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Commentary: Canadians: Sorry aboot the mistake

Branden Lombardi
Staff Writer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 22, 2003

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the Canadians who are a part of the UA community, as we here at the Wildcat forgot to mention your Thanksgiving holiday Monday.

To make up for this egregious mistake, I would like to present to you a cornucopia of Wildcat sports information as a gesture of our goodwill here at the Wildcat.

÷Speaking of goodwill, the Wildcat football team will be looking to display anything but to the California Golden Bears this Saturday at Memorial Stadium back in NoCal. The Wildcats notched their one and only conference victory against Cal last season.

For those of you who can't remember that far back, last year's game against Cal followed the most volatile week in UA sports history, as 40 players from the football team met with President Peter Likins to discuss the antics of a former coach (whose name shall never be mentioned in this column again).

The Wildcats needed a record-setting performance out of quarterback Jason Johnson last year just to beat Cal. Let's hope that a repeat isn't necessary for victory this year. With an extra week to get healthy and a game plan anticipating a solid Cal team, one thing is certain: The Wildcats will be ready to play this Saturday.

÷No, the Wildcat isn't repeating stories it has already published this year. Sophomore golfer Erica Blasberg is just that good, as she notched her third straight individual victory over the weekend. Not that Blasberg isn't deserving of every piece of press she gets; she is the top-ranked collegiate female golfer in the country. The next tournament coming up for the phenom is the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship. I wonder if Martha Burk will be there protesting the tournament for having a sponsor that happily objectifies women to sell subpar chicken wings. No, that would make too much sense as a women's issue, thus disqualifying Martha Burk and her organization from participation.

÷Who missed the "Playmakers" marathon last night, also known as "SportsCenter?" With all the problems in the sports world these days ÷ Kobe Bryant and his rape trial, the issue of designer steroids that is threatening to take down some of the greatest athletes in the country and Yankee players being prosecuted for attacking a Fenway Park groundskeeper ÷ our "role models" are starting to take on the roles of the most dysfunctional professional franchise in the history of sports. And that team isn't even REAL! You couldn't make this stuff up.

÷ They may not compete as an intercollegiate team here at the UA, but the Laxcats, UA's very own lacrosse club team, are arguably one of the most successful teams competing as a representative of the UA ÷ club or intercollegiate. Head coach Ken Broschart has assembled a talented team including playmaking senior Jeems Lochridge, who led the Laxcats Saturday as they flexed their muscles against in-state rival Arizona State, 19-2, in their first match of the season.

If you are a student who has griped about buying the Zona Zoo pass or has complained about the poor play of the football team this season, just head over to Rincon Vista Park and witness an action-packed event full of contact and scoring that will leave you impressed.

÷Despite the fact that it is October and some people are starting to wear thermal underwear, the weather here in Arizona is reminding us why we have those holes in the ground called swimming pools.

Speaking of swimming pools, this weekend marks a great event on the UA sports calendar: the Wild West Water Show, featuring the UA swimming and diving teams. The show will include a clown, a trampoline exhibit and synchronized high diving. If you would like the chance to rub elbows with past and present Olympians, stick around for the autograph session since several members of the swim and dive teams have competed in the Olympic Games, and all members look to represent their home countries this summer in the 2004 Athens Games.

Don't forget to meet assistant head coach Rick DeMont, who won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle in 1972 and then had it wrongfully stripped from him, and is also a renowned artist whose paintings are on display at Mo's Gallery here in Tucson.

÷Saturday's men's basketball scrimmage still drew about 4,800 fans to McKale Center, despite the uproar from the student body over the cancellation of Midnight Madness. The team looked solid and even had a surprise contributor in freshman walk-on Beau Muhlbach. The popular sign in McKale Center this year? "Beau Knows."

÷Finally, in honor of our Canadian friends and their love for the wonderful sport of hockey, the Arizona Icecats, the UA's ice hockey club team, opens up its season Monday at the Madhouse on Main ÷ also known as the Tucson Convention Center ÷ against the boys from Tempe.

This will be the first of eight meetings between the rivals this year. Last year, the Icecats won seven out of eight games against the Sun Devils.

If you have never been to an Icecats game, it is a highly recommended experience ÷ part due to the excitement on the ice, but also because they sell beer at games, which makes the crowd interesting as well.

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