Jackson earns Super Bowl ring in rookie season
Granada Hotel & Bistro offers class and charm
SPORTS, pg. 8
ARTS, pg. 5
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Volume LXXVII, Number 69
Cultural sorority under investigation for hazing MUSTANG DAILY STAFF REPORT
Cal Poly’s Chi Delta Theta beta chapter is under investigation for hazing allegations, according to the Student Life & Leadership website. As of now, the cultural sorority has been suspended from all activities until the investigation is over, according to Dean of Students Jean DeCosta. Cal Poly was first alerted when an anonymous tip came forward that hazing was going on during the sorority’s new member education program, DeCosta said. The Student Life and Leadership department at Cal Poly has a zero tolerance policy against hazing. According to the policy,
hazing is considered “any activity that causes physical or emotional harm, degradation or humiliation during initiation into a student organization.” “We do an orientation and education program (for) all greek life, to all greek fraternities or sororities about hazing and how not to engage in hazing,” DeCosta said. “It’s really important that we continue a thorough and complete education program that really drives home what exactly is hazing.” DeCosta said anytime the school receives any form of an anonymous tip, it must immediately investigate. “We launch immediately into investigation to be sure that there is any evidence supporting such an allega-
No CSU semester conversion plan LAURA PEZZINI
on the quarter system yet. “It wasn’t discussed in that meeting, and there hasn’t been a timeline laid out yet because it is an ongoing discussion between the presidents and the chancellor,” Public Affairs Assistant Liz Chapin said. According to CSU Media Relations Specialist Erik Fallis, in the context of the CSU, the issue of semester conversion is still in the discussion stage. “No recommendation has come forward as to whether or when there will be a change,” Fallis said. “There are no sort of imminent decisions to convert any of the campuses. They’re looking at all the steps and what resources would be needed to make it happen.” Fallis said the issue has been discussed within the CSU for years and has not yet reached a boiling point where any specific action is imminent. “It’s something that’s been discussed for decades, and
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Kassi Luja contributed to this staff report.
Chi Delta Theta — a Cal Poly cultural sorority — has been placed on suspension following allegations of hazing at the sorority’s new member education program.
The secret life of
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong met with California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White last Wednesday, but no substantial ground was covered on the issue of semester conversion as had previously been expected. “They met last week, and what President Armstrong told his executive staff was that he had a very good meeting with the chancellor,” Director of Communications Chip Visci said. “They talked about a variety of issues, but it was not an in-depth conversation about semesters.” This meeting occurred after the Semester Review Task Force’s and the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) student advisory vote results showed a strong preference for staying on quarters at Cal Poly. Further conversation on the controversial topic has been delayed until Armstrong and White can meet later this month, according to Visci. “They agreed that they need to have a more in-depth conversation and they plan to do that this month,” Visci said. Visci said Armstrong’s meeting with White covered various other topics, including issues of budget and graduation rates. CSU Public Affairs confirmed that although discussions are ongoing regarding semester conversion, there is no specific plan of action to convert any or all universities
tion,” DeCosta said. “What we’re looking (into) is their whole membership education program.” The investigation is currently being headed by Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator Diego Silva and Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities Adrienne Miller, though they said they cannot currently speak on the matter, because the investigation is still ongoing. Chi Delta Theta was established on Oct. 13, 1989, and has an aim to promote “sisterhood, academics, community service, cultural awareness and social activity in the lives of its members,” according to its website.
WRIGHT NHA HA/MUSTANG DAILY
Aerospace engineering professor Bruce Wright is more than just your average professor KASSI LUJA
She and her husband were being followed. That’s exactly what Chris Wright, wife of Cal Poly aerospace engineering lecturer Bruce Wright, thought when she and her husband traveled to Europe for the first time in 1986. “We were on the (London) subway — the tube — and I noticed this man standing in the corner,” Chris said. “He kept looking at us. I teased Bruce and said, ‘We’re being watched.’” Just days after the encounter, the pair was some 281 miles away exploring Paris
when Chris turned the corner and saw the same man standing there. “It was the same (guy),” she said. “He had the same trench coat on.” While Bruce Wright didn’t know it at the time, he now believes the man in the trench coat “was somebody from the U.S. security organizations” who was checking to see if Wright really went where he said he was going, according to the itinerary he is required to turn in whenever he travels. That’s the type of job Wright had before becoming a small town college professor.
A coal miner’s son Wright was born and raised in Blacksburg, Va. — a coal mining town at the time. While his father was a coal miner, Wright had no intention of following in his footsteps, he said. “I stayed as far away from (coal mining) as I possibly could,” he said. When he arrived at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virgina Tech) in 1958 for his first day of college, see WRIGHT, pg. 2
see CSU, pg. 2
ARTS, pg. 4 Health columnist talks eating disorders.
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MDnews 2 WRIGHT continued from page 1
the school assumed he wanted to study agriculture since he lived on a farm. Instead, Wright said he wanted to be an engineer. After being given a list of the various kinds of engineers, aerospace was No. 1 on this list. Wright told the school he wanted to “be one of those.” He had never so much as been up close to an airplane, touched one or even ridden in one. Top secret Wright graduated from Virginia Tech in 1962, and soon began work at Lockheed Martin (then Lockheed Corporation) in 1965. Up until he left the company in 1999, much of his work had to be kept secret from his wife, Chris said. “He was in a top-secret role at Lockheed,” Chris said. “Any time we traveled personally, he would have to provide the company (with) our itinerary and they would tell him where we could or could not go.” Other than filing itineraries, Wright was also required to be away from his wife for long periods of time. “I used to call him ‘008’ (rather than 007) because I used to have to call (an) 800-number when he was traveling,” Chris said. “He could never tell me where he was going — which took a lot of trust (on my part).” These 800-numbers were only to be used in case of emergency and if and when Chris would call, the person on the other line would relay the message to Wright. Later, Wright would have a lasting impact on the United States’ war on terrorism. He led a team of aerospace engineers to design an unmanned
aerial vehicle, which on the night of May 2, 2011 was hovering above Abbottabad, Pakistan as a team of Navy SEALS covertly entered a private residential compound thought to house Osama bin Laden. As the team completed its mission to kill Bin Laden, Wright’s aerial vehicle televised the entire ordeal back to the White House in real time. This was one of five “black rocks” — or secret programs — Wright designed. Wright now has four designs that have yet to be revealed to the public. “They’re honest-to-God black rocks that would fit in my hand,” he said. “Two of them are painted black, and two of them are kind of gray to indicate the level of secrecy the programs were, or are.” Along with working on unmanned aerial vehicles, Wright has also worked on 31 other airplanes including Dark Star — an unmanned aircraft for which he has a patent. “There aren’t many people in the world who get to work on 32 airplanes like I did,” Wright said. “Most people work on one or two airplanes their whole life, which I consider to be pretty boring.” Wright said his favorite moment of his career thus far was getting Lockheed back in the fighter business. “Now, Lockheed totally dominates the fighter world,” he said. “We will soon be the only builders of fighter aircraft in the U.S.” The man behind the planes The tall, white-haired aerospace engineer worked at Lockheed Martin for 35 years before retiring in 1999. He didn’t start teaching at Cal Poly until September 2008, but even now he continues to have contact with the organization he devoted almost four decades of his life to.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Wright travels to Lockheed Martin once a year with his classes, but when there, he is not allowed to ask about certain programs or whether or not certain airplanes are flying or in production. When a worker leaves Lockheed Martin with security clearances, they are debriefed and told to forget everything they’ve ever known about those airplanes, he said. “They can’t answer because I no longer have a need to know,” Wright said. “That’s the key to the really top-secret programs. If you don’t have a need to know to do your job, then you can’t find out. So I can’t even ask them. I have to wait to find out the same time the general public finds out.” Though he is no longer working at Lockheed Martin, Wright co-teaches an airplane design class with associate professor Rob McDonald. “I really like teaching with him,” McDonald said of Wright. “I think our strengths and weaknesses are very complimentary.” While McDonald teaches a lot of the core, technical aspects, Wright said he teaches students how it all fits together to design an airplane. “That’s what I bring to the table with 50 years of experience,” Wright said. When Wright isn’t in a classroom, he spends his summers researching his family genealogy, and has even discovered a connection to the famous pioneers of flight, the Wright brothers. Along with genealogy, Wright also enjoys reading spy novels, gardening, traveling and looking after his two Yorkiepoos (half Yorkshire Terrier, half toy poodle), Jack and Jill. Though Wright’s life is more run-of-the-mill these days, his love of aerospace is still evident. “If you work for the right company, it is extremely fun and fulfilling,” he said.
CAUGHT ON CAMPUS
Inspiring women talk on campus More than a dozen female speakers congregated on campus yesterday to speak about their lives in high-pressure and unusual career fields. Speakers included local entrepreneurs who hoped to “empower young women” in traditionally male-dominated professions. The speeches were followed by a panel discussion.
CSU continued from page 1
especially over the past few years the presidents have talked about it,” Fallis said. “Conversations have been going on for quite a while and they will continue to go on. There’s no particular timeline and no particular dates.” Though the consensus from Cal Poly via the task force and the student advisory vote has been strongly in favor of quarters, Armstrong has not yet voiced his decision. In contrast, White
has said he is in support of all CSU schools being on the semester system, though he has not given a formal recommendation. “His opinion of it is that he believes there are several advantages to having all of the campuses on one system,” Fallis said of White’s mindset. “That’s clearly his opinion and what he believes from a policy perspective, but that doesn’t answer all the questions we have.” The CSU also has five other campuses that would need to think about converting. “We’re not at the point where we’re talking details of any conversion plans,” Fal-
—Photo by Nha Ha
lis said when asked whether the CSU was planning to take an all-or-nothing approach to converting the campuses that are currently using the quarter system. “All of the campuses are discussing it and all the presidents are on a task force.” According to Fallis, these preliminary discussions mainly take stock of why semester conversion would be beneficial or detrimental to the campuses as a whole. “What we’re doing right now is just talking about what would be entailed, what would be required, how would it work and if we even need to do it,” Fallis said.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
California shooter kills four MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE
SALVADOR HERNANDEZ ALEJANDRA MOLINA DOUG IRVING The Orange County Register
Four people are dead and at least two others wounded in a shooting rampage that led authorities across Orange County early Tuesday, authorities said. One woman was shot and killed in the Ladera Ranch neighborhood north of San Juan Capistrano, and authorities said the gunman then carjacked three vehicles in and around Tustin. “I killed someone, today is my last,” Tustin Police Chief Scott Jordan said the man told one of his victims. Two people were killed in the carjackings, one shot in what police described as an “execution” at the side of the road. Two others were wounded before the man suspected in the shootings stopped in Orange, walked out of the car and shot himself with a shotgun. The gunman was identified by authorities as Ali Syed, a 21-year-old Ladera Ranch man who was a student and lived with his parents. His connection to the woman killed in Ladera Ranch, identified only as a woman in her 20s, was unknown, authorities said. Two of the men killed during the carjackings were also identified by authorities. What prompted the earlymorning shootings was not immediately clear, authorities said, but the deadly chain
of events was believed to have started before 4:45 a.m., when a woman was shot multiple times in a Ladera Ranch home on Red Leaf Lane, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. “There’s no indication of a motive,” Jordan said. Syed is believed to have obtained the shotgun from his home, Amormino said. Both of his parents were home at the time of the shooting, but Syed is believed to have left the house before they could intervene, Jordan said. Syed is believed to have then headed north in an SUV owned by his parents. A neighbor said he heard what sounded like gunshots before 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, followed by a lot of noise at about 4 a.m. “I was in the garage and the door was cracked,” Jason Glass said. “When I opened my garage door this morning, my whole house was covered in tape. What a way to wake up.” The relationship between the woman killed in Ladera Ranch and the gunman was not clear, Amormino said. At least one other adult and some children were in the home on Red Leaf when the shooting occurred, officials said. Property records show the home is owned by Irfan and Sarwat Syed, who bought it in 2008. A woman with the same name, Sarwat Syed, was arrest-
ed in August 2011 on suspicion of hitting a 4-year-old girl with a Yukon Denali and fleeing the scene. She was scheduled to appear in court Feb. 25. Amormino said she was not a victim in the shootings. On Tuesday morning, deputies responded to the Ladera Ranch home, and law enforcement officials throughout Orange County began searching for the shooter. Tustin police then received reports of a carjacking at Red Hill Avenue and Nisson Road at 5:10 a.m., where a bystander was shot, said Lt. Paul Garaven of the Tustin Police Department. That person was wounded. Police found a black 2011 GMC SUV at the scene of that carjacking, which was registered to Irfan and Sarwat Syed. Police believe the carjacker took a Dodge pickup. A second carjacking was then reported along Village Way and the 55 Freeway at 5:15 a.m., where the same man is believed to have shot and killed a driver before taking a BMW. Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said the carjacker confronted the driver of the BMW at a stop sign and walked him out of the car. That driver was identified by authorities as Melvin L. Edwards, a Laguna Hills resident and a Santa Ana business owner. Syed walked the driver to the curb and “basically executed him,” Bertagna said.
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Police continued to search for the gunman until they received reports of a man with a gun near Edinger and Newport avenues. Two people were shot there before a man took a utility truck, Garaven said. One of the victims was taken to a hospital. The other victim died. That deceased victim was identified as Jeremy A. Lewis, a construction worker from the area. Officers were dispatched to multiple shooting scenes, but authorities found the suspect driving on the 55 Freeway, Garaven said. Law enforcement officials said they also received reports of indiscriminate shootings, including commuters who reported that they were hit or their cars were hit by gunfire along the 55 Freeway. “The suspect shot and killed himself,” Garaven said, before officers were able to contact him. A shotgun was retrieved in that area.
When I opened my garage door this morning, my whole house was covered in tape. What a way to wake up. JASON GLASS TUSTIN RESIDENT
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Eating disorders and Cal Poly Sam Gilbert is a journalism sophomore and Mustang Daily health columnist. We all have our days when we don’t feel that great about ourselves. Believe it or not, there has been a time when every single person hasn’t felt completely secure with how he or she looks. It can be surprising, and almost annoying, when you overhear the beautiful girl next to you at the gym complaining about how she wants to lose three pounds. However, at what point do normal insecurities turn into obsessions? According to those recovering from eating disorders and on-campus counseling services, it’s a gradual process and more common than you think. Katy Lackey, psychology senior and member of the mental health team for P.U.L.S.E., said eating disorders are very common. “They’re really common, but it’s hard to have an exact statistic about them because eating disorders come with a lot of shame,” Lackey said. A lot of people don’t seek help for eating disorders and they suffer alone silently, so the exact number of people affected is not known, Lackey said. Wine and viticulture junior Morgan Tageson, who has experienced an eating disorder, said she thinks Cal Poly has one of the highest rates. “I feel like Cal Poly is a walking eating disorder,” Tageson said. She said she feels eating disorders are a lot more prominent here than at other schools. Being in a college environment where everyone focuses on losing weight and looking perfect is a major contributing factor to eating disorders, Tageson said. Tageson’s eating disorder started at the end of her freshman year — a time when phrases such as “Freshman 15” get thrown about. The summer after, she said she concentrated on losing weight, but in a healthy way — and then it started escalating. Tageson said she gained 10 pounds, but it wasn’t that noticeable, especially since she’s taller. But because it was her own body, Tageson could tell, she said. Especially in college, stress, life changes and the transitional period in life allow people — mostly women — to change their eating habits, Lackey said. Someone who has an eating disorder is
having issues coping, and it’s a coping mechanism and not about the actual food itself, Lackey said. Sometimes, rumors circulate college about on-campus restaurants adding extra butter to healthy things such as salad in order to curb eating disorders. However, Lackey, who worked at 19 Metro Station, said she never saw anything like this happen. MORGAN TAGESON You can’t force somebody who has anorexia to eat, Lackey WINE AND VITICULTURE JUNIOR said. They’re going to be affected by their disorder no matter what, and by buttering up the lettuce, that’s not going to change that. Lackey said it’s important to focus on personal health rather than the standard of being thin in order to be healthy. The “Poly Dolly” stereotype of being fit, thin and active all the time puts a lot of pressure on women to be thin, and they equate being thin with being healthy. One issue, Lackey said, is the scales in the Recreation Center locker rooms. Within the past three or four weeks she’s gone to the gym, she has seen girls break down and cry because they’ve gained a pound, she said. During freshman year, Tageson had a scale in the dorm and would weigh herself approximately three times a day. The best thing was getting rid of the scale, she said. Scales have control over someone with an eating disorder because they validate how you feel about yourself, Lackey said. People pick up on behaviors they can have continuously, and that becomes an obsession, Lackey said. It helps to stay around other people and not be alone, Tageson said. Tageson and Lackey both suffered from eating disorders. They said the best thing to do is talk to friends and professionals in order to seek help. Tageson sought help on campus but eventually decided to see someone off campus at Central Coast Outpatient, she said. At such places, a professional is there for you, and you’re completely working on yourself with somebody who has objective insight, Lackey said. It’s a roller coaster — there are times when it’s good and there are times when it’s bad, Tageson said. As for the recovery process, Tageson said she’s still GRAPHIC BY ALI WEISS working on it.
I feel like Cal Poly is a walking eating disorder.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Granada Hotel & Bistro: From past to present
PHOTOS BY KASSI LUJA/MUSTANG DAILY
Rustic, exposed brick walls, vintage, Gatsby-esque furniture and the sounds of Spanish music. That is Granda Hotel & Bistro. “There’s definitely a boutique, sexy feel to it,” general manager Dennis Severse said of the hotel and bistro that was renovated approximately two years ago. “(It’s) very sort of European, with a little bit of East Coast and San Francisco thrown in there.” While this is true of how it currently operates, Granada itself has a history dating back to the 1920s. In the beginning, it was thought to have been a hotel that rented rooms by the hour. Rumor has it the building was a contributor to San Luis Obispo’s brothel business, according to Granada’s website. “Basically it had women and sort of burlesque-type things going on,” Severse said. The building eventually went through the hands of different owners, seeing it change from hotel to restaurant. That restaurant became Granada Bistro. “It was just a really legit sort of Spanish bistro,” Severse said. “They had paninis and little tapas and things like that.” Current owner Kimberly Walker entertained the idea of purchasing the building with her three partners when the bistro’s owner at the time faced financial difficulties. “We all liked the idea of turning the bistro back to its former glory,” Walker said. Walker and her partners did just that when they purchased the building in April 2011. They came up with the idea of remodeling it after its ’20s roots and making it a cool, sexy hotel, Severse said. This renovation cost approximately $5 million, according to Severse. The current Granada Hotel & Bistro has 17 rooms, a bar,
a rooftop lounge featuring seating and an outdoor fireplace, a soon-to-be open spa and rustic accents throughout from wood-flooring to suede furniture. “(It’s) industrial chic,” Walker said. “That’s kind of what people call that type of design where we’re talking old pieces and giving them new life. We’re taking an antique chair and reupholstering it with new, vibrant fabric.” And with this new life and renovation comes new customers. While Granada hasn’t hosted many weddings or special events because it’s still rather new, Severse said many such events are coming up. “It’s the only boutique hotel that we have in town right now,” Severse said. Granada strives to be different with its bar that serves cocktails and wine. Behind the counter is bartender Brittany Barnes who has worked at Granda for approximately a month and a half. “(Granada is) very intimate and kind of classy,” Barnes said. “(It’s) kind of more like a city vibe, too. Not that it’s super busy or anything, but just different than anything else we have in SLO. I just enjoy seeing all of the art in here and all the interior design.” Some of this interior design includes the inside of a piano displayed on a wall up the staircase as well as a glass tree in the front of the property, crafted from the original tin ceilings in the building — all by the hands of two artists. “We really believe in taking old pieces and then creating something new and interesting and giving it new life,” Walker said. Artwork not only graces the walls and the front of the property, but it also comes served on a plate. On the food side of things is executive chef Spencer Johnston. “(Johnston) likes to dabble a bit in the science of food,” Severse said. “He does interesting little things like (for)
our ice cream and our sorbets he uses liquid nitrogen to make them in house so you get this really intense flavor of the ice cream and the sorbets.” Severse said Johnston will even go out to farms and pick his own vegetables in order to give customers true farm-to-fork dining. While Granada has a variety of items on its menu, Severse said the hot ticket as of now is its burger. “We have tons of great stuff, but the burger people just go crazy over,” he said. “It’s free-range beef that we grind in house, served over a hush-harbor bun with a bacon jelly that (Johnston) does, (and) french fries.” This burger comes with a ticket price of $16. “I would say right now our hotel is extremely affordable, comparatively,” Severse said. “We’ve kept our prices very low to introduce ourselves to the public. In our restaurant I would say that we’re just above the medium price range, sort of right in that same area as a Novo or a Luna Red.” Since the renovation, Walker said business has been great. “It’s been a really exciting experience,” she said. “Especially to go from such a tiny little bistro.” Granada Hotel & Bistro is located on Morro Street in downtown San Luis Obispo and is open every day of the week with dinner served Sunday through Thursday until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. Granada also serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Building on unstable ground Zachary Antoyan is a political science junior and Mustang Daily liberal columnist. Since we know that the rules to the game that is the economy change constantly, that some people don’t even play by these rules (hint: China) and that the market is as unpredictable as the pesto at VG’s, how the hell is the government supposed to earn a buck around here? We know that in addition to generating “dollah dollah bills” to spend on public works, social security and drone strikes (ZING), the federal government can also maintain some semblance of economic fairness (notice I didn’t say equality) among its constituents. In the event you have one group attempting to cheat the rules or take advantage of others, we place regulations to prevent unfair situations such as monopolies. Yeah, it turns out the cane, top-hat and monocle are just there to prevent you from seeing the devil horns. The role our government plays in the economy is the balancing act between trying to earn more money and making it simple for its citizens to do the same. Allow me a moment to lay down some history (this is very rudimentary, so take it with a grain of salt). Once upon a time (and also these days) there were two significant economic policy theories. One followed the groundwork laid out by men such as Adam Smith and Jean-Baptiste Say, who believed one must spend currency
to acquire currency. This theory’s hero was John Maynard Keynes, who wielded the power of the “animal spirit” and proclaimed that with these spirits we can control our monies, and there was much rejoicing. The other theory was based in a system that was, and is, considered to be the best — a free market. But instead of spending some to get some, Friedrich Hayek tells us we should save money, avoid taking any risk in investments and deregulate our government’s role in the economy. It wasn’t a terribly new idea, but there was much rejoicing anyway — although spending was limited so you had to bring your own cups. Both quested to save the realm with their theory, and … both failed. I know that on its face, this looks to be a classic case of having a regulated versus a deregulated economy, but I assure you it is much more complicated than that. We are not arguing over what system works best because, frankly, neither works best. I can say that framing economic policy after either one of these theories won’t work because in the long run, neither has proven itself to do what they set out to do. Much like my New Year’s resolutions, these theories may work for short periods, but ultimately crumble, the result of an ever changing market and tears. Both systems encourage action that, for the action to be successful, depends on the market to act a certain way. Both theories depend on specific market action, thus it is safe to say neither is going to be correct 100 percent of the time and that the government cannot employ any one specific action (or lack thereof in the case of the
laissez-faire conservative). Regardless of whether we are willing to accept it, the social/economic stratification in the United States has recently reached abysmal points and so far we have only started to crawl out of the primordial muck that was the recession. We have seen that allowing the invisible hand of the market to control economic policy has simply made those at the top more powerful and more wealthy. This invisible hand, the supposed stabilizing factor in a free market, oftentimes can be taken advantage of, and manipulated by, those who wish to bend the rules to their favor. The role of the government is not to facilitate this. Economic policy can help in raising the floor instead of the ceiling, effectively giving the metaphorical invisible hand a swift metaphorical kick in the ass. This is not to say a massive stimulus package is the perfect
answer, but providing for the effects of the hand, entropic humans and a volatile market is better than allowing the market and agents inside of it to run willy-nilly. A more active government has now become a necessity, and whether we like it or not, we need it to provide economic protection from external influences as well as homegrown cases of stupidity. An example of this: patent trolls, hanging under bridges, buying patents and suing everyone. Stop that, you trolls. What really needs to happen, instead of letting the hand do its thing, is we need to use that hand, wear it like a glove and challenge the patent trolls to a duel! Damn trolls. This is Zachary Antoyan, being told how many seconds he could survive being chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor. Four. Four seconds. Have a fantastic week.
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MUSTANG DAILY FILE PHOTO
Asa Jackson returned two interceptions for touchdowns, including a 100-yard pick six, in his senior season playing cornerback for Cal Poly in 2011.
JACKSON continued from page 8
On Dec. 11, 2012, the NFL suspended Jackson for four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The offending drug: a generic form of adderall. “It really hurt and really threw off my whole season,” he said. “I was making improvements and I was getting a lot more playing time. It was a huge blow to me.” According to Jackson, he kept his Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) a secret while preparing for the draft. He didn’t want any team to have a reason not to pick him. But not getting a prescription, along with the required paperwork from the NFL, had unwittingly left him vulnerable to a suspension. The penalty cost him more than $91,000 in lost pay and the opportunity to play in the Ravens first-round playoff game against Indianapolis. More importantly, it forced him away from the
team during a final push for the postseason. “It showed me how quickly all of this can be taken away from you, how quickly my dreams — and I’ve been playing since I was 7-years-old — can be taken away,” he said. “This has been my dream ever since then. I haven’t wanted to be anything else, other than a football player. This is what I do, this is my life, and to have it all taken away like that was agonizing and hurtful.” Super Journey to the Super Bowl While Jackson’s season could have ended with his suspension, the Ravens made the playoffs and won their firstround game, the fourth and final game of his suspension. His dream was back on track. Leading up to their secondround game against the Broncos, the impending retirement of linebacker Ray Lewis wasn’t a main focus in the Ravens locker room, but Jackson said it gave the team urgency. That was exactly what Baltimore needed, trailing Denver
by seven points with 67 seconds left on the clock and 77 yards to go. But on 3rd-and-3, quarterback Joe Flacco heaved a hail mary to Jacoby Jones, who received the pass and darted into the end zone. “We were sitting there with no timeouts and we were just like ‘All right Joe, go to work,’” he said. “I think that game speaks to the character of our team.” The Ravens would go onto win in a second period of overtime, propelling them to a AFC Championship rematch with the New England Patriots. That game was personal, Jackson said. And Boston fans didn’t help themselves by taking out a billboard inviting the city to a “Ray (Lewis) retirement party.” “Once we got wind of that, we were ready for them,” he said. “That’s exactly what we wanted.” The game wasn’t close as the Ravens scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to race by the Patriots. Though Jackson didn’t play against New England and wouldn’t play in the Super
Bowl because of a strained hamstring that he suffered in Denver, he was with the team every step of the way recovering and preparing in case the Ravens needed him. The team arrived in New Orleans on the Monday before the Super Bowl, and because the game is now a unique media event which saddles the players with additional responsibilities, Jackson balanced preparation with relaxation. He blew off steam by playing Call of Duty on his friend’s PlayStation 3. When it was game time on Sunday, he headed over to the stadium and prepared like it was just another game, though it was impossible to completely repress the magnitude of the moment, he said. The Ravens game plan worked from the beginning as Baltimore jumped ahead 28-6 after Jones returned the opening kickoff in the second half 108 yards for a score. Then the lights went out. “First of all, (my teammates) said that Beyonce took all the power,” Jackson said. “But everyone was upset because
we had just gotten a sack and we felt that we were going to bury the Niners right there. We had all the momentum in the world.” San Francisco turned the tide following a nearly 40 minute delay, rallying to within two points with 10 minutes to go, but Baltimore ran out the clock and clinched its second Super Bowl title in franchise history. After the initial celebration on a confetti-strewn field, the Lombardi Trophy was passed around and Jackson took his time with it. “It was unbelievable, it was something I’ll never forget,” he said. “It was a really special moment. I had never really been a champion before, I had always done well personally but I had never really been a champion like that.” But for champions, particularly in the NFL, there’s little time to rest. After celebrating in the victory parade on Feb. 5, Jackson returned to California. Now, he’s awaiting workout instructions from his coaches in order to prepare for a return to the Super Bowl.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
ASA JACKSON TAKES FLIGHT J.J. JENKINS
“Oh shit, we just won the damn Super Bowl.” Those were the first words out of Asa Jackson’s mouth as he ran onto the Superdome field to celebrate with his Ravens teammates. Just 14 months after playing cornerback for Cal Poly, Jackson had kissed the Lombardi Trophy and become a Super Bowl champion. But for Jackson, there were moments during the better part of this past year when his future in football was more than in doubt. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
PHIL HOFFMANN/BALTIMORE RAVENS
Asa Jackson was credited with one tackle during his rookie season in the NFL, but appeared often on special teams, including the Ravens’ postseason win over the Broncos.
Jackson’s senior season at Cal Poly couldn’t have started any better. Already an NFL prospect, he had returned two interceptions for touchdowns, including an 100-yard pick six, and had a reputation for being one of the best shutdown corners in the Football Championship Subdivision. Then on a special teams play, Jackson, who returned punts, was hit awkwardly and fell to the grass. For a minute, he said, he questioned what the injury would cost him with NFL teams. On the sideline with his pads off, he was inconsolable. His father had to come down from the stands to get through to him. Jackson broke a bone in his foot and attempted to retake the field two weeks later against South Dakota, but was mostly ineffective, making just two tackles. In midNovember, he recorded seven tackles in his final appearance in a Mustangs jersey, but he wouldn’t be at 100 percent until well after the season. “He tried to battle through it,” Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh said. “And that spoke volumes for him too because it speaks about toughness, which, in the NFL, is a big part of the game.” Throughout the winter, Jackson recovered and worked out in Phoenix with about 40 other prospects in preparation for April’s NFL Draft. On top
of two or three workouts a day, the rumor mill surrounding his draft status churned online. “Whoever tells you that they don’t look at that stuff is lying,” he said. “They tell you not to do it, but you can’t help it.” And with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line for 22-year-old prospects, it’s not hard to understand why they look. Jackson’s childhood friend Brandyn Thompson, a former Boise State cornerback who was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2011 and advised Jackson as he trained, said that getting used to dealing with negative comments online is a key learning experience. It doesn’t stop once a player makes it to the league. However, Thompson felt that no matter what the blogs said, Jackson’s talent spoke for itself. “He has superior quickness,” Thompson said. “His return skills are obviously a positive, especially when you’re a smaller player. Also, it’s the mentality. The confidence he carries to the football field is why he’s at where he’s at.” And the scouts sorted through it all. Some told Jackson he was a third round pick, others didn’t show interest. But by the time Draft Day rolled around, Jackson thought he’d be picked in the third or fourth round by the Atlanta Falcons. They’d talked to him the most and even flew him to Georgia for a visit. He spoke with the Ravens just twice. But the third round passed without a call. The Falcons didn’t pick again until the fifth round and his other suitors, the Chiefs, Eagles and Lions, were taking a pass on Jackson in the fourth round. Frustrated and confused, Jackson walked out of the house where his family was gathered in anticipation of the biggest day in his life. Sitting silently in his 1995 BMW 3 Series that had nearly 200,000 miles on it, Jackson’s phone rang. It was a number he didn’t recognize from a 410 area code that he’d never seen. He picked it up to hear Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome asked a question that he described as life-changing. “Are you ready to be a Raven?”
So with the 169th pick in the draft, Asa Jackson came off the board. Taking Flight, Falling Down The difference between playing football in college and in the NFL isn’t the size. It isn’t even the talent. According to Jackson, it’s the speed. From the first snap in the opening preseason game against the Falcons, he could feel the difference. But the good part was he had some quickness himself. During his second preseason game against Detroit, Jackson received a punt on the Ravens 15-yardline and bolted up the sideline, leaving four defenders in the dust. He hit a dead end on the opposite 25-yard-line, made one quick cut horizontally, galloped into the end zone and celebrated with a Gangnam Style dance. A holding call nullified the touchdown, but it was a moment that he felt demonstrated his explosiveness. Even Walsh took notice while he was preparing for Cal Poly’s season. “I called him and said that play alone, whether it got called back or not, is going to allow (Jackson) to make the roster,” Walsh said. “The other part of him that people don’t know, he’s a great special teams guy. He’s got an opportunity to be a great returner in the NFL.” And just as Walsh predicted, Jackson made the final Ravens roster and was on the field for Baltimore’s opening game. During the regular season, Jackson, like most rookies, didn’t see much playing time at his preferred corner position and instead delivered blows on special teams. Most of the time, viewers could only catch a glimpse of number 25 using his 4.4 40-yard dash speed to chase down kick returners. But late in the season, as Ravens corners fell like bowling pins, Jackson played on defense against San Diego, Pittsburgh and Washington. He recorded one tackle against the Chargers, but was otherwise statistically silent. But then came the worst day of his career. see JACKSON, pg. 6
This is what I do, this is my life, and to have it all taken away like that was agonizing and hurtful. ASA JACKSON BALTIMORE RAVENS CORNERBACK
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