01-24-2020  3:59 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PCC Cascade Expands its Food Pantry for Students

The majority of PCC students are food insecure, with up to 15% homeless

Controversial Washington Lawmaker Spreads Views Across West

Republican Rep. Matt Shea was suspended from the Republican caucus in the wake of a December report that found he was involved in anti-government activities and several lawmakers have called on him to resign, something he says he will not do

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

Census takers begin counting remainder of 220 remote Alaska villages as part of national headcount

St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

The awards are given to people whose service embodies the values of Dr. King, who used nonviolence, civil disobedience, and Christian teaching to advance the cause of civil rights in America

NEWS BRIEFS

States Sue Trump Administration Over New 3D-Printed Gun Rule

The administration’s latest rule allows 3D-printed gun files to be released on the internet ...

Shari's Restaurants Celebrate National Pie Day

Receive a free slice of pie with any entrée purchase at participating Shari's locations from 4 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan....

Nashville Airport Store Seeks Works by African American Authors

The store, a namesake project of Mrs. Rosetta Miller-Perry and The Tennessee Tribune, will open March 2020 ...

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

Energy firm withdraws permit application for Oregon pipeline

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Canadian energy company on has withdrawn its application for a state permit for a controversial natural gas pipeline and export terminal in Oregon, and a project spokesman said Friday it is instead awaiting possible federal approval. The proposed natural gas terminal and...

Police in ‘substantial compliance’ with required reforms

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Justice Department lawyers said Friday they’ve found the Portland Police Bureau in substantial compliance with 190 reforms required as part of a city settlement adopted six years ago. The settlement came after a federal investigation determined officers used...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

California defies threat of fund loss over abortion coverage

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s Democratic leaders were defiant Friday after the Trump administration threatened to cut federal health care funding to the nation’s most populous state over its requirement that insurance plans cover abortions.The administration's...

Student: Response to professor who called police not enough

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A black student in Indiana is disappointed Ball State University is not acknowledging that a marketing professor discriminated against him when he called the police on him for refusing to change seats in class. Ball State is implementing a corrective plan after professor...

Store owner says she'll stop selling Nazi, racist items

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A store owner in New Orleans' French Quarter has told a newspaper she will stop selling items such as a Nazi flag and Jim Crow-era items with racist caricatures of black people. The leader of a group that combats antisemitism and racism had called for their...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Punk’d' to be revived with Chance the Rapper doing pranks

NEW YORK (AP) — Celebrities, beware: “Punk’d” is being revived. And this time Chance the Rapper is the one doing the punk'ing.MTV Studios and Quibi said Friday they are teaming up to revive the show with Grammy-winner Chance the Rapper pranking unsuspecting A-listers. No...

Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Rosalía rule at pre-Grammy Spotify gig

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lizzo screamed at the top of her lungs, Lil Nas X brought out Billy Ray Cyrus for “Old Town Road” and Billie Eilish sang softly with her brother-turned-producer assisting on keys.The three artists — the acts with the most nods at Sunday’s Grammy...

Review: Haden Triplets sustain tradition of sibling harmony

The Haden Triplets, "The Family Songbook” (Trimeter Records)On their new album, “The Family Songbook,” The Haden Triplets sustain the longstanding musical tradition of siblings singing in harmony while also expanding their family's musical footprint, which goes back...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Actress Rosie Perez says she was told of Weinstein rape

NEW YORK (AP) — "Do the Right Thing" actress Rosie Perez testified Friday that fellow screen star Annabella...

At least 18 dead, hundreds hurt as quake hits eastern Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked a sparsely-populated part of eastern Turkey on...

NFL’s Saints fight to shield emails in Catholic abuse crisis

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints are going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of...

Bolivia religious debate: The Bible vs Andean earth deity

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Hoisting a large leather Bible above her head, Bolivia’s new interim...

Virus puts damper on Lunar New Year, China's biggest holiday

BEIJING (AP) — Temples have locked their doors. The Forbidden City, Shanghai Disneyland and other major...

Top EU officials sign Brexit deal in closed door ceremony

BRUSSELS (AP) — The leaders of two of the European Union’s main institutions on Friday signed the...

McMenamins
The Black Athlete by Omar Tyree

It looks like African-American quarterbacks have come a long way in American football, not just to play and to start, but to win and win big. I remember watching my hometown Philadelphia Eagles in the mid to late 1980s when athletic quarterback, Randall Cunningham, would only see action off the bench during 3rd and 17 plays to run around and make miracles happen. Now we have four major universities vying for the first NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision Playoff Championship title, while starting three African-American quarterbacks and one Samoan.

Top-ranked Alabama starts a fifth year senior in Blake Sims out of Gainesville, Ga., second-ranked Oregon starts the current Heisman Trophy winner and Hawaiian-born and raised Samoan, Marcus Mariota, third-ranked Florida State starts last year’s Heisman Trophy winner and champion, “Famous” Jameis Winston out of Bessemer, Ala., and the fourth-ranked Ohio State starts Cardale Jones, a third-string redshirt sophomore from Cleveland, who stepped in for only one game after first-string starter J.T Barrette and second-string starter Braxton Miller both went down to season-ending injuries. And get this, all three Ohio State quarterbacks are African-American.

Unbelievable! I’m old enough to remember when African-American quarterbacks were still not considered smart enough to lead their teams to championships. I even rooted against Doug Williams out of Grambling University when lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 9-0 NFC Championship loss to the Los Angeles Rams in 1980. What can I say? I was ten-years old and a huge Wendell Tyler, Vince Ferragamo, Billy Waddy, Jim and Jack Youngblood, Nolan Cromwell and the Los Angeles Rams fan that year. But when Doug Williams later led Washington to a 42-10 NFL Super Bowl XXII win over John Elway’s Denver Broncos in 1988 and became the first African-American quarterback to win in all, I rooted for him then, even though Washington was enemy territory for us Philadelphians.

As a freshman in college that year, I finally understood how big of a deal it was for an African-American quarterback to win it all. And I actually liked John Elway. He was one of my favorite quarterbacks of the 1980s and 90s. However, Doug Williams’ MVP performance and big win was about more than just playing football. His victory represented national pride in our African-American race and culture, along with respect for our continued struggle to fight against stereotypes and discrimination as professionals competing at the highest levels of American society.

So I rooted for Warren Moon in all of his record-breaking years with the Houston Oilers and the Minnesota Vikings with no championships. I rooted again for Randall Cunningham and his high-scoring, 16-1, Minnesota Vikings team in their disappointing 30-27 overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the 1998 NFC Championship. I rooted for Kordell “Slash” Stewart in his years of doing everything in Pittsburgh. And I rooted for Steve “Air” McNair when his upstart Tennessee Titans lost Super Bowl XXXIV in a nail-biting 23-16 game against the St. Louis Rams. Until, finally, Russell Wilson was able to win it all for the Seattle Seahawks in last year’s 43-8 demolition of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

On the college level, African-American quarterbacks have had a lot more success, particularly over the past twenty years. Who could ever forget Tommie Frazier and his back to back championships for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 1995 and 1996? What Peyton Manning was unable to do—bring home a University of Tennessee championship title, while quarterbacking the Volunteers from 1995-1998—was achieved by Tee Martin with MVP honors after an undefeated 13-0 season and a 1999 Fiesta Bowl win over Florida State. Vince Young did the same for the Texas Longhorns in a classic 2006 Rose Bowl Championship win over the heavily favorite USC Trojans.

Then we had Cam Newton, who led the Auburn Tigers to an undefeated season through the torturous SEC for a National Championship title over the high-scoring Oregon Ducks in 2011. Newton won the Heisman Trophy, became the #1 pick in the NFL draft, and changed the way the quarterback position is now played at the professional level.

Last year we had Jameis Winston, a quarterback just as big and as strong as Newton, who led the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles back to a BCS National Championship title by finally dethroning the mighty SEC school’s domination with another great game and a win over Auburn, mostly using his arm.  

And please don’t forget Charlie Ward, the all-athletic, 1993 Heisman Trophy winner and 1994 Orange Bowl Champion from Florida State, who eventually went on to play professional basketball for the New York Knicks. Or the Florida Gators Chris Leak, who won the BCS National Championship Game in 2007 over Ohio State in the middle of early Tim Tebow excitement—who only came in for short yardage running plays or jump-passes at the goal line.

So here we have it in 2015; Blake Sims, Jameis Winston, Cordale Jones and Marcus Mariota in the first 4-team, NCAA Playoff Championship series of FSU Division 1 football. One of these men of color will win it all. And if happens to be Marcus Mariota, becoming the first light brown, Samoan quarterback to win the national title, then so be.

Diversity is exciting, pulling millions of inspired people to the games for much more than just sports, but for cultural identification, pride and the continuous struggle to compete and win regardless of your race, creed, gender, economics or historical circumstances. That’s what makes sports so great an international equalizer. We all get a chance to line up and go for it. So let the games begin, and may the best brown man win… until next year, when they all start over again with 0-0 records.

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction, and a professional journalist, who has published 27 books, including co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. View more of his career and work @ www.OmarTyree.com

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