitions - Op-ed: Penn State Debacle NFL Order in Chaos By: Eugene Lanzoni Life has absolutely no purpose. It’s all just a random series of chaotic, meaningless events culminating in a world devoid of any discreet, incontrovertible truths. That’s honestly how it feels sometimes in the NFL these days. Or at least, that’s how it would feel if it wasn’t for the Green Bay Packers, a team which represents the last vestige of sanity in an increasingly nonsensical NFL. They’re the one remaining constant in this bizarro season from hell. Maybe invisible clouds of lingering bad juju from the lockout are causing this newfound anarchy. Or possibly it can all be traced back to the season-long professional death of Peyton Manning, the figurehead of the NFL and symbol of its ideal athlete. Whatever the case, the reigning champs from Green Bay present the best hope of breaking this curse. From their first game of the season against the New Orleans Saints to their most recent triumph over the Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium, the Packers have methodically overcome all of their opposition. It hasn’t always been pretty, and few of their performances have been totally dominant, but they consistently get the job done. And consistency cannot be undervalued in an NFL which boasts the stability of Dow Jones. What is fueling this irrepressible engine of winning perfection? The answer is quite simple: Aaron Rodgers. Somehow he’s managed to outdo last season’s exemplary performance by throwing only 3 interceptions and 24 touchdowns this season. But here’s a really extraordinary statistic for hardcore Rodgers advocates out there: the dude has never thrown a pick in the red zone. That’s a truly unbelievable number (seriously though, Chris Collinsworth offered that little gem so it should be taken with a grain of salt). In fact, Rodgers’ superlative play this season has been so stellar that he’s actually covered up a number of chinks in the cheesehead armor. The highly vaunted Green Bay defense has quietly been having an off year. They’ve allowed far too many points for a championship caliber defense, and at this point in the season they rank 25th in total defense. Their running game also leaves a lot to be desired with the two-headed Chihuahua of James Starks and Ryan Grant. The two have combined for only a single rushing touchdown on the season, and this toothless run game in conjunction with a greatly diminished defense has significantly undermined the typical hardnose style usually associated with Green Bay. They’ve become more of a finesse team, a classification which frequently bears a negative connotation. However, with the infallible Rodgers under center there is very little downside to their game, and Mike McCarthy would be foolish not to rest the fate of his team in the very capable hands of No. 12 and his aerial assault. The Packers are top dogs in an NFL that may be more volatile and tempestuous than we’ve ever seen before. Fans are still trying to piece together the broken furniture in their rooms from the Saints humiliating loss to St. Louis two weeks ago. But when it seems like life in the NFL no longer makes any sense and football nihilism is the only explanation, it is comforting to know that there is a team in the frozen tundra that brings order to the chaos. Despite their undefeated record, the Packers aren’t perfect. What they really are is the one known commodity this league has left. Aaron Rodgers So far this season: - 2,619 passing yards - 24 touchdowns - 3 interceptions - 129.1 QB rating On pace for: - 5,238 passing yards - 48 touchdowns - 6 interceptions (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File) Records (single season): 22 epsportsmag.com - 5,084 passing yards -Dan Marino, 1984 - 50 touchdowns - Tom Brady, 2007 - 4 interceptions - Tom Brady, 2010 Ready for the Pro’s This season, quarterback Matt Barkley has become the poster child for the success of the USC Trojans. Listed at 6-2, 220 pounds, draft scouts were skeptical of his size and how he can manage in the NFL. But No. 7 is proving that great things come in small packages. His ability to move in and out of the pocket when under pressure has become key in helping sustain drives for his team. He gets the ball out fast with sharp accurate precision, making it difficult for defenses to scheme against him. Don’t let the size of Barkley fool you; his arm is what ultimately does the talking. Alshon Jeffery Matt Barkley By: Melissa Bronson-Tramel Dre Kirkpatrick (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (AP Photo/Kerry Smith) (AP Photo/Matt York) CFB Receivers have become just as valuable to the success of a team as running backs. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for South Carolina stands at 6’4”, 230 pounds, but again do not let the height fool you. Jeffery is an elite athlete maneuvering his body to complete passes at an average of about 17 yards per catch. His swift body control, athleticism, and ability to get open makes any defense fearful of his game-changing presence. His focus and ability to break tackles and generate big running plays are done with a swagger that exudes confidence. His transition to the NFL should be quick and easy. Although Alabama fell short to LSU, Dre Kirkpatrick definitely did not. He is arguably the best cornerback in the nation, leading Alabama’s defense in solo tackles. With 20 solo tackles, two forced fumbles, and eight pass break-ups, No. 21 uses 192 pounds of muscle to keep opponents out of the end zone. His combination of physicality and ball-hawking skills poise problems for any opposing quarterback foolish enough to try and throw his way. In a league dominated by the passing attack, any NFL team would be lucky to have Kirkpatrick on their roster. EP 11/15/11 23 NHL Trading Spaces By: Meaghan McGrath Hockey is one of the few sports that – including the playoff games – plays through all four seasons. Even through the few offseason months, teams are continuously playing, and of course, trading players in order to improve their teams. This past summer, many teams remodeled their teams significantly, aiming toward that one shiny goal: the Stanley Cup. Here are three players thriving in their new environment. Kris Versteeg Stanley Cup champion Kris Versteeg is currently with his third team in less than a year after winning the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship with the Chicago Blackhawks. After his win, he went to the Toronto Maple Leafs, then to the Philadelphia Flyers, and now he is currently tearing up the ice with the Florida Panthers. Kris Versteeg is just what the Panthers ordered; helping the southern team to win half of their games played this season so far. He is averaging a point a game, having scored 5 goals and helping to score eight other goals for the Panthers. GP: 13, G: 2 A: 8, P: 10 +/-: -1 24 epsportsmag.com GP: 12, G: 5 A: 7, P: 12 +/-: 6 Stats GP: 7, G: 1 A: 7, P: 8 +/-: 3 (AP Photo/Bret Hartman) Stats Stats Martin Havlat was comfortable with the Minnesota Wild but his game has heated up since being traded to the Saint Jose Sharks, who are one of the early predictions for winning the cup this year. Because of injuries, Havlat has not played in every game, but has been averaging a point a game in the last seven that he has been able to play in. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to put many into the net, but with seven assists already under his belt, we are sure that the goals will come. Making his debut victory with a shootout against the New Jersey Devils is only the beginning of a great season for Havlat. The opportunities he has with this team are enormous and without this fast sniper, the Saint Jose Sharks would not have won as many games as they have so far this season. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Mike Richards did not know what hit him when he realized that he was being traded to the Los Angeles Kings this past July. He was the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers and was looking to stay there until he retired as a professional hockey player. Not only was Richards surprised, but the Flyers community as a whole did not believe that their beloved captain would be trading his orange jersey in for a black one. The Flyers were looking to revamp their whole team, trading not only their captain, but some of their other key players as well. For Richards, however, he just went back to his old team’s turf in Pennsylvania and came up with a win, a disappointment for his former teammates and fans. This just goes to show that Richards was an asset to the Flyers and now will be an asset to the Los Angeles Kings. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Martin Havlat Mike Richards Op-ed Paradise Lost By: Peter Gegick (AP Photo/Pat Little) Penn State was always seen as the voice of reason in college football. But what happens when a scandal rocks State College to its core? Was it too good to be true? There couldn’t be a program like this, one that not only won football games but also produced athletes that graduated on time. One that won football games without flash, but with substance, pummeling the high-powered offenses into oblivion before scoring a few touchdowns of their own. One that had a coach that won two national championships and bought the library on campus. But yes, Penn State existed. To know of it is akin to knowing a religion. And make no mistake, following the Nittany Lions is a religion unlike any other. There, on the picturesque campus, stands Beaver Stadium. It’s a cathedral, one that seats over 106 thousand devotees in blue and white, turning the stadium into the most intimidating atmosphere in college football. Show up during a whiteout, as the deafening “We Are...Penn State,” rumbles like thunder through a canyon, and it seems like nothing short of an army will make the cheers subside. The men in blue and white on the field, with solid white helmets and bodies of granite, are the priests of the religion. No man was more important than he who came before him, as each practices and executes the fundamentals to the definition of perfection. Nothing ever suggested “look at me,” but rather “look at us.” Luckily for them, us just happened to be one of the best football teams in the country. Of course, these young men had to learn from the bishops of the place, former priests now teaching the young men how to play the Penn State way. Men with names like McQueary, Bradley, and Anderson. Former members of the tradition, they now instilled the behaviors into the new men wearing the blue and white. The leader of all of this was the head coach of the past 45 seasons, one Mr. Joe Paterno,. He had created this idea, this “Grand Experiment” the crazy notion that athletes could succeed on and off the field. For almost all of his tenure, that idea was a reality. Then, through an outside force, the “Grand Experiment” left. In its place came accusations, arrests, and the worst scandal ever seen in college athletics. Gone was the notion that this institution was different than any other. Or, if it were, it had reached a point of depravity previously unseen in college sports. The charges leveled against the men involved with the program were worse than any school had faced in its tenure, including institutions like Southern Methodist, Southern California and Ohio State. Now, one of its most revered bishops, Jerry Sandusky, was facing charges for child sex abuse against eight young boys. This was the Jerry Sandusky who had wrote a now ill-titled memoir called “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story,” that was on sale in the school bookstore. The Jerry Sandusky who had created one of the most tenacious defenses in the country, one that shut down the most vaunted offense of the 80’s and 90’s. The Jerry Sandusky that rode off into the sunset on the shoulders of his players to the roar of an appreciative crowd. The Jerry Sandusky that was supposed to supplant Paterno as the pope of this religion. Now, Sandusky faces 460 years in jail. Two men within the University, including athletic director Tim Curley, are facing charges of perjury. McQueary, or Mike McQueary, as he is known to Penn State fans, is facing questions of morality as to why he didn’t immediately report an incident involving actions between Sandusky and a minor to authorities other than Joe Paterno in 2002. As for Paterno, the man known as “Saint Joe” is facing quite a few questions about his actions these days. He’s caught in the middle of a media blitz, one that constantly questions how a man so close to Sandusky didn’t ask the tough questions when confronted with McQueary’s report. How a man who prided himself on doing the right thing merely handed the situation off to his superiors and didn’t go the police. In response to all of this, Paterno tried to announce his retirement at the end of the season, ending the career of a legend whose legacy spans four decades and countless lives. But he didn’t make it past Wednesday night, as his years of service to the University were terminated over a single phone call. It’s ironic, then, that Penn State prided itself on being different than any other college football program. Because of its actions, Penn State proved that it was different than any other football program. In the end, it was too good to be true. EP 11/15/11 25 EP 2 1 3