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THE GAZETTE - SERVING CENTRE COUNTY

DECEMBER 24, 2010

Local prognosticators set to go “bowling” with playoffs on the line Last chance for some to make late moves By Les Barnhart There is something called the “hangover effect” in sports and it usually has little to do with what happened the night before or how one feels the following morning. No this has to do with teams that win championships in the respective sports or leagues only to come out the following season with performances that perhaps are less than stellar. No more true can the “hangover effect” be seen than in the Armchair Quarterback Club. Last season, Jeff “Ironhead” Byers powered his way to a title in his first appearance as the perennial bridesmaid Denny Mason once again was humbled in the Super Bowl to the delight of several hardcore fans. This season however, Byers has done little to convince the world of prognosticators that last year’s success was mere luck as he has stumbled to a 37-33 record and sits sixteen games out of the lead and eleven out of the playoffs. Mason on the other hand, with the help of Danny Sheridan, just keeps keeping on. His record stands at 45-25 with eight games separating himself from the leader. Perhaps more importantly, he is three games out of second place and a chance to return to the Super Bowl to finally claim that elusive title. The leader that Mason and the other four are chasing is one of two rookies, Norm “Homer” Brown. In his first season,

Where has School Spirit Gone? By Matt Masullo Way back in the late 90’s and early 00’s (Forever ago, right?), school spirit seemed to be at an all-time high. You could go to any local high school sporting event and see several crazed students, who weren’t involved in a particular sport, cheering on their fellow classmates. As Bob Dylan once said, “The times, they are a changin’.” I can remember attending basketball games while I was in high school over a decade ago and finding it hard to find a parking place at the high school, let alone a seat in the gym. School spirit’s cup was overflowing. Now, it seems as if there is a drought. Attending a sporting event during the school week used to be the norm for most teenagers. During that time, there wasn’t Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube at your disposal. The Internet was used for researching projects that you had due in class, not for social networking. Could technology to blame for the lack of school spirit? It definitely plays a role. Or are there bigger issues crippling school spirit in local area high schools? It used to be fun to go to a game and scream as loud as you could when the opposing team was at the foul line or to attend a baseball game and chant “Hey batta batta batta, sa-wing batta!” as a pitch was being thrown. Now, actions such as seem to be punishable offenses. You hear words such as sportsmanship and integrity thrown around. You’re told to root for your team but not against the other team. It’s not like these fans are pulling a Sal Alosi and tripping a gunner on the punt team. They are doing what fans often tend do… being fanatical. Sportsmanship and integrity are staples of how athletes should be conducting themselves on the field of play. They need to be held accountable for their actions on the field of play. If they are out of line, their coaches and or administration steps in. Fans need to be held accountable for their actions as well. If they were coming out of the bleachers and storming the field of play during an event, then they need to be held accountable for their actions too. Cheering against your opponent shouldn’t be something that is frowned upon. Having the book thrown at you for chanting “Airball” or “Miss It” sounds a little extreme. Remember, these are teenagers attending these sporting events. They aren’t lawyers, doctors or accountants. High school is supposed to be one of the greatest times of your life. How can it be when you have to walk on egg shells when you go to support your classmates?

one of the voices of local sports on WBLF, Brown has jumped to the head of the class and leads his son Todd by five games. The two exchanged the lead early on but once the elder Brown got the lead, he has had clean air since. Overall, Homer has the best record at 53-18 while Todd checks in at 48-22 looking to protect his three game lead over Mason. Sitting in the fourth spot; just five back of second place is Jerry Fisher. The morning talk show has compiled a 43-27 record as the season reaches its toughest stretch, the Bowl Challenge. The Bowl Challenge is a 31-game meat grinder of sorts that has changed the landscape of the standings in seasons past. The games come from the college bowl schedule starting with the Las Vegas Bowl played Wednesday night and running through the BCS National Championship game on January 10th. Last season, Fisher and Byers both used strong performances to make

a push to the postseason with Fisher falling just short while Byers moved on to the championship game. In the high school division, State College is experiencing much of the same disappointment as is Byers. After reaching the finals last season against Bellefonte and picking up the championship along with the Saints, they currently stand eleven games back of Bald Eagle Area with a record of 35-35. The Eagles hold a five-game lead over the charging Penns Valley Rams (46-24). The Eagles and the Rams have recorded the only perfect weeks this season amongst the high school teams with the Eagles doing three times and the Rams twice. The Bellefonte Red Raiders sit in the third spot among the four schools completing with a 44-26 record and trail by seven games. Check back for the January 14th issue of the Gazette to see how the Bowl Challenge turned out for all the competitors.

2010-11 College Football Bowl Schedule BOWL MAACO Las Vegas Utah vs. Boise State S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Navy vs. San Diego State Sheraton Hawaii Hawaii vs. Tulsa Little Caesars Florida International vs. Toledo AdvoCare V100 Independence Air Force vs. Georgia Tech Champs Sports West Virginia vs. NC State Insight Missouri vs. Iowa Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman East Carolina vs. Maryland Texas Illinois vs. Baylor Valero Alamo Oklahoma State vs. Arizona Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Army vs. SMU New Era Pinstripe Kansas St. vs. Syracuse Franklin American Mortgage Music City North Carolina vs. Tennessee Bridgepoint Education Holiday Nebraska vs. Washington Meineke Car Care South Florida vs. Clemson Hyundai Sun Notre Dame vs. Miami AutoZone Liberty Georgia vs. UCF Chick-fil-A South Carolina vs. Florida State TicketCity Northwestern vs. Texas Tech Outback Florida vs. Penn State Capital One Alabama vs. Michigan State Gator Bowl Mississippi State vs. Michigan Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO Wisconsin vs. TCU Tostitos Fiesta Connecticut vs. Oklahoma Discover Orange Stanford vs. Virginia Tech Allstate Sugar Ohio State vs. Arkansas GoDaddy.com Middle Tennessee vs. Miami (Ohio) AT&T Cotton LSU vs. Texas A&M BBVA Compass Bowl Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky Kraft Fight Hunger Nevada vs. Boston College Tostitos BCS National Championship Game Oregon vs. Auburn

LOCATION Las Vegas Sam Boyd Stadium San Diego Qualcomm Stadium Honolulu Aloha Stadium Detroit Ford Field Shreveport, La. Independence Stadium Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl Tempe, Ariz. Sun Devil Stadium Washington, D.C. RFK Stadium Houston Reliant Stadium San Antonio Alamodome Dallas Gerald J. Ford Stadium Bronx, N.Y. Yankee Stadium Nashville, Tenn. LP Field San Diego Qualcomm Stadium Charlotte, N.C. Bank of America Stadium El Paso, Texas Sun Bowl Memphis, Tenn. Liberty Bowl Atlanta Georgia Dome Dallas Cotton Bowl Tampa, Fla. Raymond James Stadium Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl Jacksonville, Fla. EverBank Field Pasadena, Calif. Rose Bowl Glendale, Ariz. U. of Phoenix Stadium Miami Sun Life Stadium New Orleans Louisiana Superdome Mobile, Ala. Ladd-Peebles Stadium Arlington, Texas Cowboys Stadium Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field San Francisco AT&T Park Glendale, Ariz. U. of Phoenix Stadium

DATE/TIME Dec. 22 8 p.m. Dec. 23 8 p.m. Dec. 24 8 p.m. Dec. 26 8:30 p.m. Dec. 27 5 p.m. Dec. 28 6:30 p.m. Dec. 28 10 p.m. Dec. 29 2:30 p.m. Dec. 29 6 p.m. Dec. 29 9:15 p.m. Dec. 30 Noon Dec. 30 3:20 p.m. Dec. 30 6:40 p.m. Dec. 30 10 p.m. Dec. 31 Noon Dec. 31 2 p.m. Dec. 31 3:30 p.m. Dec. 31 7:30 p.m. Jan. 1 Noon Jan. 1 1 p.m. Jan. 1 1 p.m. Jan. 1 1:30 p.m. Jan. 1 5 p.m. Jan. 1 8:30 p.m. Jan. 3 8:30 p.m. Jan. 4 8:30 p.m. Jan. 6 8 p.m. Jan. 7 8 p.m. Jan. 8 Noon Jan. 9 9 p.m. Jan. 10 8:30 p.m.

NETWORK ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN2 ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN ESPN CBS ESPN ESPN ESPNU ABC ESPN ESPN2 ESPN ESPN/ESPN3D ESPN ESPN ESPN FOX ESPN ESPN ESPN/ESPN3D

12-24-10 Centre County Gazette  
12-24-10 Centre County Gazette  

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