01-20-2020  3:47 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

Starbucks, Home of the $4 Latte, is Moving Into Poor Areas

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. The effort will bring to 100 the number of "community stores" Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015

Native American Curriculum Rolls Out in Oregon Classrooms

The state developed the curriculum, as required by Senate Bill 13, with the input of Native leaders for 18 months, but is still behind. A soft roll-out begins this month

Community Surprised at Police Chief’s Departure, Concerned by Quick Replacement

Deputy Chief Jami Resch immediately named as successor.

NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Black Guest at Downtown Portland Hotel Sues Over ‘No Party’ Promise

Felicia Gonzales claims the front desk clerk at the Residence Inn told her that all guests had to sign the policy, but she watched...

National Urban League Warns Trump Administration: Don't Weaken Community Reinvestment Act to Allow Racial Discrimination in Lending

Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act could further limit access to the American Dream ...

Classes cancelled at Beaverton High following fire

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Classes at a high school in Beaverton, Oregon, will be cancelled Tuesday following a weekend fire.KOIN reports that investigators concluded on Sunday that the “failure of a small refrigerator” in one of the Beaverton High School classrooms started the...

Idaho lawmakers consider changes in primary voting rules

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Voters will have about two weeks to choose a political party if they want to vote in Idaho's Democratic and Republican presidential primaries in March following action by a House panel on Monday.The State Affairs Committee sent to the full House legislation that will take...

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

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Faith, politics mix on holiday

ATLANTA (AP) — Against the backdrop of a presidential election year, Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday found leaders still wrestling over how to best embody the slain civil rights leader.In Atlanta, Republicans told a sometimes cool crowd at Ebenezer Baptist Church, King's onetime...

2020 Democratic contenders link arms in MLK Jr. Day march

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidates hit pause on their recent feuds Monday as they walked shoulder to shoulder through the streets of South Carolina’s capital city to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and rally around their push to defeat President Donald...

Baker apologizes for calling Pressley's MLK speech a 'rant'

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker apologized Monday after he used the word “rant” to describe remarks from U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley at an event honoring Martin Luther King Jr.Pressley, a Boston Democrat, had delivered a speech about inequality and the unfinished...

ENTERTAINMENT

Robert De Niro gets political as he accepts SAG Awards honor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert De Niro received the Screen Actors Guild lifetime achievement award Sunday to praise for his illustrious career and thunderous applause from his fellow performers, but spent much of his acceptance speech on politics. “There's right and there's wrong, and...

Prince Harry: 'No other option' but to cut royal ties

LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry said Sunday that he felt “great sadness” but found “no other option” to cutting almost all of his and his wife Meghan’s royal ties in the hopes of achieving a more peaceful life.The comments were Harry’s first public...

'Parasite' parties, Leo greets young fans inside SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Off-camera and during commercials, the stars at the Screen Actors Guild Awards got to rub shoulders, give congratulatory kisses, and meet for the first or the 50th time. Here are some of the more memorable moments from inside Sunday night's ceremony at the Shrine...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

James Dean revival spurs debate on raising the digital dead

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The men bringing James Dean back to life for a forthcoming film are aiming not just to...

Survivor recounts confused, chaotic cult rite that killed 7

SANTIAGO, Panama (AP) — A survivor of the cult ceremony that killed her daughter and six other people in a...

Human-to-human transmission confirmed in China coronavirus

BEIJING (AP) — The head of a Chinese government expert team said Monday that human-to-human transmission...

Experts say Vincent van Gogh self-portrait is genuine

AMSTERDAM (AP) — After years of doubts about its authenticity, experts in Amsterdam have confirmed that a...

Putin sends his constitutional proposals to Parliament

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday submitted to parliament a package of...

3 killed, 100-plus hurt in collapse during Ethiopia ceremony

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — At least three people were killed and more than 100 others injured when a...

McMenamins
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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