September 18, 2003
The Repeat Button: "I Am A Scientist"
| September 18, 2003
The name rings true, as I find a Guided By Voices tune more often than not stuck in my head and leading me around campus. Making lo-fie indie rock for over 15 years, GBV founded the aesthetic to which they belong. A four track, guitar, bass, and drums were all founding member Robert Pollard needed to record timeless classics. With simplicity as their leading virtue, GBV took the most derivative ingredients of rock and transcended their limitations.
1994’s Bee Thousand garnered critical acclaim, eventually leading to their deal with Matador. Composed of 20 tracks, with the longest clocking in at 3 minutes, the album brought new meaning to the definition of concise songwriting. The fuzz-kissed melodies slide effortlessly by, so much so that the click of the tape recorder on the last track surprises you every time. The gritty production is offset by the expertly-crafted pop of straight sounding guitars and Pollard’s unmistakable, vocal affect.
“I Am A Scientist” opens with a single, picked guitar line that repeats its unchanging hook for the entire duration of the song, After 4 bars of guitar intro, a stripped-to-the-bone rock beat commences, and at 8 bars in, Pollard enters with a line that never gets old: “I am a scientist, I seek to understand me/ all of my impurities and evils yet unknown.” He goes on, “and I know what’s right/ but I’m losing sight/ of the clues for which I search and choose/
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September 19, 2003
On a team full of young returning talent and experienced starters, the defensive line is one position at which there is an exception to the rule. The Red lost three of its four starters up front to graduation and will call upon several untested, yet promising, upperclassmen to fill the void this season. The line’s strength is at the end positions where a pair of 6-3, 260 pound veterans consisting of defensive senior captain Kevin Rooney and classmate Ryan Lempa will preside. Rooney, often lauded for his work off the field, will look to make a name for himself between the lines in 2003. His team-appointed captain’s role will likely allow him to better achieve that goal as the season progresses. “Rooney is unassuming, yet he has leader written all over him and I’m sure he’ll do a great job for us in that position,” said head coach Tim Pendergast, continuing, “he’s also tough, physical, runs well, smart, and disruptive, which makes him an All-Ivy caliber player in his own right.” Rooney played in eight games last season, tallying 18 total tackles for the Red. Six of his takedowns were for a loss, totaling 27 negative yards for opposing offenses. Opposite Rooney at the other end position will be fellow senior Lempa. Lempa, who injured his foot during the summer of his sophomore year, is essentially playing his junior year in 2003. The third year player saw action in nine games last season, tallying 20 tackles and two sacks in that time. However, Pendergast still feels that Lempa hasn’t even begun to fulfill his potential. “I can remember when Lempa was a 230-pound guy trying to get big and strong. Now he’s 270, doing wonderful things in the weight room, training his body and just doing the things that are required to become a great football player,” he said. “I admire him.” Backing up Rooney and Lempa will be a slew of up-and-comers, headlined by one of Cornell’s most promising newcomers in freshman Jonathan Lucas, along with sophomore Earl Richardson. Lucas is a first-team all-state player out of Colorado and has shown shades of excellence throughout the preseason. “Jon reminds me a lot of Rooney,” said Pendergast, “it’s hard to know he’s out there sometimes, but then all of a sudden, there’s No. 92 and you say, ‘oh yeah, that’s Lucas again.'” The tackle position presents a particularly big problem for the Red, as two of its most consistent performers from last year, Jesse Rodriguez ’03 and Bill Goodrich ’03, are gone. Senior Mike Stone — at 6-4, 287 pounds — anchors the inside, and is coming off an injury that could’ve ended his career. During the Colgate game early last year, Stone severely injured his back and was given a very pessimistic prognosis. However, after an offseason of hard work and determination Stone is back, and the Red is counting its blessings. “I can recall sitting down with Mike when we first got the diagnosis, and his eyes welling with tears because he cared about and enjoyed the game so much,” said Pendergast. “I remember Mike telling me, ‘Coach, they’re not going to take the game away from me. I’m going to do everything I can to play.’ And he has, and we’re awfully happy to have him back.” At the other tackle position will be junior Mike McGinty. McGinty will be one of the Red’s most inexperienced defensive starters — he only played in five games last year — but has shown fine progress in the preseason. “I think he still needs to learn the ropes as a player,” said Pendergast. “He needs time, and there’s room for improvement, but he’ll grow with each game and will be a fine player by the year’s end.” Also vying for a spot at defensive tackle are sophomore Matt Pollack, who is coming off an injury similar to Stone’s, freshman Jaime McManamon, who has displayed an ability to gobble up blockers thanks to his 6-3, 275-pound frame, and sophomore Stephen Makovich. The defensive line, which was at least partially responsible for giving up a disappointing 174 yards rushing per game and 22 rushing TDs in 2002, knows the importance of its role and looks forward to building on lessons learned from last season. “It really comes down to us,” said McGinty, “We’ve worked really hard and our whole team is based off whether we get our job done or not. It’s our job to make sure things start out well.” Pendergast has called upon his men to play a more assignment-intensive scheme this season. And these guys know what they have to do. “We’ve got a great system in place and if we execute, things can and will go very well for us,” said Stone. Archived article by Scott Jones
September 19, 2003
Last year, when head coach Tim Pendergast spotted the opposition’s quarterback drop back to pass, he felt one thing — fear. This year, however, things are shaping up differently. “Last year, quite often I’d see a quarterback drop back to throw and I’d kind of hold my breath,” he said. “Now, I don’t do that. I’m breathing. I think we have talent.” But it’s not just talent, it’s depth. This year, the cornerback and free safety positions are at least three-deep, as a result of summer workout sessions held in Ithaca, as well as time spent in the defensive system. Starting for Cornell at the cornerback position will be juniors Kyle Thomas and Sean Nassoiy. Last season, Thomas earned 61 combined tackles and 32 solo efforts, while also recording a fumble recovery and an interception. Nassoiy is a converted wide receiver, and while he has yet to log minutes for the defense in game-time situations, he has impressed the coaching staff. “Nassoiy will come up and lay you down like he weighs 280 pounds,” said Pendergast. “He’s got good cover skills and he’s intelligent.” Pendergast was also impressed by Nassoiy’s desire to improve. “Sean had a point to prove going into spring ball,” he said. “His point was that he should be playing, and he came in and said, ‘What do I need to do?'” According to Pendergast, Nassoiy’s speed and understanding of pass routes are what make him an effective starter. Once he is healthy, junior David Blanks will look to work his way into the starting rotation. Blanks served as a backup last season, making 22 tackles and a pair of sacks. In his limited time, he also broke up a pass and forced a fumble. As a freshman, he also played on special teams. “I know David will work his way back up,” said Pendergast. “How high up? The sky’s the limit for David.” Filling out the defensive back unit is senior free safety Neil Morrissey. Morrissey will replace Jamie Moriarty ’02, as he looks to build on a successful 2002 season. Despite playing with a leg injury, he still managed to record 14 tackles and one interception. The coaching staff is also depending on Morrissey to settle the defensive back unit down when it becomes rattled. “Neil Morrissey is a much more intelligent player, right now, than we had a year ago,” said Pendergast. “He is the crossing guard out there, the traffic cop. He’s got some youth out there and he needs to help those guys at times.” Behind Morrissey are sophomore Kevin Rex and junior Nick Tarsi. Both will battle for playing time, both as defensive backs and as members of the special teams unit. The depth at the cornerback position extends further. Sophomores Jordan Calaguire and Matt Altomare, and freshman Kenny Martin will all look for time at the cornerback position. While all three have been noted to combine cover skills with physical play, it is Martin that stands out. “[Martin] is the up-and-coming corner, maybe in the league,” said Pendergast. “He’s got what we want. He’s got size, speed, intelligence … he’s just got to put it into play.” While Pendergast has noted what he expects of his defensive backs, they have also noted what they expect of the season. “A lot of the guys that are starting now have been starting for at least two, sometimes three years, so a lot of guys have a better understanding of the defense and what’s going on,” said Blanks. “I think we’re going to be a lot better defense this year just because of that. I think that the team this year has shown a lot of improvement from the past two years, and that we can make a legitimate run at the Ivy championship.”Archived article by Matt Janiga