Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Bests of the Month

Each month I will give out my own fictional monthly awards. I am going to spotlight people and things I believe had the best month. The month of January was filled with plenty of excitement, danger and emotion. We saw a heroic plane landing in the Hudson River that saved 155 passengers, a musician step outside the box, a football player lead his team to the Super Bowl, and, oh yeah, we inaugurated our first black President.

The Hero: U.S. Airways Captain Chelsey Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III
Sullenberger safely helmed the disabled US Airways Flight 1549, landing it into the icy Hudson River. In doing so, he saved all 155 passengers and whoever else would’ve been hurt by a plane crashing into their neighborhood.

The Commander-In-Chief: Barack Obama
Obama became the country’s 44th and the first black President on Jan. 20, marking a historic day in American history. He, along with his family and staff, partied the night away. Only he and Michelle attended ten balls in his honor. What a night.

The Designer: Jason Wu
The 26 year-old fashion designer hit the jackpot when Michelle Obama chose to wear the dress he designed for her to wear during the Presidential Inauguration celebration. He discovered what she was wearing just like the majority of the world – when she appeared on TV that day. Talk about a pleasant surprise.

The Phenom: Larry Fitzgerald
The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver has led his team to the Super Bowl by catching 23 balls for 419 yards and 5 touchdowns during the playoffs. He even catches the ball when he’s not open. Look for him to be MVP during the big game tomorrow.

The Champ: “Sugar” Shane Mosley
Mosley put on a clinic in upsetting Antonio Margarito to win the welterweight championship of the world on Jan. 24. Mosley TKO’d Margarito in the ninth round after sweeping all of the previous rounds. I picked Margarito to win with a decision but I’m glad Mosley proved me wrong.

The Musical Artist: Kanye West
You’ve seen me mention a lot about Kanye lately. Well, he gets my vote this month for stepping outside the box by showcasing his design skills at the Louis Vuitton show earlier this week. Also, his singles have been mainstays on the Billboard charts. Kudos to Kanye for doing something different.

Best Magazine: GQ
Anyone who reads monthly magazines knows that the issues tend to come out a month ahead. Well, the January issue of GQ Magazine displayed a naked Jennifer Aniston on the cover. Her breasts were covered by a red, white and blue tie. Very clever and sexy. While she was the lead feature, there was plenty of other useful info in this month’s issue.

The Actress: Kate Winslet
I thought about choosing Mickey Rourke here but I don’t know enough about his situation. Besides, Winslet took home two golden globes; one for best actress in Revolutionary Road and one for best supporting actress in The Reader.

Local Store: Andrew Davis Menswear
This stylish menswear store is one of the best stops to make in Bloomington if you’re looking for a high-class, stylish suit at a decent price. Located on Kirkwood, ADM showcases suits, ties, blazers, shoes, and accessories from the likes of Peter Millar, Robert Talbot and Allen Edmonds to name a few. While the store is somewhat conservative (thanks to the typical Bloomington crowd), they do have some clothes with a little more flavor. The customer service is high-quality as managers, Macey and Josh will go all out to give you the best shopping experience possible. Don’t believe me, take a trip to ADM and see for yourself.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

According To Kurz...Starting From Scratch

“There’s no blueprint for this.”

Those were the words of Indiana University head basketball coach, Tom Crean, as said to the Chicago Tribune a few weeks ago after losing to the University of Michigan by six points in overtime. What the coach was referring to was starting a team from scratch. If IU’s basketball team were a professional one it’d be an expansion team. The team includes eight scholarship players, five of those being freshman, and six walk-ons.

Now I must admit I am not the biggest basketball fan, and I can count how many times I have been to an IU basketball game on one hand, but I do know one thing: Coach Crean's squad plays their hearts out! I went to their game against the Minnesota Gophers with my dad and we sat right behind Indiana’s bench. Right behind us sat his wife (who yells just about as loud and as much as her husband).

Two things I noticed through out the game: One was the intensity and passion that Coach Crean has for the game of basketball and how good he is at communicating with all of his players, refs and staff. He almost never stopped talking and pacing the sidelines. Secondly, I was impressed by the effort and great work ethic each and every individual displays on the Hoosier’s team. Of course every player on the floor was giving it their all, but even the players on the bench were all into the game cheering their teammates on. The assistant coaches were scrambling to write down stats and tendencies of the Gophers while the trainers and managers were hustling to get water and towels to the team.

The game went back and forth, going down to the wire, but Indiana ended up losing by three, making them 0-6 in the Big Ten and 5-13 overall at that time. At the end of the game everyone stood up and gave the team a standing ovation, but you could see the empty seats in Assembly Hall. An observant but confident Coach Crean noticed the empty seats as well.

“We're going to get back to where it's sold out, it's a monster ticket, to where the ticket brokers are making a heck of a living because of Indiana basketball," Crean told the Chicago Tribune. "We'll get that back."

But the vacant seats and the defeated league record overshadow just how impressively hard this team works. I hate the saying, “wait till next year”, but I know sometime in the near future Coach Crean will be adding another banner or two up in Assembly Hall, and this team will have been the foundation for the future.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kanye West Designing Kicks For Louis Vuitton

Mr. Kanye West, the self-proclaimed “Louis Vuitton Don” is back up but you’ve gotta love ‘em. Kanye, who was spotted recently sitting front row at the Spring/Summer Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris, has designed a line of five LV sneakers. One of the sneakers was featured in the show – which was also the sneaker Kanye wore that day – a monochromatic mid-top with a quilted flap in the back, which makes it easier to tuck pants into (shown above). Two other designs – a sneaker/loafer type shoe in all white and one all white high-top with a pink sole - were featured on Kanye’s blog earlier this month.

Kanye says he wanted to do something different and was inspired by science fiction, Japanese pop art and a movie scene in “Dune” where an actor sported a jacket with a high collar.

I love the sneakers and wish I had the money to buy me a pair or two. The shoes are due out in June at Louis Vuitton stores.

The Associated Press was able to catch up to Kanye at the LV show. Here’s the video below.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Introduction of The Great Thom Browne

I've decided to introduce you to New York fashion designer, Thom Browne. The reason being because you will be seeing plenty more of him on my blog as he is one of my favorite designers right now. He was named 2008 Designer of the Year by GQ Magazine and is the first guest designer to have a fashion line for Brooks Brothers called Black Fleece (look out for the Apparel Watch soon).

Browne is known for his "shrunken suits" that are traditionally tailored to fit closely to a man's body while showing off shorter sleeves and pants cut to show off a man's ankles. While this look is not for everyone and is controversial in some circles, I applaud him for doing something different and so sophisticated.

You'll see in the video I've posted, courtesy of Refinery29TV on YouTube, Thom Browne preparing for New York Fashion Week. You'll also get a look at his gallery in New York. His clothes are very high quality and are so elegant they bring a level of sophistication and aestheticism that we've seldom seen before. The influence he's had on men with style and the fashion world is amazing. So much that he's got me wanting to show off my ankles when the weather gets warm.

Fashion Sense...Dee and Ricky

Take a look at the poster inside Kanye West's new album 808's and Heartbreak and you'll find Kanye sporting a wool Raf Simons suit (his apparel watch is coming soon) with a big red lego heart brooch - yes brooch, not broach - just above his suit pocket. It's kinda funky and unlike anything I've seen before in recent memory. I decided to look into where I could find a brooch such as this.

The brooch was designed by twin brothers, Dee and Ricky (seen above). They're a young, charismatic design, rap and dance duo from New York and a two-thirds of the dance group Jackson Swinton. Known as The Twins, they've managed to catch the love and attention of the fashion world and are ready to take it by storm. They've been photographed by The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman and have been seen in spreads by Nike and Puma among others. The Twins' other accessories - also lego-inspired including belts - were commissioned by top fashion designer, Marc Jacobs for his New York Fashion Week for his Spring 2008 runway show.

You can purchase the brooches and belts from Dee and Ricky here.

The hearts come in red, black, or multi-colored while there are numerous styles in the belts. I'm thinking a lego heart would be great for Valentines Day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Latest Role Model...Kanye West

First off, let me say that I love Kanye West. I’ve always loved his music, production, his boldness and outspokenness, and his appreciation of the arts. Now, with his latest album, 808’s and Heartbreak and his latest persona he has become an all out inspiration to me.

Kanye’s attitude about life and the things he does is an attribute I want to model myself after. That’s not to say I agree with every single thing he says or does, but the essence of Kanye is something deep. He’s a man who’s been through the loss of the two most important women in his life; his mother passing away and his fiancĂ© breaking up with him. Already a complex person, the trials and tribulations he went through nearly make him labyrinthine. Life’s sudden changes have given Kanye new inspiration and a new way for him to deliver his creative, message.

Kanye has changed the game of hip-hop – no, he’s changed the entire game of music. Many critics have bashed him for singing in Auto-Tune for nearly his entire 808’s album, which is causing some less die-hard fans to step away from the multi-grammy award winner. This is fine by him. In an interview with VIBE Kanye had this to say (among many other things).

“I’d rather have 20,000 die-hard fans that really understand and accept you as a person and a human being and an artist than to have 100,000 fly-by-night fans that only like you because you have a hit record out.”

After reading this article, my already great respect for Kanye has soared through the roof. His self-proclaimed love for his latest project jumps off of the pages only to be trumped by the boldness by which he so impeccably uses to his advantage in talking about his motivations and artistic prowess.

He’s a true artist and he makes no apologies for it. He does what he feels like doing artistically with the confidence that it’s the best thing out and that fans will love it. So far, he’s been right every time. True fans can see that. So what, he sang on this album. The man went through some tough times and I understand that sometimes when you feel so much emotion rapping just won’t do it. Sometimes all you can do is sing. So that’s what he did. It wasn’t perfect but it was raw and beautiful. There actually is some beauty in imperfection. If they would’ve given the songs to a “real” singer then the album might not have been as good. The way Kanye’s Auto-Tuned voice flowed along with the music was musical bliss. I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted to hear R. Kelly singing on 808’s tracks.

When I first listened to 808’s I thought, “this is pure art, not hip-hop. It’s so much more than just beats and rhymes. It’s true passion, it’s something the world has never heard before.”

I feel 808’s is his best album to date, but it won’t be the best he ever does. He says this album is the blueprint for the future. If that’s true, the world of music is in for a wild, historic ride captained by none other than Kanye West.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

IDS: Sports Column...Sports Influence Social Change

It’s a new day in America.

Stereotypes have now been smashed; things once thought to be impossible have been given new life. American citizens have caused a big change in our country’s history, and President Barack Obama personifies everything that many Americans have dreamed of: a land of true equality and social change.

There are many important factors that led America to this point in history, but without question, one of the biggest has been sports.

If you take a look at some of the most historic moments in sports over the years, you’ll notice that progress has been constant. From USC crushing “Bear” Bryant’s Alabama team in 1970, after which Bryant began recruiting black players, to Tony Dungy becoming the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, we’ve come a long way.

But according to Gary Sailes, an associate professor in the Kinesiology Department, we’ve still got a little ways to go.

“The last frontier for us black people as far as representation is college football,” Sailes said. “If we can elect a black president, surely we can hire more black coaches.”

This is true. While college football’s “high-ups” seem reluctant to change, every other sport has held up its end of the bargain.

Sports are so important to our nation: They can help bring us together as seen in the days and weeks after Sept. 11. They show us that once that whistle blows, it doesn’t matter what you look like or what color your skin is.

It’s all about unity and working together toward a common goal. In life and in politics, these are the things that are necessary if we are going to succeed as a nation.

“Sports is a microcosm of society,” Sailes said. “It’s nothing more than a way to showcase philosophy and the things we feel are important. We revere hard work, and everything important to us is highlighted by sports. We see our ideals represented in sports.”

The inauguration of Barack Obama has changed the way we see ourselves and whatever it is we do. He stands in the shadow of Martin Luther King Jr. as he begins to change the world, bringing us all closer for a common gain. So many of the sports figures we witness today are affected by these two iconic figures in history.

The impact of the change that has taken place and the anticipation of the change to come continues to resonate through all of us, including those sports figures we look up to.

IU women’s basketball coach, Felisha Legette-Jack, is someone who realizes the importance of the moment we’ve experienced this week and is affected by it.

“Martin Luther King Jr. gave me permission to have certain friends that I choose,” Legette-Jack said. “My best friend is on the bench with me who happens to be Caucasian, and if you look at us, we don’t look the same. But on the inside we are sisters. So with his sight being so great and the ability to know that his life was on the line to create this social change, it is our duty, it is our obligation to create that kind of atmosphere in all that you do.”

The common theme in everyone you talk to is this: If Obama, a black man, can be elected president, then I can do anything.

That’s the way we should feel. I know when Tony Dungy won the Super Bowl, I thought the same thing.

For sports to play such a role in the progress of this country is something remarkable. The fact that names like Dungy, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and so many more have had an impact on things like the civil rights movement and the election of our first black president is something incredible.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

According To Kurz...Former FSU Safety, Rolle A Rhodes Scholar

A few months ago Myron Rolle, the former starting safety for the Florida State Seminoles, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, which is essentially known as the world’s most prestigious academic scholarship. He is the first major-college football player of this era to win. The last athlete to accomplish this feat was Bill Bradley, a basketball player for Princeton in 1965. But major accomplishments and fantastic triumphs are nothing new to Rolle.

Before entering college he was the nation’s top recruit at Hun School of Princeton where the All-American made 112 tackles while earning a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. Outside of football he played the saxophone in the school band, sang in school plays and was the sports editor of the school newspaper. While attending FSU, he graduated in two and a half years with a 3.75 GPA in pre-med. On top of these achievements, Myron’s greatest deed may have been the $4,000 grant he was awarded to conduct cancer research and set up a program in Okeechobee, Fla. to teach children about physical fitness and health. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well it gets even better. This Tuesday, Rolle announced he was skipping the 2009 NFL draft (where he was projected as a sure first round pick) and will be studying at Oxford instead.

“The opportunity to attend Oxford next year as a Rhodes Scholar was one that you couldn’t pass up”, he told ESPN. “I want to be a neurosurgeon and I want to help impoverished nations build up their vaccination programs”.

Being a student athlete myself, I know how hard it can be to manage your time and priorities. To be able to do what Rolle has is very impressive and almost envious. Before focusing on an NFL career Rolle has other more important priorities he feels he needs to put at the center of his attention.

Myron Rolle defines the term Student-Athlete; he is a rare breed who isn’t afraid to put it in that order either. So while you continue to read and hear about athletes wanting more money or deciding to leave school early to “get paid”, I encourage you take the time to look around and appreciate the diamonds in the rough.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A New Day In American History

Today was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I'm currently working on an article about MLK for one of my journalism classes but it's not due until Wednesday. Tomorrow is the Inauguration of Barack Obama and I can't wait. To me, this has so much meaning and it would take me all day to put it all into words and I'd probably get emotional. I'm a big fan of videos so I've decided to place this MLK/Obama tribute on my blog. Check it out and stay tuned for my article in a couple of days.

Sunday Devotional...Lessons From Daniel

Today was my first Sunday being back in Bloomington, which allowed me to attend Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. The pastor there is Tom Ellsworth; he does a great job at delivering messages from the Bible that are easily understood by all who listen. He also does a great job of using Biblical stories and translating them to the lives we live today.

Today he preached from the book of Daniel. He explained that if we’re looking for a Biblical role model Daniel would be a smart choice. The remainder of the preaching went on from there.

As people, we tend to limit our faith to what happens on Sunday mornings and forget about it once we leave. We live our lives separated from church. The way we often see things is, we have our family life, friendships, and then there’s our spiritual lives. We need to realize that our spiritual lives should never leave us and be a part of everything that we do. We must not limit our faith, for a limited faith is a hollow faith.

The story of Daniel, Shadrak, Meshak and Abendigo was told using five important points or sections; the first being, A Diet That Worked. In short, a king ordered the four men to eat certain foods prepared by his kingdom but the four refused, for the food was not need because it was unholy. Daniel calmly and diplomatically made a deal with the king that would allow the four of them to eat a separate diet of vegetables and water. After ten days they were in must better shape than anyone else. The food was holy and a blessing from God. The message is this; when you do things God’s way He blesses in ways money cannot buy. He blesses you in ways you can’t imagine.

A Dream to Remember is the next part. The king had a dream and asked his servants to interpret the dream. However, the king refused to tell them what the dream was. This was not logical as there’s really no way someone can interpret a dream without knowing what the dream was. Despite this, Daniel prayed about it and God gave him the meaning of the dream. Daniel told the king what it meant, though he did not boast about what he had done. Instead, he gave credit and praise to God for giving him the vision of what the dream meant. Take this; in everything that happens in your life give credit, praise and glory to God.

The third is Faith In Fire. The king ordered everyone to bow down to false gods when certain music played but the Shadrak, Meshak and Abendigo refused. They responded, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up,” from Daniel 3:16-18.

They were thrown into the fire, only they did not burn. When the king looked into the furnace, he saw four men instead of four. It was God, Himself. Lesson: God never said he’d keep you out of the fire, He did say He’d walk through the fire with you to make you better in the end.

The fourth is Read the Writing on the Wall. Daniel told a new king the story from God about the last kings dream. A hand from God literally wrote this on a wall. The king was, however, stubborn and refused to take heed in order to prevent anything bad from happening. Lesson: Learn lessons from the past.

Lastly, Character Challenged by Envy. Have you ever noticed that those who go through life successful and faithfully are often envied (Tim Tebow immediately comes to mind)? This happened to Daniel and he was thrown into the lions den, only he lived and was unscathed. Lesson: Don’t let envious things of his world draw you in.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lebron James Scores GQ Cover

So, I marched out into the bitter cold yesterday to check my mail, anticipating the dreadful arrival of more bills. But once I opened I noticed something grand. It was my February issue of GQ Magazine, and who did I find on the cover? None other than Lebron James, the best basketball player on the planet (sorry Kobe). He was decked out in a fine tailored charcoal suit and tie with a light pink shirt all by Ralph Lauren. He also wore a white pocket square and a tie bar. Altogether the outfit amounted up to $3,385. He looked very sophisticated and everything fit him perfectly.
Below is a video from where Lebron schools a group of GQ staffers. Enjoy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Will Miss Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy retired on Monday, ending his wonderful 13-year head coaching tenure - seven with the Indianapolis Colts and six with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I was sad to see him go, and I will miss seeing him as the leader of my favorite NFL team. But mostly, I'll miss him as a Christian role model in a sport where faith and love are too often forgotten.

I actually got to meet (for 20 seconds or so) Coach Dungy back in 2003. I was a senior in high school on an unofficial visit to IU. The coaching staff treated all of the recruits and their families to a basketball game against Michigan State. Before the game I noticed Coach Dungy sitting in the second or third row courtside. My parents and I went down to shake his hand, and he was kind enough to allow me to take a picture with him.

I'll never forget it. He was wearing a Coogi sweater, which was mixed with different shades of orange, red, blue and some other colors. I laughed to myself because here was this great coach whom I admired for so many reasons, and he was wearing one of the worst sweaters I've ever seen. I guess he can't be perfect.

While I wanted Coach Dungy to stay with the Colts for my own selfish reasons, I always did believe that leaving the game to be with his family would be the best move for him. He's always had his priorities straight - faith, family and then football. That's the way it should be for everyone, whether they're in the football world or not.

He and his wife, Lauren, have spent the last five years discussing when he should leave coaching. I must admit that I didn't think he was coming back last year, but I was thankful he did. Coach Dungy now plans to go home to his family and work in the community.

Coach Dungy's impact around the league has been amazing. He's opened the door for so many other black coaches and has cast his "disciples" on to so many teams. The league is a better place because of him. Character is becoming the most important factor over talent. Things should always be that way.

I've learned a lot just by watching Coach Dungy as a fan. To me, he's a person I will always think of when I need an example of how to live my own life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

IDS:WEEKEND Magazine...Men's Fashion Trends In The New Year

Every year is filled with new fashion trends, and it can be difficult to keep up with all of them. With the help of Jamie Shieken, IU alumnus and current Associate Account Executive for Perry Ellis International in Miami, I’m here to give you five top fashion trends to capitalize on this year.

Raw Denim
With a new year comes a new way of thinking about ordinary attire. While washed jeans are the norm, design companies are now displaying jeans in raw denim. These rugged versions of your everyday pull-ups are soon to be a mainstay here in the Midwest. Jamie Shieken happens to be a believer in the product. He said raw denim is currently very popular.

“There’s usually lots of work that goes into jeans with all of the different washes there are these days,” he said. “But raw denim is completely untouched.”

You should refrain from washing the jeans for 9 to 24 months. Once you do wash them, do not dry them. Just let them hang in order to preserve their natural, quality look. Wear them frequently to lock in the natural stress marks, which will make them more comfortable.

Where to get the look: Ed Hardy and G-Star Raw

The idea of wrapping a piece of fabric around your neck may seem feminine and unappealing to your inner “frat boy” ego. But European men have been wrapping their necks for ages, and they’re the most fashionable men on the planet. To spice things up, make like an Italian and show off an interesting color like lilac or lime green. The best scarves come in cashmere and pashmina, but they’re also more expensive. To lessen the hit on your wallet, opt for lambswool or cotton.

A scarf should be somewhere in your wardrobe.

“They are now applicable in any weather,” said Shieken, though I’d be careful in the summer months.

Where to get the look: Ralph Lauren, Club Room, Burberry

Slim Fit
“Fit is king,” Shieken said. “Men are much more fit-conscious these days.”

Guys everywhere are sporting a more tapered look. As the temperature rises, we’re going to see shorts with a more tailored look as well.

Where to get the look: Calvin Klein and Alfani suits at Macy’s , Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic

Italian Influence
Italian clothes tend to be more tailored, colorful and chic. Italian men are serious about their clothes. It’s about an attitude of custom-made fluid sophistication. This spring and summer, look for louder colors to take center stage. Embrace a colorful, wide-collared shirt with a big tie knot.

Where to get the look: Macy’s, Andrew Davis Menswear

High Water Pants
Take a gander at pictures from Scott Schuman’s blog The Sartorialist and it won’t take you long to find grown men walking around with their bare ankles showing. It may look silly, but it’s a growing trend that will only get bigger in the new year. You can find high water pants in denim, cotton, wool or khaki. Last semester I witnessed a decent number of guys sporting high water jeans, and the look has grown on me.

Where to get the look: Black Fleece by Thom Browne at Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren and Levi’s

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

IDS Article...Students Focus On Finding Secure Jobs

I've mentioned before that I am a writer/columnist for the Indiana Daily Student and Assistant Editor for INside Magazine. I will be posting some of the articles I write as they come out. I will only post the ones that I feel are interesting, informative and helpful to the reader. To see everything I've written go to and search my name. Here's my first article I'm posting. Enjoy.

With the unstable economy of today, students stress about the dire possibilities of not being able to land a job after graduation. Backup plans that were never thought to be used are now shifting to the forefront of students’ minds. For many, the options are slim, but a few students have found ways around the economy.

Director of IU’s Career Development Center Patrick Donahue said there’s no need for students to panic or to start taking drastic measures, such as changing majors.

“Students need to look at the job market in the future, not just now,” Donahue said. “They should think about what careers they want.”

Donahue said students need to consider that a major might not necessarily mean that they’ll have a career in that field. He said he noticed the areas of work hurt most by the economy are financial services, retail and construction, while the areas on the rise are accounting and health care.

“The baby-boomer population is getting older, and there is greater need for stronger health care,” Donahue said. “This is one of the reasons why nurses, pharmacists and physician assistants are now in high demand.”

Matt Smith is a senior and double major in criminal justice and sociology from Mooresville, Ind., and while many of his peers within his two majors are worried about their post-graduation plans, his situation is a little bit different.

“I’m in the Air Force ROTC,” Smith said. “So after I graduate I’ll be commissioned to the Air Force.”

Smith specializes in space and missiles and has noticed many other students joining the ROTC out of fear of not having a job after graduation.

“The military guarantees a job,” Smith said. “We usually have about 45 to 47 people joining the program each year, and this year we’ve had 60. It’s definitely due to the economy. Even first-year law students have been going into ROTC in case being a lawyer doesn’t work out.”

While the military might not be for everyone, there are still other economy-proof alternatives and reasons for current and future students to have hope.

Coordinator of Exploratory Student Resources Tom Kenyon said the best alternative option for students would be to attend graduate school, but he still encourages students to do what they like.

“I’d tell freshmen and sophomores to choose a major they find most interesting despite what they feel like will get them a job in the future,” Kenyon said. “Think about what it is you enjoy and your interests. Think about what matches your aptitude and skills.”

Kenyon said he believes the failing economy has failed to change what’s important when looking for a job.

“The top three things employers are looking for are grades, leadership and experience, but not necessarily in that order,” he said, adding that internships, overseas study, volunteer work and extracurricular activities all combine to make for a well-rounded candidate.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


School started back up on the 12th and since then I've been very busy working and writing for the Indiana Daily Student and the INside Magazine. Oh, and there's school and football. My days begin around 5:15am each morning and things have been non stop. Despite only two days passing, it feels like I've been back for over a week. But this is what I signed up for and it ain't all bad. I love what I'm doing. Look out for a new post tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My 2008-09 All-Bowl Team: Defense

DE: Victor Butler – Oregon St.: Made 11 tackles, 4 sacks, five tackles for loss, and force and recovered a fumble in the win over Pitt

DT: Ndamukong Suh – Nebraska: Had 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, and blocked a kick in the win over Clemson

DT: Myron Pryor – Kentucky: Made 7 tackles, a sack and forced the fumble that led to the victory over E. Carolina

DE: Carlos Dunlap – Florida: Defensive player of the BCS title game, showed speed and quickness while collapsing the pocket

LB: Brian Cushing – USC: 7 total tackles, 6 solo, 1 sack and was the emotional leader of the imposing USC defense in the win over Penn State

LB: Sean Weatherspoon – Missouri: Made 17 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a half sack, broke up a pass, and made two QB hurries as he was all over the field in the overtime win over Northwestern

LB: Zack Follett – Cal: Made 9 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble that led to the winning score in the win over Miami

S: Stephen Hodge – TCU: Had 11 tackles, 1 sack, an interception, and 3 tackles for loss in the win over Boise St.

S: Greg Joseph – Florida Atlantic: Had 12 tackles, a tackle for loss, and broke up 2 passes in the win over Central Michigan

CB: Weldon Brown - Louisiana Tech: Made 14 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, and an interception: enough said

CB: Keenan Lewis - Oregon State: Made 4 tackles, 3 solo, and a game sealing interception against Pitt in the Sun Bowl

P: Graham Gano – Florida St.: Normally the team’s kicker, he averaged 48.2 yards per punt on five punts with 4 of them being put inside the twenty yard line, including 2 that landed on the one yard line

PR: Jeremy Maclin – Missouri: Showed off his amazing athleticism and speed as he blew by defenders for a 75 yard punt return for a touchdown

I received help from Matt Kurz in putting this team together

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My 2008-09 All-Bowl Team: Offense

QB: Mark Sanchez – USC: Sanchez completed 28/35 passes for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns – both career highs – to beat Penn State in the Rose Bowl

QB: Brian Johnson – Utah: Johnson completed 27/41 passes for 336 yards and 3 touchdowns to upset SEC Champs, Alabama

RB: Gartrell Johnson – Colorado St.: Ran 27 times for 285 yards and added 90 yards receiving in a win over Fresno St.

RB: Jahvid Best – Cal: Consistently danced through the Miami defense, rushing 20 times for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns

WR: Hakeem Nicks – UNC: Caught 8 passes, including a miraculous behind-the-back catch, for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns in a losing effort against W. Virginia

WR: Dezmon Briscoe – Kansas: Caught 14 passes for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over Minnesota

WR: Quan Cosby – Texas: Had 14 receptions for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game winner to beat Ohio State in an amazing Fiesta Bowl

WR: Golden Tate – Notre Dame: Caught 6 balls for 177 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over Hawaii

TE: Jermaine Gresham – Oklahoma: Had 8 catches for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns while displaying impressive run blocking to help pave the way for the RB Chris Brown in the loss to Florida

OL: Alex Mack – Cal: Impressed by pulling from his center position and consistently making room for RB Jahvid Best in the win over Miami

OL: Kyle Calloway – Iowa: Showed off his great skills in making way for RB Shonn Green in the Big Ten’s only Bowl victory against S. Carolina

OL: Jeff Byers – USC: Helped give QB Mark Sanchez all day to throw against Penn State

OL: Bobby Lepori – Fresno St.: Helped pave the way for two 100 yard rushers in RB’s Anthony Harding and Lonyae Miller in the loss to Fresno St.

OL: Seth Olsen – Iowa: Looked impressive against S. Carolina

K: Britt Barefoot – Southern Miss.: Went 3 for 3 in field goals, including a 39 yard game winner in overtime to beat Troy

KR: David Jones – Kentucky: Had a 99 yard kick return for a touchdown, giving them the momentum in the 2nd half to beat E. Carolina

All-Purpose: Percy Harvin - Florida: Came back from a severe high ankle sprain to catch 5 passes for 49 yards and run 9 times for 122 yards in playing a key role in helping Florida win the Nat'l Championship over Oklahoma

Tomorrow I will post my Defensive All-Bowl Team

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gators Win Nat'l Championship...But Are They The Best Team?

Thursday night’s National Championship game went almost exactly how I expected it to. Everyone kept talking about the explosive offenses of both teams and how they would score in the 40’s - absolutely not. You have to remember that both defenses were forced to listen to everyone telling them how they’d be unable stop the other teams’ offense. That’s motivation enough to go out and play better than you have all season. The only thing that surprised me was the fact that the score was tied up at 7 points at halftime. I figured at least one team would score in the double digits. All in all, I enjoyed the game and would watch it again if it were on ESPN Classic or something – though, it was no classic. Congrats to the Florida Gators.

Now, to the issue that’s burning a hole inside my brain: the BCS. Yes, Florida won the National Championship and they deserve the trophy because that’s the system we go by. But I’m going to be honest with you. At this point, I don’t feel like the Gators are the best team in the country. Not even the second best. They looked descent last night and their big players made big plays, but I’d love to see them pull off a victory against the USC Trojans or the Utah Utes.

I saw, on ESPN, today that Utah head coach, Kyle Whittingham, voted for his own team to be ranked No. 1 in the FBS. In doing this, he does face being reprimanded by the NCAA, but I can’t say I blame him for doing what he did. Utah is the only team to finish undefeated in all of the FBS and it was no fluke. Along the way they beat six bowl teams, including SEC Champ, Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Why don’t they deserve to be number one? Who’s to say that they wouldn’t win it all in a playoff? Sure, they may be underdogs because of their conference affiliation, but isn’t that why we put the ball out there? Upsets happen all the time.

“The current system that’s in place isn’t about who beats who, I guess. It’s who had the best season,” Whittingham told ESPN. “I felt we had the best season. The circumstances being what they are, and with us not having to explain a loss like every other team in the country has to do, why wouldn’t we vote ourselves number one?”

To me, USC is the best team in the land right now. I don’t think anyone would beat them in a head to head matchup. If Florida were to play them next week I’d have to pick USC by about two touchdowns.

Despite USC’s dominance, if I had a vote I’d have to go with Utah. I have been very impressed with them all season and it was a joy to see them knock off Alabama. After all, if you were playing something and you were undefeated, wouldn’t you claim you were the best too? Something to ponder…

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Onion Presents the Latest Microsoft Laptop...Sort Of

Two things I received for Christmas a couple of weeks ago were an iPod shuffle from my girlfriend and a book by The Onion called, The Onion Presents Homeland Insecurity from her parents. In case you're unfamiliar with The Onion, it's a fictitious newspaper that reports humorous, unreal stories about everyday things. It's slapstick news so it should not be taken seriously.

I showed the two presents to my parents and they had no idea that iPod's came in such a small size. As a matter of fact, they don't even know how to use one. My dad made a comment about how far technology has gone and how little of it they needed back when he was in college. This got me thinking about what exactly Apple would come up with next. Ironically, as I was browsing youtube, I searched The Onion's channel, which I subscribe to. The first video that came up was one about a new Microsoft laptop. I found it to be very funny. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Florida's Tim Tebow To Be Admired

Throughout college I have not been one who’s relished in the “Tim Tebow Experience” mostly because I, too, am a college football player. My allegiance is to Indiana University. But I must admit that it has been a joy knowing that someone like him is out there playing the same sport I am and doing it so faithfully and with so much passion. Every once in a while a person who you can’t help but admire will come along. Someone who, when you watch or read about, you sit back and think to yourself, “I want to be like him/her.” Well, Tim Tebow is one of those people for me.

I’m not a bandwagon guy and I don’t often look for potential opponents as role models. But in today’s college football world of business, promiscuity and dishonesty, Tebow is like a breath of fresh air. The things he stands for are uncanny and are to be commended.

His story has been well documented but never gets old to me. He’s gone to 11 prisons to preach Christianity to inmates, he takes annual trips to the Philippines to assist his father in missionary work, and he’s spoken to thousands of others about motivation and the Word of God. I’m not saying we all need to pack our bags and go to another country to preach, but I do think we all need to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “What have you done to help others today?” Of course, a goal of ours should always be to improve ourselves, but I believe that in helping others, we, in turn, become better people as well.

With college football comes many distractions. Many come to those who seem so antiseptic and untouchable that they seem too perfect, causing many to assume it’s all for show. Tebow has had to deal with this along with everything from sports bloggers worrying about who his girlfriend is to jokes about the circumcision he performed while in the Philippines. Through it all he has maintained a strong, Christian attitude. He’s truly a man of faith and I wish to be more like him because he is a young man who is, clearly, on the right path. There’s no reason other people shouldn't look up to someone like him.

As far as his football talents go, I think he’ll be a great NFL quarterback whether he decides to enter the draft this year or next. He’s probably more mature than the majority of the players already in the league.

As for the National Championship on Thursday night, I don’t know who will win, but I must say, it’s awfully difficult not to root for a guy like Tebow. What I do know is I’ll be watching and admiring from my home and I’m sure he’ll provide, yet, another reason why he should be admired.

Monday, January 5, 2009

According to Kurz...A Winter Wonder Classic

Meet Matt Kurz. He's a great friend and teammate of mine from Chicago. He and I have had numerous talks about sports and the like and I've always enjoyed his insight. For that reason, I've decided to give him a column on my blog. For his first post, he wrote about his experience at Wrigley Field for the NHL "Winter Classic" between the Detroit Redwings and the Chicago Blackhawks. Enjoy.

I negotiated my way across ice covered Clark and Addison Streets, through the sidewalks full of excited fans who celebrated in neighborhood bars that morning, and headed my way into Wrigley Field. Once inside, I noticed that their were Blackhawk jerseys that read Makita, Toews, Kane and Hull, instead of the normal Cubs jerseys stitched with last names such as Wood, Sandberg, or Lee.

Today was not a normal day at Wrigley - instead of “the Friendly Confines,” it was “the Frozen Confines.” Today was the 2009 “NHL Winter Classic”, which is a game played outdoors that the NHL puts on once a year in desired locations. The first year duo of Blackhawks president, John McDonough and owner Rocky Wirtz convinced NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that Chicago and Wrigley would be a perfect fit for this special event.

I sat down in seat 102, in section 413, located on the second tier along the third base line. I had a perfect view of everything. Inside Wrigley the rink stretched from first to third base and had red bricks painted on it to match the interior of the ballpark. Today’s matchup included two “Original Six” teams, the Blackhawks versus their hated rivals, the Detroit Redwings. It was the young talent of the Hawks, which included All Stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane against the experienced, older players of the Wings like Chris Chelios and Niklas Lidstrom.

Both teams entered the rink side by side through fog and pyrotechnics and were met with the chant of “Detroit Sucks!” The stadium was full to capacity of approximately 40,818 boisterous fans.

In the first period the Hawks took control, scoring two goals and a third later on, to take the lead of 3-1 at the first intermission. That was the last time the home team would be in control of this game.

The Redwings rallied back to win the game 6-4. A late Blackhawks goal from defensemen, Duncan Keith closed the gap, but was not enough.

"They're the defending Stanley Cup champs for a reason," Keith said. "At the same time, we all think we're a good team, and hopefully, if we keep improving, we'll be like them."

The loss put Chicago eight points out of first place in the West Division, but the game was a success.

"It was a special place to be and play," Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville said. "And certainly we are not happy with the way it ended up, but it was a privilege to be here today."

NBC reported the game this year’s Winter Classic drew an overnight rating of 2.9 and a 6.0 share - the best showing for the league in almost 13 years. With events like this commanding national attention, the NHL is fighting its way back to being a premiere sport. So, here’s to an amazing 2009 Winter Classic. I anxiously look forward to another one in 2010, wherever it may be!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Devotional...Love

Yesterday, Whitney and I attended the wedding and reception of my good friend and former teammate, Josiah Sears and Lyndee Arnold. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was both elegant and fun. During the wedding the pastor recited a popular passage from 1 Corinthians 13, simply entitled "Love". I've always, well, loved this passage because it applies to anyone and any situation. And, because I failed to attend church this morning, I feel this passage is a perfect reading to share with you. It reads:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

What's G?...My New Favorite Commercial

With all of the superstars in this commercial combined with the voice over done by Lil' Wayne, I can't take my eyes off of the TV when it comes on. It's a very simple, but great idea by Gatorade. It kinda makes me want to go drink some.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Apparel Watch...Navy Two-Button Patch Pocket Blazer

Today, my girlfriend, Whitney and I were walking through a South Bend mall looking for a dress for her to wear to my friend's wedding. While shopping, I decided to step into Banana Republic to see if they had gotten any of their spring collections in. Sure enough, as soon as I walked into the store I noticed a sleek, cotton navy blazer. I tried it on and Whitney's face lit up as she told me how great it looked on me. I wanted to buy it right then and there. Only the blazer was priced at $198 and I am not prepared to spend that kind of money...yet.

It has a tailored fit, which is essential. The navy color is very rich, not faded. It also has an inner pocket that holds any type of media player. It's a great get for spring and every man needs a nice, tailored, navy blazer.

Here is the description from

The classic must-have blazer gets a design update with an interior media pocket that complements a life on the go. Tailored in fine, pure cotton.

Fabric & Care
-100% Cotton.
-Dry clean.

-Notched lapel, two-button closure.
-Three exterior patch pockets, two interior pockets.
-Three button cuffs, single back vent.
-Interior pocket with buttonhole port accommodates an MP3 player or cell phone and cord.
-Elastic loop at neck for smooth cable route.
-Fully lined.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

USC Dominates Rose Bowl, Big Ten Falls to 1-5

I just finished watching the Rose Bowl and once again, USC has dominated their opponent. I watched this game closely because one my best friends, starting defensive end Josh Gaines, was playing for Penn State. Also, as a Big Ten football player myself, I want to play in the Rose Bowl. Sure, we, the Indiana Hoosiers, only won three games this season, but who’s to say we can’t get to the Rose Bowl next year? Did Buffalo not win the MAC this year after being the absolute worst team in the country for many years? Did Cincinnati not do the “impossible” by making it to the Orange Bowl this year? I think you get the point.

Watching that game made me hungry for next season; I know we don’t step on the field to play another team until the fall but it makes me think about all of the possibilities.

With USC’s victory over Penn State, the Big Ten falls to 1-5 in this year’s Bowl games, which does not make our conference look good at all. In every bowl game a Big Ten team plays in, I root for them because when it comes to respected conferences I want the Big Ten to be mentioned in the same breath as the SEC. The Big Ten will have one more chance to improve upon the 1-5 record when representative, Ohio State, meets Texas in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday. I’m confident that Ohio State will get the job done.