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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

Football players, please believe in yourselves

By Jessica Alexander

October 2, 2006 | This isn't an issue of losing. The issue is not just because they haven't won a single game this year. The issue lies in their attitude. How do you feel when you go to a USU football game? Pride? Excitement? Hope? Embarrassment ... ?

We all want our football team to win. We all want to shout, rant and rave to the University of Utah and BYU, saying we ran them into the ground. It would be a nice change for a while, but while we are in our "re-building" stage, that probably is not going to happen.

There will always be a loser, and at this time it's us.

So what?! There are many schools that aren't good at football, right? Duke, maybe more prestigious for their basketball team, had a 23 game losing streak from 1999 through 2001 on the football field. Northwestern had an even bigger problem getting on the board with 34 straight losses starting in 1979 and were outscored 505-82, averaging about 40 points a game. This is starting to sound all too familiar.

Utah State prides itself on being a great school, with a great atmosphere and many traditions that other Utah schools don't have. We are lucky to be able to see our friends walking around on campus, to be able to go to activities and get pumped up for athletic events. Other large schools have too many cars, too many people and too much space between one another.

It should be easy to go support the Aggies!

We really do want to cheer on our football team. But, when our football team doesn't care about cheering on themselves, it gets a little grueling to sit in crisp and cold fall temperatures watching their tiresome plays. We want to see our boys smile, play and have pride in themselves, even when they are not winning.

Right before the game against Utah, our players were instructed to walk from the top of the Spectrum through the tailgating lot to the stadium gates. The tailgaters were old, young, and most likely, alumni. Diehard True Aggie fans flipping burgers, roasting hot dogs, painting faces and getting excited for the football game. It was great idea, getting to see the team all pumped up and ready to go, friendly and smiling, shaking hands with their supporters -- that's what you would hope to happen.

Instead, only a few members of the team looked up to see who was cheering for them, and the only probable reason any of the players were smiling had to have been that a great song just started on their ipod. If this is what we see, if it's what our donors see -- the donors who pay good money to fund scholarships for these boys -- then what should we even be clapping for?

We aren't the best team, statistically speaking, let's face it. If we're talking rushing yards, touchdowns, fumbles, interceptions -- the numbers aren't that great. But the disrespect that is being shown to all the fans is even worse.

So here's an idea. Why doesn't the team focus on what they should be? A hardworking, selfless, happy and grateful team. A team working through the experience of our lives and the building of friendships and goals.

No one can change unless they want to change. The football players should want this. They should be portraying a good image for themselves, and we as fans need to support them. Wouldn't we all rather go to support the team and each individual player for their hard work than go to rag on them for losing all of our games? These boys are humans too, after all. They practice, go to classes, study hall and then practice some more, all while trying to enjoy their college lives. We need to stick with it, but most of all these boys need to see themselves for who they really are, even if it involves losing a few games.

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