08-15-2020  6:17 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland State Disarms Campus Police Two Years After Black Man's Death

In June 2018, two campus officers fatally shot Jason Washington, a Navy veteran, while he was trying to break up a fight outside a bar off-campus.

City Awards $548,000 in Cannabis Revenue to BIPOC-Focused Organizations

Six groups receive grants to focus on restorative justice, closing income gap. 

PHOTOS: Snapshots From Downtown Portland

View a slideshow of recent photos taken by The Skanner downtown Portland.

Prosecutor Won't Act on Low-level Portland Protest Arrests

At least several hundred people who have been arrested in the past few months will not face criminal prosecution.

NEWS BRIEFS

Girl Scouts of the USA Announces First Black CEO In Its 108-Year History

Judith Batty follows in the footsteps of Gloria Dean Randle Scott, Ph.D., who was elected as the first Black national president of...

Wyden, Colleagues Announce College Athletes Bill of Rights

Landmark proposal would guarantee fair and equitable compensation, enforceable safety standards and improved educational opportunities...

Oregon Continues Sending Families Pandemic School Meal Benefits

More than 230,000 students have received benefits in six weeks. ...

Ryan Narrowly Wins Over Smith for Portland Commissioner, Position 2

Dan Ryan will fill the seat on the Portland City Council previously held by Nick Fish. ...

MISSING: Michael Bryson Was Last Seen August 5

The Eugene man was last seen at campground SE of Cottage Grove ...

Portland police declare unlawful assembly amid protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police declared an unlawful assembly Friday night and ordered protesters to leave, saying people were throwing things at officers. Anyone ignoring the order could face arrest or crowd control methods such as tear gas, police said. Police have been targeted with...

Officials: 2nd Oregon inmate dies after contracting COVID-19

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — A person imprisoned at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario died Wednesday after contracting COVID-19, officials said. The death marks the second of an inmate who tested positive for the virus in custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections, The...

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

OPINION

Historians Offer Context, Caution on Lessons 1918 Flu Pandemic Holds for COVID

Scholars find parallels of inequitable suffering between pandemic of 1918 and pandemic of 2020 ...

US Reps Adams and DeFazio Call on Postmaster General to Resign

The legislators say Trump appointee Louis DeJoy is sabotaging the US Postal Service and could harm the election ...

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The year the music might die: British clubs face closure

LONDON (AP) — When Keiron Marshall was 15, he found his way out of a desperate situation with help from an unexpected source: Eric Clapton. The guitar great was host at the first gig Marshall ever went to, and he was joined on stage by Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, The Who's Pete Townshend...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump skews record on Biden-Harris, economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump greeted the Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this past week with a litany of distortion and falsehoods, raging against cases of voting fraud where they didn't exist and declining to quash conspiracy theories about...

Georgia park with Confederate sculpture shuts gates to rally

ATLANTA (AP) — Suburban Atlanta's Stone Mountain Park, home of a giant sculpture of Confederate leaders, says it will close its gates Saturday in the face of a planned right-wing rally.The event has sparked fears of violence, especially before an all-Black militia said earlier this week that...

ENTERTAINMENT

J Balvin says he is recovering from the coronavirus

NEW YORK (AP) — Colombian superstar J Balvin says he is recovering after battling the coronavirus.In a pre-taped video that aired Thursday night as Balvin accepted an award at Premios Juventud 2020, the performer revealed he contracted COVID-19 and that it impacted him heavily.“At...

Dev Patel celebrates India from his Los Angeles front yard

LONDON (AP) — Quarantine brought opportunities to Dev Patel’s front yard.From a safe distance, the British actor was able to enjoy both his birthday and his relationship with India without leaving his L.A. home.The first was courtesy of his girlfriend, Australian actress Tilda...

'Succession' star Nicholas Braun writes a virus dating song

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Nicholas Braun, who plays fan favorite Cousin Greg on HBO’s “Succession,” has captured the fraught nature of dating during the pandemic in a catchy new punk song that started as a joke. “If you come within 6 feet, it’s mask on, mask...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Fewer people but deep faith on Greece's Assumption holiday

TINOS, Greece (AP) — In twos and threes, in small groups or alone, they came. Most walking, many crawling,...

Partner of dead Belarus protester believes police shot him

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The partner of a man who died in the protests engulfing Belarus says she does not...

Delaware thrust into unlikely starring role in 2020 campaign

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Delaware isn't a swing state. It has three electoral votes. Driving its entire...

Pompeo inks deal for US troop move from Germany to Poland

WARSAW (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday sealed a defense cooperation deal with Polish...

Fewer people but deep faith on Greece's Assumption holiday

TINOS, Greece (AP) — In twos and threes, in small groups or alone, they came. Most walking, many crawling,...

Japan marks 75th anniversary of war end with no Abe apology

TOKYO (AP) — Japan on Saturday marked the 75th anniversary of its surrender in World War II, with Emperor...

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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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