Friday, December 3, 2010
The Collegiate Times’ comprehensive guide to Virginia Tech football
FILE / SPPS
Tech squares off with Florida State back in 2007 in Lane Stadium, where the Hokies dominated the Seminoles 40-21. This is the second time both teams have faced each other in the ACC title, FSU won in 2005.
Hokies and Seminoles face off in rematch of ‘05 MICHAEL BEALEY sports editor When the Virginia Tech Hokies and Florida State Seminoles step onto the field this Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. ,for the ACC Championship Game, it will be a familiar setting for the two teams. The matchups between the Hokies (10-2, 8-0 ACC) and Seminoles (9-3, 6-2 ACC) seem to attract the biggest stages, including the 1999 National Championship, the 2001 Gator Bowl and the inaugural ACC Championship in 2005. However, despite the marquee games these two programs have been involved in, it has largely been a one-sided affair, as FSU owns an 8-1 record against the Hokies with Frank Beamer as head coach. “Florida State is just hard to beat,” Beamer said. “There’s just no question about it. That was back then. You know, again, they’ve got good players, and they’re well-coached, I’m sure. So they’re going to be a hard team to beat now.” If there is one consolation for Beamer, he will not see his old nemesis Bobby Bowden roaming the sidelines with his trademark straw hat. Bowden’s highly publicized departure after last season paved the way for first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher. The former FSU offensive coordinator and quarterback coach has led the Seminoles to their first nine-win season since 2003. “I think at Florida State the bar is always high,” Fisher said. “That’s one of the reasons this is such a great job. I think it takes it off in the part they realize that our staff and the things we’re doing do work and we can have success. Hopefully, that will bring in more recruits and more things.” Leading the Seminoles offensive attack is quarterback Christian Ponder. The senior from Colleyville, Tex., was slated as a preseason Heisman hopeful, however he never fully lived up to that hype this season. FSU ranks just 52nd in total offense — even Virginia ranks ahead of the Seminoles — and statistically, Ponder has taken a hit this season, as well. His completion percentage dropped from 68.8 percent in 2009 to 62.2 percent this season and his yardage dipped from 2,717 to 2,038. To be fair, Ponder has increased his touchdown tally from 14 to 20 this year. Additionally, FSU’s receivers have been criticized for dropping passes and Ponder has also been
bothered by an elbow injury on his throwing arm. “I mean, personally, obviously I would have liked to play a little bit better,” Ponder said. “I’ve been battling a lot of injuries, and it’s been a little frustrating at times. For us to be going into the ACC Championship game, I couldn’t wish for anything better. That’s kind of the reason I came to Florida State was to compete at the ACC Championship level, national championship level, and for us to finally get here definitely makes those frustrations go away.” Fisher pointed out that despite Ponder’s injuries and dip in production he still brings an invaluable leadership quality to the team. “Christian, he never asks anybody to do anything that he doesn’t do and he goes way above and beyond what most of them do,” Fisher said. “He’s played injured all year. He’s played banged up. He’s bruised. He competes. He gets his butt chewed out just like everybody else and goes right on and handles everything.” On the other side of the ball, the Hokies will again have their hands full this week as they will face Florida State’s difficult pass rush. The Seminoles rank first in the country in sacks with 43, and average more than 3.5 per game. However, Tech is no stranger to the country’s top passrushing teams, as it will have faced four of the top five in that category — Boise State, NC State, Miami and Florida State. Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor should be able to use his running ability to his advantage, the same way NC State signal-caller Russell Wilson did earlier this year against FSU. Wilson rushed for three scores against the Seminoles and Taylor, the Hokies second-leading rusher, has been no stranger to scrambling out of the pocket this season to make plays. Fisher explained there may need to be some rule changes in order to stop Taylor’s elusiveness. “Can we play 13?” Fisher said. “That’s what we need to do. Because, I mean, what Tyrod’s done is really brought his game around. We saw him as a freshman and a young guy. He emerged as the guy that can set in the pocket and read and not only run — he doesn’t run now because he wants to. He runs when he thinks it’s the right time.” The Hokies are looking for their fourth ACC title against the Seminoles this Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. Kickoff is set for 7:45 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Fuller brings pedigree, NFL mindset FRESHMAN CORNERBACK KYLE FULLER SHOWS IMPRESSIVE SKILLS DESPITE INEXPERIENCE MATT JONES sports reporter Throughout the years, the Virginia Tech football program has seldom seen true freshmen make an immediate impact. Think of the great Hokie players and how many of them had a redshirt year to prepare for the rigors of a major college schedule. Former Tech standouts Michael Vick, Lee Suggs, Corey Moore, and most recently Ryan Williams, all took a redshirt season to adjust to the college game. Not Kyle Fuller. The Baltimore native and backup cornerback is debunking the myth that it takes a year or more to learn the college game. “He has really exceeded,” said Bud Foster, Tech defensive coordinator. “I thought he was going to be a good player, but I didn’t realize this quickly.” Through 12 games, Fuller has started five, including the Hokies’ two most recent matchups with Miami and Virginia. And coaches said he has filled in admirably for injured star Rashad Carmichael. “Every time he’s had a chance, he’s answered the bell,” said Frank Beamer, Tech head coach. “He’s a player, and he understands the game. Kyle kind of has a knack for making plays.” That playmaking ability was never more evident than in the Hokies 377 win over the Cavaliers Saturday, a game in which Fuller graded out higher than any other Tech defender. The freshman recorded 10 solo tackles, including three for loss and four assists while also breaking up a pass. “I would have to say it has been a successful freshman year — I’m thankful for that,” Fuller said. “You can’t ask for any more.” Fuller doesn’t intimidate on the football field, standing at just 5foot-11-inches and 178 pounds. While it isn’t his size that stands out, Fuller’s work ethic is second-tonone. “He’s always the first one finishing the sprints when you look out the window,” said Torrian Gray, Tech secondary coach. “So you know how hard he worked coming in (to Tech).” Coming out of Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, Fuller was not heavily recruited. While ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals recruit-
ing service, colleges worried about Fuller’s size and slight frame. Coupled with Baltimore’s reputation as a basketball city, that diminished Fuller’s appeal for many schools. “We have a lot of talent in Baltimore,” Fuller said about football in the Charm City. “It may get overlooked, but you still see those guys on Saturdays competing and playing with the best around the country.” Fuller’s junior season was when recruiting really started to pick up. With offers from Maryland, Kansas, Syracuse, Duke and Virginia Tech, one seemed to stand out from the rest. “When it came down to making my decision, I just felt more comfortable here (at Tech) with the coaching staff and everything like that,” Fuller said. Fuller never even took an official visit to a school outside of Tech. “I went to camps — I didn’t go on official visits,” Fuller said. “Only visit I took was (Tech), and that was when I had already committed too.” Beamer said Fuller represents the kind of player Tech has built its program on. “He’s a good player, and that’s what we look for,” Beamer said. “I don’t get into stats, sizes or how big are they in recruiting as much as can they play.” Talk to any of Tech’s coaches, and they’ll describe Fuller as having a “pro mindset.” Fuller’s brand of toughness comes from training with his brother, former Tech standout Vincent Fuller of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans. “I imagine him being around his brother — he’s not overwhelmed by things,” Gray said. “He’s been around pro players, he’s worked out with his brother, and he’s done those things.” Both Gray and Foster believe a large part of Fuller’s freshman success has come from his relationship with Vincent. Vincent, now in his sixth season with the Titans, is in constant contact with his younger brother during the season. The two exchange text messages before every game, with Vincent providing tips for the upcoming game. “I just try and give him small little tidbits that (helped) me play better when I (played) football and (will) hopefully help him,” Vincent said. “It’s nothing special, it’s not like I give him any secrets or anything like that. Anything he’s doing this year he’s doing on his own.”
FILE / SPPS
Cornerback Kyle Fuller defends a pass against Georgia Tech. Vincent, who also wore the orange and maroon under Beamer from 2000-2004, doubles as Kyle’s training partner in the offseason. Before fall camp this year, the Fuller brothers went through a series of workouts geared toward preparing Kyle for college football. “It was just small things that I know coach Gray taught him when he got there,” Fuller said. “I felt like if he went in there with an understanding and a knowledge of what coach Gray wanted, it would help him make that transition.” The transition could not have gone any smoother, and while Vincent let Kyle decide where he would attend college, the decision was in large part already made. After seeing his older brother have a successful college career at Tech and move on to the NFL, the writing was on the wall. “Why deviate from a plan that you
have already seen be successful?” Fuller said. “He got recruited by other schools, and I’m sure that if he thought it was a better fit at another school he had no problem going there. But that was the best fit for him.” While his coaches might be slightly surprised by Fuller’s strong play this season, Vincent expected big things from him right away. “I definitely expected him to play as a true freshman,” Fuller said. “I spent a lot of time with him from the past January through June or July, and unless things have changed from when I went into college after my high school year, he’s far more prepared than I was when I went to Tech. I thought based on what I had saw, Kyle was ready to play as a true freshman.” As the younger Fuller takes the field this Saturday against the Seminoles, he will have his own personal drive, but also his older brother’s lessons.
WHAT TO EXPECT
virginia tech vs. ﬂorida state
december 3, 2010
[projected starters] so, it all comes down to
Florida State Offense QB -- Christian Ponder RB -- Chris Thompson FB -- Lonnie Pryor WR -- Taiwan Easterling WR -- Willie Haulstead TE -- Beau Reliford LT -- Andrew Datko LG -- Rodney Hudson C -- Ryan McMahon RG -- Rhonne Sanderson RT -- Zebrie Sanders DE – Brandon Jenkins DT – Jacobbi McDaniel DT – Everett Dawkins DE – Markus White LB – Nigel Bradham LB – Mister Alexander LB – Kendall Smith CB – Greg Reid CB – Xavier Rhodes S – Terrance Parks S – Nick Moody
Special Teams K – Dustin Hopkins P – Shawn Powell
Offense QB – Tyrod Taylor RB – Darren Evans FB – Kenny Younger WR – Jarrett Boykin WR- Danny Coale TE – Andre Smith LT – Andrew Lanier LG – Greg Nosal C – Beau Warren RG – Jaymes Brooks RT – Blake DeChristopher
Defense DE – Chris Drager DT – Antoine Hopkins DT – John Graves DE – Steven Friday OLB – Lyndell Gibson MLB – Bruce Taylor CB-- Jayron Hosley CB-- Kyle Fuller Nickel -- Antone Exum FS – Eddie Whitley Rover – Davon Morgan
Total Scoring (ppg)
Hokies 4th quarter collapse costs them National Championship
177.4 213.3 390.8 31.7
Special Teams K – Chris Hazley P – Brian Saunders
BCS Top 25 14.Oklahoma State 15. Virginia Tech 16. Alabama 17. Nevada 18. Texas A&M 19. South Carolina 20. Utah 21. Florida State 22. Mississippi State 23. Arizona 24. West Virginia 25. Norhern Illinois
4th quarter collapse leads to Gator Bowl loss
special teams 38.2
Kickoff Returns Turnover Margin
the last ﬁve Florida State-Virginia Tech game results 1999 2001 2005 2007 29-46
DE/#49 Brandon Jenkins Has 50 tackles including 18.5 for a loss and 12 sacks on the season.
QB/#7 Christian Ponder Senior leader who has completed 62% of passes for 2038 yards and 20 touchdowns
RB/#23 Chris Thompson Only has 687 rushing yards and ﬁve touchdowns on season, but averages 6.9 yards per carry.
K/#18 Dustin Hopkins After missing two ﬁeld goals against UNC, he booted a 55-yard game winner against Clemson the following week.
1. Auburn 2. Oregon 3. TCU 4. Stanford 5. Wisconsin 6. Ohio State 7. Arkansas 8. Michigan State 9. Oklahoma 10. LSU 11. Boise State 12. Missouri 13. Nebraska
CB/#5 Greg Reid Has tallied 57 tackles and three picks. Also a punt and kick returner
Hokies 4th quarter comeback falls short in ACC Championship
Tyrod Taylor played ahead of Sean Glennon, throwing 2tds
Taylor sat the bench behind Sean Glennon in Tallahassee
december 3, 2010
BCS bowl bids rest on conference championship results ALYSSA BEDROSIAN sports staff writer With Virginia Tech headed to the ACC Championship, here’s a look at the other automatic-qualifying BCS conference championships this week and how each conference will determine its champion. BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP: NEBRASKA VS. OKLAHOMA An automatic bid to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is on the line for these two teams, as the Sooners take on the Cornhuskers Saturday at Cowboys Stadium. With Nebraska ranked 13th in the nation and Oklahoma ranked ninth, be prepared to watch these long-time rivals fight tooth and nail for the win. Nebraska’s freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez did not play last Friday against Colorado because of an ankle injury, but he is probable for the upcoming contest against the Sooners. Nevertheless, Oklahoma needs to worry more about Nebraska’s rushing offense than its passing offense. Nebraska ranks eighth nationally in rushing yards per game and Oklahoma’s defense ranks 63rd in rush defense. This mismatch could pose problems for the Sooners. Oklahoma’s Landry Jones is having an outstanding season, throwing for 3,947 yards with 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He completes 66 percent of his passes, and the Sooners are ranked fourth overall in passing yards. If Nebraska does not put pressure on Jones, the Sooners will cruise to an easy victory. Fortunately, Nebraska’s secondary is one of the best, having tallied 18 interceptions on the season.
Look forward to a hard-fought, emotional game between these two teams, as Nebraska looks to win its last conference game as a member of the Big 12 — the Cornhuskers will join the Big Ten starting next season. PREDICTION: NEBRASKA WINS, 27-20 SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: SOUTH CAROLINA VS. AUBURN The Tigers can secure a spot in the BCS National Championship Game with a win over the Gamecocks in the SEC Championship Game this weekend. Auburn is heading into this game undefeated, coming off of a huge comeback win over Alabama last week. The two teams met earlier this season, and South Carolina blew a 20-7 lead as Auburn battled back and won the game 35-27. Quarterback Cam Newton is the player to watch for Auburn. He has thrown for 2,254 yards this season with 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He is dangerous on his feet as well, accounting for 1,336 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. Newton was cleared to play by the NCAA this week after facing allegations he took money during his recruitment with Auburn. South Carolina is currently ranked 33rd in total defense, allowing an average of 338.7 yards per game. This game will be a critical test for the Gamecocks’ defense. However, South Carolina’s defense is not the only defensive unit in trouble. Auburn’s pass defense ranks 98th nationally, and South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has a quarterback rating of 157.7, which puts him 14th in the country, one spot ahead of the Hokies’ Tyrod Taylor.
CT BCS bowl
Stanford, they have nothing to lose, which could spell trouble for Oregon’s national title dreams. Expect a close game in the first quarter, with the Ducks eventually pulling away and leaving Reser Stadium with the win and a trip to Glendale, Ariz. PREDICTION: OREGON WINS, 35-10
projections Auburn vs. Oregon
Nebraska vs. Stanford
Wisconsin vs. TCU This game boils down to which defense can stop the opposing team’s quarterback. If the Gamecocks shut down Newton, South Carolina can pull off the upset. PREDICTION: AUBURN WINS, 35-27 PAC-10: The Oregon Ducks are PAC-10
Virginia Tech vs. WVU
Arkansas vs. Ohio State champions, but if they want to secure their spot in the BCS Championship Game they must win against rival Oregon State in the “Civil War” this weekend. Oregon State has had a disappointing season this year, with an overall record of 5-6. Although the Beavers are coming off a tough 38-0 loss to
BIG EAST: Connecticut controls its own destiny in this year’s Big East race, as it heads to Tampa, Fla., this weekend to battle the South Florida Bulls. If UConn wins, the Huskies are most likely headed to the Orange Bowl to take on the winner of the ACC Championship Game. If South Florida defeats UConn this weekend, West Virginia has a chance of heading to a BCS bowl if it can win against Rutgers. This should not be a struggle for the Mountaineers, as Rutgers is heading into the game with an overall record of 4-7. Pittsburgh is hoping that both Connecticut and West Virginia slip up this weekend. If both lose, Pittsburgh could slide into a BCS bid. The Big East still has three teams that can earn a BCS bid, yet it’s questionable if any of these teams deserve a bid. The Big East has struggled tremendously this year, and it seems as though a team such as Boise State would be more qualified than UConn or West Virginia. Nonetheless, it is most likely that one of these two teams will be headed to Miami. PREDICTION: SOUTH FLORIDA DEFEATS CONNECTICUT, 35-17, AND THE MOUNTAINEERS HEAD TO THE ORANGE BOWL.
BIG TEN: Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State are stuck in a three-way tie as Big Ten champions, with all three having the same overall record, 11-1, and the same record in conference play, 7-1. Michigan State and Ohio State do not play this year, and thus the final BCS rankings will determine which team receives the automatic BCS bowl bid. Michigan State is currently ranked eighth, while Ohio State is sixth and Wisconsin comes in at fifth. Although Michigan State’s chances look pretty slim, the Spartans are making a pretty convincing case. Michigan State has the toughest schedule out of all three teams, and is the only team of the three that has not lost to one of the other two. Despite the rationale behind Michigan State’s BCS worthiness, the race to the Rose Bowl will most likely come down to Ohio State and Wisconsin. If Ohio State rises in the rankings in either of the two human polls, which constitute two-thirds of the BCS, it is possible the Buckeyes could win the tiebreaker over Wisconsin. However, it seems as though Ohio State will be headed to the Sugar Bowl this year, according to current BCS rankings. Despite the arguments each team has for why it is deserving of a trip to Pasadena, the BCS system has the ultimate authority, and the futures of these teams will be revealed this weekend. PREDICTION: WISCONSIN WINS THE TIEBREAKER AND EARNS A SPOT IN THE ROSE BOWL.
Seminoles’ Ponder and Hokies’ Taylor push teams to ACC Championship matchup GARRY SMITS mcclatchy newspapers Leadership on the field won’t be in short supply Saturday when Florida State plays Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Regardless of the statistics compiled this season by FSU quarterback Christian Ponder and his counterpart at Tech, Tyrod Taylor, their biggest contribution is reflected in the quote by Gen. Omar Bradley: “Leadership is intangible; therefore, no weapon can replace it.” That’s why passing yardage, total offense, touchdown passes and quarterback ratings have mattered little in the paths that Ponder and Taylor have taken to help lead their teams to this stage. Victories have meant the most. Virginia Tech is 10-2 and on a 10game winning streak. FSU is 9-3, its most victories since 2004. “Isn’t winning the ultimate measure of a quarterback?” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher asked earlier in the season in response to question about whether Ponder had underachieved. Taylor, who was named the ACC player of the year Wednesday, has won 33 games in four years at Virginia Tech, the most for a Hokies starting quarterback under coach Frank Beamer. Ponder improved his record as an FSU starter to 21-12 when the Seminoles beat Florida 31-7 last week. Taylor leads the ACC in passing efficiency (156.9), and Ponder is third (137.6). They have both thrown 20 touchdown passes. Taylor has four interceptions, and Ponder has eight. However, after a two-game stretch in which Ponder committed six turnovers against Boston College and North Carolina State, he had only two turnovers in his last three games, against North Carolina, Maryland and Florida. Ponder didn’t play against Clemson because of an injury. Both have faced individual challenges this season. Ponder had to perform under the weight of Heisman Trophy and NFL first-round expectations, then battled through injuries to help the Seminoles win the state championship — with victories over Miami and Florida — and earn their berth in the ACC title game. His statistics are down from his junior year, but Ponder said he could care less. “It hasn’t been too tough ... We keep winning,” Ponder said. “I would like to have played better. I’ve been battling a lot of injuries, [but] for us to be going to the ACC championship game, I couldn’t wish for anything better. To get here makes those frustrations go away.” Ponder still isn’t completely healthy. He had fluid drained from his right elbow this week for the third time within the last month but will start Saturday. Taylor had to rally his team from an 0-2 start and started by being among the seniors who called a team meeting after Tech lost to FCS team James Madison. Taylor said credit for organizing the meeting and inspiring the team goes to the entire senior class. “The seniors did a good job of motivating everyone and to let them know that we still had goals to reach, which was the ACC championship,” Taylor said. “We tried to keep the energy flowing and a positive vibe going in the locker room.” Both coaches said the fact that their teams are playing Saturday says all it
FSU’s Christian Ponder (left) will be critical for the Seminoles offense. Tech’s Tyrod Taylor (right) meets FSU in 2007, he is 1-1 all-time vs. the Noles and is 2-0 in ACC title games. needs to say about their quarterbacks. “Christian never asks anyone to do anything that he doesn’t do, and he goes way above and beyond what most of them do,” Fisher said. “He’s played injured all year. He competes. He gets his butt chewed out just like everyone else, and he goes right on and handles everything. That’s why they [his teammates] have such great respect for him.” “He’s playing with pain and I think that brings the other guys up,” FSU guard Rodney Hudson said of Ponder. “It makes the other guys think, ‘Well, I can do it too ... play to a better level.’” Beamer said Taylor, defensive tackle John Graves, tight end Andre Smith, cornerback Rashad Carmichael and linebacker Davon Morgan were instrumental in organizing the team meeting after the James Madison loss. Taylor might not have been the most vocal player in that meeting, but Beamer said his influence was certainly felt then and for the rest of the season. “He directly affects this football team,” Beamer said. “He doesn’t say a lot, but when he says something, people listen. They know it’s going to be something important. From a team standpoint, there’s so much trust and belief in Tyrod that he can get it done for this football team.” Smith said Taylor is “the utmost leader. He keeps his composure throughout any situation.” A good example of what coaches and players mean about Ponder and Taylor can be found by examining their performances after their teams’ low points
of the season. Following back-to-back losses to North Carolina State and North Carolina and an injury that kept him from playing against Clemson, Ponder threw for 391 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception in victories over Maryland and Florida. Beating the Terps eventually proved to be the deciding game in the Seminoles winning the Atlantic Division and making the ACC title game. The victory over Florida was the first for FSU since 2003. After the Hokies lost to Boise State and James Madison to open the season, Taylor guided the Tech offense to an average of 42 points in the next six games, throwing 12 TD passes and running for three. He had only two turnovers and an average quarterback rating of 180.63. Taylor said that, as cliche as it sounds, the Hokies had to worry only about the next game after the loss to JMU. “We needed to start working on beating East Carolina, and we did that, and then Boston College,” Taylor said. “Winning the first game to start our streak was a big turning point.” Given the physical skills and leadership qualities of Ponder and Taylor, no one doubts the balance of the game will come down to one of them making one more big play than the other. “That’s two good quarterbacks, two guys who have meant a lot to their programs,” Beamer said. “It’s certainly two of the best quarterbacks in this league who are going to battle there Saturday.”
december 3, 2010
Q&A: Former Hokie Cody Grimm talks Tech football and NFL JOSH PARCELL sports reporter Cody Grimm arrived at Virginia Tech in 2005 as an undersized walkon linebacker from Fairfax, Va. He left as an All-ACC standout, leading the Hokies with 106 tackles his senior season. Following his graduation last spring, Grimm was picked in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite long odds, Grimm made the team, signing a four-year, $1.85 million contract. After starting free safety Tanard Jackson was suspended by the NFL, Grimm made his first career start in week three against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He started every game until Sunday, when he suffered a broken fibula, a season-ending injury. Up until then, he was a pleasant surprise on the Buccaneers’ defense, racking up 57 tackles and two interceptions in his nine starts. Last week, he talked with the Collegiate Times about his playing days at Tech and his impressive rookie season in the NFL. COLLEGIATE TIMES: You were an unheralded player most of your college career until your senior year. What has it been like to go from that to a starting safety in the NFL? GRIMM: It’s pretty crazy. I never really thought it was going to happen. I was just trying to make plays (in college) when I had the opportunity. When (former Tech linebacker) Cam (Martin) got injured, I got that opportunity and I played pretty well. CT: When did you realize that playing in the NFL was a possibility? GRIMM: My junior year, when I started playing a lot more. I was splitting time with Cam, but I was still playing pretty well. I figured I had a shot. If I could get more snaps, there was an opportunity there. I never thought I’d get drafted, but I thought I might make it to a camp, and that’s all I really wanted. CT: What were you thinking when you found out you were starting in only week three? GRIMM: I was thinking I had to get in the film room. To tell you the truth, I was still learning a lot because there is so much stuff in the NFL. Being in my rookie year, I was learning so much stuff on the fly while trying to prepare. CT: How overwhelming was that first game? GRIMM: I was pretty nervous before the game, but once you get out there and everything starts it’s just football, dude. Once the game starts you can forget all the cameras and everything; it’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. CT: In your second start, you returned your first career interception for a touchdown. What was that feeling like? GRIMM: It was pretty awesome. I’d never even scored a touchdown in college. I saw the ball in the air and I thought I had a pretty good break on it and I just told myself, “Make sure you don’t miss this.” I didn’t really get that excited until I caught the ball, and once I did it was pretty easy from there. CT: Is there ever a time where you sit back and realize you are playing against guys you grew up watching on TV for years? GRIMM: Yeah, there is. When my dad coached for the Steelers growing up, I used to go to training camp and I remember asking for Hines Ward’s autograph. Then in that first game I go out there and I’m like wait — I’m covering Hines Ward. It was pretty crazy.
FILE / SPPS
Former Hokie linebacker and walk-on Cody Grimm (above) harasses Tennesse’s quarterback Jonathan Crompton. Grimm embraces Frank Beamer (below), he is also the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Russ Grimm who played for the Washington Redskins. Grimm was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last April and has started nine games. CT: NFL teams are famous for the pranks they play on rookies in training camp. Any good ones pulled on you? GRIMM: We didn’t have anything too crazy. You have to take some of the guys out for dinner and pay for everything, which stinks. CT: You were fined $7,500 for what the NFL called an illegal hit on Panthers’ tight end Dante Rosario two weeks ago. You’ve been on record saying you don’t agree with the ruling. Putting that play aside, how do you feel on the league cracking down on illegal hits this season? GRIMM: I definitely understand why. They are looking out for the players, but in my situation it was just all reaction. There are some hits you see that definitely didn’t need to be straight at a guy’s head. It’s a lot easier saying that than actually doing it. It’s all for players’ safety and health and they know it’s right. I guess it’s something we’re going to have to learn to play with. CT: Is the rule something you’re consciously thinking about during the game? GRIMM: No. CT: How has your lifestyle changed now that you are in the NFL? GRIMM: It really hasn’t changed that much. In college football, you have to worry about class and now it’s more like a job. Every day, you know a lot more about the opposing team. You break down every little thing for hours, where as in college you don’t have time to do that. CT: You are still a beloved person at
Virginia Tech. What were the most memorable times of your career? GRIMM: I’d say winning the Orange Bowl. Beating Virginia was always awesome, but any time you win a BCS bowl game it is awesome. You want to end the season on a good note. CT: How much attention have you paid to the Hokies this season? GRIMM: Oh, a lot. I still have a lot of friends on the team and I watch every game. I kind of have an inside scoop into what they are running every play, which is pretty cool. CT: Who are you still in touch with on the team? GRIMM: I still talk to Danny Coale, Greg Nosal, Andrew Lanier, Beau Warren, “Rock” Carmichael. I also stay in touch with Kam Chancellor and other guys in the NFL now that I used to play with, too. We had four good years together and whenever you leave you try to stay in contact. CT: There were a lot of critics, both while you were in college and throughout the draft process, who said you were too small or too slow to make it. How do you respond to that? GRIMM: To tell you the truth, I try not to read into that stuff too much. I know what kind of game I had. For some reason, they kept saying I was too small and too slow, but I was taking down running backs and other players who were taken higher in the draft and I think, “I know he’s a good player and all, but I tackled him in college several times and I think I can play against him.” I really thought if I brought my game I’d be fine. It seems to be working out.
FILE / SPPS
Friday, December 3, 2010
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
COLLEGIATETIMES 107th year, issue 126
News, page 2
People & Clubs, page 6
Opinions, page 3
Sports, page A1
Classifieds, page 4
Sudoku, page 4
A fond farewell BLACKSBURG REFLECTS ON 28-YEAR TENURE OF DEPARTING LOCAL CONGRESSMAN RICK BOUCHER CLAIRE SANDERSON news reporter Back in 1983, when congressman Rick Boucher was elected to his first term as representative for Virginia’s 9th District, the moonwalk was the hottest new dance move and Frank Beamer was the head football coach at Murray State. A lot has changed since then, but the Democrat from Abingdon, Va., remained in office for 14 consecutive terms, losing only to Republican Morgan Griffith this November. “It was a really bad year for Democrats,” said Isaac Wood, communications director at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “It made sense that if there was ever a year to defeat him it would be now.” But for the past 28 years, Boucher has helped shape the district. “I would credit him for all types of infrastructure changes,” Wood said. “Southwest Virginia has long been chronically underdeveloped, so it’s simple things like electricity, and now broadband Internet access.” In Congress, Boucher was especially known for his expertise in technology and telecommunications issues, and for his effort to build up technical fields in the rural 9th District. “I always found him to be extremely
well informed,” said Charles Steger, Virginia Tech president. According to Wood, Boucher was “unafraid to earmark,” adding numerous additions to bills that helped bring money and infrastructure back to the area. “Some constituents liked the fact that he was willing to bring home the bacon,” Wood said, noting the region could see the visible changes of less federal money if the newly-elected Griffith promises not to earmark. In 2010, Boucher earmarked more than $12.8 million for the district, about a third of which went into Blacksburg and Tech. This money was mainly for high-tech research centers, such as the Center for Injury Bioinformatics, which received $4 million. “Boucher has always been a friend of the whole region, and Southwest Virginia has always been better off because of his time in Congress,” said Ron Rordam, Blacksburg mayor. And Tech reaped the benefits of Boucher’s earmarks also. “We both shared a vision to see the economy of the region grow,” Steger said. One of Boucher’s biggest contributions to Tech has been the growth of the Corporate Research Center, which began in 1985, just two years after Boucher’s first election. “He was in office throughout the entire
lifetime of the CRC,” said Joe Meredith, CRC director. “He was instrumental in helping us obtain federal grants for infrastructure for the park — overall about $4.6 million during the time he was in office.” “I look at the CRC as one of the projects that he was very instrumental with helping to move forward to phase two, as well as its original groundbreaking,” Rordam said. The CRC has been an important project for Boucher, because it embodies his goals of bringing high-tech companies to the district to create better jobs, and making the rural district more competitive in technology fields. “He recognized that from an economic development standpoint, the best strategy is to create quality jobs, and the jobs at the CRC are high quality,” Meredith said. “He has been a huge proponent of economic development and he has been the only federally-elected official that has physically come to the district with companies that he has relationships with and tried to get them to come to the region,” said Becky Coleman, a longtime member of Boucher’s staff. “Boucher played a huge role in helping them know that we exist here in Southwest Virginia.” Tom Piccariello is the president of Synthonics, a pharmaceuticals company located in the CRC researching new ways to combine metals with drugs. Piccariello said his company has benesee BOUCHER/ page two
In 1983 -Frank Beamer was the head coach at Murray State, with Bud Foster as an assistant. -Starting QB Tyrod Taylor had not been born. -Men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg was an assistant at UVa. -Tech’s Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine was built. -Scott Otey was named ﬁrst black commander of the Highty-Tighties. -Blacksburg Bus System began operation. -First student member elected to Tech’s Board of Visitors. -Tech’s ﬁrst on-campus fraternity-sorority houses were completed. -Tech’s President Charles Steger was dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. -More than 125 million watched the ﬁnal episode of TV show M.A.S.H. -First Hooter’s restaurant opened in Clearwater, Fla. -President Ronald Reagan approves commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday every January. -“Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” and “Flashdance” are top-grossing ﬁlms. -Sally Ride becomes the ﬁrst woman in space. -“Terms of Endearment” wins the Academy Award for Best Picture. -The Washington Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins to win the Super Bowl. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JOSH SON / CT
Styrofoam dining hall boxes bring sculptures to life MIA PERRY features staff writer It’s a guilty habit many of us share: Once we’ve claimed a table at a dining hall, we order our food and go back to the table to eat it — out of a Styrofoam to-go box. The question is why so many diners eat out of to-go containers when they know they aren’t actually going anywhere. Perhaps dealing with trays and dishes is sometimes irritating or maybe it seems like meals in to-go containers have bigger portions. Whatever the reason, every time someone uses a to-go box, whether it is really to-go or not, it ends up in a pile of waste, unable to be recycled. But Dan Arr, food production supervisor at Owens Dining Center, is doing something about it. For the past two-and-a-half years or so, Arr has been salvaging much of the Styrofoam waste Owens generates, mostly in the form of to-go containers, to create artwork from the material. Arr is a Virginia Tech alumnus who received his undergraduate education in English and philosophy. Having a strong affection
for Blacksburg, he never left and has worked at Owens for five years. According to Arr, although Tech has a recycling system for mixed paper, glass, plastic and bimetal, it does not provide the same for Styrofoam. “Styrofoam is basically recyclable, but there’s one place in the country that takes that, and it’s way too far away to be practical,” Arr said. Although Tech is a sustainable campus, as seen with implementations such as Owens’ Farms and the Farms and Fields Project, which serves local and organic foods and does not provide meals in to go containers, Arr wishes the need for to-go boxes could be cut down so there wouldn’t be such an influx of Styrofoam waste. “What I want is to create a sustainable student body,” Arr said. “I want people to realize that taking a to-go box and then eating in the establishment is not only ridiculous, (but)
just not good for the environment.” In the past, there has been talk of charging a little extra for a to-go meal. “I’m sure there would be public outcry if that happened. Besides it would have to be significant enough to make people realize they shouldn’t do it,” Arr said, referring to a price increase for to go boxes. Walking around Owens at a peak lunch hour, Arr pointed out dozens of patrons dining in but eating out of the Styrofoam containers. The conveyor belt for trash and dishes was littered with white boxes, most covered in food grime or torn apart, and there were even a few with forks jammed through the tops. The trash dumpster out back had been full since the night before, but at least 40 new bags from breakfast and lunch lined the surrounding loading dock. Prodding the contents of the bags, it was evident most o f
the trash inside the bags was Styrofoam. The amount of waste generated by 1:30 p.m. on any given day is significant. Rachael Budowle, sustainability coordinator for dining services, is aware of the problem. “We recognize that there is a great amount of Styrofoam waste generated, and it’s certainly something we are in an on-going process of trying to reduce or recycle,” Budowle said. “We are currently investigating both compostable and reusable to-go container alternatives. However, as with all of our sustainability initiatives, we want to make sure we do things the right and most sustainable way, instead of going for a quick fix.” Budowle said if there were a transition to a compostable container, dining services would have to ensure the Styrofoam was actually composted and not left to collect in a landfill where it could contribute to climate change. “We are also in the process of researching the best practices for a pilot reusable container program,” Budowle said. Until a solution can be reached, Arr will continue using the Styrofoam for his art. His projects started on a small scale, when he started gathering small pieces of garbage off
PAUL KURLAK / SPPS
the streets. When Arr noticed hundreds of Styrofoam bowls were being discarded from Owens’ Bowl Dynasty each day after simply being used for portioning out ingredients, he began asking his coworkers to set them aside for him. This allows him to take home 150 to 200 bowls a day. Overall, Arr estimates he kept about 90 percent of the Bowl Dynasty bowls from landfills. One day, Arr noticed a bucket of bowls in a trashcan that looked like an arm. The arm-like formation inspired Arr to create his first “Bot” made of Styrofoam. Since then, Arr has made many more “Botz” and figurines from the bowls, spray-painting them a variety of colors, which he sometimes sells. Bowl Dynasty has now changed its portioning system, eliminating the Styrofoam bowls — a good thing in Arr’s opinion. Arr then moved on to collecting box tops, since they were mostly unused and clean. Even when Arr took only the unbroken and undestroyed pieces of Styrofoam home, he was taking home about 700 pieces a day. This is only a small percentage of the amount of Styrofoam that goes through Owens in a single day.
He has also roughly calculated he’s taken approximately 30,000 pieces of Styrofoam from landfills. Arr uses the boxes to create more large-scale projects. “I’ve gotten to the point where I tell people I can really make anything” Arr said. “If someone were to say to me, ‘Hey make me a life-size elephant, and I’ll buy it from you,’ I could do that.” Some projects are made of hundreds of Styrofoam pieces, taking months to build from what took a few hours to collect. Arr’s other big art pieces include motor vehicle models, aircrafts, superheroes, insects, animals, boats and garden decorations. He has even constructed a wedding dress out of Styrofoam and Styrofoam cloth, which is often used in laptop packaging. He also created Tech-themed pieces: giant “VT” structures. In another project, he made a car dubbed “Bumblebeer” based on the Transformer character Bumblebee. And, a Styrofoam guitar is currently in the works. One may wonder where Arr would get his art see FOAM / page six
news editors: philipp kotlaba, liana bayne, gordon block email@example.com/ 540.231.9865
december 3, 2010
Cyclist struck by car on Alumni Mall
A cyclist is injured after being hit by a car while crossing Alumni Mall. Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a dark blue Volkswagon Passat struck a male cyclist in the crosswalk between the bus stop and Torgersen Bridge. The injured cyclist was placed in a neck brace and transported from the scene in an ambulance. The accident delayed and rerouted traffic entering campus on Alumni Mall. -zach crizer, managing editor
Israel faces wide spread forest ﬁres
Rock band Sister Hazel drew a large crowd Thursday evening as it performed in Squires Student Center. photo by Maziar Fazhandez
Boucher: Focused on the tech sector fited from Boucher’s support, and that the congressman was always accessible to his company. “He’s provided a lot of support in our ability to get grants, in terms of writing letters of support,” Piccariello said. “In addition, we had an issue with the patent office several years ago and I called on Rick Boucher for assistance — I can’t say for certain that he did anything, but I know he looked into it.” Piccariello is also a member of the Democratic Party in Montgomery County, and has donated money to Democratic candidates in past years, including Boucher. Meredith is unsure if Griffith will bring the same type of support to the table for the CRC. “I think Rick has always had the best interests of the region in mind, and for that I will be sad to see him go,”
In “Hokies drop overtime thriller to Boilermakers,” (CT – Dec. 2) the Men’s basketball Hokies are 4-3.
Meredith said. In another effort to stimulate economic growth and make the area more competitive, Boucher was instrumental in helping the New River Airport in Dublin become a U.S. port of entry. This means passengers fly into or out of the country directly from the Dublin airport and clear U.S. Customs there. It also establishes a foreign trade zone in a 90-mile radius of the airport, which facilitates international trade in the area and reduces delays. “Congressman Boucher was vital in helping us establish a port of entry and a foreign trade zone, both of which are helpful for the area on a global scale,” said Aric Bopp, executive director of the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance. The cost to maintain port of entry
status is about $180,000 to $200,000 per year, according to Bopp, money Boucher may have helped secure. Last year, Boucher assisted in obtaining $475,000 in earmarked money to repair the airport’s cracked runway. He will continue to represent the 9th District until the end of the year, at which time he will have to think carefully about whether to run to reclaim the seat in 2012. “Many incumbents who lose take a few months to decide and assess the political climate,” Wood said. “If it’s another Republican year, you may see him say, ‘Why bother?’” For the time being, many in the region are preparing for a new era. “There are several generations of people in Southwest Virginia who have been affected by his time in office,” Wood said.
Piccariello said he was doubtful the change would help the region. “I think the 9th District lost a really valuable asset. Morgan Griffith has a lot of work to do to be as effective as Rick Boucher,” Piccariello said. Rordam said he would “miss working with him.” “I’ve known Morgan Griffith since he was in high school and I look forward to building a relationship with him, but I’ll still miss working with Rick,” Rordam said. While sad to see Boucher go, Rordam said he was optimistic. “Time will just have to tell,” Rordam said. “I’ll let the new congressman get settled, but then I hope to meet with him in the not-too-distant future and talk about some things going on in Blacksburg, and hopefully we can build some common ground.”
DAILY CRIME BLOTTER
the collegiate times regrets this error.
JUSTIN GRAVES -Contact our public editor at publiceditor@ collegiatetimes.com if you see anything that needs to be corrected.
Name and Age
Breaking and Entering, larceny of Nov. 4 a jacket, catering items, wine Nov. 27 coozies, alcohol (x2), binoculars
Daily Fire Log--No incidents to report Traffic--No incidents to report
11:59 a.m. - Lane Stadium 12:00 p.m.
Status Under investigation
At least 40 people were killed Thursday when a massive forest fire spread from Israel’s northern city of Haifa into the surrounding hills and incinerated a bus that was carrying prison guards. It was the deadliest fire in Israel’s history, according to rescue workers, who struggled to contain flames that raged late into the night. Most of those killed were guards, who were racing across the north to help evacuate a low-security jail that held Palestinian prisoners. The bus was traveling along a mountain road when flames suddenly surrounded it, rescue workers said. The bus driver was unable to avoid the blaze, which was spreading at a rate of more than 100 mph, firefighters said. When the bus swerved off the road, it was caught in an inferno. All the prison guards were killed immediately, Israeli medics said. “Anyone who’s ever seen a firestorm will know. They could not survive it. They had no protection; they just fell to the road and burned alive,” firefighter Dudu Vanunu said. A police chief and several officers who were driving next to the bus were wounded. They were hospitalized and listed in critical condition Thursday evening, medics said. The prison was evacuated safely. “This is a disaster of unprecedented proportions,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who went to northern Israel on Thursday night to visit colleagues of the dead guards. Televised reports of the inferno transfixed Israelis. Many said the images reminded them of the blazes that spread across Israel’s north during the war with Lebanon in 2006. “It is scary, how much this looks like the war. We could not have imagined such a tragedy in the midst of our holiday,” said Shmulit Azoulay, a northern Haifa resident. -sheera frankel, mcclatchy newspapers
editors: scott masselli, gabi seltzer firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
december 3, 2010
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Body-scans provide necessary security hen I consider the things I am most afraid of, death is W among the top-ranked items. I think it is safe to say it ranks high for many of us. We don’t want to die too young, we don’t want to die too violently and we most definitely don’t want to die in an unjust or easily preventable manner. Because of this fear of death, and the precious nature of life itself, I am confused by the recent backlash against the Transportation Security Administration. As mentioned above, death is among the most common of American fears; however, in a recent online polling, one of the fears that Americans sporadically rate higher than death is flying. It is for good reason. We have been attacked and threatened numerous times via our airways. In my opinion, we need to use whatever means necessary to make sure the American people feel confident about flying again. The TSA is a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It develops guidelines, regulations and tactics designed to increase security in American transportation. Since 2007, the TSA has been using Advanced Imaging Technology, commonly referred to as “bodyscanners” to survey flyers as they pass through security checkpoints in airports. These scanners work like mild X-ray machines but in a more anonymous manner. Those selected for additional security screening in airports stand in these AIT machines. The outlined body of the person being scanned is then presented to a TSA official, who can then verify if there are concealed weapons or forbidden items on the person. At any time, a person can refuse a body-scan and choose to be escorted into a private room for one-on-one screening conducted by a TSA official of the same sex.
A wide range of concerns have been raised by American travelers about these body-scans. Some feel the scans are violating their privacy while also saying the one-on-one screenings are too invasive. Others are scared the machines (that are in accordance with national health standards) are not healthy. Most of these concerns seem trivial to me. How does letting a TSA security official see the outline of your body compare to another 9/11? We need to come together as Americans and take one for the team. The bottom line is, whether they are uncomfortable or not, the body-scanners are working. They are making air travel safer and more efficient. According to the TSA website, within the last week alone, two “artfully concealed prohibited items” and 12 firearms were uncovered thanks to AIT. It only takes one passenger with a prohibited item, a firearm or bad intentions to devastate thousands of Americans. There is one legitimate concern about TSA procedures in my eyes, and that is the fact that it may violate the rights given to us by our founding fathers in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. But, I also believe there is justification to this concern. The Constitution was written to grow and adapt with the times. I’m not sure Thomas Jefferson ever imagined the United States as having such hateful enemies as al-Qaida. So, the question in my mind remains: Is two minutes of feeling uncomfortable really worth the lives of innocent Americans? We have spent way too much time trying to be politically correct and not enough time protecting our country and its citizens.
STEVIE KNUTSON -regular columnist -junior -communication major
Your Views [letter to the editor]
Letter from Seth Greenberg I want to thank everyone that came out on Wednesday night to support the Hokies. Although it was a tough loss to a top 25 team we had the opportunity to defeat, the crowd was electric and your enthusiasm helped drive our team against such a tough opponent. Virginia Tech basketball is in a pivotal time of year and we need you to continue to help us through this stretch. With the Virginia Cavaliers coming into the Cassell on Sunday, this is when we need our students more than ever. This is as important a game for our basketball team that we have played this season. It’s the next game, it’s a home game, it’s a game against an instate, ACC rival and it is a game that would put us in a great place as the ACC schedule gets going. This season can be a special one. Our players have been working hard in practice and on the road, but when game time comes around, they need your help.
We need your energy, your passion, your ownership, your commitment and your support. Cassell Coliseum is one of the great venues in all of college basketball. Since we have joined the ACC, we have created a special environment in the Cassell and that has been made possible with the combined effort of our players, our student body and our season ticket holders. Make no mistake about it. You set the tone. You raise the bar; you create the energy that is pivotal to our players’ success. I look forward to seeing you in the Cassell and having the Cassell at its highest level and its electric best as we take the floor Sunday at 6 p.m. against UVa. Remember, we will have our next installment of “Chalk Talks” today at noon in D2. So stop by and grab some great food and learn more about the Hokies’ preparations for the Cavaliers. It’s a great day to be a Hokie!
Seth Greenberg Head basketball coach
College athletes deserve their fair share of revenue
he disparity between the coaches’ incomes and the players’ incomes T is laughable. Alex Rodriguez, one of the faces of the New York Yankees, is the world’s most overpaid sidekick, as he made $33 million in 2010 playing third base. He hit 30 home runs and drove in 125 runs. Yankees manager Joe Girardi got a raise this year, even though he did not do his job as well as he did last year when the Yankees won the World Series. He signed a contract last month to make $9 million over the next three seasons — approximately one-eleventh of Rodriguez’s salary every year. Shouldn’t that be appropriate? Shouldn’t the people who sweat, bleed and perform the best be rewarded with the highest salaries? Joe Girardi can’t swing the bat — nor could he during his playing days with the Chicago Cubs — instead, A-Rod and Derek Jeter are responsible for doing the playing. You can’t have coaches without players, much like the Bowl Championship Series can’t have a pretend championship game (played this season in Glendale, Ariz.) without avaricious entities. Although the NCAA tournament in basketball looks like the good daughter compared to the gold-digging BCS, old March Madness still has her flaws. How many players have hired dummy SAT takers, received unauthorized aid on their schoolwork and left school to rake in the big money for some struggling NBA franchise? I know Derrick Rose is not alone. I’m not fooled — I know that some of these phenoms pimp out their college teams to catch the eyes of NBA scouts and coaches, much in the same way college football programs pimp out their players to lube the tracks on the free money express. It’s a trite argument, but how luxurious it must be to reap the benefits of your elite football team, where all football players work for free. Well, except some. As Auburn’s Cam Newton remains the favorite to win the Heisman-Bush Trophy, the college football audience wonders how prevalent it really is to have hot recruits demanding bribes for
their commitment. It makes me wonder how many football players are willing to sell their bodies to some school, and why any player would adhere to any “recruiting ethics.” Newton’s father, Cecil, has infamously uttered those fateful words, referring to the fear his son would turn into “some kind of rented mule.” Mr. Newton, your son is going to put his body through hell and wage war against other athletes. He is going to risk permanent head and spinal cord injuries. He is going to be the most laughably undercompensated worker in the United States of America. Your son will play his ass off on Saturdays, win big games and lead his school’s football team to a bowl game. What does he get? A scholarship to a university that will put football first, his comfort second and his academic progress last. Only $180,000 for his signature? That’s bollocks. If Cam Newton were my son, I would advise him to seek something closer to $1 million. The idea of amateur sports is not about corporate contracts, alumni relations or beer commercials. Amateur sport is supposed to be about the integrity of the game. But we know what’s up. A multi-million-dollar purse waits for the winner of each of the BCS bowl games. Sports apparel manufacturers are tripping over themselves for the rights to make schools’ uniforms. And, the part that makes me laugh the hardest, the billions of dollars gambled all over the world mean these amateur athletes earn as much money as the horses at the Kentucky Derby. Scholarships and meal plans are not the kind of incentives the contemporary athlete wants. Though a slim minority of players enters the realm of professional sports, a full four years of college is not necessary when just one phenomenal year and a few clutch shots during the NCAA Tournament can translate to a high draft stock in the NBA Draft. I am not fooled, and I know you are not either. The contributions to the general scholarship funds of individual schools aren’t affecting anyone. When was the last time that we had a
major payout for a flagship victory? The Orange Bowl in 2008? And how high did our tuition climb? And how much higher will our tuition climb? Rules, policies and laws are intended to protect those who fall under their jurisdiction. However, the staunch obsession with amateur athletes which the NCAA possesses is both exploitive and unethical. When flagship football programs tally revenues from sponsorships, ticket sales, parking, concessions and licensed team apparel, the total revenue is incredible. Universities are required to send their annual incomes to the U.S. Department of Education, per the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act of 2008. According to Mike Fish of ESPN, the football program that raked in the most money in 2008 was the University of Texas, which hauled in $87.6 million. Auburn was eighth at $58.6 million and Virginia Tech was 25th at $27.7 million. You would think that these net revenues would permit the players for these schools to get something for their hard work, right? No, boxes of sweatpants, T-shirts and letterman jackets aren’t enough. I mean that these players spent countless hours training, preparing, and executing on the football field, and they are going to be denied a cut of the money they brought in? To Garrett Gilbert, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor and the rest of our athletes: Dig in, ladies and gentlemen; you deserve a hefty paycheck. And I would like to apologize on behalf of the NCAA, the BCS and every school that participates in this fleecing, for pimping you out. We have taken away their basic right to seek compensation for their work, and the slavery that exists on our campuses is highly problematic.
BEN WOODY -regular columnist -communication -senior
Supporters of term limits display impractical campaign rhetoric he newly elected members of Congress bring with them a variT ety of personal agendas, principles and ideologies. Yet, the one thing they bring collectively, the thing GOP success can be attributed to, is a wave of reform rhetoric. Of course we will have to wait and see if any of the promises get turned into action — because usually political hype, and hope for that matter, is followed by disappointment. With reform resounding vibrantly in the minds’ of voters, and in the words of the newly elect, it is almost too easy to pick a topic or congressman whose words won’t be translated into action. So let me close my eyes, spin around 10 times, and point my finger at — term limits. Yes, half of the 80 GOP freshmen have pledged to set a limit on the number of years a representative is allowed to serve. This is along with a handful of GOP senators. For these congressional freshmen, who were elected to implement change in Washington, saying they support term limits is a great way to wave the reform banner even higher. Yet in reality, all this touting will remain what it really is: rhetoric. The argument for goes something like this: Washington needs to change; there is too much political game-playing. One of the reasons for this is because established House members can and have gained much of the power. They head the committees, appropriate the money and hold chairmanships. They
are major power players because they have the experience and time to acquire an influential position. As a consequence, new lawmakers must negotiate deals that favor these power players. Not only does this encourage new congressmen and congresswomen to practice the same political playing techniques, it ensures this highly political D.C. culture continues throughout each election cycle. This system is bad because you have a few individuals affecting votes and laws. By restricting the number of terms, it will ensure individuals can’t gain too much political power. This argument even provides logical sound bites such as this from Rep. Jon Runyan of New Jersey: “By term limiting myself to eight years, I can focus on doing what is takes to solve the nation’s problems, instead of what it takes to further my political ambitions.” Makes sense, sounds sincere, but it won’t happen any time soon. First, the 40 new GOP senators and members of congress aren’t nearly enough in number to get the 270 votes needed to pass term limits as an amendment (a 1995 Supreme Court case ruled states couldn’t impose term limits on their elected federal officials). Secondly, and this shows why you probably won’t hear about this issue in a couple months, term limits are only being pushed by new members of Congress. Current, established lawmakers don’t support this issue because then they would have to leave. They would pretty much be resigning.
Lastly, and this is the counterargument, term limits won’t actually reduce the political game playing in Washington; it will only change how it’s done. There will still be power players and individuals who new congressman will have to pull favors for even if there are term limits. Chairmanships will still be handed down based on alliances and non-merit criteria. Another idea is perhaps certain congressmen or congresswomen repeatedly get elected because they are doing a good and honest job. We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater in the futile hope of “reforming” Washington. Good representatives, and their represented citizens, should be rewarded for good work with unlimited terms, not thrown out. Yet, regardless of which argument is stronger or more practical, it likely won’t matter because term limits don’t have the general support of either party. The wave of reform that is bringing most of the new members of Congress into office will soon die down. You won’t hear about term limits for much longer because there was never any substance behind the campaign rhetoric where it originated. Supporting term limits is just another way for a congressman to raise his reform flag, and nothing more.
MATTHEW ENGLISH -regular columnist -architecture -senior
Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief: Peter Velz Managing Editors: Zach Crizer, Michael McDermott Public Editor: Justin Graves Senior News Editor: Philipp Kotlaba Associate News Editors: Liana Bayne, Gordon Block News Reporters: Claire Sanderson, Sarah Watson News Staff Writers: Katie Noland, Jay Speidell, Michelle Sutherland Features Editors: Lindsey Brookbank, Kim Walter Features Reporters: Mika Maloney, Matthew Borysewicz, Majoni Harnal Opinions Editors: Scott Masselli, Gabi Seltzer Sports Editors: Michael Bealey, Garrett Ripa Sports Reporters: Nick Cafferky, Alex Jackson, Matt Jones, Courtney Lofgren, Josh Parcell Sports Staff Writers: Ed Lupien, George Tillerson Public Information Director: Dishu Maheshwari Training Director: Kelsey Heiter Copy Editors: Taylor Chakurda, Thandiwe Ogbonna, Nora McGann Spenser Snarr Layout Designers: Katie Biondo, Danielle Buynak, Cathleen Campbell, Maya Shah, Josh Son, Victoria Zigadlo Online Director: Jamie Chung Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager: David Harries Distribution Assistant: Ryan Francis Student Publications Photo Staff Director of Photography: Sara Mitchell Business Manager: Luke Mason Lab Manager: Mark Umansky College Media Solutions Ad Director: Nik Bando Asst Ad Director: Brandon Collins Account Executives: Emily Africa, Matt Freedman, David George, Melanie Knoth, Hunter Loving Inside Sales Manager: Wade Stephenson Assistant Inside Sales Manager: Diane Revalski Assistant Account Executives: Maddie Abram, Katie Berkel, Kaelynn Kurtz, Erin Shuba Creative Director: Chloé Skibba Asst Production Manager: Casey Stoneman Creative Services Staff: Katie Biondo, Colleen Hill, Jenn Le, Erin Weisiger
Voice your opinion. Readers are encouraged to send letters to the Collegiate Times. 365 Squires Student Center Blacksburg, VA, 24061 Fax: (540) 231-9151 email@example.com All letters to the editor must include a name and daytime phone number. Students must include year and major. Faculty and staff must include position and department. All other submissions must include city of residence, and if applicable, relationship to Virginia Tech (i.e., alumni, parent, etc.). All letters should be in MS Word (.doc) format, if possible. Letters, commentaries and editorial cartoons do not reflect the views of the Collegiate Times. Editorials are written by the Collegiate Times editorial board, which is composed of the opinions editors, editor-in-chief and the managing editors. Letters to the editor are submissions from Collegiate Times readers. We reserve the right to edit for any reason. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Have a news tip? Call or text 200-TIPS or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Student Media Phone Numbers Collegiate Times Newsroom 231-9865 Editor-in-Chief 231-9867 College Media Solutions Advertising 961-9860 The Collegiate Times, a division of the Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, was established in 1903 by and for the students of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The Collegiate Times is published every Tuesday through Friday of the academic year except during exams and vacations. The Collegiate Times receives no funding from the university. The Collegiate Times can be found online at www.collegiatetimes.com. Except where noted, all photographs were taken by the Student Publications Photo Staff. To order a reprint of a photograph printed in the Collegiate Times, e-mail email@example.com. The Collegiate Times is located in 365 Squires Student Center, Blacksburg, VA, 24061. (540) 231-9865. Fax (540) 2319151. Subscription rates: $65 semester; $110 academic year. The first copy is free, any copy of the paper after that is 50 cents per issue. © Collegiate Times, 2010. All rights reserved. Material published in the Collegiate Times is the property thereof, and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of the Collegiate Times.
december 3, 2010
Policies: The Collegiate Times reserves the right to reject or edit any advertisement it deems objectionable, at any time. No refunds are available.
Place An Ad Today
CLASSIFIEDS WWW.COLLEGIATETIMES.COM 540.961.9860
Visit our business office at 618 N. Main St. 9am–5pm 9am 5pm Monday–Friday Monday Friday,, or place an ad online at collegiatetimes.com.
The advertiser assumes full responsibility for his or her advertisements and agrees to hold the Collegiate Times harmless for the content of all advertisements authorized for publication and any claims that made may be against the Collegiate Times.
Deadline: Three business days prior to publication by 3PM.
Any questions concerning ads, please call the Better Business Bureau at 1.800.533.5501.
Rates as low as 32¢ per word, contingent on the number of days to run. Prepaid. 15 word minimum. Cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity. To complain of discrimination, call HUD toll free at 1.800.669.9777.
FREE CLASSIFIEDS FOR VT STUDENTS! students must come to 618 N Main ST to place the ad Childcare Tickets for Sale Tickets Wanted Volunteers
Textbooks for Sale Textbooks Wanted Lost & Found Help Wanted
Furniture for Sale
BRAND NEW mattress sets: twin $89, full $99, queen $119, king $169 We can layaway/deliver 540.260.9091
Call for Free Consultation with Attorney on Alcohol, Assault, Drug, Traffic Charges, and VT Student Conduct Referral. Joel S. Jackson, PC. www.joeljacksonpc.com. 540.961.5297
Sub-Lease VT STUDENTS-ROOM FOR RENT 2 bdrms available in a 3 bdrm condo off S. Main St., Blacksburg. On bus route. Good parking.2 full baths. Common area complete w/ furnishings, kitchen fully equipped, only bedroom furniture needed. $400/ mo including cable, ethernet, electric and water. 703-915-2315
Tickets for Sale ACC TICKETS FOR SALE Selling 2 tickets at face value, $300 for both. Parking pass included. Call for more information. 864.576.8745 864.576.8745
Travel GETTING COLD TIME to Plan your Spring Break 2010 Get Away! Learn how to travel to beautiful locations like Jamaica, Acapulco and the Bahamas on a party cruise. Find out what other Virginia Tech Hokies are headed to your destination. -Adrian Email: Awhite@Studentcity.com for more information
For Sale VIRGINIA TECH GOBBLE GOBBLE SHIRTS. 100% COTTON. MED, LARGE, XLARGE, XXLARGE. $18.00. firstname.lastname@example.org
Events SKYDIVE! One-day first jumps from 13,500’ from 22-jumper twin engine airplane. Gift Certificates! www.skydiveorange.com 540.943.6587
Notices HTTP://TINYURL. COM/VTREADYU ReadyU is bringing you the best online resource for all you need to know about life at Virginia Tech. Because they can’t teach this stuff, ReadyU.com will. Visit http:// tinyurl.com/ VTReadyU for the all the tips, tricks and articles from fellow students!
Help Wanted *****BARTENDING***** MAKE UP TO $300/ DAY. No Experience Necessary. Training Available. 1-800-965-6520 EXT210 ASSISTANT&ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Account Executives: Gain incredible resume and life experience at student media.
For Sale Events Health & Fitness Automotive
We’re now hiring outgoing, dedicated and confident VT students for Spring 2011. As an Account Executive at College Media Solutions, be a marketing consultant for clients, helping them reach their goals. We analyze the needs of each business. If reaching the campus or extended VT community of alumni and families can increase their business, we recommend an appropriate marketing strategy using the Collegiate Times, collegiatetimes.com, out of home advertising, VTTV Channel 33, WUVT 90.7 FM or other means. This is valuable experience whether you are pursuing a career in marketing or advertising or not. Close to 100% of student media alumni report that their experience helped them land their first jobs or advance faster in their careers. In student media, you are not relegated to a lowly intern. You have the opportunity to advance into management and student leadership as well. Your earnings are only limited by your effort and commitment. Assistant Account Executive: Entry level student positions are available at College Media Solutions, the advertising agency for student media at Virginia Tech. Responsibilities include accurate data entry, excellent customer service skills, guided selling to clients, filing and organization. Assistant Account Executives have the opportunity to be promoted within the organization. Commitment of 8-12 hours per week is required. Federal work study grants may be used for this co-curricular student activity experience.. Positions are open until filled. All training is provided Apply online today at collegemedia.com/ join Preference will be given for students who plan to return in Summer and/ or Fall 2011. College Media Solutions is a Registered Student Organization whose mission is to give students co-curricular
Notices Wanted Musical Roommates
Greek Notes For Rent Personals Furniture for Sale
experience while providing the funding support for student-run mass media on campus. Get a job that means something. Deadline: December 3.
Personals ADOPTION Pregnant? Think about adoption as an option! Warm, loving nurse wishes to adopt a baby. I promise a lifetime of love, happiness and security. Contact Susanne anytime at 1-571-882-3533 www.babyloveva.com
Downtown Living South Main Living North Main Living Prices Fork Living
Patrick Henry Living Christiansburg Living
Find your appetite
Go online to see more New River Valley Restaurants at
Who will be on top next week?
Every Friday in the Collegiate Times.
ACROSS 1 Self-confident to a fault 6 Dealt with fallen leaves 11 Donkey 14 Sneeze sound 15 Vine-covered, as college walls 16 ROTC school WSW of Washington, D.C. 17 Sources of rowdy criticism 20 He-sheep 21 The Carpenters and Sonny & Cher 22 Jazzy Fitzgerald 23 Mother of Don Juan 25 Turkey brand 29 Turkey-carving machine 31 Mine, in Metz 32 Recline, biblically 33 Play your poker hand without drawing 37 Commotion 38 & 41 Computer program suffix 42 1997-2003 game show host who put up his own money for prizes 44 How stop signs are painted 46 ABA members 47 Oration 49 Colorful plastic footwear 53 “Huh?” 55 Nike rival 56 Stumble 58 Santa __ winds 59 Hawaii once comprised most of them 64 Poem of praise 65 Game show host 66 Remus or Sam 67 Actor Beatty 68 Cowpoke’s pokers 69 Beef source DOWN 1 Bay of Naples isle
By Lila Cherry
2 Aptly named California coastal city 3 Lizard that can change colors 4 __-Tiki 5 “__ be amazed” 6 Severity, in Soho 7 Seagoing “Cease!” 8 About .62 mi. 9 Slithery fish 10 Pres. before JFK 11 Walled Spanish city 12 Use one’s nose 13 Rope-making fiber 18 Boob __: TV 19 Opener’s next call, in bridge 24 Pimple 26 Actor Jacques 27 Online zine 28 Country music’s Milsap 30 Talkative 32 Experiment site 33 Nine-digit ID 34 “To sleep, __ to dream”: Hamlet 35 Chopping tool grip
Sub-Lease Travel Rides Campus
12/3/10 Thursday’s Puzzle Solved
(c)2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
36 CNN founder Turner 39 Circus safety gear 40 Dinner plate 43 Dinner course 45 Original 47 Baseball’s World __ 48 Omega preceders 49 Leader of the Argonauts
50 Deftly escape from 51 Like many winter jackets 52 None of the above 54 Stun gun 57 + 60 All-Pro Patriots receiver Welker 61 Pesky kid 62 Hosp. heart ward 63 Aardvark’s tidbit
editors: michael bealey, garrett ripa email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
december 3, 2010
Volleyball earns program’s first NCAA appearance ZACH MARINER sports staff writer To say it had been a long time coming would be an understatement. After 33 years of mediocre volleyball, this year’s Virginia Tech team has reached the program’s first NCAA Tournament, and will face the Delaware Blue Hens in the first round tonight on the campus of Penn State at 5 p.m. “(Making the NCAA tournament) was our goal that we set for the beginning of the year and we accomplished it,” said Chris Riley, head coach. “I’m really proud of our group.” Riley has truly turned the program around since his first year as head coach in 2006. “I’m really happy for our seniors Amy (Wengrenovich) and Felicia (Willoughby),” Riley said. “They’ve been in this program for four years now and have helped it grow into an NCAA Tournament team.” Wengrenovich and Willoughby were Riley’s first recruits upon arriving at Tech, and both have played key roles in helping the Hokies (19-11, 10-10 ACC) get to where they are today. Willoughby, who was just named an All-ACC performer for the fourth consecutive year, finished off the regular season ranked third in the conference in hitting percentage (.355) and ninth in blocks (1.03 per set). She attributes her own success to the improvement of the program. “Our team has improved ever since my freshman year,” she said. “I think we’re playing well together and I think we’re going to need everyone’s contributions to do well in this tournament.” Cara Baarendse was also named to the All-ACC squad. She ranks second in the conference in hitting percentage (.380), and received the honor after being named to the AllACC freshman team just one year ago. “I’ve never really pictured myself where I am today,” she said, regarding her All-ACC performance. “It was just a great feeling to hear that.” The Hokies will need a solid performance, not only from Willoughby and Baarendse, but from the entire team, if they plan to have a shot at reaching the second round. Delaware (26-5, 13-1 CAA) beat Northeastern 3-2 on Nov. 21 to clinch its third Colonial Athletic Association title in four years. Delaware has the edge over Tech in tournament experience, and despite being in a smaller conference, is not
GHIISLAIN DELPORTE / SPPS
The team watches as senior Felicia Willoughby goes up for a kill during a victory over Wake Forest.
NEED COLLEGE CREDIT FAST? Save Time. Save Money. Take CLEP.
The Roanoke Higher Education Center offers CLEP exams in their Educational Testing Center. PAUL KURLAK / SPPS
All-ACC performer Cara Baarendse attacks against Florida State. The Hokies’ October victory over the No. 25 Seminoles team was their ﬁrst win over a ranked opponent in program history. a team the Hokies can afford to overlook. “(We’ve been) focusing on limiting errors and remind ourselves that we have to play to the best of our ability to beat Delaware,” Baarendse said. “They’re not going to be any easy team to just roll over.” Riley noted the Hokies are preparing a little differently for the Blue Hens, with the school’s first NCAA Tournament victory on the line. “We’re making sure that we’re more disciplined than we have been and just making sure that we play at our energy level,” he said. “Delaware’s been there three years out of four and we haven’t. So, I want to make sure our kids aren’t scared or nervous, because (Delaware)
won’t be. We’ve got to try and be ready to answer that challenge.” Another big challenge for the Hokies is regaining focus after reaching such a huge goal. Rather than be satisfied with their performance to this point, they’ve spent this week concentrating on a new goal — beating Delaware and having the opportunity to play three-time defending champion Penn State. “The minute we got into the NCAA Tournament, that goal was over. A new one has to be established,” Riley said. “Ours is one round at a time in the NCAA Tournament. We’d love the opportunity to play Penn State.” The winner of tonight’s game will face the winner of the Niagara/Penn State matchup tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
* Monday-Friday scheduele availability with one Saturday a month * Offer tests during Monday and Wednesday evening * Nice, quiet testing environment * CLEP study guides available with the RHEC Library. To shorten your path to a college degree, contact (540) 767-6009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
33 CLEP Exams Available Including: Chemistry College Composition French Language Human Growth and Development History of the United States I History of the United States II Western Civilization I Western Civiliazation II Humanities Introductory Pshycology Spanish Language And many more!
people & clubs
editors: lindsey brookbank, kim walter email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
december 3, 2010
He said: Prepare for break, parental control Intellectuals far more curious than myself have attempted to make sense of the reluctant transition to adulthood we know as college. Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson proclaimed university to be “the archive of the Western ideal, the keeper of the Western culture, the guardian of our heritage, the dwelling of the free mind, the teacher of teachers.” College was ”a refuge from hasty judgment” for Robert Frost. Recording artist Kanye West criticizes the conformity of the collegiate scene: “Now even though I went to college and dropped out of school quick, I always had a Ph.D., a Pretty Huge — .” Actually, let’s skip past that part. Suffice it to say Mr. West feels some disillusionment toward higher education. For my money, though, I’m not sure if anyone summed it up better than the venerable and increasingly frightenedlooking Tom Petty. You know the quote — the one about blowing off class to get hosed with your friends, work lasts forever but college is only four years, etc. It is a college cliche on par with Bob Marley posters, one that speaks to the soul of every justification-seeking underachiever. I’m personally indifferent to the slacker mantras; what I find striking about the quote is Petty’s idea of college existing outside of the real world. What seems commonplace in collegiate life — bizarre sleep schedules, Tuesday nightlife, pedestrians with no healthy fear of vehicles — is generally considered abnormal by the working population. Nothing drives this point home (pun intended) more than returning to the
family dwelling for holidays. Here, removed from the bubble that is university life, we are jarringly thrust back into the throes of parentally-supervised reality. Freshmen quickly learn college and home lifestyles are incompatible in a spectacular fiasco of a blind date way. Unfortunately for those high on independence, collegiate habits are the stage-five clinger still waiting at the table for you to return from the bathroom. Parents are very excited about your newfound independence. Really, they’re extremely proud of the maturation taking place at school. At the very least, they are impressed by that wicked goatee you grew for no-shave November. This pride, however, is topped by a desire to avoid disruption of routine. All parents, especially empty nesters, cherish the routines that get them through the day and keep life in order. Having a less cute version of their child stomping around at 2 a.m. does not fit into these plans, nor does a child treating the immaculately cleaned house like a dorm room; there’s no quicker way to raise the parental unit alarm to DEFCON 1 than strewn clothes or empty soda cans. Successful stays at home require an understanding of how best to live within the pre-existing system. Of course, this is easier said than done; it took me two combative years of trying to wedge a square into a circular hole before finding the balance that maintained household civility. The secret to domestic bliss is searching for new and improved ways to avoid conflict. My strategy for success consists of two key components: clean-
ing and sleeping. Cleanliness goes beyond picking up trash and washing dishes. These tasks may represent a Herculean effort by male apartment standards, but at home it turns out they are a basic expectation. Appeasing parents requires a concentrated effort to minimize your physical presence in the household. Putting shoes in the closet, keeping remotes and blankets in proper locations and not leaving peanut butter fingerprints on the milk container are easy ways to stay on the good side of the new roommates. Sleeping is a foolproof method of avoiding conflict. There’s no reason to wake someone out of slumber for an argument unless they encouraged a kitten escape by leaving the b a c k door open. By my estimate, nearly 16 hours of potential conflict time were avoided by regularly sleeping past noon over Thanksgiving break. Some people would say this is a feeble attempt to excuse laziness. These people are wrong and surprisingly judgmental. This time-tested sleep method is simply using my slothful talents for the greater good. The benefits for keeping peace far outweigh the amount of effort required to do so. Though we may be verging ever closer on “guest” status at home, the current membership plan still allows for access to a stocked refrigerator and gratis “Harry Potter” tickets. A more satisfying benefit is the enjoyment of time spent with family. Giving parents less reason to worry about your behavior helps steer the relationship toward a mutual respect between peers. I’m in no rush to leave the freedom of college life, but when it comes time for winter break, there will be no dread during the long slog up I-81. I’ll actually be looking forward to spending time with mom, dad and the cats they replaced my sister and I with. Good thing, too — if we hadn’t worked out these problems now, who knows how awkward the situation could get when I move home after college. I’m almost excited about spending a few years with my hip new roommates, and I’m sure they are as well. Dad’s probably just joking about moving to a houseboat in a classified location.
ANDREW REILLY -features staff writer -junior -communication major
She said: Quirky family traditions bring joy After the Victoria’s Secret fashion show on Tuesday night, my news feed on Facebook was blown up with girls expressing their plan for a new diet – eating nothing. I on the other hand was expressing my excitement for the start of ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas and rejoicing at the idea that I’m only two weeks away from Christmas cookies. As I drove back to Charlottesville for Thanksgiving break I had one thing on my mind — turkey. This Thanksgiving break was a little unusual for my family. We were celebrating my mom’s 50th birthday, so we actually made plans. Because we live for sports, we flew to Minnesota to watch the Green Bay Packers embarrass the Vikings. Let’s just say we didn’t make very many friends that day as my mom paraded around the stadium in her cheese head hat. Prepared as always, I ended up facing snow and a high temperature of 19 degrees without my winter coat. I thought it would be fun to go buy a nice coat at the Mall of America. Little did I know, Black Friday happens every day at the Mall of America. The word overwhelming does not even begin to describe the mall. My favorite part of this trip was a small Irish pub that we visited on our last night. The weather had turned for the worse, and the sidewalks were covered in ice. A group of guys at the bar thought it would be fun to create a new drinking game — they would each take a shot every
time they saw someone through the window slip on the ice. Apparently they had not been outside in a while to know how serious the conditions had gotten. 15 falls in 10 minutes led to sheer entertainment for everyone in the bar but these guys. After flying home after an eventful weekend, we went back to the Gunter family tradition of being untraditional. Thanksgiving to us is defined as, “Pajamas all day and turkey all night.” Instead of dressing up and driving across the country to visit family members, we spend the entire day relaxing and watching football as we prepare for dinner. Thanksgiving dinner in my family is a little unique. Yes, we still have turkey and stuffing, but we have one special addition in our family — french fries. Yes, I said french fries. Like I said, we do things differently in my family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We decided to make s’mores for dessert since my parents recently added a fire pit to our backyard. When my dad got home from the grocery he animatedly removed the ingredients for s’mores from the bags. He was ecstatic as he showed us the marshmallows, graham crackers, and last but not least, chocolate syrup. There was complete silence in our kitchen until I fell on the floor laughing. My dad bought chocolate syrup instead of chocolate bars thinking that syrup was
the reason why the chocolate is melted. This was almost as funny as the time I realized my dad had been saying, “That’s what she said” for an entire year without understanding the joke. Eventually, Thanksgiving dessert was saved and chocolate bars were bought. While spending time at home for the holiday was great, I was ready to get back to Virginia Tech. In fact, I was so ready that I clicked “home” on my navigation system and ended up driving towards Blacksburg with my sister in the car by mistake. Returning to Tech meant that it was time to face all of the homework that I had neglected. Having a 16-18 page report due Monday at 8 a.m. was just pleasant. We only have two long, yet painful weeks of work left to face folks. I seemed to have lost my motivation somewhere along the way in these past few weeks. Where did it go? These last two weeks are like ripping off a band-aid. You fear the pain, but it goes by faster than you know it. If you’re like me, and struggling to find the effort, think about the presents and cookies that are waiting for us.
CHELSEA GUNTER -features staff writer -sophomore -communicaton major
Foam: Art boosts awareness from page one
materials if his goals of eliminating Styrofoam use were achieved. “I may be cutting off my supply,” Arr said, “but I’m fine with that. What I want is awareness. This is something that would be so easy for people to stop doing.” Many of the people Arr works with echo his feelings about sustainability. “I am very impressed with what Dan does. He is bringing attention to sustainability issues on campus through his art,” Budowle said. “He is such a strong supporter of all of our recycling, waste reduction and other sustainability programs in Dining Services. It’s great that he is doing his small part to help us divert waste from the landfill.” Last spring, Owens hosted an Earth Day to raise awareness to the cause where Arr was able to set up a display of his artwork. He has also been involved with Blacksburg’s Sustainability Fair. “As much as possible, we try to edu-
Miss the Lottery?
There’s a Seat for you at Champs!
cate customers to choose ‘for here’ options while eating in the dining centers. We’ve done several campaigns with educational signs in the past,” Budowle said. She also suggested students concerned with sustainability should use reusable containers if they need their food to go. Arr continues to sell his artwork, but does not earn nearly as much as he puts into creating the pieces. Arr doesn’t seem to mind. “It’s really fun,” Arr said, about transforming Styrofoam. But sustainability remains his top priority. “I think maybe the only other alternative is to make people feel bad. If I see someone eating out of a Styrofoam box I may just have to say, ‘Hey, come over here and look what happens to that Styrofoam box,’” Arr said. After all, according to Arr, meals in Styrofoam boxes are not larger.
e ” h T “ New ight N e t a L l! Specia Midnight -
Save your Champs receipt and get:
$5.00 OFF Any Regular Priced Pizza
later that night! For quick, easy ordering - Go online at www.FirehousePizzaVT.com
860 University City Blvd. Across from Univ. Mall