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WHAT’S INSIDE? #Sochiproblems miss Olympic harmony ‘Vikings’ season two returns for blood Baseball bounces back after Friday loss

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Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

Chance of Rain:

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Volume 125/ Issue 12 TheHoustonian Tuesday, February 25, 2014


BEHIND THE BADGE A look into one UPD officer’s night on patrol in Huntsville KASSIDY TURNPAUGH Assistant News Editor Being a police officer is not all shotgun shells and car chases, but it is still a high-stress and highintensity job. The Houstonian participated in a police ride-along during Thursday night with Sam Houston State University Police Department’s Patrol Sgt. Daniel Barrett, who proved the aforementioned statement to be more than true. Barrett has seen quite a bit in his 13 years in law enforcement. After working as a detective in both the narcotics and criminal investigation departments of the Walker County Sheriff ’s Office, Barrett has seen more than his fair share of crime. This was evident

during the six-hour ride along. After approaching a vehicle in his cruiser, Barrett pointed out the aversion that many people have toward law enforcement officers. One of the most common examples of this can be seen when a person sees a police car next to them on the road they tense up and try to act nonchalant in their nowrobotic movements, according to Barrett. Another form of distrust that Barrett has witnessed is that of people teasing their children about an officer taking them to jail if they do not behave. “Whether they realize it or not, that woman just made her child afraid of police officers,” Barrett said. “God forbid if something ever happens and we need to talk to that kid. He is going to be afraid of me now, and I won’t be able to help him.”

In addition, officers often find themselves dealing with almost impossible situations on a daily basis. For example, the events Barrett experienced during this one shift of duty ranged from dealing with a man strung out on angel dust to trailing multiple cars to busting 400-person party at a Sam Houston Avenue apartment complex. “It does get to some people sometimes,” he said. “The worst thing you have to do is a death notification. No matter how I do it or anything, I’m going to be associated with that person’s death.” The duties of a police officer often extend beyond the physical realm. Barrett said it isn’t uncommon for officers to take on the role of emotional support system.

“We wear many hats,” he said. “At some point you’ll have to be someone’s counselor, you might have to be their dad. There are so many different roles. Sometimes you have to be supportive. Sometimes you have to be tough. You have to be the strong one even though it is something bad.” Despite being surrounded by chaos and fist-fighting with criminals, officers of the law must maintain a calm composure even when dealing with some of the most difficult things imaginable, according to Barrett. Thursday, Barrett received a tip on the massive party and started assisting Huntsville Police Department by moving in on the scene after already having more than 13 straight hours of patrol under his belt. Barrett later said a conversation


with his wife had once ended in a tell-all situation after a gruesome day on the job. “She just pushed the wrong buttons,” he said. “I told her: At 8 o’clock in the morning I went out and saw one dead body. Then I had to take a sexual assault on a child case. After lunch I had to go see another dead body.” Barrett said people sometimes forget those behind the badge are just as human as those they swear to serve and protect. Just like anyone else, the job can take a toll on them, yet Barrett remains positive. “I have been extremely lucky that I am able to push it all into the back of my mind.” Barrett said. Officers are required to go from scene to scene without letting it affect them. They also have to keep —

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AB IV repairs slated for end of April CONNOR HYDE Editor-in-Chief

Associated Press

LIVING THE BIG DREAM. Sam Houston State University senior running back Timothy Flanders runs a drill at the 2014 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ind. Flanders recorded an unofficial 4.65 second 40-yard dash time with an official 4.75 second run. Flanders led the Bearkats to two-consecutive FCS National Championship appearances in 2011 and 2012. Flanders also holds the Southland Conference record for all-time career rushing yards.


Coliseum uses social media to boost fan base JEREMY VILLANUEVA Sports Editor In an effort to attract more Sam Houston State University students to its events, Johnson Coliseum has hit the web to reel in new fans. Coliseum staff took to social media outlets after finding the venue lacking in student attendance and hopes to see an increase in attendance after entering into the second semester of online promotion. Although there hasn’t been any significant changes in attendance since their beginning on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the Coliseum has seen

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an increase in being more clear and concise with the events held at the Coliseum and spreading information quicker, according to Ed Chatal, associate director of facilities. “What [our social media] has done is improve communication and the accuracy for when the events are, what it costs to get in, and anything that’s beneficial for the Sam Houston student,” Chatal said. Chatal said their presence on social media gives the Coliseum the chance to spread the word about events that aren’t SHSUspecific. The Coliseum hosted a TNA Impact Wrestling event Feb. 16 and will play host

to high school basketball’s University Interscholastic League quarterfinal matches Tuesday night with Madisonville High School taking on Navasota High school, followed by Houston Yates High School squaring off against Silsbee High School. “We’re expecting 3,000 people for this high school quarterfinal playoff,” Chatal said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we had 3,500 people. A lot of people might not know that we have this event. You put a little Facebook blurb and people will share that pretty quickly.” The Coliseum is still struggling to get high numbers on SHSU events. SHSU’s highest home

attendance came in men’s basketball match against rival Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 15, with 1,884 people in attendance. However, most matches have been just a little over 1,000 people and as low as 682 people. Sophomore criminal justice major Kadeem Pickett expressed how he never had a real desire to make it to a game because it hasn’t really pull his interests, but he saw how the wrestling event was being promoted and that began to appeal to him. “Putting stuff out there [on social media] definitely makes a lot more people come out,” —

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Repairs to Academic Building IV are expected to be complete at the end of April following a singlecar accident that killed three Sam Houston State University students in December. According to Gordon Morrow, director of plant operations, the construction will total close to $70,000 with repairs needed to the brick foundation on the south side of the building. Construction is slated to begin in March. The pillar that runs adjacent to the south-side stairwell suffered damage to the brick foundation, although Morrow said the structural integrity of the building did not suffer. Alpha Building was awarded the contract for the construction of the building as well as repairs to windows and hand rails affected by the accident. Morrow said the university’s electrical shop is currently repairing a light pole that was damaged as well. Morrow said ABIV will not shut down during construction and classes will not be affected. Price Consulting Engineer Bruce Cummins inspected the damages to ABIV on Dec. 2324, 2013, and said the brick that was affected was immediately removed from the building to ensure safety for students and workers. Currently, a fence encompasses the construction area to maintain safety for pedestrians and students from potential falling objects. “We’re trying to be safe and conservative by taking bricks off that need to be taken off,” Morrow said. “We’d rather be safe than sorry.” TheHoustonian Follow us today! @TheHoustonian

Be sure to check out the Houstonian Orientation Guide located around campus and the City of Huntsville! Can’t find one? Let us know and we’ll get you a copy.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Kaleigh Treiber | The Houstonian

STATE PRIMARIES. Campaign signs plaster Huntsville as Texas primary elections are next Tuesday. Terry Holcomb and John Otto are facing off to claim District 18 as their own. Holcomb is the newcoming challenger as Otto defends his incumbency. Although each candidate is fighting on the Republican ticket, each have their own agendas within the parties platform.

TX primary candidates make case HANNAH ZEDAKER Senior Reporter State representative for District 18 John Otto is up for re-election against fellow Republican challenger Terry Holcomb in the upcoming state primary election. Otto, a Dayton, Texas, native, was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in November 2004. Now, nearly a decade later, he serves on the House Appropriations Committee, is chairman of the subcommittee on education and vice-chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “I consider myself a conservative, Ronald Reagan Republican,” Otto said in an exclusive interview with The Houstonian. “That’s what I was when I first ran for this office, and I haven’t changed. I’m still the same person today.”

In the past, Otto has had paid interns work with him from Sam Houston State University as well as involved political science students in his campaign. Upon his potential re-election, Otto said one of his main goals is to continue working within what he considers two of the most influential committees—the Appropriations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. “My goal is to continue to have input and to help Texas continue to adopt a balanced budget,” Otto said. Holcomb, a Republican from Coldspring, Texas, is a former millwright, Dow Chemical Company employee and pastor. “Over the years, our children’s liberties and freedoms slowly were eroded away usually [due] to legislative actions, or the lack thereof, so that is definitely one of the core things that pulled me into the race,” Holcomb said. “Some of

the other things that really gave me a heart to want to run would have been my opponent’s current voting record. It has been less than stellar, to say the least, and so that was another issue. I really could no longer just sit back and just take the status quo, so I really thought it was time for me to engage at a different level to be able to try to fight back against those types of behaviors.” Holcomb said three of his main issues included in his platform are zero-based budgeting, transportation and illegal immigration. Zero-based budgeting is the practice where a new budget is built from the bottom up instead of modifying a previous budget. “I believe one of the biggest changes I can make specifically for District 18 is that I will actually work on issues that are important to the district,” Holcomb said. “The district’s very specific issues

have basically been ignored for special interest and lobbyist interests, [like] our continued debt escalation, our continued spending escalation [and] our lack of activity when it comes to illegal immigration. I just feel that our district was not being properly represented around those conservative values.” According to Holcomb, the 83th Legislature failed to pass many of the conservative bills he felt were good policies. Contradictory, Otto said that he believes too many bills are passed. “I’m one of those that believes that I don’t go into sessions looking for how many bills I can file, Otto said. “I think we file too many bills, and the process is pretty difficult for a bill to make it all the way through, so I don’t go into session with any preconceived ideas. As people in my district make me aware of things that may need to be addressed then I will

take a look at that, but I think we file too many bills, personally.” The Affordable Care Act of 2010 is another issue of contention. “The Affordable Care Act is basically a one-size-fits-all [policy] that the federal government forced down on all 50 states,” Otto said. “I just think the 50 states ought to be allowed to address it so we can address what works in Texas. What works in Texas may not work in California.” Although they both claim to oppose the policy, Holcomb believes Otto supported it through his voting record. “When every conservative was saying ‘no’ to Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, John Otto was voting for it,” Holcomb said. Primary elections open March 4.


iDrive designated driver program to reboot JAY R. JORDAN Associate Editor The rejuvenated iDrive program by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative at SHSU is looking to alleviate drunk driving in Huntsville. The program advocates the use of designated drivers for students who go out to bars by providing multiple incentives such as a free cup and non-alcoholic drinks for the designated driver in order to cut back on drunk driving and boost responsible drinking among college students. ADAI coordinator Edward


Gisemba has been in his position for more than two years and said his goal for iDrive is showing students the benefits of drinking responsibly. “We have to recognize that a major key to preventing drinking and driving is teaching students… not to get behind the wheel after you’ve had too much to drink,” he said. “[iDrive] leaves that decision in their hands.” The program was popular in the past, according to Gisemba, but was temporarily put on hold because its popularity decreased and drove it to dormancy. He hopes iDrive’s re-launching will reverse that conception students

have of ADAI. “The program is often stigmatized,” he said. “Ultimately, the ADAI is not a program that’s trying to say ‘don’t drink.’ We’re not trying to inhibit, by any means, the fun experience students hope to have in college but rather to make it a safer one.” Gisemba said ADAI is also “exploring” similar services to Chi Alpha’s Kat Kab designated driving service, a program in which students voluntarily wait outside Shenanigan’s and Jolly Fox and offer free rides to people who are too intoxicated to drive. Kat Kab director J.C. Claverie said both programs take different

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face even in the hardest times. Barrett said officers will be coming straight from one scene to the next and have to transition between “hats” without missing a beat, much like his transition between busting the party and going back to standard patrol. “Sometimes we may just have this look on our faces,” Barrett said. “The reason for that is we may have just told someone that their family member had passed away and the next minute been fighting with someone.” However, Barrett and several of his colleagues attested to the fact that the role a police officer plays in their community is a thankless one. “One day these people will be cussing at you and trying to fight you and the next they will be the victim of some crime asking for your help,” he said. People associate police officers with something bad happening,

Barrett said. Even when just out in the community and connecting with civilians, people automatically assume they’re in trouble. “No one ever calls the police when something good happens,” he said. “They hate us until they need us.” According to Barrett, working in law enforcement is a profession you have to love to keep doing. Amidst all the harsh realities officers face, they also get to help people, and that is what makes the job worthwhile. Pick up next Tuesday’s edition of the Houstonian for the second installment of Behind the Badge.


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Pickett said. “The numbers [in attendance] should be going up.” To get more people out to the last two home basketball matches next week, Chatal and his social media team are constructing a way

to show fan appreciation and fill the stands by promoting online. “We’re going to try to get a couple more people that we wouldn’t [usually] have,” Chatal said. Chatal said that he’s hoping to get one to two more people to be aware of the events being held at Johnson Coliseum and from there it set off a chain-reaction to gain a larger audience, he said. One current project is to use social media as a resource to garner more people for the fourth annual Sammypalooza that will be hosted at the Coliseum on March 26. “We haven’t had this tool yet,” Chatal said. “All information can be shared on [social media].” The Coliseum will use its social media sites to make the official announcement of the entertainment at Sammypalooza Thursday.

approaches for the same cause. “I think it’s definitely a good idea,” he said. “It will certainly, I’d like to think, help advocate people to drive responsibly and to make sure people get home safely. For people that go to bars, this will help just for those alone.” One Chi Alpha member said in the fall 2013 semester, they gave more than 750 rides to people at the two bars. Claverie said Kat Kab will continue offering free rides in light of iDrive and welcomes the help in getting students and Huntsville citizens home safely. Although the two programs will work towards one goal, they differ in method. While Kat Kab

offers a service to those who don’t necessarily plan in advance, iDrive will promote pre-partying responsibility. The way Gisemba said ADAI will promote iDrive is through banner placement advertising the program to students who are about to go out. “With it being such a positive program especially in light of the recent [deadly drunk driving] accident on campus, we’re hoping students will be receptive,” he said. ADAI hopes to have the program fully implemented by fall 2014.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Morgan, Baldwin bad fits COLIN HARRIS Viewpoints Editor In an essay in “New York Magazine” published Monday, Alec Baldwin announced his resignation from public life. This comes three months after the cancellation of his MSNBC show, “Up Late with Alec Baldwin.” He’ll still be making movies, but wants to return to being a simple actor, rather than a mega celebrity talk show host who occasionally shouts and tweets homophobic insults at paparazzi. The same day rumors of the forthcoming demise of “Piers Morgan Live” began to swirl on the Internet. Morgan’s ratings on CNN were consistently dwarfed by his competition at Fox News and MSNBC during his three years on the network, yet he remained

in the headlines for his apparent contempt for Middle America, particularly the gun culture. Baldwin and Morgan suffered from the same debilitation. Both men were larger personalities than their medium needed, and at least in the case of Morgan, the show suffered because of it. Baldwin’s show, on the other hand, lasted five episodes before another of his homophobic outbursts caused MSNBC execs to cancel it in the wake of controversy. In retrospect the network heads at both CNN and MSNBC should have been more aware of what Baldwin and Morgan brought to the table. Morgan was and is a ruthlessly unethical “journalist” who came to prominence editing various tabloids in Great Britain. He had little regard for the privacy rights of his subjects while working in print. This revelation came to light during a still ongoing phone hacking investigation alleged to have occurred during his reign at “The Daily Mirror.” Beyond this, Morgan is also a condescending bully. He’s combative enough that his Wikipedia entry includes its own subsection on feuds. Furthermore, he has as much self-importance

as you’d expect someone who’s published four memoirs before turning 50 to have. All of this was known prior to CNN hiring him as a replacement for Larry King. Yet the network (under old management that has since been replaced) believed his presence would be palatable to the American public. His petty squabbling with detractors on Twitter seemed to escalate as his show’s ratings sunk and now he’s through. Baldwin was also a known quantity prior to getting his MSNBC hosting gig. He’s been a versatile screen actor for nearly three decades, his most recent success coming on NBC’s “30 Rock.” Off-camera though, he’s an insensitive ass when it comes to those who annoy him. Four months before his MSNBC show aired, Baldwin went on a Twitter rant against a British tabloid writer who accused Baldwin’s wife of tweeting at a funeral. He called the writer a “little bitch” and a “toxic little queen” while also threatening to “fuck (him) up.” In 2011 he was booted off of an American Airlines flight prior to takeoff, because he refused to put his phone away and used

abusive language towards the flight attendant who attempted to gain compliance. In a column he wrote on the incident, Baldwin described the flight crew as “retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950’s.” Should it have been any surprise to anyone at MSNBC that Baldwin would go on another offensive rant a month into his show? Unfortunately for him, this tirade was caught on camera and the actor was caught calling an overzealous paparazzo a “cocksucking fag.” Both Morgan and Baldwin have dominating on-camera presences and perhaps that’s what the honchos at MSNBC and CNN were hoping to take advantage of when hiring the men. Unfortunately for the networks, Morgan never seemed to catch on with American audiences and Baldwin had a trademark explosion. From Anderson Cooper to Megyn Kelly to Rachel Maddow, the best talent (and best ratings) on cable news seems to come from in house promoting. Before hiring another Morgan or Baldwin, networks would be wise to explore within for new hosts.


PAWS UP to Tim Flanders: Nice job representing SHSU at the NFL combine. 20 bench press reps is nothing to shrug at.

PAWS UP to Sochi closing ceremony: Making light of the opening ceremony error was hilarious and surprisingly selfdepreciating.

PAWS UP to Okunoshima: The Japanese island is filled with cute fluffy rabbits and worth a search on YouTube.


Sochi ‘problems’ misses point MONTY SLOAN Columnist As the Olympics came to a close over the weekend, the social media feeding frenzy over Sochi has finally died down. Unlike other sporting events, it wasn’t the athletes or competitions that dominated the conversations. It was the accommodations, from yellow tap water to public restrooms without stalls. The Sochi winter games were the single most expensive Olympic event in history, but after the reports of stray dogs, infrastructure problems and the opening ceremony blunders, all the money and production value in the world couldn’t keep people from talking about Sochi’s problems. In fact, the Twitter account @sochiproblems had more followers than the account of the actual games. @sochiproblems, which has 339,000 followers, documented the issues athletes and reporters experienced during their stay in the Olympic Village.

The Twitter account reported things like scary unfamiliar toilets and the water condition of Sochi tap. “Enjoy your peach juice, it comes directly from the tap! Oh wait, that’s water.... #SochiProblems” the account posted. Twitter isn’t the only place documenting the extreme hardships these poor souls endured, International Business Time’s Bobby Ilich published an article criticizing the food in the Russian city, lamenting that there is no “delicious food that can be purchased for no more than $5” like he apparently enjoys at his favorite gourmet food restaurants in America. USA Today interviewed bobsledder Lolo Jones about the food after she posted an Instagram video of her teammate eating “some sort of stew concoction.” The horror. The Russian Federation, as a nation, was handicapped since its inception. The country took on the former USSR’s debts despite having half the population and no infrastructure to fall back on. The nation has suffered several financial crises while attempting to build a nation out of nothing but debt. Russia’s President Vladamir Putin has commented than even he has yellow tap water. You see, this wasn’t some horrible joke Russia played on the world’s greatest athletes and other


PAWS DOWN to Hot Pockets: Diseased meat in your Philly cheesesteak pockets makes Jim Gaffigan cry.

Associated Press

NIGHTMARE BEAR. A large mascot blows out the Olympic flame with his breath during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics In Sochi, Russia. Russia finished with the top medal count with 33 overall medals.

event goers. These problems, ‘weird’ toilets, discolored water and all, are the problems of a nation that has been clawing its way to a better life. These are the problems the Russian people suffer every single day of their lives. The favorite pastime of journalists and social media baboons everywhere, mocking those they feel superior to, might have made watching and reading about the Olympic Games a more fun experience for those who need to fill a superiority complex, but it completely misses the

point of International events. The Olympic Games are about coming together as a global society and recognizing what is great about each corner of the world, not smugly trashing them for issues they are well aware of. Unless you played a direct role in bringing the luxuries of countries like America to bear, perhaps you should keep your mouth shut about those without luxury. The hardships faced by the Russian people may be comically foreign to us, but to those who are struggling to get past them, they are no laughing matter.

PAWS DOWN to Arizona: Your legislature passed a bill legalizing discrimination against gays. Now it’s up to the governor to veto.

PAWS DOWN to Harold Ramis’s death: “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day,” “Caddyshack” and “Animal House” are comedy classics this man was mostly responsible for.

The Houstonian Editorial

The Houstonian was named in the top 100 college newspapers for journalism students by Members of Associated Collegiate Press and Texas Intercolligiate Press Association.

EDITOR’S NOTE Articles, letters and cartoons by Houstonian staff members or others in this paper are their own and not the opinion of the Houstonian, unless it is noted as such. Submissions and letters to the editor are welcome. Please send submissions to Articles may be edited for grammar and spelling at discretion of editor. Unsolicited oppinions should be 150 words or under. Please contact us if you wish to submit anything longer. Deadline for submission is by 5 p.m. on Mondays or Wednesdays.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Connor Hyde ........................................................................................................................................936-294-1505 FACULTY ADVISER Robin Johnson..................................................................................................................................936-294-1499 STAFF Jay R. Jordan .................................................................................................................................Associate Editor Colin Harris...................................................................................................................................Viewpoints Editor Jeremy Villanueva..................................................................................................................................Sports Editor Kizzie Frank.............................................................................................................................Entertainment Editor Stephen Green...........................................................................................................................................Web Editor Kassidy Turnpaugh.............................................................................................................. Assistant News Editor Dharmesh Patel.........................................................................................................Assistant Entertainment Editor Marissa Hill........................................................................................................................................Sports Reporter Hannah Zedeker.................................................................................................................................Senior Reporter Steven Snook.............................................................................................................................Multimedia Reporter Samantha Zambrano.............................................................................................................................Layout Editor Lillie Muyskens..............................................................................................................................Graphic Designer Staff Reporter(s)..................................................................................................... Kaleigh Treiber, Alex Broussard


BUSINESS MANAGER Paty Mason......................................................................................................................................936-294-1500 ADVERTISING MANAGER Stacy Hood.........................................................................................................................................936-294-1495 STAFF Cristina Tazado.............................................................................................................................Delivery Manager

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Tuesday’s Issue............... Friday at 2:00 p.m. Thursday’s Issue........... Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. Call for pricing.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Vikings returns to pillage competition DHARMESH PATEL Assistant A&E Editor

Dust off the shields, sharpen up the spears and get ready to go on a raid of all the other shows on cable television. The History Channel set a record last year with their scripted show “Vikings” by becoming the number one new cable series of 2013 according to USA Today and is set to return Thursday for season two. “Vikings” is a perfect mix of gore, action, lust and plot twists raiding the viewership of all of its competitors. Having a background in martial arts and earning her first black belt at age 13, Katheryn Winnick has prepared for the role of Lagertha Lothbrok her entire life, she said. Winnick said the complexity of her character is multi-dimensional as she must continue to face this season including a miscarriage, the death of her daughter, her husband Ragnar’s infidelity and a plague that killed most of her people. “[Lagertha’s] identity is tested in the second series…does she choose to stay with [Ragnar] and forgive him or does she decide to leave and follow her own path?” Winnick said in an exclusive interview with the Houstonian. Through her misfortunes,

Courtesy of Whitney Spencer

IN FURS AND CHAINS. Rollo (Clive Standen) and Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) prepare for battle against one another in a new season of “Vikings”. Rollo is tired of walking in the shadow of his older brother and will fight to the death to prove himself worthy of his own name. Which of the strong-willed men will gain ultimate power?

Lagertha remains a strong and independent character who holds her own against the male characters on the show. Clive Standen, who plays Ragnar’s brother Rollo, is one of these powerful male characters who constantly clashes with the others. The most significant of these

tiffs is between Rollo and his brother Ragnar in the struggle for power. Ragnar is the acting leader throughout most of season one with Rollo constantly dwelling in his brother’s shadow and remaining loyal. After numerous altercations, Rollo finally decided to betray his

brother and side with an opposing leader. Season two picks up at what is sure to be an epic battle between the brothers. Aside from the lust- and ragefilled relationships between the characters, season two also promises to mimic the heavily detailed and elaborate imagery from season one.

The Vikings were bucolic people and lived hardy lives in often meager and dreary conditions. “It is exciting because there will be new landscapes and the locations are absolutely stunning when you’re on set,” Winnick said about the set locations. “Vikings” is filmed on location in Ireland where the crew builds physical sets including entire farms, villages and cities. “When you walk on the set … it’s really such of a playground. You can go into different departments [like] the costume department where they are all making your costumes by hand, hand stitched and leather,” Winnick said. Emmy-award winning costume designer Joan Bergin plays with a variety of materials and textures when creating the look of the different characters, Standen said. Standen praised the costumes as being “formidable in this show…In season two I have this one costume in one of the episodes which is made out of seven coyote pelts [and it] just weighs a ton.” It is that attention to detail that makes “Vikings” such a unique show. The costumes and settings act as characters in their own right and transport the actors into another time. Already on the path of repeating a recording-breaking premiere, season two of “Vikings” returns for on Thursday at 9 p.m. on The History Channel.


‘Rayman Legends’ stays true to platformers JP MCBRIDE Contributing Reporter In “Rayman Legends,” Rayman and his pals Globox and Murfy are back after a two-year break since their last adventure. Ubisoft returned the franchise to its original roots as a sidescrolling platformer with “Rayman Origins” and sticks with the genre for “Rayman Legends.” Rayman’s return to the platformer genre is a welcome one, as some of the past few Rayman games were more catered to family play and had Rayman dealing with some bizarre, and possibly grotesque rabbits. The story of “Legends” begins with Rayman and his pals sleeping, when Murfy wakes Rayman and

his friends up to save the Glade of Dreams from five evil wizards and their minions, who are simply called the Nightmares. After the opening cut scene, the game does not tell much of a story as there are no more cut scenes and very little dialogue among the characters. The only dialogue comes in the form of thought bubbles that appear overhead, revealing the character’s thoughts and occasionally giving the player instructions. The game’s visually appeal is what could draw more people to play. It is evident that Ubisoft made it a mission to fill gameplay with vibrant colors, and play host to a variety of characters and enemies. Every level emulates the intricacy of a painting that

presents a unique style. Some of the locales include lush jungles, volcanic caves, ocean floors, and levels made out of food. With so many unique levels, the game never gets stale from a visual perspective. There are four playable characters: Rayman, his frog-like friend Globox, a Teensie (the blue wizards that inhabit the Glade of Dreams), and a barbarian princess named Barbara. None of the characters hold any advantages over the others. “Legends” requires a great amount of hand eye coordination and increases in difficulty towards the end. It has a great sense of pace, with a mix of levels that require quick reflexes and good old fashioned, patient puzzle solving.

The game incorporates new mechanics as the game progresses, keeping it freshly entertaining. Shorter levels are fast-paced and frenetic, while longer levels require precise timing and exploration off the main path in order to get 100 percent completion. Like the beloved Super Mario Bros, levels in beginning of “Legends” only consist of running, jumping, and smacking enemies that may get in the way. The objective of every level is to collect as many yellow, coin-like Lums as possible and rescue imprisoned Teensies. By collecting enough Lums, usually 300 in shorter levels and 600 in longer levels, and rescuing all of the Teensies in a level, the player will receive a gold medal for both

objectives. “Legends” can be played and enjoyed solo, but the game is much more fun when playing with among friends. The game can be played with up to four people. The game only supports local multiplayer, which is an inconvenience to the players. There are only online leaderboards. “Rayman Legends” is what every modern platformer should strive to be. With a gorgeous artistic style, challenging gameplay and a variety of unique levels, the game always stays fresh and gives the player incentive to continue. The game takes around 10 hours to complete, but has great replay value for those who are completionists.


More horror than drama in ‘House of Cards’ BRENT LEITH Contributing Reporter Self-proclaimed media watchdogs have called television a cesspool for years. They say that television decays moral judgment by exposing the public to sex, naughty words, and to a lesser extent, violence. There is no doubt the watchdogs of the world see Netflix’s “House of Cards” as the continuation of this decay, despite the acclaim it enjoys from critics and fans. To everyone else, especially the more than 600,000 Netflix subscribers who shot gunned all 13 episodes of the second season on the weekend of its February release, “House of Cards” is relentlessly appealing.

Although risqué at times, “House of Cards” rarely depends on sex, violence or naughty words, but it manages to be a deeply disturbing and exciting immorality tale all the same. Maybe it’s the vicarious thrill of being there close to power. The audience gets a glimpse behind the veil of the governing elite, fictional although it may be, and sees the invisible hand at work. They quickly discover the invisible hand is a monomaniacal prick. Frank Underwood, as portrayed by the venerable Kevin Spacey, sets himself apart from his fellow television antiheroes right away. He is impervious to self-destruction. He doesn’t suffer the alcoholic ups and downs of Don Draper. He isn’t slowly corrupted by power like Walter

Associated Press

VILLAIN. Kevin Spacey arrives at a special screening for season 2 of “House of Cards. Spacey plays the antagonist Francis Underwood in the Netflix series.

White. Underwood is corrupt from the start, but he doesn’t view it as simple. He explains to the audience, in frequent fourth wall-breaking asides, that any resemblance to corruption or immorality is merely his adept exercise of political cunning. Politics is a sport to Underwood, and he believes himself to be the best to ever play the game. He throws lesser players to the wolves with ease and confidently predicts the moves of his more seasoned opponents. When they deviate from his predictions, he creates solutions on the fly, bragging on his prowess as he does. It’s the confidence he exudes which makes him so sinister and effective. In a recent promotional interview for “House of Cards” on The Daily Show, Spacey spoke briefly about the time he spent with real Washington politicians to prepare for the role. “It feels like you’re watching performance art a lot of the time,” he said. “I don’t believe them. I don’t believe what they say. I don’t think they’re being absolutely sincere. I think it’s performance art, and most of them are bad actors.” Spacey touched on something we all know to be true to some degree: politics is an act of theatre and self-

delusion. “House of Cards” brings that unsettling truth to the forefront. It implies that politics creates men like Underwood, grants them an exemption to acceptable behavior, and then lays power in their hands. We should all be very afraid, it suggests. That implication transforms “House of Cards” from drama to horror. Underwood isn’t just a politician. He’s every other chainsaw-wielding scary movie villain, with an insincere smile

in place of the burlap mask. The slow, deliberate pacing of the show gives him time to stalk his victims, mull their fates, and bask in their destruction. By the end of the first season, he had killed, manipulated or discredited anyone that challenged him, and he was rewarded with more power for his efforts. This season he sets his sights higher and does it all over again. The audience is riveted; they don’t want to look, but can’t turn away.


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Kats surge late in UNT tourney MARISSA HILL Sports Reporter Sam Houston State’s softball team turned the tables in their favor this weekend as they picked up three straight wins in the closing days at the University of North Texas Shootout in Denton. The Bearkats defeated Abilene Christian, Prairie View A&M and Stephen F. Austin State after dropping their first two matches against Texas State and their first meet-up with the Lumberjacks. Despite falling 0-2 in the first day of the tournament, sophomore outfielder Jennie Kieval credits their three-game winning streak to a change in attitude. “I think we stopped playing scared,” she said. “We realized we all had each other’s back and had to go all out every play.” Becoming fearless unlocked SHSU’s power. The Bearkats’ offense was fueled by home runs sprinkled throughout the match with two of the Bearkats four homeruns

Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

DROPPING BOMBS. Junior Sarah Allison has solidified herself as one of the most threatening players on offense for the Bearkats. Allison already has four homers on the season, with two of those home runs coming against Stephen F. Austin in their last match-up of the University of North Texas Shootout as the Bearkats defeated the Lumberjacks 11-2.

coming from infielder Hillary Adams. Junior outfielder Tayler Gray started the fire for SHSU homering to right field. She was 5-for-7 at the plate with 5 RBIs, leading the Bearkats to a 6-1 victory against the Wildcats. Pitching also anchored the Bearkats as freshman Tayler

Atkinson was steely in the circle. She spread out five hits over five-and-two-thirds innings. “She’s a huge asset to our team,” Kieval said. “She does a great job shutting down teams.” SHSU’s winning ways continued into the Prairie View A&M game as they annihilated

the Panthers 16-6. The Bearkats found their stride in the seventhinning stretch as they belted out 11 runs during the inning. PVAMU gave SHSU some support in the seventh inning, contributing three walks and a wild pitch, setting up a scoring domino effect.

In their final contest on the weekend, the Bearkats run ruled the Lumberjacks 11-2. SHSU started the game fiery, inundating SFA with a six-hit, six-run first inning. Again, Gray initiated the attack with a single to left center field. She scored off of a double from freshman infielder Tori Koerselman. Adams continued to apply the heat with a double to left center, allowing Koerselman to cross home plate. The Lumber Jacks’ fate were sealed in the fifth inning as they allowed the Bearkats to deliver four more runs off of four hits. SHSU served up 33 hits in their final three matchups and will head into the Texas Tech tournament with momentum on their side. “We feel great,” Kieval said. “We feel really confident in each other to get the job done and get more wins.” SHSU will face ACU again as their first opponent in the Texas Tech tournament Friday.


Baseball recovers for 2-1 series win

KYLE KELLY Staff Reporter

It was an unusual night at Don Sanders stadium Friday as Sam Houston State’s baseball team walked away in defeat, dropping their first game of the season. The Bearkats fell 5-1 to the Dallas Baptist Patriots due to errors and sloppy play in the field. DBU’s Paul Voelker pitched seven innings accompanied by six strikeouts compared to SHSU’s Tyler Eppler, who lasted four and one-third innings, getting rocked early by

DBU by giving up four runs and four walks. DBU not only outpitched SHSU, but they also capitalized on SHSU’s mistakes, including passed balls and defensive mishaps. “Instead of it being 2-1 late in the game and having a chance to win it, we were fighting for our lives to just create base runners and stay in it,” head coach David Pierce said. “They just played better than us tonight, and they deserved to win.” The Bearkats came into Saturday’s matchup with a chance to regroup and get back into the series. Dominant Bearkat bats that

were asleep Friday, woke up Saturday in a big way as SHSU would go on to capture the win 12-2. Starter Andrew Godail hurled five innings allowing two runs on three hits. Freshman pitcher Sam Odom came in relief and pitched four scoreless innings with six strikeouts to get his first career save. “[Odom] is a great strike thrower and we didn’t want to mess around,” Pierce said. “I wanted to stay with him and I know we burned him, but we needed this game. When you’ve got a big lead and a strike thrower, that’s a good combination.” SHSU’s offensive explosion came from big rallies throughout the game not in just one particular inning like recent games. SHSU added two runs in the fourth inning, another two in the sixth, and a final run in the seventh to seal the victory. Outfielders Hayden Simerly and Luke Plucheck both finished the game with three hits and an RBI. Centerfielder Colt Atwood, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn and shortstop Corey Toups all had two hits apiece. Farney had just one hit in the game but drove in three runs and scored one. “[Saturday] we just stayed with our

approach better and [Friday] we tried to do too much,” Toups said. “Last night’s loss was big, getting beat and coming back today just shows how tough we are as a team. Tomorrow will be big for us. This would be a really good series win.” In the last game of the three-game series Sunday, Dirk Masters took the hill for the second time this season for the Bearkats and faired quite well throwing five innings and yielding only one run during the Bearkats’ 4-1 win. Third baseman Carter Burgess was a big part of the SHSU offensive output with three RBIs. Jason Simms pitched the final two innings to get his second save of the season. The Bearkats will travel to Rice University Tuesday before heading to the Houston College Classic this weekend at Minute Maid Park. “We knew going into this weekend we had three tough games and five behind that with Rice, the Minute Maid Classic and following that with Rice,” Pierce said. “It’s going to be a tough little stretch, but we’re looking forward to it and our kids are excited about it. I like our chances.”

Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

THROWING DIRTY. Sophomore pitcher Dirk Masters threw for five innings allowing only one run off of four hits in his second start on the mound for the Bearkats Sunday against Dallas Baptist.


Lillie Muyskens | The Houstonian


Geia Anderson | The Houstonian

FALLING BELOW. Sam Houston State women’s basketball had the chance to top Lamar and creep back into the Southland Conference tournament race, but the Bearkats fell to Lamar once again, dropping 81-64 Saturday afternoo. SHSU is now five games behind top-seeded Central Arkansas.

Bearkats sink lower in SLC KARAH RUCKER Contributing Reporter Sam Houston State’s women’s basketball continues to fall in Southland Conference standings after another league loss against Lamar University 81-64 Saturday in Beaumont. The loss drops the Bearkats to 6-8 in conference play and puts them in the bottom four, now six games behind league leader Central Arkansas. Although the scoreboard may have shown differently Saturday, the Bearkats drastically improved against the Cardinals after falling 70-45 just two weeks prior. Compared to the previous match up, the Bearkats were more effective offensively and adjusted defensively with more ball pressure on Lamar’s offense. “Our coaches decided to add a couple of new offenses to give us different looks at scoring,” junior post player Angela Beadle said. “We also were more prepared defensively against their offenses, and I think that helped a lot.” Similar to the first match-up, SHSU kept a tight race with second place Lamar during the first half and filed into halftime tied 4040. However, history has a habit of repeating itself. Lamar took full control over the second half. Of the next 35 points scored, 26 of

them were from the Cardinals. The Bearkats had 23 turnovers, resulting in 30 points against them. With another loss, the Bearkats are grasping for any slight chance of returning to the post-season. “We cannot afford to lose and put our fate in other teams’ hands,” Beadle said. “Right now we have to just take it one game at a time.” The season has been rocky for the Bearkats. From a five-game winning streak to a seven-game losing streak, this season has been anything but consistent. “This year overall has been rough,” Beadle said. “At the beginning, I had high expectations because we were winning and playing very well together.” Although the chances are becoming unlikely for another run for the SLC championship, the team is far from calling it quits, according to Beadle. “What I love most about our team is that we could have gave up after the first couple of losses in conference, but we have showed fight and heart and have come back and beat some good teams,” she said. The Bearkats will travel to top-seeded Central Arkansas (11-3 SLC) Thursday. “Playing [UCA] at their house is not going to be easy,” Beadle said. “If we want to upset the top team in conference, we are going to have to play a 40-minute ball game and out work them.”


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