Tuesday, February 4, 2014 @msureporter
Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Chesley Roller Sport Park goes down in flames LUCAS RYAN Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Tanner Weaver The Chesley Roller Sport Park under the Mankato water tower , which is a part of the Mankato Family YMCA on Balcerzak Drive, burned down early Saturday morning. By the time the Fire Department had gotten to the scene, the roof had caved in and the building was completely immersed in flames.
Saturday morning a major fire destroyed the indoor portion of the Chesley Roller Sport Park in Mankato. The Sport park was a safe haven for rollerbladers, skateboarders, bikers and scooter riders to practice and enjoy the frequently misunderstood sports that they love. The park gave kids a place do their hobbies when it is not possible outside. Now the place that local skaters visited daily is gone. The fire was reported to the Mankato Department of Public Safety around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, but at that point the building was damaged beyond repair. By the time the fire department had got to the scene, the roof of the sport park had caved in and the building was fully engulfed in flames. It is still yet to be determined what the cause of the inferno was, but thankfully no one was injured. The fire department is in the process of investigating
on what caused the fire, but they might not be able to answer that question due to the extreme damage the fire caused to the building. Regardless of the cause of the fire, the damage has already been done. Saturday morning I woke up to news that immediately made me sick to my stomach. The place that offered me an environment to relive stress, get exercise and do the thing I am most passionate about was destroyed. For the ten-plus years that skateboarding has been my biggest passion, I have never experienced an atmosphere like the one at Chesley Sport park. The park had a pronounced sense of family and comradery that is lacking with most skate parks. The sport park’s atmosphere had an etiquette and politeness about it that made it seem welcoming to everyone. For the four years I have been a student at Minnesota State University I have spent count-
FIRE• Page 3
MSU football appeal to claim 2012 NSIC title denied SAM WILMES News Editor The NCAA has denied a Minnesota State University, Mankato’s appeal of a prior Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference decision to nullify the 2012 South Division Championships for a secondary rules violation. The violation revolved around two student-athletes who had repeated a course from the spring 2012 semester. The error occurred because of an administrative error, which happened because of a course title change that was never identified through MSU’s normal screening process to de-
tect the duplication of courses. According to the university, no other issues have been detected after a manual review of transcripts of currently enrolled student athletes. The incident was self-reported to the conference and to the NCAA by the university. After reviewing the case, the NCAA enforced a $2,500 fine on the university for the violation, but found that no further punishments were needed to the university, their student athletes or the teams. After the NCAA’s decision, however, the NSIC decided that conference bylaws required
APPEAL • Page 3
TIMBERWOLVES MID-SEASON REPORT - 8
MSU Reporter Archives ED/OP
2 • MSU Reporter
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Black history month underway across the country A month’s worth of celebration will unfold across campus.
ALEX KERKMAN Staff Writer With February now on the clock, Minnesota State, Mankato will celebrate Black History Month, a month that will be filled with celebrations and remembrances of days gone by and days still to come. This years activities, which include a number of notable guest speakers, were not planned by just one single individual or Registered Student Organization, explains MSU Recruitment and Retention Advisor Shayla Braunshausen. “This year the students main goal in putting out this calendar was creating unity among all African/African American and or black students and student organization members,” Braunshausen said. “The overall goal and focus is to celebrate black history in an educational way for the MSU community.” This year, 15 different African/African American RSO’s partnered with Institutional Diversity and The Center For African American Affairs to bring more than 25 events celebrating African American history to MSU. Among all the events taking
place, Braunshausen emphasized listening to Dr. Umar Johnson’s lecture “Hidden Colors of Melanin,” which will take place tomorrow at 6 pm in Ostrander Auditorium. Dr. Johnson, a certified psychologist who lectures throughout the country, is a direct blood relative of famed abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass. Other speakers include stand up comedian and MSU alumni Brandon Riddley. The 2011 winner of the St. Paul comedy competition will perform a stand up comedy night February 10th from 8 to 10 pm at Ostrander. Teju, “The Storyteller,” one of the nations leading authorities on African spirituality and culture, will also appear at MSU this month. Teju, who is known for his high energy, fast paced and witty story telling, can be seen February 12th at 7 pm in CSU room 253. Apart from speakers, MSU will show viewings of several critically acclaimed Hollywood films from 2013. “The Butler”, staring Forest Whitaker as Eugene Butler, a former real life White House Butler of 34 years, will be shown on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm in Ostrander. “42,” the Jackie Robinson biopic staring Chadwick Boseman as Rob-
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inson and Harrison Ford, can be seen February 19th at 9:30 at Ostrander. Brunch/Lunches will be hosted throughout the month by varied African American RSOs in room CSU 269. These events begin today with the Black Student Union from 11 am to 1 pm, Thursday with Young Black Entrepreneurs from 11 am to 1
pm, February 10th and 17th with Black Intelligent Gentlemen from 12 to 1:30 pm Any information about Black History Month at MSU can be found in the Multicultural Center on the second floor of the CSU. Black History Month originally started as Negro History Week in 1926. The week was
chosen to mark the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Growing in popularity, the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was first proposed in 1969 and later was officially recognized by the United States government in 1976.
Web Photo African-American RSO’s are largely responsible for the month of celebration and remembrance ahead.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
FIRE. “From my childhood up to a few days either working or skating in that building- for 14 years to be exact,” Erickson said. I think this is how it feels to lose your family house. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I won’t be walking into the door next week and sitting in the office to sign people in.” continued from 1 less hours skateboarding and developed relationships with kids and staff at the sport park. The loss is hard for me, but will truly be felt by the staff and locals that worked and used the sport park every day. Jordyn Erickson, who has grown up with the park, really feels the hurt of this loss. Erickson has been going to the sport park for fourteen years and has been a part of the sport park staff for the last nine. “Sometimes I think I spent more time there than my own house,” Erickson said. From my childhood up to a few days ago, I spent my days either working or skating in that building - for 14 years to be exact,” Erickson said. I think this is how it feels to lose your family house. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I won’t be walking into the door next week and sitting in the office to sign people in.” The kids will be the most affected by this unfortunate event. Many of the daily visitors at the park do not take part in organized sports. The sport that they chose was skateboarding and now they have lost the only place
MSU Reporter • 3
(especially in the winter) that they could ride a skateboard in the Mankato area. “What are they going to do? They have such a passion for skateboarding. Now they don’t have anywhere to go. Unless they are going to have their parents drive them to the cities,” Erickson said. “Those kids were up at the skate park every day. Every chance we get.” Making the fire an even more bitter pill to swallow was that the sport park was on the brink of finishing a month-long renovation in which nearly every ramp had been replaced or changed. Some of the funding of the materials for the rebuilding process were donated by the staff and families with children who frequently used the park and many people volunteered their time to help during the renovations. Sadly, most people will never have the chance to ride the brand new ramps. The CEO of the Mankato Family YMCA (which operates Chesley Roller Sport Park),John Kind, called an emergency meeting of YMCA’s executive board committee shortly after hearing of the fire. No decision
on whether to rebuild the park has been made but a decision on the matter is expected in the near future. There has also been an effort started to raise money for a possible rebuilding of the Sport park. As of Monday morning more than $1,925 was donated by more than 30 people. Donations can be made to www.gofundme.com/6lxs9w. The community that was brought together by the sport park is doing what they can to gain support for a rebuilding of the park, but it will surely be a long and uphill battle. One thing I know about the type of people that are passionate about these sports is that they are resilient and willing to work hard for what they love. It may take some time before the sport park is functioning again, but with the support that the facility has received, I would be shocked if it does not reopen in the future. “They will rebuild. However, a new sport park won’t replace all the memories. It’s the memories that make me, and many others, so sad,” Erickson said.
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APPEAL “We appreciate the opportunity the board of director and Commissioner provided for us to appeal the issue, but they have now made a final decision and we must now accept that outcome.” continued from 1 the league to apply nullification penalties on the university’s 2012-2013 finishes when the two student-athletes were involved. The conference board of directors rejected the appeal made by the university. Although the football team’s 11-0 overall regular season record and 7-0 divisional record will stand the test of time, the squad will be relegated to a fourth place overall finish and second in the South division based on a winning percentage adjustment the conference will make based on a league formula. The nullification doesn’t strictly affect the football season. The 2012-2013 team and individual track championships and conference all-sports standings will also face nullification. Because of the overall margin of victory, the University will keep their team championships. Individual results and records that are impacted by the rules
violations will, however, be vacated. “The NSIC and NCAA have slightly differently bylaws, but the league office did exactly what they needed to do according to their operating procedures and as it applies to nullification and our particular situation,” Director of Athletics Kevin Buisman said. “ We appreciated the opportunity the Board of Director and Commissioner provided for us to appeal the issue, but they have now made a final decision and we must now accept that outcome. This was an automated screening procedure that failed us and that has now been corrected. No individual person bears the responsibility for this administrative error and this decision should not undermine or diminish the outstanding accomplishments of our coaches and student-athletes.”
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More language choices needed as US becomes more diverse EMMA DEPPA Staff Writer Si no me entienden, probablemente es porque no han tomado clases de español, o han olvidado el idioma. In English, if you don’t understand me, it’s probably because you haven’t taken Spanish classes or have forgotten the language. It is easiest to learn a foreign language at a young age and have it reinforced for years after. However, with the decline in foreign languages in the classroom, a vital resource is being lost. With the plasticity of the brain at a young age making it easier to learn another language and the increasing need for bilingualism, foreign languages should be offered in all schools starting at the elementary level. Despite the increased need for bilingualism in the United States and the compelling research supporting foreign language education at a young age, the number of schools offering such programs has significantly decreased over the years. The Center for Applied Linguistics, in its 2008 survey, found that the number of U.S. Elementary Schools teaching foreign languages has decreased to 15 percent from a high of 25 percent in 1997. One explanation for this trend is the increased focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes. In the increasingly technological world and the incline of jobs in these fields, more emphasis is put on
STEM classes. These topics also have had an extension of class time, hindering other classes. Melissa Lee Phillips of the University of Washington identifies the critical learning age of children to be from age three to seven. This means that the best chance any child has at learning and retaining a language are in those years, which is why elementary education is so important. Foreign language education does not only help language proficiency, but is found to be
significantly beneficial in other areas as well, including music skills and the ability to focus. Bilingual children experience greater academic success, selfconfidence and cultural sensitivity throughout their lives. Bilingualism is important in the new global system and is also crucial in a domestic sense. The Hispanic population continues to grow, making Spanish language education particularly important. 16% of the population is Hispanic with 50% of in
metro areas. According to Census data generated by the US Government in 2010, 20.6% of American citizens speak a language other than English while at home. This number has increased from 17.9% in only 10 years. With the high number of Americans speaking a foreign language at home, it is time that we as citizens adapt to changing times and offer foreign languages in elementary school through high school graduation.
“I did not as I was working and have not gotten around to watching it yet.”
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POLICIES & INFORMATION • If you have a complaint, suggestion or would like to point out an error made in the Reporter, call Editor in Chief Reece Hemmesch at 507-3895454. The Reporter will correct any errors of fact or misspelled names in this space. Formal grievances against the Reporter are handled by the Newspaper Board. • The Minnesota State University Mankato Reporter is a studentrun newspaper published twice a week, coming out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Reporter generates 78 percent of its own income through advertising and receives approximately 22 percent from Student Activities fees. The Reporter is free to all students and faculty, but to start a subscription, please call us at 507-3891776. Subscriptions for the academic school year are $55.00 and subscribers will receive the paper within three to five days after publishing.
Web Photo As the Hispanic population continues to grow, the need to understand different languages will also increase.
“Did you watch the State of the Union address last Tuesday?”
JUAN MIGUEL HERNANDEZ, SOCIOLOGY
Minnesota State University, Mankato
HUSAM ALMAYZAD, CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT “No, I was not aware of it.”
PAO CHOULOR, ACCOUNTING
HAMAD ALMARRI, UNDECIDED
“No, I was studying.”
• Letters exceeding 400 words may not be accepted. The Reporter reserves the right to edit letters to fit space or correct punctuation. The Reporter reserves the right to publish, or not publish, at its discretion. Letters must contain year, major or affiliation with the university, or lack thereof. All letters must contain phone numbers for verification purposes.
Compiled by Arnold Bagamba
OMAR BUGSHAN, CIVIL ENGINEERING “No I was studying.”
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
MSU Reporter • 5
Protests in Ukraine demand more media attention Former boxer highlights ongoing fight while apathy remains high stateside.
RYAN BERNDT Staff Writer Since November 21st, the country of Ukraine has been experiencing widespread protests throughout major cities, which have recently turned violent. As of Saturday, 11 protesters have given their life in what is becoming a long-standing battle between the government and the people. Named “Euromaiden,” meaning “Eurosquare” in Ukrainian, the movement initially started as a plea for more integration with the European Union but now calls for more change to the overall structure of the Ukrainian government. Among these requests for change is the removal of current Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, snap elections, signing of the EU Association Agreement and Free Trade Agreement and more related to the Constitution of Ukraine. Despite the large number of protests and the growing violence that is beginning to envelop the country, little has changed to benefit the people. Mykola Azarov, who was Prime Minister of Ukraine at the time of the protests, relinquished his position in an effort to bring
peace to the violence. President Yanukovych offered the open position to leaders of the protest, but they declined the offer. From liberals to conservatives, nationalists to students, even recent war veterans who served in Afghanistan, the opposition grows larger every day. Amongst the leadership of the protestors is Vitali Klitschko, a former professional boxer and leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform. Nicknamed “Dr. Ironfist,” Klitschko was the first professional boxing world champion to hold a PhD degree. “There is no victory without a fight,” Klitschko said last month at a press conference, “and we are going to fight.” Despite being 5,117 miles away from Mankato, Ukraine’s struggle echoes in the hallways of our White House. It’s not uncommon to read articles on the protests and think about the Cold War, as Russia continues to put pressure on protestors while supporting the current government in Ukraine. Russia has issued warnings to EU members demanding them to not get involved or risk the diplomatic consequences. In a testament to modern technology, cameras have been set up in cities around Ukraine
streaming the struggles of the protestors worldwide. Available online, 24/7, these streams bring focus to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, where the largest protest is located. Protestors have barricaded themselves with makeshift walls, setting fire to rubble outside the main camp in an effort to push back law enforcement.
At one point, the police began to use water cannons to push protestors back in negative degree weather conditions. Despite the various live streams covering the protests and the large number of casualties, U.S. media outlets rarely discuss Euromaiden. After asking 12 students on campus if they knew about the situation in
Ukraine, only three had heard of the protests. “I feel bad for not knowing,” one of the students, who asked not to be identified, said. “To think there are people still being oppressed in our world is bad. It’s worse knowing the media doesn’t want to talk about it.”
Web Photo Ukraine protests continue to mount as protestors fill up the streets of Kiev’s Independent Square.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Convicted murderer escapes from Michigan prison
IONIA, Mich. (AP) — An intense manhunt was underway Monday for a convicted killer who peeled a hole in two fences with his hands to escape from a Michigan prison before abducting a woman and fleeing to Indiana where the victim and her vehicle were safely recovered, authorities said. Officials were stunned by the brazen escape Sunday night of Michael David Elliot, who had a record of good behavior during his 20 years in custody. He wore a white civilian kitchen uniform to evade security and blend in with snow at the Ionia Correctional Facility in western Michigan, prison spokesman Russ Marlan said. Prison fences were equipped with motion sensors to alert guards. The fences also carry electric current to shock anyone that touches them. “It appears that did not happen. ... He was not zapped with electricity and he was not picked up by the motion sensors,” Marlan said. Elliot, 40, then abducted a woman and stole her Jeep outside the prison in Ionia. She later escaped when he stopped for gas in Middlebury, Ind., some 100 miles to the south. The woman’s red Jeep was found abandoned nearby in Shipshewana later Monday. “Residents in Shipshewana and surrounding areas: lock your residences and stay indoors. Only
answer door for law enforcement,” the LaGrange County, Ind., sheriff’s department said. An alert on Elliot was issued to law enforcement nationwide. The woman told police that he said he wanted to get as far from the Michigan prison as possible. “We had dog teams. We had a helicopter from the state police,” said Michigan Corrections De-
Michael David Elliot
partment Director Dan Heyns. “The response was good but he’d left the area by the time we were mobilized totally 100 percent. It didn’t take him long to get down to Indiana. ... His flight path now has expanded dramatically.” Nothing in Elliot’s record suggested he might escape, said Heyns, adding, “This was an entirely one-man operation.” The woman who was abducted by Elliot was able to call 911 from a concealed cellphone while he was pumping gas at the store near Middlebury in
Elkhart County, Ind. She ran to a restroom where she locked herself inside. Elliot knocked on the door, but she stayed inside until police arrived and wasn’t harmed. Elliot was discovered missing from the prison about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, probably 2 ½ hours after he escaped by using his hands to create a hole in two fences, Marlan said. “There was a perimeter vehicle with an armed officer who was circling the facility during this time period. (Elliot) was able to evade or avoid detection,” Marlan said. He said it wasn’t immediately known if electronic security measures at the fence were not working or if Elliot somehow avoided them. Elliot was serving life behind bars for fatally shooting four people and burning down their Gladwin County house in 1993 when he was 20 years old, according to court records. Elliot and his accomplices were trying to steal money from a drug dealer, police said. He was arrested a few days later in possession of a gun that tied him to the slayings. One of Elliot’s co-defendants testified against him, saying he laughed about shooting the victims in the head. Elliot was convicted of firstdegree murder in 1994 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Photo courtesy of Associated Press A Surveillance photo from a Middlebury, Ind., gas station provided by the Michigan State Police is Michael David Elliot, who escaped from the Ionia Correctional Facility.
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A celebration for a year of giving SAM WILMES News Editor A successful night of celebration ensued on Saturday night as more than $14,000 has been raised in the past year for Gillette Children’s Specialty Health Care. The amount was more than $4,000 more than what was raised last year. Students contributed their time and resources as student organizations created teams before the event to raise funds and participate in friendly competition. Food was catered by many different area restaurants during the three-hour event, including: Insomnia Cookies, Erberts & Gerberts, Angie’s Kettle Corn, Jimmy John’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. Pizza was also delivered from Topper’s Pizza for committee members who had worked
throughout the day to set up the event. Two local bands played during the event: Old School and The Full Set Up. In between the two bands performance, attendees were able to show off their numerous skills and sing karaoke. Mankato area children and their families attended the event, allowing them to take part in dancing, laughter and all of the other trappings given during the festivities. Attendees gave those who donated and participated in the event to see firsthand the impact they are having on these kids. Event participants were able to play Xbox and Wii games on big screens and participate in balloon tosses and life-size jenga games. Although the Dance Marathon came just shy of their $15,000 fundraising goal, as of press time there was still room to donate- the donor website was up and running until midnight.
“It was great! She said. “We did karaoke- everyone was really involved.” The event serves as a celebration of a year’s worth of help to a helpful organization. “It’s a year long effort that raises money. The event is a celebration to all those who may have helped in the past year. In effect it is a celebration.” “It’s great when we can have students help this cause- give back to the community throughout the year.” A Mankato area Children’s miracle network will open either this summer or fall.
Fundraisers for next year’s event will begin soon. According to Graduate advisor for the Greek community Sarah Schliesmann, three executives have experience with the program, including President of the Dance Marathon Jeremy Herkenhoff. “It’s great to have that personal experience,” Schliesmann said. Herkenhoff, a college of business student, received extensive help from the organization after having his brain operated on. A junior, Herkenhoff now maintains an over 3.4 GPA and a
high- ranking position within his fraternity- Lambda Chi Alpha. Gillette was founded in 1897 and was founded as the nation’s first hospital for disabled children. According to the organization, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare provides specialized health care for people who have short-term or long-term disabilities that began during childhood. They help children, adults and their families improve their health, achieve greater well-being and enjoy life.
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MSU Reporter • 9
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Minnesota Timberwolves midseason report
Can’t make the same mistake twice JOEY DENTON Sports Editor Making mistakes, unfortunately, is part of life. Everybody makes them, but what separates the men from the boys is taking those mistakes and learning from them. When Lebron James was just 22 years old, he made his first appearance in the NBA Finals. With the thought that Cleveland would be there for many years to come, the organization wasn’t too concerned after being swept four games against the Spurs. Whether it was the fact that Lebron had so much firepower in the NBA marketing world or if they were planning on handing him half of the Cavaliers salary cap space, the organization didn’t make any moves to improve the roster, a roster that the whole league knew wasn’t a playoff team, even Lebron. Instead of waiting around to for the organization to bring in a supporting role for the Cleveland kid, Lebron manned up and left the state he grew up in for championships. The Cavaliers screwed up. There isn’t a day that goes by where they wished they would of gutted their team to bring in stars like D-Wade and Chris Bosh. Lebron is looking for his third ring now. After the 1995 draft concluded, the Minnesota Timberwolves knew they had something special in Kevin Garnett, just not hall-of-fame special. But they were given 12 years to notice that. After seven years of leading the Timberwolves to one-series long playoff stints, KG was finally given a supporting cast to work with in Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell. The squad made it to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2003-2004 season, the same season KG was awarded MVP. Just like in Cleveland with Lebron, basketball was at an all-time high in popularity in Minnesota. Everyone thought they would be back as title-contenders the next season but the team blew up and failed to even reached the playoffs. That offseason the organization dinked around and failed to bring in the next bunch to help out KG. Their 2005-2006 season ended with a 3349 record, convincing KG the twin cities isn’t the place that will give him a ring and was traded to the Celtics in the spring of 2007. That next season, he won his first ring. Some people could argue that the organizations for those two guys were bringing in support, but they obviously weren’t enough. The Timberwolves front office
made a mistake. It happens. They watched seven straight seasons of their team failing to pass the first round of the NBA Playoffs and the best they came up with is bringing in two decent players in their early 30’s. Now there’s a new Kevin (Love) in town and if nothing changes in either the roster or number of wins, the organization could fail to learn from its mistake. Love’s contract extension will have him in a Timberwolves uniform until the end of the 2015-2016 season, but he will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015. So far this season, K-Love has produced four stat lines that look like this: 45 points and 19 rebounds, 43 points and 19 rebounds, 42 points and 14 rebounds and 36 points and 11 rebounds. What do all four of these have in common? They all resulted in a loss. Producing those numbers is a daunting and exhausting task, and to do so without wins will put thoughts of leaving in the back of any player’s head. Just ask KG. In KG’s MVP season, the “Big Ticket” averaged 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 5 assists, while in 46 games, K-Love has put up 25.5 points, 13.1 rebounds, .4 blocks, 4 assists a night, while also shooting 37.5 percent from behind the arc. Minus that KG was, and still is, one of the best post defenders in the league, the only difference is team wins. Garnett led the Twolves to a no.1 seeding in the Western Conference and came away with the MVP hardware, while Love’s Twolves are fighting to be at the .500 mark tonight against the Lakers, and it’s the beginning of February. For those who are skeptical about whether Kevin Love is worth all the trouble in keeping, just look at it this way; before deciding who is taking Kobe’s spot, there are nine teams that possess a player in the starting lineups in this season’s All Star Game, and the Timberwolves are one of them. Love is a very marketable person, even in a small market that the Timberwolves have. There are numerous clubs that would give up a lot to have him be the face of the franchise. All that’s being said is if the Timberwolves are looking to not repeat history and keep the MVP-caliber player that he is, something needs to change to get more wins in their record and keep their second Kevin happy. KG waited 12 seasons before he found a trio that will give him a ring, Love is too competitive to wait that long.
Got some good news and some bad news Good news: The Timberwolves lead the NBA in
first quarter points, averaging 28 a night, and tie the San Antonio Spurs in first quarter margain with an average lead of nearly three points. The Twolves are tied for the second-best scoring team in the NBA, averaging 105.9 points a night.
Bad news: The fourth quarter is another story. Not
only is the squad 24th in fourth-quarter points, they possess a 1-11 record with games decided by four points or less.
Good news: Compared to just 13 minutes shared
Photo Courtesy of Brian Denton In their 120-116 lose to the Clippers, Kevin Love became the fourth player with at least 45 points, 19 rebounds and six assists in one game.
Web Photo As Ricky has played all 47 games so far this season, he’s sixth in the NBA in assists per game (8.2) and first in steals per game (2.6).
Is Rubio the real deal?
on the floor last season, K-Love, Rubio and Pek have all started together for 44 of their first 47 games.
Bad news: As good as the starting five is, the
Timberwolves’ bench has been subpar, ranking in the bottom of the leauge in minutes, points per game and shooting percentage.
Three years ago when the then 19-year-old subbed into his first NBA game, Target Center erupted in applause for this Spanish savior was going to bring the Timberwolves out of the cellar of the NBA and bring them to the playoffs. While still electrifying the floor with smooth, no-look passes, he has yet to find a jump shot in his third year of being in the NBA and is sometimes looked to be the reason why the squad can’t get above .500. JOHN HECKT Staff Writer It is commonly said that the NFL is a “quarterback league”. Sure, the top two or three teams in the NBA have dominant forwards, but overall, I’d say the NBA is a point guard league. Simply put, you need to have a dependable guy at the point in order to be good. Ever try ranking the top 15 NBA point guards? It is extremely difficult because there are so many who can be considered elite. Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, and Steph Curry are undoubtedly in the elite category. But how far off are guys like John Wall, Ty Lawson, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving. They aren’t just solid. They’re in a category that I like to call “damn good.” If you’re a Wolves fan, the whole “point guard league” discussion may be troublesome for you. Ricky Rubio has taken heat all year for his inability to score the basketball. Kevin Love is having an absolutely insane season, and yet the Timberpups
remain stagnant at the .500 mark. With the final year of love’s contract approaching, time is running low. The Wolves need to make a serious playoff run in order to make Love consider staying in Minnesota. Unfortunately, Rubio deserves much of that blame. He is shooting a horrendous 35.8 percent from the field. That puts him on pace to have one of the worst shooting seasons of all time for someone who has played as much as he has. But this poor shooting poses problems that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Since defenders aren’t respecting his shot, they can lay off him and clog passing lanes. This waters down Rubio’s ability to distribute the ball and get his teammates involved. His bad shooting is especially problematic during the pick and roll. If Pekovic sets a screen for Rubio, he’ll have a harder time getting open on the roll because Rubio’s defender doesn’t have to worry about the quick jump shot; he can fall back until Pekovic’s man catches up with the play. When your PG loses the ability to execute the pick and roll, you know you’re in trouble.
It’s pretty easy to criticize a guy whose downsides are intricately connected to the overall struggles of the team. What people have failed to realize, however, is what he is pulling off despite his weaknesses. Not many point guards can pull of 8.2 assists per game while at the same time posing virtually no threat as a shooter off of the pick and roll. Frankly, he gets so many steals that many of these steals are coming off of the fast break. The Wolves drafted Rubio based on his ability to make plays on the open floor. Up to this point in his career, he’s lived up to his fast break expectations. Critics of Rubio also fail to realize that the Wolves are statistically the second-best offense in the league this season, scoring 105.9 points per game. Only Portland scores more per game with 108.3. Considering how broke the starting point guard is from the field, this is impressive. Much of the credit here, of course goes to Kevin Love. Frankly, the All-Star starter is having an insane season, averaging 25.5 points per game alongside 13.1 rebounds per game. At this point in the season,
Love is keeping the team afloat. But imagine, for a moment, that Rubio magically finds his stroke. Are the Wolves still a .500 team? I don’t think so. Rubio’s defenders will no longer have the luxury of leaving him alone, so an already effective Kevin Martin will find himself shooting more and more wide-open jump shots. A decent jumper from Rubio will also space the floor out more, so Kevin Love’s freakishly good season would manage to get even better. Pekovic would have more room to work as well, making it even harder for teams without a strong center to stop the 60 million dollar man out of Serbia and Montenegro. The fact is, Rubio has managed to dish out 8.2 assists with a flat jumper. Imagine how much easier it will be for him to distribute the ball if becomes at least an average shooter. If it happens, I’d say the Wolves become a top 3 team in the West.
But Rubio hasn’t turned it around, and instead of thinking about the Western Conference Finals, the Wolves are aiming at the eighth seed in the playoffs. Can Rubio turn it around? Everyone knows that Jason Kidd did not enter the league as a scorer. But as he entered the prime of his career, his jump shooting improved drastically. Fewer people know that Steve Nash experienced a similar kind of turnaround. There is a reason he was traded by Phoenix early in his career; he couldn’t shoot the ball. Hopefully, Rubio can take a few pointers from old timers like Nash and Kidd on how to pull it together. If he does, the Wolves will finally be considered as contenders for a championship. And yet, due to the situation with Love, the question has remained the same: Can the Wolves afford to wait on Rubio? My question is this: Can they afford not to?
10 • MSU Reporter
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Hockey splits with Northern Michigan, remains in second
Marei, Monaghan becoming elite tandem in NSIC REECE HEMMESCH Editor in Chief
DAVID BASSEY • MSU Reporter Johnny McInnis (22) led all MSU scorers over the weekend with three goals. He now has 15 goals and 25 points on the season.
The MSU men’s hockey team could have used two wins in their weekend series, but took just one to stay behind Ferris State in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. DEREK LAMBERT staff writer After this past weekend at Northern Michigan University, the Minnesota State University, Mankato men’s hockey team has found themselves in a similar position they were in just a couple of weeks ago. After sweeping the no. 2 team in the nation Ferris State Bulldogs a few weekends ago, the Mavericks found themselves just two points behind Ferris in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings, with the Bulldogs having two games in hand. Now, after a weekend playing on the road at NMU, the Mavs are still in second place, two points behind Ferris, who have two games in hand. The Wildcats, who are in eighth place in the WCHA, held their own and then some on Friday night. Senior captain Johnny McInnis got on the board first for
the Mavericks when he buried a power play goal assisted by freshman forward Zach Stepan and junior Matt Leitner to go up 1-0 on the Wildcats with under three minutes left in the first period. But NMU would answer right back as Stephan Vigier tied the game with a power-play goal of his own with just 16 seconds remaining in the first period. Neither team could find the back of the net in the second
period, but both teams traded chances and shots, which remained mostly even throughout the game. The third period was when the home team took over. Chase Grant scored a Maverick goal in the third, assisted by sophomore Teddy Blueger and freshman Sean Flanagan, but it was sandwiched between four Wildcat goals, including a shorthanded empty net goal to seal the win for NMU. The 5-2 win was much needed for the Wildcats as they try and claw their way to the middle of the pack in the WCHA. The Mavs bounced back on Saturday night in a game where special teams were the difference maker. McInnis scored the only goal in the first period while on the power play to give the Mavs a 1-0 lead, assists going to senior Zach Lehrke and Leitner. Leitner would find McInnis again halfway through the second period, when he and Jean-Paul LaFontaine assisted
on McInnis’ second goal of the game and the eventual game winner for a 2-0 lead. Later in the period, LaFontaine would find Leitner for a power-play goal to take the lead to three before the Wildcats were able to stop the bleeding with a goal from Erik Higby, which came on a rarely called penalty shot. The Mavs headed to the locker room with a 3-1 lead after two periods and kept rolling in the third to earn a much needed win. The Mavericks, who had scored only their first shorthanded goal of the year two weekends ago at the North Star College Cup, were able to tally two in the third period while down a man. Leitner recorded his fourth point of the game when he found sophomore Bryce Gervais who netted a shorthanded goal to go up 4-1. Later in the period, Flanagan
HOCKEY • Page 11
The Minnesota State University, Mankato men’s basketball team is an evenly mixed bag of talent that plays a team game more than any other squad in recent memory. The proof is right in the statistics, seeing that five players average over doubledigits for the Mavericks with just six games remaining in the regular season. MSU is currently 19-4 (133 NSIC) in their 2013-2014 campaign and the credit goes to the consistency within the lineup that shows in the stat line. When you have five guys putting up that many points, it has to click somehow. The Mavericks barely edge out MSU-Moorhead for the top scoring offense in the conference, posting 86.3 points-per-game throughout. They may lead in team scoring, but their ability to share the ball shows in the individual statistic, where the highest Maverick ranks just seventh on the list of top scorers in the conference. Though the likes of seniors Gage Wooten and Connor O’Brien along with newcomer Tanner Adler have been impressive down the stretch, two players are slowly beginning to rise to the top of that list with their stellar play that covers almost all ground on the offensive side of the court: juniors Assem Marei and Zach Monaghan, who after this weekend are showing they belong in a higher league than the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. If this past weekend did not paint a clear-enough picture of how these two gel together on offense, just take a look at their stat lines: Monaghan made noise Saturday night against Minot State with 31 points and 14 assists, shooting a little under 50 percent from the field and knocking down 11 free throws while Marei posted 18
MAREI-MONAGHAN • Page 12
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
MSU Reporter • 11
HOCKEY “The Mavericks, who had scored only their first shorthanded goal of the year two weekends ago at the North Star College Cup, were able to tally two in the third period while down a man. Leitner recorded his fourth point of the game when he found sophomore Bryce Gervais who netted a shorthanded goal to go up 4-1.” continued from 10
DAVID BASSEY • MSU Reporter Zach Palmquist added another assist in Saturday night’s win over Northern Michigan, bringing his assist total to 15 on the season.
would find Chase Grant while on the penalty kill, and Grant found the back of the net for a 5-1 lead, which was the final score in this Maverick win. MSU looks pretty comfortable in second place in the WCHA, with a three-point lead and two games in hand over third place Bowling Green. It may be hard for the Mavs to catch Ferris State without the Bulldogs being swept in the final stretch of the season. But things have been clicking lately for the Mavs, which is a good sign heading towards the postseason. The Maverick power play is fourth best in the nation with LaFontaine and McInnis ranking among the top power-play goal scorers in the NCAA at first and fourth, respectively. Both players are also in the top15 among total goals scored, and LaFontaine ranks 15th in the NCAA for total points. So the Mavs top guns have been stepping up and putting pucks in the net, which is huge for them as earlier in the year goal scoring was an issue for this team. More WCHA play to come this weekend as in state rival
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Bemidji State University comes to Mankato this Friday for a weekend series. The Mavs split with the Beavers in Bemidji
earlier this season, and the fifth place BSU is much improved from last season, holding a .500 record in league play. However, if the Mavs plan to catch Ferris State and be crowned kings of the WCHA, this is a must sweep weekend in Mankato. With only eight games remaining on the year, MSU needs to be nearly perfect in the final stretch of the season to catch or surpass Ferris. The puck drops between MSU and the Beavers Friday at 7:37 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato, with Saturday night’s game starting at 7:07 p.m.
12 • MSU Reporter
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
MAREI-MONAGHAN “The Mavericks barely edge out MSU-Moorhead for the top scoring offense in the conference, posting 86.3 points-per-game throughout. They may lead in team scoring, but their ability to share the ball shows in the individual statistic, where the highest Maverick ranks just seventh on the list of top scorers in the conference.” continued from 10
points and seven rebounds. Friday night was Marei’s night, going perfect from the field in his 21-point, six-rebound evening as Monaghan added 17 of his own and eight assists. Marei, a native of Cairo, Egypt owns in the inside of the perimeter with post-moves that seem almost uneventful due to Marei’s ability to parlay them in game situations with ease. ‘Awesome Assem’ is not only a dominant force with the ball, but also without as the big man has been MSU’s main rebounder for the past two seasons. Marei can get to the basket and grab a rebound just about
anytime while averaging eight rebounds a contest, a feat good enough for third in the NSIC behind Maxie Rosenbloom (9.5) of Bemidji State and Casey Schilling (8.6) for Augustana. The other force to be reckoned with in this dynamic duo is Monaghan, who plays the point guard and floor general on offense, helping his team to vast amounts of points with swift moves and tough drives to the basket, setting him up with a challenging, contested layup that normally falls or a quick pass to Marei who’s waiting down low. “He does a really great job of finding every one of us and he knows exactly what we’re doing offensively,” Marei said of Monaghan. “Every team tries to double team on me but when Zach (Monaghan) is on the perimeter, he poses a threat.” Head coach Matt Margenthaler agrees, as he thinks Monaghan is one of the more premier onespots in the Northern Sun. “There’s no question I think he’s the most valuable point guard in the league and he has his hand in every time we score,” Margenthaler said. “He’s either scoring himself or getting a
teammate open. When the two are on the floor together, they almost know where the other one is at and their games are so complimentary to one-another, it is almost an assured basket when a mismatch occurs on either man. If a basketball game were kept to just two on each side, this pair would be a dynamic force with Monaghan driving to the hoop and finding Marei for a quick basket. The Mavericks sit tied with Winona State at the top of the NSIC south and the entire conference record-wise, but will have to play big heading into the final stretch of the regular season with the NSIC tourna-
ment on the horizon. The team’s evenly distributed point system makes them a tough matchup for whoever they go up against, but with Monaghan and Marei tak-
ing over the floor and running the offense through themselves, MSU should have no problem finishing out the season with a few more wins under their belt.
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Sherlock back from the grave
ANDREW SIMON Staff Writer After a two year absence from the TV screens, the critically acclaimed BBC drama series Sherlock has returned! And, already, after three episodes, the wait begins for whenever series four begins. Until then, Sherlock’s third series offers plenty of noteworthy character moments, a properly menacing villain and the lingering question – how exactly did Sherlock survive that series 2 finale fall off a building and fake
his death? For viewers who haven’t seen all three episodes of Sherlock series three, stop reading now. Regrettably, it seems the real answer to how Sherlock survived his fall will have to wait. “The Empty Hearse”, written by co-creator Mark Gatiss, is all about the reunion of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch, Star Trek Into Darkness) and John Watson (Martin Freeman, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug). Two years after his final confrontation with Moriarty, the world believes Sherlock Holmes to be dead. A major terrorist threat forces
Sherlock out of hiding, much to Watson’s disbelief and the worlds rejoice. “The Empty Hearse” starts off strong, establishing the predicament of the hour and showing one of many theories on how Sherlock survived the fall. The show teases viewers without giving the full story of how it was done, but after a rocky, if not hilarious reunion, the episode – and the series – seems to have lost its balance. The friendship of John and Sherlock was always on equal footing with the mystery of the episode, but in the two years since the series has risen to popularity, it seems as if the fans comments and outcries influenced the writing of these episodes. Although characterization is always appreciated, the amount of erroneous John/Sherlock scenes outweighs the central mystery, giving the terrorist plot little attention and, thus, the feeling of it having slim to no emergency or danger, whatsoever. Small complaint aside, “Empty Hearse” is still a spectacular ninety minutes. By now, Cumberbatch and Freeman are so comfortable in their roles that they bring new elements and nuances
to their performances to keep the characters unexpected and fresh. The series always prided itself in its ability to be supernaturally clever in Sherlock’s deduction, the mystery and its twists, and “Empty Hearse” is no different. There is a spectacular midepisode sequence involving John and fire that is so brilliant and obvious, it’s a wonder no one has tried it before. The much-awaited reunion between John and Sherlock is equally as brilliant and fun, as Sherlock crashes John’s proposal to longtime girlfriend Mary (Amanda Abbington) in spectacularly awkward fashion, resulting in lots of bloody noses and strangulation. Middle episodes have a history of being mediocre – at least, when stacked against the high level of expectation this series sets for itself – but, luckily, “The Sign of Three”, written by Steve Thompson, is an enjoyable escapade. It’s John and Mary’s wedding day and Sherlock is tasked as best man. Naturally, with Sherlock giving a toast, a murder is about to occur. Ultimately, the episode suffers from too much lollygagging, as flashback after flashback reveals
several connected-but-unsolved murders and Sherlock’s attempts at staging a bachelor party. Funny as they may be, the episode takes fifty minutes to reach what is, essentially, the ‘point’, and once the stakes are established, the last forty minutes with Sherlock doing what he does best – solving a case – are deeply compelling. The episode does offer Cumberbatch and Freeman a chance to display physical comedy like never before and with hilarious results and a drunk Sherlock Holmes would never go amiss. “His Last Vow” is the best example of why there are millions of fans and viewers of Sherlock -- of why this series stands above so many others and of how genuinely clever and ingenious it is. There is a man who controls all of London, not by terroristic threats or evil organizations, but because he has information on every single political figure in the city. Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen) is the most dangerous man in existence and only Sherlock Holmes dares to
SHERLOCK • Page 15
Hoffman leaves impressive legacy NEW YORK (AP) — He was only 46, busy as ever and secure in his standing as one of the world’s greatest actors. There were no dissenters about the gifts and achievements of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death Sunday in New York brought a stunning halt to his extraordinary and unpredictable career. An Oscar winner and multiple nominee, Hoffman could take on any character with almost unnerving authority, whether the religious leader in command of his every word in “The Master,” a trembling mess in “Boogie Nights,” or the witty, theatrical Truman Capote in “Capote.” Fearless in his choices, encyclopedic in his preparation, he was a Shakespearean performer in modern dress, bringing depth and variety to charlatans, slackers, curmudgeons and loners. “Hearing that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away came as much as a shock to me as to anyone else I’d imagine,” says Anton Corbijn, director of “A Most Wanted Man,” one of two films (the other being “In God’s Pocket”) starring Hoffman that premiered last month at the Sun-
dance Film Festival. He was not only the most gifted actor I ever worked with,” Corbijn added, “...he had also become an incredibly inspiring and supportive friend.” Friends, peers, family members and his countless fans were in grief after Hoffman was found in his Greenwich Village apartment with what law enforcement officials said was a syringe in his arm. The two officials told The Associated Press that glassine envelopes containing what was believed to be heroin were also found with Hoffman. Those items are being tested. The law enforcement officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about evidence found at the scene, said the cause of death was believed to be a drug overdose. Police will only say the investigation is continuing. An autopsy is planned for Monday, according to medical examiner spokeswoman Julie Bolcer. Besides his Oscar win for “Capote,” the stage-trained Hoffman received four Academy
Awards nominations and several nominations for theater awards, including three Tonys. He was equally acclaimed and productive, often appearing in at least two to three films a year, while managing an active life in the theater. He had been thriving for more than 20 years and no one doubted that a long, compelling run awaited him. Like Laurence Olivier or Meryl Streep, his appeal was not bound by age or appearance or personality. He was not an actor whom audiences turned to for youth and romance. Heavy set with a lumpy build and limp, receding blond hair, he was a character actor with the power to play the lead, in movies that screened in both art houses and multiplexes. “No words for this. He was too great and we’re too shattered,” said Mike Nichols, who directed Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” and on stage in “Death of a Salesman.” Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, he admitted in interviews last year to falling off the wagon and developing a heroin
Photo Courtesy of Associated Press
problem that led to a stint in rehab. The law enforcement officials said Hoffman’s body was discovered in a bathroom at his Greenwich Village apartment by a friend who made the 911 call and his assistant. Late Sunday, crime-scene technicians carrying brown paper bags went in and out of Hoffman’s building as officers held back a growing crowd of onlookers. Hoffman’s family called the news “tragic and sudden.” “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from
everyone,” the family said in a statement. With a range and discipline more common among British performers than Americans, Hoffman was convincing whether comic or dramatic, loathsome or sympathetic, powerless or diabolical. In one of his earliest movie roles, he played a spoiled prep school student in “Scent of a Woman” in 1992. A breakthrough came for him as a gay member of a porno film crew in “Boogie Nights,” one of several movies directed by Paul Thomas Anderson that Hoffman would
HOFFMAN • Page 14
14 • MSU Reporter
HIMYM celebrates 200 episodes, upcoming finale MIRANDA BRAUNWARTH Staff Writer The 200th episode of How I Met Your Mother that aired on Monday was another reminder that the series is almost at its completion. In its ninth season, the series’ 200th episode, entitled “How Your Mother Met Me”, followed the character fans have been waiting nine seasons to get to know -- The Mother. The episode, with a new opening, showed what the Mother, played by Cristin Milioti, had been up to all this time. Parts of the episode brought fond memories fans had collected about the mother, such as her taking one of Ted’s architecture classes and her famous yellow umbrella. As well, a mention of the bar, Puzzles, was discussed and Mitch, the naked man, made an appearance and gave the mother advice for her future. What was most striking about the mother in this episode was that, for once, the Mother was given a real voice in the story and a real persona that fans could relate with. The episode started with the mother in 2005 and progressed all the way up to the current
night before Robin and Barney’s wedding. The episode has heart-warming moments of similarities between Ted and the mother, such as both being lovers of renaissance, calligraphy and very corny jokes. In these fond moments the Mother shows us a love she lost that she feels she can never replace. This element brought so many more layers to the story that fans could never have expected. It also encourages the love between Ted and the Mother so that this new loved character can have another chance. Another chance for the mother is exactly what is set up when, at the end of the episode, she becomes a single woman sitting on her hotel balcony singing a beautiful tune with her ukulele -- one that Ted just happens to hear. One of the tearjerking moments of the episode. Knowing who the mother is has become bittersweet knowing the show is at its end. The show will air its last episode on March 31. The idea of a spinoff show has been laid on the table. How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on CBS.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
HOFFMAN “Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, he admitted in interviews last year to falling off the wagon and developing a heroin problem that led to a stint in rehab.” continued from 13 eventually appear in. He played comic, off-kilter characters in “Along Came Polly” and “The Big Lebowski.” He bantered unforgettably with Laura Linney as squabbling siblings in “The Savages.” He was grumpy and idealistic as rock critic Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous.” He was grumpy and cynical as baseball manager Art Howe in “Moneyball.” In “The Master,” he was nominated for a 2013 Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role as the charismatic, controlling leader of a religious movement. The film, partly inspired by the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, reunited the actor with Anderson. He also received a 2009 supporting nomination for “Doubt,” as a priest who comes under suspicion because of his relationship with a boy, and a best supporting actor nomination for “Charlie Wilson’s War,” as a CIA officer. Many younger moviegoers know him as the scheming Plutarch Heavensbee in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and he was reprising that role in the two-part sequel, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” for which his work was mostly completed. The films are scheduled for November 2014 and November 2015 releases. Just weeks ago, Showtime announced Hoffman would star
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in “Happyish,” a new comedy series about a middle-aged man’s pursuit of happiness. Born in 1967 in Fairport, N.Y., Hoffman was an athletic boy, but a neck injury sustained while wrestling ended any hopes for a career in sports. He soon became interested in acting, mesmerized at 12 by a local production of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons.” He studied theater as a teenager with the New York State Summer School of the Arts and the Circle in the Square Theatre. He then majored in drama at New York University. In his Oscar acceptance speech for “Capote,” he thanked his mother for raising him and his three siblings alone, and for taking him to his first play. Hoffman’s parents divorced when he was 9.
On Broadway, he took on some of the stage’s most ambitious parts — Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman,” Jamie in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and both leads in “True West.” All three performances were Tony nominated. Last year, Hoffman crossed to the other side of the footlights to direct Bob Glaudini’s “A Family for All Occasions” for the Labyrinth Theatre Company, where he formerly served as co-artistic director. Hoffman has also directed “Jesus Hopped the A Train” and “Our Lady of 121st Street” for the company and received Drama Desk Award nominations for both productions. Hoffman is survived by his partner of 15 years, Mimi O’Donnell, and their three children.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
MSU Reporter • 15
SHERLOCK ““His Last Vow” is the best example of why there are millions of fans and viewers of Sherlock...”
Latest CGI creature feature can’t even find life as a “bad good” movie. ANDREW SIMON Staff Writer Anybody entering into I, Frankenstein knows exactly what level of bad they’re about to walk into. To have any illusion to the contrary is absurd. This is produced and written by involved parties of the Underworld franchise, after all. But even with that knowledge, with understanding that I, Frankenstein aims to be nothing more than a big budget throwback to 1970s grindhouse insanity, a thought repeated emerged as Frankenstein’s monster descended CGI monsters to Hell: this is what Hollywood decides to throw their millions into? Plenty of movies don’t get produced, or are constrained by budget which is already miniscule by comparison, yet I, Frankenstein – a movie Universal must have known would be a failure at the beginning – jumps and kicks around with a breathable budget, a movie that personifies all that’s wrong with contemporary horror/sci-fi and most wide-released American movies in general. The gist is this: Frankenstein’s Monster (Aaron Eckhart) is pretty much invincible and immortal, and his displacement in nature – not even human and absent a soul – causes the Order of Gargoyles, led by Leonore, to intervene. She dubs him Adam but he doesn’t take kindly to the human race and heads on the run for centuries. Meanwhile, Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy), leader of the demons, wants the study the Monster to learn to revive deceased bodies so the spirits of
his demon brethren can inhabit them and, as per the typical evil scheme, take over the world. The key to accepting I, Frankenstein is embracing the absurdity, but unlike Underworld, which boasted a sufferable sto-
ated a monster, and accepts all of this within seconds. Three lines of disbelief was all it took to be a believer and this is all before she meets Adam. - In the Gargoyles vs. Demons wars, even the slightest splinter seemed to kill/descend the demons but the Gargoyles predominantly seemed indestructible. So much for playing fair. - With the sole exception of one scene twenty minutes in, there is not a single bystander on the streets of wherever city this takes place in. Not a one. Not even when Adam is tussling with gargoyles and demons and top-
pling buildings or white beams of light ascend to the skies. This may be a centuries-long battle but by no means do they make effort to keep it secret. Now, to the credit of writer Kevin Grevioux, Frankenstein’s Monster is ninety-nine percent of the time never called Frankenstein, as the promotional items and trailer seems to suggest. Instead, after being told who and what he is by countless people over the centuries and being christened a name by the Gargoyle queen, the monster takes ownership of the Frankenstein name and finally forges his own path. It’s the only moment that hints at a movie that could exist in a parallel universe where Frankenstein’s Monster could have been explored in a more complex and interesting capacity. Did this story really need an immortal creation fighting against heaven and hell? Did there really have to be $85 million worth of disastrously bad CGI and bleak, dark blue skylines? Did they really have to choose this screenplay out all the other potentials? I, Frankenstein isn’t just bad, it’s embarrassing. There’s the good kind of bad and then there’s just the bad-bad. This definitely qualifies for the latter. Inoffensive, aiming to be a fun romp but instead trudging along at a dull pace and boasting a mind-blowingly bad script (the film could actually benefit from tossing away the script and going with improv), one could easily imagine Universal executives at the table, declaring: I, want my money back.
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ryline and familiar genre, this film is, like its titular monster, an amalgam of parts thrown together in one pot and expected to work properly. Instead, this thing is one gigantic mess. To his credit, Aaron Eckhart takes the role of Adam incredibly seriously. Deep voice, apathetic walk and impressive fighting skills, Eckhart nearly sells the role of the monster, and the scenes when it’s him alone or bonding with gorgeous Australian-being-British lady Terra (Yvonne Strahovski) are actually affecting. Once he’s back fighting digital monsters in a perpet-
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ually dark city, the stupidity of it all comes back. Here are some I, Frankenstein highlights: - Terra, supposedly a respected scientist, is told that Frankenstein existed, kept a journal of his experiments and, in fact, cre-
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continued from 13 bring him down. “His Last Vow”, written by co-creator Steven Moffat, is thrilling, brilliant, complex, nuanced and jaw-dropping. More than any episode, this one epitomizes the brilliance of Sherlock Holmes and his “mind palace,” the place where he stores facts and memories in his brain, as he undergoes a life-threatening situation and mentally slows down everything to assess the best way to respond. All facets of Holmes are explored – the devious manipulator who uses others for his own gain, the high-functioning sociopath, the genius who analyzes and deduces everything and the muchless-seen compassionate friend. Complimented with Moffat’s talent for witty lines and a multi-layered plot of betrayals and resurrections, “His Last Vow” is right up there with the spectacular series 2 finale, “The Reichenbach Fall”, closing out series 3 with style. With how scarce this series comes by, each time it airs becomes a sort of quasi-event. Essentially a movie each week, Sherlock shows no sign of age. Series 3 may have problems with balancing mystery and character – a very small problem to have – but it’s still four hours of the most compelling and ingenious television that brings Hollywood Holmes productions to shame. Hopefully, it won’t take another two years for Sherlock’s series 3 cliffhanger to be resolved.
16 â€˘ MSU Reporter
Tuesday, February 4, 2014