MINARET THE UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA’S NEWS SOURCE SINCE 1933
REALITIES OF WRESTLING:
BEING A PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING FAN IN 2012
YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT
ANDREW LUCK & ALL THE OTHERS:
A 2012 NFL MOCK DRAFT
A MATTER OF SPIRIT LOOKING INTO UT SPORTS ATTENDANCE
6 WHAT’S HOT 7 WHO WE LOVE 8 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 UT CAMPUS HOLDS SPORTING HISTORY 14 4 SPORTS BARS YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT 20 THE CLIMB: HIGHBROW / LOWBROW 22 A HELL OF A FIGHT 24 ANDREW LUCK AND ALL THE OTHERS: A 2012 NFL MOCK DRAFT 28 THE ULTIMATE MOVIE GUIDE TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF SPORTS 32 REALITIES OF WRESTLING 38 THE SPORT’S WORLD ASSULT PROBLEM 42 A MATTER OF SPIRIT 45 CHALLENGE FLAGS FOR GREAT SPORTSMANSHIP NATIONWIDE PAGE 4 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
MINARET ISSUE 78.19 | THE SPORTS ISSUE | MARCH 2012 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR FACULTY ADVISER
Mike Trobiano Joshua Napier Daniel Feingold Dr. Daniel Reimold
NEWS AND FEATURES Shivani Kanji Chelsea Dubar ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Amanda Sieradzki Natalie Hicks OPINION Richard Solomon Jessica Keesee Mikey Angelo Rumoré SPORTS Miles Parks John Hilsenroth Jr. PHOTOGRAPHY ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR COPY EDITING
Samantha Battersby Katelyn Goodwin Kyle Bennett Jennifer Bedell
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ITEMS T SE PURCHA
Joe Beaudoin Michael Paonessa Melissa Santell Tim Shanahan April Weiner
Dominique Barchus Alex Caraballo Paola Crespo Annabella Palopoli
PHOTOGRAPHERS Tiffany Corrada Samantha Cossum Imani Cruz Victoria DeLone Melissa Guarino Jake Patterson Rebecca Petoello
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WHAT’S HOT GAME RELEASES
Mass Effect 3 March 6
Tales of Graces f March 13
ITEMS TW PREVIE
UPCOMING MOVIE RELEASES
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City March 20
Friends with Kids 21 Jump Street March 9 March 16
Jeff, Who Lives at Home March 16
Hunger Games March 23
APP OF THE MONTH It’s likely that you are familiar, or have at least browsed at one point, with the International Movie Database (IMDb.com). But if you have yet to download the smart phone app for IMDb, then your cellular device’s home screen is really missing out. Let me aware you. IMDb is not just for movie enthusiasts. It’s for those who like movies, television, celebrities and kind of useful (often times, not really) trivia on all of these things. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing a familiar face making a cameo appearance on TV, and not recalling that actor’s name, or what you remember them from. You don’t have to even care much about TV for that to bother you. With the IMDb app, the annoyance can be subdued with a few seconds of searching on your phone. Beyond the both general and detailed information on everything film and television, there are user forums, user reviews and lists of movies categorized by a plethora of different guidelines, for instance, top grossing in the box office or best rated of all-time. The IMDb app is free, and a necessity for your phone.
PAGE 6 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
Daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, Blue Ivy is only six weeks old and has already been parodied on SNL. In what I believe to be one of the best sketches in years, Maya Rudolf portrays the new mom as she welcomes her celebrity friends over to see her bundle of single lady joy. Each impression is spot on; Fred Armisen as Prince, Kristin Wiig as Taylor Swift and Keenan Thompson as LL Cool J. By the time the guests had come and gone, I was laughing so hard I wasn’t even making any noise, just sitting with my mouth open and clapping like a zoo seal. Justin Timberlake even made an appearance as Grammy winner Bon Iver. Mocking his low-key music, he wrote a song for baby Blue that ended up putting him to sleep. If imitation really is the greatest form of flattery, these musical superstars must have felt pretty darn good.
Visit The Crescent at blog.theminaretonline.com to learn more about the content featured in this issue.
Love The Minaret staff shares memories of their favorite sports teams.
I’ve always remained loyal to my hometown teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays and Lightning. Even if I moved across the country I’d still remain a fan to those franchises, because I wouldn’t know how to root for anything else. DANIEL FEINGOLD Associate Editor
My dad is a Giants fan and that’s how I was raised. But when I was five he remarried to a die-hard Packer’s fan. Over the years my colors have gradually shifted from white, blue and red to green and gold. RICH SOLOMON Opinion Editor
It’s baseball all the way, baby. Whether it’s Rays, Indians or the Cubbies, I couldn’t sit through any other game. And you know what? There’s always next year. AMANDA SIERADZKI Arts + Entertainment Editor
Whoever is playing the Patriots, Steelers, Yankees, Red Sox, Celtics, Heat and Lakers. Oh, and also the Jets. You know. For me, sports are about spectacular failure. MIKEY ANGELO RUMORÉ Asst. Opinion Editor
One of my favorite teams would probably be the Washington Redskins. Even though they are not the greatest team in the world I can still remember my MomMom screaming at the TV for them to win while cooking dinner as a kid. Such good memories. SAMANTHA BATTERSBY Photography Editor
Since the first time I was taken to Turner Field in 1997, I’ve been a fan of no other ball club but the Atlanta Braves. I’ve seen a lot since then – nine east division titles and a couple holes in the wall due to post-season disappointment. But come March I’m always there, cheering on my boys. JOSHUA NAPIER Managing Editor
I am a ride or die Chicago Cubs fan, my dad always took me to Wrigley to see my Cubs play his Orioles. I fell in love watching Sammy Sosa go against Mark McGwire. I’m dedicated to the Cubs, I don’t give up on my team just because they haven’t won in... a century or so. JENN BEDELL Lead Copy Editor
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a USF Bulls fan. The very first football game I went to was for the Bulls, and even though I’m not there for college, I’ll always bleed green and gold. CHELSEA DUBAR Asst. News Editor
IN ABOUT SIX MONTHS from now, I picture myself in a studio apartment in San Francisco, enjoying the wonderful forward-thinking lifestyle of the bay area and most definitely not caring an ounce about any sporting event. Growing up I was never a very athletic kid, but it’s not that I had a bad experience with sports as a child. I mean, I was hardly amazing in club or school sports, but no game was ever life scarring. It’s just that I have about the same love for sports as I do any given Katherine Heigl movie.* Take the Super Bowl, for example. There is little that I could relate to the sporting jargon during such an event, so I usually find my own entertainment in critiquing commercials, tweeting about how to remove myself from the situation and trying to avoid eating my own body weight in jalapeño poppers. The main job of any team, or Katherine Heigl for that matter, is to fill seats; I get that. It’s just that both seem so ridiculous that the notion of wasting my time on either is baffling. One crowd is a bunch of macho bros that sob when a guy takes a knee in the middle of a crowded arena after a touchdown. The other has the same sobbing bros plus their girlfriends who get emotional when a different guy gets down on one knee in a tuxedo in the corner of a Macy’s after a flash mob finishes a rendition of “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.” Now maybe the cheese stands alone here, but I’ve identified my role in the sporting community and I’m fine being a very distant commentator.
MIKE TROBIANO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
*Katherine Heigl’s relevancy to me is nonexistent.
PAGE 8 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
UT CAMPUS HOLDS SPORTING HISTORY WRITTEN by
PAGE 10 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
MANY VISITORS AND STUDENTS walk around
The University of Tampa’s Pepin Stadium without realizing that they are treading on what use to be Tampa’s first athletic field and stadium, built in 1899, known as Plant Field. This lesser known fact is that Henry B. Plant was not just the initiator of the Tampa Bay Hotel, but was also responsible for creating this sports mecca as a means of entertainment for his guests.
Plant Field attracted large crowds and was used for many different community events, including the South Florida Fair, political campaigns, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, The Confederate Veterans Reunion, and for many years, it was the ending location for the Gasparilla Parade. However, Plant Field’s original purpose was to provide a gatherPlant Field’s racing track, also known as ing spot for hotel guests to WAS REOPENED ON Feb. 3, 1921 and enjoy sports entertainment, such as horse racing, car racmeasured to be DIRT OVAL. ing, baseball and football. One of the first sporting events to be introduced to Plant Field was horse racing in the late 1890s. During commemorated by a green plaque on the Sykes Colthat time period, horse racing was a prime source of en- lege of Business grounds. tertainment for most citizens. Horse races prominently Football was born on Plant Field on New Year’s Day occurred during the South Florida Fair. Years later the 1926 when the Chicago Bears defeated the Tampa Cartrack was altered to facilitate a racing track for cars. dinals by the score of 17-3. This event also went down Plant Field’s racing track, also known as Tampa in history as the first professional football game to be Speedway, was opened on Feb. 3, 1921 and was mea- played in Tampa. Football games were played in the sured to be a half-mile dirt oval. The dirt-track races Tampa Bay race track diamond field. Games occurred were sponsored by the International Motor Contest more frequently at Plant Field from 1933 to 1936 when Association. Races were occasionally held each year UT football players used it for their home games. during the South Florida Fair until the mid-1970s. In 1933, the University of Tampa formally replaced Baseball also became a sporting hot spot at Plant the Tampa Bay Hotel and during that time baseball and Field in the late 1890s. The baseball field was referred football became the more prevalent sports amongst to as the Tampa Bay race track diamond because it the students at Plant Field. Tony Ippolito, class of was created inside the field of the track. Plant Field 1950, was on the informal football team in 1946 and was known for being the spring training home for said that the football games were well attended. many major league teams. The first team to use the “It was an event on Saturday nights,” said Ippolito. field as their spring home was the Chicago Cubs in “Everyone looked forward to it, it was the best thing.” 1913. Thereafter, several teams used the field, includMicki Bailey, class of 1956, said that the crowds for ing the Boston Red Sox in 1919. the baseball and football games were large and enthuThe Boston Red Sox had one of the most memo- siastic. For the football games, she said that people rable games in April 1919 when legendary team mem- dressed to impress by wearing suits and other clothes ber Babe Ruth hit his longest home run, which was that were in style at the time. According to Bailey, womrecorded to be 587-feet. The ball’s landing spot is en got dressed up for the events.
“We wore nylons with the seam and with garter belts.” Argy Anthony, class of 1962, attended one of UT’s football games and said it was an “awesome” experience. Anthony mentioned that the Spartans football team was well respected and popular during his time at UT. Anthony, as well as Ipplito and Bailey, agreed that the Plant Field’s activities did not interfere with their studies whilst at UT. “I just felt it was beautiful and we should share,” said Bailey. In 1971, Plant Field and all that it encompassed was granted possession to UT by the university’s Board of Trustees. After gaining possession of the field, UT periodically began to build newer facilities that have now replaced this landmark in order to build a sports haven for the university’s students. Plant Field was
PAGE 12 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
later renamed after its sponsors, Arthur Pepin and Ed Rood, as the Pepin-Rood Stadium. The most recent renovation to this historic site occurred in 2002, when the Pepin-Rood grandstand was demolished and replaced by a newer one that we see today. Eventually the new grandstand was solely named as Pepin Stadium and the track and field as Rood Field. The stadium now has a soccer, softball and baseball field, as well as a running track which rests on the old Plant Field grounds. Newer sports facilities have also been created around the campus to accommodate sports such as swimming, basketball, tennis, lacrosse and volleyball. Presently there are several renovated structures from Plant Field that remain intact, including a number of exhibition buildings,
some of which have been replaced by Walker Hall classrooms. Another intact structure is one of the main entrances to Plant Field. This opening is located across from ResCom and Brevard housing and is next to the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies building. The entrance has two towers, with the east tower being taller than the west tower. Both have pointy, copper dome roofs that are spread apart by an elevated row of concrete. Next time you see or walk under that structure, allow your mind to travel back in time and think of the thousands of people who went through that entrance to attend the many activities Plant Field offered. And remember as you frolic on and around the sports field you could very well be walking on the exact spot that Babe Ruth hit his record breaking home run.
FACTS 1. UT's Pepin Stadium was first known as Plant Field, which was built in 1899. 2. It has hosted five NCAA championship games of both men's and women's sports. 3. The first pro football game in Tampa was played here on New Year's Day 1926 between the Chicago Bears and traveling pick-up team the Tampa Cardinals. 4. Babe Ruth hit his longest homerun here - a 587-footer in April 1919. 5. The stadium's track was once known as the Tampa Speedway, and was used for car racing until the mid '70s.
and AM ANDA
W R IT T E
South Ta sports ba mpa has a lar ge sport r s followin a melting following that is. The Tam g pot of co p a Bay are … llege stu all over, d a so the fa e n base is nts and people fr is of South om extensiv Tampa s e hammer ed on “S eem to thrive o . Residents unday fu f their tea ndays” w f of getting m play o ne weeke hile watc Due to th n hing d a f e t e large pop r the nex intereste u t. lation of d college s NFL, spo in the NCAA, and t uden rts bars have pro most prominently ts interest fited from th in this grow e Four of t viewing the gam in he best s e ports ba s in a social sett g area are rs ing Y Press Bo ard of Ale, Brick in the South Tam . x and Fo ur Green House Tavern & pa Fields. Tap,
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Sports B A R S You Need to C
BRICK HOUSE TAVERN & TAP North Dale Mabry
Brick House is an atypical type of sports bar. Most bars classically feature a large indoor bar and plenty of bar stools, while Brick House has an outdoor seating section accompanied by sizeable, encompassing fire pits. On the inside, there are more than enough plush couches to settle in to for a four-hour game. There are over 50 plasma HD flat screen TVs that accommodate any patron seated in the house. Nicole Monkarsh, a University of South Florida student has been waiting tables at the Brick House for a little under a year now and has experienced the restaurant throughout it all. “Football season is definitely our busiest time of year,” said Monkarsh. “It’s nuts, we get fans for every team. Sometimes it’s so packed, I can barely get through the customers!” Monkarsh hinted at the fact that there is no shortage of alcohol. “We have a total of 72 beers, with over 25 on tap and a full wine and liquor bar. People usually end up ordering a Bud Light ‘beer bong’, which serves about 12 beers per table.”
Their menu has an eclectic selection with not your usual snacks, and main dishes that aren’t seen at just any ol’ sports bar. Their top selling appetizers are the salivating deviled eggs, the large soft pretzel bites, fried stuffed olives and their zucchini curls. Brick House regular Eric Provitola, a 23-year-old UT alum, said, “You gotta try the steak and shrooms or the chicken and waffles. I’ve been to the Brick for over a handful of Sunday games and trust me, I know the menu.” BRICK HOUSE Another hectic time at the TAVERN & TAP Brick is during their happy hour, which is Monday through 1102 North Dale Thursday from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. $1 Mabry Highway beers are served along with $3 dollar glasses of house wines.
Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Sunday 11 a.m. – midnight
YARD OF ALE South Howard
One of the most recent additions to the happening and always hectic South Howard Avenue in Hyde Park is the newly renovated Yard of Ale, (formerly Cork.) This sports bar has become a staple for UT students on Friday nights and particularly Sunday afternoons. During the weekend, the restaurant/bar opens at noon and is full by 12:30 p.m. No wonder—one of the most enticing factors of a Sunday spent at Yard is its collegefriendly, but most of all budget-friendly specials. Comin’ in hot is 50-cent wings all day, baby. Whether you like traditional, regular wings, barbeque or buffalo, you’re in for an absolutely mouth-watering meal. And they’re not done; Yard also offers $2.50 Miller Lite drafts and $3 Blue Moons all day and night long. Yard of Ale’s entertainment is endless. The outdoor area is filled with two giant games that were once meant for our childhood, yet now have turned into drunken frenzies. Football fans play round after round of Connect Four during commercials, and make an attempt at Jenga until the last foot-long wooden block hits the ground. “I think I’ve spent the last ten Sundays in a row at Yard,” said 23-year-old Steve Sera. “It’s the spot to be, I usually go with a group of guys and watch whatever game is on. I have fallen in love with their buffalo wings.”
YARD OF ALE 406 South Howard Avenue
HOURS: Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. Friday 2:30 p.m. – 3 a.m. Saturday & Sunday 12 p.m. – 3 a.m
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PRESS BOX South Dale Mabry
A great local bar that is a sports emporium and hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneer players during their off-season time is the Press Box. This South Tampa gem has been a No. 1 sports destination for over 20 years. With 23 TVs that all have access to the NFL Ticket, ESPN Game Plan, NHL Center Ice, NBA League Pass, ESPN Full Court Press, MLS/ESPN Shootout and WNBA Season Pass, there is approximately a zero percent chance that the game you’re trying to watch won’t be on. When it comes to specials, the Press Box is an ideal destination for college students. Monday through Friday, long neck bottle beers are only $1.50. With nine flavors of
wings and $5.99 burgers, a kid just can’t go wrong. “The Press Box is probably the ultimate sports bar, it makes you feel like you’re a part of the game almost,” said Shane Bush, a 22-year-old senior at UT. “I love going there, there’s always a big crowd. The way the bar is set up helps a lot too, because no matter where you’re sitting you have a solid view of a TV.” The interior of the bar is painted football-turf green, and PRESS BOX mock score boards surround the dining area. It is easy to see 222 South Dale how sports oriented the Press Mabry Highway Box truly is. This sports bar is so dedicated to its customers, HOURS: that on every Tuesday between Monday – Sunday 6 and 9 p.m., a Bucs player 11 a.m. – 3 a.m. comes in to hang out and chat with fans.
FOUR GREEN FIELDS Platt Street
If you’re looking for the authentic Irish experience, look no further than Four Green Fields. The pub has a location in Boston, but its sister pub here in Tampa and is famous for being the only thatched-roof pub in America. Outside the deck invites an outdoor experience, inside you can admire the roof’s handiwork. A massive bar, smattering of tables featuring the Isle herself and a small corner stage with guitars set up and Irish songs blasting from the surrounding speakers all set the mood. The walls are covered with everything from Sinead O’Conner to Dublin’s football teams, and the lights stay dimmed. Order a pint of Guinness (they claim theirs is the best you’ll have on this side of the pond) and the fish and chips, or their famous Rueben sandwich (each are about $10). The portions are generous and the waiting staff set the atmosphere with trademark Irish hospitality. Depending on the night, there is live music to enjoy with authentic musicians crooning anything from war songs of FOUR GREEN the 1600s to present ballads FIELDS cursing the drink and loose 205 West Platt St. women. For the good prices and amazing atmosphere, you HOURS: might just close your eyes and Monday – Sunday believe you’re thousands of 10 a.m. – 3 a.m. miles away.
PAGE 18 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
AN IMAGINED OPEN LETTER E RICH SOLOMON T LE H AT ED R JU IN N A M O FR Roster, o Had Me On Their WR ITT EN by
ll Players Wh Dear Fantasy Footba
d I really can’t t you all down, an le I ow kn I . on as at happened mid-se depending on me I’m so sorry for wh od people, who were go e, er th t ou le op I know there are pe the fourth play apologize enough. en my leg broke in wh d An . ek we e th r extra 25 points fo to get them an easy ayers’ matchups. ruined a lot of pl at th r, te ar ound, qu st of the fir d I fell to the gr snapped in half an r mu fe my nt me mo r that. The the weight torso, supporting And I’m so sorry fo leg underneath my my , ty fe sa a d an ” a cornerback in so many lineups. sandwiched between this is going to ru d, go y “M s, wa k in all I could th in shame as they of all three men, h. I hung my head ug ro th me co ’t dn me and I just coul shard of leg bone Many of you needed oken by the giant br p ca ee kn my th rnea field, the skin unde ows how many people carted me off the ation isn’t. Who kn li mi hu my t bu w, no The season is over ctors performed poking through it. at one game? The do th of e us ca be fs of it to Fantasy-play regret. were unable to make gency surgery on my could perform emer e on no t bu g, le on my ver got their emergency surgery ined. Maybe they ne ru en be ve ha y ma on one’s Fantasy-seas d it!” Because of me, some with triumph, “I di asy-trophy and yell nt Fa r ei th ainers and up t is chance to ho the locker room, tr in ck ba my on y la e I teful evening wher Fantasy That night, that fa about was all the er you. All I care ov ed iz on ag I g, over my le doctors agonizing ed them a loss. set that I had caus up re we o wh s er ay for costing you a Football pl fe, cursing my name wi yas nt Fa ur yo e d next to , take solace in th As you all go to be something next year an me l il st ly te lu ip that will abso a football again. Fantasy-championsh r be anywhere near ve ne ly ke li an th to means I’ll more cares what happens fact that my injury let you down. Who I l, al r te Af e. s what I deserv life, than the live And that’s exactly my future, than my an th t an rt po im ng y-hopes are more ess hours memorizi me now? Your Fantas u have spent countl Yo . er ay pl u, yo on me. I salute of those who depend ur league-mates. insults to call yo ng ci ti ac pr e the d an s stat vorite team. You ar ay against your fa pl ey th en wh en ev picks us. You root for your e us. Then you hate at. Until you trad wh er tt ma no us r ocess. ers who cheer fo at entertainment pr faithful, the play s are a part of th lt su in ur Yo n. ai the exist to entert Bowl Ring, despite But to be fair, we en my second Super ev or st fir my t go lete when I I helped my first My life wasn’t comp I want. It was when er ev en wh on t pu n real objects I ca fact that they’re om his friends. trophy and $200 fr nt te is ex nno a n ayer wi adequacy. I know Fantasy Football pl I shed tears of in e, ur il fa my to d re forum dedicate d apparently I’m When I saw an enti one as a person. An so al t bu , er ay pl ed ilure as a football how the two are ti I am not just a fa rum. I’m not sure fo e th in t lo a o. That came up a sexual failure to u all say it a lot. be true, because yo st mu it t bu , you all. I’ll er th toge fe, I’ll think of wi l de mo n ia il az ght next to my Br my life centered As I go to bed toni ve all aspects of li to g in go m I’ g you. etend I’m embracin embrace her and pr u expect from me. use that’s what yo ca be s, er ay pl ll Footba around you Fantasy Sincerely,
ete Ever Every Injured Athl
Organizing the Sporting World into Social Classes Sports. They’re a universal language. They possess the power to both unite individuals as one, but also turn them into into bitter enemies. For some they are an inevitable part of life, while for others, they are life. Besides being a significant cultural identifier and cause for an unhealthy obsession, sports can also be a terrific indicator of individual character. Whether you realize it or not, the type of sports you like reveals a great deal about whom you are as a person, just like what kind of shoes you wear or if you prefer wine and cheese to beer and brats. Just as one might associate a shiny pair of Oxfords to that of the wealthy class and a ratty pair of flip-flops to that of the lower class, they’re bound to do the same with your interest in sports. Polo, for one, screams elite social status. If you play Polo, it is assumed that you do so only when you are not busy attending royal palace balls, polishing your cufflinks or sailing across the Atlantic. Its prosperousness PAGE 20 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
in nobility and upper class circles should come as no surprise. The elements are all there. First, one needs to have money. A horse after all isn’t bought at the local Wal-Mart or sports shop. It is a major investment, and once you have the horse then you need to have the land and the stable. There’s just no room in the man caves of the lower classes for steeds and Palominos. Plus, good luck finding a man of low tastes willing to dress up like a Polo player. The mockery from friends alone would be enough for him to throw the mallet in disgust. But the world of sports covers a vast and immeasurable spectrum, for in that same continuum of activity are the sports of competitive eating and noodling—recreation no upper class individual would ever dare to be caught taking part in. Granted, the grounds on which noodling can even be considered a sport are contestable but nevertheless, those involved will always be stereotyped as having only two front teeth and
a strange fascination with cutoff jeans. You know there’s something wrong when stuffing one’s pie hole with the most food as humanly possible is considered a sport. Taking into account America’s ever-increasing weight issue and love for all things fried, the competitive eating craze is really not a shocker. Competitive eating was made for Americans— and it’s rather low brow. For most low brow individuals, this sounds like a typical Saturday night: hanging out at the bar, drinking 6-packs and eating enough food to last a month. You see, you’d be hard pressed to find a man of higher status doing any of these lowly behaviors. He would be sipping on wine instead of chugging beer, dining in a fine café instead of a bar and God help him if he is going to eat more Chicken Cordon Bleu than he can handle—and that’s if there’s no vegetarian menu. Even your taste in cinema is subject to social status classification. Moneyball, for one, is seen as a very
highbrow film. It’s too smart for the uneducated sports fan and too artsy for those who would rather be watching The Waterboy or a Tim Tebow highlight reel instead. It’s a film about baseball—arguably a middlebrow sport at best— but manages to avoid all the clichés that plague most contemporary sports flicks. It’s intelligent, shrewd and somehow makes mathematical statistics supremely entertaining. Heck, Moneyball is a film more about math than it is about baseball! And for the higher-brow individual, that’s more than OK. Moneyball is the perfect highbrow sports movie because it does something most sports movies fail to do: it makes you think; that’s something I can’t say for The Benchwarmers or really even Bull Durham. Of course, with visual communication as prominent as it is here in the states, television programs—especially televised sporting events—are also a fantastic indicator of where one
falls on the highbrowlowbrow spectrum. Take the Olympics for example. Nothing draws sports fans and non-sports fans together quite like the Olympics. Considered the world’s foremost sports competition with over 200 participating countries, it truly is a spectacle to behold. It’s also one of those rare events in the sporting universe that appeals to both lowbrow and highbrow sensibilities. For the aficionados of high quality taste, the Olympics provide a sense of internationality and grandeur they so often seek in sports, but rarely find. Plus, they have the opening and closing
ceremonies to look forward to, which give the event an artsy and dazzling theatrical edge. For those individuals drawn more towards lower quality tastes, the Olympics also provide supreme entertainment: there’s a plethora of events to match their short attention spans (most of which won’t appeal to them anyway), a fantastic selection of gorgeous women performing aerial stunts in barely any clothing and it gives them an excuse to sit on the coach and drink beer all day. This immoral judging of social statuses is not limited to the game itself or its visual depictions. It seems no façade of one’s life is left unturned and unmolested
by the judgmental eye. The classifying even extends into popular culture. Take, for example, Tim Tebow, a pop culture phenomenon. But let’s be honest, is there anything as insufferable as Tebow mania? Everywhere I go, I can’t escape his mention. Whatever the fascination is with Tebow, and clearly I don’t see it, it has greatly overstayed its welcome. Something as overhyped, overused and over-thetop as he can only be classified as lowbrow hogwash. Over the course of the last week, it seems a new mass-produced cultural phenomenon has dethroned Mr. Tebow. His name is Jeremy Lin and
at the rate his popularity is exploding, I fear his name will soon become— like Tebow’s—to be as venomous to the ears as Lord Voldemort. It’s only been a few days, but I think I’ve already had all the Linsanity I can handle. There you have it, sports interests transformed into social statuses. I hope you have found yourself belonging more to the high and middlebrow classes and not leaning towards lowbrow tastes. If you are, I am deeply sorry you had to read this article and I hope it hasn’t stung too much. Now I should probably steer clear of anyone lurking around in a Tebow jersey or sporting jean cutoffs.
A HELL OF A FIGHT UFC + MIXED MARTIAL ARTS GAIN POPULARITY IN TAMPA
The UFC is a league started by the Gracie family that brings mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters together to battle each other inside an octagonal shaped cage. This sport is rising tremendously in popularity, mainly due to the large excitement surrounded by each and every fight hosted. “I believe the fact that it is such a growing sport is because of the athletes. You have fighters that go in a cage and you really don’t know how the fight is going to go,” Nick Mullin said. Mullin is a University of Tampa student who trains at the Highlander MMA gym off of Kennedy and also helps to train people who are interested in learning the techniques of MMA. “You literally can’t blink or check your smart phone during a fight because a knockout or a submission can happen in the blink of an eye,” Dr. Jason Simmons of the Sports Management Department at UT said.
The UFC is the major league under which MMA is regulated. There are other leagues that host MMA fights, but they are not as popular. MMA consists of a variety of forms of marital arts, including Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Maui Thai, Kickboxing and others. Fights are only three rounds long and last about 15 minutes, unless it is a title fight or main event, in which they are five rounds. PAGE 22 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
Mullin didn’t start fighting until he came down to Tampa for college. “I always wanted to fight, but my ma would never let it happen. I came down to school and I met Sherman Henson at West Tampa Boxing. I had two fights under him and was in love,” Mullin stated. The thrill of watching a fight comes from not being able to anticipate an outcome; one fighter may be the underdog, but if he gets his opponent in
the right hold, the match is over. The sport really took off when the reality show The Ultimate Fighter aired in 2005. Matt Arroyo, a graduate of the University of Tampa, was on the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter and suffered a rib injury during the show. Arroyo made it back in time for the championship and still feels that was his best fight yet. “I got a submission hold in the first round, my whole family was there watching
me, it was on TV for people to watch, and I made $40,000 in one night,” Arroyo said with a smile. Both Arroyo and Mullin agree that The Ultimate Fighter show really sparked peoples’ interests. “I think it (MMA) will surpass all other sports in the next 10 years, plus they just signed a deal with the television network FOX,” Arroyo said. Arroyo got his start after realizing he didn’t have much of a career ahead of him in baseball. He played for UT’s baseball team while he attended college. In 2003, Arroyo was introduced to Jiu Jitsu, and the rest is history. After training with his good friend Monster Allen, Arroyo watched him fight professionally and win. “I couldn’t believe how quick he won his fight, and I always beat him, so I looked at my coach and told him to sign me up,” Arroyo said. Dr. Simmons is a fan of the UFC and agrees that the development of The Ultimate Fighter reality show piqued a lot of peoples’ interests, but he thinks there are other elements that add to this sports’ high excitement level. “I also think
UT Alum Matt Arroyo locks his opponent in an arm bar submission during a match inside the octagon.
there’s a social aspect to the sport; friends get together to watch the fights.” Many of the fights are only available on pay-per-view, limiting the options fans have to watch. “You have two options for watching: go to a sports bar or order at home. In a sports bar, you are around a bunch of other likeminded people, typically people go with a group of friends. If you order on PPV, a lot of times you watch with a group of friends and all split the cost,” Dr. Simmons explained. As it currently stands, only men can participate in the UFC league, however there are women who are training and fighting with the same techniques. Jasmine Bienvenue is a current student at UT who trains at Arroyo’s gym in the SoHo district. Bienvenue started training in mid-November and fell in love with it. “You don’t have to be strong or big,” Bienvenue explained. She also thinks it is great for girls to learn because the whole objective of the sport is to submit your opponent; great for self-defense. “You go for the snap, tap or nap strategy,” Bienvenue laughed. “You either snap a bone or
something, make them tap out or knock them out, that’s the bottom line.” “I think it sounds pretty cool, but also sounds kind of dangerous,” UT sophomore Kathy Güvercin said. “But I think it would be a pretty cool thing to get into since I am a fan of Tae Kwon Do and selfdefense.” Sophomore Zachary Lacovino agrees with Güvercin about the dangerousness of the sport, stating, “It’s pretty brutal.” Lacovino and Güvercin are not alone. A lot of people are concerned about the injuries they see fighters sustain, but that doesn’t bother Arroyo. “Sure, I’ve broken some bones; ankles, knees, ribs, knuckles, nose, but that is part of the sport,” Arroyo said. “I’ve strained some ligaments and definitely have been concussed, but not to the point where it would stop me from training,” Mullin stated. MMA is a physical
sport, it is all about contact and very little protection is worn by the fighters, yet it still has a better track record for safety than almost all other sports. “There are concussions, sometimes bones get broken; it’s a contact sport. The referees stop the fight the second a fighter can no longer defend himself or gives up. The state athletic commission issues medical suspensions after every event to protect athletes who are injured. These fighters aren’t even allowed to train during this time,” Dr. Simmons explained. “The problem is, that these ‘violent’ acts tend to be the most exciting parts of the fight. When there is a big knockout the crowd goes nuts and these are the clips that UFC advertises. All the casual observer sees is violence. The violence, however, exists within the scope of the rules of the sport.” MMA is a sport all in
its own league and these fighters train extensively to ensure their physical fitness and safety. They learn how to execute different moves with precision to avoid any injuries to themselves and to their opponents, while at the same time achieving the goal of getting their opponent to submit. Violence is not the driving force behind MMA; rather, technique and quick thinking are. “Unpredictability is what makes a sport exciting,” Mullin said. As a fighter, Mullin knows how important it is to be able to react quickly while simultaneously thinking ahead. “When you get on the mat or that cage door closes, or you step in the ring, no tests, no money, no work and no other issues matter at all except for that guy in front of you who is trying to beat you,” he said. “That is better than any therapy in my book.”
ANDREW LUCK AND ALL THE OTHERS
A 2012 NFL MOCK DRAFT WRITTEN by:
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W during their respective pro days where teams are able to evaluate a player individually. This will be the last chance for the NCAA’s best to improve their draft stock before the first round takes place on national television at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 26.
1. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS STANFORD QB ANDREW LUCK
With each passing day, Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay hate each other even more. The whole thing is a mess. Luck-ily for them (you see what I did there?), the Stanford product is a can’t miss prospect at QB and falls right into their laps at number one. Robert Griffin is talented as well and seems to be rising up team’s boards, but Luck has been dropping jaws
ITH THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPION
is as safe a pick at the wide receiver position crowned and another exciting as you can get. The guy managed to snag over NFL season coming to a close, 200 balls for over 3,200 teams now turn their watchful yards and 38 TDs the last two years. He was a man eye on the rising crop of among boys. Combine declared collegiate athletes his size, hands, routerunning, explosive attack vying for a chance to shine of the ball and hardat the next level. First, these working attitude, and athletes will get an opportunity you have a sure starter in the NFL. to show off their physical skills Sam Bradford is a at the NFL Draft Combine from good NFL quarterback, but his numbers say Feb. 22-28, and then show off otherwise because he’s been throwing to the likes of Donnie Avery, Danario for three years now with his poise, Alexander and Danny Amendola over accuracy and ability to throw on the the last couple years (now that’s a run. Replacing Peyton Manning is trivia question). If the Rams are able to give Bradford going to be no easy task, but if anyone an explosive receiver to compliment can do it, I’ll put my money on Luck. This kid can play, and is only going perennial pro-bowl running back to get better. Unfortunately for the Steven Jackson on the offensive side Colts, they have plenty of other glaring of the ball, the Rams could be a much needs, but after Manning takes off improved team in 2012. they should be in good hands for 3. MINNESOTA VIKINGS years to come.
2. ST. LOUIS RAMS OKLAHOMA ST. WR JUSTIN BLACKMON
After taking a look at what A.J. Green and Julio Jones did for their respective teams during the 2011 NFL season, the Rams would be wise to choose the physical specimen that is Justin Blackmon. At 6-foot-1, 212 pounds with 4.3 speed, Blackmon
LSU CB MORRIS CLAIBORNE
So what’s the obvious solution for one of the league’s most porous past defenses? The top corner prospect in the class, of course. Is LSU breeding these guys or what? Patrick Peterson was a top 10 pick last year, Morris Claiborne is expected to be one this year, and I’m sure as long as the Honey Badger (Tyrann Mathieu) continues
Oklahoma State wideout Justin Blackman caught more than 200 passes in the last two seasons.
to not give a s***, he’ll be sure to join both of them as a top pick next year. As for Mr. Claiborne, he’s very comparable to Peterson (except he doesn’t have quite the return skills), and may actually be a better one-onone corner. He doesn’t have world class speed, but his quickness and his football IQ are off the charts. He also has no recent injury history or character issues to speak of, which keeps the 6-foot, 185 pound corner at the top of everyone’s draft boards. Luckily for Minnesota, he’ll most likely be available.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS BAYLOR QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III
I won’t lie. At the beginning of the 2011 college football season, I had not even remotely heard of this guy. It took three games for me to notice him and an absurd 15 touchdown passes and only 14 incompletions. Shame on me, this guy is a STUD. Before it was all said and done, the guy even messed around and won himself a Heisman. PAGE 26 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
He can make all the throws, he has great mobility (think Vince Young) and is extremely polished. The Redskins and Seahawks would both like RG3 to fall in their laps this year, but they can beg and plead Mike Holmgren all they want because there is no shot he makes it past this pick. The Browns have been treading water with Colt McCoy the last couple of years, and while he’s played at a competent level and had his moments, he’s more of an NFL backup than an NFL starter. RG3 has the chance to step right in as a rookie (which seems to be the trend these days), and make an immediate impact on a team that was 24th in passing offense last year. Expect he and Greg Little to make sweet music together in 2012.
5. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS ALABAMA RB TRENT RICHARDSON
Why Trent Richardson? Hear me out for a second, Bucs fans. I know LaGarrette Blount mesmerizes you guys every third game by breaking
six tackles on one play, but he is not consistent enough of a runner between the tackles to keep moving the chains, and is useless on passing downs. So when you’re blessed with this high a pick in the draft (after an otherworldly disappointing season), you take the best player available. According to this mock draft, that player is Trent Richardson. He’s just as content powering through defenses as he is using his speed and elusiveness to run around them. The guy is an incredible talent, and I don’t pass up a running back that runs a 4.4 and benches 475 pounds with ease because the trainers at Alabama won’t let him do any more than that. You’re not going to find that kind of physical ability just lying around. Besides, running back-bycommittee is in these days anyways.
6. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – NOTRE DAME WR MICHAEL FLOYD 7. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – USC OT MATT KALIL 8. MIAMI DOLPHINS – NORTH CAROLINA DE QUINTON COPLES 9. CAROLINA PANTHERS – PENN ST. DT DEVON STILL 10. BUFFALO BILLS – ILLINOIS DE WHITNEY MERCILUS 11. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – ALABAMA CB DRE’ KIRKPATRICK 12. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – IOWA OT RILEY REIFF 13. ARIZONA CARDINALS – OHIO STATE OT MIKE ADAMS 14. DALLAS COWBOYS – BOSTON COLLEGE ILB LUKE KUECHLEY 15. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – ALABAMA OLB COURTNEY UPSHAW 16. NEW YORK JETS – ALABAMA S MARK BARRON 17. CINCINNATI BENGALS – STANFORD OG DAVID DECASTRO 18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – SOUTH CAROLINA OLB MELVIN INGRAM 19. CHICAGO BEARS – SOUTH CAROLINA WR ALSHON JEFFEREY 20. TENNESSEE TITANS – BAYLOR WR KENDALL WRIGHT 21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – VIRGINIA TECH RB DAVID WILSON 22. CLEVELAND BROWNS – MEMPHIS DT DONTARI POE 23. DETROIT LIONS – WISCONSIN C PETER KONZ 24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – MISSISSIPPI ST. DT FLETCHER COX 25. DENVER BRONCOS – CLEMSON TE DWAYNE ALLEN 26. HOUSTON TEXANS – RUTGERS WR MOHAMED SANU 27. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – NORTH ALABAMA CB JANORIS JENKINS 28. GREEN BAY PACKERS – USC DE NICK PERRY 29. BALTIMORE RAVENS – NEBRASKA DE JARED CRICK 30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – GEORGIA CB BRANDON BOYKIN 31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – LSU WR RUEBEN RANDLE 32. NEW YORK GIANTS – GEORGIA OG CORDY GLENN ADVERTISEMENT
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The ULTIMATE Movie Guide to the Wonderful World of Sports
WRITTEN by: AMANDA
PAGE 28 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
You wanted it, and now you can have it: Endless lists of sports movies from yours truly, a critic who knows little to nothing about sports. I know a good movie when I see one, though... sometimes. Joking aside, hereâ€™s a few lists that are everything from unique to touching to just plain wonky.
The Anti-Sport Sport Movie This list is near and dear to my heart. These movies are not only funny, inspiring and mostly Disney madefor-TV movies, but they all possess a certain pizazz that anyone can enjoy ranging from zonked out bowlers to Jamaican bobsledders to extreme ping pong to Bill Murray in hand to paw combat with a destructive little golf course gopher. THE BIG LEBOWSKI COOL RUNNINGS BENCHWARMERS DODGEBALL THE RINGER BALLS OF FURY ALLEYCATS WATERBOY CADDYSHACK BRINK MOTOCROSSED
The Girls Who Kick Ass The wide world of sports is not just for boys. These fine women all showcase their talents in these movies about girls who just kick ass in general. We’ve got Tom Hanks coaching an all-women’s baseball team (with an all-star cast: Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell), a juvenile delinquent turned gymnast and a surfer who’s defied all odds in spite of a shark attack that’s left her scarred. However, those are only the tip of the girl-power iceberg. Check it out: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM MILLION DOLLAR BABY BLUE CRUSH STICK IT WHIP IT GO FIGURE SOUL SURFER
Honorable Mention: Best Slow Clap Ever
The Tear Jerkers
These are the tear jerkers. A manly sob is always excused when watching these films whose subject matter deals with a football player succumbing to cancer, a developmentallychallenged individual that’s been taken under the wing of a high school coach or a shell-shocked war veteran trying to get his golf game back. Also, I think it’s safe to assume that any movie with a horse as one of the main characters is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings:
Baseball is a pretty classic sport. In fact, it’s the oldest sport in America, hence “America’s National Pastime.” This could be why baseball movies dominate my classics list. It’s a sport so embedded in our nation’s culture that it’s hard to imagine stories about a child who can see angels helping the Los Angeles Angels or a whisper telling Kevin Costner “If you build it, he will come” not being the creme de la creme of any sports movie ever.
BRIAN’S SONG RADIO SEABISCUIT LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE THE BLIND SIDE THE SECRETARIAT
The Epic Speech Now some could argue that this is every sports movie ever or any sports movie with a locker-room scene, and I would have to agree. Some might even say that football movies sweep in terms of inspiring speeches. While more than half of this list proves that theory, there are a few that stand out from the crowd. MIRACLE REMEMBER THE TITANS WE ARE MARSHALL GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD BAD NEWS BEARS SPACE JAM FIELD OF DREAMS THE ROOKIE MAJOR LEAGUE MIGHTY DUCKS
The Ones With Keanu Reeves He’s the man of many roles. Everything from Ted to Neo and a few romantic comedies in between. Reeves also does sports, and when he does them, he does them well. HARD BALL THE REPLACEMENTS MAN OF TAI CHI (This one’s still in pre-production but looks promising).
The Worst of the Worst
The One You’ve Never Seen
You’ve seen the best of the best, now here’s the unmentionables. Nothing is worse than movies that don’t know when to die. These are zombies that cannot be killed. Also, Will Ferrel’s attempt at creating funny sports movies will never happen.
These are the oddballs of the bunch. I’ve found everything from paraplegics playing full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs for the 2000 Olympics to Sylvester Stallone competing for his honor in a national arm wrestling competition to a couple of football players going to cheerleading camp. You’re welcome.
AIR BUD: Do you remember Air Bud? The heartwarming Disney Channel movie about a golden retriever that could shoot hoops? Ask anyone under the age of 10 and they won’t know what you’re talking about. Why? Because this movie classic has been eclipsed by Disney’s trademark endless sequels approach to films that should’ve been left alone after the original (I’m looking at you, Lion King II). The children of today won’t know anything about Air Bud because of ten spin-offs that followed including Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, Air Buddies, Snow Buddies, Santa Buddies, Treasure Buddies...when will the madness end? BRING IT ON: Kirsten Dunst and spirit fingers? Yes, please. The first movie was pure cheerleading gold. Now there’s Bring It On Again, Bring It On: All or Nothing, Bring It On: In It to Win It, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish...Whoever is making these, please, stop bringing it. TALLADEGA NIGHTS: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Blades of Glory, SemiPro and all future Will Ferrell sports movies: Just stop for the sake of my sanity, and for anyone else that would like to retain theirs. These movies are not, and will never be, funny. You can all go home now.
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MURDERBALL 8 SECONDS UNDISPUTED OVER THE TOP THE EXPRESS FIRED UP THE FRESHMAN ROLLERBALL THE NATURAL
You Would Be Mad If We Left These Out
I knew I’d get no end of butthurting if I didn’t at least stick these on a list somewhere. Monosyllabic (two aside) wonders of the sports arena, these are considered classics, but appear on so many top sports movie lists that you should know them by now. THE ROCKY SERIES RUDY THE SANDLOT HOOSIERS ALI INVICTUS
Current WWE champion CM Punk, ironically wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin shirt, cut perhaps the most memorable promo in recent wrestling memory back in June of 2011. He criticized the state of the company he works for and the people who run it.
REALITIES OF WRESTLING
BEING A PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING FAN IN 2012 WRITTEN by:
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“There’s always been a stereotype I think as far as your average pro wrestling fan. They’re dumb, they never graduated college, one tooth in their mouth, dragging their knuckles on the floor. Obviously we know that’s not true,” says The Solomonster, host of the Solomonster Sounds Off podcast on SEScoops.com and fan of wrestling since 1987.
“But the perception of wrestling fans has always been negative. I don’t know if that will ever change.” Fair enough. But I ask why it has to be that way? I was a 7-year-old wrestling fan back in 1998 in what is considered a boom period for the industry. For WWE, it was the Attitude Era, an era defined by gritty wrestling, provocative (arguably inappropriate for a young kid like me) language and storytelling and over the top charades. Between WWE and rival wrestling promotion WCW, lots of people were watching. With my favorite superstar The Rock’s departure from the company around 2003 and my priorities turning elsewhere, I grew apart from wrestling. This occurred only for me to come running back to it all early last year, with more passion for the product than I ever had before. But something was different. There seemed to be less of a buzz. Certainly fewer people were watching—TV ratings and PPV buyrates support that. WCW has now been gone for more than a decade, and WWE has seemed to grow complacent and lose fans in the absence of any real competition. This is all secondary to me, though. What I’m most interested in is having more than just a basic understanding of why people don’t and have never liked wrestling. Instead of making sweeping generalizations and stereotyping non-wrestling fans in a way that perhaps some would do to us, I want to know the reasoning behind
Not unlike many of the fans watching wrestling in the late 1990s-early 2000s, The Rock, known as “the people’s champ”, was my favorite superstar.
“It’s like people don’t want to give it a chance to get to understand the art and entertainment aspect of it.”
wrestling being this sort of social taboo. So I ask, again—what the hell is wrong here? “You see these grown men, undressed very ridiculously, doing some theatrical overreacting,” says 24-year-old writer for WrestleZone. com and creator of the wrestling talk show Chairshot Reality Justin Labar. “Some people—whether it’s a homophobic thing, whether they think it’s ‘oh god, there’s two guys rolling around’ or whatever, whether they are just too much of an alpha male and they’re like ‘oh you can obviously tell that it’s not real’—there’s just some people that just get turned off by it, for whatever reason.” Professional wrestling, of course, has always been scripted and staged. The athleticism and some of the injuries are real, but to try making an argument beyond that would be, well, to lose touch with reality. Enter Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC, a
sport based on men brutally fighting each other. That is very real, and its growing popularity may be hurting wrestling’s overall image with the casual fan, or non-fan. “When you see two guys that are legitimately hurting each other, then you’re like ‘okay, well I know those guys (who are wrestling) aren’t legitimately trying to hurt each other so what’s interesting about it?’ It’s like people don’t want to give it a chance to get to understand the art and entertainment aspect of it,” LaBar says. While LaBar makes mention of the fake and homophobic aura that surrounds wrestling, Editor-in-Chief of the sports blog WithLeather, who writes the weekly wrestling column The Best and Worst of Raw, says that society has gotten over those things. A wrestling fan since he was born and a self-described “abused girlfriend who keeps coming back
John Cena, the face of WWE, trashing an opponent’s limo on an episode of Monday Night Raw in 2008 by childishly spray painting “JBL is poopy” across it.
no matter how bad wrestling treats me”, 31-year-old Brandon Stroud believes that being a wrestling fan in the early 90s was much more difficult than it is now. As a whole, he feels that people are over wrestling being considered gay or fake. He thinks the problem, however, may be people taking the product too seriously instead of viewing it as a form of entertainment, like television or film. “I feel like if you don’t allow
yourself some level of suspension of disbelief—like you don’t accept it as real as any other thing—then you can’t really enjoy it,” he says. He supports his point by providing a rather ingenious example. Try to follow along with him on this one. “When you watch Rosanne, you don’t get pissed off because Rosanne and John Goodman aren’t actually married, right? But when you watch the show, you’re like ‘OK, Dan and Rosanne are married,’” he quips. “That’s what
Some of the shenanigans involving Hornswoggle (right) often times leads to a low point in the humor WWE produces.
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you have to do with wrestling, it’s like wrestling is real as any TV show you’re watching is real. You just kind of have to believe in it. I feel like some people don’t have that disconnect to know that they’re doing that.” Then there’s the problem of TV-PG. It’s what some wrestling fans like to constantly whine about. It’s an easy out for them to attribute all of modern day WWE’s problems—that the company is marketed towards kids and a more family friendly audience in general, therefore the product is watered down, goofy or insulting to our intelligence. Diehard, loyal wrestling fans will always stick around. Whether the product is good, bad or atrocious, they will be there to either rejoice or complain. And when it comes down to it, the TV-PG tag slapped onto each episode of Monday Night Raw makes little difference in the quality of the product. Not to open up a whole other can of worms, but how good the WWE’s product is—or any wrestling promotion’s product, for that
“I feel like people want to like wrestling, I do. There are people who go ‘it’s fake’ and then they just dismiss it, and those people are never going to change. But I feel like a lot of people who don’t watch wrestling want to like it. They want it to be good.”
matter—more or less relies on the competency of the people writing the shows and making the decisions behind the scenes, coupled with the talent of the performers. However, while the “PG Era”, as is it so notoriously came to be known, is a ridiculously overstated “problem”, it also cannot be ignored when you consider the people who don’t religiously follow wrestling. I imagine a non-wrestling fan flipping through the channels and coming across WWE programming. They give it a chance for a couple minutes, and what they take away from their momentary viewing is a WWE Diva with obscene flatulence problems, or a guy in a onesie, pretending to be Italian, putting a decorated sleeve over his arm and calling it the “cobra”. Yes, these are things that happen on a regular basis. And unfortunately for those unaccustomed or unappreciative of wrestling as a whole, these may be some of their lasting impressions. Solomonster, for one, recalls two instances in particular that he says didn’t necessarily make him embarrassed to be a wrestling fan, but made him embarrassed for the company. The first is long-time WWE poster boy (who for years has been hated by millions of older, “diehard” wrestling fans because they believe he is simultaneously the poster boy for the PG Era) John Cena spray painting the words “JBL is poopy” on opponent John
Bradshaw Layfield’s limo. Pretty juvenile stuff. The second moment was when former WWE wrestler Carlito Colon ran into a wall while chasing the company’s beloved leprechaun Hornswoggle around the dressing room. “I know why they do that sort of stuff because they are trying to appeal to a kid’s audience, which is kind of funny because if you look at the numbers, there’s actually far fewer kids watching now than there were in the Attitude Era,” Solomonster points out. I can attest to this, seeing as though I was a wrestling fan in
elementary school. So were my friends. We would watch every week and then coax our parents once a month or so to fork over their money so we could order whatever pay-per-view was on that given Sunday. Did we mind the outrageously offensive storylines and frequent 30-minute matches that ended in both opponents bloodied? No. This was why we watched, why we were so entertained. The scandalously-clad females and sexual innuendo-laced dialogue didn’t hurt, either. I still remember the line, “Even a 747 looks small when it’s flying into the grand canyon.”
One of the more recent outrageous and embarrassing character arcs that WWE has given a diva, Natalya (left) struggles both backstage and in the ring with flatulence problems.
WWE utilizes the late night talk show circuit as a way of exposing its product and wrestlers to the mainstream media. Here, WWE superstar The Miz makes an appearance on Conan.
We weren’t entirely sure what it meant back then, but we still thought it was hilarious. I don’t know, I keep marveling over this period of time during my youth. I loved the Attitude Era, and wrestling fans in general rely on nostalgia to keep them going. Stroud, however, much more of an experienced wrestling fan that I ever will be, made sure to put me in my place. The most loyal of wrestling fans, Stroud clarified to me that the Attitude Era was no different, no better, than any other period of time in wrestling. “Wrestling’s always sucked d***,” he puts it, um, lightly. “If you [convince yourself] that it’s worse now than it used to be—I don’t know, I’ve been sort of railing against that train of thought for years because I used to be like that. But wrestling’s been exactly the same as it’s always been.” Stroud doesn’t seem a pessimist about wrestling, though. He’s watched enough material inside and outside of WWE to understand the psychology of the wrestling fan. He’s more of a realist. And though he contends that wrestling has always been this special kind of awful, he also maintains that people are rooting for it to be successful. PAGE 36 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
“I feel like people want to like wrestling, I do. There are people who go ‘it’s fake’ and then they just dismiss it, and those people are never going to change. But I feel like a lot of people who don’t watch wrestling want to like it. They want it to be good,” he says. “Why devote this much TV this often every week and websites and videos and movies and everything to this thing and then have it not be good? Why not make it be good, and then have this stuff?” LaBar agrees with these sentiments. “There’s a lot of people that I think are fans of somebody or at some point were fans or they liked something they saw, but because it has become the ‘oh, pro wrestling is fake’, it’s something that they’re not gonna open up and admit.” I always figured that wrestling was mainstream during the Attitude Era days. Now that less people are watching, I struggle to figure out where WWE went wrong and what the minds behind the business can do to appeal to a larger part of society again. And that’s exactly where I’m wrong. Maybe WWE—or wrestling as a whole—was never meant to be mainstream. With a film studio and their superstars frequently on news
broadcasts and late night talk shows, the WWE brass certainly does try. But it’s really just a different breed of entertainment. It’s just something that people either like or don’t. Looking back on the Attitude Era, maybe it was less about people being true wrestling fans, and more about the lifestyle of the 90s. “It was just kind of an odd thing, just where society was at,” LaBar says. “The whole Jerry Springer, South Park, Generation X kind of thing. It was just clicking at this time. You even look at the music at the time—that was just the culture, that was just what was in.” All the same, I’ve come to realize that being a wrestling fan is no different now than it was when I first watched. Maybe it was just my childhood naiveté that allowed me to believe what I was watching was cool. Sure, there was a time when it was more popular, but in retrospect, it was neever actually acceptable. “Being a wrestling fan isn’t very different ever,” Stroud says. “Being a fan in one of the boom periods makes it sort of more socially tolerable.” “That’s one of the things that I think has always stayed constant, is the way people kind of snicker and they look at wrestling fans,” Solomonster adds. “I’m not really sure you can do anything to change that.” So I’ve established what it’s like to be a wrestling fan, and that the criticism will stay the same. Does that mean it’s OK for people to judge and stereotype fans, though? I suppose I have no problem looking at it from Stroud’s perspective. “I think there are two schools of thought on that. I think first of all, yeah they do (have the right to judge) because most wrestling fans are morons. They are; it’s true. The second point of view on that is that if you look at any group of anyone who likes anything as a whole, they’re morons. Because most people are stupid. “At this point, once you get to a certain age, you stop letting stuff bother you.”
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THE SPORT’S WORLD ASSAULT PROBLEM
The Unequal Sexual Playing Field of High Powered Athletes WRITTEN by
am not even going to pretend that I knew who Ben Roethlisberger was when I was asked to write an article about celebrity apologists. Apparently, he is the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and pretty darn good at it. He has also been accused of sexual assault twice since 2009, but you would never know it by looking at his stats. In all seriousness, the fact that Ben Roethlisberger has remained such a star on the Steelers roster since the accusations, neither of which were brought to trial, speaks to the celebrity exceptionalism inherent in American culture. After the second accuser came forward in 2010, NPR’s Frank DeFord presented a story asking why star athletes are “expected to be sweeter than the average angel.” This makes me wonder whether the average angel would approve of sexual assault, in DeFord’s universe. It may not be the majority, but the fact that there is anyone defending a person accused of rape shows just how far our justice system still needs to go. I don’t doubt that you’ve heard someone, somewhere, say that the women accusing Ben Roethlisberger or Kobe Bryant or
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other sports stars of sexual assault are “golddiggers” or “crazy groupies.” There is innocent until proven guilty, and there is victim-blaming. You decide what the phrases above constitute. In 2009, an executive casino manager named Andrea McNulty filed charges against Roethlisberger. According to an article published on the ESPN website, McNulty’s charges claimed that he had cornered her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 2008, then raped her. Roethlisberger had been in town for a celebrity golf tournament, and had reportedly asked McNulty, who worked at the hotel in which he was staying, to fix the television in his room when the rape occurred. The National Football League’s website says that the suit sought $440,000 in damages from Roethlisberger, and also claimed that the owners of the casino where McNulty worked tried to cover up the assault. Her managers reportedly told her that “most girls would feel lucky to get to have sex with someone like Ben Roethlisberger.” The Associated Press writes that after the alleged assault, McNulty sought counseling for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,
and ended up hospitalized multiple times. Most of the money she sued for was to cover her medical expenses. If she was lying about the assault, that seems like quite a lot of trouble to go through in order to break even. Late last month, the two sides reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount, ending the lawsuit. Another woman accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault in March 2010. Nate Davis of USA Today writes that the 20-year-old college student alleged that Roethlisberger invited her group of friends to the V.I.P. area of a nightclub in Milledgeville, Ga., where he encouraged them to take shots. The accuser said that Roethlisberger cornered her in a bathroom, where he raped her. The District Attorney handling the case held a press conference in April 2010 with further details. The DA said that the accuser’s friends brought her to a hospital, where a rape kit was collected. Doctors found some minor physical trauma, but no semen was recovered. Roethlisberger claimed that the accuser had slipped and hit her head after they had contact that was “not consummated.” A Milledgeville police sergeant who had been the first officer to respond to the scene, and who earlier in the night had been photographed with Roethlisberger, later resigned after a comment he made at the scene came to light. The sergeant admitted to saying “this b**** is drunk”
in reference to the accuser on the night of the alleged rape. The woman, who has remained unidentified, decided not to pursue criminal charges. In a letter to the district attorney, she claimed that the media attention from a criminal trial would be too “intrusive.” She emphasized that she was not recanting her claims. At the press conference, the DA announced that he did not believe that he could prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, so criminal charges would not be pursued against Roethlisberger. In response to the most recent accusations, the NFL suspended Roethlisberger without pay for the first six games of the 2010 season. The suspension was soon reduced to four games. One might say that Roethlisberger, regardless of his innocence or guilt, has suffered and paid his dues to his accusers. The amount for which his alleged victim settled remains unreleased, but it’s certain that Roethlisberger was not bankrupted by these accusations. In 2010, the year Roethlisberger missed four games due to the suspension, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named his salary as $8.05 million. So yes, the four-game suspension caused him to lose just over $3 million, or about $500,000 per game. I think he survived with the other $5 million just fine. (And as a side note, let’s emphasize that the $440,000 that Andrea McNulty sought in damages in her suit
Former Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno was fired in 2011 amidst sexual absue alligations made against one of his former coaching staff members.
Her managers reportedly told her that “most girls would feel lucky to get to have sex with someone like Ben Roethlisberger.”
Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, has been accused of sexual assult twice since 2009, but neither case went before the court.
is less than Roethlisberger makes for one football game.) Can we imagine what it would cost for the average person to settle cases such as these? Would the average person even be allowed to settle, or have enough money to reach an acceptable settlement? Let’s remember that according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 60 percent of rapes/ sexual assaults are not reported to police. Martha Bellisle of the Rena Gazette-Journal stated that Andrea McNulty waited months to report what had occurred with Roethlisberger, meanwhile spending time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospitals, for fear of losing her job. Bellisle also claimed that McNulty feared that her reputation would be dragged through the mud, every decision she had ever made scrutinized for a way to place the blame on her. Sexual assault prosecution is not pretty for the accusers, either. Perhaps settlements should not be allowed without a conviction, but our legal system is designed so that lawyers on both sides of a case heavily pressure the defendant to accept plea deals. Assault or not, Roethlisberger was still drinking with an underage college student. And no, the fact that she was drunk and underage does not put her at fault. PAGE 40 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
Some news sources that reported on the accusations also mentioned Roethlisberger’s charities in the same article, as if they diminish or even negate the fact that he may have sexually assaulted two women. We can see this twisted logic in the case of the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno. When allegations of sexual abuse of young boys by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky recently came to light, Paterno was accused of failing to report Sandusky’s acts to police. Paterno was fired by the university’s board of trustees on Nov. 9, 2011. That night, the Pittsburg PostGazette reported 10,000 Penn State students rioting in front of the administration building. Many students talked to the PostGazette about the good things that Paterno had done during his years at Penn State, including raising the academic performance of his athletes and donating millions of dollars toward various departments and colleges. Even though Paterno never participated in the abuse, he implicitly
allowed it to go on, reporting it only to the Penn State administration and never following up when nothing was done. He told Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post that he had never heard of “rape and a man,” presumably meaning that he did not at the time believe that a male could be raped. This is quite sad. Paterno may have been oldfashioned, but there is no excuse for there not being general public knowledge that men can be raped. According to RAINN, one in 33 American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. An even larger percentage of boys between grades 5-9 said they had been sexually abused, and that does not even include unreported assaults. Paterno admitted to being unsure how to handle the situation. He told Jenkins that he was “afraid to do
something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was.” He backed away, hoping that others with “more expertise” would take over the investigation. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Like Andrea McNulty, who claimed to be afraid of being fired if she came forward with allegations against Ben Roethlisberger, Paterno should not have had to fear for his job or the university’s reputation simply for reporting alleged sexual abuse. But if the Penn State administration was determined to sweep it under the rug, Paterno should have gone to the police. Rape and other crimes are never excusable. They are never ameliorated by kind acts or charity, and covering them up, through ignorance or otherwise, is still a crime. Roethlisberger is still playing football. Joe Paterno still had many fans, as evidenced by the thousands of mourners that attended his funeral. And Kobe Bryant, after also settling a rape case out of court, won the AllStar MVP Award three times. Would a doctor be so easily let back into his practice had he been accused of rape? Would a professor be allowed to teach again? The Penn State scandal does not negate the charitable acts of Joe Paterno; but neither do his charitable acts negate looking the other way when an assistant coach touched young boys inappropriately. The era of the sports idol is over. Americans want to hold on to this ancient feeling of hero-worship that has practically become moot in today’s information-saturated world. We can’t hide the misdeeds of celebrities any more than we can tear our eyes away from Real Housewives
or The Jersey Shore. And celebrities— despite how skilled they are at what they do or how much money they have given to charities—should not feel exempt from the laws of morality that the rest of the world holds to. If, in this country’s justice system, people are innocent until proven guilty (as Ben Roethlisberger is), the same policy should be applied to accusers. These women should not immediately be dismissed as gold-digging crazies, just as Roethlisberger should not be immediately called a rapist. Roethlisberger and Paterno never faced juries over their alleged crimes, though Sandusky has been arrested and charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse. He posted bail and awaits trial under house arrest. As I previously mentioned,
settlements and plea bargains have become commonplace in our courts today. Over-reliance on plea deals has skewed the justice of our justice system, and allows people like Ben Roethlisberger to essentially reach a “no contest” without ever being tried. Roethlisberger may have lost a few fans due to the accusations, but not enough to demand his retirement from professional football. He got married in 2011, so the charges obviously have not disrupted his personal life too greatly. In short, despite perhaps a slightly tarnished reputation, Roethlisberger will be remembered as leading the Steelers to three Super Bowls, not for being accused but never convicted of sexual assault. The people affected by such cases, however, are not so lucky.
A MATTER OF SPIRIT LOOKING INTO UT SPORTS ATTENDANCE ISSUES By Mia Glatter
Though UT athletics has garnered a total of 12 national championships at the Division II level, crowds are not filling stands to support the Spartans.
In the history of University of Tampa athletics, 12 national championships at the Division II level have been achieved. Although the university has not had a football program in years, it has maintained an overall consistent track record of successful seasons among its sports teams. Also consistent, though, is the lack of attendance at campus sporting events. “School spirit is always an issue here for some reason,” UT Associate Athletic Director Gil Swalls said. “Students need to come here with the mindset that they want to get involved, and if they don’t, it’s their fault that they don’t have school spirit. There are plenty of opportunities on this campus for school spirit and many students do get involved, but apparently there is a loud majority or PAGE 42 | THEMINARETONLINE.COM
minority that keeps complaining that there is no school spirit. Well they’re the ones that never go the games, never go to anything. That’s their problem. There are over 120 organizations here on campus; somewhere you should find your interest.” Based on statistics on the university’s athletic site, tampaspartans.com, attendance may not appear so low. According to the site, the average attendance for a men’s home basketball game in the 20112011 season is 173 people. For the women’s team, it’s 153. But according to student attendees at these games, this number is an exaggeration of the true count. Freshman forensic science major Nicole Mangina cheers on the Spartan basketball teams every week as a
member of the dance team, and she’s seen firsthand the lack of attendance at games. “At a normal women’s game, it is a pretty small crowd of about 20 people, I’d say,” Mangina said. “I think there are about 40 people at the men’s games, but they mostly seem like parents or the opposing team’s people.” Junior Irving Fayman is a former member of the men’s basketball team, and said it doesn’t seem like 173 people are in the stands watching them play. “The bleachers are really big, so it always looks like there aren’t a lot of people there,” he said. “But there could definitely be more people. We had a really good season last year and having more supporters would’ve made it much better.”
Freshman Danny Brustmeyer attends Spartan softball games regularly, and said that there are people in the stands, but the majority aren’t students. “It’s mainly family supporters from both teams and a few students in support of their friends.” What seems to be a more regularly attended sport on campus, the statistics for this past season’s men’s soccer games showed that, on average, 166 people attended home games. Freshman Kody Parker played on the soccer team last semester and said that the number may be correct, but that it is also not comprised of students. “It could be close to that,” he said, “but those people are parents and the opposing teams parents and a handful of students.” Freshman Jaker Watum attended some soccer games last season, and asserted that there are never that many students there. “Soccer was a big deal at my old school and that’s why I like to go to the matches,” Watum said. “I think students should show more spirit here.” UT Sports Information Director Thomas Kolbe maintained that the numbers listed on the website are accurate accounts of how many people are in attendance at home games. He said these numbers do, however, also take into account the number of players on each team. “Attendance is accurate and calculated through a count kept at the front gate, plus the competing teams,” he said. “Each fan who passes through the gate is counted, as are each person on both competing teams.” The issue of lack of attendance at sporting events is one that students on campus acknowledge. Students interviewed about the problem blamed a variety of things, from the lack of a football team, to the games being on weeknights. Fayman contributed the amount of school spirit to students choosing to invest their time elsewhere, as well as having no football team.
“Students put other priorities before supporting sports. They think that just because we have no football team, we don’t need spirit.” “Students put other priorities before supporting sports,” Fayman said. “They think that just because we have no football team, we don’t need spirit.” Sophomore Michael Manghisi said that for him, the times of the games interfere with what he wants to do. “It’s the scheduling of games. A few have been on Friday nights, but by that time everyone’s already out doing their various activities.” Other students like sophomore Pat Damiano, in agreement with what Feyman said, attributed the lack of school spirit with having no football team. “Having a football team would help a lot [with spirit].” Damiano said. UT is home to 19 men’s and women’s varsity sports teams that compete at a Division II level. In a message featured on the NCAA.org, Dr. Pat O’Brien, President of West Texas A&M and Chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, explains the meaning of Division II. “Division II provides an intersection where athletically gifted students can compete at a high level, while maintaining much of a traditional collegiate experience. Studentathletes are encouraged to achieve excellence in their sport, in the classroom and in their community.” Division II schools also do not get as much grant money to provide scholarship’s to student athletes. Associate Athletic Director Gil Swalls said that although UT does
very well recruiting athletes, providing scholarships can be tough. “The NCAA allows X number of scholarships, our school doesn’t give that much,” he said. “They have to split scholarships up between several people. We also have athletes who qualify for academic scholarships, which is why we have such a good GPA in our athletic students. A lot of people don’t know that.” Being an athlete at UT can be a difficult balance of academics and practice time, but Swalls believes that athletes benefit from being here. “Most athletes come here and realize that they have the opportunity to win a conference or a regional or a national championship,” Swalls said. “In the case of our baseball program, the students know that they have a chance to be professionally drafted. Three years ago, we had nine baseball players drafted. That’s unheard of. Kids come here because they know they have a chance to win and have great success.” So far this academic year, UT athletics has seen both wins and losses. The baseball team is undefeated and is ranked first in the nation as of late February, while the men’s basketball team is finishing its season last in their conference with six victories. Recently, attention has been on lacrosse. On Feb. 10, the Spartans defeated rival Florida Southern in the program’s first game ever, a game which saw approximately 2,100 spectators show up to this historic game. Athletic Director Larry Marfise hopes that the start of the new team will generate more spectator interest. “Lacrosse is a new sport and there seems to be a lot of interest in it,” Marfise said. “We’re hoping that lacrosse will get some kids enthused that normally wouldn’t be. Once someone comes out for one or two events, they’ll usually come back.” Though there is hope that the lacrosse team brings more fans out to games, Marfise acknowledged that attendance overall could improve.
The inaugural game of lacrosse, the newest sport introduced to UT, drew more than 2,000 fans in attendance, showing signs of optimism for school spirit.
“You can never have enough attendance. We have a lot of things that we’re battling,” Marfise said. “Evening classes hurts us a little bit. Most of the kids that aren’t from around here haven’t heard of the schools that we compete with. There’s no name recognition and they don’t understand the rivalries.” Marfise said that he realizes students have other priorities, but that there is a concerted effort to make games appealing to students. “College students are exposed to a wide range of activities, so we try to make it more like an event. We do as much marketing and giveaways as they do in minor league baseball, just to try to get kids to come out.” Mangina said that sometimes, coaxing students to the games with prizes and giveaways works. “When they publicize giveaways and special events or when they’re playing a big game, more students show up,” Mangina said. “I think the athletic department is doing everything they can to get a larger audience, but the students are the ones not wanting to come.” Athletic Marketing, led by Swalls, is the group that is in charge of putting together events to try generating greater spectator interest. S.O.S., or
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Spirit of Sparta, is a club that meets before games to put together signs and cheer on the teams. Club members also get exclusive access to prizes and contests. Sophomore Craig Warzecha is Vice President of S.O.S. and agreed that the athletic marketing department is working hard to increase school spirit. “We want to get as many students as we can at the games, and make sure they enjoy themselves when they get there,” Warzecha said. “We like to give away food, prizes and gift cards to keep students coming back.” Warzecha believes that school spirit is important and students should want to get more involved. “There is nothing better than the atmosphere of a packed crowd at a sporting event. The athletes work really hard, and they deserve to have people cheering them on at the games. Some of our teams are the best Division II teams in the country,” he said. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved in the marketing departments and campus groups, students still complain about the lack of spirit at U.T. Swalls does not believe that this talk reflects the efforts of his team. “I’ve been here for 22 years.
There’s nothing we haven’t tried [to generate interest],” he said. “I’m always hiring new students to come up with things we haven’t thought of before. We do every type of communication that is allowable by the campus.” Marfise agreed with Swalls that involvement in campus activities, not just sporting events, should be a priority among students. “When you take a great deal of pride in your institution that carries over into everything. We have a great dance program and a great arts program and not a lot of students are looking at those either,” Marfise said. “This is a time in your life when you have a lot going on and so you need to be enthused and become a part of it. We hope that our athletic program builds a sense of pride in the institution and we hope that carries over into the academic side.” He also hopes that student’s realize the impact their school should carry with them after they move on. “When you graduate, for the rest of your life, you’re going to be the University of Tampa from here on out. It’s not some foreign place that you just visit. The legacies you leave will always be a part of the institution. It takes a long time to understand that.”
CHALLENGE FLAGS for
NATIONWIDE WRITTEN by:
MIKEY ANGELO RUMORÉ
Those that have followed my articles know that I am an unorthodox thinker when it comes to job creation. I happen to think that there are many as yet unrealized public services that could be instituted for the common good. Some of my ideas, such as creating an infrastructure for a “pharmaceutically corrected” government, have fallen on deaf ears. Well, my next proposal is even better. I’m borrowing a convention from America’s Game—football—for a program that a police state like ours should be totally into: Challenge Flags™ for all public disputes. You know, Challenge Flags™: those red wads that NFL coaches throw to overturn a controversial ruling on the field, like if a coach doesn’t believe that a receiver really kept both feet in bounds on that crucial touchdown grab. Imagine, a whole army of referees roaming the nation, ready to attend to your Challenge Flag™! Ka-ching! Instant jobs. With public disputes settled by instant replay, the possibilities are endless. For example:
“I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN, MS. LEWINSKY.”
Remember this national trauma? We could have saved the country a lot of anguish had my Challenge Flags™ been adopted. Let’s say that when the president made this claim, Challenge
Flags™ flew. No longer would we have to worry about dress stains, nor what the definition of “is” is. Instead, a referee goes to the Public Replay Booth™ and consults the Oval Office tape. The referee’s eyes widen. Indisputable video evidence. “Mr. Clinton’s ruling is overturned,” the referee says. Of course, these Challenge Flags™ need not be relegated to the annals of power in Washington. Now, petty domestic disputes can be solved conclusively:
“DUDE, YOU TOTALLY PEED ALL OVER THE TOILET SEAT.”
Yes, couples know this scenario well: mysterious dribbles on the pot in the early morning hours. Did he or did he not use a lack of care with his aim? Was it really just the upwash from a leaky plumb job? Ladies, throw a Challenge Flag™! A homing device activated by the force of the flag being tossed will send a transmission to the masterheadquarters of Refs-for-Truth™, Inc.— located somewhere deep underneath the D.C Metro—which will alert a Public Referee™ in your home town. He or she will check your Public Replay Booth: Home Edition™—which by the way must be installed in every American home—and the truth will be found. With instant video enhancement, your referee is able to check every last dribble against the infra-red scan of the toilet seat. He or she will examine the results. Yes, indisputable evidence—a micturated john.
Of course, a vast network of cameras will have to be installed nationwide (Can you say, jobs?) for our Public Referee™’s jurisdiction to be equal for everyone, and we all want that, don’t we? Some of you may be thinking, isn’t this all a bit Orwellian? Frankly, no. You can trust us. Oh! Almost forgot to mention the Game-Changing Challenge Flag Program™, which will be reserved for extremely serious challenges under the law. Example:
“THE CURRENT AMERICAN TAX STRUCTURE BENEFITS THE WEALTHY FEW AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MANY.”
Perhaps the largest engine for job creation in my Challenge Flags™ proposal is the Corporation for Sportsmanlike Ideologies™, which will have a division of Red Shin-Guards™ who will throw a flag at the report of any Unsportsmanlike Statements™ like the one reproduced above (for educational purposes only). If such a challenged statement is found to be an Unsportsmanlike Statement™, the offending Player™ will be tossed from The Game™. But, in a country like ours which is known for such Great Sportsmanship™, I know that Challenges™ of this sort will be few and far between. Just remember that Great Sportsmanship™ in society requires Penalties™ and Challenge Flags™ so that the Rules of the Game™ will be followed. Again, trust me. Our Game™ is a great one.
SOURCES WEBSITES AND PHOTO CREDIT FOR THIS ISSUE.
COVER: photography by Samantha Battersby. 10-13 UT CAMPUS HOLDS SPORTING HISTORY: photography courtesy of http://www.tampapix.com/plantfield.htm. 14-18 4 SPORTS BARS YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: Photos by Samantha Battersby and Jordan Schien 38-41 SPORTS WORLD ASSAULT PROBLEM: “Paterno” by allenmock, FSonne-pennstate73 via flickr.com; “Roethlisberger” by mcraider89, doggsnot via photobucket.com. 42-44 A MATTER OF SPIRIT: photography by Samantha Battersby. 22-23 A HELL OF A FIGHT: image by LawrenceDouglas via flickr.com. 24-27 ANDREW LUCK AND ALL THE OTHERS: “Andrew Luck” by toes2734 via photobucket.com; “Justin Blackmon” by Yung_jos via photobucket.com; “NFL DRAFT” by bullet620 via photobucket.com. BACK COVER: “surface” by melodi2 via morguefile.com
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