COLUMN: Obama’s departure is sad day for sports

first_imgYesterday was former President Barack Obama’s final day in office and — regardless of where you fall in the political spectrum — a sad day for sports fans across the country. Of the few presidencies I’ve lived through, no commander in chief has been as involved and as knowledgeable about the world of sports as Obama. Devout sports fans such as myself can tell almost immediately whether people in power — politicians, CEOs and celebrities — actually care about sports or are just trying to flub their way through a speech they didn’t write to cozy up to famous athletes (like San Francisco mayor Ed Lee calling Stephen Curry “Steve Curry” in 2013 when presenting the Golden State Warriors star a key to the city. That was cringe worthy).Through his eight years in office, I’ve watched Obama welcome championship teams and sports icons to the White House with casual jokes, references and remarks that make him feel more like a friend talking sports with you in a bar than the President of the United States making a speech. From making fun of Deflategate to calling Michael Jordan “more than just an internet meme,” Obama certainly has the sports jokes down. I’ve watched him fill out his bracket before the NCAA Tournament each year, explaining his picks and breaking down teams on ESPN, making more sense than some analysts the network somehow still employs (looking at you, Stephen A. Smith). In an interview with Grantland in 2012, Obama said he watches SportsCenter during his morning workouts, sneaks a peek at a ball game from time to time while reading briefings and even pays for NBA League Pass himself. GQ published an oral history this week describing Obama’s love of pickup basketball. He routinely played during both of his campaigns, including the day of both elections. It’s easy to say that all of this is pointless. Sports is unimportant in comparison to running a country. But can’t we all say that about our lives? Just because your team won a big game doesn’t mean you’ll get a promotion at work the next day. In this sense, Obama connected with us common folk who watch sports and use it as an escape from the stress of everyday life.There’s also something bigger about sports that Obama touched on beautifully on Monday, when he welcomed the World Series champions Chicago Cubs to the East Room for his final White House ceremony.“It is worth remembering — because sometimes people wonder, ‘Well, why are you spending time on sports? There’s other stuff going on’ — throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together, even when the country is divided,” he said. “Sports has changed attitudes and culture in ways that seem subtle but that ultimately made us think differently about ourselves and who we were. It is a game, and it is celebration, but there’s a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here.”Robinson, of course, broke the color code in professional baseball, paving the way for the diverse world of sports we have now. In fact, black athletes make up the majority of players in both the NBA and NFL today, while minorities compose roughly 40 percent of MLB players. Sports are proof that no matter the political climate in the outside world, everyone on the playing field is one and the same, separated by their talents and abilities rather than race. It’s more than just the players: Anyone can be a sports fan. Go to a sporting event and you’ll see people across all walks of life cheering in unison for their team. “When you see this group of folks of different shades and different backgrounds coming from different communities and neighborhoods all across the country and then playing as one team and playing the right way and celebrating each other and being joyous in that, that tells us a little something about what America is and what America can be,” said Obama, describing Cubs players after their World Series victory. That is the true value of sports, which are so much more than simple objectives like putting a ball in a basket or running into an end zone. Obama understood that while Robinson was just a baseball player, he made it acceptable for people of color to participate in a league reserved for whites. That paved the way — more than half a century later — for a black man to lead the country, a position previously held solely by white men. And in the end, Obama was just as much a Chicago sports fan as he was the commander in chief. He cared about his March Madness brackets as much as the guy working a nine-to-five desk job, snuck in baseball games as much as the college student “multitasking” while studying, watched SportsCenter at the gym just like you or I would and shot hoops with his friends like any other dude. Say what you want about his politics or the legacy he leaves behind. But I’ll simply say this, from one sports fan to another: Thanks, Obama, for reminding us of what sports are all about and how they can make a tremendous impact on progress in society.Eric He is a sophomore studying print and digital journalism. He is also the associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs on Fridays.last_img read more

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Dom Madonna named ACC Defensive Player of the Week

first_imgRedshirt senior goalie Dom Madonna has been named ACC Defensive Player of the Week following an eight-save game against then-No. 9 Army. Then-No. 16 Syracuse (2-1) found itself in a five-goal deficit early against Army (3-1) before clawing its way back and winning in triple overtime, 11-10. The Orange jumped four spots in this week’s rankings, in large part due to Madonna’s performance in net. He allowed just four goals in the second half, even making crucial saves in the first two overtimes, one coming while man-down. Madonna also assisted on the game-winner, which came off a successful clear, finding Ryan Simmons in stride for a breakaway.“Dom has been playing very well for us the last two games and has been one of our strengths,” SU head coach John Desko said.Madonna made 11 saves and allowed 15 goals against then-No. 4 Albany in a 15-3 blowout loss the week before. But Desko credited the score toward Syracuse’s struggles as a whole — the Orange was blown out at the faceoff X (5-for-22) and held possession for roughly 10 of the game’s first 45 minutes, Desko estimated.“(Madonna) was just very comfortable in the goal, he’s been seeing it very well,” Desko said. “We saw it last week, even though the score was the way it was. He was a strength coming out of that game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMadonna and the Orange will hit the road for the first time this season, taking on No. 4 Virginia (4-0) on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Klockner Stadium. Comments Published on February 26, 2018 at 9:30 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturco Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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‘NOW WE’RE SUCKING DIESEL’!! DONEGAL MOTORISTS FILL UP AGAIN AFTER RATION SCARE

first_imgMOTORISTS were again allowed to fill up their tanks with petrol and diesel in West Donegal this afternoon after some garages had been forced to introduce rationing.Garages in West Donegal, especially in Gweedore and Gortahork, had been forced to limit customers to just €20 of fuel each.Many garages had run very low on fuel after treacherous roads prevented delivery trucks from Derry from making the journey. Eugene Gallagher from Gallagher’s Filling Station in Derrybeg had been hoping a tanker would arrive last Friday or Saturday and was forced to ration fuel until a delivery lorry arrived yesterday morning.“We were getting very low and we had to ration fuel. They were supposed to come out on Friday and Saturday but couldn’t make it because of the roads.“They eventually arrived earlier today but it took them five hours coming from Derry which would normally take them little more than an hour and a half,” he said.Another local garage owner Jimmy Sharkey from the Top Filling Station in Dungloe refused to ration his petrol saying he would rather run out than do that to his customers. “We were running very low but I just didn’t want to ration petrol when people took the time to come out and give us the business.“Thankfully the lads from Top Oil managed to get from Derry this afternoon and fill us up again,” he said.However Mr Sharkey warned that petrol and diesel could reach a record high for two years in the coming weeks.“The problem is that the Government are putting so many taxes on fuel that we are being forced to pass it onto the customer.“We don’t want to be doing this but we have been left with no choice,” he said. Fine Gael Deputy Dinny McGinley warned that more rationing is inevitable if the roads in West Donegal and the rest of the county are not treated properly.“We have been warning about this for the last number of days and now rationing has already hit. Thankfully the tankers managed to get here.“But the bottom line is that this should never have been allowed to happen if the roads of Donegal were treated with salt as they have been in many other parts of the country.“We need to take a drastic look at this situation and make sure it does not happen again. The winter is far from over,” he warned. Meanwhile Donegal County Council is due to receive a large supply of salt tomorrow (WED) or Thursday as a new shipment comes in from Tunisia.Ends‘NOW WE’RE SUCKING DIESEL’!! DONEGAL MOTORISTS FILL UP AGAIN AFTER RATION SCARE was last modified: December 21st, 2010 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Visitors to mountain ski resorts are transported back in time

first_imgWhile Lake Arrowhead has no official “town center,” its Village serves as the main shopping district, with 50 factory outlets, boutiques, restaurants and a supermarket. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chose Lake Arrowhead Village as the backdrop for a news conference last fall, when he urged tourists to return to the fire-blackened communities. “Our business is doing well here. We’ve come back after the fires and just had a real surge of shoppers,” said Linda Griffith, spokeswoman for Lake Arrowhead Village. “The shopping experience here is nice because most of the business owners are local residents, and it’s a friendly environment.” The communities also have holiday events planned for December, including weekend visits with Santa and performances by the Dickens Carolers from Rim of the World High School. Ten minutes to the west of Lake Arrowhead lies Blue Jay Village, home to Betty’s General Store, the historic Royal Oak Restaurant and County Furniture, which specializes in mountain-theme furnishings. It’s also the location of Jensen’s Finest Foods, the oldest grocery store on the mountain with renowned baked goods including breads, tortillas, chips and pastries. “They have busloads of people come in for their baked goods,” Griffith said. “They have a Bavarian chocolate brownie that I love.” Holidays and especially chocolate are a big draw in the mountains. Big Bear Valley celebrates the delectable treat in a unique fashion that also showcases its bed and breakfasts. The Holiday Bed and Breakfast Chocolate Tour, held this year the first weekend in December, invites visitors to admire the beautifully decorated lodgings while sampling chocolate. In some places, visitors were encouraged to taste it, in others to make it and at one stop, the delicacy was served up as a decadent facial treatment.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nestled among the snow-capped peaks and tall pine forests, the quaint hamlets and resort towns that dot the San Bernardino Mountains draw visitors yearning for slices of a simpler life. A stroll through Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear or Blue Jay Village can be like a trip back in time – back to the days of general stores and family cafes. “People come into our store to just get away from a busy life and to walk around and enjoy the environment,” said Jay Tait, owner of the 28-year-old Bear Mountain Trading Company in Big Bear Lake. “There’s a lot of nostalgia in the store.” Wander upstairs in Tait’s place and find a room stocked year-round with Christmas ornaments and decorations. An old-fashioned candy counter sells jawbreakers, licorice and assorted “penny” treats. The store also sells its own brand of jams, jellies and sauces, along with an array of wildlife d cor. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIn neighboring Lake Arrowhead, Sondra’s/Tattle Tails is among the most popular stops for shoppers in search of women’s and children’s clothing. “If you buy an outfit there, you won’t find another person in another one of those outfits anywhere else,” said Leslie McLellan, director of marketing and tourism for the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce. “It’s the quintessential women’s clothing store.” The same hospitable vibe can be felt at Woody’s Boathouse, a family-owned steak and seafood restaurant that has operated on the peninsula of Lake Arrowhead for 16 years. The walls are lined with dozens of vintage photographs of movie stars and of the early days of the village. The booths are crafted from the old wooden Chris Craft boats that used to travel the lake in bygone days. “Every seat has a great lake view,” said general manager Dee Dee Romack, whose father, Randy, owns the restaurant. last_img read more

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