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Anthropology, religion depts. celebrate move to Eaton Hall



ALEXA ROSENTHALL Contributing Writer


Tomorrow’s visit from No. 5 Trinity will mark the beginning of a critical stretch of NESCAC games for freshman Lia Sagerman and the Jumbos.

Tufts to take on Trinity in showdown of undefeated teams BY SAPNA

Where You Read It First Est. 1980


Daily Editorial Board

The field hockey team has certainly benefited from a lull in its schedule since facing two nationally ranked opponents over its first three games of the season. Over the past month, the Jumbos have feasted on inferior, non-conference competition and NESCAC bottom-feeders, outscoring their last seven opponents by a whopping 35-3 margin. Beginning this weekend, however, birds of prey are migrating north towards Bello Field — the undefeated Trinity Bantams. Two of the nation’s top five teams will battle for first place in the NESCAC when No. 3 Tufts hosts No. 5 Trinity tomorrow at noon on Bello Field. The Jumbos and Bantams are currently deadlocked atop the NESCAC standings with just three conference games left, meaning tomorrow’s Senior Day tilt could go a long way

towards deciding which squad ultimately claims the NESCAC regular season crown. Both teams are unbeaten in Div. III. “We’ve obviously seen a lot of success so far, and we’re ready to be challenged a little bit more,” junior defender Amanda Roberts said. “At this point in the season, we’re starting to peak, and I think everything is starting to come together. That just makes it exciting to play teams that have also been successful this season.” The red-hot Jumbos could probably not have picked a better time to meet their toughest challenge of the season. A squad that was having some trouble converting on a plethora of scoring chances at the beginning of the year has lit up the scoreboard over the past 10 days, tallying a total of 24 goals on 97 shots in recent runaway wins over Wellesley, Colby and Conn. College. see FIELD HOCKEY, page 11

Tufts’ religion and anthropology departments officially settled into their new homes in Eaton Hall yesterday, christening their offices with a celebration attended by professors, students and University President Lawrence Bacow. The departments will share the third floor in Eaton Hall, previously home to the political science department. Professors Kevin Dunn and David Guss, chairs of the religion and anthropology departments, respectively, expressed satisfaction with the new space and the opportunity to share the office. “This is not a ceremony for two different departments, but a celebration of sharing the land, sharing intellectual space,” Dunn said. “It is a marriage made in heaven.” The departments were previously housed at 126 Curtis Street, a loca-

tion that is considerably removed from Tufts’ main campus, Guss said. At their new Eaton Hall location, both centers have the capability to expand and become more active voices in the Tufts academic arena. Renovations to Eaton’s third floor were completed over the summer to make the setting more hospitable for both students and professors. The space features open conference rooms, windowed offices, a coffee bar and a glass display case for antiquities donated by Religion Professor Emeritus Howard Hunter. Prior to the facelift, Guss said the third floor closely resembled a Motel 6. Eaton is by no means new to religion and anthropology faculty; the basement of the building once housed the departments for 20 years, according to Guss. But the previous Eaton Hall basement was not at all an ideal working environment, Guss said. see ANTHROPOLOGY, page 3

Law journal breaks new and ‘Common’ ground as first Tufts publication of its type BY


Contributing Writer

Tufts’ first legal journal, Common Law, is scheduled to hit campus next semester in the hopes of giving undergraduate students a better understanding of the world of law. The students who founded the journal believe it will give college communities an often-missing perspective on legal issues. “A journal like ours doesn’t exist, period, for undergraduate schools,” associate editor Raymond Shehadeh, a junior, said. Journal editors plan to include academic articles from a variety of fields. Staff writers, all of whom will be undergraduates, will contribute the

majority of articles, though undergraduate and graduate students not involved in the journal’s publication will also be able to submit. Junior Catherine Kim, who serves as co-editor-in-chief, said that Common Law will allow staff members interested in pursuing legal careers to develop their researching, writing and critical thinking skills. “It helps people who want to go to law school, because you get a chance to write and edit,” she said. “Writing skills are really important in law.” Common Law also plans to include law school profiles and Law School Admission Test tips for students who will apply to law school. see LAW, page 3

Discovery of ‘Ardi’ is not news inside academic community BY

MARY BETH GRIGGS Contributing Writer

The news media have been abuzz for the past few weeks with articles, documentaries and other features about the unearthing of a very old set of bones. The bones belong to Ardipithecus ramidus or, as she is commonly referred to, “Ardi.” Her remains are the earliest of any hominid ever discovered. This revelation has been most exciting to the anthropological and archaeological communities, giving them fresh insight into how humans have evolved. But to many scholars within these fields, Ardi is old news. “It isn’t a new discovery,” said Stephen Bailey, associate professor of anthropology at Tufts. “We’ve been getting bits of descriptions for a long time now. And people who work in the field pretty much knew

most of what was going to happen.” People knew what was going to happen because, despite the recent hype, Ardi herself was actually discovered almost 15 years ago in Ethiopia. But the researchers had reservations about heavily publicizing the story until further study had been conducted. And completing satisfactory research took a long time —

Sullivan, a lecturer in Tufts’ anthropology and archaeology departments. “The initial findings were released in 1994, [and] they put out press releases, that kind of thing. In the Science

it takes a while to get that done and turn it into a publication.” Bailey cited an additional

15 years, to be precise. “They wanted to do such a detailed study and have it all out there,” said Lauren

Magazine that came out recently, there were [about] 50 different scientists looking at her and doing analysis, and

reason for the length of time between discovery and release of information. “The cleaning is excruciatingly painstaking,”


Inside this issue

he said. “It may take a year to clean something like a femur,” he said, referring to a particular bone in the leg. “[It is] very tedious work, and you can’t rush it.” But now that the scientific community has conducted the research to support Ardi’s weighty discovery, she is changing some of the most widely held perceptions about how humans evolved. A prevailing theory within anthropology for years has been the idea that bipedalism, or walking on two legs, developed when early hominids moved from the forest to the savannah. The idea was that early humans were scavengers, so being able to move around and carry things at the same time was an evolutionary advantage — especially for males, who could see ARDI, page 3

Today’s Sections

‘Family Guy’ continues with iconic brand of humor; ‘The Cleveland Show’ gives viewers something to love.

Jumbos hope to bring Homecoming momentum to game against Trinity on Parents’ Weekend.

see ARTS, page 5

see SPORTS, back page

News | Features Arts & Living

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Comics Sports

8 Back




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Friday, October 16, 2009

Organization ‘shapes up’ Somerville restaurants through approval system BY


Daily Editorial Board

Even if you only intended to grab a coffee and yogurt when you stopped for a quick breakfast at that café the other morning, chances are that you were tempted by the buttery croissants, double chocolate muffins and oversized cinnamon rolls as you waited by the display case. Many restaurants and cafés, with their heaping portions and fullfat, sugar-laden foods, do little to stem the obesity epidemic hitting the nation, but one organization in Somerville is working with local eateries to promote healthier eating in the community. Shape Up Somerville launched in 2003 as a way to educate children and families about nutrition, exercise and healthier lifestyles. The organization was founded in response to a Tufts study which found that 46 percent of first through third graders were overweight or at risk of being overweight. Shape Up initially worked with the Somerville School Food Service Department to increase the quality and quantity of healthy foods in local schools. It then branched out with after-school programs, a local road race and a project called Shape Up Approved Restaurants. “We realized that restaurants have a big influence on healthy eating, which led to the restaurant program,” Nicole Rioles, a Shape Up Somerville coordinator, said. “We thought that restaurants should offer and market healthy options, [and] have smaller portions.” The restaurant approval project, which was originally developed in 2004, grants “approval” to local food establishments that meet certain healthy eating standards developed by Shape Up Somerville. The requirements include encouraging customers to take half of their meal to go, promoting healthier meal options and offering smaller portions, low- and non-fat dairy options and fruits and vegetables. “The whole goal is to encourage people to make healthier choices … including going to restaurants with healthier options, while encouraging restaurants to promote these options,” Tufts senior Anna Pierson said. She has been working with Shape Up Somerville as part of her community health internship, focusing on the Shape Up Approved Restaurants project. “We look at a restaurant’s menu first and assess how [it is] doing [according to] Shape Up requirements,” Pierson


Will Bradshaw, second chef at Teele Square Café, prepares a chicken pesto sandwich — one of the healthier sandwiches served in the establishment. said. “If they meet the standards, or if they’re close, we approach them.” As part of the project, Pierson has been working with the 18 approved restaurants in Somerville, including two cafes — True Grounds and Teele Square Café — right near Tufts’ campus. Teele Square Café, which opened last March on the corner of Broadway and Curtis St., proudly sports its Shape Up Approved sticker right by its front

door. According to owner and chef Jonathan Adelson, the café prides itself on cooking “homemade comfort food from scratch.” He said that the café didn’t have to change anything to meet the Shape Up standards. “[ The program] approached my wife, and we wanted to get [involved] in the community,” Adelson said. see SHAPE UP, page 4

Lecture series offers ‘suite’ brand of humor BY SMRITI


Contributing Writer

This semester’s first installment of the unique Haskell 240s Lecture Series attracted over 100 students on Wednesday night, with presentations offering a comedic perspective on coffee, insomnia, bras and duct tape, among other topics. The lecture series emerged as the brainchild of five suite mates in the fall of 2008 and has since attracted a large following of Tufts students. Founded by sophomores Jay Farber, Mikey Bernstein, Alex Lyon, Quinault Childs and Steven Halstead when they lived together in the Haskell 240s suite their freshman year, the lecture series gives students an opportunity to deliver presentations on humorous topics that starkly contrast with run-of-themill student panels and speaker presentations. “I don’t think you can find another student organization at Tufts that does what we do,” Farber said. “It’s an opportunity to practice public speaking in a fun, low-pressure setting.” The founders explained that the lecture series evolved through everyday conversations within their suite. The first designated lecture, which took

place in the Haskell 240s common room itself, focused on the clogged toilets in the suite and featured a laptop projection on a hanging bed sheet. The lecture series has since grown from its humble beginnings. It gradually moved beyond presentations by the original founding members and now features guest speakers. Students have lectured on over 20 topics since the series began last semester, often incorporating two or three presentations in one night. Past presentations have included how to remove bras, what not to do on Parents Weekend and how to spread disease. In prior lectures, students also added a choreographed dance to their lecture. Sophomore Emma Holliday, who attended Wednesday’s presentation as well as several last year, said the lectures are a welcomed study break. “It’s not really that they’re experts at all, just funny guys willing to get in front of a group of people … willing to laugh at themselves and have a good time,” she said. The surge in attendance over the last year prompted the founders to elevate the lecture series to a new level by moving it to bigger, more official venues. Their final lecture last semester,

held as a black-tie event in Barnum Auditorium, attracted between 150 and 200 students clad in suits and ties. The sophomores are strongly committed to the series’ traditionally comedic theme. They want to create a lighthearted, open forum where “students can present to students,” Bernstein said. “It’s a good way to kick back and have some fun and have a little break in the middle of the week,” Farber said. The founders hope to reach more of the Tufts student body in future lectures, as well as attract their most sought-after guest, University President Lawrence Bacow. The leaders maintain a Facebook. com group in which they post all upcoming presentations. They hope to present two or three lectures per semester. Although the Haskell 240s Lecture Series is not currently an official student organization, the founders are seeking official recognition from the Tufts Community Union Senate, which would give them access to possible funding for a lecture hall space. Ellen Kan and Alexandra Bogus contributed reporting to this article.


Friday, October 16, 2009



Fossil sheds new light on human ancestors and their evolution ARDI continued from page 1

carry the groceries back to their chosen mates. But Bailey explained that the discovery of Ardi has altered this view. “Ramidus takes us away from that model — from the savannah into the forest. Ramidus quite clearly lived in the forest. You also see the morphology — the curved phalanges, [and] a skeleton that is probably equally as adept at going up a tree fast as it is walking on the ground,” he said. Ardi’s sheer age is also a significant factor in her academic importance. “One of the big things is the fact that they have a detailed analysis of an ancestor that’s a million years older than ‘Lucy,’” Sullivan said. Lucy, found in 1974, was the oldest and most complete skeleton of an early hominid until Ardi’s discovery. “Lucy is 3.2 million years old. Ardi is 4.4 million years old. Up until now Lucy was the largest portion of an individual that they’d found. She had 45 percent of her skeleton. So, with Ardi, they are able to get information on an

individual going back about a million years,” Sullivan said. Fossils even older than Ardi have been found, but they are fragments, making it more difficult to get an accurate vision of how the species lived. With a lack of fossils to study, it has been common practice for anthropologists to use chimpanzees as models for how early human ancestors would have behaved. Since the discovery of Ardi, many researchers have been rethinking that approach. “Since Ardi, chimpanzees have evolved along their own track, and humans have evolved too. Scientists hadn’t necessarily realized that modern apes have evolved a lot more than previously thought,” Sullivan said. Bailey referred to studying modern chimpanzees for their similarity to common ancestors as dangerous, since chimpanzees are so specialized. “They’re knuckle walkers, they live in an increasingly marginalized environment, they’re in danger of extinction. It’s not clear that their behavior even in the wild is anything like it would have been 6 million years ago,” Bailey said.

“A long time ago, there were so many more of them that they could have been the successful ones, and we were the weird, offshoot population.”

“It may take a year to clean something like a femur — [it’s] very tedious work and you can’t rush it.” Stephen Bailey Associate Professor of anthropology

Studying Ardi has allowed paleontologists to make great headway in their understanding of why humans have evolved the way they have, but the discovery also adds insight to the archaeological record. Archaeology is often thought of as the study of ancient buildings and artifacts, but Ardi lived 2 million years before the earliest manmade tools in the archaeological record. “This is just another kind of [archae-

ological] site, and this provides information about our ancestors way before buildings and way before we had social inequality and pottery and all the stuff that comes with that, so it gives people on the street that are just reading about it another perspective of what life was like many, many years before you see Homo sapiens,” Sullivan said. “Most of the sites that people think about when you think about temples or pyramids are associated with modern Homo sapiens. When you’re looking at human evolution and early bipedalism, you’re pushing the record back millions of years ago and bringing in other species,” Sullivan added. In the case of Ardi, Bailey said looking at how she lived matters because of the place she holds in history. “The large majority of physical anthropologists and human paleontologists see Ramidus as a direct ancestor of ours. There’s a minority opinion that all of that line goes its own interesting direction and at best are [our] cousins. But I would say that in general people feel that she’s on the main line — she becomes us,” Bailey said.

Common Law to offer legal perspective, test tips and school profiles LAW continued from page 1

Kim and junior Tony Carucci, co-editors-in-chief of Common Law, came up with idea for the journal last spring. They aim to publish their first issue in March and hope to continue publishing annually. “For this year, our target audience is the students at Tufts who are interested in going to law school [or] who are thinking about going to law school and aren’t sure yet,” Kim said. Common Law’s publication is subject to a budget approval by the Allocations Board (ALBO), followed by a Tufts Community Union Senate vote to finalize the budget. The editors project an annual budget between $2,000 and $3,000.

They submitted their request for funding on Oct. 9 and are currently awaiting the Board’s decision. Kim said the staff spoke with pre-law advisors at Tufts and examined law journals in preparation for Common Law’s first issue. She cited the Dartmouth Law Journal and the Harvard College Law Journal as two sources of inspiration. Senior Duncan Pickard, public editor of the Media Advocacy Board, which includes all student media organizations at Tufts, said that students heading on-campus publications should consider alternatives to publishing in print to avoid draining funds from the ALBO. “Publications, while they’re very important, can require

a disproportionately larger amount of money than most student groups,” he said. “It’s long overdue to think about how we’re funding new groups as funds diminish.” The public editor serves to offer an impartial and often critical perspective on campus publications. Pickard was president of the TCU Senate last year, but emphasized that his opinions did not represent the views of the Senate. Pickard suggested that publications consider moving online. “All written media outlets have online content,” Pickard said. “To be competitive, modern publications have to be on the Web. There’s no question about it.” Kim said that Common Law

will be published in print, but the journal will also have online content. “It’s definitely easier to be online in terms of finance,” she said. Pickard said that budding publications could benefit from teaming up with more established print media as a way to cut costs. “I think that it’s possible that some new publications could think more creatively about the way they publish,” Pickard said. “If you really just want to publish in print — and that’s fine, and totally understandable — then look to partner with other print organizations that are on campus.” Associate editor Kennedy Kearney-Fischer, a senior, said

that a print publication offers a value for writers that cannot be matched online. “I think there’s something very special for a student to see their work in print and to realize, ‘Hey, this is something I can actually accomplish,’” she said. “There’s something a bit more formal about having it in print.” Kim said the editors hope to distribute Common Law issues to other schools in the Northeast. Shehadeh said he hopes Common Law will address issues that excite students. “I’m hoping that people will really get engaged with these articles,” he said. “I’m really hoping that somehow Common Law can stand out.”

Renovated Eaton better serves anthropology, religion departments’ needs ANTHROPOLOGY continued from page 1

The new space, however, offers a good fit for the relatively small departments. Political science faculty and staff moved to the newly refurbished Packard Hall over the summer after the department’s considerable growth. Guss said the university was “doing an impressive job” figuring out how to effectively accommodate the growth of maturing academic departments in a tight economy. Prominent members of both departments and the broader Tufts community attended the celebration for the departments’ move. Bacow read a brief statement from the Talmud, and Hunter read a favorite poem to celebrate the move. University Chaplain David O’Leary recounted dozens of noteworthy religious events, ending at “the ninth year of the reign of Lawrence Bacow,” to commemorate this critical development for the departments. Dunn said the new space complemented the growing value of studying religion, which has become even more pertinent thanks to today’s explosive religious conflicts. “The study of religion is increasingly important,” Dunn said. As a housewarming gesture, the departments followed a Palestinian tradition of placing a wreath made of dough and flowers over the department entryway to bring good fortune to both departments in the future. Guss read a Spanish proverb by Saint John and placed a piece of parchment featuring the traditional Spanish verse behind a plaque on the department doorway to bring good fortune to all students. Later in the ceremony, Dunn, the religion department’s chair, honored Hunter for his pioneering attitude and his role in encouraging the growth of


The anthropology and religion departments officially settled into their new offices in Eaton Hall with a celebration yesterday. Tufts’ religion department. “When religion was not modish, he persevered single-handedly,” Dunn said. Bacow emphasized the responsibil-

ity of students to “inspire their faculty.” To celebrate the growth of student interest in the two departments, Bacow read a proverb from the Talmud: “I have learnt much from my teachers,

more from my fellow students, and most from my students.” The ceremony concluded with a musical march through the new department offices.



Friday, October 16, 2009


Approved eateries work to create nutritious kids’ menus SHAPE UP continued from page 2

“Shape Up Somerville really appealed to me, because I think people should be a little more conscious of what they put in their mouths.” Adelson, who has been a chef in the Boston are for over 15 years, has a background in fine dining and French bistro. He opened his first café in Cambridge eight years ago. “I’m always focused on healthy options, not necessarily diet options, but healthy options cooked from scratch ... [ We’re not] just opening up frozen food, but bringing in raw food and cooking,” he said. While the café does not skimp on delicious croissants and other tempting baked goods, fruit and other healthy options are offered and prominently displayed. According to Adelson, while Teele Square Café has always had a “secret, backdoor” kids’ menu for his son as well as his wife’s friends’ children, the eatery is working with Shape Up to coordinate an official kids menu. “[We’re] thinking about what would excite kids that’s not necessarily bacon,” Adelson said, joking around about his two-year-old son’s eating habits. Pierson has been helping out with kids menus at Teele Square Café as well as at other restaurants. “I’ve been designing healthier menus for kids, since many of these places don’t have kids menus, even if they are family oriented,” she said. “I’m looking at their menus and coming up with meals I remember eating as a kid or served in restaurants I’ve worked in, then working with managers to see what will work for them logistically.” Shape Up Somerville will soon be making appearances in the Mayer Campus Center. “The Commons and Hotung are going to become Shape Approved,” Pierson said. “It’s more of a publicity thing to get the word out there … a lot of people don’t know about the campaign, and there are a lot of restaurants that are approved that Tufts students go to all the time.”


Shape Up Somerville encourages restaurant and cafe owners to offer nutritious options on their menus and promote healthy eating.

Tufts Programs Abroad Upcoming InformationAL Pizza Parties

Tufts in Ghana: Monday, 10/19 at 6:00 pm Dowling Hall 745B

Tufts in Hong Kong: Wednesday, 10/21 at 6:00 pm Dowling Hall 745B

Tufts in Paris: Tuesday, 10/27 at 6:00 pm Dowling Hall 745B

Come learn more about our programs!

Arts & Living




Relying on stereotypes, ‘Family Guy’ sticks to its formula, ‘Cleveland’ shows a softer side BY

The last laugh


Daily Editorial Board


It seems today/ that all you see/ are Seth MacFarlane cartoons/ and jokes on Fox TV. That could be an apt theme song for the Fox network’s Sunday night “Animation

Family Guy Starring Seth MacFarlane, Alex Bornstein, Seth Green, Mike Henry Airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Fox Domination” lineup. Save for “The Simpsons,” the entire night is dedicated to MacFarlane programming: “Family Guy,” its new spin-off “The Cleveland Show” and “American Dad!” Let’s focus first on the one about the fat guy whose wife is much more attractive than he is … and who has a few kids,


Let’s play a game: how many of these characters are voiced by Seth MacFarlane?

The Cleveland Show Starring Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson Airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on Fox including a young boy who’s much snappier than he should be at his age … and who has wacky neighbors and talking animals. It’s easy to see how this could be confusing,

since both “Family Guy” and “Cleveland” contain all of these elements. For now, though, “Family Guy” still uses them best. The show kicked off its eighth season with another entry in the now-classic “Road to …” series, which allows for many different sight gags and opportunities for a wide range of humor. This episode, “Road to the Multiverse,” was no exception, as Stewie and Brian (both voiced by MacFarlane) traveled through multiple


parallel universes catching glimpses of different versions of Quahog, where the show takes place. MacFarlane and his crew were able to show off their range, especially with a Disney-universe parody that included a musical number and a vicious dig at Walt Disney’s purported anti-Semitism. Since this season’s premiere, “Family Guy” has been more uneven. The second see MACFARLANE, page 6


Green history packs punch, but lacks inspiration BY

ALEXA ROSENTHALL Contributing Writer

Signs of a growing environmental consciousness are increasingly evident across America — and the Tufts

Earth Days Directed by Robert Stone

of that supposition. The only surprise “Retreat,” the new film from child-actor-turned-director Peter Billingsley, has in store for viewers is its complete waste of comedic talent. Written by Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, this battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy centers around four couples whose problems threaten to overwhelm their relationships. Jason and Cynthia ( Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell) recruit their friends for a group-rate vacation to the renowned Eden Resort in an effort to save their marriage, which is on the rocks because they haven’t been able to conceive a child. Dave and Ronnie (Vaughn and Malin Akerman), a seemingly happy, suburban couple with two boys, tag along to support their friends only to discover tension underlying their own marriage. Shane

campus is no exception. On the Hill, recycling receptacles are available in almost every corner of every building, teachers use the Blackboard Web site to minimize extraneous printouts and innovative projects like the Solar Decathlon are commonplace. One might wonder exactly when this concern for a green lifestyle began. This year’s documentary “Earth Days” is a thoughtful reflection on the origins of the American environmental movement but ultimately one that fails to motivate viewers to take action. British filmmaker Robert Stone takes audiences back to the mid20th century, to explore the inception of environmentalism. Stone highlights the shift in societal ideals, exemplified by the thriftiness of the Great Depression and the middleclass prosperity of the ’50s, to show how the ’20s norm of unemployment and food lines gradually led to an age of grandiose mass production and conspicuous consumption. Stone depicts this post-depression extravagance through flashy lines of Model T cars and home refrigerators large enough for Dewick-McPhie

see COUPLES, page 7

see EARTH, page 7


Does anyone actually believe any woman could be attracted to this man?

‘Couples Retreat’ creators were on a mental vacation BY JOSHUA


Contributing Writer

One would think a vacation in Bora Bora, with its romantic jungle getaways and picturesque bungalows

Couples Retreat Starring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Kristen Bell, Jason Bateman Directed by Peter Billingsley built over crystal-clear, blue water, could do nothing but help a couple’s relationship — and “Couples Retreat” ultimately proves this assumption exactly right. What isn’t right is requiring audience members to sit through two hours of sitcom-variety comedy merely to get confirmation

n my TV-saturated youth, there were few phrases more recognizable than this one: “This program was taped before a live studio audience.” That guffawing crowd serves as TV comedy’s most calming, coaxing companion, known popularly as the laugh track. There’s a rumor that all laugh tracks come from the O.G. live studio audiences of the ’50s and that the voices belong mostly to modern-day corpses, ringing from beyond the grave. But from what I can tell from my experience here in Los Angeles, this isn’t always true. For the most part, today’s multicamera sitcoms tape one day a week, with a straight-through rehearsal show followed by a filmed run for the audience. One of the few exceptions is “How I Met Your Mother,” an otherwise traditional multi-cam with too many scenes, cutaway gags, flashbacks and special effects to cater to an audience — let alone to shoot something on one day (the filming schedule runs from Wednesday through Friday). On my Wednesdays on set, I get to be a part of the closest thing the cast gets to an audience, and I actually get to laugh. On set, most jokes flow without pause for laughter, applause or those hateful, scandalized “ooh!” noises. Instead, the show is roughly pieced together into a coherent whole, and then Emmy-nominated editor Susan Federman adds in the laughs. Sue has a large library of crowd reactions borrowed from another show that her assistant, Steely, worked on. She goes through the episode and drops in laughs at her discretion, aiming to highlight punchlines without stepping on the next set-up. Occasionally, jokes are so close together that she lets them fly by without a laugh, but while watching her work, I was surprised at how little of the show wasn’t punctuated (violated?) by the laugh track. As a fan, I’ve always admired “HIMYM” because, though the laughs are there, they’re easy to ignore because I’m laughing on my own. The writing is sharp enough that the laughs don’t echo in a cerebral silence. The worst laugh tracks, like those on the first season of Aaron Sorkin’s “Sports Night,” highlight the wrong elements and don’t know how to react to the right ones. It’s no surprise that acclaimed comedies — including the freshmen “Modern Family” and “Community” — are laugh track-free single-cams. Generally, that format rewards smart writing, rather than punishing it. Yesterday I spent a good hour or so watching Sue drop in laughs, weighing the options between one prerecorded reaction and another, listening to the timing and crescendos of each sound bite. It’s odd to hear laughs disembodied because they have such a thoroughly lively, human sound. I couldn’t quite tell if the laughs were so loud for Sue’s benefit, or if they were always like that. In fact, since I’ve started working on the show, the laughs on aired episodes just seem louder to me. Obviously, TV’s original studio audiences bridged the stylistic gap between the new medium and vaudeville, its direct predecessor. Why do the TV suits think laugh tracks are still needed? Do they not trust us to laugh all on our own? Personally, I hate watching comedy alone. My “HIMYM” viewing group back at school is consistently six or seven strong, and I tend to only laugh out loud if I’m laughing with others. But with the advent of watchwhen-you-want technologies, television is steadily becoming a more solitary medium. Maybe, with shows like “HIMYM” that are actually funny — as opposed to shows like the new “Accidentally On Purpose,” which aren’t — we need those invisible companions to feel comfortable enough to react. We are our own live studio audiences, keeping the laughs alive. Rebecca Goldberg is a junior majoring in American studies. She can be reached at




Friday, October 16, 2009

Cleveland Brown proves more likable than Peter Griffin, but just as cliché MACFARLANE continued from page 5

episode, “Family Goy,” took aim at religion. Lois (Alex Bornstein), the family’s matriarch, discovered her true Jewish roots and found herself at odds with Catholic husband Peter (MacFarlane, again). It had its funny moments, but it lacked any strong subplot or much involvement from the supporting characters that help the show thrive. Last Sunday’s “Spies Reminiscent of Us,” which featured guest stars Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as secret government agents, felt too much like a random story for the sake of a story, even by this show’s standards.

Cleveland makes a much more sympathetic main character than Peter Griffin, and he cares about the people who surround him, even if they are mostly one-note. Although not as consistently funny as in past seasons, “Family Guy” has been sticking to its formula of immature humor mixed with smart satire and random cutaway gags. Hot off an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series (making it the first animated show to receive this distinction since “The Flintstones” in 1961), “Family Guy” is unlikely to change its formula any time soon — so the best thing to hope for is that the jokes just get a little funnier. “The Cleveland Show” is the

newest MacFarlane program, a co-creation with Mike Henry and Richard Appel, and it uses many of the same story devices. The show follows mild-mannered Cleveland Brown (Mike Henry) and his son, Cleveland Jr. (Kevin Michael Richardson), as they leave Quahog in search of a new life. They find it in Cleveland’s hometown of Stoolbend, Va., where he rekindles a romance with high school sweetheart Donna (Sanaa Lathan) and moves in with her and her family. “Cleveland” is unique in that it focuses on a black family in a primetime schedule that has far too few characters of color. Unfortunately, though, this seems not to be much more than a platform for the writers to indulge in stereotypes and clichés. Donna’s kids, Roberta (Reagan GomezPreston) and Rallo (Henry again), are portrayed respectively as the sassy black girl and the oversexed black male (even at age five), and the show also throws in redneck neighbors, since they’ve set it in the South. It’s not all racial humor, and when there are overtly racist jokes, it is usually more satirical and sharp than flat-out offensive. It will be a tricky line to walk, though, and it certainly doesn’t help that Cleveland is voiced by a white actor. All this aside, “The Cleveland Show” certainly presents a likeable protagonist. Cleveland makes a much more sympathetic main character than Peter Griffin, and he cares about the people who surround him, even if they are mostly one-note. Tim the Bear (voiced by MacFarlane, in a Russian accent) continues the MacFarlane tradition of making talking animals the most interesting characters, after


Cheers, honey! To a successful spinoff! Brian in “Family Guy” and Roger and Klaus in “American Dad!” While he hasn’t been featured much yet, he could be a strong point for the show if the writers can make him more than just one of Cleveland’s bar buddies. “Cleveland” isn’t bad. It just isn’t that great, and it seems a little

unnecessary. It feels more like a real sitcom and is a little less endearingly random than “Family Guy” — although it still uses its creator’s trademark non-sequiturs. Fox has already ordered two full 22-episode seasons, so at least the writers have time to really develop their show.

“Family Guy” is pretty much the same show it’s always been. The humor is rapid-fire, hitor-miss and often quite offensive. But by now, people know MacFarlane’s brand; they know what to expect. The only question is whether they delight in being cleverly offended.



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Major: Undecided hosts first show of fall season Senior Dan Casey insists that students who make time this weekend for Major: Undecided’s super-topical show, “Major: Undecided Doesn’t Care If Your Roommate Is There,” should expect to receive more than just an hour of hilarity. “If people take anything away from our show, it should be a newfound confidence that they can have sex in front of their roommates, their parents or anyone else who might try to infringe upon their constitutional rights,” joked Casey, the president of the student comedy troupe. “In short, people will leave our show and finally understand what is meant by the Light on the Hill.” The Saturday evening show’s title refers to the media sensation surrounding Tufts’ new policy disallowing sexual activity in dorm rooms while roommates are present. Casey said the performance will be an exciting premiere of fresh content. “This is our first show of the semester, consisting of brand-new, never-before-seen, student-written, student-performed, student-produced sketch comedy,” Casey said. He and other veterans will be joined by freshman players, who will entertain after weeks of writing, sketch selection, auditioning and rehearsals. “Like perhaps every other comedian in America, we’ll be making a biting, topical joke at Tufts’ expense. Well, that, and naming our show ‘Major: Undecided Publicly Slanders Your Parents’ might alienate some of our Parents Weekend visitors,” Casey said humorously, referring to the fact that the show will coincide with Tufts’ annual Parents Weekend. The show will consist of nine sketches, covering topics ranging from whistles for special occasions to crustacean-themed reality shows. Casey hopes that the show will not only provide a much-needed laugh to many students, but will also be an eye-opening experience. “Major: Undecided Doesn’t Care If Your Roomate Is There” takes the Cabot Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday and is free. More information can be found at or at — by Matt DiGirolamo


Friday, October 16, 2009



Short on plot, development, film may force viewers to ‘Retreat’

‘Earth Days’ is an achievement in many categories, but misses opportunity to inspire



continued from page 5

(Faizon Love), who has already split from his wife, brings his shrill, 20-year-old girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk) along just to impress her and show her that he’s still young. Joey and Lucy (Favreau and Kristin Davis), the last couple on the retreat, have been sweethearts since high school. Their teenage daughter is about to leave the nest, and thus, like every other married couple in the movie, their marriage is strained. Their reasons for attending the retreat, though, along with clearer reasons for their impending divorce, seem to have been left on the cutting-room floor. “Retreat” veers back and forth between crude sexual humor, awkward physical comedy and what are supposed to be poignant moments. The couples must endure forced nudity, uncomfortable therapy sessions and a wildly erotic, yet surprisingly comical yoga class, amid other mildly entertaining shenanigans. All activities are presided over by the braided, housecoat-wearing Monsieur Marcel, the “couples’ whisperer,” a paltry character played by the overqualified French actor Jean Reno. Don’t expect too much in the way of plot development from the film; it is essentially a series of disconnected skits. The only good thing that can be said about “Retreat” is that it milks humor out of these non sequiturs. Most of the scenes are funny, even if they don’t ultimately mesh together in any meaningful way. “Retreat”

even finds time for an extended Guitar Hero product placement scene, which pits Vaughn against a sleazy hotel manager antagonist. While the humor scrapes by, the film’s acting leaves something to be desired. Typically, Vaughn does not play his character, he plays himself, and the entire cast fails to make their respective loves believable. Still, a few funny lines hit their mark thanks in large part to Vaughn and Favreau. That gives the story just enough comedic weight to tie the haphazard scene progression together. There is no character development in “Retreat,” either. This stems from both the absence of any discernable plot and the atrocious acting. The same paper-thin characters occupy the screen in each scene; they never truly connect with each other. In what seems to be a desperate attempt to make up for the stagnant characters, toward the very end of “Retreat,” each character changes radically over the course of one night, experiencing individual epiphanies that make them all more communicative, patient and loving. It’s a hasty, lazy attempt at wrapping up the film. To its credit, “Retreat” is a refreshingly tame chuckle-fest, which elicits lots of laughs without having to resort to the mean-spirited insults that have become the staple of the battleof-the-sexes genre. The film is a pleasant romantic romp likely to delight, provided one is willing to put one’s brain on pause for a couple of hours and just go with the flow — the island way.

continued from page 5

Dining Hall, tying modern American wastefulness back to the these historical images. The documentary features interviews with nine influential Americans who participated in the environmental enthusiasm of the ’60s. The interviewees range from a woman named Stephanie Mills, who spoke of the dangers of population growth in her college commencement speech, to Denis Hayes, a chief organizer of the original Earth Day in 1970. All of the interviewees convey a strong sense of passion for the environmental cause, but the audience cannot help but register a sense of disappointment — the dogged efforts of these past pioneers have proven to be mostly ineffective. The film incorporates incredible aerial footage into its hour-and-a-half narrative. One panoramic view of the development of Los Angeles is truly astounding, as it emphasizes the city’s gross industrialization. Stone uses breathtaking views from outer space to juxtapose the immediate, fast-paced world of consumption with the serene and vulnerable vista of our home planet as seen from orbit. If nothing else, the film is a testament to the inherent beauty of the natural world. Throughout the film, Stone exhibits his frustrations with large corporations and fickle governments. He showcases several presidential speeches,




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The film does give a rough history of environmentalism, but it is clear that the sustainability of those early efforts is problematic. The individuals interviewed were active within the green movement in the


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including one by President Richard Nixon. In his speech, Nixon promised to support renewable resource projects and legislation promoting environmental safety. Stone then notes how, immediately after the speech, Congress instead appeased big businesses. To underscore the way this capriciousness relates to consumer culture, Stone cleverly transitions environmental protection logos to larger business logos, featuring the notorious brands of GM, Ford and ExxonMobil. In his director’s statement, Stone said he hoped the film would enhance general understanding of the origins of environmentalism. He writes, “In all the contemporary agonizing about climate change, so much of the environmental movement’s past successes have been almost completely forgotten, particularly by young people, most of whom see their efforts at environmentalism as starting from scratch. They have little or no knowledge of their own history.”


My planet has more flair buttons than yours. past, but many of them now pursue careers that are not related to environmentalism; one man is building a clock in the cave of a mountain, while another is designing plan to prevent stray asteroids from hitting earth. As the credits roll, the audience cannot help but feel as if the film interviewed burnout environmentalists. They ask themselves, “Is the goal of environmental balance simply too lofty?” Unfortunately, the film does not adequately address the difficulties and frustrations associated with enacting environmental change, making it hard for audiences to connect with the overall message. “Earth Days,” despite Stone’s high hopes, misses an opportunity to motivate the young generation to take up the work of their forebears.





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Friday, October 16, 2009



Parent’s Weekend 2009 Please join us for: Pre-Shabbat Reception with Rabbi Summit Friday October 16, 2009 4:30-5:30 PM Shabbat Evening Services Reform and Conservative Friday October 16, 2009 6:00 PM Shabbat Morning Services followed by lunch Saturday October 17, 2009 9:00 AM 220 Packard Avenue (next to Miller Hall) For more information: 617-627-3242




Friday, October 16, 2009


Tufts tries to keep NESCAC winning streak alive against Trinity WOMEN’S SOCCER continued from page 12

omore defender Cleo Hirsh said. “They haven’t had much success in the NESCAC this season, and they were probably hoping to get out and get a win. So right away that one goal affected them a lot, because they realized that today wasn’t going to be their day.” Just over 10 minutes later, Hardy would strike again. After a miscue by Conn. College goalie Jenna Ross in the Camels’ box, senior co-captain Cara Cadigan fed Hardy, who scored her fifth goal of the season. “Whitney’s been doing a really good job of crashing the goals and putting herself in the right place at the right time,”

DeGregorio said. The Jumbos, however, would not be satisfied with sitting on a 2-0 lead and kept pressuring the Camels. Tufts outshot Conn. College 12-5 in the first half, and with a little over 27 minutes on the clock, junior defender Sarah Nolet would add to the lead. Off a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Lauren O’Connor, the 6-foot-tall Nolet, the team’s best aerial threat, headed the ball past Ross to make the score 3-0. “We attacked from all points on the field: from the defense all the way forward,” said Hirsch. “We were connecting well with our teammates, we had high energy on the ball, and

we were being creative and taking chances.” The second half featured no goals, though Conn. College put up more of an offense than it did in the first half. The Camels outshot the Jumbos 6-5 in the second 45 minutes, but senior goalie Kate Minnehan was up to the task, making four saves in the last half to preserve the score. The shutout was the fourth straight for Tufts in NESCAC play. The team has not allowed a goal to a conference opponent since the 52nd minute of the Sept. 19 match against Amherst — a span of over 400 minutes. On Wednesday, the defense once again was superb, disrupting Conn. College’s flow of attack and preventing the

Camels from getting any real chances on net. “We’ve been keeping our shape really well,” Hirsch said. “If someone goes in to make a tackle and isn’t successful, there’s always someone backing them up. There’s just a lot of support all over the defensive line, so there are no holes.” The victory also marked Tufts’ tenth consecutive win over Conn. College, five of which have been shutouts. Though Tufts knows it played well against the Camels, who are still winless in NESCAC competition at 0-6, it will have to continue to improve in anticipation of Saturday’s match-up with Trinity College. The Jumbos will try to build on their conference

winning record and continue their shutout streak on Saturday against a team that defeated them 2-1 last year. The Bantams come into the game with a 3-3-2 record (2-3-1 in NESCAC) and are two spots below Tufts in the conference standings. A win for Trinity would go a long way toward securing a first-round home game in the conference tournament, while a win for Tufts would move the Jumbos closer to the only teams that have scored on them in conference play: Middlebury and Amherst. “Trinity is always a strong opponent, but we’re looking forward to redeeming ourselves for last year’s loss,” DeGregorio said.

Editors' Challenge | Week 6 Like white and red pegs clumped messily on a Battleship board, the sports editors find themselves jumbled together; almost everyone is still in the running. Yet, with a three-way tie for first place, a few picking gurus have clearly established themselves as the ants in the proverbial selection pants. Leading the quest for perfection is Steve “Connect Four” Smith, who remained in first place despite a mediocre 8-6 Week Five, moving up to 56-20 overall. Tied with Smith is Phil “Yahtzee!” Dear, the reigning champion. Sapna “Mouse Trap” Bansil had the second-best score last week, coming in at 10-6 to surge from third place up to first. It was easy money for Evan “Hungry Hungry Hippos” Cooper to stay in fourth place, finishing at 8-6 despite a subpar week across the editorial board. Heads up, here comes the boss. Ethan “Gator Golf” Landy clearly found the passOVERALL RECORD LAST WEEK

Steve 56-20 8-6

Houston at Cincinnati Detroit at Green Bay Baltimore at Minnesota NY Giants at New Orleans Cleveland at PIttsburgh Carolina at Tampa Bay Kansas City at Washington St. Louis at Jacksonville Arizona at Seattle Philadelphia at Oakland Tennessee at New England Buffalo at NY Jets Chicago at Atlanta Denver at San Diego

Cincinnati Green Bay Minnesota NY Giants PIttsburgh Carolina Kansas CIty Jacksonville Seattle Philadelphia New England NY Jets Atlanta San Diego

Phil 56-20 9-5

Sapna 56-20 10-4

Cincinnati Cincinnati Green Bay Green Bay Baltimore Minnesota NY Giants NY Giants PIttsburgh PIttsburgh Carolina Carolina Washington Kansas City Jacksonville Jacksonville Seattle Seattle Philadelphia Philadelphia New England New England NY Jets NY Jets Atlanta Chicago Denver Denver

word for skilled picking, toying with everyone through the first five weeks before exploding at 11-3, spelling trouble for those in his path. Also tied with Landy at 53-23 overall are Jeremy “Guess Who?” Greenhouse, Alex “Barrel of Monkeys” Prewitt and Dave “Mr. Bucket” Heck. Mike “Jenga” Spera appears to be in way over his head, sitting eight games out of first place at 48-28. Guest picking this week will be Alex “Candyland” Lach, who boasts speed on the soccer field faster than beach-goers fleeing a shark attack and a picking wizardry akin to Merlin’s. Thus far, the NFL, like in life, has proved to be unpredictable, but the right stratego may just vault an unexpected editor far up the standings, so long as he doesn’t spill the beans on his secret upset pick of the week.

Evan 54-22 8-6

Jeremy 53-23 7-7

Dave 53-23 9-5

Alex 53-23 9-5

Ethan 53-23 11-3

MIke 48-28 8-6

GUEST Alex Lach

Cincinnati Green Bay Minnesota New Orleans Pittsburgh Carolina Washington Jacksonville Arizona Philladelphia New England NY Jets Atlanta Denver

Cincinnati Green Bay Baltimore NY Giants PIttsburgh Tampa Bay Kansas CIty Jacksonville Seattle Philadelphia New England NY Jets Atlanta San Diego

Houston Green Bay Baltimore NY Giants PIttsburgh Carolina Washington Jacksonville Arizona Philadelphia New England NY Jets Atlanta San Diego

Cincinnati Green Bay Minnesota New Orleans PIttsburgh Carolina Washington Jacksonville Arizona Philadelphia New England NY Jets Atlanta Denver

Houston Green Bay Minnesota NY Giants Pitssburgh Carolina Kansas City Jacksonville Arizona Philadelphia New England NY Jets Atlanta San Diego

Cincinnati Green Bay Minnesota NY Giants Pittsburgh Tampa Bay Kansas City Jacksonville Seattle Philadelphia New England NY Jets Atlanta San Diego

Cincinnati Green Bay Minnesota New Orleans Pittsburgh Tampa Bay Kansas City Jacksconville Philadelphia Arizona New England NY Jets Atlanta Denver

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Friday, October 16, 2009




Trinity’s Parmenter: ‘Hell yes,’ we’re ‘pumped’ to play Tufts


FIELD HOCKEY continued from page 1

“I think we’re bringing some really good momentum into this game,” Tufts coach Tina McDavitt said. “I’m pleased with the goals we’re scoring, not only the amount but also the quality shots that we’re taking. I felt like we were dominating games earlier in the season, but we weren’t finishing. We’ve just been able to make some adjustments, so I think we’re in really good shape offensively.” “Looking at the scores from our past three games, it really shows that our offense is clicking,” Roberts added. “A lot of people criticized us in the beginning, saying that we had a lot of shots but that we weren’t capitalizing, and now we are. It’s not that the shots weren’t there before, but now we’re just making them count.” The Bantams, meanwhile, enter tomorrow’s contest with a good amount of momentum themselves, courtesy of a 10-0 record that featured early-season wins over nationally ranked No. 11 Middlebury and No. 20 Keene State, as well as a victory last week at third-place Williams. But Trinity has its sights set on more than just continuing an impressive start. After suffering two overtime losses to the Jumbos in 2008, including one in the semifinals of the NESCAC Tournament, the Bantams are also eyeing their shot at revenge. “Are we pumped to come play Tufts?” Trinity coach Anne Parmenter said. “Hell yes, we are.” “There’s been a history of really close competition with them, with the two overtime games from last year,” she continued. “[A win] would be huge.” Trinity has proven formidable on both the offensive and defensive ends. A pair of junior forwards, Christy Bradley and All-American Robyn Williams, have powered the Bantams offensively; each ranks amongst the conference’s top five scorers this year. Meanwhile, in net, Trinity boasts the reigning NESCAC Player of the Week, sophomore Gina Dinallo, whose .891 save percentage is tops amongst conference goalkeepers. “Certainly, at Trinity, there’s no question that this is the best team I’ve ever coached,” said Parmenter, who is in her ninth year at the helm of the Bantams. “If we knew the magic ingredient, we’d try to replicate it every single time. It just seems to be working this year, which is great.” On display tomorrow will be two vastly different styles of play. While the Jumbos operate offensively by spacing the field and relying on superior passing ability, the Bantams look to create one-on-



Senior co-captain Amanda Russo and Tufts will put its undefeated record on the line tomorrow against fellow unbeaten Trinity in a battle of two of the nations top five teams. one opportunities for their skill players. Trinity’s unique approach is sure to challenge a Tufts defense that has yielded only two goals in the month of October. “Trinity has a very distinctive style of play, and I think it’s interesting when you have to play a team that’s very different from you in terms of the fundamental style,” Roberts said. “They utilize their one-on-one skill very effectively across the field, so they’re always looking to isolate their defenders and beat them. It’s definitely going to be tough for our defense, but we’re going to step up and hopefully come out on top.” Tufts’ matchup with the Bantams will begin a crucial stretch that will carry the squad through the end of the regular season.

Following a midweek game against nonconference foe Gordon, the Jumbos will travel to third-place Williams and fourth-place Bowdoin on successive weekends, with the latter contest against the Polar Bears sure to be an emotional rematch of last year’s NESCAC and national title games. After a long hiatus from playing its top competitors, Tufts is eager to finally get a crack at some of the conference’s upper echelon teams. “I think our team plays really well against hard competition, so we’re really looking forward to these games,” McDavitt said. “All three of those games are going to be a challenge for us, and it’s going to be good for me as a coach to see how the girls react and how they step up their games. It’ll be really fun.”

Jumbos looking to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss FOOTBALL continued from page 12

and being excited for the game,” Tassinari said. “But we’re going to go out the same way we always do, aside from putting in a few new fronts and coverages. We know they’ll take their shots deep, but we want to try and stay disciplined on our men. Last week we let up 22 points, and we thought that was too much for our defense.” Tufts, riding a two-game winning streak, rushed for 266 yards last week, more than half of which came from junior Pat Bailey. With the clock winding down, senior quarterback Tom McManama scrambled for 10 yards on a second-and-nine, while classmate Darren Ferguson bolted into field goal range with another first down earlier in the drive. But this weekend Tufts faces a Trinity defense that will roll into the Ellis Oval having ceded only 1.7 yards per carry and 57.7 ground yards per game The Jumbos hope a potent ground game will open up much-needed passing lanes. “We’ve been preaching all week to be real physical up front,” McManama said. “We’re just going to go at these guys and be real aggressive and try to overpower. There’s definitely some new passes that we think work well against them; we have a pretty balanced attack. It will be a good mix.

“If we run it a lot, like we did last week, it will open stuff up down the field,” he continued. “We did a pretty good job of that. Our first drive last week, we ran it the first 15 plays and then scored on a throw because we had run it so much, so we’ll probably try to do that again.” McManama has been quite efficient throughout the season, posting a 97.28 passing rating. Though his 40.3 completion percentage leaves much to be desired, he could have a field day against a Trinity pass defense that has ceded six scores and 222.3 yards per contest. But for the Tufts signal caller, individual efforts take a backseat to improving to 3-1. “The only goal is to win,” McManama said. “That’s it. We can’t wait, it’s a huge game. It’s definitely a huge determinant of how our season will turn out.” The Jumbos come into the contest with two intangible bonuses on their side — home field advantage and the revenge factor. Saturday’s game takes place on Parents Weekend, giving Tufts a chance to play in front of a friendly crowd for the second straight week. The Jumbos are 11-2 in their last 13 games at the Ellis Oval. “Being home is great, the crowd was unbelievable last week,” McManama said. “It definitely fires you up and should be a positive

factor this week against Trinity.” On Oct. 11 last year, the Jumbos fell 28-27 in Hartford, Conn. when Bantams senior quarterback Jeremy McGrath (LA ’08) tied the game up with a touchdown pass with 25 seconds left and then won it with a six-yard score in overtime. The pain of that loss still resonates with many on the team. “All the upperclassmen, we definitely thought this week about the feeling we felt in overtime last year,” Tassinari said. “We know how much that stunk, and it’s definitely in the back of our heads. It was pretty terrible. You work so hard, only to lose on the last play.” “It was definitely a heartbreaker,” McManama added. “It’s real tough to lose that way, especially when you’re up with a minute left. But it’s in the back in everyone’s mind to not let that happen again. Everyone knows how big this game is.” Offense and defense aside, the key to victory for the Jumbos will be matching the intensity of a squad with an aggregate record of 32-3 since 2005. “I’m pumped up, it’s one of our biggest games in our eight-game schedule,” Tassinari said. “Personally, I know I’m excited, and as a team, the excitement level has just been great. Playing at home is a lot nicer than taking that bus ride the morning of. It’s a great feeling to play in front of that home crowd.”

Texas hopes to avoid upset against rival Oklahoma INSIDE NCAA continued from page 12

ably the two best quarterbacks in college football, this is also a matchup of two of the most respected coaches in the game. The head-to-head record favors Sooners coach Bob Stoops over Texas’ Mack Brown, six-to-four.

Still, although he has led his team to seven BCS bowl appearances, he has a reputation of faltering in big games. Brown, on the other hand, seems to get his team to play its best in the spotlight, and his Longhorns have won three of the last four meetings between the two teams.

There is always something on the line in the Red River Shootout line, and with this year’s many storylines, Saturday’s duel will be no different. Whoever emerges victorious this weekend could get the inside edge on gaining the top spot in the Big 12 South and a likely date with a BCS game at the end of the season.

The Press’ Provincial Polling Problem

ollege football polls: They’re the scourge of diehard pigskin fans the nation over. (Well, except for the Northeast, where few seem to care about the beautiful game. Fools.) Fans love nothing more than to angrily rag on a pollster who ranked their team precisely seven spots too low, or who had the audacity to accidentally slot them below a team their team beat in Week 3. Normally, you would have to dismiss these as merely the rantings of supremely biased fans with way too much time on their hands to spend arguing anonymously in online fan forums and on sports talk radio. In this case, though, it pains me to admit that these fans have got a pretty legitimate beef. College football polls are the only instance in sports in which what you actually did on the field takes a backseat to media perceptions — and this never fails to generate controversy on an annual basis. Every professional league obviously has a coherent playoff system. College basketball has polls, too, but they hold much less sway than those in football, and the 64-team playoff gives every halfway decent team a shot at winning the championship. College football, on the other hand, has created a delightful little cartel known as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), mainly to keep its lucrative partners happy. And, it seems, to piss off the viewing public. This system creates a two-team playoff every year, slotting a national championship game and nothing else. The BCS standings, derived from a formula that at various points has included such variables as quality wins, strength of schedule and a Standardized Co-ed Attractiveness System, is now relatively simple: one-third Harris poll, one-third coaches’ poll, one-third the average of six computer formulas. So basically, you have got three groups of people not playing football deciding which two teams play for the national championship. Adding to the problem is the fact that the most respected and best poll, the Associated Press’, is no longer part of the formula. The AP withdrew after controversy consumed the end of the 2004 season, when five teams finished undefeated (obviously, only two can play for the championship). This led the BCS to begin its own replacement poll, the Harris poll, made up mainly of obscure media figures and former college football players. The Harris poll is almost blandly similar to the coaches’ poll on a week-to-week basis. Especially in comparison with the AP poll, both of these polls are notoriously static, with little change on a weekly basis. Both polls also generally seem resistant to moving non-BCS conference teams up, even after wins or losses by teams above them. Most embarrassing of all, however, is the basic idea of the coaches’ poll. Who thought it was a good idea for coaches to vote on their own teams and the teams they’re playing against? Could they have come up with a group that would be more obviously biased than the men whose jobs literally depend on what these polls say about them and their competitors? There’s a direct incentive to not only over-rank their own teams, but also teams in their own conference, to make themselves look better by comparison. Also, is there another group that more obviously isn’t watching college football on Saturday? That’s kind of their biggest day of the week, so, yeah: they might have other things on their mind than that poll they have to fill out by Sunday morning. It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in sports that just about every coach has their sports information director or some other lowlevel flunky in the athletic department fill their poll out for them. So, come on, college football powers-that-be, take some of the power away from the polls. Give us a playoff, and let teams decide the national championship on the field instead of in a sportswriter’s office. At the very least, get rid of the idiotic coaches’ poll.

Ethan Frigon is a junior majoring in economics and International Relations. He can be reached at



INSIDE The Beard Abides 11 Editors’ Challenge 10



Red River rivalry game could be real shootout BY


Daily Editorial Board

the ball or pick it [up] to put our offense in a good position.” The Jumbos insist that they will approach this game the same way as they have approached their previous three. “We’re really emphasizing coming out there

Rivalry games in college football often do not live up to the hype. And in the case of the Red River Rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns, it looked like that might be proven right this year. But with the return of last year’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, this year’s game does promise to be one to remember. And though this game might be lacking the luster of last year’s contest, which featured two undefeated, top-five squads, there will still be plenty at stake when the two teams meet once again tomorrow in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. A win by the third-ranked Longhorns could help put to bed any idea that the Alabama Crimson Tide deserve the No. 2 spot in the polls, whereas No. 20 Oklahoma could vault up the rankings by upsetting its rival. Oklahoma’s big threat at quarterback ensures that what was already a marquee game will also feature two of college football’s biggest names: Bradford and Texas gunslinger Colt McCoy. Bradford, who suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder in the Sooners’ first game of the season versus the BYU Cougars, was back to being his old self during his return last week against the Baylor Bears. Instead of taking time to shake off the rust from not having played since Sept. 5, the quarterback threw for 389 yards and a touchdown. With Bradford at the helm, the Sooners’ chances should be much improved against a Texas defense that at times has looked susceptible to tough passing attacks like the Texas Tech Red Raiders’. This is an important game for Bradford, but the ramifications for McCoy loom even larger. The runner-up in the Heisman race last year, McCoy has struggled at times this season and is on pace to deliver numbers that are well under his marks from last year’s campaign. Thanks to some subpar competition, however, the Longhorns have still managed to rack up the points thus far, coming into Saturday averaging an NCAA-leading 47.2 points a game. However, McCoy and Texas will be facing no pushover defense this weekend; Oklahoma has let up just 8.4 points a game. Texas’ defense is also playing at a high level, allowing only 235 yards a game. Though the quarterbacks are the headliners, it is the two defenses that might steal the show. Though the Sooners are 3-2, this will be a dangerous game for the highly ranked Texas team. Beside the energy from one of the best rivalries in college football, Oklahoma will draw on the added motivation of trying to avenge a 45-35 loss last season that knocked the Sooners from the number one ranking. But Texas will also be hungry to prove that the BCS rankings committed a major mistake when they vaulted the Sooners into the national title game last year despite the Longhorns’ head-to-head victory against them. Texas fans are still smarting from being leapfrogged by a Sooners team that went on to lose to the Florida Gators in the championship, and they would love nothing more than to prove their lofty status by walloping their conference brethren. In addition to featuring two of the best teams in the NCAA and argu-

see FOOTBALL, page 11

see INSIDE NCAA, page 11


Junior defender Sarah Nolet scored one of three first-half goals for Tufts in its 3-0 victory Wednesday over the Conn. College Camels.

Jumbos ride Camels for fourth NESCAC victory BY


Daily Editorial Board

Though the Tufts women’s soccer team began its NESCAC slate with losses to both Middlebury and Amherst, it WOMEN’S SOCCER (6-4-0, 4-2-0 NESCAC) Kraft Field, Wednesday Conn. College Tufts

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knew that, while losing the games, it played tough against two of the best teams in the region — if not the country. The Jumbos remained confident that they could bounce back from the two losses and regain the form that has made them a perennial contender for the NESCAC crown. After Wednesday night’s 3-0 drubbing of Conn. College, the team’s fourth straight NESCAC victory, the conference throne may be closer than ever before for Tufts. “It was really important for us not to

get down after the early losses,” junior midfielder Geneva DeGregorio said. “From the beginning of the season, we’ve tried to take one game at a time and not look back.” The Jumbos got off to a quick start against the Camels, with senior co-captain Whitney Hardy finishing a cross from senior forward Ali Maxwell just four minutes into the game. “Conn. College came out really hard and was hoping to have a chance,” sophsee WOMEN’S SOCCER, page 10


Jumbos hope to repeat success against Trinity BY


Daily Editorial Board

The Tufts football team scored its biggest victory of the still-young season with last week’s 25-22 overtime Homecoming win against Bowdoin. Now, with Saturday’s athome matchup versus Trinity looming, it’s up to Tufts to prove it’s a real contender in a jumbled NESCAC. One week after sophomore kicker Adam Auerbach scored a game-winning field goal on Tufts’ first possession in overtime, the Jumbos’ offense will have to replicate its efforts against the Polar Bears in order to have a shot at dethroning the 3-0 Bantams. In a double-edged matchup between Trinity, the NESCAC’s top scoring offense and best rush defense, and Tufts, the conference’s second-best defense and top ground offense, something will have to give. The Jumbos’ defensive unit is hoping it can lock down on Trinity senior Oliver Starnes, second in the NESCAC with 272 yards and a 4.7-yard per carry average, and force a mediocre Bantams pass offense into action. Last week, Tufts intercepted Bowdoin standout senior Oliver Kell once and held him to just 219 yards, and the Jumbos feel confident about their chances this Saturday should they force Starnes into the air. “We know that their running game is their strong point, so we want to take away the run first and get them to pass the ball,” senior tri-captain and safety Tom Tassinari said. “Their quarterback is in his first year, so we want to get to him as much as possible, stack a few more guys in the box.” Against Bowdoin, the Jumbos clamped down when they needed to, forcing a three-and-out late in the fourth quarter


Senior defensive back Keith Novak and the Tufts defense will be looking to stop a potent Trinity offense on Saturday that has average 33 points a game this season. and setting up Auerbach’s game-tying field goal. The defense also was stingy in overtime, holding the Polar Bears to zero net yards on seven plays. Yet Trinity has put up 33 points per contest and presents an entirely different challenge. “We still need to force more turnovers,” Tassinari said. “Hopefully we can strip


The Tufts Daily for Fri. Oct. 18, 2009