Five Class Proposal article

As the number of Iowa high schools decreases, there was a mind set that changes would have to be made to the current classification system. Four classes was not going to work for most sports. The Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union agreed with this. Continue reading

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Relay for Life article

Pink. Purple. Blue. Lavender. Teal. Over 600 Drake students proudly placed ribbons of these colors on their chest during the Relay for Life last Friday night. Continue reading

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Shelby Houlihan Feature

It’s late April – that means it’s Shelby Houlihan’s favorite time of year. Continue reading

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The Game of Thrones – “Lord Snow”

Arya Stark has her first "water dance" lesson with Syrio Forel.

The Stark clan finally gets to King’s Landing, and we finally get an indication of what winter finally means. Also, a lot more back story, and the coolest piss you’ll ever see. All this and more the recap of “Lord Snow.” Continue reading

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Doctor Who – “Day of the Moon”

Doctor WHo - Day of the MoonWoah. That was… woah. Brisk, fast, slightly confusing, and a mind-blowing cliffhanger that definitely defines where this season is headed. A full recap of Day of the Moon is right here.  Continue reading

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NFL Playoff Picks – Divisional Round

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-3)

First, I just want to say that it’s a shame that what’s probably the best rivalry in the NFL is playing second or third fiddle in the media because of Pats/Jets and Aaron Rodgers. As for the pick, it’s simple stuff really. Baltimore is good, but they’re 0-5 against the Steelers when Big Ben plays. Pittsburgh’s defense is outstanding, and the offense has been playing straight up out of their mind lately.

Pittsburgh 27, Baltimore 17

Green Bay @ Atlanta (-3)

Green Bay has been held together by duct tape and wizard magic all season long, yet everyone wants to knight them NFC Champions already. Meanwhile, it’s hard to remember, but Matt Ryan has only ever lost two games at home in his career. No slight against Green Bay here, as they’ve been fantastic at keeping it together, but people are underestimating Matt Ryan. Rodgers will get there soon (next year, even), but this year belongs to Ryan, I think. He takes the next step with a big win.

Atlanta 20, Green Bay 16

Seattle @ Chicago (-10)

Pete Carroll has had eight days to prepare!! In all reality, though, this game scares me. Carroll is a very good game-planner, and he already has film on what the Bears did earlier this year. This is obviously a different Bears team, and I do think they’re more talented then Seattle. The Seahawks also won’t have a crowd causing a mini-earthquake to get them going. I think the line might be right on here, but they say you can’t pick the underdog unless you can actually picture them winning too. I can’t see Seattle getting to .500. So –

Chicago 24, Seattle 13

N.Y. Jets @ New England (-9)

The main event. The game everyone’s been talking about this week. Whenever New York and Boston get together, it’s a media shitstorm. Add in the inordinate amount of talking Rex and the Jets do, and you knew this was going to get crazy. The Pats, of course, pounded the Jets 45-3 on Monday Night Football the last time these guys met. But this game is sneaky to me. As much as I think the Pats are better, I really don’t think they can embarrass the Jets again. Gang Green loves their loud-mouth coach and will do anything to ensure he doesn’t get embarrassed again. If the Jets really want to make this a rivalry, they need to push the Pats harder than they ever had. And I see that happening. I think the Jets could win, but they won’t. But they do hold the Pats offense at bay and cover.

New England 27, N.Y. Jets 24
So, for the record, that’s Pittsburgh (-3), Atlanta (-3), Chicago (-10), and N.Y. Jets (+9). And yes, I’m 0-4 this postseason. So I have that going for me.

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Auburn 22; Oregon 19 – Dyer and Fairley lead way for War Eagle

With the game tied and just over two minutes to play, Michael Dyer was able to do what so many players failed at in the previous 58 minutes.

He stayed on his feet.

It is Michael Dyer, not Cam Newton, who will be remembered for the iconic moment of the game. Dyer took the handoff from Newton with 2:08 to play at the Auburn 40 yard-line. He moved right, got to the second layer, then evaded an Oregon tackler by rolling over on top of him.

For a brief moment, everyone thought he was down. Dyer slowed, almost completely to a stop, and took a look at the Auburn sideline. “My coach was saying go,” Dyer said. So he took off down the sideline. “(Wide Receiver Darvin Adams) kept saying ‘Go, go, I got the block for you. We were just trying to keep the play going and get more yards.”

The play set Auburn up in Oregon territory, and after running four plays, Auburn sent on their kick team. Wes Byrum nailed the 18-yard chip shot as time expired, and Auburn was celebrating their first national championship since 1957.

“War Eagle!” yelled head coach Gene Chizik as his team stormed the field.

“It is about the Auburn family,” said Chizik after the game, “and it is about those, I don’t know, 30- or 40,000 fans that came into that stadium tonight and probably another 10,000 that were outside and probably another 10,000 that wanted to come back home but couldn’t get here… This is for these players and this Auburn family and the people that care about Auburn and carry the Auburn flag. It is that simple.”

Both Auburn and Oregon rode into this game on the strengths of their offense. Auburn averaged over 45 points a game; Oregon 49. But the 9th-ranked Auburn rush defense did its job, holding LeMichael James to season-low 49 yards rushing. As a team, Oregon was able to get just 75 yards on the ground.

“I think (Strength and Conditioning Coach Rock Oliver) did a great job with the D line getting ready for this tempo with the get-offs and the jump ropes we all practiced,” said Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, a likely top-5 pick in this year’s NFL Draft. “We probably did like 2,000 jump ropes the whole time we was off.”

“But I thought tonight with the way we practiced it was much slower than we practiced. I think that helped,” said Chizik. “Coach (Ted) Roof had a phenomenal game plan.”

“Our defense was focused for one month. They went out and practiced every day to win a national championship, every day. There was not a day that I can sit there and look at, boy, we were just terrible today. And they came out and they executed on game day. Let me tell you something, they made some huge plays.”

“Our defense did their homework,” praised Newton, “and, you know, they did the job.”

A crucial defensive stop came for the Tigers late in the 3rd quarter. Down 19-11, the Ducks drove down the field. They faked a punt at mid-field and found themselves with 1st and goal from the Auburn 3 yard-line. The Auburn defensive line, masterful all game, held their ground, stopping Oregon RB Kenjon Barner right at the goal line on 4th and goal from the 1.

“Coach (Roof) called a good play for us because we knew what kind of an idea of a run they were going to do. We all basically said we will fill our gap perfectly,” explained Tigers LB Josh Bynes, who made game-changing tackle. “I was slightly getting cut off and I just ducked enough to get to the running back’s legs to try to hold him from getting in the end zone.”

Said Chizik of his defense, “You talk about the word ‘respond.’ They responded today. One of the reasons we will be able to wear that ring is because of how well they played, these guys right here.”

Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton did his fair share. Newton overcame an early interception and a late fumble to finish 20-34 for 265 yards and 2 TDs. He also carried the ball 22 times for 64 yards.

“He is a great football player, and he is a great human being,” Chizik described of Newton. “We love him at Auburn and we got his back in everything that he does and everything that he stands for. So everybody in this room knows he is a great player.”

Dyer, whose 162 yards rushing were good enough to claim offensive MVP, knows Auburn wouldn’t have been in this position without their smiling quarterback.

“Throughout the whole season he has been having this team on his back. We were the guys that were trying to make things happen and take the load off his back.”

“He kept us winning. He ran hard tonight. He came out there and he just played Auburn football. He is the Auburn man and we learned a lot. Tonight I kind of picked it up for him because I knew he was in pain and hurt and the frustration. But he still played. He didn’t quit. He didn’t have any reason.”

“For Cam to come in and just do the things he’s done this year has been awesome for this team,” said Bynes. “It has been without a doubt the most amazing thing I have seen from a quarterback by far in my life.”

“Without a doubt, each and every day regardless of what was going on, he came in with the biggest smile on his face and joked around like nothing was going on. And he’s like family to us. And he meant a lot to this team.”

So an embattled coach gets a national championship, just two years after leaving Ames, Iowa and being publicly ridiculed upon arriving at the airport. A quarterback leaves his legacy on the sport just two years after transferring to get out of the shadow of Tim Tebow. Yet that’s not matters to hundreds of thousands of people this morning. What matters is that they can say four words for the first time in 53 years.

“War Eagle – National Champs.”

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