EDITORIAL

 EDITORIALBy

Seen from inbound aircraft, University of Louisville buildings appear to be surrounded by angry protestors. Dozens of students mill about in desultory fashion, always within a few paces of the door. It’s January, why don’t those crazy people go inside? Because they are smoking, and so they can’t.

 

Ultimately, these students’ exile is a necessary thing, as smokers represent an unpleasantly conspicuous, pungent minority. When coupled with continued research demonstrating that the negative health effects of cigarette smoke accrue not only to users of the product, but those experiencing the smoke secondhand, the nuisance of cigarette smoking has been re-categorized as a genuine public health crisis.

 

In the wake of this shift in public values are left scores of cranky U of L students, smoking in the snow or rain. Like postal workers undeterred by the varying elements, these smokers persevere, and can be seen in huddled masses across campus. Sadly for this much-maligned group, it has now been determined that these newly formed congregations also disrupt the University of Louisville’s desired aesthetic environment.

 

In light of the recent Metro Council smoking ordinance, which, though not binding for the university, deserves some acknowledgement according to Vice President of Business Affairs, Larry Owsley, university administrators might revisit the smoking policy. Currently, no rule governs student smoking outdoors, and the result has been that many students smoke near the entryways of buildings. One suggested amendmant to the current policy would require a defined perimeter around buildings, inside of which students are not permitted to smoke.

  

 The proposed rule is unenforceable, and more than a little silly. The Department of Public Safety has genuine problems to address, including theft and violent crime on campus. The DPS is overworked and under-funded â?” rather like the rest of the university â?” and the administration diverts officer hours to cigarette policing at the peril of student safety.

 

Also, the rule doesn’t give student smokers the credit they deserve. Most student smokers are quite conscientious about confining their habit to environments where it will be the least offensive to nonsmokers. The average smoker is certainly more courteous than the average automobile driver is, and less immediately dangerous besides. Students who smoke outside of university buildings are likely unaware that this is a problem.

 

In a world of carrots and sticks, contemporary America has broken the rod on smokers’ backs; from time to time, a little incentive goes a long way. If the administration would like to see less smoking near the buildings, then build well lit, weatherproof shelters designated as smoking areas. Provide students a safe, dry place to smoke where they won’t receive dirty looks from passers-by, and most would probably take it.

Disco: from dance floor to mosh pit

 DiscoBy Michele Dubey

Managing a full-time academic schedule is enough to monopolize most students’ time, but for members of the local band Disco, they find the time to juggle both academics and rock music. 

Disco began as a trio in October 2004. Guitarist Zack Pennington met Jared Woods (drums) and Charlie Patton (cello) while working as an R.A. in the dorms at the University of Louisville. The three played together for a short time before deciding that they needed a bass player.

 

After placing an ad in the Louisville Showcase, Robbie Strojan, a.k.a. Robbie Hollywood, joined up and the group played as an instrumental quartet. In August 2005, Pennington asked friend Clay Nevels to join Disco as the lead vocals to round out their sound, and his addition to the group completed the five-piece.

 

The band’s members attribute two origins to the name of the band. First, they noted, “Disco is the antithesis of rock and roll,” thus the irony of a hardcore band named Disco. “I also heard that 70 percent of all disco balls are manufactured here in Louisville, so I thought it was fitting,” Patton said.

 

A self-professed “hardcore band that plays with metal bands,” they still do not think they fit completely into the metal genre. Disco describes their sound as post-hardcore, which singer Nevels clarified as Every Time I Die with a cello. With musical influences ranging from classical to punk and even rap, some of their major influences are the Blood Brothers, Depeche Mode, Dillinger Escape Plan, Bright Eyes and Incubus.

 

Aside from music, the band’s members maintain full-time academic schedules. Pennington is a Communication major with a French minor, Nevels is a Photography major, Patton majors in Cello Performance, Woods is pre-med with a Biology major, and Strojan is a graduate student in Electrical Engineering.  However, they all agree that Patton is the “diva” of the band, with the busiest schedule.

 

“I’m supposed to practice four hours a day,” Patton said, “besides various commitments in the evening.”

 

Their favorite shows so far have been in areas outside of Louisville. At the shows they played in Scottsburg and London, they found the kids that came out were much more receptive to new music than the audienceshere in Louisville. Disco is gaining a fan base here in the river city, though, and hoping there’s roomin the Louisville scene for a group that is a little something different.

Frankfort Avenue attracts pedestrians

 Frankfort Avenue attracts pedestriansBy By Erin Mccoy

Bardstown Road may be bustling at all hours of the night, but it’s not the only busy street in town. Much of the window-shopping, bar-hopping crowd looking for a change of scenery has found Frankfort Avenue to be a pleasant alternative.

Frankfort Avenue runs from just east of downtown through the Crescent Hill neighborhood until it turns into Shelbyville Road. Old houses and local businesses line the street where pedestrian traffic and nightlife are growing every day.

Gary Heine is co-owner of Heine Brothers’ Coffee shop, which has a store on Frankfort Avenue in addition to its three locations on Bardstown. He said he chose the sites for his stores based on the neighborhoods surrounding them. “They’re old, funky neighborhoods where people walk around and people live and people like to gather, see their friends, meet new friends – and that’s really what we’re about.”

Heine Brothers’ moved to Frankfort Avenue 11 years ago, and since then, Heine said, renovations and an influx of new shops have made it a much livelier street. “It’s really nice that it is being discovered,” he said.

John Johnson, owner of the Wine Rack, a store with specialty wines and alcoholic beverages on the 2300 block of Frankfort Avenue, has also noticed the change. “In the three years since I opened this business the traffic has grown, and the popularity has definitely grown.”

Johnson is a member of the Frankfort Avenue Business Association, which is responsible for organizing the Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop on the last Friday of every month. Four or five trolleys run the circuit from 6-10:30 p.m. Businesses keep their doors open to attract new customers, who flock from all over the city to see what the strip has to offer.

“It’s about making it more fun to come out and shop and dine on Frankfort Avenue and see all the small businesses that are here that make the area charming,” Johnson said.

Don Burch, owner of Frankfort Avenue’s Quest Outdoors, which sells outdoor gear, said the Trolley Hop is designed to help local businesses flourish. “We consider Bardstown Road and all the unique places in Louisville as complementary to what we’re trying to do. We see them as allies,” Burch said.

One trolley stop near the very end of Frankfort Avenue lets people off right in front of the North End Cafe, a restaurant, bar and Spanish tapa bar that features musical late nights on weekends.

Jessica Dawkins, a manager at North End, said North End and the RED Lounge offer some of the few nighttime bar environments on the street.

“I used to live on Frankfort Avenue and I miss living on it,” Dawkins said. “It was nice to walk up and down anywhere, you know, going up to Nancy’s Bagel Grounds to get coffee in the morning or grabbing a bite to eat at the Irish Rover. I like the mix of food on the street. When I think Frankfort Avenue, I think shops and restaurants, not necessarily bars.”

“It’s not like Bardstown Road,” said Christopher Seckman, owner of North End. “It’s not as busy, but there’s all the same amenities here. There are coffeeshops – it’s an oversaturation – restaurants, some bars, but it’s not as populated.”

North End Cafe draws in a good mix of customers because of its location where blue collar and white collar neighborhoods collide, Dawkins said. The bar is open until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and stays open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The crowd is different each night, she said.

On Thursday nights, DJ Sam Sneed draws in the under-27 crowd, among them many U of L students, and Friday nights Kim Sorise of 91.9 WFPK hosts “Global Grease with Kim Sorise,” drawing predominantly listeners over 27.

Frankfort Avenue seems to be ever-expanding, and business owners in the area are excited about the buzz it’s generating. Sure, it’s no Bardstown Road, but the business owners seem to like it that way. “Frankfort Avenue just seems like it’s more serene, but still offers all the things that the Highlands do,” Dawkins said.

Local music thrives in smaller venues

 Local music thrives in smaller venuesBy Melissa Moody

Kentucky has a storied history in music, from Bill Monroe to Slint, and Louisville some of the most variety of concert opportunities. National and international acts come through to play at Freedom Hall, but smaller venues in the city offer excellent local music in a much more intimate and interesting setting. There are bars with small stages and halls dedicated to showcasing live music, and the variety of music on any given night should leave no one asking what to do with their evening.

Perhaps the best-known small venue in Louisville is Headliners Music Hall, which is devoted to featuring both local acts and those coming from outside the region. Headliners offers an almost nightly opportunity to see a variety of shows from the exceptional to the intolerable, depending on your taste. The venue is a hall sans chairs with a stage up front and a bar in the back. The ventilation system could be improved; the cigarette smoke leaves you sounding like Joan Rivers and smelling like an ashtray. It can be worth it, however, to see an incredible band without binoculars. Most shows are 18 and over, but occasionally access is restricted to those who are under 21.

The Rudyard Kipling on Oak Street has been a mainstay for music fans in Louisville for years, offering a small but intimate area for concerts and a separate bar area. “I see more good music at the Rud than anywhere else, including the bigger venues, and it has a community feel you can’t get other places,” said Neil Mulac, an English major at U of L.

There are quite a few bars around town that offer the music lover an opportunity to see some great local acts. Uncle Pleasant’s, Gerstle’s Place and Dutch’s Tavern often showcase local artists, and with pool tables included, you can get live music with your barfly at your side. Uncle Pleasant’s can get really crowded, and in a narrow space with low ceilings, it’s hard for those not in the first few rows to see the performance.

Michael Black, a U of L senior, said, “Uncle Pleasant’s is my favorite place to see live music. It has a good atmosphere, and it definitely doesn’t get as crowded as Headliners. Headliners feels like they transported Freedom Hall to a smaller venue.”

Downtown there are quite a few venues along Main Street that offer the opportunity to see a variety of music. The Jazz Factory, Main Street Lounge, Zena’s and Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar all offer a selection of music (check out the Industrial/Goth night at the Main Street Lounge). Main Street Lounge frequently features a DJ instead of a live act, but it is still a great place to go dancing.

Two places that wouldn’t be considered small venues but aren’t in the same category as Freedom Hall are the W.L. Lyons Brown Theater and the Louisville Palace. The Brown, located in Louisville’s historic theatre square, is the smaller of the two and often features more widely known bands. Adjacent to the Brown Hotel, the theatre seats approximately 1,400 people. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts allowed the completion of major renovations in the late ’90s.

The Louisville Palace shares a distinct history with the Brown and is also located in theater square. The Palace seats up to approximately 2,700 people, and features beautiful architecture that can entertain you during intermission. Tickets for shows at these venues is far more expensive than the typically minimal cover charge at smaller bars and clubs, but often it’s worth it to catch a band that is just passing through.

The opportunities to see live music in Louisville are getting more populous every day, and with some talented local bands and wide-ranging venues, there shouldn’t be an empty space in your schedule unless you need a break from all this bar-hopping.

 

Student bicycles clutter campus walkways

 Student bicycles clutter campus walkwaysBy Jeffrey Morris

Take a look around U of L’s campus and you’ll see dozens of bikes chained to designated bike racks, as well as trees, light poles, stair rails and other campus props. While this is often only an aesthetic problem, cyclists’ alternate lock-up arrangements can also be a hindrance to other students, especially to those who use wheelchairs.

 

“This is mainly an awareness issue,” said Cathy Patus, vice president for the Disability Resource Center. “There are very few people who would deliberately block a disabled ramp just for their convenience. Sometimes there just aren’t any nearby racks.”

 

Instead, Patus said many people simply don’t understand how easy it is for a ramp to be blocked.

 

“Even if the bike is chained outside the ramp, some of the ramps are so narrow that if the handlebar or any other part of the bike sticks into the ramp even an inch, then a wheel chair won’t be able to pass through.”

 

The Disability Resource Center has printed notes which are occasionally placed on bikes chained to ramps, telling the owner that chaining to ramps blocks disabled access. No flyers have been put out this semester because the center hasn’t received any complaints yet. University officials stated that their dispatchers receive around eight to 10 complaints a year.

According to Patus, the problem seems worst at the beginning of the fall semester, primarily because the warm weather brings more bikes to campus. She also stated that the northern half of campus seems to be the most problematic, especially around the Bingham Humanities and Human Science buildings. Both buildings are accessible by long, narrow ramps.

 

Larry Owsley, vice president for Business Affairs, said the university is aware that some buildings may not have enough racks.

 

“We added a number of bike racks in 2004. In late 2005, we received a list of additional sites that student representatives would like to see addressed. We are evaluating that list and well install more racks as funding is identified,” Owsley state. He added that the Belknap campus has 50 bike racks with a total capcity of around 390 bikes.

 

Some campus bikers say that problems may be overstated.

 

“I don’t think people use the ramps that are already here because they are too far from the doors, and it is hard to get bikes in them because they are so small,” said U of L biker Matthew Taylor.

Death’s Handyman

 Death's HandymanBy Melissa Moody

State-sanctioned executions in America have recently returned to the forefront of the country’s collective consciousness. With the execution of Crips gang cofounder and reformed anti-gang activist Stanley “Tookie” Williams and the execution of disabled 76-year-old Clarence Ray Allen in California in recent months, the debate over capital punishment and the Eighth Amendment provision against “cruel and unusual punishment” has once again garnered the spotlight.

 

“We have to stand up tall, and we have to stand firm in our sense and our belief that the death penalty is immoral,” said actor  Danny Glover at a rally to save Williams from execution. Williams was denied clemency and executed by lethal injection.

 

A 1999 documentary directed by Errol Morris (“The Fog of War”) called “Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.” powerfully depicts the bizarre story of a self-proclaimed execution equipment entrepreneur. Morris allows Leuchter to tell his own story, following him on a trip across America inspecting state prison execution equipment. Eventually Leuchter and the film crew embark on a surreal journey to Auschwitz, in Poland, where Leuchter ultimately becomes absorbed in his own delusions. He was discredited during the trial of German revisionist-historian Ernst Zundel due to his embarrassing lack of credentials. In his testimony, under the auspices of scientific inquiry, he denied the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz.

 

At the time the film was made, Leuchter was involved in the “manufacture of execution equipment,” which took him from electric chairs to lethal injection machines to gas chambers to gallows, without any formal education or training. “I came into the field from a backdoor standpoint because I was concerned about the humanitarian aspects of death by torture,” Leuchter notes when discussing his profession.

 

Leuchter’s involvement in executions was spurred by his concern “with the deplorable conditions of the hardware that’s in most of the states’ prisons.” After allegedly being asked by the state of Tennessee, which denies ever contacting him, to inspect their electric chair, Leuchter’s extraordinary career in the operation of executions in the U.S. followed an unexpected and off-the-wall path. It began, according to Leuchter, when New Jersey granted him a contract to design and build a lethal injection machine that would spare human involvement in the process of killing inmates.

 

“Now, what lethal injection has to do with electrocution is beyond me. Simply because I’m capable of building an electric chair doesn’t mean I’m capable of building a lethal injection machine. They’re two totally different concepts,” Leuchter says. “The reasoning here is that I built helmets for electric chairs, so now I can build lethal injection machines. I now build the lethal injection machines so I’m competent to build the gallows, and since I’m building gallows, I’m also competent to work on gas chambers because I’ve done all the other three.”

 

As Leuchter explains this progression, he stands on the scaffold of the Illinois gallows, gingerly holding a sandbag tied to a rope that he will drop through the mechanical trapdoor, in order to “test the machinery.”

 

The pace of the film, along with the cinematography and the director’s ability to capture and crucially define Leuchter through his own admissions to the camera, emphasize the weight and morbidity of Leuchter’s chosen profession, which is juxtaposed with Leuchter’s unceremonious and matter-of-fact manner of discussing his work. Leuchter, a squirrelly man with yellow teeth and thick, black-rimmed glasses, remains, through the course of the film, nonchalant about his involvement in the execution of human beings. His wife, Caroline Leuchter, explains, “It wasn’t that he killed people – he just made things that killed people.”

Leuchter maintains throughout the film that he is involved in manufacturing execution equipment for humanitarian reasons. “I am a proponent of capital punishment, not capital torture.”

 

As the film progresses, these statements become hypocritical. He visits Auschwitz and blithely chips plaster off the walls of gas chambers where some 500,000 people were executed. The director increasingly takes on a larger role, intervening to express his disbelief at Leuchter’s disposition, which he depicts through the footage of Leuchter rummaging around inconsequentially in what Morris describes as hallowed ground. It is interesting to glean the two different reactions of Morris and Leuchter, and the contrast serves to vividly express the rate of Leuchter’s delusions, which go from mildly creepy to completely crazy.

 

“Mr. Death” is a compelling documentary that offers insight into the human psyche, the penal system in America, and the nature of the Holocaust, reaching through time and space to discover those haunted places where the truth is ambiguous and there is no black and white.

The Cardinal’s top 15 sports movies since 1980

 The Cardinal's top 15 sports movies since 1980By

Hundreds of movies have been made about sports, but only a few stick with you. Members of The Cardinal editorial and sports staff voted on our picks for the top 15 movies in the last 25 years. “Hoosiers” edged out “Rudy” in the end for our top spot. Each selection was given points, 15 for first and one if it was selected last. The points totals as well as the number of first place votes are listed after each movie title. Charles Westmoreland, Chris Brown, Glypie Grider, Matt Thacker, Andrew Krumme, Chuck Stinson, Terra Simms, Catherine LaRoche, Zach Kenitzer, Chris Hill and Matthew Adkins voted in this survey.

1) Hoosiers, 97(3) â?” The classic small-town sports drama, “Hoosiers,” tells the story of the tiny underdog high school basketball team, the Hickory Huskers. They must overcome adversity, under the leadership of a rejected coach played by Gene Hackman, on their way to the Indiana state championships. The brilliant acting and directing makes “Hoosiers” a classic tale about triumph and overcoming the odds.

2) Rudy, 96 (3) â?” In the ultimate underdog story, Rudy dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame, but he lacked the talent to play major college football. His drive and determination has inspired people for years and helped to increase the mystique of Notre Dame football. The “real” Rudy still works as a motivational speaker.

3) Field of Dreams, 76 (1) â?” An Iowa farmer hears voices coming from his cornfield, saying the now-famous line, “If you build it, he will come.” The farmer, played by Kevin Costner, believes the voices are telling him to build a baseball field, and so he does. Ghosts of baseball legends gather on the field at night, proving that fantasies to come true â?” at least in Hollywood.

4) Remember the Titans, 72 (1) â?” Two football teams, one black and one white, are forced to merge when Virginia employs forced integration in the high schools. The tensions increase as the white and black players must compete for starting positions, but the team gels together, overcoming outside distractions, and makes a run in the state tournament. The movie successfully takes on a sensitive issue and did so in a way that has inspired millions.

5) Bull Durham, 62 (1) â?” Kevin Costner makes his second appearance in our top five, this time as a minor league baseball player. With humor and wit, “Bull Durham” reveals the unglamorous life of the players who aren’t making the millions. Some do it in hopes of making the Majors, while other just do it for the love of the game.

6) The Sandlot, 56 (1) â?” There have been countless sports movies featuring kids, but The Sandlot stands above the rest. Scotty Smalls is the new kid who can’t play baseball as well as the others, but he tries out for the sandlot team and they take him. The movie is humorous as the team’s biggest challenge ends up being their own imagination.

7) A League of their Own, 55 â?” While baseball players went off to fight in WWII, women began stepping in and playing and the first women’s professional baseball league forms. The movie focuses on two sisters who fight a lot but end up uniting to try and help the league as the women must overcome the pressure placed on them.

8) Million Dollar Baby, 50 â?” Hilary Swank plays a waitress who decides she wants to become a boxer. She must convince Clint Eastwood’s character to coach her despite that she seems to be past her prime. She works hard and begins winning, but her biggest challenge would come later in the movie. showing the balance between sports and life.

9) Raging Bull, 45 â?” Jake La Motta, played by Robert De Niro, is a tough and unlovable boxer who must fight off his personal demons to try and become middleweight champion of the world. De Niro’s character won’t win any personality awards, but his tragic life has captured the attention of viewers for 25 years.

10) Jerry Maguire, 35 â?” Tom Cruise plays a swindling sports agent who will do anything for his clients, and in turn his own pocketbook, until he begins to question the way he does his job. When he voices his uncertainty, he loses his clients and must restart his career. The movie is a vivid portrayal of the side of professional sports few ever get to see.

11) Rocky IV, 35 â?” Rocky I and II couldn’t make the list because they were made prior to 1980, but that didn’t keep Sylvester Stallone’s legendary character off our list. In the fourth movie of the series, Rocky seeks revenge against Russian fighter Ivan Drago for killing Apollo Creed.

12) Friday Night Lights, 34 â?” The poor town of Odessa, Texas, lives for its football team, and the Permian Panthers football team knows that and takes advantage of their fame. They begin the season expected to win the championships, but when things turn sour, they must question everything they believe and try to battle their way to the championship game.

13) Chariots of Fire, 30 â?” Based on the true story of Eric Liddle, a Scottish missionary, and Harold Abrahams, a Jewish student at Cambridge, two runners must overcome personal obstacles to compete in the 1924 Olympics. Liddle runs to please God, while Abrahams runs for fame and to escape persecution. While the movie is simple in many ways, it gets at the heart of what truly motivates athletes to perform.

14) Caddyshack, 29 â?” Considered one of the greatest comedies of all time, Caddyshack is full of laughs from beginning to end. It’s a humorous portrayal of the haves and the have-nots at an exclusive golf club that has a major gopher problem.

15) Major League, 29 â?” Another comedy rounds out our list. James Gammon is hired to manage the Cleveland Indians, the worst team in the league. He hires a roster full of rejects and then restores pride in the team. Nothing is sacred in this film about Major League Baseball.

Did we miss your favorite movie? Did you agree with our list? Send your responses to sports@louisvillecardinal.com, and we’ll print the best comments in next week’s issue.

‘Don’t miss’ video games of 2006

 'Don't miss' video games of 2006By By Ryan Chartrand

(U-WIRE) SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Microsoft’s decision to release their next-generation console, the Xbox 360, early in 2005 could prove to be a great mistake when Sony and Nintendo step up to the plate this year. The great battle between the three superpowers in the game industry will not take place until mid-year.

 

Fortunately, the upcoming games for the current-generation console, PC, Xbox 360 and handheld will keep gamers occupied before the largest console clash of the century.

 

5. “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots” (PS3) — Whenever a “Metal Gear Solid” game is announced, the world freezes. Little is known about the game, aside from the apparent gray hair of the main character, but fans refuse to stop salivating over the little that is known. The graphical powerhouse console known as the PS3 is sure to bring a new experience to this ever-popular series.

 

4. “Final Fantasy XII” (PS2) — The upcoming installment in the popular “Final Fantasy” (FF) namesake is one of the longest awaited titles in the series. With the  anticipation from fans of the series, “FFXII” and its entirely revamped real-time battle system could be one of the last best sellers for the PS2.

 

3. “Kingdom Hearts 2″ (PS2) — “Kingdom Hearts 2″ and “FFXII,” two popular role-playing games for the PS2 scheduled for early 2006, could keep many gamers distracted from the XBOX 360 as Sony prepares its own next-generation console, the PS3. “Kingdom Hearts” is a  game that blends Disney characters and the spirit of classic role-playing games (RPG) into a memorable experience for gamers of all ages. Capt. Jack Sparrow and Jack Skellington are among the new cast of characters.

 

2. Sony PS3 and Nintendo Revolution — These may not be games, but the games that will accompany them are greatly anticipated.

 

The Nintendo Revolution will sport a controller similar to a TV remote that can be connected to various peripheral devices. The games for the Revolution are unknown, but deserving of being on this list due to their revolutionary gameplay.

 

The PS3 is sure to deliver various titles after its release that could  blow the XBOX 360 out of the water. With much speculation and only a gaming expo to lift gamers’ anticipation, the next-generation consoles of 2006 are sure to contain the most anticipated titles of the year.

 

1. “Halo 3″ (XBOX 360) — Bill Gates has done his best to convince the public that “Halo 3″ will be released when it is completed, not when the PS3 is released. Unfortunately, the world is in speculation and many are convinced that “Halo 3,” easily the most anticipated game of the year, will be released around the time of the PS3′s arrival. Any news on the game is being kept highly secretive, but market analysts are convinced that once E3 arrives, “Halo 3″ will be no secret. Game retailer GameStop began taking preorders for the game last June and currently has the game slated for October 2006. “Halo 3,” if anything like its predecessors, will not only deliver some of the most thrilling and memorable gaming experiences of the year, but will play an important pawn in the console wars of 2006.

Can a hobbling Dean get a team on track?

 Can a hobbling Dean get a team on track?By Catherine Laroche

Senior guard Taquan Dean sprained his left ankle in a game against Providence on Jan. 7. After the Jan. 25 game against conference rival Cincinnati, Dean’s stats did not look like those of an injured player.

In just 27 minutes of play, Dean contributed to the Cards 67-50 win over the Bearcats with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. He was 4 of 9 from behind the arc.

After a slow first appearance in the game, a couple of missed shots and a turnover, Dean shocked the Freedom Hall crowd of 19,684 early in the second half after Cincinnati cut an 18-point lead to seven. He hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. Five seconds later, he made a steal. Fifteen seconds after the takeaway, he hit a three from just left of the key while falling down.

Then came another steal that led to a Brandon Jenkins layup and finally a third three-pointer.  Within a stretch of 1:26, Dean had scored nine points and gotten the steal that produced two more. Dean’s outburst was all part of a 16-1 run that gave the Cards a 52-30 lead with 12 minutes left in the game.

“He was great,” Head Coach Rick Pitino said. “He’s really out of shape. I kept trying to get him 30-second blows, but under the circumstances, we’d have struggled without him.”

Dean ended the game with a total of 1,357 points for his career as a Cardinal, which moved him into 24th place on the school’s all-time scoring list, passing former Cardinals John Reuther, Junior Bridgeman and Rickey Gallon.

In Louisville’s next game at Rutgers, the Cards struggled to keepup on the road. Although the Cards fell short 65-56 on Jan. 28, Dean again led the team with 13 points on five of 13 shooting in 27 minutes. He played with a high ankle sprain and suffered cramps in his calves but still managed to help U of L stay in the game.

“We just made mental mistakes,” Pitino said. “It wasn’t the physical part that hurt us. We’re disappointed we’re losing, but these players are doing their job. They’re working hard.”

Dean had struggled before the injury and appears to be more focused since getting injured. With or without Dean, the team must improve because the rest of the road will only going to get tougher. The Cards are currently in 12th place out of 16 teams in the Big East and in serious jeopardy of missing not only the NCAA tournament but also the Big East Conference tournament. Only the top 12 make it to the conference tournament.

Next up for the Cardinals is a visit to Freedom Hall for Notre Dame on Feb. 4. Louisville will then travel to Cincinnati on Feb. 6, where the Cards will be looking for revenge after their 17 point thumping at Freedom Hall last week.

The Cards will then end the regular season schedule with home games against South Florida, DePaul and Marquette and have to travel to Syracuse, West Virginia, and Connecticut.

Freshman forward Terrence Williams flies high to grab the ball against Cincinnati. Louisville may need more acrobatics from Williams if Taquan Dean stays hurt.

Sucked into soft drinks

 Sucked into soft drinksBy Terra Simms

Consuming soft drinks is America’s other favorite pastime. In 2000, the average American consumed more than 53 gallons of soft drinks, according to the National Soft Drink Association. In 2004, soft drink giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola both earned over $20 billion in sales.

 

But for every gulp to quench your thirst, you’re adding miles you’ll have to run later on the treadmill, increasing your risk of health problems and dropping a buck and a quarter into Pepsi’s or Coke’s company bank account.

 

The calories from all those sodas add up.

 

“People take in more calories than their body burns, which leads to weight gain,” said Nancy Kuppersmith, an instructor and nutritionist for U of L’s Family and Geriatric Medicine department. Soft drinks are considered liquid meals, and by drinking a soda during a meal, you’re essentially eating two meals â?” lunch and the soda. When you go to the gym, you probably work off the lunch but forget to burn off the extra calories from the soda.

 

“I drink the equivalent of two 2-liters of Diet Coke a day,” said U of L freshman Aaron Blankenship. But the Mechanical Engineering major said he works out at least three times a week to make up for it.

 

Eric Wright, an adjunct for the Health and Sport Sciences Department, teaches backpacking and instructs students not to drink soft drinks on hikes.

 

“Bring something that has electrolytes â?” energy drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde, and water,” he said.

 

Soft drinks are not only poor meal substitutes, but are damaging to your teeth.

“Colas are acidic and not good for you or your teeth,” said Dr. Robert H. Staat, professor of Microbiology at the School of Dentistry.

 

A few of the addictive acids in soft drinks include acetic, fumaric, gluconic and phosphoric acids, all of them synthetically produced.

 

The bacteria in your mouth combined with a soft drink’s acids attack the teeth’s enamel. Each attack lasts for 20 minutes and has the potential to create cavities.

 

“Frequency causes the decay,” said Nick Ising, a junior Dentistry student. “Cokes are okay, but in moderation.” Ising said to drink soda faster in order to decrease attacks on the enamels. This is great advice to avoid the dentist’s chair, which can be expensive for young adults.

 

Young adults (18-24 years old) are the least insured age group according to the National Coalition on Health Care. In 2002, 78.5 percent of 18- to 44-year-olds paid for health services out-of-pocket, with costs ranging from $1-$124.

 

What’s also expensive is the actual cost of soft drinks. The U of L vending machines have bumped up 20-ounce soft drinks to $1.25 from a buck. Kroger and other stores charge around $1.29. Purchasing six soft drinks a week could cost roughly $7.25 and monthly around $21.75. For this amount, students could pay back their unsubsidized loans, late and overdraft fees, fill their cars up with gas or start a rainy day fund.

 

But if you must have your Coke and drink it too, substitute it with artificial sweeteners.

 

“There’s hardly an aftertaste,” Staat said. “Just reduce sugar in your diet.”

 

Replace regular sodas with water, Crystal Light, RC Cola, diet drinks, or stop drinking them altogether to get rid of caffeine dependence.

 

Sophomore Bridget Walker said she used to drink three 20-ounce sodas a day, but reduced it to around one a month.

 

 ”My stomach gets real upset from drinking too many,” she said.

 

Walker‘s symptom is commonly diagnosed as gastrointestinal distress. It’s an inflammation of the stomach due to increasing acid levels, which can lead to gastric erosions. The treatment for GI sufferers: drink one soda and the pain goes away.

 

Soft drink dependence is a tough habit to kick, but in the long run, you’ll be able to run without stomach pains, face the dentist without fear and save money, all just by passing up the Coke machine.

 

“[Soft drinks] don’t give your body satisfaction,” Kuppersmith said, “so you have to give it something that will.”