friday november 16, 2007 blacksburg, va.
news AIRLINE SECURITY NOT UP TO PAR WASHINGTON— Federal investigators testifying before Congress on Thursday said that more physical searches of passengers are needed to reduce the chances that a terrorist can sneak a bomb on to an airplane. Air safety oﬃcials resisted the suggestion, saying American passengers dislike intrusive “patdowns.” The investigators testiﬁed about a probe in which they smuggled the components of potentially devastating liquid bombs past checkpoints at 19 airports nationwide earlier this year. In the covert tests, they carried the elements of an improvised explosive device and a ﬁre bomb in carry-on luggage or on their bodies. The investigators also suggested that oﬃcials consider limits on carry-on luggage but stressed that security could be improved with more thorough physical searches. — Los Angeles Times
word of the day flaneur flan•eur (noun) 1. one who strolls about aimlessly; a lounger; a loafer Kelly was the flaneur on the hall, meandering from office to office looking for someone to hector.
Highty-Tighties march in honor of La Porte JAMIE SINCLAIR
ct staﬀ writer The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Regimental Band, the Highty-Tighties, will head to New York City next week to march in the 80th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is the Highty-Tighties’ sixth appearance in the parade since its last run in 1999. They will march in missing man formation and dedicate their performance to Matt La Porte, a former member of the HightyTighties who was killed in Norris Hall in the April 16 shootings.
the Highty-Tighties. La Porte was a sophomore in the band and an Air Force ROTC cadet who played the tenor drum, said Evangelista. Company commander and senior electrical engineering major Mark Amos said La Porte was a member of the cadet family and brought a unique personality to the group. “The thing I would remember most is what he would wear: his converse high tops with long white mid-calf socks, cut off jean shorts, a crew neck white T-shirt and a black leather jacket and these goofy looking blues brothers sunglasses,” Cook said. “No matter if it was midnight, he was wearing those glasses.”
“I DON’T THINK THERE IS A GREATER HONOR THAT I COULD HAVE THAN THE OPPORTUNITY TO MARCH IN A PARADE THAT IS DEDICATED TO MATT LA PORTE.” - JOHN COOK,HIGHTY-TIGHTIES DRUM MAJOR “Missing man formation is, instead of marching a complete block, in the second row right in the middle there will be a gap, where Matt would have been,” said Bonnie Evangelista, senior political science and Spanish double major and public information officer for the Highty-Tighties. This won’t be the first time they will march in missing man formation. The senior class of the Highty-Tighties came to a consensus that they will always march this way to memorialize La Porte. It is now the standard to march in that formation, and every football performance and parade this year has been in the missing man formation, said John Cook, senior aerospace engineering major and Drum Major of
Evangelista once asked La Porte why he was wearing his sunglasses at night, to which he responded that “the sun never sets on a bad a--.” La Porte was a hard worker and a member of the Air Force Special Operations Preparatory Training (AFSOPT) program. An intense personal training program, La Porte went through a long initiation, waking up early and undergoing rigorous personal training and many tests. It is designed for Cadets who want to do more personal training to help their careers, said Evangelista. Overall, the Highty-Tighties are looking for-
Community to gather for “Hokies Thank the World” GORDON BLOCK
ct news reporter
weather PARTLY CLOUDY high 41, low 27
coming up CT PUBLICATION TO RESUME NOV. 27 The Collegiate Times newsroom will be closed next week from Monday, Nov. 19 to Friday, Nov. 23 for the Thanksgiving break. The newsroom will reopen on Monday, Nov. 26 and print publication will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Check www.collegiatetimes.com throughot the week for breaking news in Blacksburg.
ON THE WEB Check out a video about the 17p/holmes comet, which is visible tonight, at www.collegiatetimes.com
correction The story “Comet 17p/holmes is now visible to the naked eye” (CT, Nov. 14) was incorrect. Jessica Gorzo said that the Astronomy Club regularly views the Ring Nebula, which has an orbital period of 6.8 years. This means it takes that long to complete an orbit, not that it comes into their viewing area every 6.8 years. The Collegiate Times regrets this error.
index News.....................2 Features................3 0pinions................5
Sports....................6 Classifieds..............7 Puzzles..................7
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 104th year • issue 171
The Highty-Tighties march in formation during a pass and review ceremony. The band see MARCH, page two will travel to New York City next week to participate in the Macy’s Day Parade.
COURTESY OF HOKIES THANK THE WORLD
The Virginia Tech community is invited to gather on the drillfield Saturday to participate in “Hokies Thank the World,” an event sponsored by the department of geography.
“Hokies Thank The World,” which will take place Saturday, Nov.17 on the Drillfield, will bring together students, faculty, community members and others in spelling out a message of thanks to the global community for their support after the events of April 16. The event, sponsored by the department of geography, will be recorded by ground and aerial photographers and also by satellite and then shared with the world through www.HokiesThankTheWorld.org. “We’ve been getting a lot of support from around the world and we needed to send a message back,” said Peter Sforza, event coordinator and department of geography faculty member. People who participate in the event will fill in letters spelling out the message “VT Thanks You.” Sforza said that his initial idea was to think of a phrase that both students and administration would approve of. “This is an idea I’ve had for a while. I’ve worked with satellite imagery a lot in the past, and I’ve been thinking for a while about how to connect satellite imagery and people,” Sforza said. Photography for the event will come from a vari-
ety of locations, including ground level, airplane, and helicopter photography as well as satellite imagery. Randy Dymond, director of the Center for Geospatial Information Technology at Virginia Tech, said that one of the major logistical difficulties in preparing for the event was setting up the pictures “It has been hard for us getting everything to look right and scaled right,” Dymond said. “You got to get the timing right.” Sforza said he worked a lot with the photographers to try to set up the shots they were going to take. For photographers in the air, there are a variety of challenges that come with getting the right shot. “The weather could be a problem while up in the air,” said Michael Kiernan, photography manager for University Relations and one of the photographers for the event. “If it’s a windy day, the helicopter won’t be as stable. Lighting will also be a challenge while up in the air.” David Robinson, one of the pilot’s assisting photographers during the event as well as the founder of Hooptie Ride, agreed that weather would be a major factor in the success of the event.
see THANKS, page two
A new face in the crowd for this weekend’s game ROSANNA BROWN
ct news reporter Virginia Tech can look forward to at least one new face in Lane Stadium at the Miami game this Saturday. Brandon Prince is a 12-year-old currently living in St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk, not to mention an avid Virginia Tech fan. He has been looking forward to attending Saturday’s game for weeks and is finally able watch the game he often sees played out on television from inside the Hokie Nation. Susanne Prince, Brandon’s mother, first took him to St. Mary’s when he was three. She said that before they took Brandon there, the family had a difficult time providing him with the necessary amenities to take care of a child with cerebral palsy. Things such as braces for Brandon’s knees and a wheel chair were hard to come by. “We didn’t really know where to go to ask for stuff; we had to fight for everything. We didn’t know exactly what was out there, and when he went to St Mary’s, that all changed,” Prince said. Brandon has now been at St. Mary’s for nine years. It is planned that he will reside there until he his 21, said Prince. When they first placed Brandon in St. Mary’s, she almost felt like a bad parent, Prince said, but as time went by she was able to see how much more Brandon was able to get out of life while obtaining the special care he needed. As Brandon grew up, he always had an incredible interest in the Hokies and got great enjoyment out of watching them on TV. “As long as I can remember, for years now, he’s been a big Hokie fan,” said Prince. “It’s the first team he liked and he’s stuck with it since.” Brandon enjoys living through the football players’ passes and touchdowns. “This is huge for him,” said Prince. “Since he can’t really do it himself, all the excitement is giving him adrenaline; he likes it.”
Brandon may not be able to physically play the sport, but his mind is always in the game. “His mind is pretty good; he knows everybody, but he can’t do anything with his body,” Prince said. Brandon will be staying at the Inn at Virginia Tech and will be given a special campus tour on Sunday, said Kathy Brobst, a physical therapist at St. Mary’s. “It’s a special thing that we are doing because we know how much Brandon would enjoy this opportunity,” said Robin Geluso, Brandon’s child advocate at St. Mary’s. Brobst said the planning for Brandon’s visit was a “very spur of the moment thing.” Negotiations began Nov. 2, and Brobst worked with Tom Gabbard, associate director of athletics at Tech, to obtain tickets for the game. “He was immediately very willing to offer tickets,” Brobst said of Gabbard. After receiving the tickets, Brobst sought out accommodations at The Inn at Virginia Tech from Michele Vann, lodging manager, who also helped coordinate their weekend. “The people at Tech were absolutely just completely wonderful at doing everything they could do to help us out,” Brobst said. In Blacksburg, Brandon will be accompanied by Brobst, Jennifer Reasor, physical therapist, and Shaun Stauffer, from the recreational therapy department at St. Mary’s. All the staff members have close ties to the Tech community. Brobst herself is currently a Tech mom and aunt. Reasor is originally from the Roanoke area and Stauffer graduated from Tech in 2006. “There’s a lot of Hokie spirit at St. Mary’s,” Brobst said. Brandon’s spirit has been made very clear to the staff at St. Mary’s since the plans for his special weekend were in the works. “He’s communicating his excitement in a very clear manner,” said Brobst. “He doesn’t talk, but he does have his own way of communicating that we understand.” “He’s just an awesome kid,” Prince said.
Feng Ge, a graduate student in electrical engineering, uses an ATM in Squires Student Center.
Legislation enforces new regulations on student loans KERRY O’CONNOR
ct news reporter On Nov. 1, the Department of Education released a new set of regulations on the student loan system. The $85 billion a year student loan industry faced a lot of scrutiny over the past year with regard to the relationships between universities and alternative lenders. “I am pleased to see the long and deliberative
negotiated rulemaking process produce final regulations that are a major step forward in improving the transparency of the student loan programs, ensuring borrower choice and restoring confidence in the federal financial aid programs,” said Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education in a press release. The regulations were drafted after New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, con-
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november 16, 2007
news in brief CARS VANDALIZED IN FOXRIDGE During Wednesday night, an unknown person vandalized several cars in the Foxridge Apartment complex near campus. The vandalism was caused by the use of spray paint. The suspect covered license plates, mirrors, windows and Virginia Tech stickers, making several cars impossible to drive. Many of the cars required towing as a result. As of now, 26 cars filed police reports with the Blacksburg police. Police ask people who have any information about this incident to call them at (540) 961-1150. -Kevin Anderson. CT new staff
TASK FORCE NARROWS OPTIONS FOR NORRIS HALL The task force reviewing proposals for the best use of the 4,500 square foot wing in Norris Hall have narrowed their options down to two final proposals. The first proposal is the Institute for Transformative Learning with two centers within, one being named the Center for Violence Prevention and Peace Studies and the other being named the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships. The second proposal will be
called Re-Creating a StudentCentered Community, which was submitted by the department of engineering science and mechanics, part of the College of Engineering. The task force is basing its decision on a number of different components, including which option will best correspond to the university’s mission. “Both do fit the mission,” said Mark Owczarski, university spokesman. “One involves teaching and learning and the other involves learning and service. Both do directly relate to the mission; the question is which one would relate the best.” The task force, which is chaired by University Provost Mark McNamee, has been reviewing proposals since September. “The charge of that task force is extremely difficult,” said Owczarski. “Obviously the future of Norris Hall has a very emotional element to it.” The task force’s goal is to submit the final proposal to President Charles Steger by Dec. 7, but Ozwarski said that if the task force feels that further deliberation is necessary, the date will be pushed back. “It’s something you can’t rush,” Ozwarski said. “So many human elements are in this that they want to make sure they get the feedback and consider all the various options. It’s a decision not to be taken lightly.” -Ashley Oliver, CT news staff
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Loans: Regulations to take effect in July from page one
ducted an investigation into these university-lender relationships. The investigation found many cases of payoffs, kickbacks, gifts and donations given by alternative lenders to financial aid employees. One of the most extreme cases of these inducements took place at John Hopkins University last May. Ellen Frishberg, financial aid director at Hopkins, resigned after an investigation found she had been paid $65,000 in consulting fees and $1,200 in travel expenses since 2000 by Student Loan Xpress, one of the lenders Hopkins recommended to their students. Fishberg was using the consulting fees to pay for her doctoral degree program.
“We did have one incident a little over a year ago where one employee in the office made some statements that gave the appearance of the way we handled alternative loans in a way we didn’t handle them,” said Barry Simmons, director of university scholarships and financial aid. One of the primary regulations was put in place to prohibit these kinds of inducements. Many of the other new regulations deal with preferred lender lists that many universities, including Tech, provide for its students. Regulations now insist universities place at least three lenders on the list and detail why these lenders are preferred above others. “What we provide are banks and
loan companies which students have gotten loans from over the last several years,” Simmons said. “Generally, the lists were constructed essentially by looking at their loan products and feeling they were good loan products and having a good experience with the lender.” Tech’s financial aid office provides a list of 12 alternative lenders. Among the 12 are large companies such as SallieMae and Wachovia as well as smaller companies that are mainly for student loans, such as Campus Door and Nelnet. Although these new regulations are just rules put forward by the Department of Education, a bill outlining the regulations has been passed through the House and is awaiting
presentation in the Senate. “I think a lot of the change in response to the investigations has already happened,” said Kevin Bruns, executive director of America’s Student Loan Provide. “This bill goes further and it puts it into law, because right now they are just regulations.” Spellings said that although these regulations have been long overdue, she is not giving up on improving the student loan industry. The new regulations are to be put into effect this July and will hopefully provide students with a renewed sense of trust in the financial aid system. “The sooner people have full confidence in the financial aid system, the better,” Bruns said.
Thanks: Organizers March: Parade will hope 9,000 will join in be broadcast on NBC from page one
“If the weather isn’t good, it may make it harder or even impossible to do the flyover,” said Robinson. Sforza said that they decided to take other pictures besides satellite in case there is cloudy weather that could block the picture. Organizers will work quickly to unveil the pictures taken at the event. “Though the satellite photos will not be available until the Monday or Tuesday after the event, we’re going to take a handful of the best pictures from the aerial and ground photography and display those in Lane Stadium during the Virginia Tech versus Miami football game,” Sforza said. Dymond said that, according to pre-
liminary calculations, participation will need to be close to 9000 people. The responsibility for getting the word out about the event has fallen mainly to the Student Government Association. “We’ve done a whole marketing blitz for the event, with posters, flyers and table cards all around campus,” said Brandon Carroll, marketing co-director for the SGA. “We’ve taken care of most of the distribution of promotional materials.” Reaction to the event has been very strong so far, Sforza said. The “Hokies Thank The World” event will be taking place from 10:35 a.m. to 11:12 a.m. Though not required, participants are asked to wear orange and maroon.
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from page one
ward to their trip to the Big Apple. “I don’t think there is a greater honor that I could have than the opportunity to march in a parade that is dedicated to Matt La Porte. There isn’t a single thing that could be more significant,” Cook said. The senior class is especially excited to go; for some, it is the pinnacle of their Cadet careers, Evangelista said. They will perform at the Miami game on Saturday and start practicing for the parade on Sunday. They will have two practices on Monday and two on Tuesday, and leave for New York City on Wednesday. The 100 members of the HightyTighties aren’t upset about sacrificing their Thanksgiving break for the trip, Evangelista said. “We’re a pretty tight-knit group here, and after the parade we’ll all go to dinner at some restaurant up there. We’ll be thankful for a lot of things.” The band has performed in the Macy’s Day Parade twice under their
current director, Maj. George McNeill, in 1991 and 1999, Amos said. The coordinators of the parade contacted them following the events of April 16 and asked if they would like to march this year. The Highty-Tighties had applied to march in the 2008 parade and gladly accepted the earlier invitation, Evangelista said. The band will play a selection of military marches, as well as Tech Triumph. The Macy’s Day parade began in 1924. The current route is 2.5 miles long and begins at the intersection of 77th street and Central Park West, then winds its way through Manhattan. More than 44 million people tune in each year to watch the parade. The parade will began at 9 a.m. and will be broadcast on the NBC television network. Some of the band member’s families will travel with them to New York City, while others will return home on Thursday evening to be with loved ones over the break.
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november 16, 2007
Surprise sleepovers: Expect the unexpected Dane Cook strays The surprise sleepover seems to be one of the most interesting, and least discussed, of college phenomena. You know what I’m talking about. CHRIS You’re hanging out GUSTIN with that guy or regular girl you like. You’re watching a movie, columnist it gets late, maybe you’ve had a few to drink and don’t think you can handle driving, and suddenly you’re both in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. If you offer to let him sleep in your bed, turn to page 49. If she calls your bluff and you sleep on the couch, turn to page 8. You lose. The end. But let’s say you make it to page 49. After the initial excitement and realization HE SAID that you’ll be doubly warm tonight, there are a lot of questions to figure out. Questions that, ultimately, nobody really wants to talk about. Which side of the bed should I sleep on? Can I borrow some clothes or should I sleep in what I have? And the all-important: what do I do in the morning? The really fantastic thing about the surprise sleepover is that it is, in fact, a surprise. I know that seems obvious, but think about it for a moment. When you go to a bar or a party and you meet up with someone with whom you have a lot in common and a great deal of shared interests and you end up going home together, it’s not really a surprise. You know what’s going to happen from the minute you stagger out the door of the bar to the minute you stagger in the door at home and knock over a bunch of bikes; it doesn’t take Encyclopedia Brown to figure it out. Although I doubt that kid could have figured it out. What a nerd. But really, the surprise sleepover is usually defined by a certain level of sobriety while the drunken hookup, true to its name, is not. And the best part is everyone knows what’s going to happen. It always starts with that, “My roommates and I are watching a movie, want to come over?” And then you go over and one of the roommates always says something like, “Oh, is this the guy you’ve been talking
about?” Then one person turns really red and gets embarrassed. Of course, by the time the movie is over, it’s just the two of you, and at this point both, people know exactly what’s going down. This also means that the later it gets, the more likely it is that we guys are full of crap. “Oh, it’s 11:30 already? That’s so late. I mean I guess I can drive, but there’s supposed to be a lot of deer on the road this time of night. They did a study on it or something.” And so of course, in the interest of safety and that alone in mind, movie night turns in to a sleepover. Surprise! But what about all the questions I brought up earlier in the column? What about the, what am I supposed to do? First of all, don’t ask me is what. I’m not an advice columnist. But if you’re really not sure, here are some tips. First of all, guys, if she’s sleeping over at your place, offer her some clothes to sleep in. What a girl wears out on any given night and what she goes to bed in on any given night tend to be pretty different, so it’s good to make sure she’s comfortable
The surprise sleepover is usually defined by a certain level of sobriety while the drunken hookup, true to its name, is not. And the best part is everyone knows what’s going to happen. before you hibernate together. On the flip side, don’t ask to borrow her clothes. Even if they fit, that’s just bad form. As far as for which side of the bed you should sleep on, it doesn’t matter. You are a guest though; see which side she wants before you go climbing in. Also, chances are high that there will be somewhere close to a thousand pillows on the bed. As tempting as it might be, don’t build a fort with them. There will be time for that later. Finally, in regards to what to do in the morning, you’re on your own with that one. I’m not helping you out of any holes you might dig yourself into. Most of all, just have fun. This is one of those events that makes college so enjoyable, don’t stress about the details too much. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a fort to build.
SHARON PRITZ ct features editor
“The night is young” is a common adage that most college students live by. Every time we get ready to head to a party or a favorite bar, who knows where the night will go. It could be another state, Blockbuster, or the magical land
of DX. And so we accept that we can’t always be prepared for what may happen over the course of four or five hours. Depending on how the cards fall, we may find ourselves in the company of a handsome stranger or someone whom we somehow continue to bump into and flirt with. And with this comes an imporSHE SAID tant topic of etiquette: the unexpected sleepover. Normal night rituals might include some, if not all, of the following: brushing teeth, removing makeup, bundling up in flannel pajamas, and climbing into a fresh bed. Being out of our element naturally throws off our routines and, thus, we are faced with a few problematic situations. First we tackle teeth-brushing, or perhaps, the lack of. Though there are a few of us who carry an extra toothbrush in our purses, that’s a pretty small minority. And though you may have adopted the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” as a way of life and good sense, others may be waiting for you to start saying things five times in succession or obsessively hand-washing. So you’re standing in a hair-filled, smelly, and perhaps mold-infested bathroom with nothing on the sink but an electric razor, an old toothbrush, and some Scope. Though that electric razor may give the deep-cleaning you’ve been meaning to get and it does somewhat echo the sound of the dentist’s office, steer clear. That being said, walking out of a guy’s bathroom with a mouthful of toothpaste and his toothbrush dangling from your slobbery mouth is absolutely horrifying. Despite the fact that you may have spent the past hour swapping spit, please don’t think a toothbrush is up for grabs. Maybe we forgo a little dental hygiene with the resolve to brush
doubly well in the morning. Though we all might wish that we had the Clinique 3-step system stashed away in our bags, alas, we lack that, too. It’s a fact of life that sometimes the raccoon eyes must appear from hibernation. It’s the icing on the “walk of shame” cake. And at least a little smeared eyeliner in the a.m. probably means, “I looked good last night.” The biggest dilemma that the unexpected sleepover poses is pajamas. Movies always show a slightly disheveled woman prancing around in a man’s button-down shirt. She’s casual, but totally hot. But in real life, when does a guy say, “Here, you can wear this crisp, collared shirt to sleep in.” It probably took his mom 10 minutes to get the collar just right when she ironed it the first time. You know that if you are a participant in the unexpected sleepover, you’re probably getting the ripped basketball shorts and a T-shirt that Aunt Linda gave him that may say something like “Mississippi Mud Pie Festival 1996.” And really, can you blame him? He may never see these clothes again! Of course, this leads us to the everimportant question: to return or not to return the pajamas? Because crawling back into smoke-smelling party attire isn’t the most pleasant and decent manners are a must, it’s a nice gesture to take those loaner clothes home and give them a quick spin in the washing machine. But please refrain from spritzing your own perfume on the clothes when you return them. Though the nose is a powerful place of memory, chances are the scent he remembers you by is Marlboro’s new Eau de Cigarette, and he’ll probably wonder why his gym clothes reek of not only April Fresh, but also Very Sexy. And so the next time that you find yourself in an unexpected sleepover situation, persevere. Try to remember that although we may feel lost with that one square of toilet paper left in this guy’s bathroom and seven empty Degree sticks under the sink, he’d feel just as lost in our bathroom sifting through cleansers, toners, moisturizers, gel masks, etc. And lastly, I’m not your doctor, nor am I Dr. Ruth, but if you do find yourself in this sleepover situation, forget stereotypes, expectations, and stigmas about who should or shouldn’t provide the “balloon animals,” and clown around.
from his true calling CONOR BRACKEN
ct staﬀ witer No comedian has stormed the college scene quite like Dane Cook. In a mere five years, this Massachusetts native went from stealing the stage from another unknown to sharing a stage with those known all too well. A Burger King now evokes images of a befuddled Dane, replete with a drive-thru headset, screaming for sweet-and-sour sauce, and any tire screeches leave the listener disappointed when no culminating crunch punctuates the disrupted peace. Catholic mass no longer drags itself along with the undecipherable mumblings of a priest, but rollicks through with Dane’s literal interpretations, centering on the Eucharist as a “cracker o’ Christ.” It has been a long time since a stand-up comedian of this caliber has graced any microphone with his spittle. Like MTV, Comedy Central seems to have strayed far from its original, pioneering path, pushing into the background what was once its bread and butter, though Comedy Central retains its “Comedy.” MTV would be better named DrivelTV. But, on the occasional Friday, stand-up comedians can be found sweating and straining in front of Kleig lights, cameras and audiences, entreating their spectators for a laugh. Some do it effortlessly, such as Daniel Tosh, one who might be considered a contemporary, if not a successor to, the Dane, while others rely on guzzled rum and cokes to loosen their observers’ guffaws instead of originality. Stage-wise, New Yorker neurosis has been exhausted by Jerry Seinfeld, shock humor has died with Andy Kauffman, and social commentary by way of intelligent racism has found its best practitioners in Chris Rock, Katt Williams and Dave Chappelle. Even deadpan, deliverycentered, drug-fueled comedy seems to have fallen with Mitch Hedberg, a one-liner messiah who nearly lifted stand-up out of its current doldrums only to succumb to the source of his inspiration. The days of sold-out stadium shows are now relegated to the
past, along with Eddie M u r p h y ’s career and his tight red leather pants, but the insightful humor he Cook exhibited pokes its head out now and again, aching to be realized by a comedian with his or her finger on the pulse of the times. And who better fits this bill than Dane? His second album, “Retaliation,” reached number four on the Billboard 100 (the first comedy album to do so since Steve Martin used his SNL credentials along with his historical hysterics). He also became the first celebrity to “make” two million friends on MySpace, evidence that he is part of the generation he speaks to and for. “I think he’s quirky, but more witty, really,” says junior international relations major Kristina Heeger, which is possibly an insight as to why his fame has fallen recently. Cook purportedly said that he wants to pursue a career in film acting and will retire from the medium that sky-rocketed him to his illustrious fame. But razor-sharp wit can lose its bite in the movie business. Junior business major Mike Bell said, “(Dane) is pretty funny, but his movies are just not that good.” The tone on campus seems to be the same. In the past five years, Dane Cook has appeared in five movies and starred in one of them, to disappointing reviews. On screen, his intense infectious energy translates as well as hieroglyphics before the Rosetta Stone. The only movie where he received anything near critical acclaim was in “Mr. Brooks,” with Kevin Costner, when The New York Times described his character as magnetic. But one would think that such a brilliant comedian could transplant himself into a character like himself, and it would come with only stellar results. Like MTV, when Dane Cook strays too far off his true path, alienation ensues, leaving him the savior that could, but wouldn’t.
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friday, november 16, 2007
Just because it’s a holiday does not mean it does not add up november 16, 2007
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, visions of turkey and pumpkin pie are dancing in our heads and we are preparing to partake in the best feast of
the year. As a young college student however, there is good cause for weight gain worries. Studies show that thanks to heaping servings of potatoes, cranberry sauce, and sugary yams, college students take on an average of 1.1 pounds over break. Overweight or obese subjects gained even more, averaging slightly over two pounds of extra weight. This difference in obese students could possibly be attributed to pre-set unhealthy eating habits, such as excessive eating and snacking. The binging on Thanksgiving Day and the following days of turkey and stuffing leftovers is a tradition that most typical Americans indulge in. The downfall is eating past the point of saturation or fullness and then often spending the rest of the day watching football games or napping. There are a few simple ways to avoid adding those extra pounds. First of all, stop eating when it’s really not that enjoyable anymore. There will always be more later, and while the pressure to overindulge from others around you is tempting, no one should feel obliged to engage in unhealthy activities. Secondly, get off that couch! A walk may not be your first thought or desire after the Thanksgiving meal, but it’s a great time to continue those good conversations with relatives and friends while burning off the extra calories. Also, turkey trots are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to collectively work against the heavy effects of Thanksgiving feasting. These walk/run events are held around the country and can probably be found in a city near you or even organized by your neighborhood or local YMCA. Finally, do not starve yourself or ‘save up’ room before the main Thanksgiving meal. This is a common misconception that many people believe will help balance out the extra food they are eating that day. This practice, however, does not help you maintain a steady weight. On the contrary, it will only cause a massive increase in eating, even past a point of hunger, and lead to weight gain and uncomfortable stomachaches. Not eating for an extended period of time also causes the stomach to shrink, so if your goal is to not eat for breakfast and lunch and thus eat as much as possible in huge portions for dinner, you will not succeed. In order to make the most of your Thanksgiving meal, have a healthy, filling breakfast and substantial lunch. Your stomach will be at its normal status then, ready to eat a good portion of enjoyable food. Take courage. Not all the participants in the study gained noticeable amounts of weight. And a good amount were back to their pre-Thanksgiving scale readings by January. The most important thing is to make sure you are not overdoing it, and that you keep healthy eating and fitness as a priority even over the holidays. A seemingly imperceptible gain of a pound or two, if maintained, can really add up over a lifetime of holiday seasons. So join your local turkey trot, have healthy meals prior to dinner, and walk it off afterwards. There is no need to deprive yourself. With a few healthy tips, you can have an enjoyable Thanksgiving without the negative consequences of added weight. -posted by Marie Horn
EA rolls five games into one big box that there is absolutely no George Lucas influence when it comes to the story of these games. Along with all of the Half-Life 2 content, the box also comes with two other games, “Portal” and the long awaited “Team Fortress 2.” The first game can only be described as a firstperson shooter mixed with a puzzle game, conjured up while someone was watching too many sci-fi movies while on acid. The second game, on the other hand, is a multiplayer-only shooter that combines Pixar-like, kid-style animation with slapstick comedy and a healthy dose of bullets and blood.
The best part about “The Orange Box” is that even if you were to separate out the five games that make up the package ALBERT and review each BJORK of them, each game would still regular get above a nine columnist out of ten in my opinion. This game is one of the few instances when a company decided to truly treat the gamers by not only giving them one of the greatest games ever created in “Half-Life 2,” but also giving them a stellar line up of addons to turn “The Orange Box” into a package that anyone who owns a PC or console should buy. Now some of you may be wondering what plethora of goodness must be contained within this “Orange Box” to warrant it being given so much praise. Well, first of all, the main game in the package is “Half-Life 2.” For those not inclined toward video games, “Half-Life 2” is the sequel to “Half-Life,” a game most famous for taking up a great part of my middle school life and previously hailed the greatest PC shooter ever created. I say previously because when “Half-Life 2” came out in 2004 it was given the new title of greatest PC shooter, even knocking its older brother off the pedestal. Another good question to ask is why I’m now, in 2007, reviewing a package based on a game that is three years old. The answer is that rather than putting out a “Half-Life 3” to follow up number two, the game developers decided to release “Episodic Content” for “Half-Life 2.” In English, they decided to break the sequel up into
So finally, after explaining what’s in “The Orange Box,” I can start talking about why everyone needs to go out and buy it. First of all, “Half-Life 2” is the greatest first-person shooter ever released. You can argue all you want for your “Halo,” or for any other game for that matter, but it’s pretty much a fact that when it comes to gameplay, story, and even to a certain degree, graphics, the game is unparalleled. The Source Engine, the graphics engine used for the game, is so good that instead of creating a new engine when episodes one and two came out years later, they simply upgraded it a bit, and three years later kept using it. Using an engine that long without major overhauls is almost unheard of in the gaming industry. The great part about the two sequels to the game is that they simply continue the story of Gordon Freeman, an MIT grad with a bada-- goatee and an unusual proficiency in firearms who is still fighting aliens from another dimension. But this time, he’s on the run and trying to learn more about who controls the aliens and
three parts and release them at regular intervals. As of yet, only episodes one and two have been released, and they are the games included in “The Orange Box.” I know some may be wary of anything called episode one or episode two, but let me assure you
how he can be the first MIT grad to ever save the world with guns instead of programming. The games feature the original version’s same stellar cast of characters, who are so lifelike and convincing that I found myself replaying sections over and over simply
because I’d feel bad if one of my comrades died in battle. The developers really were able to create convincing computer-controlled allies who not only respond to your actions, but actually make you feel like you need to keep them alive. My only real complaint about episodes one and two is that I have to wait for episode three. The original game clocked in at about 20 hours for the first play through, while each of the episodes gives you about four more hours of additional content. Twenty-eight hours of gameplay isn’t bad when you consider there are still two games left in the package.
“Team Fortress 2” “Team Fortress 2” is really the only part of “The Orange Box” that is a letdown. It’s not that the game is bad exactly, but rather that it’s simply not new. Basically, it’s the original “Team Fortress,” but with a shiny new coat of paint and a few new features in the mix. The point of the game involves a red team and a blue team that fight each other either in traditional death match games, capture the flag games or objective games in order to see who can win. The only problem is that each game type can only be played on one map, and the selection of maps right now is pretty small. I rather enjoyed playing the game, especially as a spy with the ability to disguise myself as the other team, or as a scout who runs around beating people with an aluminum baseball bat. But when it came down to it, the game became repetitive fast, and with all the other amazing multiplayer games out now such as “Halo 3,” or “Call of Duty 4,” “Team Fortress 2” just seems to get swept away.
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shooter. The only real story in the game is that you wake up in a tiny room as the robotic voice of GLaDOS, the supercomputer that gives you commands, explains that a portal will be opening to let you out of the room. Now words don’t really do the game justice, but I’ll try my best to explain. There’s an orange portal and a blue portal, and you have a gun that shoots both. You shoot the orange portal in one spot and the blue in another, and when you walk into the orange portal you pop out the blue. Imagine having a window in your bathroom in which you saw the interior of the oval office when you looked through
Lastly, but definitely not least, the package is rounded out with “Portal.” “Portal” is the best game in the package by far. The odd thing about it is that you don’t kill anyone, there are no enemies, and you don’t even really get a gun. However, it’s still a first-person
it. The portal gun works like that, but you get to control where it starts and where it ends. The point of the game is that you are a test subject for the gun itself, and GLaDOS, pronounced Gladys, guides you throughout the game as you make your way through the levels, finding ingenious ways to bypass forcefields, impossible jumps and deadly toxic waste pits to get to the end. Now I don’t want to ruin what happens, but let’s just say a reward of cake is involved, and the credits roll with one of the catchiest songs ever recorded, performed in the angelic robot voice of GLaDOS herself. The game may seem incredibly boring, but it’s the dry robotic wit of the instructions given to you throughout the game, as well as the incredibly unique style of play, that keeps it interesting. The game often had me wondering what direction was up and where I was going to be pulled by gravity. It also allowed for some odd situations, such as being able to see yourself exiting one portal as you enter another. All in all, it’s one of the most innovative and refreshing puzzle games I’ve played in a long while, and with rumors circulating that the portal gun will be available in “Half-Life 2: Episode 3,” I’m that much more excited for the next game in the series to come out. Like I said earlier, individually these games would all get more than a 9 out of 10 from pretty much any reviewer, but the amazing thing is that as a whole, “The Orange Box” is truly better than the sum of its parts. You can’t really beat getting five stellar games for your $50 to $60 dollars, even if you’ve already played through “Half-Life 2.”
The Orange Box: 10/10
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november 16, 2007
Editorial local issue
Hokies thank the world is a great opportunity Before the Miami football game this Saturday, students, faculty and alumni have the opportunity to be seen around the world showing thanks for the support Virginia Tech has received since April 16. Peter Sforza of the geography department organized “Hokies Thank the World,” an event where people will spell out “VT Thanks You” at 10:35 in the morning. A satellite will take a picture of the aerial view, in addition to other pictures from cameras on the ground and in airplanes and helicopters. The pictures will be shown during the Miami game and on www. HokiesThankTheWorld.org. The “Hokies Thank the World” project is a creative way to show our thanks to the supporters from around the world. While ideas such as creating posters thanking various universities during the East Carolina football game focuses on the United States, this project reaches out to the entire world. Additionally, this is a relatively easy project that doesn’t involve too much work on the volunteers’ part. All you have to do is show up, and you can take part in a huge effort to show appreciation. It’s clear that a lot of planning went into the event: Sforza had to coordinate with the satellite and other photographers, and there’s a lot of arrangement to make sure that the picture will be scaled and timed correctly. The Student Government Association is trying hard to publicize the event across campus, and over 1,500 people
have RSVP’d via Facebook to the event. Perhaps the event should have been organized for a different weekend: a lot of students are leaving Friday or early Saturday to go home for Thanksgiving break. This unfortunately means that the people who were most directly involved, the students, may not be able to participate in the event. Most likely, the group will be mostly made up of alumni and not the students, when there should be a stronger student presence in the event. Maybe the intention was to coincide with the last home football game, but a weekend when most students are guaranteed to be on the campus would potentially bring more people to the event. Nevertheless, “Hokies Thank the World” is an innovative and unique way to create a permanent show of thanks. If you are going to be at Tech this Saturday, we encourage you to take 45 minutes out of your time to be a part of this gathering. It is estimated that around 9,000 people will be needed to spell out “VT Thanks You.” When about seven times as many people will be fitting into Lane Stadium later that afternoon, we hope that plenty more than 9,000 people will come out and show their support for the school and represent Tech on a global scale. The editorial board is composed of Amie Steele, Joe Kendall, Saira Haider, Laurel Colella and Sara Mitchell
Increases in technology lead to the rapid publishing of news The other day I woke up, put the coffee on, made the bed and got online to check out the morning’s news. It was a lot of the FLASH same old headlines; the first five CLARK stories all sharing regular some semblance. columnist A nine-year-old accidentally shoots his 10-year-old playmate with a rifle. Cops shoot a young man carrying an airbrush. An estranged girlfriend charges into her old beaux’s apartment attacking his new companion with a large culinary knife before being shot in the chest. A cop’s late wife is exhumed from her resting-place amid suspicions that he may have been involved in his fourth wife’s disappearance. Worldwide, the incessant threat of terrorism has become a daily reality that gives birth to much uncertainty. An overwhelming lack of trust in the government flourishes in the shadows of domestic surveillance and extraordinary rendition programs, challenging both the constitutions of the people and the nation. Record-breaking temperatures and weather phenomena seem to corroborate the prospect self-destruction through global warming. Earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.7 rattle Chile, 149-mph winds tear at Bangladesh and Rhode Island-sized chucks of the artic ice shelf splinter and fall into the sea. Two hundred thousand people are dead in Darfur, 4.4 million Iraqi refugees are without their homes, and no one seems to want to be the first one to stop fighting, although everyone wishes the fighting would stop. When confronted daily with this news both locally and nationally, it is easy to feel that the world is simply spiraling down the drain. It makes you wonder if things were always this bad — if the days of our parents’ youth harbored easier times.
It’s an easy mindset to slip into. We tend to think that our mothers and fathers grew up in some type of American utopia where every family had 2.5 kids, two cars in the garage, milk delivered to the front door by a gentleman in white and nary a worry in the world. But the truth is there has always been strife. There has always been atrocity and mayhem, terror and violence. It’s just that there has not always been this super connectedness with which the world is now joined into one. On any given day a person can tap into a wealth of resources and watch firsthand as civilization flails and kicks to stay civilized. Cell phones capture video of monks beaten and kidnapped in the streets of Myanmar. Digital video cameras capture the collisions at the World Trade Centers on Sept. 11, forever cementing into a nation’s collective mind the face of terror. Satellites capture images of mass graves in Iraq and digital cameras relay pictures of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. Telescopes in inner space spot species-quashing asteroids while physicists measure and report the likelihood of a catastrophic earthly collision. Science’s information snowball effect causes avalanches of stress for individuals as they learn that practically everything in nature and their lives causes cancer or diabetes or gives rise to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. At the touch of a few fingers or the click of a mouse a treasure trove of tragedy awaits the curious. Flying mansions carry reporters halfway around the world where they will broadcast paramount horrors straight into your living room at noon, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. daily. This historically flat planet, having once rested squarely on the shoulders of Atlas, having seen the sun and stars revolve about itself, has been illuminated quicker than our eyes can adjust to the new light. You see, it’s not so much that times have changed for the worse; it’s that the rate of information exchange has increased beyond our ready compre-
hension. We as individuals, small as dust, have suddenly become global and have inherited an identity that is sometimes dependent upon the way the rest of the world looks. This global identity places faces on statistics and gives names and personalities to silhouettes. Information lends form to specters and phantoms, casting light upon ghastly figures. It shortens gaps, personalizes strangers and familiarizes the foreign. It can chase away the boogeyman while placing wolves outside the windows. In essence, the world, nightmarish or not, is what we make it. Our parents didn’t have the same availability of informa-
When confronted daily with this news both locally and nationally, it is easy to feel that the world is simply spiraling down the drain. It makes you wonder if things were always this bad — if the days of our parents’ youth harbored easier times. tion that is present in our lives today. However, they similarly had the pressing issues of the Bay of Pigs, the Cold War and Vietnam. They tied yellow ribbons around trees for hostages in Lebanon and feared the Red Threat of the USSR. They toiled and lived sometimes thinking that the world would end, but it didn’t and it hasn’t, yet. We are the wiser for this information, this super interconnectedness. The people’s vigilance against tyranny grows as their awareness sharpens. Judges of nations champion human rights in the face of persecution as societies reflect and learn from the lessons taught through the camera’s lens. This is a better world and it will continue to improve, though at the times it will appear uglier, but such is the nature of knowledge. Such is the price of being informed.
Faith-based assumptions challenge women’s rights In another long line of legal victories for irrational religious radicalism, the Justice D ep ar t ment’s Board of Immigration GABRIEL Appeals has MCVEY decided that a Malian refugee regular shall be deported columnist to her ancestral village so she may be forcibly wedded to a first cousin. The same family that obliges her to enter into these sordid, incestuous nuptials had also forced her, as a preadolescent girl, to undergo what some euphemistically call “female genital cutting.” I, for one, refuse to be a part of any cute word games to preserve the public’s dull, stupid sensibilities. Her family paid someone to excise her labia and clitoris so that she would be incapable of experiencing sexual pleasure and thus be less likely to engage in adultery, ensuring her virginity and guaranteeing her familial “honor,” along with a hefty dowry. In a bow to the complexity of the issue, I will emphasize that nearly all Muslims would be as shocked and scandalized by this decision as any otherwise rational person would. Genital mutilation is not a pervasive practice in Islam, though it is not specifically condemned, either. Nonetheless, the faithful place girls,
women and, by extension, female sexuality in an impossible position. While the faithful are (generally) expected to abuse themselves with the masochistic belief that they are unworthy and sinful and to beg God’s leniency for their inability to live up to His unworkable standards and faith place girls and women in a double-bind; it calls to this base self-loathing and misuse while simultaneously snubbing females as ontologically inferior. Women in scripture are the source of sin, soiled, contaminated and foolish slanderers of God and his works while at the same time irresistible temptresses. The natural cycle of a woman’s reproductive organs is a source of filth. The phenomenon of birth, especially birthing girls, is a contamination for which ritual cleansing is required to rejoin the household. The bizarre cult of virginity, originally meant to ensure the patrilineal blood descent of male offspring, receives a weird, mystical position in faith. According to the gospels of Evangelists Matthew and Mark, Jesus was born to a virgin. In numerous other faiths there are abundant birth myths, all somehow decrying the vagina as filthy and defiled. This sordid misogyny is what the faithful claim is the scriptural basis for our legal tradition. The Justice Department’s decision illuminates the irrational and fundamentally patriarchal religious
contamination of what should be a rational dialogue. The United States Department of State allows women who have undergone forced sterilization refugee status. Rational people, along with fundamentalist Christians, consider it a great moral evil: the rational because it is a violation of fundamental human rights to both individual sovereignty and integrity of the person, the faithful (in addition) because it violates Yahweh’s various fruitfulness commands in the
I would say that human dignity, liberty and rights are not matters of consensus and no one in a free society should tolerate infibulations, marriageby-capture, child brides or nonconsensual polygamy, divine instructions to the contrary notwithstanding. creation fable “Genesis.” Nevertheless, I do not advocate making common cause with Christian dogmatists; consider the dichotomy of legal precedent that has been set. Also, make no mistake in thinking that religious principles are at work here. A woman, abandoned by the Justice Department, is forced to endure what amounts to compulsory inbreeding
by way of rape, her earlier genital mutilation at her family’s instruction notwithstanding because, in the words of the Board: “FGM (female genital mutilation) is generally performed only once, thereby eliminating risk of identical future persecution.” Not only is the finding factually incorrect — in the case of infibulations it is revisited after each childbirth — there is the fact that forced sterilization cannot, in any case, be performed more than once. This leads one to the logical conclusion that the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals is operating under a faith-based assumption that reproduction is not only a woman’s proper function (this based on the Right’s simultaneously inane and futile opposition to abortion and contraception), but that it is her duty (the budding and surreptitiously racist Quiverfull Movement). Women are supposed to function as a brat-factory for their families and nations. An inability to enjoy the function outside nonsexual maternal satisfaction is possibly unfortunate (perhaps not?) but no impediment to a generation of potential incestuous flipper-babies, just so long as they keep breeding for God’s sake. Or is it “for God’s sake?” However, reason and logic are not, and I would argue have never been, any impediment to the free exercise of religious nonsense. As Martin Luther stated, and his intellectual heirs clearly still believe,
“Reason is the Devil’s harlot, who can do naught but slander and harm whatever God says and does.” There is, of course, the relativist counterargument that a culture has a right to its own customs and observances. I would say that human dignity, liberty and rights are not matters of consensus and no one in a free society should tolerate infibulations, marriage-bycapture, child brides or nonconsensual polygamy, divine instructions to the contrary notwithstanding. Karl Popper’s “The Open Society and Its Enemies” demonstrates that refusing to tolerate intolerance illustrates that there are limits to the forbearance of faith-based drivel. A free society and its social institutions have a sound right to self-preservation that supersedes the principle of toleration. To be sure, religious moderates and liberals will protest that their faith is fully compatible with their reason and that I am making a caricature of belief. I answer with a question, why then do they not protest? Where are the moderates marching in the streets following an abortion clinic bombing? Where are the raucous and implacable mobs in Muslim countries after Salafist thugs murder a young woman for sitting in a car with her fiancée? Why are the liberals not confronting the extremists instead of incessantly apologizing for them? The answer is simple: theirs is not a difference originating in principle, but simply in a matter of degrees.
I’ve read the debate that has raged on the opinions page and online CT discussion threads over the past few days, and I’ve come to a conclusion that everyone seems to be overlooking. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with whether I think the people who rushed the field are idiots who don’t know football, or if they were understandably showing their elation after Tech, again, set the pace for the division against an opponent that is sometimes underestimated. I was not able to make the trip to the game last weekend, so I was unaware that, apparently, there was an announcement made in Lane Stadium requesting that fans refrain from rushing the field. If this is indeed the case, which I believe it is,
especially since a similar announcement was often made during my time at Tech, then we’re arguing the wrong point. It doesn’t matter whether or not our team’s victory warranted students rushing onto the field; everyone was asked not to do it. End of story. I’m not saying that rushing the field is a horrible crime and that those who do it are terrible people, but we should be more mindful of the request. We’re constantly reminded of the importance of being good stewards of Hokie football and representing our school proudly, so why not start by heeding the request of our own school to celebrate without rushing the field? Certainly there are other ways to celebrate.
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november 16, 2007
Catch-22 game for Hokies against Miami in final game in Lane I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the Virginia Tech football team go into a game in midNove mb e r CHARLES R. that is as meaningless BARRINEAU in the grand ct associate s cheme sports editor of things as is this weekend’s against the University of Miami. Win or lose Saturday, the Hokies must still defeat the University of Virginia Nov. 24 in Charlottesville. That game is one of the two semifinal match-ups for the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, with the other happening this Saturday when the COMMENT Boston College Eagles visit the Clemson Tigers. The only thing that really even makes this game of any interest to me is that it’s against the Miami Hurricanes. The Hokies have developed quite a rivalry with the ‘Canes over the last several years since they first defeated Miami 13-7 during the 1995 season. Over the last 12 years, Tech is 8-4 in games played against the Hurricanes and even won five-in-a-row over The U from 1995 to 1999 — both of which are successes many in college football would die to have against such a storied program. Although the result of Saturday’s game is not all that important to me, it will be important to the seniors who will be playing their last-ever game in Lane Stadium. Senior day, for most players, is an emotional experience that fires them up and gives them a little something more for which to play. By the way, Tech is 3-0 on senior day as ACC members. This senior class is playing for
more than just a perfect record on senior day. It’s playing for an excellent record against the Hurricanes. If Tech is to win, many of the seniors would leave Blacksburg with an impressive 4-1 career record against Miami. The seniors will also be looking to avenge the 27-7 home loss to the ‘Canes in 2005. “I remember that like yesterday … it was a real bad night for us. They came in here and took it to us,” said senior left tackle Duane Brown. “It’s a great program over there with great tradition … It’d be (a) real big (win) for us.” To be honest, Saturday’s game is a bit of a Catch-22 for Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer. If he plays his starters in an effort to win over his South Florida rival and one of them is injured, he looks bad for wasting resources in a meaningless game. If Beamer saves his resources for the UVa game, but loses to Miami, the fans will undoubtedly be frustrated with him for not beating one of Tech’s biggest rivals and killing the team’s momentum going into the regular season finale. While the Hokies have momentum, the ‘Canes do not. Miami is coming off two straight losses, including a 48-0 thrashing at the hands of UVa in its final game at the Orange Bowl. “That Virginia game, that was one of those that just got out of whack,” said Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer. “That wasn’t the Miami I know.” The real victory this weekend would be something like a 13-3 win over the Hurricanes with a very conservative list of plays. The Hokies don’t want to show the Cavaliers any more on film than they absolutely must. It would be surprising if Tech shows enough to cover the 17 points the Las Vegas oddsmakers are giving the Hurricanes. Kickoff from Lane Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. with the game televised regionally by ABC.
Women’s soccer falls just short of goal AFTER A ROLLERCOASTER SEASON FILLED WITH UPS AND DOWNS, WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM FALLS JUST SHORT OF A POSTSEASON BID T.REES SHAPIRO ct sports reporter Talk about tough luck. Since late August, when the women’s soccer season kicked off, the Hokies have been ascending an icy mountain using ballet slippers for boots, paper clips for ice picks, and dental floss for climbing rope. Their season had more highs and lows and unpredictable outcomes than Blacksburg’s November weather. Three games into the season, they faced No. 13 Tennesee, their first of seven ranked opponents. The Hokies dismantled the Lady Vols defense and won 2-1. After this performance, coaches and fans around the ACC began to COMMENT take notice of the sleepy team in blistery Blacksburg, and their season was looking to heat up. But it wasn’t meant to be. Tech faced a streak of nine ACC opponents mid-season, and the prowess and prestige of women’s soccer premiere conference was accurately displayed, to Tech’s dismay. They lost five of the nine matches, four of which were to ranked teams, and tied twice, to No. 19 Clemson and the University of Miami. Their only two wins came against NC State and Maryland. The Wolfpack finished their season last in the ACC going 0-9-1, and the Terps hung on for second to last finishing 1-8-1. But what Tech lost in points, it made up for in relentless effort, playing five matches to sudden death overtime. They also had one of the best defenses in the ACC with the likes of junior Kim Hickey, the indestructible Kelly Lynch (an All-ACC freshman), redshirt junior goalkeeper Ashley Owens, and the National Soccer Coaches of America Association’s player of the week, senior defender, Ashley Kinser. The defense collaborated for 80 percent efficiency on shots saved; their opponents averaged 76.3 percent. The Hokies suffered through an
ACC blizzard that would be melted away in their final match of the season against the No. 10 ranked Boston College. The Eagles defense was saving 87 percent of its shots and slinging over 15 shots per game at its opponents. Forget a single snowy mountain. This game, the Hokies were looking at the Sahara desert (3,500,000 square miles of sand) with salt shakers for water bottles and llama butter for sunscreen. Even the optimists thought the Hokies were about to be served a la carte to the stacked BC team, an outright roasting with their home turf as the spit, and to top it off, the match would be their last game as the season — it had all the makings of the last supper. And in typical Blacksburg fashion, the Sahara froze over, and the BC players couldn’t keep up with the speedy and efficient execution of the Tech team. The Hokies gave the Eagles the worst beating they would receive all season, upsetting them 3-0. With their season looking up, maybe the Hokies would have a chance at the ACC tournament, despite their 3-5-2 record. But the ACC said no, hope for the NCAA tournament in just a couple more weeks. The Hokies had finished their season on a three game winning streak, and eight total wins on the season. Two of which were against top 15 teams. While it would be a long shot for the Hokies to get a bid, which would have been its first since 2004, it was tangible and possible. They had held their own against ranked opponents, putting up goals in every game except one, which was against Florida State, when they were minutes away from another sudden death OT. But they were riding on the NCAA tournament selection committee seeing that BC score and giving the Hokies the benefit of the doubt. But it wasn’t meant to be. The brackets were announced, and the Hokies would be staying home. In all, eleven teams Tech faced dur-
Freshman forward Marika Gray leads a talented cast of returning players looking to reach the postseason next year. ing the regular season advanced to the championships, a testament to the difficulty of its schedule. Eight of those teams were in the ACC, evidence as to the challenge of its conference opponents. Shafted? Perhaps. The Hokies would have had the worst record of all the entrants, and had already lost to six of the teams in the tournament already. But count them out entirely? Hardly. They had continually proved season-long their endurance against their more talented foes. But apparently the NCAA doesn’t care for wild cards. Predictability and soaring winloss ratios are all they see. But what’s the fun in that? Next season, the Hokies will return
equipped with all the proper weaponry for another run at the tournament. The Hokies only lose five seniors, and they retain stars such as freshman Marika Gray (second team All-ACC), eight goals on the season, six assists, and sophomore Julian Johnson, four goals, five assists, not to mention defensive standouts Owens and Lynch. Consider this season a warning, I say. 8-7-3 might seem docile, but after getting ousted twice from tournament berths, and with such a talented and youthful roster, I’d suggest the other teams stand clear and let the Hokies roll through — they’ll be twice as anxious. As the old adage goes: Wait ‘til next year.
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friday, november 16, 2007
Saturday’s game against the University of Miami will mark the last time the seniors play in Lane Stadium. Although the result of the game doesn’t matter in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship picture, the Hokies will come out with an intensity level matching that of any other big game in which they’ve ever played, as it’s Senior Day and a chance to avenge the 2005 loss to the Hurricanes at Lane Stadium. For the 2007 seniors, a class that has the potential to be the most successful in program history, there’s no sense in letting up now.
unset for the
When Tech has the ball...
When Miami has the ball... Hurricane Offense
Hokie Offense QB 5
6-1, 206, Fr
6-4, 225, Sr
5-11, 205, Jr
6-0, 211, So
5-10, 230, Sr
6-1, 275, So
6-1, 220, Sr
5-10, 188, Sr
5-11, 190, Sr
6-3, 192, Sr
6-3, 291, So
6-2, 242, Jr
6-5, 308, Sr
6-6, 290, So
6-3, 357, Jr
6-3, 344, Sr
6-3, 275, Fr
6-2, 273, Sr
6-4, 326, So
6-4, 320, Sr
6-5, 312, So
6-5, 302, Jr
Hurricane Defense DE 94 Eric Moncur Defense DT 91 Joe Joseph
6-2, 255, Jr 6-3, 271, So
6-1, 286, Sr
Key Player: DE 81 Calais Campbell 6-8, 280, Jr This year: 47 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 6 sacks
Key Player: DE 49 Chris Ellis 6-5, 267, Sr This year: 35 tackles, 7 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 1 int DT 39
6-2, 293, Sr
6-4, 290, Sr
6-2, 256, Jr
6-3, 223, So
6-2, 236, Sr
6-2, 238, Sr
6-2, 211, So
5-11, 240, So
6-0, 238, Sr
5-11, 240, So
6-3, 220, So
6-3, 210, Jr
5-10, 200, Jr
6-1, 214, Sr
6-0, 203, Jr
DeMarcus Van Dyke
6-1, 170, Fr
6-0, 198, Sr
Seniors Chris Ellis (49), Carlton Powell (99) and Barry Booker (59) have helped lead the Hokies’ defense this year.
to watch this
1. ROTATING QBS Head coach Frank Beamer said that they will continue to rotate Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor at quarterback depending on the game situation. The coaching staff began the FSU game with this strategy until Glennon was banged up on a scramble, then Taylor played the rest of the game. The smoothness of this system will decide how many points the offense puts up on Saturday.
2. SENIOR DAY This will be the last home game for 20 seniors. In their time here the Hokies have been 39-10 overall, 23-4 at home, and 25-6 in the ACC. These seniors have the opportunity to be the winningest class in Tech history, as the 2002 class went 40-10 and this year’s class still has two regular season games and the postseason remaining.
3. STOPPING MIAMI
4. HOKIES RETURN
Miami ranks last in the ACC in passing offense, but has been able to stay in some games sheerly because of its running game. Miami is second in the ACC in rushing offense, depending on running backs Graig Cooper and Javarris James to move the ball down the field. Concentrate on stopping the ground game, and it’s smooth sailing from there.
Linebacker Vince Hall will be playing in his first game since breaking his left wrist against Clemson. Eddie Royal will also return on Saturday after leaving the Georgia Tech game in the first half with a strained calf. Royal could break the ACC record for punt return yards either in this game or next week’s game at Virginia. He only needs 33 more yards to break Steve Suter’s record of 1,271 yards.
SENIORS Xavier Adibi Barry Booker Duane Brown Jared Develli Jud Dunlevy Chris Ellis Corey Gordon Billy Gorham Vince Hall Justin Harper
Josh Hyman Scott King Bart McMillin Josh Morgan D.J. Parker Carlton Powell Kory Robertson Eddie Royal Grant Throckmorton Carlton Weatherford