Keeping up with the “Mother of the Huddle”

first_imgIf you’ve ever been to the Huddle during the weekday lunch rush, you’ve probably seen Helen Hiatt restocking napkins with a smile on her face. The 89-year-old Hiatt is considered the “mother of the Huddle” and is arguably the best-loved employee at the LaFortune Student Center’s grocery store. Hiatt has watched over the Huddle since 1967, working her way from the old cigarette counter to the cash register over the past 44 years, during which she became acquainted with many varsity football players, including former quarterbacks Joe Theismann and Joe Montana, as they frequented the Huddle after practice. “They’d come in and talk to me about their problems and different things, and they started calling me their second mother,” Hiatt said. “It continued on and I got to be ‘The Mother of the Huddle’ after so many years.” ND Minute recently caught up with Hiatt, who shared her experience working at the Huddle and explained why she still loves her job.last_img read more

Scudamore rejects England theory

first_img England boss Roy Hodgson was furious when he discovered Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool and the first north London derby of the season had been scheduled for the weekend before the key World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, which take place at the beginning of September. Perceived Premier League intransigence on the matter was thrown in with the diminishing number of English players in the top flight as evidence Scudamore and his top clubs do not care about the national side. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has told the Football Association to look at itself before blaming him for England’s problems. Only around 30% of Premier League players are English, a far lower home-developed percentage than other major European footballing nations, meaning Three Lions boss Hodgson has a thankless task trying to guide his team to the biggest tournaments. But Scudamore is sick of being told the elite 20 clubs are responsible for England’s demise. “It is not the Premier League who ripped up the playing fields or didn’t put money into schools,” he said. “It is not my fault fewer young kids are kicking a ball around or that the country is not safe enough for seven, eight, nine year olds to go down to the park on their own as I did and play football until after dark. “We are putting on a competition the best players in the world want to play in. The population of England is only 60million and there are 212 countries playing this game. “We can put out a good team, just like Andy Murray can win Wimbledon and Justin Rose can win the US Open. “Good things do happen but they are not an automatic right. The idea an England team is going to be put together that will somehow beat the world is logically and mathematically implausible.” It is an argument Scudamore rejects, claiming the FA finds it too easy to blame others for England’s failings rather than looking at itself. “It seems to me that if England don’t win something it is someone else’s fault,” said Scudamore. “I have never, in my 15 years with the Premier League, said the competition’s success, or lack of, is someone else’s fault. “We have not won the World Cup since 1966. The Premier League didn’t start until 1992. What happened between 1966 and 1992? Whose fault was that? “Let’s run the reverse argument. “Where does that leave the people at the FA in terms of their accountability? “It frustrates me enormously because it is so palpably not true. It cannot be our fault on any level.” Whilst Scudamore has presided over the securing of astonishing TV revenue of £5.5billion for the three seasons that begin with the new campaign starting next month, the number of home-grown talents within England’s top flight has continued to dwindle at an alarming rate. Press Associationlast_img read more

PREMIER LEAGUE: Van Dijk, Salah Fire Liverpool 16 Points Clear

first_img*Reds beat Man Utd as Burnley stun Leicester in comeback winLiverpool’s procession towards their first title in 30 years continued with a hard-fought win over Manchester United at Anfield. The win extended their lead at the top of the table to 16 points with a game in hand. Jurgen Klopp’s side were the superior side but faced late United pressure as they defended Virgil van Dijk’s 14th-minute header before wrapping up the win in style in injury time – goalkeeper Alisson’s long clearance setting Mohamed Salah clear to spark wild celebrations among supporters now convinced that long wait is coming to an end.Liverpool could have emphasised their superiority as Roberto Firmino had a goal contentiously ruled out by VAR for Van Dijk’s foul on David de Gea, while the United keeper touched Jordan Henderson’s shot on to the post and Salah missed an open goal from six yards.Elsewhere, Ashley Westwood’s stunning strike saw Burnley come from behind to beat Leicester City and earn their first points in five games.The midfielder’s emphatic finish in the 79th minute and goalkeeper Nick Pope’s penalty save from Jamie Vardy marked a brilliant recovery by the home side who went behind to Harvey Barnes’ 33rd-minute goal.The Burnley-born player gave the Foxes the lead with a superb individual effort after Jack Cork had been dispossessed just insid e his own half.Burnley improved after the break and equalised when Chris Wood poked in his ninth league goal of the season after Ben Mee nodded into his path from a corner.However, Mee then fouled Barnes in the box to give away a penalty, which was verified by VAR. Vardy, without a goal in his previous three games, saw his firm strike palmed away by Pope.With their tails up, Burnley surged forward and were rewarded 11 minutes from time when Westwood thundered home a low drive.The win lifts Burnley to 14th – five points above the relegation zone. Leicester have now lost four times in their last six league games.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

McCue: Badgers’ defensive unit glue keeping 2012 intact

first_imgIn the strangest of seasons, one where the Badgers still have a clear shot at the Rose Bowl with three losses to their name, an unfamiliar unit has acted as the reparative glue for this team: the defense.It is a complete reversal of scripts from the 2011 season, when one of the best offenses in Wisconsin history amassed 44.1 points per game behind the ever-accurate arm and quick legs of one Russell Wilson. Four times last year the offense managed more than 50 points in 60 minutes of play, contests that were often over by halftime.With running back Montee Ball exploding out of the backfield and helping Wilson orchestrate the play-action pass with greater harmony than the New York Philharmonic, the offense could best be christened unstoppable. Though solid for much of the year, UW’s defense often turned into its greatest liability in 2011. Case in point: the Big Ten Championship game, when a shaky Badger secondary allowed Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins to spread the ball around the field for 281 yards and three touchdowns. The defensive unit often did just what it needed to – and nothing more – to protect the lead built by an offense loaded with firepower.A year later, there are gaping holes in Wisconsin’s offense – an issue that starts with replacing the one-and-done legend at quarterback. Wisconsin’s offense is averaging all of 25.9 points per game and ranks 16th nationally in total defense, surrendering 311.3 yards per game. The numbers don’t separate themselves from those of a year ago, when the Badgers held the opposition to 19 points and 316.4 yards per game.Yet the numbers simply don’t do it justice.Moreso than in the rout-filled 2010 and 2011 seasons, the ones that left fans expecting a third consecutive trip to Pasadena Jan. 1, 2013, the defense is conditioned to protecting a sensitive lead late in any game. In six of Wisconsin’s nine games this season, the defense has been assigned the task of coming up with critical stops in the fourth quarter to secure victory. The Badgers took down each of their first three opponents by less than a single touchdown margin, with a key three-and-out keeping the opposing offense short of a game-winning drive.In 2011, only four times did the Badgers play in a game that ended with a single score separating them from their opponents – and two of those ended in defeat to Michigan State and Ohio State.The defensive line, powered by golden-haired mammoth defensive tackle Beau Allen and the man lining up next to him, Ethan Hemer, is the oft-unrecognized centerpiece of UW’s defense. They clog up the running holes along the line and, with the help of the defensive ends, force enough pressure on the quarterback to open up plays for their teammates downfield.But without question the most marked improvement has come in the secondary. The last line of defense has not been without its costly errors (see Hillary, Darius, face-guarding in the red zone). And cornerback Marcus Cromartie continues to spend much of his time on the field looking befuddled and appearing as if he’s playing two-hand touch football.However, free safety Dezmen Southward, along with cornerback Devin Smith, have anchored a unit that has made up for its lack of interceptions with critical pass breakups. For years the secondary has been a steady source of criticism for Wisconsin fans, giving opposing receivers frustrating cushions on obvious passing downs.But Southward’s athleticism and Smith’s experience have allowed the Badgers to come up with the crucial third-and-long stops that were one of the few missing pieces of the team Wilson led.And backing them up is the energetic duo of linebackers the rest of the defense feeds off- Mike Taylor and Chris Borland. At certain times this season, Borland has looked more rabid animal than football player. His uncanny ability to fly to the ball has disrupted countless drives this year and as the middle linebacker, he is often responsible for making pre-snap adjustments and guiding the entire defense.Taylor, aside from the “what’s a wheel route”? moments that handed opposing offenses a few touchdowns earlier this year, has continued to impress with a team-high 92 tackles and 11 tackles for a loss.Overshadowed by questions surrounding the starting quarterback and the sluggish start to Ball’s Heisman campaign early in the year, it’s downright frightening to consider where this team would be without its rock solid defense. The Badgers’ offensive futility has more than left its mark this year (read: seven points in four quarters against Oregon State). If that lack of production were paired up with a volatile defense, UW would be lucky to make any bowl game, the Rose Bowl a hallucinogenic dream.Any informed Badgers fan more than recognizes that late game slides allowed Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez and Michigan State’s Andrew Maxwell to lead game-winning drives in the final quarter. The man in charge recognizes that, too.“These guys are going to get better. I think our defense is good this year, but hopefully [they] are the stepping stones for something better next year,” head coach Bret Bielema said Monday. “Closing out games would probably be the No. 1 thing.”So as we narrow our eyes with skepticism on whoever ends up starting at quarterback and recoil in disappointment when Ball hits a brick wall at the line of scrimmage, consider how much worse this could be. Because this year, defense may be the one and only way to Wisconsin winning a (Big Ten) championship.Ian is a senior majoring in journalism. Send him questions or comments on anything Badger football by email at imccue@badgerherald.com or on Twitter @imccue.last_img read more