Commentary Glory at stake in NFL conference championship games

In one of the most popular professional sports league in the United States, there’s a lot at stake when a win means a trip to the Super Bowl. Arguably, though, this NFL Championship Sunday is putting a little bit more on the line than just a spot in the biggest annual sports spectacle in the world. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick and the Harbaugh brothers will all be playing this weekend for a chance to hoist the coveted Lombardi trophy. With all of those big names involved, it’s inevitable that either history will be made, legacies will be solidified, or reputations will again be up for debate for at least another year. Last weekend Brady passed his boyhood idol and NFL legend Joe Montana on the list for most all-time playoff wins with 17. But while playoff wins are quite a resume builder for most, with Brady’s first ballot Hall of Fame induction already locked up, it’s more likely that the Montana record that Brady really wants to associate himself with is four Super Bowl wins. With a victory against the Ravens in Foxborough on Sunday, Brady will have a chance to match Montana’s mark and solidify his place in the argument of the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Not to mention, a win would extend his and Bill Belichick’s record of most Super Bowl appearances as a quarterback-head coach duo. On the other side of the field in Foxborough, Ray Lewis will be doing everything in his power to stop Brady from accomplishing that goal. With a win on Sunday, Lewis will give himself the chance to win a second Super Bowl and finish his historic career on top. Though Lewis is already considered the best leader and linebacker in the history of the league by most, a second ring to go along with his 13 pro-bowl selections would leave no doubt. Covering Lewis’ back on the offensive side of the ball in this game will be Flacco. If Flacco can help lead Lewis and company to New Orleans on Feb. 3, he can finally justify his self-proclamation as an “elite” quarterback. With a subpar performance and third AFC championship game loss in five years, though, Flacco will be eating his words, as well as those of the many NFL fans who think he is overrated and cocky. While the AFC side of championship weekend features two living legends, the story on the NFC side is about legacy building. Ryan of the Falcons silenced critics last weekend with a clutch drive in the waning moments of the game, allowing his kicker to ground the Seahawks with a game-winning field goal as time expired. However, with a loss at home to San Francisco in the NFC championship game Sunday, that landmark victory for Ryan, as well as his hopes to build his legacy as an “elite” quarterback, might very well become a distant memory. Not only would a loss drop his career playoff record to a disappointing 1-4, but it would give Kaepernick twice as many crucial playoff wins as Ryan in less than half the tries. On that same note, with two playoff wins in nine career NFL starts, regular or postseason, and a Super Bowl appearance, a win in Atlanta would get Kaepernick off to a groundbreaking start to his career. He’d also be well on his way to building a legacy for himself as one of the premier running quarterbacks of all time. On top of all the personal glory that has the potential to be achieved with any of the four possible Super Bowl matchups, perhaps the most intriguing part of NFL Championship Sunday is that it holds the power to yield an historic “Harbaugh Bowl.” The drama involved with a John Harbaugh-led Ravens team squaring off against a Jim Harbaugh-led 49ers team would be unequalled. Everybody loves a big brother – little brother rivalry, but one that makes NFL history and results in bragging rights in the form of a Lombardi Trophy, now that is glorious. read more

Young Ohio State womens tennis team ready to take on 2014 season

OSU women’s tennis coach Melissa Schaub watches the Buckeyes during a match against Michigan April 21 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU lost, 7-0.Credit: Courtesy of the OSU Athletic DepartmentHalf the roster for the Ohio State women’s tennis team is composed of freshmen, but the Buckeyes youth doesn’t mean they can’t play with the best of them.Senior Noelle Malley said her team can hang with anyone in the Big Ten.“We’ve been working so hard recently,” she said. “I think we’re right there with them.”The Buckeyes are unranked while three other Big Ten teams, No. 10 Michigan, No. 12 Northwestern and No. 16 Nebraska, find themselves in the top 25.“It’s going to be hard, keeping up our focus and intensity and when we go out there, not being afraid of them, which we aren’t,” Malley said. “It’s exciting.”Senior Kelsey Becker, said her goal for the team goes beyond the conference.“We definitely want to make the NCAA tournament this year, we haven’t made it the past three years since I’ve been here,” she said. “I think we can do it this year, I think we have a really good team.”The Buckeyes have not made it to the tournament since 2009, and as they prepare for a run at the ultimate goal in the spring, are scheduled to finish preseason this weekend in Los Angeles, Calif., at the Jack Kramer tournament.Coach Melissa Schaub said the preseason schedule has been all about experience for her young squad.“The fall season like this is just about getting matches in, just getting a bunch of matches under your belt, preparing ourselves for the spring season,” she said.Schaub added that she has seen strong showings from her team, top to bottom.“The freshmen have stepped up big time, and we’ve had good leadership from our seniors,” she said. “It’s been really good so far.”Schaub stressed that every one of her freshmen have impressed, but singled out one in particular.“I think (freshman Gabriella DeSantis) has had an unbelievable fall season, coming in as a freshman,” she said. “You’re never really sure how that person is going to react to a different environment, being away from home.”Of the four youngsters, three are from outside of the U.S. DeSantis is from Caracas, Venezuela, Ferny Angeles Paz hails from Lima, Peru, and Miho Kowase comes from Tokyo.Schaub said the diverse roster is commonplace in the sport.“In tennis, it happens,” she said. “Tennis is such a universal sport, it’s big in other countries, so it’s not that uncommon to have a fairly international team.”Malley said she enjoys having international teammates, especially as a senior leader on the team.“It’s awesome, they’re so much fun,” she said. “We have so many different cultures and we’re talking about doing a dinner where we each make a home cooked meal.”Malley added that there might be some extra perks of forming bonds with individuals from around the world.“We have places to visit out of the country now, if we want to,” she said.Becker said each of the freshmen have done well to adjust, but that at least two of the newcomers might have had a leg up.“It’s kind of cute because (Paz) and (DeSantis) knew each other before because they’re both from South America,” she said. “They’re all just really sweet, and doing a really good job.”Even with such a diverse and young roster, Schaub said her team is already better than last year, but the main thing is improving each day.“It’s about every time you go on the court, competing as hard as you can and trying to get better in every match that you play,” Schaub said. “If that happens, then we’re going to be happy leaving a tournament.”After their weekend in California, the Buckeyes are scheduled to have plenty of practice time before diving into their regular season against Baylor Jan. 18 in Waco, Texas. read more

August 29 2007 In 1994 prominent artist John W

first_imgAugust 29, 2007 In 1994 prominent artist John Waddell created a bronze bust of Paolo Soleri. Just recently, John Waddell visited long-time friend Paolo Soleri at Arcosanti to present his gift of eight sketches, drawn in preparation for the bronze sculpture. [Photo & text: sa] John Waddell (b.1921) was raised in the Midwest and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and had his first solo show in Peoria, Illinois at age 21. He was in the military and the G.I. Bill financed the remainder of his formal education, which was two M.F.A.’s in Fine Arts and Art Education. He and his wife, Ruth, a close partner in his professional as well as his personal life, moved to Arizona in 1957. Here he headed the art education department at Arizona State University (then Arizona State College) for several years. During this time Waddell made sculpture his primary art form. The 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four young girls died, became a pivotal event in his development as an artist. The monument he created in response to that tragedy, “That Which Might Have Been”, Birmingham, 1963, resides in the garden he designed for it at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Lincoln Drive in Phoenix. His sculptures are exhibited in many places in Phoenix, including Civic Plaza and the Phoenix Art Museum. The Waddells have lived in the Verde Valley since 1970 and make frequent visits to Grand Canyon, where they sketch and paint. [Photo & text: sa] The Soleri bust is 48.2 cm [19 inches] and is featured on page 96 of the book “John Henry Waddell, the art and the artist” by Michel F. Sarda, published by Bridgewood Press, Phoenix, AZ in 1996. See our previous report about John Waddell on 10/27/06. [Photo: from ‘John Henry Waddell, the art and the artist’ by Michel F. Sarda & text: sa]last_img read more

March 21 2008 Landscaping coordinator Ron Chan

first_imgMarch 21, 2008 Landscaping coordinator Ron Chandler invited staff, volunteers and workshop participants to an Open House event with a big barbeque in the courtyard between the cubes. In the chair right by the fire, Paolo Soleri graced the event with his presence. [Photo: tt & text: sa] Ron remodeled a series of three cubes and added a cube-size addition with french doors, facing the Agua Fria riverbed. Each cube is a 8 foot by 8 foot living unit, the first living quarters built at Arcosanti in 1970, before any work began on the structures on the mesa. Ron even installed a fishtank and a little kitchen, unheard of luxury in a cube. Beautiful job! [Photo: tt & text: sa] After the barbeque and house viewing, the group settled around the fire for some poetry and musical performance. [Photo: tt & text: sa]last_img