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8/11/2006 11:25:00 AM

New School Year Resolutions

Oakland Arena
Tailgating is one of the great American traditions that everyone should take part in during their college years.
AP
With the new school year about to begin, it's time to set some goals. We know that you want to get straight A's, find a nice girlfriend (or boyfriend) and figure out a plan for when you get out of school. Those are everyone's resolutions. Today, we want to know what other goals you're setting for yourself.

If I traveled in the SIOC time machine back to the summer before my senior year at UMass, here would be my resolutions:

1) Find one professor and befriend him. You never know when you'll need a recommendation or advice.

2) Attend at least one event by a team I've never seen. In this case, it would be women's field hockey. Any sport with girls in skirts is worth a one-time look.

3) Upgrade my basketball season tickets. Of course, I was at UMass when the hoops team was actually good, so this would be quite a challenge.

4) Take a road trip to Penn State to experience a home game at a college powerhouse (you can replace Penn State with whatever big school is located closest to you). It would be a shame to look in the mirror at the age of 21 knowing that I've yet to attend a good tailgate before a Big Ten game.

What are your resolutions?

8/09/2006 10:24:00 AM

X-Games ... Fan or Foe?

X Games 12 went down last weekend and, as always, it sparked one of our generation's more intriguing debates: Should sports fans embrace the X-Games?

Oakland Arena
Despite the impressive tricks, such as this one by Kevin Robinson, SIOC still gives the X-Games two thumbs down.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Ask any ski bum in Colorado and he'll tell you that the competitors are athletes every bit as much as Albert Pujols or LeBron James. Ask someone from Little Rock and he'll tell you these guys should play a real sport like football or baseball. Being from Boston, I'm somewhere in the middle. I respect the ability of the competitors and fully acknowledge that I couldn't last 12 seconds on a skateboard without some type of embarrassing fall. But at the end of the day, I hate the X-Games and would rather wash dishes for three hours than sit in front of my TV and watch them.

Here’s why:

1) The lingo. Here are the names of some of the events, "Skateboarding Big Air," "Moto X Freestyle," "Skateboard Street Selection Session." If you want to attract a wider fan base, you may want to attempt to make it easy for a newcomer to understand. I also hate figure skating, but at least I can figure out what I'm watching from the names of the events (Men's Singles, Pairs, etc.)

2) The announcers. Can we suggest a switch to decaf? Your job is to call the action, not act like a crazy fan who is way too excited about what he's watching.

3) The ESPNization of the sport. Nothing against the worldwide leader, but would the event exist if it wasn't for this station? Should a sport need so much piggybacking from a TV network to be successful? Name another sport that is so synonymous with the network that broadcasts it (and if you don’t know, ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney).

As we said, the X-Games debate is one of the most polarizing in sports. You either love them or you hate them. I've made my case. Let's hear yours.

8/07/2006 11:44:00 AM

Who's Got the Best Fight Song?

Oakland Arena
Where does the Notre Dame Victory March rank in your list of top college fight songs?
Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
Which school has the best fight song? The debate has been raging for years and will continue to rage long after any of us are alive. The truth is that the context in which the song is played is often more important than the song itself. For example, you're sitting in Michigan Stadium watching your beloved Wolverines face Ohio State in a tight game. With a minute remaining and Michigan up by three, the Buckeyes are marching down the field and threatening to score when Leon Hall intercepts a Troy Smith pass and returns it for a touchdown, sealing the victory. At that point, the Michigan fighting band could play Livin' la Vida Loca and, as Morgan Freeman said in Shawshank Redemption, it would sound "so beautiful it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. it would sound like the greatest piece of music you've ever heard."

In other words, the emotions of a moment can cloud your objectivity. That's where we come in. After spending the past week hunkered down in the SIOC listening studio, we’ve poured through hundreds of fight songs and have come out with our Top 5.

1. "The Victors," University of Michigan

2. "Anchors Aweigh," U.S. Naval Academy

3. "Boomer Sooner," University of Oklahoma.

4. "Rocky Top," University of Tennessee

5. "Notre Dame Victory March," Notre Dame

Those are ours. Take a listen and give us your Top 5.
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