Month: September 2014

Update, and a view from the stands

So the Aggies are one-third of the way through the season, holding a 2-2 record heading into a big-money non-conference game at #17 LSU. In the past two weeks, we dropped a disappointing game in El Paso against UTEP, 42-24, and fell painfully to fellow rival UNM within the final minute of the game, 38-35, at Aggie Memorial.

My thoughts? As bad as the loss to the Lobos was, it was a very competitive game. We scored a lot of points, the kids were making plays, and the defense did a solid job against a very tough offensive scheme. We still have some great young kids on defense, and our offense is really looking explosive.

Our running game is still not looking 100%. True freshman Larry Rose III looked rusty against UNM due to a nagging knee injury, so sophomore Xavier Hall will get the starting nod against LSU. But our offensive line has really done an awesome job — in four games, we have yet to give up a sack.

Obviously, LSU is an extremely talented, deep, and fast team. It’ll be a grind down in the Bayou this Saturday, and the ultimate goal is for Coach Martin to get his team back to Las Cruces healthy and ready to hit the meat of the Sun Belt schedule.

A few injuries to report: defensive end Noah Brown, who’s had a decent season so far, strained his MCL and will be out a few games; freshman Stody Bradley will take his place. Receivers Greg Hogan (knee) and Jerrel Brown (collarbone) are a little beaten up, but they’ll be back at some point soon, too. True freshman Jalen Jones, a converted quarterback, will be able to show what he can do at receiver this week.

The next home game will be October 4, at 6 PM, against the Eagles of Georgia Southern. The theme will be Tough Enough to Wear Pink.

Aggie up!

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A mysterious monolith. A group of apes. And a bone that is used as a weapon. All of these elements combine to create the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as the dawn of man is portrayed onscreen. Two groups of apes attack each other and one ape (the so-called “Moonwatcher”) kills the other tribe’s leader with the aforementioned bone. The victorious mammal throws his newly-found weapon in the air before the film jumps four million years into the future.

The moon, now colonized by numerous countries back on Earth, is being visited by an American, Dr. Floyd, who has heard rumours of strange events occurring at Clavius Base. He addresses a group of scientists and explains that other recent rumours involving a potential virus breakout at Clavius are false, but that there is a mysterious monolith that has been unearthed at the base. He says that the stone was deliberately buried over four million years ago. Visitors to the moon base examine the monolith before a high-pitched squeal is emitted from the object.

Eighteen months later, five astronaut-scientists — two mission commanders and three who are in cryogenic hibernation — are on a mission to the planet Jupiter aboard the spacecraft Discovery One. Dr. Poole (Gary Lockwood) and Dr. Bowman (Keir Dullea) are joined in spacecraft operation by the ship’s computer, the HAL 9000 or “Hal.” Hal has a perfect operating system and claims to be incapable of “human error.” During a pre-recorded BBC broadcast, the astronauts are asked about their relationships with Hal, and they reciprocate what Hal himself has said — that it is a mutually beneficial relationship and they all enjoy working with each other.

Later on, Hal expresses concern to Bowman about the secrecy of their mission, but interrupts himself to mention that a device connected to Discovery‘s antenna is in danger of failing. Poole brings back the troublesome device, but neither he nor Bowman can find anything wrong with it. Both Hal and mission control believe that it would be best to reinstall the device and let it fail on its own, before tampering with it further. However, mission control says that their own version of Hal, back on Earth, came up with a different solution. Therefore, both Hal’s perfect operating record and the mission could be in jeopardy.

 

Widely considered the greatest science fiction film of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a masterpiece that is simultaneously bizarre and brilliant. Inspired by (but not necessarily based on) the novel by Arthur C. Clarke, the film is over two and a half hours long, and features only 40 minutes of dialogue; both the opening 20 minutes and the closing 20 minutes have no dialogue whatsoever. Director Stanley Kubrick eschews traditional narrative techniques, relying on images, music, and sound to tell the story. 2001 also features dazzling, Academy Award-winning special effects and a thrilling soundtrack that memorably features “The Blue Danube Waltz” and “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” Most of the dialogue in the film is very clinical mission talk from the astronauts themselves, and while the film was praised for its beautiful visuals, audiences found the characters stale and the dialogue boring.

Critics and audiences alike were polarized by the film. The New Yorker called it “some kind of brilliant film, and an unforgettable endeavor,” while The New York Times said it was “somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring.” Andrew Sarris called it “too abstract to make its abstract points” while Roger Ebert said that the film “succeeds magnificently on a cosmic scale.” Yet despite the strange reactions to the film, it was a major box office success and paved the way for Star WarsAI: Artificial Intelligence, and many other sci-fi films.

Modern filmmakers have also expressed enthusiasm for Kubrick’s sci-fi epic; Steven Spielberg called it his generation’s “big bang,” while Martin Scorsese has said it’s one of his favorite films ever. Sydney Pollack called it “groundbreaking.” George Lucas said 2001 was “hugely inspirational” and called Kubrick “the filmmaker’s filmmaker.”

When I first saw 2001, I thought it was strange indeed, but realized that Kubrick’s vision was groundbreaking and he really changed the entire way science fiction movies were made. I was also impressed that, for the most part, the film was scientifically accurate. Although I still don’t understand certain elements of Kubrick’s film, I recognize and appreciate its innovation in more ways than one. So go see 2001. Heck, see it twice — you may have to.

Aggies secure come-from-behind victory in Atlanta

A scrappy Aggie football team secured their first road victory of the year over the Georgia State Panthers, 34-31 in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Tyler Rogers threw an 11-yards touchdown pass to Teldrick Morgan with 15 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the win. The Aggies win their Sun Belt Conference opener and move to 2-0 for the first time since 1999.

“The biggest thing to me is falling behind 17-0…in the past at New Mexico State, it wouldn’t have been a game,” said Coach Doug Martin, remarking about the character of his players. “They didn’t waver and I’m proud of their toughness.”

It was a sloppy first half, with the offense fumbling twice and receivers dropping easy catches. But the Aggies didn’t quit and kept fighting. The turning point came late in the second quarter, when Georgia State QB Nick Arbuckle’s pass was tipped and fell into the hands of NMSU linebacker Rodney Butler; he returned it 40 yards for a pick-six that cut the Panthers’ lead to seven points.

After halftime, the offense began clicking again and Rogers delivered. Senior receiver Joseph Matthews made a spectacular one-handed catch in the back of the end zone which got the offense fired up. The Aggie defense forced a fumble as the Panthers were driving inside the red zone, and overall, the D forced several three-and-outs in the second half. NMSU outscored Georgia State 24-14 in the second half and outgained the Panthers 255-168 in the latter half. 

On defense, Butler led the charge with 12 tackles and the pick-six. Senior defensive lineman Jay Eakins had a big game, with nine tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery, and two and a half tackles for loss. Fellow D-linemen Noah Brown and Kalei Auelua also chipped in. Sophomore safety King Davis III, who missed the season opener due to a shoulder injury, recorded seven tackles in his defensive debut. Safety Kawe Johnson had four tackles, while linebacker Derek Ibekwe got six tackles of his own. 

The Aggies showed a gritty, scrappy style of play that has become their trademark in the young season. These kids are learning to compete and have a don’t-quit attitude that is nothing short of inspiring. The Aggies have been so bad for so long — but these players believe in what Coach Martin is doing and they’re willing to put in the work to get it done. There’s no doubt that there is new life and new energy in the NMSU football program.

Up next is a trip to El Paso to take on the hated UTEP Miners. The Aggies have momentum on their side, going 2-0 into this important matchup. UTEP, meanwhile, is 1-1, after dropping a close game to Texas Tech yesterday and winning a high-scoring affair in Albuquerque against UNM in Week One.

Aggie up!!