01-20-2021  5:13 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

John Hairston Becomes First Black CEO of Bonneville Power Administration

29-year employee appointed to new role by U.S. Secretary of Energy  

Natural Gas Terminal Plans In Oregon Hit Snag Over Permit

The ruling was hailed as a major victory by opponents of Jordan Cove, which would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states.

BIPOC Caucus Unveils Agenda for 2021

12 members of the state House and Senate name 10 areas of focus

Online Events Honouring Dr Martin Luther King are Underway

 From a jazz concert and a reading challenge to an online film festival we are all invited to celebrate Dr Martin Luther King and complete his work

NEWS BRIEFS

St. Andrew Parish Announces 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Awards

The Community Service Award went to cameron whitten of the Black Resilience Fund ...

Applicants Sought for Free Girls’ Summer Wilderness Science Education Expeditions

The programs provide 16- and 17-year-old young women opportunities to travel with professional scientists, artists and wilderness...

Portland Center Stage Welcomes New Literary Manager Kamilah Bush Following Nationwide Search

As literary manager, Bush is charged with deepening the literary and artistic core of Portland Center Stage ...

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

VA Portland Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccinations for Portland, Vancouver-area Veterans

Portland and Vancouver-area veterans 75 years of age and older to receive a phone call to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. ...

Protesters gather, damage Democratic headquarters in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A group of protesters carrying anti-President Joe Biden and anti-police signs were marching Wednesday in Portland, Oregon, streets and damaged the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, police said. The group smashed windows and spray-painted anarchist symbols...

Americans who live, work near capitols see peace, new hope

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Normally quiet streets around U.S. state capitol buildings have looked more like battlegrounds recently, putting those who live and work there on edge.More than most people, these Americans will have front-row seats on whether the change of leadership Wednesday in the...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

No. 17 Iowa, Missouri renew rare rivalry in Music City Bowl

Missouri (5-5, SEC) vs. No. 17 Iowa (6-2, Big Ten), Dec. 30, 4 p.m. ESTLOCATION: Nashville, TennesseeTOP PLAYERSMissouri: RB Larry Rountree III has rushed for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns on 209 carries and ranks fourth in the SEC. He’s the 23rd SEC player to surpass 3,500 career yards...

OPINION

Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman Issues Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

We see painful parallels between the America in which King lived and the present day ...

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden repudiates white supremacy, calls for racial justice

Rare for an inaugural address, President Joe Biden issued a strong repudiation of white supremacy and domestic terrorism seen on the rise under Donald Trump.In his speech Wednesday, Biden denounced the “racism, nativism, fear, demonization,” that propelled the assault on Capitol Hill...

The Latest: Psaki: Biden focused on virus, not impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Joe Biden's presidential inauguration (all times local):7:40 p.m.White House press secretary Jen Psaki says President Joe Biden will allow Congress to decide the way forward on the impeachment trial of his predecessor, Donald Trump.Psaki said Wednesday in the...

Inauguration fashion: Purple, pearls, American designers

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple.Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a...

ENTERTAINMENT

Comforting rituals show in media's depiction of inauguration

NEW YORK (AP) — After Air Force One took Donald Trump out of Washington, an unusual Inauguration Day quickly felt more traditional — even comforting — for people watching at home.Sure, security ringed the Capitol and the audience was largely empty of average Americans....

Review: A showdown at the border in ‘No Man’s Land’

Border tensions are boiled down to two families in “ No Man’s Land,” an uneven independent thriller with some redeeming qualities. Its heart, and homages to classic Westerns, are in the right place even if the work as a whole is neither as impactful nor epic as the filmmakers...

Inauguration fashion: Purple, pearls, American designers

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple.Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Boats emerge from Sahara sand to transport migrants to Spain

DAKHLA, Western Sahara (AP) — Beneath a star-packed sky in the Sahara, smugglers and handymen unearth a...

VIRUS TODAY: US states report COVID-19 vaccine shortage

Here's what's happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY— A...

Inauguration sows doubt among QAnon conspiracy theorists

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — For years, legions of QAnon conspiracy theory adherents encouraged one another to...

Lawyer says ex-royal staff will shed light on Meghan letter

LONDON (AP) — A lawyer for the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper said Wednesday that the Duchess of...

Music stars slam UK's 'shameful' failure on EU touring rules

LONDON (AP) — Dozens of U.K. music stars including Elton John, Ed Sheeran and conductor Simon Rattle say...

UN: 43 Europe-bound migrants drown in shipwreck off Libya

CAIRO (AP) — A boat carrying migrants bound for Europe capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
Kentucky vs Notre Dame NCAA
The Black Athlete by Omar Tyree

Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns (12) shoots against Notre Dame's Zach Auguste (30) and Pat Connaughton (24) during the first half of a college basketball game in the NCAA men's tournament regional finals, Saturday, March 28, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Two weeks ago I wrote about the history of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team going from an all white American college squad under Coach Adolf Rupp from the 1930s to the 1970s, to a nearly all Black team under Coach John Calipari in 2015. Calipari’s team is presently chasing an undefeated 40-0 record and an eighth national championship. However, on late Saturday night, I rooted hard for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to take Kentucky down.

Why? For inspiration sake. Kentucky has been viewed as the big Black Goliath of the 2014-2015 season, with four players at 7 foot tall and several more who are less than six inches away. The oversized basketball team reminds me of Alabama football, where the Crimson Tide recruits the biggest, strongest and meanest young guys from across the country to “roll tide” over the competition.

Well, what fun is that for a real sports fan? I want to see athletic competition that inspires me to scream, “Yesss!” for the overachievers to win. That’s the “American way,” where we all feel like we have a legitimate opportunity to be victorious. Who wants the deck stacked against them with no chance before you even play the game?

Not even Vegas likes those odds. The bookies challenge us to hit the lottery by choosing the “Davids” of the world and not the giant favorites. I’ve always rooted against Goliaths in sports, including a historical distaste for the Dallas Cowboys, the Boston Celtics, the New York Yankees, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the Miami Hurricanes, to name a few. I even hated the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls teams.

Yes I did. I didn’t want Mr. Jordan to go 6-0 in his NBA Championships with 6 MVP’s. I wanted Clyde Drexler’s Portland Trailblazers to win one. I wanted Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp’s Seattle Supersonics to win. I even rooted for Patrick Ewing’s New York Knicks to find a way to take Jordan’s Bulls down after rooting against Ewing and his dominant Georgetown Hoyas teams in college.

Memorable victories in sports have always been about the little engine that could. I loved it when Sugar Ray Leonard retired Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler in boxing or when the USA hockey team took down the mighty Russians in the Winter Olympic Games. I even love the tiny island of Jamaica getting the best of us Americans in track and field. The classic upset is what makes the games interesting.

“That’s why they play the game,” says Chris Berman, host of “Sunday NFL Countdown”. Anything can happen. Great sports events are supposed to be real “reality TV,” and as unscripted as they come. So when a juggernaut like the Kentucky Wildcats pop up with everyone’s expectations of a cake walk to an eighth NCAA basketball championship, I begin to root for the opposition, including Hampton, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Duke, anyone.

Remember how refreshing it felt last year when the undersized “Hungry Huskies” of UCONN took on the touted, All-American freshman of Kentucky and won? Even though UCONN is not exactly your average underdog -- with 4 national titles of their own and doubled that for the woman’s team -- I rooted like crazy for UCONN’s young men last year, and I couldn’t sleep when they won. I listened to every interview and sports commentary about the victory that I could find on TV. It was inspirational and a great story.

The Seattle Seahawks annihilation of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos in the 2014 Super Bowl was just as exhilarating. That’s not to say I hate Peyton Manning, because I genuinely like that guy, especially as an Indianapolis Colt. However, when he became a Bronco, the expectations were raised way too high for him to win everything, which made the joy of rooting for Russell Wilson that much stronger.

Now it’s the Kentucky Wildcats turn to go down… again. Only, the Fighting Irish made some crucial mistakes down the stretch and forgot how to win as a team by sharing the ball, just as the 2014 Seahawks made some crucial mistakes down the stretch in this year’s Super Bowl against the dreaded New England Patriots, another overpowering empire I love to hate.

So I’ll be rooting now for Wisconsin, Duke or Michigan State to take Kentucky down and keep my interest going. Then I’ll move on to root for another Cinderella winner in the NBA, like Seth Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Wouldn’t that be awesome? However, Kentucky going 40-0 with an eighth title won’t be an amazing achievement to me, because it’s already expected. And that becomes boring… and un-American.

 

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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