On the CSC's turf, Pirate wrestling, rudeness, Oscar week, and outdoor hockey games...

Time for some fun on that beautiful green turf
Last week in this very spot, we requested that even those who are sick to death of winter somehow find a way to appreciate all the snow that’s been falling of late, and actually hope that more of it keeps falling over the next several weeks, and that the spring melt is marked by lots of rain, too. It’s the whole drought thing, you know, and if things don’t moisten up significantly around here, it could get pretty nasty. But, that said, it’s high time we saw some green around these parts, in the form of the artificial turf in Crookston Sports Center’s Gold Arena. The hockey and skating seasons are wrapping up, so it’s time to roll out that glorious green carpet and gear up for all things warm and sunny.

Let’s send a handful of Pirate wrestlers to state
  For one this week's Five Things we are hoping Pirate Wrestling sends at least a handful to State. Friday and Saturday is the Section 8AA Wrestling Individual Tournament in Fergus Falls. The Pirates, who were ousted from the team tournament last Saturday in a quarterfinal loss to Thief River Falls, have a chance to send a several wrestlers to the Xcel Energy Center for the State Tournament Feb. 28 though March 2. Seniors Wyatt Hanson and Josh Edlund along with sophomore Cody Weiland and juniors Nate Merten, Blake Bergeron and A.J. Biermaier all have great chances to make it to the big dance. Good luck, Pirates.

Is it time to call Miss Manners?
Rudeness is everywhere these days. It seems as though people, in general, have forgotten there manners or never had them in the first place. The vast majority of us were not born in a barn. Why is it so hard to treat others with a little respect? Our society has lost its focus on serving others and become "me" centered. People do what is best for themselves in most situations, not bothering to care what others think of their actions. From cutting in line at the local big box store to loudly chit-chatting with others while a speaker is presenting, the world is becoming a less friendly place to be. Please take a moment to get off your cell phone at the checkout, say please and thank you and even go out of your way to chew with your mouth closed. No one has ever been accused of being too polite. Try it. You might just like the way it makes you feel and hopefully others will take notice as well.

Oscar week is here, now let’s award most-deserving films
Oscar week is finally here! The Academy Awards are 85 this year, and there has been lots of buzz about which actors will win and what movies will get the biggest honor of best picture. Nine are on the table this year, and they include some really great on-screen stories, from the true story about rescuing hostages in a foreign country (Argo) to hearing about miserable life lived in French Revolutionary era France through song (Les Miserables). These movies, as well as Lincoln, deserve to be nominated because they are powerful and moving, brilliantly acted and offer the viewers something special. Hopefully the Academy recognizes this as they vote, and not decide to vote on something obscure that critics love but few have seen (last year’s winner, The Artist, comes to mind). The audience needs to be heard. – Amanda Wagner, Times intern

Just play inside
Enough with all this outdoor hockey, OK? Sure, if it’s Hockey Day in Minnesota and you want to play some games in front of a large yet intimately gathered crowd, by all means do it. But the NHL’s Winter Classic and all of these huge college hockey games being played in professional football and baseball stadiums? The nostalgia has worn off, OK? The Gopher men’s hockey team played Wisconsin on Sunday at Chicago’s Soldier Field, and although there was a huge crowd on hand, they were watching from what seemed like a mile away? What’s the attraction? It’s costly to arrange, and ask the talented Gophers, who lost to the muddling Badgers 3-2, if the ice was any good. Let the kids have their fun on the ice outside, but when it’s serious business, play the games where they’re supposed to be played.