SWC SUPER PLAYERS

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Football in the old Southwest Conference did little for the fans in 1992 who deigned to remain true to their schools.

Houston once again fell to a 4-7 record, and the Aggies, 12-1, were slaughtered in the Cotton Bowl 28-3 by the Fighting Irish. Baylor, 7-5, was the only bright spot, finishing the season with wins against Texas, 5-6, at home and Arizona in the John Hancock Bowl.

But fear not, sorrowed SWC supporters, for the conference will shine on Sunday -- Super Bowl Sunday -- as nine former players from the "All-Texas League" will take the field for the ultimate football game.

We know the contenders in Super Bowl XXVII -- Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys.

But which SWC players will be making their appearances on the stomping grounds of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.?

Let's start with the Cowboys since they're favored by six and a half and because they're the home-state boys.

Lin Elliot was lucky to be a part of Dallas. He entered camp before the 1992 NFL season as a walk-on free agent with little chance of making the team. After all, he was only a rookie from some north-Texas school on the plains that liked to think of itself as the home of the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech, though, saw in Elliot what others seemed to miss -- his super-strong leg and accurate aim -- all a part of his conditioning that resulted in splitting time between soccer and football at Waco High School.

Pele he wasn't, but did it matter?

Elliot hit only nine of 19 field goals in 1989 -- his first season as the kicker -- but two of those came from beyond 50 yards.

He answered his critics in 1990 and 1991 by sending 31 of 43 through the posts and finishing his career with a string of 85 consecutive extra points, a Tech record.

Elliot made the Cowboys as a walk-on free agent in training camp last year and sent incumbent kicker Brad Daluiso to the unemployment line.

After a rocky start early on, that some say nearly cost him his job, Elliot rebounded to nail 24 of 35 field-goal attempts during the regular season and 3 of 4 in the playoffs.

Kevin Smith, out of Texas A&M, is no stranger to the starting lineup, and the Cowboys knew he was capable of contributing immediately.

Why else would they make him the 17th pick overall in last year's draft?

Smith stepped right in to take the starter's role at cornerback midway through last season. With his 4.4 speed, Smith can stay man-to-man with anyone in the league.

Coach Jimmy Johnson made him prove it, giving Smith the coverage assignments on such big-play greats as the Washington Redskins' Art Monk, San Francisco's John Taylor and Philadelphia's Calvin Williams. Dallas compiled a 3-1 record against these teams with Smith in on coverage.

Of course, he had some help from his Pro Bowl-less buddies, but by examining his stats from 1988-91 at A&M, it is easy to see why he is such a great player -- 98 unassisted tackles, 20 interceptions, 32 passes broken up, five fumbles caused and five recovered.

Andre Reed and James Lofton -- watch your backs!

In 1984, the Cowboys' long snapper and back-up offensive tackle Dale Hellestrae was staring at the back of Aggie lineman Ray Childress.

"I remember my worst block ever," Hellestrae, a Southern Methodist graduate, told the Dallas Times Herald in a 1984 interview. "It was in the first game I started against Texas A&M last year.

"I remember a 16-draw, when I took a wrong angle on Childress. He stunted down, I blocked up and he went right past me and nailed Reggie (Dupard, SMU's tailback) five yards in our backfield. I just wanted to sneak off to the sidelines."

If not for Buffalo, Hellestrae might be matching up with Childress again, who is now with the Oilers. Then again, if not for the Bills, Hellestrae might not be with Dallas.

He was drafted in the fourth round by the Bills in 1985 and stayed with them through the 1988 season, when he played in all 16 games. The Los Angeles Raiders picked him up on Plan B in 1989.

Fate finally worked in Hellestrae's favor when the Cowboys signed him in 1990, one year after their forgettable 1-15 season.

"The only time people notice the snapper is when you screw up," said Hellestrae in 1984. Here's to anonymity.

The other SWC unknowns with the boys from Dallas are starting cornerback Larry Brown, a 12th-round draft choice from Texas Christian in 1990, and back-up safety Robert Williams, a converted running back out of Baylor.

Brown finished his last season at TCU with 75 tackles and two interceptions.

Without sounding too gauche, here's the SWC players representing Marv Levy's "new" America's team, the Buffalo Bills.

When Thurman Thomas went out of the Bills' last regular season game against the Oilers with a hip pointer, TCU product Kenneth Davis stepped in to carry 10 times for 37 yards.

The Tornado from Temple has always had the ability to be star material, but this post-season has been his wake-up call.

In the wild-card playoff victory over Houston, with an injured Thomas on the bench, Davis rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown and pulled in two receptions for 25 yards.

Davis came into his own on the road against Pittsburgh and Miami. He compiled 165 yards and a touchdown on 29 rushes and added four catches for 52 yards.

In 1984, his only year as a college player, Davis led the nation with 7.64 yards per carry and was third in yards per game (146.5) and scoring (17 TDs). He rushed for over 200 yards three times that season and finished fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

Thomas can rest assured his team won't fall behind when he hits the bench for a break.

Reserve defensive linemen James Patton, Texas, and Darrell Davis, TCU, give the Bills quality backups as first- and second-year players, respectively.

Patton had 183 tackles, 56 quarterback pressures and 23 sacks as a Longhorn while Davis finished his 1989 season with 93 tackles and eight sacks.

Ed Thomas, Houston's only contribution to the conference menagerie, was a linebacker at UH and played in only eight games for the Cougars. Thomas was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1989 as a tight end.

So remember. While watching the Super Bowl, take pride in what the SWC has to offer.

 

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PLANNING THE BOWL PARTIES

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

If students want to watch the Super Bowl on campus, the best way to go may be to catch it on the nearest TV with friends.

Juanita Barner, the director of residential life on campus, said there is nothing planned specifically for the residence halls.

"But as it stands, each RA is coordinating individual parties on his or her halls,'' Barner said.

Coogs' Cafe and UBU are closed on Sundays.

Stephanie Rourke, a sophomore RTV major, plans to watch the game wherever she can find a TV that shows it.

"I have tunnel-vision when it comes to the Super Bowl," Rourke said. "I don't have definite plans yet, but I will watch it."

Rourke, who grew up in Galveston, calls herself a lifelong Cowboys fan. That, she says, puts her in the minority.

"Oiler fans are upset because Dallas is in the Super Bowl and they are not," she said. "There is a reason for that. Dallas is a team, while the Oilers are a bunch of guys who are playing for themselves.

"They don't want to earn a championship; they feel the NFL owes it to them for some reason."

There are spiteful Oilers fans who think if they should be at home and miserable, then so should everyone else.

Get over it already! Don't be hateful. Go out and watch the game with friends. It's going to be a great game, whoever wins.

Those students who have the ability to travel off campus are in a much better situation.

A word of caution from local business owners, though -- be early and be 21.

Dave & Busters on Richmond gets the nod as the place to be. There will be an invitation-only showing on a 15-foot screen as well as first-come, first-serve seating to catch the action on their 45-inch screen.

Another place would be the trio of Sam's bars. Located conveniently side by side on Richmond, Sam's Place, Sam's Boat and Sam's Ice House will keep everyone entertained.

For those who would rather stay away from the Westheimer/Richmond area, the Sports Page, located in the Holiday Inn Astrodome, is boasting eight TVs as well as free hot dogs. They will also be giving away season tickets for the Oilers' 1993 season.

Another thought would be Dirty's Restaurant and Sports Bar. With locations on Chimney Rock and on Durham, there should be plenty of room for everybody.

 

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STUDENTS SEEK REFUGE FROM SUPERBOWL HYPE, HYSTERIA

Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

Not every UH student will spend Sunday in front of a television set, drinking beer, eating junk food and cheering for a cowboy or a buffalo.

Some students will fill their day with work, studying or leisure activities.

"I'll spend Sunday serving people coming in for a beer rush," said Dan Morris, a junior MIS major.

Morris, who works at a Kroger's grocery store, said Sunday will be a great sales day.

Morris said although he won't be able to watch the game, and he doesn't really like the Cowboys, he'll be rooting for Dallas. It's good to have a Texas team in the Superbowl, he said.

Shahab Gabaypour, a sophomore finance major, said he plans to sneak a radio with him when he goes to work at the River Oaks Plant House.

Business will be slow on Sunday, leaving plenty of time for listening to the game, he said.

"I forgot it was on," said Jan Redford, a doctoral student in counseling psychology. She giggled when she realized it was Superbowl weekend.

Redford said she will spend Sunday trying to finish her Ph.D. dissertation.

"I don't believe in football," said Stacey Velshaw, senior English major. Velshaw, who plans to visit her boyfriend in Austin on Sunday, said she didn't know which teams were participating in the game.

Harold Starbuck, manager of the Satellite, said he had no plans to watch the game because he is not interested in football.

"If the Oilers were playing I might watch it," he said. "I hope the Bills win because if they can come back like they did against Houston, they deserve it."

Edith Beer, a junior English major, said she didn't need to watch the Superbowl. "I can hear all of the game I need to from my room upstairs. All I have to do to find out who's winning is listen to my father and two brothers screaming at the TV set," she said.

Dan Scholl, a junior English major, said although he will attend a Superbowl party, he will be passed out by the third quarter. He gave a mischievous smile. "I became 21 on Thursday. Sunday will be my first post-21-Superbowl," he said.

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BEWITCHING PREMISE FALLS SHORT; HEXED A WITCHES BREW OF FLAWS

by Gram Gemoets

Daily Cougar Staff

For a Hollywood release with no major stars and no large budget to speak of, <i>Hexed<p> (Columbia Pictures) provides good entertainment.

Although the plot is a blatant parody of the recent deluge of sex thrillers, the writers have managed to give the film an identity of its own.

However, the script reads like an Oprah Winfrey wet dream, and the story would probably fare better as a television mini-series (albeit a comedy).

<i>Hexed<p> is unintentionally (or intentionally) based on Manhattan's infamous Goldstein case from the 1960s. Pamela Goldstein was a model who killed to hide her past, then killed again and again to hide the first murder before finally leaping to her death from her Manhattan high-rise.

<i>Hexed<p> seeks to answer one question: who is Hexina? Hexina is a mysterious super-model in the vein of Jerry Hall or Cindy Crawford.

A media whore promoting everything from yogurt to yoga, Hexina is an ad executive's delight, for she will sponsor anything.

Her most noted campaign is for a men's cologne, Indifference -- "For the Man Who Could Care Less." It seems Hexina likes her men indifferent.

However, Hexina's past is not as glamorous as she would like the public to believe. Instead of a European beauty descended from nobility, Hexina is a girl from Kansas with a very sordid past.

An anonymous blackmailer has come forward who can prove that Hexina's accent isn't the only thing that is heavy. Hexina used to weigh 300 pounds, caused the deaths of 32 people and is a parole violator on the lam from the law.

Although the film is good entertainment, it has some problems. The script is riddled with grade-school theatrics and slapstick humor that insults the audience.

It is for this reason that the film should fare better at the dollar cinema, on video or on cable. (The atmosphere of a Cineplex Odeon or a Landmark Cinema is wasted on this one.)

A bawdy environment, perhaps a place where beer bottles can be heard rolling around, is best for this brand of humor.

 

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NO NEED FOR TEARS; FOR HAPPY PLAYING BLUES

by Jeff Balke

Daily Cougar Staff

A deep interest in jazz led Robben Ford to develop such proficiency as a guitarist that Miles Davis didn't want to let him leave his band, but Ford has instead eagerly returned to his musical roots, based in the simplicity and the emotion of blues, where he is most comfortable.

"My background is in the blues. It's what first turned me on to the guitar," Ford said.

Ford has worked with many well-respected musicians, including Tom Scott, David Sanborn and Joni Mitchell, and he comes from a family full of musicians.

His brothers, Mark and Patrick, supported Ford in blues bands as teenagers. Mark still occasionally graces Ford's LPs on harmonica, and Patrick now owns his own blues label called Blues Rock'it Records.

Ford's latest release, <i>Robben Ford and the Blue Line<p>, is a continuation of the bluesy direction he began on his 1988 Grammy-nominated release, <i>Talk to Your Daughter<p>. The only difference is the switch to Stretch Records from Warner Bros., which he admitted had a great deal to do with the success (or lack of success) of the last album.

"Major labels concentrate on what they think is going to make money and have a tendency to take very few risks," Ford said.

The new album also differs in that it is a band record. Veteran bassist Roscoe Beck (Eric Johnson) and well-respected drummer Tom Brechtlein (Chick Corea) add their support to Ford's talents. "This (band) is what I've always wanted," Ford said.

Ford's abilities to choose talented rhythm players is evident not only in the make-up of his latest band. His previous choices for bandmates went on to form the rhythm section for a well-known, contemporary jazz band, the Yellowjackets.

Though Ford is openly excited about the prospects of success with this latest project, he is realistic. "I don't consider myself a brilliant writer, and I don't have any desire to be a big star, but I want to play good music. It's (also) important to make a living, and we're doing that now," he said.

Ford's credits don't end with blues and jazz, however. He got a taste of hard rock when working on a record for KISS and found it amusing.

"It was so weird for me. I liked it. It was like going to Disneyland," he said. "(Bassist) Gene Simmons was the most talkative and gave the most input. I found him a very interesting and entertaining fellow," Ford added.

With all the diversity, Ford admits that only one artist, Joni Mitchell, could still coax him to return to her side.

"Aside from Miles Davis, she's the most brilliant artist I've ever met. (Working with Mitchell) was the best time I ever had. She's the only person I have worked for (when) everything was right," Ford said.

"I've always wanted to have my own band, make my own music and make my own records, but if there is a great artist out front that I admire, and I feel like I'm being treated properly, I'm happy as a clam. Those artists are few and far between, and Joan (Joni Mitchell) is one of them," he said.

Don't expect him to jump ship, though. Ford is loving every minute of his experiences with Beck and Brechtlein, and he doesn't intend to let it end.

Ford and the Blue Line will appear at Rockefeller's Friday, Jan. 29.

 

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ZONED OUT

by Tiffany Rather

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston's proposed zoning ordinance has struck a sour note with local club owners.

In response, Catal Huyuk, a live-music venue housed in the former location of The Axiom (2524 McKinney) is hosting an anti-zoning rally on Saturday, Jan. 30, with 10 local bands performing.

The bands are protesting the zoning issue because it can affect where they can perform and where their music can be heard, said Chris Frederick, co-coordinator of the rally.

"The (City) Council is trying to do a power grab. With zoning, they can tell us where to eat, live and go. They can tell us about everything except where to go to the restroom," said Wes Hicks, owner of Catal Huyuk.

"The city has grown in the unique fashion it has because it doesn't have zoning," Hicks said.

The rally is really trying to reach college and high school students, Hicks said. "We're trying to teach young people to have an awareness of city politics."

The rally will have a petition drive against zoning and a desk for people to register to vote, Hicks said.

Among the bands performing are Intrepid Soul, Filthy Habits, Bad Samaritans and Dinosaur Salad.

Everyone is invited to the rally, which will last from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is $5.

"It's open to the public, and there will be free food, beer and wine for everyone," Frederick said.

 

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OT LOSS GIVES LADY COOGS CONFIDENCE

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Flashback: Jan. 8, 1992.

It was the Lady Cougars' Southwest Conference season opener.

Their opponents? The Texas Lady Longhorns, who had posted a 6-4 record in pre-season play.

The Cougars made history that winter night. For the first time in UH women's basketball history, the Cougars defeated the Longhorns, 73-65.

History had a funny way of almost repeating itself Wednesday night in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Before a crowd of 2,455 Longhorn loyalists and fiery-red Cougar fans, the Cougars almost staged an upset over the No. 16-ranked Longhorns in overtime.

Senior forward Vicki Hall popped off two quick jumpers that led to the Longhorns' eventual 70-66 victory.

Even though the Cougars walked away four-point losers, the game proved to the Cougars that they can be a competitive force in the SWC.

"I am ecstatic," Houston coach Jessie Kenlaw said. "All season, we have had questions about if we would gel as a team. Last night, I think we cleared up any questions about whether or not we could have a successful conference race."

One aspect of the Cougars' game that contributed to the loss was their inability to make free-throws, only 40 percent, making eight of 20.

The never-say-die Margo Graham led the Cougars with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Andi Jackson had 11 points and five rebounds while Antoinette Issac had nine points and four boards.

"Margo had All-American numbers last night." coach Kenlaw said. "She is capable of doing that every game."

 

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MEETING NO. 2 FOR UH, SMU

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

On the road again ... I just can't wait to get on the road again ... NOT!

The Cougars' journey away from Hofheinz Pavilion continues this weekend in Dallas, and if Tuesday's collapse in Lubbock is any indicator, they will definitely have their hands full against rejuvenated Southern Methodist.

"I think we got a little lax playing at home," coach Pat Foster said. "It had been a while since we had played on the road, so I think that might have been the case Tuesday night."

If that is the case, the Cougars better not take the Mustangs lying down. They enter Saturday's rematch with SMU tied with the Mustangs and Rice for the Southwest Conference lead at 4-1.

"I don't think the Tech game will have any negative effect on us," Foster said. "We should be ready to play come Saturday."

But Foster is concerned that his club is playing the Mustangs for the second time in three games.

"Since they might still be experiencing some of the effect of last week's loss," he said, "we might lose a little bit of the edge, since they will have their fans at home expecting a little bit of payback."

Maybe so, but what the SMU fans will no doubt be expecting is a sharp improvement over last weekend's pathetic, 3-of-30 shooting from the three-point line.

However, senior guard David Diaz points out that perimeter shooting may not be the key this time around.

"(SMU coach) John Shumate may decide to play us a different way on Saturday where we might not have as many open shots as we did last week," he said.

But Diaz does admit Houston is going to have to stay with Mustang players Mike Wilson and Tim Mason, who are both coming off 22-point games against Texas A&M on Wednesday.

"SMU has improved a lot this year, along with the other teams in this conference," Diaz said.

And this is what makes winning on the road all the more difficult.

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