10-24-2020  1:05 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Candidate Iannarone Welcomes Ruling on Complaint Against Mayor Wheeler

Mayoral challenger Sarah Iannarone has welcomed the Multnomah County Circuit court ruling requiring City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero to look into a complaint against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for loaning his own re-election campaign 0,000

Some Hospitals in Crisis as US nears high for COVID-19 cases

The global surge in coronavirus infections is hitting the United States hard and overwhelming hospitals across the nation

Report: Seattle Officers Used Excessive Force at Protests

Since May, the office has received 19,000 complaints about police misconduct during protests.

PSU’s Black Studies Department Grows, Offers Students Immediate Support

Chair Ethan Johnson announces new hire and COVID-19 Relief Fund

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Reports the Highest Daily Case Count Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

OHA reports 550 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths ...

Thursday, October 22: All Registered Voters Should Have Received Their Ballots

Contact Multnomah County Elections TODAY if you have not yet received your ballot in the mail. ...

Forest Service Now Hiring

Agency accepting applications for more than 1,000 seasonal positions in Oregon and Washington ...

U.S. Senate Votes to Keep a Regulation That Harms Communities of Color and Low- and Moderate-Income Families

OCC overhaul of an anti-redlining law will perversely encourage redlining ...

Roseburg VA police officer accused of placing hidden cameras

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A Roseburg man who works as a police officer at a Veterans Affairs hospital has been accused of hiding cameras in the bedroom of a young teen. Detectives began investigating after the cameras were found in the 14-year-old’s bedroom, the Douglas County...

US sets coronavirus infection record; deaths near 224,000

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. coronavirus caseload has reached record heights with more than 83,000 infections reported in a single day, the latest ominous sign of the disease’s grip on the nation, as states from Connecticut to the Rocky Mountain West reel under the surge.The U.S....

Humbled LSU eyeing QB contingency vs surging South Carolina

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Ed Orgeron was grateful for an extra week to help the Tigers confront considerable challenges on both sides of the ball.He’ll have to hope that’s enough time for the unranked Tigers (1-2, 1-2 SEC) to turn back South Carolina (2-2, 2-2), which...

Kentucky visits Missouri with both teams coming off big wins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kentucky finally ended a 17-game losing streak at Tennessee. Missouri beat the reigning national champions for the first time since 1978 while giving coach Eli Drinkwitz his first SEC win with an upset of LSU.Now, two teams that have plenty of momentum are poised to...

OPINION

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...

The Skanner News Statewide Election 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Portland Mayor, Portland City Council, and more ...

Muslim Advocates Denounces Trump’s Racist Attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar and Refugees

The organization says Trump’s attacks invite violence against Rep. Omar and Minnesota’s Somali community ...

Trump and the Lost Country

Discussing the debate, Robert Koehler refers to an article by psychiatrists describing how power causes brain damage ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Fields, No. 5 Ohio St run away from Huskers in opener, 52-17

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Justin Fields completed 20 of 21 passes for two touchdowns and ran for another, Master Teague III rushed for a pair of scores and Ohio State rolled over Nebraska 52-17 Saturday on the opening day of the Big Ten's pandemic-delayed season. Fields, a Heisman Trophy...

Head of Sudan’s largest party slams Trump and Israel deal

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi on Saturday slammed an announcement by President Donald Trump that Sudan would start normalizing ties with Israel.Al-Mahdi, who is the country's last democratically elected premier and heads the country's largest political...

Stressed freshmen missing quintessential college experience

It’s a major life milestone, the first time many U.S. teens have ever been on their own. Even in normal times, freshman year in college can be a jumbled mix of anticipation, uncertainty and emotional highs and lows.In these hardly normal times, when the quintessential college experience...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kevin Hart: Hosting MDA telethon is a 'major level-up'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Hart says hosting a re-imagined online fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association is “a major level-up for me.”“It’s different from anything that you’ve really seen me do. And there’s a great reason behind it,”...

Sandra Oh celebrates Asian culture in film 'Over the Moon'

NEW YORK (AP) — Sandra Oh’s role in the new animated feature “Over the Moon” may not be her largest, but it has deep meaning.The story is set in China and Oh voices the stepmother of a girl named Fei Fei, grieving after the loss of her mother. So she builds a rocket to...

Film depicts Black Lives Matter, #MeToo as new feminist wave

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The documentary genre’s power of immediacy is evident in “Not Done: Women Remaking America," which includes the still-unfolding possibility of the first Black female vice president and the loss of Breonna Taylor.The film depicts a powerful female-driven...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jerry Jeff Walker, Texas singer and songwriter, dies at 78

Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas country singer and songwriter who wrote the pop song “Mr. Bojangles,” has...

The Needle goes away as probability experts assess 2020 race

NEW YORK (AP) — The one thing most likely to conjure nightmares of the 2016 election night for opponents of...

Opposition activist leaves embassy haven to flee Venezuela

MEDELLIN, Colombia (AP) — Prominent opposition activist Leopoldo López has abandoned the Spanish...

Some hospitals in crisis as US nears high for COVID-19 cases

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The United States is approaching a record for the number of new daily coronavirus cases...

Amid turmoil, Kyrgyzstan sets presidential vote for Jan. 10

MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities in Kyrgyzstan on Saturday called an early presidential election for January after...

No escaping from Wales: UK police to enforce travel ban

LONDON (AP) — A police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has...

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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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