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THE WICHITAN The Student Voice of Midwestern State University

Wednesday Jan. 24, 2007

Parking fines skyrocket to $150,000 in ʼ06 BONNIE BOLIN FOR THE WICHITAN

Campus police issued tickets for more than $150,00 for violations last year, most of them parking tickets. To date, $136,805 has been collected, leaving an unpaid balance of $14,905. Over a five-year period, parking ticket revenue more than doubled. Amounts collected were $64,740 in 2002, $66,560 in 2003, $90,892 in 2004, and $125,011 in 2005. Unpaid amounts for each of those years amounts to $18,564 in 2002, $13,343 in 2003, $9,335 in 2004,

$5,796 in 2005 and $14,905 in 2006. Neither the Business Office nor the Public Information Office would give out any ticket or financial information. The Wichitan obtained the figures through an Open Records request. The university filled out the request in early December, which means more money was collected in the interim. Tickets were broken down in increments of $10, $20, $30, $32, $42, $50, $52 and $60. There was no breakdown for the years 2002 and 2003. According to the records, in the $10 category, 5,243 tickets were written in 2004. The number

in that range rose to 6,188 in 2005 and to 7,447 in 2006. The number of $20 tickets increased from 560 in 2004 to 1,242 in 2005 and to 1,357 in 2006. Only 61 $30 tickets were given out in 2004 but 126 were written in 2005 and 476 last year. $42 tickets went from 27 in 2004 to 113 in 2005. In 2006, 103 were issued, a decrease from the previous year. $50 tickets also went down, from 88 in 2005 to 53 in 2006. 2004 saw 74 $50 tickets. Twenty-three $52 tickets were handed out last year compared with 11 in 2005 and six in 2004. In the $60 range, six were issued last year compared with 15 in 2005 and three in 2004.

Fifty parking tickets on average are given out each day, according to Chief of Police Michael Hagy. Hagy attributed the reason for the huge increase (37.5 percent) from 2004 to 2005 to a change in the way tickets were written. Before 2005, the first ticket cost $5. If the same student received any more tickets then the price doubled to $10, climbing in $5 increments for each additional ticket. In 2005, a new ticket structure was created with Class I tickets costing $10 and Class II tickets $20. Hagy said the idea was to increase revenue. Just because police give out tickets, does not mean the fines will get paid, Hagy pointed

out. Approximately $62,000 in unpaid parking tickets have accumulated over the five-year period. “The biggest fine that I am aware of was a girl who had over $3,000 in unpaid tickets, and 31 offenses,” Hagy said. A ticket must be paid within 17 days after it is issued or a late fee will be added. The amounts of late fees paid for each year are $7,658 in 2002, $13,575 in 2003, $20,227 in 2004, $27,395 in 2005 and $28,900 in 2006. A payment plan is available for students who have an abundant amount of tickets. Grades and transcripts can be withheld if there are

unpaid parking tickets on oneʼs record. A hold will be placed on anyone who does not pay off tickets. This can prevent a student from registering for classes and even graduating. Service work is not offered to pay off tickets. Payment must be in some form of cash or charge. “Reserved spots are always empty and student parking is always full,” said sophomore Jessica Wilkins. Although some students, such as Wilkins, express frustrations over the parking situation on campus, some students are not as concerned.

See Parking page 3

Admitting the truth Standards upped in wake of dropouts CARRIE SULLIVAN & KRYSTLE CAREY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & MANAGING EDITOR Midwestern State University has seen a few changes within this past year. New entrance signs, a new business building and a renovated bookstore. Something that is not so tangible yet are the new admissions standards that went into effect last fall. MSU implemented the change after admitted students were still failing and not returning to MSU. This behavior was becoming a retention problem. “That’s not enrollment management,” said Barbara Merkle, MSU director of the admissions office. According to Merkle, enrollment management is working with the students who are academically prepared to be here. Making sure, not only are they properly advised and going through the right sequence of classes, but providing student service systems, like career management, tutoring sessions and counseling services. “It was getting frustrating to continuously go out there and recruit, recruit, recruit and people thinking we (MSU) were easy to get into with no problem,” Merkle said. “We weren’t selective and that wasn’t serving our purpose.” With the university’s acceptance into the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges in June 2006, MSU has been given a new status. Out of the 35 public institutions in Texas, MSU is the only one with membership into COPLAC.


“If you’re looking for a strong liberal arts institution, this is the place to look at,” Merkle said. “That is a strong recruitment and marketing tool that we can use to attract the students that we know are going to be successful.” According to Merkle, the ACT and SAT recently went through a big revision. MSU now requires students’ writing scores as well. The conditional admissions standards also raised the required ACT composite of 16 or higher to an 18 or higher. With the SAT, it raised the total score requirements of 780 or higher to an 870 or higher. “We based the decision to raise the standards on a national concordinance table,” she said. “We didn’t just pick numbers out of the air. There’s a lot of research that goes into this.” Dr. Jesse Rogers, MSU president, said the raise in admission standards had to be made to get the university’s pass-rate up. The freshmen dropout rate for last year approached 40 percent, which he said needs to be cut to no more than 20 percent. The new change to the admissions standards has also made a difference in how many students the university denies, according to Merkle. She said the change has made the university more selective. In the time Merkle has worked at MSU, she said there has always been a way to get in. However, now admittance isn’t automatic. “The fun part of it is to have students come up and hope they are going to be at this school,” Merkle said, “rather than, ‘Well, it’s just Midwest-

See Admissions page 3

Grants, scholarships line pockets BONNIE BOLIN FOR THE WICHITAN


Even though tuition has been on the rise over the past few years, the number of grants and loans given out per year is also rising. So, it may be easier to pay for college. According to Sue Nelson, associate director of the financial aid office, many factors determine if one receives a grant. Every question in the Free Application For Federal Student Aid has value in the formula. A grant does not have to be paid back, but a loan must be repaid starting six months after graduation with interest. To obtain a grant or a loan, a student must first go to the financial aid office in the Hardin building. A hard copy of the FAFSA form must be filled out, or it can also be filled out online at if a student is on a time crunch. Questions range from your spouseʼs income to your parentsʼ

tax returns. There are tips to getting aid without delay. Everyone is eligible for a loan, but grants are based on financial need. One big determining factor in receiving a grant is the Expected Family Contribution. If a studentʼs family is helping them with rent and other costs, they may not get approved for a grant. Anyone can get approved for loans. Mitzi Lewis, associate director of Institutional Research and Planning, said from fall 2002 through summer 2003, 8,168 loans were awarded, with $13,534,236 given out. For grants and tuition rebate, 6,096 loans were awarded, and $6,303,943 was given out. The number of enrolled students completing FAFSA and demonstrating need was 2,484. In fall 2003 through summer 2004, 9,916 were awarded with $17,040,640 given out. For grants and tuition rebate, 6,131 were awarded, and $6,728,576 was given out. The number of enrolled stu-

Batter up The new construction on campus gives way to a new athletic field. page 3

dents completing FAFSA and demonstrating need was 2,790. In fall 2004 through summer 2005, 10,680 loans were awarded, $19,029,534 was given out in loans. For grants and tuition rebate, 6,436 were awarded, and $7,167,047 was given out. The number of enrolled students completing FAFSA and demonstrating need was 2,736. From fall 2005 though spring 2006, the estimated number of loans awarded were 8,173 at $17,532,109. For grants and tuition rebates, 6,218 were awarded and $7,145,144 was allotted. The number of enrolled students completing FAFSA and demonstrating need was 2,655. Nelson said that the Federal Stafford Loans charge a fixed rate of 6.8 percent with an in-school grace period. Federal Plus Loans are for parents and graduate students and have a fixed rate of 8.5 percent. In the fall/spring of 2005-2006, 11,800 started the process for financial aid.

See Tuition page 3


Students stand in line at the business office in Hardin.

‘The Hitcher’

Year of independent music

This remake may not be what audience was expecting.

Traditional, popular music takes a back seat in 2006.

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Sweepstakes Winner 2006 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association



Finalist 2004 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award

Jan. 24, 2007

Staff Editorial

Life 101 Think about graduation for a moment. Yeah, it may be a little early for some but for others it may be too late to be educated in some important matters. Sure, we know how to write research papers, solve algebraic equations, make some sense out of the U.S. government and dissect clams. But what about the other stuff? That “stuff” is life itself. In its zeal (and to its credit), MSU strives to help freshmen adapt by encouraging them to take College Connections where they learn the ins and outs of the academic community. Thatʼs for freshmen. What about helping all the rest of us? What the university needs to offer is a senior-level course for those about to leap into the “real world.” How many know how to buy a new car? Do you know how to go about jockeying with a salesman so you donʼt get screwed? The same is true for purchasing a used vehicle. What should you look for so you donʼt end up with a lemon? Should you pay Blue Book or look around for a deal and how do you go about it? Money. Money. Money. Our lives will always be about money. How much of our future paychecks should we save so we can retire to the south of France (or at least we donʼt end up living under some bridge eating beans and franks)? Whenever we do save some cash how should we invest it so it doesnʼt get eaten up by inflation? How many students know about IRAs and how much they can earn by contributing to one? One of these days most of us will buy a home, one of lifeʼs biggest decisions. Things are going to crop up like obtaining a bank loan, terms of interest, styles of mortgages. Even if you rent for a while you need to know your rights as a renter? Eating, of course, is one of the basics of life but to some a kitchen is a foreign country. Today, men often find themselves either taking on the traditional womanʼs role or sharing it with a female who works during the day. What food should you buy? In case you already havenʼt noticed it, Ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches get old after a while. Other stuff might include:

Level of incompetence rises to ʻorangeʼ

• which credit card is best and how to handle it? • whatʼs the best way to build a credit rating? • how do you do comparative shopping? • when does it pay to buy quality and when does it not matter? • how can I do my own taxes? • situations we might encounter that we canʼt even possible dream of right now. No one person may have all the answers so such a Life 101 class might be best if it is team-taught like some Honors Courses which, by the way, exercise a lot of latitude in their offerings. Undeniably, thereʼs a maze of information out there and it would be beneficial if professors helped us navigate through it rather than the School of Hard Knocks alternative. The case for creating such a novel course only proves that becoming an education person goes far beyond quoting Shakespeare or conjugating Spanish verbs. Some may call it hand-holding but a better way to look at it is giving MSU graduates a leg up. Weʼll thank you later.

3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 • Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 News Desk (940) 397-4704 • Advertising Desk (940) 397-4705 Fax (940) 397-4025 • E-mail Web site: Copyright © 2006. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. First copy of the paper is free of charge; additional copies are $1. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters.

On Jan. 16, President Bush announced that the democratically elected government “has still got some matCHRISTIAN MCPHATE uration to AD MANAGER do,” for the American-inspired and yet to obtain “free” country had “fumbled” the hangings of Saddam Hussein and two of his followers. This coming from a man whose own cabinet is notorious for “fumbling” everything from the apprehension of the most wanted man in history to the building of a democratic nation. During an interview with Jim Lehrer, host of the “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer” on PBS, Bush stated that the handling of the execution looked more like a revenge

killing than a killing of justice. “It reinforced doubts in peopleʼs minds that the Maliki government and the unity government of Iraq is a serious government,” Bush said, “which makes it harder for me to make the case to the American people that this is a government that does want to unify the country and move forward.” No, the seeds of doubt blooming within the American people began to sprout when the raging inferno of this administrationʼs incompetence exploded across the media waves with the 9-11 reports (and for some info junkies, the botched voting scam in good ol Georgeʼs brotherʼs sunny home state). Moreover, the President reaffirms the American people of his incompetence with the escalation of revenge blasting across the surface of the Jewel of the Middle East. Of course, his administrationʼs failure to think ahead and understand the full implications of their choices when implementing a sys-

tem of voting for a country with no understanding of democracy or the humane treatment of the common man does not help either. What does one expect to happen when one backs a government controlled by the Shiite branch of the Muslim religion, a splintering group of religious people persecuted in horrendous ways by the Americaninstalled Saddam Hussein? And thereʼs more. The Shiite believers are also in control of the number one (according to the last report on NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS. etc) “Axis of Evil” enemy, Iran. According to figures released by the United Nations on Jan. 16, more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians lost their lives last year alone due to incompetence. That is more than the number of Americans killed since the beginning of the war—five years ago. Incompetence seems to be running amok throughout this diabolical weeding out of terrorism.

For the two sects of Muslims, the Sunnis and the Shiites, branched off and split the trunk of Allah because of an incompetent disagreement over which group would lead after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (think Pentecostal and Baptist, but with Ak-47s and tanks instead of the holy ghost and the Antichrist). In addition, with Donald Rumsfieldʼs, one of the leading masterminds behind the fiasco of Democracy, quote in the Jan. 29 issue of Time magazine, the parasite of incompetence continues to grow at an alarming rate: “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we donʼt know we donʼt know.” God/Allah/Jehovah, oilmen, warmongers, please…make it stop.

S e veral years ago I took a course from Dr. Stiles called Family Violence. In one particular class session she asked us JASON KIMBRO to get into ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR groups and try to come up with inventive ways to help alleviate the social problem of domestic abuse within families. A fellow classmate came up with the idea of a television sitcom about a dysfunctional and abusive family. Not like “Married with Children,” but one with actual physical violence. He figured it could do the same for this problem that “All in the Family” did to help with the issue of racism. I donʼt mean to steal from an idea but I thought it would be nice to consider this idea for other social problems. For instance: “Unfixed Mistakes.” This silly romp of a sitcom would involve a single mother who first had a child at the age of 16. Since her parents were adamantly pro-life

yet all about handling oneʼs own responsibilities, she was forced to keep the child and had to drop out of high school. Things get worse after she gets her G.E.D. and decides to try community college when suddenly she is pregnant with triplets. She is unable to go to college to learn the social awareness and competence to hold a job. Since all the men in her life are asses, she is forced to raise the children by herself, living off the Lone Star card and Supplemental Security Income. Her children are constant targets of poverty in and out of social settings with their top-notch secondhand clothing and commodity groceries. Things get even funnier as we realize she spends every possible dime on USAGold cigarettes and Silver Thunder 40ʼs. Mommy and daddy have disowned her and due to the wonderfulness of being pro-life, she has now subjected her little family for generations to come to the laughter of the underclass. My next hilarious idea for a show would be “Heroine, My Hero!” A colorful group of heroine addicts would basically sit around shooting up whatever samples of

the good ʻol drug they could get. On occasion things would get uproariously out of hand when one of them would overdose or perhaps forget about doing something important like feed their baby. It would be kind of like “Trainspotting” meets “Seinfeld.” There could be a few crossover appearances between the two aforementioned shows as the mother from the first could show up as a guest star as she is dragged down into the funny underbelly of addiction. Finally, I feel a great suggestion for a series would be “She Told Me She Was 18!” I really donʼt think I need to describe this one too much, but it could go into so many directions, from dealing with the parents or even some Dateline NBC to Catch a Predator type situations. A few others that I felt I should throw in: “HA! Youʼre Poor!” or perhaps the guaranteed successes “Porn for Tweens,” “Jesus is the Reason for the Season,” “Dog Pound Blues,” “Those Wacky Iraqis,” and of course “The Adventures of a Successful Rapist.” Indeed some of these programs could probably cause a stir or two and would only be seen on HBO or

Showtime, but I figure if I can push them on the right executive then perhaps many of these issues could be somewhat diminished. Of course as I take some time to reflect, maybe I am wrong. Sure, “All in the Family” did help to open an eye or two and it did spawn off one of my favorite programs “The Jeffersons,” but maybe we are all choosing to laugh at the wrong things to begin with. For years we have laughed at programs like Mad TV and Saturday Night Live as they make fun of the political figures we put into office. I really have a hard time laughing at them myself because they make it too easy for these comedic troupes. How about we give them all a challenge next time. Letʼs really sit and think about whom we want representing us as our senators, congresspersons and commander-in-chief. All I know is that it is quite infuriating to have a child take control of one of the most precious yet dangerous toys out there and refuse to give it back as he sits and throws a fit when it really should be nap time. Goodbye all!

New ideas for relevant sitcoms a sure hit

THE WICHITAN Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief Carrie Sullivan Managing Editor Krystle Carey Entertainment Editor Jason Kimbro Sports Editor Josh Mujica Photo Editor Adrian McCandless

Reporters Matt Hulme Richard Carter Christian McPhate LaTia Banks Tiffany Mercer Photographers T.J. Hornbeck Hershel Self Graphic Artist SunKyu Yoo-Norris

Advertising Manager Christian McPhate Cartoonist David Stephenson

Adviser Randy Pruitt


Hey, batter batter!

THE WICHITAN Jan. 24, 2007


Parking__________________________________________continued from page 1

“If you come to class early enough, you can get a parking place,” said junior Cameron Rodriguez. Research on constructing a multitiered parking garage was conducted a few years ago, Hagy said. But the cost would come to approximately $10,000 per parking slot, and there is no space available at this time to build a new garage, he said. The aggravation of parking does not stop with the students. “ M o s t students want someone to hear their frustration,” Hagy said. “I get frustrated when students get parking tickets. Students understand that without rules, thereʼs chaos.” All of the money earned from fines helps fund the police department, half toward the staffʼs salary,

and an operations budget for police equipment. The operations budget is approximately $244,000. Police officers are not paid by the amount of tickets they give out. There is no quota to be met, Hagy said. An appeals process exists if a student wishes to contest a ticket. An appeal can be lodged in the Dean of Students Office in the Clark Student Center. On the appeal form, students must state why they believe the ticket was unfairly given. A committee made up of students decides whether to uphold a ticket appeal or reject it. The deanʼs assistant, Debbie Coughran, reads tickets to the committee so the studentsʼ names remain anonymous. In fall 2004, out of 291 appeals, 61 were upheld. There are

strict parking rules in the student handbook. If a student breaks those rules, then the ticket cannot be upheld. Student handbooks are available to any student with a current MSU I.D. at the information desk in the Clark Student Center. In spring 2006, 95 appeals were submitted. Sixteen of these appeals were upheld, and 79 appeals were denied. One reason some studentsʼ tickets were upheld was because the parking lot between the Clark Student Center and the residence halls was not clearly marked on both sides of the lot, indicating it was a residential parking lot, said Coughran. Students were unaware that they were parking in an undesignated area with their non-residential sticker.


members are Texans from cities like Laredo, San Antonio, El Paso and Pharr. Fantasma members are vocalist Rodolfo Rodruguez; drummer and backup vocalist, Johnny Lopez III; percussionist Matthew Holmes; Jose Galeano on vox and percussion; trombonist Leo Gauna; guitarists Adrian Quesada and Beto Martinez; Gilbert Elorreaga on trumpet; Greg Gonzalez on bass, and saxophonists, Gengee Centeno and David Lobel. Their individual influences that inspire their music arrangements and songwriting, are just as far-flung from modern artists to legends, in different genres. Carlos Santana, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie, Curtis Mayfield, Jimmy Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Bob Marley, and even Dave Chapelle are to name a few of the guysʼ influences. “When GF (Groupo Fantasma) came into fruition approximately 7 years ago, we were very influenced by a number of Columbian cumbia bands on the ʻgolden age,ʼ” guitarist Adrian Quesada, of Laredo, said in his blog entry on the bandʼs official website. Groupo Fantasma has received wide recognition for its talent and style. Its first self-titled album, released in 2001, took off immediately, earning them spots on inter-

nationally distributed compilations. Their second album, Movimiento Popular, was just as successful, earning raves and year-end kudos from the Austin media, and also publications in Atlanta, Memphis, Philadelphia and New York. Their third album, “Groupo Fantasma Comes Alive,” took them to another level of recognition as they became more adventurous with mixing unexpected styles to creat a genre of their own. “Their catchy sounds straddle so many musical genres that putting them in a particular niche seems pointless.” –Pop Culture Press Fantasmaʼs style has been described as the future of Latin music that is “likely to explode the notion of the country twang and imaginary rock band that comes to mind when people think of the music scene in Austin, Texas.” Groupo Fantasma was named the Austin Music Awardsʼ Best Latin Contemporary Band for five years in a row, adding Best Horns in 2005. “Groupo Fantasma Comes Alive” finished at number six as Album of the Year and their song “Utility Rock” also finished at number six as Austin Song of the Year. “One of the finest live albums to come out of the ATX,” Austin Chronicle commented on the groupʼs third album.

Groupo fans soon to be delighted

ADRIAN MCCANDLESS| THE WICHITAN A constrction crew clears the way for the new campus softball field. To make room for the addition, workers have demolished a section of student parking on Louis J. Rodriguez Drive.

Tuition___________________________________________continued from page 1 In grants, $7,145,144 was awarded and 2,403 people received them. In loans, $17,532,109 was awarded and 3,065 people received them. In scholarships, $3,307,937 was awarded to 1,864 people. The total number of students receiving financial aid was 4,617. The amount exceeded $28 million. According to Sherri Helms, university cashier of the business office, in 2003 tuition for a Texas resident was at $46 per credit hour,

$282 per credit hour for a non-resident, and $39 per hour designated. Designated tuition is tuition with all fees including classroom fees. In fall 2004 tuition rose to $48 per hour for a Texas resident, $306 per hour for a non-resident of Texas and $45 per hour designated. In spring 2005, tuition increased from the fall from $53 per hour designated to $66 per hour. In fall 2006, tuition for a Texas resident was $50 per hour, and remained at $66 per

hour designated. Gail Ferguson, CPA and controller of the business office, said there are no plans at this time to raise tuition. Tuition is remaining steady for the time being, but Ferguson said this could change. “If the Legislature does not fund us, in time tuition will raise,” Ferguson said. “The Legislature funds about 40 percent of the cost of education.”


Austin, Texasʼ newest Latin music sensation, Groupo Fantasma, will be heading things up at MSU on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Akin Auditorium. The 11-man band has been dubbed “one of the all-time great Texas dance bands” by Pop Culture Press for their ingenious makeover of traditional Latin music into a fusion of Afro-Latin funk, cumbia, salsa, meringue, dancehall and hiphop that translate into exuberant live shows. “Weʼre a hybrid of Latin dance music from old school to new school,” said Jose Galeano, songwriter and percussionist. He said itʼs a sound that demands that audiences move. “Just flow,” he said. “Dance how you want to dance. If you donʼt dance to our music, something is just not right. When in doubt just follow the cowbell.” The talented troupe includes a double rhythm section and a fourpiece horn brigade. The versatility of their music is symbolic to their backgrounds. The members of Fantasma come from some far-stretched places such as New York City and Managua, Nicaragua (Central America). Many

Admissions______________________________________continued from page 1 ern, we’re just the backup. And if I don’t get into my first choice, I can definitely get into Midwestern.’” If a student is denied admission, however, he or she has the ability to appeal the decision. To do this, a student must write a letter, which is given to the admissions committee. The committee consists of MSU faculty, who review the student’s entrance exams, transcripts, letters, and other information to make a decision on whether the student should be admitted or not. According to Rogers, MSU rejected about 300 beginning freshmen for the fall semester because they didn’t meet the standards. Merkle said less than 30 of these students appealed the decision. Another group of less than 30 students opted to go to summer school. These were students who applied for Fall 2006 and were denied because they didn’t meet the new requirements. However, they did meet the

old ones and were invited to attend summer school. “If this is their first choice, then we’ll try to get them here,” Merkle said. Rogers said the university is going to assist those students who had to be turned away. “We’ll help them find a university to show them they can do academic work, then invite them back,” he said. Merkle believes the change is a positive one for the university, in regards to enrollment management. “If we act like the University of Texas instead of Midwestern State University, I don’t think we’d be anything special,” Rogers said. “A lot of our opportunities come from the size of this university and oneon-one instruction from our faculty.” Also, Merkle said the number of first-year probation students declined from more than 200 to ap-



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proximately 100. “That’s significant,” she said. “That tells you raising the standards worked.” Rogers said that seeing the number of freshmen on probation being cut in half is most encouraging. According to Merkle, the type of students admitted into the university is noticeable as well. She said the new students seem to be more focused, have a better idea of what they want to study and know what they are looking for. “The plan is that with better qualified students we’ll have more sophomores at the end,” Rogers said. “We then will have more juniors and more sophomores after another year. Most schools get over that initial drop, then the class size starts up again because you’re retaining more of the freshmen class.” According to Rogers, the freshmen class did drop about 220 students, which had been anticipated. Although enrollment has suffered from the change, Merkle said some people misinterpret the fact that the change is the only reason for the drop in enrollment. “We have to not only replace the graduating class, but we have to bring in enough new students to cover the current students that don’t come back,” she said. “That’s a big task.” Merkle said it is scary because the university enrollment did fall, but she and Rogers knew they would lose some students. “Now we have to get more aggressive on those we admit,” she said. “We’ve got to make sure we have housing for them, financial aid set up. So, it’s going to be more work, but worth the effort.” Now that the new admissions changes have been put into effect, Rogers said the administration is looking into making some additional changes on campus. “We are beginning to take a hard look at our core curriculum and upgrading it,” he said. “Also, broadening it, giving students more options and stressing courses that involve critical thinking. It’s going to happen. We’re working on it now.”


THE WICHITAN Jan. 24, 2007


ʻHitcherʼ remake not as suspenseful as original JASON KIMBRO ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Entertainment Value: B Artistic Crap: B Plot/Script: D Performances: C Overall GPA: 2.25 SunKyu Yoo-Norris

For years the Hollywood thinktank of insipid minds and unoriginal hacks has been churning out remake after remake leaving us with a lessthan-noteworthy rehashing of classic films. One genre that has been particularly popular in this so-called art is horror. From well-known classics such as “The Omen” being sacrificed for a few bucks to little-known gems such as “Black Christmas” that have actually paid a great homage to the originals they represent, we have been littered with these reels month after month. This week I have decided to review one of these horror remakes, “The Hitcher.” The original came out in the mid ʻ80s and starred C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh as the hero and heroine with Rutger Hauer

as the deranged hitchhiking psycho out to destroy the lives of the two youngsters. On this go-round Sean Bean (“Goldeneye,” “The Island”) plays the psycho and the two youngins are played by Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton with a little bit of role reversal at play. Hereʼs the gist: Grace and Jim are heading for a nice spring break getaway. Along the way they almost run a dark figure over during a torrential rainstorm. Instead of stopping and asking the person if he needs assistance, they continue to drive on. They stop at the next convenience store for gas and some feeble attempts at getting some help out to the stranded person. Before they could get much done the dark figure arrives to the store via a ride from a truck driver and Jim immediately apologizes for leaving the man behind. Of course, we all know by now that this is the psycho killer John Ryder and he is by far anything but good news. Jim feels bad and decides to give the hitcher a ride to the nearest motel for the night. Grace quietly disagrees with Jimʼs decision but goes along with it anyway. Just a few miles further and next thing we know the hitcher has a knife at Graceʼs eye, telling Jim to say the infamous four little words that helped popularize the original: “I want to die.” They are able to get the mean ʻol psycho out of the car through some

silly kicking and screaming and they begin to feel like they are out of harmʼs way. Grace wants to go home but Jim convinces her to keep going since it will be one heck of a story to tell their beer-swigging friends. The hitcher is far from done. He begins to lay out a reign of terror and violence all along the highway killing families and cops left and right while making it look like the work of Jim and Grace. A triple-play of cat and mouse ensues among Jim and Grace, a large crop of cops and of course the mysterious hitcher. Once one cop believes that the two heroes of our story have nothing to do with the murders, Mr. Bean is able to do something to “prove” him otherwise. Not unlike the original, Jim and Grace are boggled trying to figure out exactly why this crazy man is doing this to them. We in the audience know better: we need something interesting to watch. This film had its points of entertainment and jumpy tidbits of horror and gore, but was overall lacking in the department of originality. I know this is a remake, but when the same things are being done to a lesser degree it makes me wonder why it was made to begin with. There was no effort in the least to contribute anything new to this film, other than showing what the original ʻ80s film was too afraid to show in a scene involving a truck (rrrrrriiippppp). Issues of story continue beyond

beats in atmospheric and dreamy arrangements. Gorgeous, relaxed and yearningly beautiful at times, Beach House is like the first Velvet Underground CD distilled through the Cowboy Junkies to its most essential and memorable elements. The Knife: “Silent Shout.” This Swedish brother and sister take synth sounds from better early 80s groups, and then transport them into a much darker mood. “Silent Shout” would make a perfect soundtrack to random film montages that need to be drawn together. Itʼs also great for dance. The album made enough impact that the bandʼs first two albums were just released domestically. Hanne Hukkelberg: “Rykestrasse 68.” The Norwegian songstressʼs second album mixes her Bjork, Joni Mitchell and bossa nova vocal stylings with strings and some very unusual instruments to create a tasty indie pop record that suggests cool jazz, eclectic pop and Brazil circa 1966. While no instrument, style or reference was considered off-limits in making these songs, the album never spins out of control. Serena-Maneesh: “Serena-Maneesh>” My favorite band of all time is My Bloody Valentine, the late ʻ80s shoegazers. So anyone who takes from those abstract, swirly,

organic, noisy and distorted walls of sounds is worth a listen. SerenaManeesh mixes their take on MBV and Velvet Underground and updates the mash-up a bit. When this debut album works, itʼs amazing and thatʼs more often than not. OOIOO: “Taiga.” What I like so much about is that they carry numerous esoteric Japanese bands who mix up American dance music, free jazz and psychedelia. A band noted for painting themselves in dayglo before playing live, OOIOO lets loose with jams of hard rhythmic beats, screechy or moody Japanese lyrics and all sorts of odd electronics, drums, occasional guitars and horns. Upbeat or downbeat, itʼs never boring. Liars: “Drums Not Dead.” Originally more energetic than Bloc Party, this Brooklyn band lost its drummer and bassist, moved to Berlin and created a record that revels in trancelike, drum-heavy, dreamy sort of dirge-like rock music. Not for everyone, of course, but the bandʼs extended jams build up just short of fever pitches--a lot like David Bowieʼs best Berlin stuff did 25 years ago. The Wreckers: “Stand Still, Look Pretty.” Not technically an indie CD, The Wreckers are Michelle

Zachary Knighton and Sophia Bush find time to get down and dirty in “The Hitcher”

the second unit and production. They tried to take some of the basic tenets from the original film, as well as the moments that made the original “original” but could not execute them nearly as well. This may have had something to do with the performances. Sean Bean is a decent actor and is always nice as the bad guy, but this just isnʼt his type of role. This was a major mistake of miscasting a typecast actor. I honestly feel that Mickey Rourke wouldʼve been a much better choice. Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton bring us some fairly basic per-

formances. All I know is that when they have Sophia do a shower scene, she needs to raise her arms up into the air a bit more. This film lacked the amount of intensity and tautness that the original had. With that aside, the feeling was otherwise appropriate and foreboding. Even if there was a moviegoer that had no idea what the film was about, the feeling we get beyond the annoying attempt at character development in the beginning of the film would let that person know what they got themselves into. Another pointless film that could

have been a great copy that went beyond the normal mold of horror remakes now graces the big screen. Donʼt rush out too quickly to see this one, but donʼt be too avoidant either. It might have been a waste of millions of dollars to make, but it is at least worth a couple dollars down by the ʻol Goldʼs Gym. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I welcome you back with a mediocre film. If you havenʼt seen the original version of this film, I highly suggest you catch that one first before you barrel out to see its remake.

Independent music flourished in 2006 with Carterʼs best of list It was the best of years for independent music and the worst of years for every other kind of music. Seriously, you didnʼt want to turn on the radio unless it was satellite FM. Alternative music hasnʼt sounded this good since the late ʻ70s. It didnʼt hurt that so many obscure (who would have been overlooked) musical acts are getting distributed by Internet download paysites like and iTunes. The downside to music in 2006 was popular radio, MTV and the Billboard popular charts. No more Hilton, Lohan or Aguilera, please. Under Byen: “Samme Stof Som Stof.” This less-known Denmark electronica group mixes a string quartet, eclectic percussion and drums, electronics and somewhat Bjork-like vocals sung in Danish into smart and playful arrangements. Their third album and American debut, the group is making some waves. My favorite album of the year. Beach House: “Beach House.” A man and woman play old-fashioned organ and electric guitar parts sparingly alongside simple

The Grates playfully show us why we should all be afraid of our shadows and holding it in.

Branchʼs new more country-esque duo. For listeners who enjoyed the pure pop melodies, hooks and earnest singing of Branchʼs solo CDs, the Wreckers continues her solid work with more harmonies and a

bit more honk. Good overproduced pop. The Grates: “Gravity Wonʼt Get You High.” While Be Your Own Petʼs debut self-titled album got lots of punk press, and not without rea-

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son, The Gratesʼ debut was tragically overlooked. A superb live band (witnessed by their SXSW shows), the Australian trio mixes high-energy pop guitar and solid drums and a vocalist with sass, humor, energy and attitude. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs totally need to rediscover some of their roots with The Grates. TV on the Radio: “Return to Cookie Mountain.” This Brooklyn band that stayed in Brooklyn, spent too much time in their overstocked studio and put together an absolutely overwhelming (and stunning) album filled with cool melodies and wall-upon-wall of sonic flourishes. Thereʼs treated saxophones, keyboards, guitars, drums and waves of lead and background vocals. Probably, the best overall album of the year. Letʼs hope that 2007 continues this inspired trend.


Across The Oscar ballots Campus have been shipped MCCLATCHEY TRIBUNE

Foreign Film Series Continuing education presents “The Boys and Girl from County Clare” at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at The Kemp Center for the Arts. The comedy is set in Clare, Ireland and centers around two brothers who haven’t seen each other in 20 years. Admission is free. For more information, call 3974756.

Open Auditions The annual Student Directed One-Act Plays will be holding open auditions on Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. and Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Auditions will be held for the nine one-acts that have many parts for men and women. Scripts are available in the Fain Fine Arts Theatre Conference room B128. For more information, call the theatre publicity office at 397-4399.

Mustangs Rally 2007 The admissions office is now accepting applications for Mustangs Rally student hosts. Mustangs Rally is one of MSU’s largest recruiting efforts. During this event, prospective juniors and seniors from around the country visit our campus. The event is scheduled for Feb. 17 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mustangs Rally hosts go through a mandatory, comprehensive training session and are required to attend all scheduled portions or Mustangs Rally. These positions are highly coveted and the application process is extremely competitive. Completed applications should be returned to MSU admissions office, room 101, in Hardin South by Jan. 29. Previous Mustangs Rally assistance does not guarantee consideration or selection. All applicants are notified by mail after decisions are made. If you have any questions, contact MSU Admissions at 397-4334.

COPY EDITOR Needed! Call 397-4704.

Bill Condon’s musical “Dreamgirls” received eight Oscar nominations Tuesday morning, but the film was a surprising Best Picture snub, losing its slot to Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima.” Close behind “Dreamgirls,” which padded its nomination total with three best song nominations (as well as high-profile supporting nods for Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy), was the ensemble “Babel.” The Golden Globe winner for best dramatic feature earned seven nominations, including best picture, though its biggest star, Brad Pitt, was also snubbed. Joining “Babel” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” in the best picture race are “The Departed,” “The Queen” and the quirky comedy “Little Miss Sunshine.” Though “Little Miss Sunshine” broke into the best picture race and scored nominations for Michael Arndt’s screenplay and performances by Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin, directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris were left on the outside. Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Stephen Frears are, instead, joined by Paul Greengrass, recognized for his work on “United 93.” The nominations were announced by “Frida” star Salma Hayek, who expressed visible enthusiasm at one of the year’s clearest trends, the rise of young Mexican directors. In addition to the seven nominations for Inarritu’s “Babel,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” had six nominations and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men” earned three. In addition to “Dreamgirls,” Pitt and the “Sunshine” directors, Oscar nomination morning offered other snubs galore. Veteran Oscar observers were left wondering how “Volver” was left out of the foreign language feature category, or how Golden Globe winner Sacha Baron Cohen missed out on a best actor nod for “Borat.” Instead, “Volver” director Pedro Almodovar could take solace in the nomination for leading actress Penelope Cruz, a first-time nominee. And Cohen ended up sharing a best adapted screenplay nomination with the rest of his “Borat” team. Additional debate can certainly be stirred over Leonardo DiCaprio getting his best actor nomination for “Blood Diamond,” rather than “The Departed” or for first-time nominee Mark Wahlberg grabbing the Scorsese film’s lone supporting nod over Oscar favorite Jack Nicholson. Lest anybody think that critical praise is a prerequisite to Oscar glory, Tuesday morning saw nominations go to “Click” (best makeup) and “Poseidon” (achievement in visual effects), while the blockbuster sequel “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” actually got four nominations. The 79th Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 25 at the Kodak Theater. The show, telecast live on ABC, will be hosted by Emmy winner Ellen DeGeneres. Here’s a partial list of nominees: BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR

“Babel” “Letters from Iwo Jima” “The Queen” “The Departed” “Little Miss Sunshine” ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Babel” Martin Scorsese, “The Departed” Stephen Frears, “The Queen” Paul Greengrass, “United 93” Clint Eastwood, “Letters from Iwo Jima” OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Leonardo DiCaprio, “Blood Diamond” Peter O’Toole, “Venus” Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland” Will Smith, “The Pursuit of Happyness” Ryan Gosling, “Half Nelson” OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Helen Mirren, “The Queen” Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada” Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal” Kate Winslet, “Little Children” Penelope Cruz, “Volver” OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Eddie Murphy, “Dreamgirls” Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine” Mark Wahlberg, “The Departed” Jackie Earle Haley, “Little Children” Djimon Hounsou, “The Blood Diamond” OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls” Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal” Rinko Kikuchi, “Babel” Abigail Breslin, “Little Miss Sunshine” Adriana Barraza, “Babel” ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Peter Morgan, “The Queen” Guillermo Arriaga, “Babel” Michael Arndt, “Little Miss Sunshine” Guillermo del Toro, “Pan’s Labyrinth” Iris Yamashita, Paul Haggis, “Letters from Iwo Jima” ADAPTED SCREENPLAY William Monahan, “The Departed” Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, “Little Children” Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer, “Borat” Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, “Children of Men” Patrick Marber, “Notes on a Scandal” BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE “After the Wedding” “Days of Glory” “The Lives of Others” “Pan’s Labyrinth” “Water” BEST ANIMATED FEATURE “Cars” “Happy Feet” “Monster House”


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THE WICHITAN Jan. 24, 2007



THE WICHITAN Jan. 24, 2007


Just like the weather in Wichita Falls this past weekend, the Midwestern State University women’s basketball team had trouble heating up as they fell to Texas A&M University-Kingsville 64-47 last Saturday night. The ladies couldn’t find their rhythm as they failed to score in the first six minutes of the game. The Lady Mustangs trailed the Javelinas by 15 at halftime. Whatever was said in the locker room must have sparked the Lady Mustangs as they went on an 8-0 run to be down only seven. Seniors Sonya Calhoun-Courtney and Stacey Staten led the charge to shorten the margin but the home


team would end the Mustangs momentum. The Lady Javs scored two threepointers to silence another drive attempt by MSU. With the absence of head coach Shannon Burks who had family matters to attend to the Lady Mustangs only shot 32.8 percent from the floor. Calhoun-Courtney banked in 16 points for the Lady Mustangs while Staten had 10. The Lady Javs shot 51 percent from the floor and outrebounded MSU, 43-30. MSU is now 8-8 on the season. The Lady Mustang will be back at home Thursday as they face the Lady Greyhounds of Eastern New Mexico. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Mustangs hurdle Javelinas IGGY CRUZ

STAFF REPORTER MSU guard Chris Davis drilled a clutch three-pointer in the closing seconds Saturday evening to lift the red-hot Mustangs over No. 23 Texas A&M-Kingsville, 76-73, in the South Division opener for both schools. With 5.4 seconds remaining, Davis connected from the left baseline corner to halt the Jav’s 10-game home court dominance, while extending the Mustangs (12-3, 1-0) overall win streak to nine games. MSU had a total of five players score in double-figures led by Davis with 15 points, six boards, two assists, and a blocked shot. Davis, a junior from Terrell, Texas, shot 50 percent from floor and was recognized for his stellar performance by being named Lone Star Conference South Player of the Week. Chad Rickett chipped in 14 points and four assists, while Drew Coffman finished with 13 points for MSU. Eric Dawson added 10 points, six rebounds, and three blocks followed by Christopher Reay’s 13 points and five boards. Coming off a nine-day break, the Mustangs performance in the first half was plagued by inconsistency handling the ball as the team hit intermission trailing 32-30. “The nine-day layoff hurt,” MSU

head coach Jeff Ray said. “Our kids showed a lot of heart.” MSU committed 18 turnovers and suffered without senior starters Coffman and Dawson who were in early foul trouble. The Mustangs picked up the slack in the second and jumped out to an eight-point lead, the largest margin during the game, at the 10:11 point. TAMKU stormed back into the game off of Rickey Huckaby’s sharp shooting from behind the arc. Huckaby buried three consecutive three-pointers slashing the Mustangs lead to 57-56 and positioned the Javs to knot the contest up at 64 with five minutes to play. Remi Yusuf, the LSC preseason player of the year and an all-American last season, was stuffed all game long by the MSU defense. But Yusuf came through for the Javs with 37 seconds left by stealing a pass and converting a threepoint play to tie the game at 73. As the clock ticked down, Rickett drove the ball down the lane and found an open Davis, who sealed the win with his game-winning three-pointer. Huckaby led the Javs with 23 points and Wendell Mulkey added 17. Yusuf finished with 10 points, 9.3 below his average. MSU will host Eastern New Mexico Thursday in D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.


Cartoonist, Manning finally gets chance at big one M C T Columnists and Sports Writers Needed!! C

Call The Wichitan at 397-4704 and leave a message.

True Cowboys fan can’t Bear to watch JOSH MUJICA SPORTS EDITOR

What happened to my team? After the final seconds of the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks playoff game ticked away a couple weeks ago I lost all hope in the blue and silver. My dad who was sitting beside me at my girlfriend’s house must had uttered every four letter word known to man after Tony Romo’s

bobble of the game-tying snap sealed a 21-20 loss. “F*** the Cowboys!” It was hard to hear but I felt his hurt. We need class act guys to get the job done. The team is like a slice of watermelon. We need to spit out the seeds that could hurt us. Where is the next Aikman, Smith and Irvin? Will you please raise your hands so the Cowboys can draft you? Maybe I’m just writing out of frustration but we need to get rid of Terrell Owens. The only “T.O.” the Cowboys should be saving are the three timeouts in the second half so maybe they could use them at the end of a game to win. Even then I’m scared that Romo’s nervous hands would be too scared to call one.

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The Indiannapolis Colts and Chicago Bears will battle on Feb. 4 in Super Bowl XLI at 5 p.m. Former MSU runningback, Dominic Rhodes will be in the backfield for the Colts and Nathan Vasher who was born in Wichita Falls will start at cornerback for the Bears.

Dallas should have drafted Randy Moss back when he came out of college. He might have as bad an attitude as Owens but at least the dude can catch. I’m glad Bill Parcells is retiring too. Jerry Jones should have given “the Tuna” the can last year. Hire back Jimmy Johnson and find someone from the Baltimore Ravens staff to be the defensive coordinator. I don’t care if it’s a college kid who sells popcorn for the team. He might give us a chance to contend. I’m still a fan, but I’m looking away now. Years and years of disappointment turn me to a team in the same time zone. Let’s go Bears!!!

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will have a chance to take on the former team of a historic running back with Payton as his last name in the big dance. The Colts will battle NFL great Walter Payton’s team, the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. So many things were in Peyton Manning’s birthright. A Super Bowl was not among them. Ask Ernie Banks about guarantees, or Greg Norman. Or Charles Barkley. Finally, it was OK to ask Manning. “The stuff about my legacy, that’s a little deep for me,” Manning said, wearing an oversized T-shirt with the letters that no longer mocked him. Indianapolis Colts, AFC Champions. Few had to wait longer, work harder or play better. “I knew I had to play well today, that’s all,” he said Sunday night. “I didn’t think I had to be super. But I knew I had to have a good game. The thing about it is, we finally got everybody involved, and it’s just too hard to win one of these if you don’t.” Yeah, Manning lost the quarterback-rating battle to Tom Brady again. He also went 27 for 47 with one touchdown (to defensive tackle Dan Klecko) and one interception, got sacked three times and threw a pick that New England’s Asante Samuel turned into a touchdown trot. At that point Indianapolis trailed, 21-3, and some wondered if Manning would sign a long-term contract with the Timbuktu Tritons, just to get some peace. Yet he never has appeared haunted. All that is overrated, you know. His dad, Archie, played a long time with New Orleans and won nothing, and his life is just fine. “I hope I’ve heard the last of that,” Archie said later, standing against a wall outside the redeemed Colts’ locker room. His son had finally beaten New England, 38-34, with help from about 50 associates. Manning was 5-6 in playoff games. Last year the Colts had home field and lost to Pittsburgh in the divisional playoff, and Peyton had some pointed things to say about his blockers. He has put up some playoff stinkers, too, mostly against New England, but the problem is that he has always been too much a part of the Colts. He seemed to be even more disproportionate this year. All 16 regular-season opponents ran for at least 100 yards on the Colts. Jacksonville romped for 375.

The only reason it wasn’t more, reasoned Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, was that the end zone kept getting in the way. But suddenly the Colts borrowed some DNA from Gino Marchetti and became this 3-and-out playoff machine. Kansas City got 44 rush yards in 17 cracks, seven first downs overall. Baltimore ran 20 times for 83 yards. Here, Bob Sanders was knocking away a third-down pass that, if converted, might have let the Patriots run out the clock. Marlin Jackson intercepted Tom Brady for the clincher. And the Colts ran, too. Thirty times. They averaged 4.2 yards per rush and wore out the Patriots defense. “I was glad we stuck with it,” Manning said. “I saw New Orleans today (losing to Chicago). They started throwing it every time when they got behind. That’s hard to do. “They were playing Samuel on Marvin (Harrison) and using a safety for help. I was on the phone to my quarterback coach (Jim Caldwell). For some reason we couldn’t take advantage of that. But in the second half we got a rhythm going, and this is when we’re at our best. We’re drawing it up, we’re doing it on the fly. We can usually find something.” The Colts scored 32 second-half points, and Manning was 14 for 23 for 225 yards in that half. Manning even took input from Bryan Fletcher, who caught 18 passes all year for two touchdowns.

Fletcher is the former UCLA tight end. He’s only a limb on Manning’s passing tree, but he did speak up when he saw a linebacker covering him. “This might pump up his ego,” Manning said, “but he called the play. He said let’s use a corner route. And it was all to him.” It went 32 yards to the New England 37 with 2:01 to go. “That put us almost in field-goal range,” said Manning. But then Manning, ignoring a throbbing thumb that he banged on an opposing helmet, speared Reggie Wayne just as Tully Banta-Cain was roughing Manning. That made it first-and-10 on the 11, and Joseph Addai barged across for the go-ahead score. It was a night that made this bloated sport look as special as it pretends to be. At least until the next police report arrives. “You know, I worry about our game sometimes,” Archie Manning said, “but New England sets the bar, in how good they are and how they handle themselves. And I think the Colts do, too.” He said he and Peyton had embraced and traded the usual I-loveyous. He said a few other things, but he smiled and fidgeted, too. “This isn’t about me,” Archie said. “I’ve got friends in the media, but I’m not going to be the story at the Super Bowl. I’m not going to have a table in the media room.” We know who will.

Jan 24, 2007