Odds and ends: Singing Harvard fullback plans to have opera career

By The Associated Press

BOSTON – Harvard senior fullback Noah Van Niel plans to trade the gridiron for the opera stage after the Crimson’s season finale this year.

The tenor has apprenticed in Florence, Italy, and New York and says he’s ready to see how far his talent can carry him. This fall, he’ll audition for postgraduate programs in vocal performance.

The bruising sport and the singing art both involve mastering certain skills and both inspire nervousness and self-doubt about performing for large crowds, Van Niel said.

And while the Harvard football playbook may be complex, opera playbooks come in English, Italian, German and French. “You’ve got to know them like the back of your hand,” said Van Niel, who has taken two years of college Italian.On the football field, Van Niel scored the first two touchdowns of his college career last weekend.

On the chance of his football career ending, he notes playing college football is “four more years than most people get.”

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Arkansas House rejects rule to ban snuff tobacco

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas lawmakers won’t have to give up their portable spittoons or cans of snuff after House members rejected a rule banning chewing tobacco from their chambers Thursday.

With a 51-27 vote, the House of Representatives fell short of the 67 votes needed to change the rules to ban the use of all tobacco products. House rules and state law already prohibit smoking cigars, cigarettes or pipes in the chamber.

Supporters of the ban noted that chamber rules, which prohibit food and drink in the chamber, allow for a day’s worth of tobacco juice. Pamphlets on the risks of chewing tobacco were left on members’ desks before the vote.

“We need to set an example in here for all the kids who sit in the gallery and watch us work,” said Democrat Rep. Randy Stewart.

From Associated Press reports