Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not All Research Papers are Boring; This Student Researched the Underground Tunnels at Disney World

A Whole New World

By Larissa Wach (A dual-credit student from Hayes Center)

Why would someone tell a child Lightening McQueen can’t talk? It would be a downer to meet Rapunzel without her flowing blonde hair or see any Disney character beside Sleepy the Dwarf taking a snooze.  According to Krevin, Walt Disney decided that some needs would have to be hidden at Disney World.  To hide them, Disney built a nine acre network of tunnels for cast members to move around out of public view (hiddenmickeys). Disney World’s underground tunnels, also called utilidors, were created for costume storage, various transportation, technician commanding, employee necessities, and garbage disposal. 

At Disney World, not only do the characters we all know and love have costumes, but every ticket taker, waitress, greeter, and animatronic character have a costume as well.   Yet tourists never see a Donald Duck with spaghetti stains on his blue jacket or Princess Belle with dirt on the hem of her yellow ball gown.  As Hobbs states, the main wardrobe located in the “underbelly” of Disney World accommodates more than two million costumes, which are cleaned at Disney World’s own plant. It washes 110,000 pounds of laundry a day and every cast member exchanges a used costume for a fresh one daily (n.pag.).  A cast member includes anyone that works at Disney, even those in a business suit.

The most durable fabric can rip, tear, and snag.  It would be disgruntling to see a human knee poking out of Goofy’s leg as he walked the streets of downtown Disney.  These “offending” costumes are replaced daily before visitors arrive (Hobbs n.pag.).  Not only are costumes repaired each day, but new ones are being created.  Hobbs finds that 20 seamstresses work in an average garment type factory, located in the utilidor, designing new costumes for Disney people (n.pag.).   Disney world seamstresses also design costumes for people and parades outside of the Disney gates.   

The Disney World Magic Kingdom is divided into contrasting “lands” including Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland.  In Adventureland, visitors explore exotic and tropical places on a Jungle Cruise or meet Tarzan in Tarzan’s Treehouse.  Fantasyland is where young girls admire princesses such as Snow White and Cinderella.  It is home to the most common architecture known to Disney World, Cinderella’s Castle.  Tomorrowland takes visitors to infinity and beyond.  They explore the future, today with Space Mountain and Jedi-Training.  Frontierland takes a trip back in time to celebrate the Old West and is the most likely place to meet Woody, Jesse, and Bull’s Eye.

The underground tunnels were created as a place of safe keeping for the costume varieties.  A visitor would never see Mickey wearing a spacesuit in Frontierland.  Neither would a visitor see Minnie wearing spurs in Cinderella’s castle.  According to Greene, the costume department uses a computer system to manage the costume pieces issued to 41,000 cast members to ensure they have correct garments at the correct time.  Mickey has 175 different costumes and Minnie has 200 (34).  While I visited Disney World I saw Minnie in seven different costumes including a formal blue ball gown, red Santa coat and hat, red and white polka-dot-dress, and a green safari jungle suit. 

Disney World’s underground tunnel is not only needed for costume care and keeping, but also for various types of transportation.   Krevin believes that Walt Disney did not want an Adventureland Cast Member in Fantasyland (  Utilidors allow cast members to easily travel from place to place without walking through other lands.  Krevin states that walls are also color coded and include the names and pictures of each land in which cast members are under.  For example, the walls under Frontierland are colored brown ( Cast members are able to quickly know where they are without confusing the lands around.

Walking is not the only method of transportation in the tunnels.  Electric vehicles called “Pargo’s” are permitted (Wallace They are golf cart like vehicles operated by battery power.  Krevin claims that the daily cash pick-up is the only gas powered vehicle allowed in the underground tunnel.  The truck is driven into the underground tunnels from a service road and collects all of the Magic Kingdom’s daily cash from a secret location.  The truck driver has merely four inches on each side to maneuver (  Picture what damage could be created if the cash truck driver is not cautious enough as he picks up the cash.  In addition, few people are available to direct him because the cash office is in a secret location.

Imagine shopping for a souvenir, perhaps a snow globe of the castle, a spatula inscribed with Mickey Mouse ears, or a stuffed Nemo.  Then a delivery truck backs up to the front door to unload a stock of Mickey’s kitchen items.  According to Wallace, utilidors are needed for deliveries to be received, processed, and stored until use (  This way, visitors never see a delivery truck driving through the park or an employee pushing a cart full of Mr. Potato Heads’ for restocking.

Disney World has underground tunnels for a central command station.  A computer room in the utilidors called the Digital Animation Control System (DACS) controls everything in the park.  Greene finds that this control room ensures that hundreds of audio-animatronic figures appear on cue, “orchestrating” more than 72,000 individual functions every second (34).  Animatronic figures surround each Disney World ride and attraction.  They include famous stars like John Wayne featured on the Great Movie Ride, Aerosmith on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Coaster, and the newest addition, President Obama in the Hall of Presidents exhibit.  Disney engineers and animators studied photographs and video of Obama to create an audio-animatronic Obama that can pronounce its b’s and p’s in a “frighteningly evocative of the real one” (Steinberg 12).  When I toured the Hall of Presidents exhibit, chills crept up on me as each president from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Barack Obama stood life-like on the stage.  For a split second, I thought President Obama was on stage.  It talked, moved, and looked just like him.  Shoulders would shrug, mouths would move, hands would be raised, and heads would nod all on cues sent from the command room below.  As Greene states, this command center controls the singing of birds, speeches of pirates, opening of theatre doors, operation of lighting and curtains, and monitoring of fire protection, security, equipment failure, and power loss (34). Everything appeared to move and run efficiently and effectively while being controlled someplace else.

Fast passes and digital clocks above each attraction and ride informing approximate wait time help control the line length for visitors, but Disney technicians in the underground tunnels find ways to speed up the fun.  “Deep in the bowels of Walt Disney World” the operational command center uses video cameras, computer programs, and digital park maps to stop waiting before it forms and affects real time (Barnes 1). When I visited Disney World on Christmas Day, the park had to lock its gates at noon because it was up to its limit on the number of visitors.  Little did I know technicians in the tunnels were creating small ways to control impatient visitors.  For example, Barnes finds employees watch flat-screen television depicting various attractions in green, yellow, and red outlines representing wait times.  If Pirates of the Caribbean blinks from green to yellow, the center responds by alerting managers to start more boats or contact Captain Jack Sparrow or one of his pals to the line to entertain people while they wait (1).  These minor changes help the entire park.  Barnes also explains that other technicians monitor restaurants, sending requests that additional registers need to be opened or menus need to be handed out to people waiting to order (1).  The park was able to open the gates back up by 4:00 because the flow of people had been controlled.    

Aside from park functions, control, and storage, utilidors were created for a place of relaxation where the employees can be themselves away from the public view.   According to Wallace, utilidors contain all the major utilities: locker rooms, offices, break rooms, lounges, rehearsal rooms, and employee cafeterias (   The utilidor was fashioned as a place where employees peel off fur suits, ridiculous wigs, and phony shoes in the summer heat to find a well-earned rest.

Lastly, Disney World’s underground tunnel system was produced to maintain waste.  Utilidors are “essentially an elaborate basement providing out-of-sight access to sewer lines, pipes, and cables (Greene 34).  At Disney World, I never saw trash cans overflowing.  Wallace finds that at 17 different locations, all the garbage is literally sucked into an AVAC (automated vacuum collection system) that moves garbage at 60 miles an hour through tubes.  The 20” in diameter tubes are located in the utilidors.  The garbage moves to a central collection point where it is processed, compressed, or recycled (   Visitors never see a garbage truck or hear the rattling of waste baskets. 
Just as telling a child Lighting McQueen can’t talk spoils the magic of Cars, seeing Disney characters in anything beside their costume would spoil the magic of Disney.  Disney World’s underground tunnels, like the rest of Disney, are part of the magic behind it all. 

Works Cited
Barnens, Brookes. “Disney Technology Tackles a Theme-Park Headache: Line.” The New York Times 28 Dec. 2010: 1. Lexis-Nexis. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
Greene, Walter. “Over at Mickey’s Place: Maybe you think you’re too old and too cool for all that Disney Fantasy stuff, but look out.  Heed the tale of a born-again believer.” The Financial Post  17 July 1997: 34. Lexis-Nexis. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
Hobbs, Pam. “Disney’s Secret World.” The Globe and Mail 5 Sept. 1987: n. pag. Lexis- Nexis. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
Kremin, Kelley. “Under the Magic Kingdom.” Hidden Mickey 12 July 1999. Web. 18 Nov. 2011.
Steinberg, Jacques. “Going to Disney World with High-Tech Style.” The New York Times 22 May 2009: 12. Lexis-Nexis. Web. 19 Nov. 2011.
Wallace, David. “Magic Under the Park-Walt Disney World’s Utilidors.” Disney-o-Rama 15 June 2009. Web. 18 Nov. 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Collection of Photography, Las Vegas, by Karen Currie

Some relations are like Tom Jerry. They tease eachother, knock eachother down, irritate each other But they can't live without each other.

The beauty of the fast life.

Las Vegas is the only place I know where money really talks--it says, 'Goodbye.' -Frank Sinatra

Whre there is love there is life.

Las Vegas looks the way you'd imagine heaven must look at night.

Las Vegas-myfavorite desert mirage.

Monday, December 12, 2011

NPCC Softball Strikes Again

Thursday, December 8th, NPCC Softball put on, yet again, another night full of fun for young children. The girls all worked different activity booths and helped children decorate there own cookies, make tree ornaments, and fish for prizes. It is always a great feeling inside to see the smiles on the kids faces while they have fun doing the smallest activities. Softball also preformed a puppet show, singing Christmas songs and dancing along with the Christmas music that everyone can enjoy. The night was a success leaving NPCC softball with another good deed on our side. 

The All-Star Game, the alignment of divisions, and Wild Cards: How it has affected World Series outcomes

By Evan Troxel

This article will be about Major League Baseball and how the All-Star Game, the alignment of divisions over the years, Wild Card teams, and expansion teams have affected the outcome of the World Series. 

 For this article I chose three years: 2004, 2005, and 2007.  Why did I choose these years?  It was the years that formerly “cursed” Major League Baseball teams broke their “curses” by winning the World Series.  Okay, the Boston Red Sox were no longer “cursed” in 2007, but it’s worth noting how they fared without the pressure of having to put up with a “curse.”

Starting in 2003, the winning league (American or National) or (AL or NL) would have home-field advantage for that league’s team representative in the World Series.


The Boston Red Sox ended up having home-field advantage in the 2004 World Series because the American League won the All-Star Game that year.  That would not have happened if the National League had won the All-Star Game.  The Red Sox would have been the home team in the 2004 World Series even if the rules that started in 2003 were not implemented.

 Before 1969, the team in each league who won the most games in the Regular Season advanced to the World Series.  If that was the case in 2004, the New York Yankees would have gone to the World Series.  On the National League side of things in 2004, the St. Louis Cardinals (105-57) made it to the World Series anyway.

 Before 1994, the two teams who won their respective divisions within each league faced each other in the League Championship Series (LCS).  If that was the case, the New York Yankees would have faced the Anaheim Angels (92-70) in the 2004 American League Championship Series (ALCS) instead.  Meanwhile, the Cardinals would have faced the Atlanta Braves (96-66) in the 2004 National League Championship Series (NLCS).   

 The Red Sox Regular Season record of 98—64 in 2004 was the second best record in the American League and the third best in Major League Baseball.  If the divisions hadn’t been realigned and the implementation of a Wild Card didn’t take place, the Red Sox would not have even made the playoffs in 2004 and ultimately not have broken the Curse of the Bambino by winning the World Series.  Fortunately for Red Sox fans, they ended up making the playoffs and winning the World Series. 

What actually happened:

AL: Boston Red Sox (98-64), Anaheim Angels (now Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) (92-70), New York Yankees (101-61)

NL: Atlanta Braves (96-66), Houston Astros (92-70), St. Louis Cardinals (105-57)

Boston Red Sox win the American League Championship Series (ALCS) over the New York Yankees.  St. Louis Cardinals win the National League Championship Series (NLCS) over the Houston Astros. Boston Red Sox win the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals.

            Before 1969’s Rules applied to 2004:

World Series-New York Yankees vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Before 1994’s Rules applied to 2004:

ALCS-Anaheim Angels vs. New York Yankees

NLCS-Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals


The All-Star Game did have an effect on the National League Champion Houston Astros (89-73) in that they would have had home field advantage in the World Series had the American League not won the All-Star Game. 

Before 1969’s rules, the Chicago White Sox (99-63) would have faced the St. Louis Cardinals (100-62) in the 2005 World Series.  Before 1994’s rules, the White Sox would have faced the New York Yankees (95-67) in the 2005 ALCS.  The Cardinals would have faced the Atlanta Braves (90-72) in the 2005 NLCS. 

What actually happened:

AL: Chicago White Sox (99-63), New York Yankees (95-67), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (95-67)

NL: Atlanta Braves (90-72), Houston Astros (89-73), St. Louis Cardinals (100-62)

Chicago White Sox won the ALCS over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Houston Astros won the NLCS over the St. Louis Cardinals.  Chicago White Sox won the World Series over the Houston Astros.

            Before 1969’s Rules applied to 2005:

            World Series-Chicago White Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals

            Before 1994’s Rules applied to 2005:

            ALCS-Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees

            NLCS-Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals

I like the idea of teams who have a better record than any of the division champions within the American or National League or perhaps entirely in Major League Baseball (outside of a team’s own division) automatically get to make the playoffs.  For instance, if the Boston Red Sox are in second place in the AL East with a record of 100 wins and 62 losses and the Detroit Tigers are division champions within the AL Central and have 90 wins and 72 losses, the Boston Red Sox should get to automatically go to the playoffs since they have a better record than the Detroit Tigers.  Perhaps division champions should not be going to the playoffs if teams in other divisions win more games than they do.

The problem with about all sports is that they are obsessed with having a fixed number for something.  For baseball (like a lot of sports) their fixed number is the number of teams who can make the playoffs each season. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Major League Baseball Post-Postseason 2011: What’s new?

By Evan Troxel

This article will be about what has been going on around Major League Baseball since the end of the 2011 World Series.
The Houston Astros will be moving to the American League (AL) West in 2013.  What do I think of this?  I think it’s stupid.  I’m not upset that when the Astros join the AL there will be 5 teams in each division for both the American and National Leagues.  It’s that the Astros will be in the same division as the Texas Rangers.  Notice, that the Houston Astros are from Texas and the Texas Rangers are obviously from Texas.

That’s saying like that the now Miami Marlins (previously Florida Marlins) would be in the same division as the Tampa Bay Rays…in the same league (American or National).  It would also be like saying that the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Creighton Bluejays are part of the same conference.

Historically in Major League Baseball the Milwaukee Brewers are the only current team part of the National League who was once part of the American League.  The Brewers have been part of the American League two times.  The first was in 1901 which that same franchise to this day is now the Baltimore Orioles.  The Brewers were also part of the AL from 1970-1997.  Since 1998, the current franchise has been a part of the National League.  It doesn’t make sense to put any other current National League team into the American League besides the Brewers.

What I think Major League Baseball should do instead is move the Milwaukee Brewers into the American League Central.  Then, move the Kansas City Royals from the American League Central to the American League West division.  There would be 15 teams in both the American and National Leagues and 5 teams within each division in both leagues.  The real reason for moving the Royals to the AL West is so that when you look at the American League divisions, then you see that all the most eastern teams are part of the AL East, all the most central teams are part of the AL Central, and the most west teams are part of the AL West.

The real shame here goes to Commissioner Bud Selig.  This problem would have been solved years ago had he not specifically and “indirectly” moved the Brewers from the American League into the National League.  If I had to hate Bud Selig for one reason this would be it.

As far as playing baseball goes in my opinion for the Astros and Brewers (as of the past several seasons), the Brewers play like a National League team and the Astros play more like an American League team than the Brewers but they still play like a National League team.

Some good news about the MLB is that the collective bargaining agreement is settled for the next 5 years.  I’m glad this is settled because the MLB won’t have to suffer any lockouts for the next five years unlike the NFL and NBA who already have suffered lockouts this year.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a lockout for Major League Baseball in five years though.  That means that the next potential lockout will start in 2017.
There will be one more playoff team in the American League and one more playoff team in the National League.  This probably will also start in 2013 as a result of the Houston Astros moving to the American League.  It would be exciting though just for next year if they had 5 teams in each league make the postseason since the divisions aren’t perfectly aligned with the same number of teams in all divisions.

I think this is okay but I don’t like it a lot.  The two teams who get the Wild Card slots for the American League (as well as the National League) will end up playing each other in the first round of the playoffs for their respective leagues.  Currently it is set up as a one game playoff.  I’d rather see these two teams meet in a three game series instead of a one game playoff.  The reasoning I read (you can read the link at the end of this article) is that so the teams who finish in first place within their division don’t have to wait almost a week to play the ultimate wild card winner in each league.  A three game series would take five days (with two days for travel to the stadiums) and it would take even longer if there will be rain (or a rain delay) at the city the wild card teams were playing at.


by Ashley Miller

Tuesday the 29th our North Platte Knights played Garden City, Kansas in the most intense game of basketball I have ever watched. Being down for most of the game our Knights ended up pulling off the victory with a score of 60-55. Going into half we were down 32-22. Garden City had a 16 point lead after the half. Reath Jiech turned the game around with a follow up slam dunk, the crowd went wild and jumped to their feet, giving the boys enough adrenaline to turn the game around. Ben Wilson stole the ball from the Broncbusters to tie the game by a slam dunk! With little time on the clock our amazing North Platte Knights pulled through to win the game. Leaving them with a record of 5-1.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011



“Students were asked select a unique word,” Mrs. Crumly explains. “I requested that they tell a story illustrating the meaning of the word and incorporate effective figurative language.”

"Estrapade" by Alex Frey

"Ophidiophobia" by Ashley Gibbons

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kansas State Wildcats get the big W against Texas A&M

I could easily sum up the Kansas State versus Texas A&M football game with just one word, wow! Not only was this my first college football game but it was one hell of a game. I could not have picked a better weekend to go to a game than this one. As I sat in the student section listening to their chants, surrounded by purple, I tried to act like I knew what I was doing but it was clear that I had no clue. Experiencing the rush as the K-state players ran out of the tunnel is unexplainable, chills overcame my body with the students roaring and chanting to pump up the players to start the game.

K-State did not show up in the beginning of the game, it looked like they had never played together before. The students were disappointed in their team and most of them were planning to leave at half time until quarter back, Collin Klien, threw a 34 yard pass that ended up with a touchdown to tie the game 14-14 just before half. K-state was lucky enough to be tied but barely keeping up with the strong Texas A&M team. The students were on their feet in the third quarter and then Texas A&M player, Uzoma Nwachukwu intercepted a pass and returned it for 57 yards resulting in a touchdown to regain the lead on the Wildcats.

The game ended 53-50 after four wild over times, K-state Wildcats pulled off the victory. The hype of the game was amazing and the dedication the fans give the athletes is incredible. From 9 o’clock, when some start to tailgate, to almost 7 o’clock the fans supported the Wildcats.     I am so grateful I got to experience something like that and I cannot wait to be at a University or State college supporting my own school. All detailed information I got was collected from Kellis Robinett Kansas State-Texas A&M game report website.

Monday, November 21, 2011

College Football 2011: The Big Ten Conference (B1G) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers

By: Evan Troxel

This article will be mainly about Husker Football and the Big Ten Conference.

Versus Michigan State, Nebraska took care of business in the second half.  They controlled (and owned) the second half of that game.  As for the Northwestern game, I thought I would never see the Nebraska Cornhuskers lose to the Northwestern Wildcats in my lifetime.  Well it happened.  I’m not going to rule out the possibility that Iowa could still beat us this year.  They have already beaten Northwestern 41-31 earlier this year.

My thoughts on the Penn State game are that if Nebraska would have lost that game then Penn State fans might have literally gone crazy afterwards.  As for Nebraska losing to Michigan 45-17, I’m glad to see that there was clearly a winning team for this game.  The last time Michigan and Nebraska met before Nov. 19th’s game was in the 2005 Alamo Bowl.  In that game, there were controversial calls by the officials and replay officials which positively or negatively affected and definitely had an influence on the outcome of that game.

Nebraska still has to play one more home game this year vs. Iowa the day after Thanksgiving.  And then (since Nebraska will not be going to the Big Ten Championship Game), the bowl game.  What bowl game will the Huskers go to?  I don’t want to speculate but I’m pretty sure Nebraska will be playing its bowl game on January 2nd.  If I had to say right now which bowl game the Huskers will be going to I will say it’s going to be the Gator Bowl.

My thoughts on recent bowl games Nebraska has played in are that I don’t think Nebraska should not have gone to the Holiday Bowl two years in a row.  Nebraska was definitely cheated out of playing a later bowl game date one of the past two seasons or at least a tougher bowl game opponent. 

Nebraska played Arizona…what a joke.  For the first (and currently only) time in its bowl game history, Nebraska shut out the opponent in that game.  That season for Nebraska might be the best it will ever have as long as Bo Pelini is the head coach.  I think Nebraska should have played in a later dated bowl game for that season.  Nebraska would have played in a later dated bowl game if the Big Ten teams (then) who aren’t better than the Big 12 teams (in my opinion) didn’t lobby the BCS (and give them money) to put them in those bowl games.  The previous sentence was my personal bias and I believe it is true whether it actually is or not.    If any team (such as Nebraska) shuts out their opponent in a bowl game (such as Arizona) then Nebraska the next season should get to play in a bowl game on a later date or at least a much tougher opponent in the same bowl game (or a different bowl game). 

As for Nebraska playing Washington in the bowl game last season, we met our match and Nebraska just flat out lost.  Nebraska threw the ball too often in that game (especially the entire 4th Quarter when Nebraska was really desperate to score points).  Not to mention the Huskers doing too much early in the game (with Rex Burkhead trying to throw the ball).

In my previous article CornhuskerFootball 2011: My thoughts of this season’s games three weeks ago, some things turned out to be somewhat correct which I predicted.  Well, let’s get to and analyze those “somewhat correct” predictions.

Here’s what I typed a little over three weeks ago about the then upcoming game between Nebraska and Penn State: “Nebraska has 6 wins and 7 losses against Penn State all-time.  Hopefully nothing controversial happens in this upcoming game.  After the Michigan State game, this (I think) is Nebraska’s next true test.”

Okay.  So Nebraska now has 7 wins and 7 losses against Penn State all-time.  Big deal.  What else?  I indirectly predicted that “controversy” would at least happen and one can arguably say that it did.  That credit is given to the recent scandal that has been surrounding Penn State.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t any controversy as far as I know “about the game” so it kind of just negated everything I said within this paragraph so far.  One thing is for sure, Nebraska’s “true test” happened a week earlier than I anticipated because they lost to Northwestern.  Penn State still proved a test for the Huskers even though Nebraska won anyway.

The Universities that formulate the Big Ten Conference are Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.  The schools in the Legends division of the Big Ten Conference are Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern.  The schools in the Leaders division of the Big Ten Conference are Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

Nebraska currently (as of Nov. 18th) has an overall record of 8-2, (4-2 within the Big Ten Conference), and is 2-1 and in second place within the Legends division.  Michigan has an overall record of 8-2, (4-2 within the Big 10), and is 2-2 and in third place within the Legends division.  Iowa is 6-4, (3-3 within the Big 10), and 2-2 and in fourth place within the Legends division. Michigan State has an overall record of 8-2, (5-1 within the Big 10), and is 3-1 and in first place within the Legends division.    

Currently, Penn State has an overall record of 8-2, (5-1 within the Big 10), and is 3-0 and in first place within the Leaders division.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NFL Regular Season 2011: Week One through Week Nine

By: Evan Troxel
The area National Football League teams out here in Nebraska to cheer for have not played really well at all.  The Denver Broncos have (3 wins and 5 losses or 3-5), the Kansas City Chiefs are (4-4), the St. Louis Rams are (1-7), and the Minnesota Vikings are (2-6).
Out in Denver, who knows if the Broncos are set on their quarterback (QB) situation yet.  Personally, if I had to choose between Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and Brady Quinn as the starting QB I would choose Tim Tebow if I had to pick one.  Tebow in my opinion has the best capability to do everything a QB needs to do.

However, if Kyle Orton could run more and faster, and elude defenders I would make him the starting QB.  Orton is taking this season…I don’t want to use the word easily or the words “laid back” but comfortably, he is (in my opinion) having the best year of his career in keeping his composure, and he’s not trying to do too much (like Tebow fortunately and unfortunately).  
I also feel bad for Kyle Orton.  Orton getting benched for Tim Tebow is probably coming at the prime of Orton’s career.  Orton had a career season last season.  

The Kansas City Chiefs have been playing better football of late.  That is, until they got beat 31-3 by the previous winless Miami Dolphins (1-7).  Kansas City started the season (0-3) and then won four straight games.  The Chiefs have beaten the Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers this season.  It would be nice to see the Chiefs make the playoffs and win at least a playoff game this season. 
The St. Louis Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints (6-3) 31-21 in Week 8.  In Week 7 the Saints murdered the Indianapolis Colts 62-7.  That’s not a mistype, 62-7.  The Rams are almost due to make the playoffs again although unfortunately it’s probably not going to be this season.  I think the Rams could win some games if QB Sam Bradford drops back to pass but then after a second takes off and runs with the football.  The Rams will definitely win games if they don’t throw the ball as often as they are currently.

The Minnesota Vikings have beaten the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers.  Christian Ponder is the starting QB for the Vikings and I haven’t seen him play but I think the Vikings are definitely playoff bound next season if he keeps starting (and doesn’t get hurt). 
Staying with the NFC North Division, the Green Bay Packers are still undefeated with 8 wins and 0 losses.  I’m sick and tired of seeing them win and I think they should have lost more than one game by now.  Well, I think their winning streak will end on Monday (Nov. 14th) when the Vikings will try to upset the defending Super Bowl Champions.

The Packers really haven’t played excellent football this season.  I feel like the following teams could have already beaten the Packers this season: The New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, and San Diego Chargers.  If that happened then that means the Packers would have four wins and four losses.  The Packers are probably an average team right now.
My thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts who still haven’t won a game yet this season are these simply.  SHAME.  The Colts are way better than their record is showing.  If the Colts keep on losing, they are making Peyton Manning look “really good.”  All the Colts are doing now is tanking the remainder of the season by “sucking for (Andrew) Luck.”  

I don’t like the rule that the team with the worst record in the NFL Regular Season gets the first pick in the next season’s NFL Draft.  If a team is not even going to try to win a game, then they (in my opinion) shouldn’t be allowed to get the first overall pick in the NFL Draft or even a first round draft pick.  Maybe the NFL needs to fine teams, coaches, and players if their team cannot win at least one game during the regular season.

Haunted Hayride

by Ashley Miller

Being a softball player at North Platte Community College, we get the chance to do a unique fundraiser. We put on a Haunted Hayride, like a Haunted House but the people get to walk to a trailer full of hay bales they could sit on and they are driven through the Old Museum where the softball team and other volunteers do anything and everything to scare the people on the ride.

We have men with chainsaws, a person getting beheaded, a person hanging themselves, a person burning in a fire, a “dead bride” getting shot, a carnivore hungry for more, and during all this “zombies” would be on the trailer scaring the people along for the ride. I enjoyed my part because I could do whatever I wanted to scare people wherever.

During the first couple nights I would just scare the riders coming out of the barn then I would get on the ride with them and see everything happen. When the riders would least expect it, I would get in the face and stare at them until they realized I was there. This was fun because I loved to see the different reactions from people, some people had no reaction they would just say, “oh hey” others would hit me and some would even scream and curse. There were many times where I would scare the same person multiple times, one after another, and all I could do was laugh out loud.

Towards the end of the week I would go through the line that was all the way to the gate and scare people. I would creep in and out of people and scare the ones who already looked scared, making them completely terrified to step onto the ride in the first place and we would not stop until they jumped off the trailer and ran out the front gate and even then sometimes we would chase them all the way out. My character was unexplainable, I was just an ugly old saggy zombie that creeped on people scaring them with the ugliness of my mask. 

A Tribute to Steve Jobs

By Ashley Miller

Steve Jobs was the CEO of Apple Co. before he passed away in October of 2011. Jobs is a hero in our world today because of his dedication and ability to keep inventing the unthinkable. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad are all considered to, “dictate the evolution of modern technology” says the A&E Biography website. Regardless of Jobs rough child hood, he still accomplished the unthinkable and took technology to a whole new level. According to the A&E Biography website, Jobs and his partner, Steve Wozniak,  “…are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making the machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive, and accessible to everyday consumers.” Jobs is a hero in our world now because he has advanced technology greatly. I am an owner of an iPhone, and iMac and I know I can speak for most of society when I say that Jobs inventions are simply amazing and have changed our world of technology completely

Monday, November 7, 2011

MLB Postseason 2011: The World Series and my thoughts

By: Evan Troxel

This article will be about my thoughts on the remainder of the 2011 Major League Baseball Postseason and adding onto and clarifying my thoughts from my previous article (earlier this year) “Major League Baseball (MLB) Postseason 2011: The St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series! GO RANGERS!”  

I was pleased with this year’s World Series matchup.  There was not a better matchup in my opinion out of this year’s playoff teams.  Another interesting matchup would have been the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals.  Still to present day, out of this year’s playoff teams the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and Milwaukee Brewers have never won the World Series.

I knew before this year’s World Series started that the St. Louis Cardinals were the “more talented” team.  Well, I guess I was wrong in that the Rangers would win the World Series…this year.  It was worth going on a limb for them to see if they actually could “get it done.”  Ultimately and “morally” my main reason for picking the Rangers was that I thought they had the edge over St. Louis in how they celebrated after winning each postseason series in 2010 and 2011.

I am going to be critical now of the Cardinals.  In the 2006 World Series, Games 3, 4, and 5 were played in St. Louis.  Game 4 got postponed (via weather obviously) by an extra day.  And what happened three days later after Game 3, the Cardinals won the World Series.  Here in 2011, Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 were played in St. Louis.  Game 6 got postponed by an extra day.  And what happened this year?  The Cardinals won the World Series.

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington had his uniform on when he talked to the press about the postponement of Game 6 of this year’s World Series.  On the other hand, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa didn’t even have his uniform on when he talked to the press.  I’m critical of who decided to postpone Game 6.  I thought (whoever it was) postponed Game 6 way too early.  They didn’t even try to play.

I like the rule implemented after the 2008 World Series that a World Series game must be played from start to finish without going home or back to the motel/hotel (if you’re the away team).  I think though that if it doesn’t stop raining for a long time (let’s say 100 minutes) then they should pick up where the left off the next night or early morning at whatever time it was that the game was stopped.  For example, if Game 1 starts at 7:00 p.m. on October 15th and is stopped because of weather at 8:18 p.m. then Game 1 I think should start up again at 8:18 p.m. on October 16th of that same year.

What do I have to say about this year’s World Series going to all seven possible games?  SHAME!  Both teams played well (and didn’t play well) and I think a good World Series is decided in six games.  This year’s World Series was not a classic one in my opinion.  Game 6 was not the greatest baseball game ever (unless you’re a Cardinals fan).

If I had to blame the Rangers players themselves for losing the World Series I would have to go with Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz as my top two choices.  Beltre wanted to “win” with the Rangers and all Cruz thinks about every time he steps up to the plate is…“Home Run.”  Cruz also played horrible and embarrassing defense.  I also think Alexi Ogando needs to get blamed.  Neftali Feliz showed through his actions that he was the more humble than out of any of the other three I mentioned before him and he gets blamed for blowing the save in Game 6.

What was Rangers manager Ron Washington thinking?  Die-hard Rangers fans are asking: Why didn’t Ron Washington start C.J. Wilson against the Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter in Game 7 of the World Series?  I want to ask: Why didn’t Ron Washington start Colby Lewis in Game 7?  Colby Lewis is “the guy” in my opinion.  He helped Texas win its first World Series game.

As for next year’s World Series, I don’t think the Cardinals will be in it.  I don’t know if Texas will be back but they played better this year than the Cardinals in the regular season.  Whatever ends up happening, I think a National League team will win it and it will end in a city with an American and a National League team.

I wonder what team Cardinals first basemen Albert Pujols will go to next season if he doesn’t go back to the Cardinals.  I got a feeling he’s going to stay on the National League side and not go to an American League team.  I actually think he will stay with the Cardinals.