Monday, September 30, 2013

lobo football drops high-scoring game against unlv.

On Saturday, the University of New Mexico Lobos started hot. The cherry and silver squad scored 21 points in the first quarter, running up 217 yards in the first twelve minutes alone. However, the energy could not be sustained, the Rebels of UNLV came out with almost as much steam, and the Lobos ultimately fell 56-42, scoring consecutively less per quarter in a game that seemed an almost certain win at many points early in the evening.

While the Lobo offense was humming in the first quarter, UNLV came right back at the UNM in the second quarter. The Lobos registered another 14 points, UNLV another 21, and the score was knotted at 35-35 come halftime. The running games maintained its domination of the offense, especially for the Lobos, who gained another 183 yards. The two teams combined at half for 749 yards, but the tie score wouldn't remain that way for long.

The Rebels started to utilize the passing game and took advantage of a Lobo fumble, and held the previously unfettered running game to a mere 97 more yards in the entire second half. Two consecutive touchdowns by UNLV in the span of a mere three minutes seemed to break the Lobos willpower to mount any kind of comeback.

With the loss, the Lobos drop to 1-3 for the year. Coach Bob Davie said, post-game, that the first half was unbelievable but admitted that the end result depended on being able to stop the other team. The offense has proved their capabilities, especially in the first half of Saturday's action, but the defense of the cherry and silver needs to continue to work in order to right UNM's year.

Looking past the sting of the defeat, the night also brought about a school record of three players each rushing for more than 100 yards: Kasey Carrier, Carlos Wiggins and quarterback Cole Gautsche each accomplished the feat.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

team usa qualifies for the world cup.

On Tuesday night, Team America beat Mexico in Colobus, Ohio 2-0 and, later in the evening, when Honduras refused to hold on and beat Panama, tying 2-2 on a goal in stoppage time, ensuring that Team USA secured a qualifying spot in the World Cup.

The Americans had lost their last game, against Costa Rica, on Friday night. They were whupped, 1-3, and they lost the mental edge of having the longest win streak in the world, at 12. Moreover, they lost Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron, and Matt Besler for the Mexico match due to those players picking up their second yellow cards of the qualification process. Michael Bradley also suffered a freak injury during warmups, spraining his left ankle and sat out against Mexico.

Due to those absences - particularly Altidore, whose performance for the team has been impressive, to say the least - and the long-standing disadvantage America has maintained while facing Mexico, there were some who doubted the team's chances, despite the home field advantage. However, the Mexican team seems to be in complete disarray, suffering from the endless tailspin that inevitably follows a sudden departure from previously winning ways.

However, when it came time to get things done, the team stepped up as a whole with their depth tested, and the team answered the call. The previous stars were particularly adept, with Eddie Johnson scoring in the 49th minute, once again off a header. He was spelled by Mikkel Diskerud in the 76th minute. Reviled when his plan didn't seem to be taking right away, coach Jurgen Klinsmann now looks like a genius, particularly when it comes to substitutions. Diskerud played a smart ball of a throw in with a deft first touch, putting the ball right in front of the Mexico goal. Clint Dempsey had a brilliant look at the clicher but whiffed his attempt. Luckily, Landon Donovan was there, as he's been for Team USA ever since making his comeback. Donovan put his goal in at the 78th minute.

When Honduras tied Panama nearly an hour after the USA/Mexico game finished, the work of the night was complete. Team USA is now officially qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It's worth noting that, of the 207 nations in the world who compete in the qualification process, only 32 make it. 8 nations have won the World Cup; the United States is not amongst that number. With this qualification, though, the United States becomes only the 13th nation to qualify for the ultimate tournament 10 times.

Monday, September 9, 2013

comics for the week of 09/04/13.

So, I did read the Battle of the Atom chapter one book and it was cool. And I thought I wasn't going to read anything outside of the books I was already getting, but then this week's issue came out and I can fully say: I'm on board.

All New X-Men 16 - OK, I'm not even done reading the issue yet, but I've got to get some notes out here. First of all, it's wonderful to have Immonen on this title! God, he kills it! Secondly, I love the fact that I've never read an issue of the rebooted Uncanny X-Men and yet, I get everything I need to know about the team from that opening spread. It feels like this might be an event done right. Third, the next double-page spread, with the introduction of the future X-Men is even more amazing. Deadpool's word balloons, the Icemen next to each other, Wolverine's sarcastic tone, just everything is really going right in this book at this time. I love that Charles Xavier's grandson is now a possibility and I love that Kitty jumps into Wolvie's arms after he figures out it's her by sniffing. I love the Beasts reactions to the older one. I was holding out hope that the scarfed girl was going to be M, but I don't know much about her current state in the X-Universe. However, as ex-Runaway is always cool. And so then, yeah, of course, we have Xorn, and we never get an introduction from her, but when it finally comes, oh boy, is it awesome. And I wouldn't want anyone else pencilling those pages because, honestly? I think this is a panel I'll remember for the rest of my life. To see her there, we all knew it was coming sometime, and we've had a lesser version of it right here in this book, but...Oh man. It's gorgeous. I have no idea where this crossover is going: Will the young kids get sent back? Are we on the way to a time apocalypse? Will some of the elder statesmen stay? I don't know and I don't care. What I do know is that the Marvel Universe and the X-books are solidly fun again and that makes me love comics a little bit more everyday. You should read this book.

Invincible 105 - Kind of a filler issue, and most of it wasn't that great, but this is the kind of thing that Kirkman does really well. He makes us think that nothing's going on, but lots of stuff is stewing. We got a check in with Robot and his lady, which was funny, Even working as a housewife, some editorializing about the lack of female superheroes that Rex didn't really listen to, and then a great conversation between Mark and Nolan. Those last couple pages were the best of the issue, and while that's not a bad thing because they really were great, it just wasn't that great of an issue overall.

Trillium 2 - So, I'm not saying this is as good as Daytripper, but... If you're not buying this book, you're foolish. This has the chance to be a really special story. Lemire's work is on point here and the story has a lot going on already. It's clear that there's some rich backstory that we're going to get as this goes on, the only question, to me, is: when and where is this actually taking place? I think we've got some pretty major psychotropic answers in store for us and I love the fact that their shared drug-induced hallucination was the only moment where they opened up that connection, other than physical touch and the word Trillium. This is a fascinating story, well-drawn that's going to be talked about for a long, long time.

Book of the week goes to All New X-Men. The art, the story and the nostalgia outweigh the artistic gold from Lemire.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

comics for the week of 08/28/13.

Slightly behind, but I consider them on time because it was a holiday weekend.

Angel and Faith 25 - Nice ending. That's about all I can muster. It didn't change anything, really, other than Faith departing, because I kind of knew that Giles was going to stay the way he is, right? Nadira has some potential for the future, as does Pearl, but the bit with Whistler was about the only way it could have gone down. He's always been an integral, but very minor, part of the Buffy mythos, so it's fitting that he'd go out this way. I'm happy to hear that Faith will be part of the series, but I'm worried about the balance next season if she's not around and Angel's got his own title. He's a great character, but I felt like they really shined when they worked together. Giles is up in the air, I'm not sure if he'll stick around Buffy's book next season (or even next issue, if that's a possible post-script) of if he'll be in the ether with Faith. Here's to hoping that these great characters, who've gone through incredible developments don't just disappear into the land of unused toys. This was clearly the stronger of the two books, aside from Buffy's incredible start so I hope we get to see some more of the growth next season from everyone involved - even the aunts.

Mind MGMT 14 - Another chapter in and I'm even more confused. I'm not sure that I believe Bill's on the side of angels anymore, but I'm not sure that I even know which side that is. Like Meru says, I'm sure there are things the Eraser will say that will help us to make sense of all this, but I'm not sure what's happening anymore. There was enough distrust sown this issue to make me doubt everything. I know that next issue we'll get to see some more of Lyme and then the one after that will focus on someone else, so I'm thinking that it'll be a long while before even this little thread gets to make sense. But I'm still loving what's happening and I love that Meru is figuring out her powers. I like that they're back in her home town and that she's got some memories this time around. Still one of the most gorgeous books on the market and definitely one of the most intriguing.

New Avengers 9 - It was better than the baseline Avengers book, but it's still too sprawling. I'm liking the implication from this book that literally all of the things done in both Avengers and New Avengers were merely setting the stage for Infinity, because that reinforces my view of Hickman as the master plotter. I'm disliking the fact that it might have all been setting the stage for a story that I don't care for. I've never liked Galactus or the Silver Surfer or the cosmic aspect of the Marvel Universe, so it's scant surprise that I'm not a fan of Thanos or the Kree-Skrull War or this new Black Order. I'm looking forward to the Illuminati being cast out by their friends and family when they find out what the sextet has done and I think Namor's at his best when he's not even pretending to get along with the rest of the world, like we see in his betrayal here. I don't think it's a red herring, what with the Black Panther's over-the-top reinforcement as the bad guys are leaving. I hope, honestly, that this is serving merely as prelude to a world without Iron Man, Reed and the rest of the Illuminati, because it'd be interesting to see how the rest of the Marvel U would step up without them. Bruce Banner would certainly have a shot and that's been pretty heavily hinted at as something that he wants, and Peter Parker would be wanted/needed - too bad he's not around. In this issue, though, Thanos' forces arrive and, for the most part, conquer and destroy. It's a little past the suspension of disbelief to me that T'Challa is the only one who can beat them, especially when he's pretty much always been seen (at least by me) as the weakest of the bunch, but the story needs some way to go forward. Namor's defeat is less an indictment of him as it is an indication of his weakened position - guess you shouldn't have messed with Wakanda, huh, Prince? And then, of course, he's gotta play like a spurned lover and sow some misdirection. Namor; always messing things up for the rest of the Marvel U.

The Unwritten 52 - This is beyond bizarre. There are so many alternate worlds being played around in at this point that I don't honestly know who's who. I 'm pretty sure that's our Pullman, but I've no idea if that's our Lizzie. I think the version of Tom that they saw inside of Tommy means that they're always one and the same? And I love how Tommy gets along with Pinocchio. That just seems to make perfect sense to me. Other than that, we knew that the Dark Man was coming for the Fables, regardless of the powers that Tommy and his gang brought to the party, but it was unexpected, even after seeing Pullman on the cover, the levels to which he'd understand the Multiverse , and how quickly. This is really going to take a turn, and I think now I can see how big this is going to get and why it's going to 'necessitate' a restart. I definitely do not know how it's going to end, but I can see that some serious shit is going to go down. And how sad that, at the end of the day, Pullman was right, Tommy couldn't help himself with Lizzie and he brought about the destruction that the Fables had put off for so long.

Thor: God of Thunder 12 - Continuing the journey but in a most unexpected way. After the epic conclusion of Godbomb, I didn't think that this issue could possibly be much good. It'd have to be a standalone issue, a jump on point, something kind of middling. Well, I was TOTALLY wrong. This is the kind of issue that makes you appreciate single issue comics. We get a glimpse of all three Thors and the art, while not Esad Ribic, stood up well in all three eras. I love the brief glimpses of old and young Thor and I love that we see so many different sides of Thor the Avenger. We transition between him drinking, him being a God, him being a flirt and a romantic and his trying to take a proactive stance in the world. All of this is what I expect from a God of Thunder and it's what we get in this issue. So grateful that the Jane Foster and Thor relationship has carried over in a relatively minor way and kind of shocked to see her moving out of the picture (although, of course, that can always be changed) in such a rapid fashion here. I'm hopeful that we'll still kind of get some kind of access to all three Thors as this title continues because it's been amazing. Marvel continues to win.

Ultimate Spider-Man 26 - The new Taskmaster is a badass, the Spider kids are stupid for ignoring their spider-senses, and David Marquez's art is incredible, with the SOLID exception of those flashback sequences. Gah, was that even him? It looked so bad. I get that he was going for something different and he definitely accomplished that aim, but God, it was bad. I like that we're getting some backstory on Bombshell (while getting a little current story on Cloak and Dagger) and I like that she references Peter Parker's Ultimate Spidey and I love the fact that Roxxon is being retconned into the new OsCorp Industries in the Ultimate Universe - how odd and interesting that the Ultimate U is now old enough that things are being retconned in. I loved the dialogue between Jessica and Miles in the beginning and I was shocked on the title page that they said Miles was a grade-schooler months before Peter was killed; is this the first time he's been pegged as sooooo young, or was it just the first time that I noticed? An issue without Ganke is rarely a great issue, but this one was good enough. I'm sure the trio will survive their encounter with Taskmaster, but I'm curious as to what they'll learn and what price they'll have to pay as he brings them into the Roxxon headquarters. Good stuff, as usual. Also, I hope the Ultimate Universe doesn't die. It's an interesting experiment that has thrived in the time it's been around, even if it's suffered through occasional droughts. I'd hate for the goodness of Marvel NOW! to interrupt this grand, long trial. Plus, Miles is amazing. Let him continue to be his own character. He doesn't need to be part of the 616 Universe. He's built up his own incredible little corner. Let him keep it.

Wolverine and the X-Men 35 - This was back to being the pure fun book that I loved when this title debuted. The art was cartoonish enough to be enjoyable but not over the top enough to be annoying. And the story's beats were on point. Kade didn't get his just desserts when we expected him to, but we knew better than to truly expect it then anyway. So it was great when the White Queen came from out of nowhere to take over the Siege Perilous. Mystique and Sabertooth still were out of place, Sauron was saved by the X-Men (?) and Dog finally seemed to make sense; he just cannot accept help from Wolverine, huh? But the big news here was the union of Quentin and Idie, as well as that ending. Man oh man, I'd be so psyched if he came back. I think Jason Aaron is just the guy to do it, too. And I love how the other four teachers are going to see Wolvie fearing the worst, but then get rebuffed by the new Headmaster. This is a fitting role for him, and I'm psyched to see where it goes next - aside from the stupid crossover in which I have no interest.

Young Avengers 9 - Delighted that I finished the Journey into Mystery run before reading this issue. It helped a lot. The art is still a draw, but honestly, as with most things (historically) Gillen/McKelvie, it's the combination that is the real winner. The dialogue is pure gold (and the letterer needs credit there too!), especially when it comes to the exchanges and how many different relationships we're presented with. The art shows emotions on faces in a way that few comics have ever done, and the backgrounds and panels - and the way they overlap, especially in Mother's dimension - is reminiscent of the way I went gaga for JH Williams III and his changing the game with his panel layouts. It's not so radical, but it is a novel use of something that not enough people have played with. Regardless, in this issue, we get to resume our chat with Leah, in more ways than one, and Teddy leaves Billy, at least to get some space. We get the ramifications of last issue's kiss and then a logical explanation that did more than enough to justify it to me. We see more and more of Miss America Chavez and we can see the cauldron bubbling underneath her entire existence. Young Loki pops back up and now I need to re-read the whole run thus far, with the post-JiM understanding under my belt. I loved the Game of Thrones and x is x memes that Gillen put in here. Every issue of this series that comes out just reaffirms my belief that this is the best book for comic fans of all ages that's currently coming out.

Book of the week goes to Young Avengers. Thor, Wolvie and even Ultimate Spider-Man were strong contenders, but I just have to go with something that so perfectly fills my childhood vision of what a comic can be. If I was a better adult, it'd go to Thor.

Monday, September 2, 2013

lobo football drops home opener.

When the University of New Mexico Lobos took the field for the first regular-season game on Saturday afternoon, things felt fine. The weather was good, pre-season had gone well and second-year coach Bob Davie was looking to continue down the trail of improvement that he'd begun last year. For the first quarter - and most of the first half - things seemed like they'd stay pleasant. By the end of the game, though, the Lobos offense showed that it could not advance beyond an early spurt, and the defense proved porous the entire game long. The Lobos fell to the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, 21-13.

The game started on a positive note, as SaQwan Edwards returned a fumble for a touchdown. Coach Davie, showing confidence in his team, went for two, but missed the conversion. A disappointment for the Cherry and Silver home crowd, certainly, but never a bad move at home, in the first game, after such an early touchdown. The first quarter ended with UNM up 6-0 and the second quarter proved more of the same; the Lobos scored quickly again on a perfect pass from second-year quarterback Cole Gautsche to a wide-open Marquis Bundy. UNM took the easy kick this time, and sat pretty on a 13-0 lead.

However, the Roadrunners began their comeback at the end of the second quarter, and the Lobos never scored again. The Lobos lost the game on every conceivable benchmark, possessing the ball for just under five minutes less than the Roadrunners, while throwing and running for fewer yards as well. As impressive as the game began, the Edwards touchdown came off the only turnover in the game. With the Roadrunners playing a protective game, UNM wasn't aggressive enough to cause any other opportunities. While Gautsche provided an impressive running game, tallying 118 yards, he only completed four of 12 passes, for 65 yards. In stark contrast UTSA's quarterback, Eric Soza, threw for 237 yards, completing 21 of 34 attempts. The Roadrunners ran for another 157, dominating a Lobos defense that seemed lost at times.

The Lobos have come a long way from going winless through entire seasons, or winning a mere one game per. But the home opener proves that they still have a long way to go. Their next two games are at UTEP on September 7 and then at Pittsburgh on September 14, before getting a bye week and finally coming home. When the Lobos return to University Stadium, it will face a UNLV team that lost their first game as well (against the Minnesota Golden Gophers) and will have had three games in between. The game will be played on Saturday, September 28 at 6 MST.