Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Another Day, Another Lewis Upset Win

Posted: March 6, 2011 in News
Sam Rinehart

Lewis' Sam Rinehart didn't miss a shot in Saturday's upset over Wisconsin-Parkside. Rinehart scored 9 points and had 6 rebounds in the victory (GLVCSports.com)

ST. LOUIS, MO — It’s becoming a routine for the Lewis Flyers women’s basketball team to pull off shocking upsets on the road day in and day out. That’s the beauty of being low seeds who advance in conference tournaments – there’s no pressure to win.

The tournament for Lewis University has turned from a feel good story to a legitimate chance to capture the school’s first GLVC Tournament crown and clinch a spot in the regional round of the NCAA Division II Women’s National Championship.

The Flyers (14-15) proved that its Cinderella run in this year’s Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament was more than smoke and mirrors. Lewis collected its third straight tournament victory be defeating division rival Wisconsin-Parkside 64-56 in Saturday’s semifinal matchup.

Lewis defensively won the ball game by controlling the basketball and taking slow-paced possessions while on offense. The team committed only 8 turnovers and shot 44.0% (22-50) from the floor.

Free throws were another component to the win. As a team, Lewis shot 17-24 from the charity stripe. Wisconsin-Parkside only took 4 free throw attempts all night, making just one. Senior Kady Currin led the way for the Flyers by making 7-8 from the free throw line.

The Rangers (22-6) saw their best players, forwards Brittany Beyer and Brittany Hogen, in early foul trouble. Both All-GLVC third teamers had success in the paint as Hogen lead UWP with 16 and Beyer chipped in 14 points. All-GVC first team guard Jadee Rooney was a non-factor in the outcome. Rooney, who averaged 15.3 points per game, scored just 5 and shot 2-10 from the floor.

The Flyers countered with big days from it’s bigs. Redshirt junior Devon Carbaugh was effective coming off the bench to score a team high 13 points. Currin’s performance at the line resulted in her scoring 12 points and dishing out 5 assists. Senior Jenny Turpel also posted double-digit points with 11. Junior Lory Shaw had a similar performance to her outing Friday against Drury, scoring 6 points but grabbing a team high 8 boards.

It seems almost appropriate that the Flyers finally advance to the conference tournament championship game after first defeating the Rangers. Wisconsin-Parkside had won both regular season meetings between the clubs. The Rangers won by 12 points both times, 73-61 on Feb. 4 in Kenosha, WI and 63-51 on Feb. 12 in Romeoville, IL.

On an interesting side note, this win keeps the women’s basketball team perfect in the state of Missouri this season. Lewis won on the road against Maryville, Missouri-St. Louis and Rockhurst in the regular season. The Flyers also have conference tournament wins against Missouri S&T in Rolla, MO last weekend and this weekend’s games versus Drury and Wisconsin-Parkside at Moloney Arena at Maryville University. The school this season is 5-1 against teams from Missouri, with the only blemish being a Drury win in Romeoville on Jan. 20.

The Flyers have defeated the conference tournament’s number 4, 3, and 2 seeds in succession. They now face the No. 5 seeded Indianapolis Greyhounds (15-12) for the conference’s automatic berth into March Madness. Indianapolis was originally seeded No. 8 for the opening weekend of the tournament prior to the re-seeding of the field. At that time, Lewis was the No. 9 team.

A No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup for a conference championship? Only in the month of March. Both teams are on the outside looking in at the region’s top eight teams who receive at-large invitations to national title field. The only absolute way to punch a ticket will be to win Sunday.

Tip-off is at 3:30pm live from the Moloney Arena in St. Louis, MO. The game can be heard live on WLRA Radio by listening online at www.wlraradio.com. Brett Lyons will have the call of the game. Pre-game begins on-air at 3:15.

Kady Currin

Senior guard Kady Currin showed great endurance playing the entire game. She contributed 12 points and 5 assists in the Flyer's second consecutive GLVC Tournament upset win (GLVCSports.com)

The upset streak for the Flyers has reached two victims as No. 6  Lewis University (13-15) defeated the Panthers by a final of 62-55 Friday night.

Lewis advanced to play Drury (19-9) after first defeating Missouri S&T 79-74 in overtime in the opening round. That game was played in Rolla, MO and at the time was thought to be just a good road win.

It is clear Lewis has taken it’s time but now is finally peaking as a team. The Flyers did almost everything well against the Panthers. The team shot 43.8% (21-48) from the floor, including an astounding 64.7% (11-17) from distance. Despite being outrebounded, especially on the offensive glass 15-7, the Flyers were able to shoot their way out of any issues.

The veterans paved the path to victory for Lewis. Senior point guard Kady Currin was the only player in the game to play all 40 minutes. She was one of three Flyers to lead the team with 12 points along with senior forwards Jenny Turpel Kelly Monaco. Sophomore Labrinthia Murdock was the fourth Flyer with double-digit points, scoring all of her 10 in the second half.

Three pointers were a big story in this game as well. Not only for Lewis but Drury as well. The first half featured a back and forth battle of raining treys. Lewis dropped 8 of 11 attempted three pointers in the first half, while Drudry drained 5 of its 14 tries. The teams combined for a streak with consisted of nothing but back and forth threes for five possessions.

With a 28-27 lead at halftime, Lewis never looked back. The Flyers never trailed in the second half. The closest Drury got to taking the lead was when the game was tied at 36-36 with 13:50 remaining in regulation.

Panther senior guard and All-GLVC First Teamer Ja’Nell Jones had a solid game offensively. She scored 15 points to lead Drury. GLVC Freshman of the Year Bethanie Funderbunk scored her 8 points in the first half while junior Erica Groose chipped in her 8 points in the game’s second half.

The victory sets up a GLVC North battle Saturday night between Lewis and No. 2 Wisconsin-Parkside (22-5) for the rights to advance to the conference championship game Sunday. The Rangers took both regular season contests from the Flyers, 73-61 on Feb. 4 in Kenosha, WI and 63-51 on Feb. 12 in Romeoville, IL. The semifinal matchup is set to begin at 6:00pm CST.

Alex Hall

Sophomore Alex Hall was tied for the team lead in points, scoring 17 in only 25 minutes (GLVCSports.com)

The combination of a 11:13 field goal-less scoring drought in the first half, 17 total turnovers, and a -10 rebounding differential proved more than the Lewis University men’s basketball team could handle as they fell to Drury University 72-58 in the GLVC quarterfinal round at Maryville University Friday.

The No. 6 Flyers (17-14), fresh off an upset 69-67 win in Indianapolis last weekend in the conference tournament’s opening round, came out of the gates with guns a-blazin’ showing they could go punch-for-punch with the No. 3 Drury Panthers (22-6).

Thanks to a solid start from junior forward Matt Toth, who scored 8 of his 15 points in the game’s first 7:50 when the Flyers took a 19-14 lead. It would prove to be the final lead Lewis would have in the game.

Toth’s 3-point shot with 12:10 remaining in the first half would be the final field goal the team would score until sophomore guard Chris McClellan’s 3-pointer with 0:57 left. Lewis was unable to score a field goal for 11:13 of the first half, shooting 0-8 in that stretch. The Flyers mustered up only 5 points in the final 12:10 of the half, all coming by McClellan.

Momentum was clearly on the Panther’s side at halftime when Drury led 34-24 going into the locker room.

Very little was seen of standout sophomore guard Alex Hall in the game’s opening half, where Hall picked up three personal fouls. He was subbed out with 6:35 remaining in the period and scored only 6 points, but would prove to be the difference in the second half.

Hall did not re-enter the game until the 14:53 mark of the second half. But when he did, he made sure his presence was felt. Hall stroked long distance 3-pointers at will, many of which were multiple feet behind the arch. Hall shot 6-9 from the floor, including 4-7 from downtown. He ended the game with 17 points in 25 minutes of play.

The talented sophomore also accomplished a personal feat in this contest, surpassing the 1,000 career point mark. He had 990 coming into Friday’s competition.

Hall was tied for the team lead in points scored with Dennon Mitchell, a junior guard who came off the bench to score 17 points and grab 6 rebounds of his own. Mitchell has a track record with the Flyers, having burned them in last year’s GLVC Tournament in Springfield, IL.

Drury outrebounded Lewis 34-24, having grabbed twice as many offensive boards. The Panthers also saw the free throw line 13 more times than the Flyers.

This marks the end of the Flyers season. Scott Trost will feel comfortable next year with a majority of his team returning. Seniors Dennis Thomas, Jr. and Dalonte Burns will graduate this semester and end their careers at Lewis University.

With the win, Drury advances to play the tournament’s No. 2 seeded University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles Saturday at Maryville’s Moloney Arena. Tip-off will be at 12:00 CST.

NBA Trade Deadline Shifts Power to East

Posted: February 24, 2011 in News
Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony dropped 27 in his Knick debut, proving that New York has indeed become serious on winning (everyjoe.com)

As the countdown to the trading deadline arrived this week, three large deals were done to help solidify the futures of certain franchises.

The trades of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis, and Deron Williams to Eastern Conference teams this week in anticipation of the league’s Feb. 24 trade deadline has made one thing crystal clear – the Eastern Conference has jumped the West in the power standings.

The New York Knicks started the power shifting earlier this week when they acquired Anthony and Billups in addition to Sheldan Williams, Anthony Carter, and Renaldo Balkman in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, one pick a year for the next three drafts, and $3,000,000 cash.

Feeling like they got the short end of the stick after failing to land Anthony, the Nets wanted to make a power statement of their own. In fact, they did just that by picking up Utah point guard Deron Williams for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first round picks.

Not to be outdone, the Caviliers made an eleventh hour move to get Baron Davis and a first round pick, sending Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.

All three trades were inter-conference moves where the teams in the East landed the star power and the teams out west picked up youth and future selections.

These moves may sound fair and balanced, but one must look underneath the deals themselves to truly analyze what’s going on here. The NBA has become a player-driven league, as was made evident by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh this last summer. Players are now forming together in trios to try to create the next great dynasty in the NBA. While it may sound good for league ratings and popularity, the idea has consequences.

The NBA has become a game of Robin Hood where the rich are getting rich and the poor are getting poorer. These moves to absorb and drain stars from small market teams so that the popular contenders can use them in a pair or trio is dangerous to the security of the league’s bottom markets.

James joked earlier in the season about the NBA shrinking so that each team would have more star power and fewer low-followed franchises.

For fun, I named out loud eight teams from each conference to keep and seven from each to implode. Sadly, what I found out was that the NBA might be better off without some of the horrible markets.

I took into consideration how often the franchises win now, their recent relevancy, their past successes, rivalries, and markets. Here’s who I felt should remain:

EAST – Boston, Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta, New York, Detroit, New Jersey (after the move to Brooklyn)

WEST – San Antonio, LA Lakers, Dallas, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Denver, Utah, Phoenix

In this example, the NBA would be ridding itself from Philadelphia, Indiana, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Portland, Memphis, Houston, Golden State, LA Clippers, Sacramento, and Minnesota.

While this idea sounds ridiculous from a dollar and cents standpoint, think to yourself what this kind of radical change may do to the game. Then think to yourself that this is actually what is happening. The players from these fourteen low-end teams continue to be stolen away by trades and free agency. This year is a golden example of that very act.

Think the league has to do something to keep the power somewhat balanced between the markets and the conferences? You’re not alone.

Albert Pujols

St. Louis needs to give "The Machine" whatever kind of contract he asks for. The fate of their organization depends on it (ESPN.com).

When the Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $275M contract in December 2007, skeptics called New York idiots for locking up a player who was 32 years old at the time for a decade deal and a nine digit salary.

Fans in St. Louis who criticized the Yankees should bite their tongues.

They’re debating doing the exact same thing.

Albert Pujols has been a three-time MVP, World Series champion, Rookie of the Year, and batting champion. He’s also been a Cardinal since his career began in 2001.

But when all is said and done, will he still be with the organization after his current deal expires at the end of this season?

The Cardinals and Pujols have tried to work out an extension prior to this season to avoid free agency from becoming a dark cloud that would undoubtedly loom over the 2011 season. The talks have gone nowhere though, and panic is starting to set in that “the machine” may decide to jump ship and test his values in the waters of free agency.

Pujols has publically said that he is looking for a 10-year deal. He has already shot down a short term offer the Cardinals proposed to try and avoid being handcuffed to a ridiculous contract.

If St. Louis can’t find the money or resources to give Pujols what he wants, there is no doubt he will vacate the city that has dubbed him the face of their franchise for the last nine years.

Many different factors play into this debate as well. Last year, the Red Birds also signed outfield slugger Matt Holliday to a 7-year, $120M deal. Would the team even consider spending somewhere in the ballpark of $45-$50M a season for their 3 and 4 hitters?

Plenty of contracts like what Pujols wants have fallen through. Players such as Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs (8-year, $134M), Barry Zito of the Giants (7-year, $126M), and the Yankees CC Sabathia (7-year, $161M) have all been proven to be average at the most. St. Louis has to fear that if they lock up a player who may be nearing the peak of his career for an extended amount of time, they too could find themselves financially burdened and unable to unload salaries.

The Cardinals have to give him whatever he wants. If he says he wants 10-years, $300M, St. Louis’s only response should be “and who do we make the check out to?”

Albert Pujols is the best hitter of his generation. He strikes fear into opposing teams similar to Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds did. He is the only player to hit 30 home runs, knock in 100 RBI, and hit .300 or better in every one of his first ten major league seasons.

He’s to put things into perspective. Pujols averages 40.8 home runs, 123 RBI, and a .331 every single season.

As Deion Sanders would say, pay the man.

Plenty of teams have already been rumored to want Pujols. The obvious suspects would be the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels. Plenty of talks in Chicago have the Cubs signing the St. Louis slugger after 2011. Remember, the move for Carlos Pena to man first base is a one-year deal. In my eyes, he’s basically a rental with no risk until the Cubs can enter the Pujols Derby.

This last summer should have taught us plenty about how free agency can totally turn a sport upside down. The NBA experienced a frantic free agency period like none other before it. We all remember how every sports station, news channel, and newspaper had coverage of their city’s basketball team with all the financial additions they can make.

It was fantasy basketball turned reality.

Pujols means more to the Cardinals that Jeter to the Yankees, Mauer to the Twins, Wright to the Mets, or Longoria to the Rays. Not signing him and paying for his services will be the end of Cardinals baseball for years to come.

It is extremely risky, somewhat impulsive, and very committing, but it has to be done. Pujols must remain in red and white.

Brett Lyons can be reached on Twitter. Follow him at @TheLYONSDen89.

Lewis to Add New Outdoor Stadium

Posted: February 8, 2011 in News
Students need to rally support should football be resurrected after 55 years

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LU Football Pic

Lewis University has not sponsored college football since 1957. Should the school decide to bring back the sport, good things could result for the entire university.

As a student, I enjoy the occasional chuckle from reading the back of the Lewis Football t-shirts.

And as a matter of fact, yes – “We’re Still Undefeated.”

How often do you, the Lewis student, get put in the awkward situation of answering the questions of whether Lewis is getting football again and the only response you can muster up is a shoulder shrug and puzzled look?

There has been significant progress in the department of athletic expansion at the Romeoville campus.

Lewis University is beginning work on the addition of a new outdoor facility that will consist of a nine lane track, a multi-purpose artificial playing surface, and stadium style seating that could hold up to 2,500 patrons. This phase will cost an estimated $4 million and is just one of three phases, totaling $20 million. The second would consist of a 25,000 square foot training facility, even more seating, four practice fields, and additional parking lots that could hold hundreds just to name a few.

 John Noak, Mayor of Romeoville, announced this information at his State of the Village address early in January. “It is our hope that his new facility will one day bring thousands of participants and visitors to our community throughout the year,” commented Noak.

The important thing to take from this announcement is that just because the facility will be there, football is not included in this deal. The field will be there, but the trigger still needs to be pulled to bring forth a team after half a century of no competitive pigskin.

The reason I am writing this piece is to share with the community my beliefs after hours of research of just what bringing football to the student body will do for Lewis as a whole and how it will enrich the Flyer experience.

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How This Expansion All Began

The idea for this renovation started in 2007. The project, titled “Vision 2011,” was an idea to bring a football team to the school and all of the requirements that go along with it.

Before this project began, the school had to make sure the students indeed really did want a football squad. According to “Saturday Night Lights to Arrive at Lewis?” which was written by The Flyer’s Donald Woodard in March of 2007, Lewis sent out surveys to more than 3,000 students about what sport they would add.

You guessed it – football was the majority favorite.

Athletic Director Dan Schumacher in that article mentioned some important notes that would go along with the school’s addition of football. First off, no current athletic sponsored event would be cut or would suffer financial support because of this addition. Secondly, every student athlete would be treated the same. Just because football would be the newest sport doesn’t mean they would receive special treatment.

The then wished for stadium, which now is becoming a reality, was thought up with the intention of it being opened to the public when the school was not using it. This would provide a new social element to the weekend activities at the school for residents and commuters alike.

“The [multi-purpose field] will help improve enrollment because it will attract more students, prospective students,” commented Schumacher in 2007. “The stadium may also better the collegiate experience by providing activities such as going to football games on weekends, or going out and enjoying intramurals.”

The message became clear when the idea was thought up. The student body would need to be fully behind this idea and act as the driving force to make any actions actually happen.

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How Would Football Improve the School Experience?

There are many reasons to consider the addition of football to this university. Brainstorming for this article, I could not think of any severe negatives to change my opinion on the issue.

First and foremost, football would attract students. The interest in Lewis would be so great, enrollment numbers would reach all time highs. The social aspect which most residents complain does not exist on weekends would be created and thus would lower the number of students who go home simply because they’re bored. Lewis would become much more of a campus and not a “suitcase college.”

Another reason would be the local talent Lewis could attract. The school is located in close proximity to some of the state’s best high school football programs. Schools like JCA, Providence, Lincoln-Way East or Central, Bolingbrook, Naperville North, Wheaton Warrenville South, Sandburg, Lockport, and Romeoville would all be prime locations for Lewis to scout. The talent would be great and would establish a local presence, which is one of the goals of Division II colleges. Lewis would become the perfect school for local athletes who wish to play college ball close to home.

On a blunter topic, football would create an additional form of revenue for the school. Between tickets, merchandise, concession, and endorsement sales, Lewis would be bringing in a cash flow it has never seen before. In a theoretical world, this extra income would satisfy Lewis’s annual need and could lessen tuition for students. A lower tuition cost would certainly be a deciding factor for parents and students who need to loan their tuition money.

Lewis University would also gain some national attention from this move. I’m not saying they’ll become the Notre Dame of Division II, but as time goes on the possibility for larger amounts of exposure certainly grow as well.

The talks about the Bears and where they will call home for training camp beyond 2011 still needs to be settled. According to an August 9, 2010 piece by Chicago Tribune writer Brad Briggs, the Bears are debating staying in Bourbonnais, IL at Oliver Nazarene University or moving to Romeoville to practice at Lewis University. Wouldn’t it be awesome to come to school in June and July to see the Bears get ready for the NFL season? The student body would be highly interested to come support their Bears.

The final point worth mentioning would be the trickledown effect the football team addition would cause. Assuming the move would increase enrollment, those additional students would need more dorms to live in. The school would have to explore more dorms, more parking, more places to eat, and a more diverse class schedule. That would benefit all students. More options is always a good problem to have.

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Examples of School Starting Football Programs

Creating college football programs across the country is not the rarest thing to see. There multiple examples though I was able to find that are relatable to Lewis University and could help but into perspective just what football brings to the college landscape.

Mark Papich is the Director of Athletics at the University of Incarnate Word, a small school located in San Antonio, TX. Incarnate Word is a private, faith-based institution which relies on tuition as its main source of funding.

In the August 2007 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics issue, Papich explained how he went about the complicated process of creating a program at his university. Of those troubles he explained were the concerns of who to schedule in competition and how long it would actually take to get the ball rolling until his school would play its first real game.

These are both issues Lewis would have no problem solving.

If Lewis was to start creating a schedule, many local teams would be available for exhibition or out of conference games. The Flyers would most assuredly join the Great Lakes Valley Conference, the conference the school already competes in for a majority of its sporting programs, to play for championship football. That leaves just finding out of conference opponents.

Here is a list of local area schools that would make sense to play and create true rivalry games against: University of St. Francis, St. Xavier University, North Central College, Benedictine University, Aurora University, Olivet Nazarene University, and even Joliet Junior College. Perhaps some of these schools would not be the most attractive opponents, but again the options are there until something better comes along.

The second issue would be the number of years of preparation. Papich explained in his piece that his school recruited students and had them all red-shirt, so that they could legally practice and work together to build fundamental skills. The next year, Incarnate Word went out and recruited junior college and community college players to establish leadership and experience with the red-shirts.

 That following season, the third year, the team played its first ever game.

Having a blueprint like this would make Lewis, should the announcement happen in 2011, eligible to compete in its inaugural year of football in 2013.

Other school success stories were reported in The News-Herald back in August of 2007. Lake Erie College started a football program and played its first year competitively in 2007. The school’s 2008 enrollment was 32% higher than it was before the sport was added.

The school’s president, Michael Victor, commented on the school’s incredible success by saying that, “[His] research took [him] to a survey of 17,000 high school seniors, 70 percent of whom said they would reject a college that was not physically attractive… Football is a big piece of the puzzle, but it’s just a piece.”

A final example occurred just a few years ago as well. Seton Hill University , located in Greenburg, PA, wasn’t even a coed institution until 2002. The school started a football program in 2005 and already climbed the ranks to Division II status. Not to mention the school’s enrollment also increased a staggering 33% just two years after its inception.

Just think if Lewis was to increase by an approximate 30% just because of a sport, enrollment would jump from 6,000 to nearly 8,000 students.

Attendance has been shown to influx in direct relation with athletic success. Boise State University has become the underdog of Division I football over the last decade. Since the school has received more and more national attention over the last ten years, the school’s attendance has risen 17.68% to nearly 20,000 students. The Broncos during this span have been to Bowl games every year except 2001, including two BCS wins in the Fiesta Bowl.

Butler University, which very few people knew about before the March Madness tournament last spring, also benefitted from national athletic attention. The number of applications the school received from 2009 to 2010 rose an incredible 40%, thanks in large part to the Cinderella run in the tournament.

The final example is extremely close to home. St. Xavier University began its football program about a decade ago. They led the entire NAIA football division in attendance this last season. And they’ve only been playing for ten years.

Football and colleges just work.

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Great Lakes Valley Conference Football

As mentioned in the previous section, Lewis would most surely join the GLVC for competitive play. The Great Lakes Valley Conference is adding football as its 18th championship sport beginning in 2012.

The conference expanded in October 2010 to include three new universities just with the intention of football. McKendree University, located in Lebanon, IL, will join the conference in 2013-2014 and become the conference’s 17th full time member. Two partial members, Urbana University and Central State University, will join strictly to compete in football beginning in 2012.

With those three mentioned schools, the GLVC will also absorb six football teams from its current 16 members that happen to play football in other conferences. Those six schools are William Jewell College, Kentucky Wesleyan College, University of Missouri S&T, Quincy University, Saint Joseph’s College, and University of Indianapolis. These six schools are currently spread amongst three different conferences but all have tied to the GLVC.

The new football championship will be the conference’s newest title sport since indoor track and field competition began in 2000.

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The Role of Students in This Process

So where do the students fit into this puzzle?

As mentioned previously, just because the school is building an outdoor stadium that could house football doesn’t mean football will actually be coming into the picture.

Lewis students need to build enough excitement that the schools decides this is the right thing to do not just for now but for future Flyers as well. Every chance you get to talk about football with your classmates or student organizations, do it. Mention it to Brother James when you pass by that you’d like to see football games on Saturday nights.

This is not just a benefit for Lewis students now, but it could very well shape the future of the school in more ways than just athletics.

Do your part and spread the word. It’s up to us to show how bad we want this. Make a change and become part of Lewis University history.

Aaron Rodgers Can Thank Intern For Belt

Posted: February 7, 2011 in News

Story originated from 670 The Score’s website. Click here to view it.

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Aaron Rodgers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DALLAS (CBS) – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has an intern with The Score-670 AM radio to thank for the pro-wrestling belt that was hanging over his shoulder as he was named Super Bowl MVP.

The intern, Mike Dubajic, has been working squarely in Bears territory, but he’s quick to point out: “I am a Green Bay Packers fan in and out. I’ve been a Packers fan since I was 8 years old.”

Dubajic bought the WWE championship wrestling belt, which is missing a gem, on WWE.com, in what he calls the best $375 he ever spent in his life. Last week, while in Dallas for the Super Bowl, he made sure the belt found its way into Rodgers’ hands.

“On Friday I went to the team hotel, and access to get into the hotel was very, very difficult as you’d probably imagine,” he said. “But one of the Packers security guys saw the belt, came over and grabbed it from me; swore to me over and over again that he would give it to Aaron, and he kept his promise.”

And when a WWE belt appeared on Rodgers’ shoulder has he accepted the MVP award, there was no doubt that it was the Dubajic’s. The belt is easily identifiable by its missing red diamond gem.

“The belt Aaron Rodgers had, definitely came from me,” Dubajic said.

So how does Dubajic feel about the fact that he will never see the belt again now?

“I don’t need to see it again,” he told The Score’s Mully and Hanley show. “I love that the champ’s got it and I’m satisfied.”