Face facts, football fanatics -- true gridiron glory isn't found in some climate-controlled arena, but rather amidst the grass and mud of an outdoor field. So instead of watching the Arizona Rattlers fumble away yet another championship this spring, check out the Copperstate Football League, which kicks off its 10-week season this weekend. Eight teams -- from the Phoenix Outlaws to the Yuma Blitz -- face off in weekly match-ups at various high schools and athletic facilities across the state. While veterans like former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Willie Culpepper fill the rosters, a majority of CSFL players are up-and-comers, like former Glendale Community College defensive end Derrick Ross, who hopes to lead the reigning champion Glendale Bulldogs toward a return visit to the Copper Bowl in April when they host the East Valley Cougars at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 22, at Central High School, 4525 North Central. Admission is $4 to every game, and times and locations vary. See www.copperstatefootball.com for a complete schedule. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Globetrotters drop in at AWA
Meadowlark, Curly and Geese aren't heading up the roster for the Harlem Globetrotters these days, but the more things change for the self-styled "ambassadors of goodwill," the more they stay the same. Timeless routines -- and the ability to do things with a basketball that would put half the players on NBA rosters to shame -- make them a must-see when the 'Trotters face off in a doubleheader against the New York Nationals on Saturday, January 22, at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. Game times are 2 and 7:30 p.m. Call 480-784-4444 or see www.ticketmaster.com. -- Craig Wallach
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Playing the Field
ASU hosts stick-wielding turf warriors
As if ASU and the University of Arizona needed another venue to settle their long-standing beef, the Sun Devils field hockey club team hosts its first ASU Cactus Classic Tournament on Saturday, January 22, and Sunday, January 23. But the Devils and Wildcats won't have just each other to contend with: At least 11 other teams from California, Utah, Texas and Colorado will compete in the mixed co-ed division and make the trip to Tempe -- at the ASU marching band practice fields, to be exact, on the east side of Sixth Street and Rural Road. And the tourney organizers boast they've secured the state's only outdoors plot of Astroturf for tournament play, thanks to ASU and Tempe's Athletes Performance Institute, which loaned the 80-by-60-yard faux field for the Classic. Four teams will also compete in the 14-and-under division. Competition begins at 8 a.m. each day. See www.asu.edu/clubs/fieldhockey for details. -- Joe Watson