Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Da Na Na-Da Na Na

One of my ultimate childhood memories was being so excited that it was summer vacation, because I could stay up and watch the 11 p.m. SportsCenter, rather than just catching 15 minutes of it in the morning before I caught the bus. I remember the classic set up, 2 anchors in a red, black, and silver room with a picture next to their head as the talked about the sports news at hand. It was cut and dry, and literally could recap everything that happened that day in sports. Sure, it wasn't live, there weren't a lot of breaking news updates, and virtual re-enactments, not to mention the only time you saw an anchor standing up was for the Sunday Conversation. Maybe it's just me being (kinda) old fashioned, but I miss the old ways of my favorite T.V. show.

The show is so feature-ish now that I seem to watch it way less. I'm 20 years-old now, and can stay up as late as I want, but not as often as when I was 11 do I live for the 11 p.m. SportsCenter.( I loved the ESPN ads where they showed which athlete watched which airing of the show, ex: Randy Moss watches the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, which do you watch?) Is it just me or does the PTI-inspired bar one the left of the screen seem to consist of the same 4 things, usually containing at least one of either Brett Favre, T.O., A coaching issue, or expert's opinions of the same topic over and over again. I know it's college football season but why does every third topic have to be, "What Todd McShay and Mel Kiper think of this". I don't understand why a sports news show has now been somewhat transformed into a sports feature show.

That's only one thing that bothers me though. In the words of Mike, SportsCenter has become too "Hippity Hoppity" and I know things have to change with the times, but it bothers me that it's not the show I worshiped as a kid. Also, it seems like highlights of games are cut short. If it's not the biggest game of the week in any sport, the highlights don't get past one or two hits, dunks, or TD passes. BTW as I watch right now they have had 3 segments on the Yankees, and will come back after the break with more on the World Series. Just like they have been doing recently, their going to overanalyze the game and all the random statistics that only The Schwab knows about. I feel like I get more efficient information recently from the ESPN bottom line. As far as the side bar goes, I hate it. Don't get me wrong, I love PTI and have actually grown to prefer it to SportsCenter, but I don't like knowing what's coming next. That was part of the fun when I was a kid. Me and my best friend Jeff would watch SportsCenter as if it were some kind of movie, anxious about what John Anderson or Linda Cohn were about to tell us.

That brings me to another point. The Anchors. My favorite anchors of all time are Scott Van Pelt, Linda Cohn, John Anderson, and Kenny Mayne. They all are so much better than the ones I've seen recently. I know people move on to different things, but I feel like I've seem Mike Greenberg anchoring SC more often than actual anchors. SC anchor used to be the coolest job in the world, what's happening that they can't find people to do it anymore? P.S. another current update. They just did their recap of last night's MNF matchup of the Redskins and Eagles. They showed 4 plays, and have been talking about the retraction of play calling privileges from Jim Zorn for 5 minutes. My point is they spent more time talking about sideline issues than what happened in the actual game! The Eagles played really well and they cover the game as if the 'Skins just lost the game and the Eagles didn't win.

Really, there are still a lot of good aspects to SC. I love some of the things they've added like showing little picture-in-picure interviews of players and coaches while they show the play that they're talking about. I Like that the anchors chat with viewers during commercial breaks. The fact that it's live is cool because you see the mess ups, but also I've watched a show where the anchor didn't recover from a mess up and it threw of the whole broadcast. I like that they have huge big screens in the studio now, but I hate that the anchors get up and act like their touching it like a weatherman. P.S., another update, breaking news, Andre Agassi used crystal meth while he played tennis, prepare to hear about this way more than you want to in the next few days.

I'll leave you with my Top-5 list of my favorite SC Anchor duos.

1. Linda Cohn and John Anderson
2. Stuart Scott(late 90s early 2000s, not now) and Kenny Mayne
3. John Anderson and Scott Van Pelt
4. Robert Flores without Chris McKendry
5. Steve Levy and John Anderson

Peace and Much Love, Happy Valley,

Ben

Monday, October 26, 2009

Get Angry

Hey Penn State! On the drive home from Michigan this weekend I stumbled upon this article in the Detroit Free Press by Mitch Albom. It covers some of the atrocities happening on Wall Street right now with a few of the financial institutions bailed out by the U.S. government (i.e. us). Mitch Albom does a spectacular job of dumbing down complex problems, cutting through the fog and getting right to the point. Even if you don't follow nor understand the economy, give this a read and you will most likely understand the issues as explained by Albom. I feel that it's very important our younger generation understands what is happening right now (I know we don't because if we do, we'd be burning down buildings on Wall Street). It's nice that the government is attacking problems like executive pay, but the root problem still stands that these banks are getting passes (and taxpayers dollars) that you and I don't. Fair? Nope! Look, I agree that what the government is trying to do is good, but they are just trying to appease the public and draw our attention away from the real problems (banks deemed too-big-to-fail are even bigger, the same issues that got us into this mess). Pay close attention to the first two, and last two paragraphs; if it gets your blood boiling, join the club. Enjoy...

Mitch Albom, "Bankers dislike pay cuts? Join the club"

Mike Donchez

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ernie's Steaks...Penn State's Best Cheesesteak


















Ernie's is located on Beaver Ave. right next to the Phyrst, and if you're not looking for it you might actually miss it, (I walked right by it when I was on my way there Saturday night). All week my friend Kenny had been telling me about this place so by Saturday night we were all dying to try it. All I can say is that I am so glad I took Kenny's words to heart. This was the best cheesesteak I have tasted at Penn State. Not only that, but they also have the best wings too. I am not just saying that, Ernie's has the best cheesesteak, and best wings you can find at Penn State. The guy working (Who knew Kenny already because it was his 3rd trip in 2 days), threw an entire steak on the grill, which I thought was pretty awesome, and I'm not from Philly (Thank God) so until Mike told me tonight I didn't know this was the norm over at Geno's and Pat's I mean this sandwich was hearty, and the wings were just how I like 'em. To be honest I don't know how many readers we have at this point, but if you're reading this, go get food from Ernie's TODAY. You won't be sorry.

Here's how my cheesesteaks rank this year, got any suggestions? Leave a Comment!
  1. Ernie's
  2. Grillers
  3. Eb's
  4. P.S. Sub Shop #1
  5. Fresh Harvest

A Snowball to the Back of the Head

At a game where the originators of the "We Are...Penn State" chant were in attendance, We Were... not a good Penn State student section. I've never been embarrassed to be a Penn State student before this weekend, but the display put on by my fellow students infuriated me and the majority of students trying to watch the game and cheer for the Nittany Lions. It was ridiculous.

I have a couple of problems with what happened. First of all, safety. It was cute that you and your friends thought it'd fun to have a snowball fight, but come on! The snow some idiots were throwing wasn't just white and fluffy, it was heavy, wet, and icy snow. That can be very dangerous, and even though I personally don't know anyone who was injured, I would bet the barn that someone was hit in the eye or face. The last thing we should worry about while attending a game is our safety (unless we cheer so hard during "Zombie Nation" the steel Coliseum known as Beaver Stadium decides to give out!). But I'll trust the engineers on that one. Sitting with two of my good friends and the rest of our row, I counted nearly ten times one of us took an ice ball to the head in a 20 minute span. That's awesome, I love getting icy cold water down my neck in 30 degree weather. Not.

The entire Penn State sideline had to take their attention away from the game and make sure they weren't whacked with a snowball. All of the alumni (those who paved the way for us!) and cheerleaders on the sideline were the majority of victims being hit. Ki-Jana Carter looked like a flashback to the 1994 season, except instead of shaking defenders he was shaking off snowballs from some punk. Do you kids even know who he is!? He's the reason you love Penn State, he's one of the guys that has made us all fall in love with Penn State football and cheer like we do. I don't think he or any of the other alumni enjoyed the attack of the snowballs. Then, as Penn State was driving in the second quarter some geniuses though it a good idea to try and hit the Minnesota players and the refs. Great idea. One, we could get a penalty against our team. Two, the referees would most likely not be happy about that and forget to blow the whistle on some holding calls against Minnesota. And three, the Minnesota players don't need that crap. They're out there trying to take on our Nittany Lions and some jerk in the stands thinks it's funny to whip a snowball at them. Either way though, the snow probably doesn't even phase those Gophers! The weather on Saturday was like Hawaii to them.

It took two announcements over the PA system as well as our captains and starters to come to the student section and yell at you to stop. What are you, 5 years old? If you want to tell Jared Odrick it's fun to throw snowball and you don't care what he says. Go for it. And good luck...

The worst part about the snowball episode was after the snowballs stopped falling. During half-time the 1946-1947 Nittany Lion football team was honored. For those of you not at the game, the 46-47 Lions were the originators of the "We Are...Penn State" chant. They stood up to racism and segregation by declining to play (and lodge) without their black teammates and let the country know that Penn State doesn't stand for that. They let the country know that "those who came before us and those who will come after us have some respect for all and pride". So to those of you who wanted to impress your friends and throw snowballs, before you clapped for those elder Lions, you should have thought about what they stand for and if they would have approved your actions. And before you decide to do something stupid again remember the pride we carry as Penn Staters. Many of is don't want to be associated with students who disrespect others and shame our school. So next time you or a friend are about to do something that would give Penn State a bad name, think for a millisecond, and remember that We Are...All Penn State and what you do will reflect back on your school.

(Still) Love ya Lions!

Mike

Colorful Sighting on a White Weekend...Beaver Ave.


















I see this bike all over the place so finally I snapped a picture of it last night, and then whataya know I saw it again outside Baby's today on my way to Dunkin' Donuts too.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall and Winter College Fashion

Hey Everyone! Ben and Mike here and we want to give a simple run-down of the "must-haves" for guys this winter in Happy Valley. Of course, this is only a small guide and doesn't encompass everything you'll need to look good, but it's a great start with some of our favorites. Enjoy!

Dark Jeans-These go with every look and are especially good for the winter. Dark Jeans match tons of different types and colors and are not only functional in the winter. So these will do you good all year round. You can rock them with a plain white tee shirt to class, or with a button down and jacket to dress up.
Our Favorite: Levi's 501 Original

Cords- A nice way to mix it when you get tired of jeans. Jeans can sometimes be boring, while cords can stand out, but aren't over the top stand-outish like plaid or seersucker. Cords work in the winter because there are a lot of boot styles that look good with them. Cords are a good utility look as well

A Good Peacoat- For a good college look, get a peacoat thats well fitted to you (This looks better and also keeps you warmer). There are a lot of styles to choose from, but you can't go wrong with the classic military look. Anchors on the buttons giving homage to the navy doesn't hurt either.

A North Face Jacket: Penn State is no stranger to inclement weather, which makes The North Face the most necessary item on this whole list. Let's face it, the peacoat wont always keep you dry, so for the nasty, sub-zero days with wind and all sorts of precipitation, go with The North Face.

A Variery of Neutral Colored Sweaters: Pretty self explanatory. There are so many ways to rock a sweater, so your best bet is to have a variety, and keep them of neutral colors so it's easy to mix and match. Wear a v-neck with a white crew neck tee underneath, or a half zip with a button down collared shirt underneath. Really when it comes to sweaters and layering it's hard to go wrong. In addition, a good blazer could have the same function and be warm enough come winter.
Our Favorite Crew Neck: J.Crew Cotton Cashmere Crewneck
Our Blazer Of Choice: BDG Shrunken Blazer

Pretty Much Any J.Crew Secret Wash Shirt: The J.Crew secret wash shirt is not only one our favorites for when the weather starts to change, it's our favorite for any occasion. These shirts are so versatile and you don't really need to iron them, which makes them the ideal college-shirt. As far as winter goes, you can't ever go wrong wearing one of these underneath any type of sweater with a pair of jeans, or khakis if the occasion suits them.

Go to J.Crew's Site and pick out your favorites.

In addition to these items it's always good to have a few of the basics as well. These are items like a few Waffle Tees, Wool Caps, Scarves, and a good pair of Boots. <


NBA to allow traveling?

I read a story on ESPN.com today that really took me back. According to this article, the NBA has put into writing, a rule that would allow players to take 2, yes I said it, not 1 but 2 steps after gathering the ball. Now, I know the professional sports leagues have been making rule changes for a while now, and trying to adjust the rules of the game to the way it's played these days, but THIS IS DOWNRIGHT RIDICULOUS. I know rule changes, and additions are necessary because of the ever changing nature of sporting events, but how can you change a rule that is one of the basic, fundamental rules that the game of basketball is built off of. This rule change is essentially allowing players to travel on what would be normal basketball standards. I really believe that this needs to be reconsidered. From what I know it's just in writing now, so I am guessing it will still need approval, and hopefully the basketball Gods will wake up and say, woah woah woah. In light of this projected rule change, I thought of a few other rule changes that might make the game a little more easier and make Jimmy Naismith roll over in his grave.
  1. No over and back- players can cross back over halfcourt after they have already brought the ball across it.
  2. Only one foot in bounds needed-Only when both of a player's feet cross the boundary line are they technically out-of-bounds resulting in a turnover.
  3. Shots beyond the arc are now worth 1/2 point, others are worth 1/4 point, and dunks are worth 10 points.
  4. Double dribbling is now allowed- You may pick up the ball at any point, and then start your dribble again at any time.
  5. The game no longer starts with a Jump ball. One player from each team will now have a rap-battle at half court, and first possession is decided by an applause-o-meter that may or may not be already rigged so that the home team wins.

You might be thinking these are a little ridiculous, but hey why not continue to change the fundamental nature of the game while we're at it?

Don't get me wrong. I am all about the creation of new rules to ensure safety in the ever changing nature of the game, but even some of these rules put on by the leagues (i.e. the Hines Ward rule) are a little ridiculous.(OK so maybe I'm Pittsburgh biased). Traveling is a violation that has been around since the game was created, and I really feel like these are the ones that the league's shouldn't touch. If they continue to make these changes, they might as well change the name of the game too.

Professional sports change a lot over the years. There's no doubt that the way people play the game now is way different than when it was created, but every sport has its fore fathers, and the rules that they made. Rules like these are the foundation of the game, and like those of houses, are necessary to remain intact (and not altered).

Besides, the only person I ever rooted for to travel and get away with it, is long retired. He wore #23 and played for the Chicago Bulls.

For The Love of the Game,

BWB

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Check This Out

Hey everyone! I was forwarded a very interesting article about the collapse of the financial system by my brother, Pete, today by New York Times op-ed contributor Calvin Trillin. It has a college theme to it and thought some of our readers might find it interesting!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/opinion/14trillin.html?ref=opinion

Vinny Chase in Paris

Check out Adrian Grenier from my favorite show Entourage, featured on The Sartorialist today.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nii Dzan, Off Of Curtain Rd.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

UPUA Proposed Bus Loop
























"Penn State students who need a ride after a night out on Fraternity Row might soon be able to take a bus back to their dorms." Wow. Wouldn't this have been a savior a few weeks ago. This is the lede sentence of an article written last April of 2008 by Daily Collegian writer Kevin Cirilli about a proposed bus route that would aid fraternities goers in getting home safely at night. Frat goers like Penn State freshman Joseph Dado. After a night of partying at fraternities and (to be fair) elsewhere, he was tragically found in a stairwell on a Monday night this semester. Today in the Daily Collegian, another article by Laura Nichols talks about UPUA president Gavin Keirans' proposal of another, slightly modified, bus route (left) that will also aid frat goers in returning to their beds safe and sound. In my opinion, the reappearance of this issue is in response to the incident I mentioned above. Am I saying that its UPUA's fault this happened for not getting the route approved? NO! Especially because the old route doesn't include a West Campus leg like the new route does that would scoop up on-campus frat goers. (For those of you who don't know, the incident I spoke of occurred near an on-campus frat). Also, I applaud Keirans for keeping his word on the issue and pursuing it some more. It is a great idea but could have some draw backs.


Pros:
The obvious reasons to have a "Greek Route" would be to increase the likelihood of frat goers getting home safely. Not even a point of conversation, freshmen are the majority of non-members attending frat parties. With only the finest Natural Lights and shots of Vladimir practically being thrown at you when your a young buck on campus, it is very easy to get into trouble. The route would greatly reduce the risk of party goers wandering home drunk and wandering right into trouble. With the route, it would also be very easy to wander right out on to Fairmount Avenue or South Garner, right onto a bus, and right into your Twin XL bed in your dorm room. I'm not singling out the younger students at PSU who are in dorms, but the proposed route obviously benefits those living in East and West Halls traveling to and from the frats. The loop would keep students safe from the obvious threats of injuries and underages as well as other problem that arise. Greek Route would run off campus, into State College, it would cut down on vandalism to homes as well as help to eliminate on-campus vandals.

Aside from the initial costs to set up the route, the Greek Route would cut down the university's cost for police and security around the frat area. Of course, it wouldn't wipe out the need for officers but with the increased traffic through the area it would deter students from doing anything that could harm themselves or their surroundings, eventually reducing the need for law enforcement. I don't know the numbers for the cost of maintaining the loop, but less cops couldn't be a bad thing right?

Cons:
The only one here has already been voiced by Keirans: having the ability of safe transportation without the fear of repercussions could encourage bad behavior. An extra couple of shots couldn't hurt, right? as long as you have a safe ride home? False. Hopefully that isn't the mentality of our students. The loop is provided to help the party-goers, not allow them to get even crazier. Slipping in a "
Pro" here: Greek life has a traditionally negative connotation, with time, this proposed idea could help improve their image in the Penn State community.


Like I was saying before, I hope that the mentality of my classmates isn't that this will provide an opportunity to become more reckless. I also hope that the tragic event surrounding Joseph Dado teaches the Penn State community something. Not that we shouldn't drink, as many have suggested, to honor his death. Stress relief is an important part of college life. In my opinion, having the #1 party school in the country isn't something to be downplayed. Why can't our administration contrast our outstanding academics with that fact that our students also know how to enjoy ourselves! Coming back to Dado, wouldn't it be something if as a student body, we attended one less party a night, had a couple less drinks, and made sure none of us leaves alone when we've been drinking a lot. Keirans is doing his part by making sure that even if we have too much to drink we can get home safely. Now it's our turn, go out and be crazy, but do it with a fraction more responsibility, we will all be in better shape!

Stay classy Happy Valley,

Mike Donchez

Friday, October 2, 2009

"...Penn State has the classiest fans in the Big Ten"

So I may have came down hard on some Penn State fans in my last post. While I don't take those words back, I do want to say that they are a minority of the culture at PSU. I just received an article from my dad, Tom, that is a testament to the fact that Penn State fans are the most stand-up and genuine fans you can find. It is by a writer for The Daily Iowan, Jon Linder, about his experience at Beaver Stadium on that dreadful, rainy night. Thanks for the kind words Jon, and be sure to check out this article!

http://www.dailyiowan.com/2009/09/30/Sports/13236.html

MWD

S. Pugh St.


































I saw this bad boy parked on South Pugh today. I don't know a lot about cars, but I'm assuming its British because of the front license plate and also there was a British flag sticker on the back that said "1971". Hats off to "Larz 88", this is sweet.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall is Falling, But Bad Habits Still Arise

As I walked along College Ave today (without my camera unfortunately) I started looking around like I always do to see what people were wearing. It seems like the fact that the weather has changed has really brought out the best in people's ideas. Unfortunately it has brought out the worst as well, or at least a bad habit that you see EVERY YEAR. Just as I saw about 80% of the girls walking wearing this, Mike texted me...it read, "We can't take pics of spandex tho. No spandex, [especially] the new denim colored tights! wtf." My thoughts exactly. One of my very close friends reminds me frequently about her feelings on this as well. She says, "Leggings are not a substitute for pants." I have to admit, as a guy, seeing a good looking girl wearing a pair of leggings instead of pants isn't the worst part of my day, but sartorially girls, it has to stop. Of course this is only my opinion, and Mike's...and Jess', but I feel like leggings should be used for function, not fashion. I know its getting cold out and that's a good excuse to wear them, but the fact is, I rarely see girls wearing them with a top that goes farther than their waist or thighs. Leggings are great to wear underneath to keep you warm, and I don't think I'd mind seeing a girl showing off her leggings if it were only from just above the knee down, but honestly, most of the time you look like a baby when they have a big diaper on under their pants, and pampers hasn't come out with a thong yet, so I dunno if that solves the problem anyway. In the end, I'm a guy, and Its hard to get into a girl's head and see why she is wearing what she's wearing. And hey, I'm not saying I know much about women's fashion, but in the end.....Isn't it us guys that you're dressing to impress anyway????.......Don't say no, you know it is