Arizona State Seeks Funding and Help for New Football Stadium

Written by: Eric Forthun

Arizona State University has played in Sun Devil Stadium since 1958, yet they are now searching for a new means to make the stadium more viable. The current stadium, which consists of metal bleachers and older construction (only costing roughly $1 million at the time of build), has been home to professional teams like the Arizona Cardinals, and has hosted countless bowl games and sporting events.

The attempt to build a new stadium, though, could cost upwards of $300 million, a hefty amount for a new college stadium that would serve as an upgrade to the standing body. There is support amongst individuals in the community, particularly the school’s representatives, who see this as an option to not only earn money in the long run, but provide a memorable experience for students. Most do not care for the stadium’s older look and lack of accommodations, but the new upgrade could potentially allow for more amenities for students to search for during breaks.

Another major complaint about the current stadium is the lack of shade it provides, which is one of the largest factors in the new design. Large, wide-spread canopies would cover the stadium, or at least the bleachers, in hopes of providing viewers with more preferable situations. Officials hope that this will not only draw in more customers and students, but also allow for better viewing and more comfortable playing for the football players.

The cost, though, no matter how justifiable for the large upgrades planned, is still struggling to get support. While there are some who believe that the sporting events will draw in money, there are others who don’t see the cost as justifiable in the long run. Especially with the problems arising in public education right now, and the general lack of support amongst students for more ways to spend money that doesn’t go toward actual education, there isn’t enough of a claim by the university to warrant the cost.

The fight will persist, and the university hopes that the new stadium can shed light on the university as one of the top in the country. The new innovations, though, won’t be a complete remodeling, but a sign of rebirth as the college continues to thrive off of its widespread recognition. The football team, with a new coach and new hope for next year, wants there to be more public support for the team and the university itself, and the public may start to come around once the funding feels more opportune and appropriate.

As of now, though, the support isn’t substantial enough to mean anything, which will show the university what needs to be done to make the changes necessary.

Kyle Williams Receives Death Threats After Loss

Kyle Williams after fumble.

Abject desperation ravages 49ers Williams after fumble.

Written by: Nick Mingay

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams received death threats from disgruntled fans this week after his two muffed punts cost the team a win and trip to the Super Bowl.

After the game, many came out in support of Williams, but others used social media sites to send threats of all kinds at the second year receiver.

“I hope you, your wife, kids and family die, you deserve it,” one tweet said on Williams Twitter account.

Williams got near a rolling punt during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. The ball hit his knee and was recovered by the Giants near the 49ers red zone. The second punt was in overtime, Williams fielded it but proceeded to fumble. It was recovered by the Giants Devin Thomas and from there it was an easy field goal for the Giants.

The 49er family was crushed by the loss, but they stood by Williams after his turbulent end to the NFC Championship game.

“There’s some comfort when your teammates come and give you a pat on the back and say we win and lose as a team,” Williams said on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday.

Williams was shocked by the threats made on his life. He spoke about an imaginary line between players and fans in professional sports, some people cross the line and don’t even think twice about it.

“People just write blindly and I guess that’s to be expected  with how open Twitter is,” Williams said on ESPN Radio’s “Hill & Schlereth” on Monday.

Williams did receive some uplifting support from a seven-year-old boy from Los Angeles. The boy, Owen Shure, after being heartbroken by the 49ers loss was asked how he thought Williams felt after his missteps lead to the loss. Shure proceeded to write a letter to his favorite perturbed athlete. The letter told Williams to be proud of the season he had and that Shure would always be his number one fan. This was a welcome sight to Williams after all the negative feedback he had received from fans.

The death threats Williams received are part of the game though. No one understands this more than his father, Kenny Williams, the General Manager of the Chicago White Sox. He has received threats on many occasions for his sometimes questionable trades and free agent signings.

“I’m used to the years of criticism and threats on my life from time to time, but I have to hear about threats on your son’s life while you’re watching TV and it certainly makes you question the culture of sports as it stands,” Kenny Williams told ESPN Chicago.

As for Kyle Williams, all he can do is seek solace in the off-season and come back next year to win back 49er fans that have left him for dead.

The not so American Football for you!

The whole world is gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 20101 starting June 11. The whole world but America, that is.

Football or Soccer: Its Sports after all !

In the light of this World Cup hoopla all over International press, the first question that comes to an uninitiated mind is why we Americans don’t consider soccer as a ‘real sport’. Is our hatred for the game directly associated with our love for American football or is Soccer really as boring as most Americans believe. Is Soccer anywhere close to what Mike Barnacle of the Boston Globe once described, “A mindless sport where hordes of incomprehensible athletes run aimlessly in a circle until everyone is dehydrated and, finally, some guy uses his skull to score a touchdown.” Or is it just a media imposed attitude to a game proclaimed by the believers of Muscular Christianity as ‘gentleman’s way of amateur sportsmanship’.

Football might be considered more manly, but soccer is no walk in the park either. It’s the ultimate game of skill, fitness, agility and over and above much more fun to play. There are followers of soccer all over the world not only because you get to have more surprises in the game, but it’s also easier to follow soccer rules than the complication of offence and defense in football that only the diehard fans comprehend.

Both in the end are great sports and deserve the same amount of respect. And if we want to accept soccer the same way as the world does, we first need to first change our perception towards the game.

Dez Bryant: The Rising Star of Dallas Cowboys. Really?

Perhaps the most media publicized player in this NFL season’s draft pick, Dez Bryant will be thrown at by Tony Romo for the first time when Dallas Cowboys start the organized team activities next week and we will get first hand glimpse of his salt and see if he is worth all the gush and hoopla that surrounds him.

All eyes on Dez Bryant: Will he live up to our expectations?

This rookie receiver has been in the middle of controversies ever since the beginning. First in his draft interviews, he was asked by Miami Dolphins general manager if his mother was a prostitute, which was obviously viewed offensive and objectionable by many of the football lovers. It’s interesting that Dez Bryant was then picked up 24th overall in the first round by Dallas Cowboys, four spots before the Miami Dolphins at no.28., gathering many superlatives from his team and considered the savior for Dallas Cowboys, especially when it boils down to creating an indispensible offence for Cowboys. Contradictions start soon after though, when in the mini camp we heard whispers on his fitness level, extended sleep hours and a twisted ankle that made it all questionable. Then recently, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s openly talked in his interview on Sirius Radio about his doubts on Bryant‘s transition into the league.

Only the upcoming NFL season can tell how this most promising rookie performs in front of all the veterans, until which speculations abound.

Homosexuality: The Blind Side of Football?

A question on sexual orientation in a recent pre-draft interview by an NFL official raised many eyebrows and a debate over reforming the list of pre-draft questions itself.

The hidden Gay football players

Cincinnati Bengal’s official asked his prospective draft pick Geno Atkins in the interview if he was straight or gay. Though Federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) protects job applicants from answering pre-employment questions that are designed or used to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin and certain other protected categories. It’s interesting to know that sexual orientation is not one amongst them.

Even as we hear rumors and innuendos on many players’ homosexuality once in a while, it’s almost zero to none that we see them coming out publicly. Few in NFL’s history like Esera Tuaolo, David Kopay, Roy Simmons who did eventually come out of the closet couldn’t do that until they stopped playing for their respective teams.

The machismo associated with the game and the built and skills of the professional players doesn’t really bring out the stereotype gay in our minds and hence making it harder for the fans to accept them, let alone their own fear of assaults and insults by their fellow team players and fans alike.

Until we have a more open minded society, their true identities will remain hidden under the shadow of their incredible careers.

Madden NFL Series Seeks to Enhance Gameplay Realism With Locomotion

EA's new Locomotion system aims to enhance the realism of control physics in Madden NFL 11.

In an April 7 announcement on the official EA Sports Madden NFL blog, Lead Gameplay Designer Ryan Burnsides has announced the implementation of a new and more sophisticated system of player movement physics in the Madden NFL series, called “Locomotion”, which will come into effect with the release of Madden NFL 11.

The new Madden NFL Locomotion system includes a number of additions to the complexity of the physics of player motion which are intended to add significantly to the realism of many aspects of gameplay involving running.  The enhancement of the effect momentum and acceleration, integrated into the running game are expected to be the most noticeable of differences.  Also affected will be the quickness with which players of differing attributes of skill and athleticism will be able to change directions quickly and pull off more complicated running techniques such as jukes, strafing, and maintaining balance in the midst of sudden direction changes and impacts.

Burnsides states in his blog that in Madden NFL 10, the integration of such complicated effects of physics which have ultimately become the goal of Locomotion was successful to a degree, but were “difficult to tune”, which—although the gameplay of Madden 10 managed to retain as solid and realistic a feel in the running game as any previous installment—was especially evident in some of the more awkward running visual animations.

It is the hope that with the next installment in the Madden NFL series that not only will the animations and gameplay take on a more realistic look and feel, but that the successful implementation of the Locomotion system will coincide with an increased level of control responsiveness to allow the game to achieve the full benefit of its new enhancements for a product which EA and fans of the Madden NFL series hope will result in a product with a level of realism which has remained unseen thus far.